Sweden is on the verge of becoming the first cashless society worldwide by 2023. As per Interesting Engineering, the Nordic nation will stop accepting cash payments from March 24, 2023. With the deadline fast approaching, it’s crucial to prepare in advance with alternative payment methods.
If you’re looking for the best credit cards in Sweden, you’ve come to the right place. This guide is designed to help you make an informed decision when it comes to choosing a credit card that suits your needs. So, whether you’re looking for a card with low interest rates, cashback rewards, or travel benefits, we’ve got you covered. Keep reading to discover the top credit cards in Sweden.
1. Resurs Gold Mastercard
ResursHolding proudly showcases its partnership with Mastercard, highlighting the availability of Mastercard cards equipped with NFC (Near-Field Communication) chips. Thanks to this collaboration, customers can benefit from the convenience of simple payment options both online and in brick-and-mortar stores.
Apple Pay and Google Pay are two mobile payment services that enable customers to make in-person payments across the web and in supported apps on Apple and Google devices. This makes it easy for you to enjoy the convenience of these services.
When you sign up for the Resurs Gold Mastercard, you can enjoy a variety of benefits. For instance, you’ll receive a welcome bonus worth SEK 100, and you’ll earn rewards for every purchase you make – up to 0.5 points per krona spent. Additionally, opening an account entitles you to a free savings account that offers 1.3% interest on the money you deposit.
You can make use of split payments for up to six months to save on inflation costs. Additionally, the card offers travel insurance, purchase protection, and a 60-day interest-free credit on all your purchases.
Although the Resurs Gold Mastercard is a great option, it does have a few shortcomings that you should take into account. One notable drawback is the absence of a referral program, which means that you won’t receive a credit card referral bonus for inviting your family, friends, or colleagues to apply for the card.
2. Marginalen Gold Mastercard
The Marginalen Gold credit card boasts of providing numerous perks to those who frequently travel and shop online. It offers an array of nine insurance options, including travel insurance that covers various aspects such as cancellation, baggage protection, delay cover, and accident protection.
If you’ve paid for at least 75% of your trip with the card, your travel insurance will be valid. You’ll receive cashback when you shop online, and you’ll be eligible for discounts in over 200 stores that are part of the rebate program. By shopping online through the Handla smart app, you can save up to 25% on your purchases.
With the card, you’ll get a generous 50-day interest-free period. And if, for some reason, you’re unable to pay off your debt, you’ll be pleased to know that the card offers two payment-free months. Just keep in mind that these months can’t be consecutive. Plus, if you ever run into any issues with your card, the customer service team is always available and quick to respond via both live chat and phone support.
The credit card comes with a reasonable interest rate of 17.73% and an annual fee of SEK 195. However, it lacks any additional bonuses that typically serve as a great incentive for potential cardholders.
3. OKQ8 Visa Credit card
If you’ve been hesitant to apply for a credit card due to the annual fees, you might want to consider the OKQ8 credit card. Unlike other credit cards, it doesn’t require a yearly fee or a minimum income. Additionally, it’s an excellent choice for those without any employment history, as long as you’re over 18 years old, you’re eligible for the card.
If you’re considering opening an account with this bank, know that they provide the benefit of two payment-free months per year. However, there is a condition attached to this benefit – you must have made prompt payments for the last three months, and the two months you choose cannot be consecutive. Additionally, you can earn 0.75% interest on the amount you deposit, with a cap of SEK 150,000. The account also allows for unlimited and free withdrawals, but keep in mind that once you deposit funds into the account, you won’t be able to access any credit until you’ve exhausted the deposited amount.
While the card offers travel insurance and cancellation protection for trips paid with it, there are a few downsides to consider. These include high fees for international transactions, costly partial payments, and a lack of default insurance.
4. Swedbank Gold Credit Card
Airlapse has reported that with the Swedbank gold card, you can earn one point for every krona spent on purchases. While the application process for this card is simple and can be done online through Internet Banking, the eligibility requirements may deter some potential applicants.
To be eligible for this card, you need to have a consistent income for six months straight, with a minimum after-tax income of 350 Euros. Your monthly expenses should not surpass 40% of your income, and you should not have any unpaid outstanding debts at Seedbank or any other creditors. If you are not planning to pay back the credit using your salary, you must provide evidence of your income source.
With this card, both you and your family can benefit from comprehensive travel insurance. Plus, you’ll have a credit limit of 600 Euros and a generous 40-day interest-free period if you’re unable to pay within the allotted time. Enjoy commission-free worldwide cash withdrawals of up to 500 Euros, and stay on top of your finances while on the go with Internet Banking and the bank’s mobile app. Managing your card has never been easier.
One of the great perks of this card is that you don’t have to wait to start using your credit limit. As soon as you sign the credit card agreement, you’re ready to start making purchases. No need to wait for the physical card to arrive in the mail.
What Should You Look for When Selecting a Credit Card?
When you apply for a credit card, you want it to simplify your life and provide you with more benefits. That’s why North Dakota State University suggests considering the following factors:
Credit cards come with various charges, including an annual fee just for owning the card. This fee can be as high as $500, which is an unreasonable amount. However, you can avoid this charge by applying for a no-annual-fee card or one that has lower fees.
If you happen to be late with your credit card payment, you will be charged a late fee. The initial penalty may be small, but if you commit the same mistake again, the fee could go up to $40. Fortunately, you can avoid incurring this additional cost by paying at least the minimum amount due and enrolling in autopay. By doing so, you can ensure that your payments are made on time and avoid any unnecessary charges.
When conducting transactions outside of your country, you are often faced with foreign transaction fees which typically amount to around 3% per transaction. To avoid these fees, it is recommended to opt for a credit card that does not charge foreign transaction fees. In addition to foreign transaction fees, there are other charges to be aware of such as cash advance fees, balance transfer fees, over-the-limit fees, and returned payment fees. It is important to be vigilant of these fees as they can quickly add up and make being a cardholder a costly experience.
When it comes to credit cards, the logic of choosing a plan with high-interest rates, like you would with an investment plan, doesn’t apply. In this case, banks lend you money and you will have to pay interest on it. Therefore, it’s best to opt for credit cards with lower interest rates. It’s important to keep in mind that interest on the outstanding balance compounds on a daily basis.
Every day, interest will be computed and combined with the amount you owe. This is relevant when you carry over the outstanding balance to the following billing cycle. Thus, it is crucial to settle your bill on time. It’s important to note that even if you pay the minimum amount, the remaining balance will still accumulate interest.
Be cautious of introductory interest rates that may seem like a great deal at first glance, but are only temporary. These rates are often used to lure new cardholders into thinking they will enjoy 0% APR (Annual Percentage Rate) indefinitely. However, it’s essential to note that credit cards have varying APRs that are largely dependent on a customer’s creditworthiness. As a result, you’re more likely to see a range of rates rather than a single number.
Let’s say you stumble upon a credit card that offers an APR of 13.5%-18%. This means that customers who make timely payments will benefit from the lower rate of 13.5%, while those who continuously default on payments will be charged the higher rate of 18%.
To maximize the benefits of your credit card, taking advantage of the bonus and reward programs it offers is a great strategy. Many credit cards provide cashback rewards, where you can earn points or money when making purchases. These rewards can then be used to make additional purchases, providing great value for your money.
When making purchases, you may be able to earn rewards based on a percentage of your spending. For example, you could earn one point or SEK 1 for every SEK 100 spent. However, there are some conditions to this offer. You can only earn cashback on purchases made in specific categories, and there is typically a maximum amount of cashback you can earn within a set time frame.
The Credit Card Limit
Having a credit card with a limit of SEK 50,000 can be tempting, even if your income is significantly lower. However, banks have their own methods of determining your ability to repay the credit. They assess your credit history, income, and limits on other cards to predict your creditworthiness. While you may have a credit card with a high limit, it is not necessary to reach it. Responsible management of the limit can ensure that your credit score remains high, making you eligible for more important loans, such as mortgages.
Why You Should Use Credit Cards in Sweden
In Sweden, embracing credit cards and electronic transfers is essential, as the country has become the world’s first to go cashless. The use of cash among people in Sweden has significantly reduced to merely 1%. Therefore, to survive in Sweden, it becomes imperative to adapt to the digital payment methods prevalent in the country.
Cashless transactions have gained widespread popularity due to several reasons, one of which is the unhygienic nature of cash. Jowan Osterlund, an entrepreneur, stated that cash is dirty and he prefers utilizing Swish, a payment app that has been adopted by over two-thirds of the population in Sweden. It’s no surprise that during the COVID-19 pandemic, the use of cash was discouraged to prevent the spread of the virus.
Sweden has adopted plastic money and digital currency to simplify life for its citizens. While cash remains legal tender under the Sveriges Riksbank Act, a large number of merchants in the country have stopped accepting it.
Cash is Becoming Less Important
In Gothenburg and Stockholm, cash is no longer accepted as a mode of payment for public transportation. Instead, prepaid tickets can be purchased through various means such as credit or debit card, mobile applications, or ticket machines. This has led to a preference among commuters to opt for monthly travel cards. To ensure a hassle-free travel experience, it is advisable to carry a credit card when using public transport in Sweden.
If you are planning to buy souvenirs to take back home from Sweden, it’s important to note that not all souvenir shops and stores accept cash. As per Sweet Sweden, they may prefer mobile payments or payments by credit card. Moreover, to make the most of your time in Sweden, it’s advisable to carry a credit card with you as it is the preferred mode of payment in restaurants and bars as well. It’s worth noting that Sweden has recently been in the news due to increased gang violence, and carrying cash with you could make you a target for muggers. Therefore, it’s best to avoid carrying cash and opt for digital payments instead.
The Two Type of Credit Cards in Sweden
In Sweden, credit cards come in two types – regular and prepaid. The prepaid credit card is a convenient option as it allows you to pay for every transaction with money that has been loaded onto the card. Unlike a regular credit card, it does not carry a credit balance, and instead, you pay for each purchase with secured payment. The balance on the prepaid credit card reduces with every transaction until it is exhausted.
If you’re looking to avoid paying interest, the prepaid credit card may be a perfect choice for you. One of its main benefits is that it doesn’t connect to your checking account. Additionally, if you struggle with impulse buying and need to keep your spending habits in check, this card can help you do just that. Furthermore, it’s an excellent option if you don’t have a good credit score.
In contrast, traditional credit cards provide you with the option to borrow a specific amount of money that you must repay within a certain timeframe. Failure to do so incurs a late fee, and the borrowed funds accrue interest, which can be avoided by consistently making full payments on or before the end of the grace period.
Once you have gained an understanding of the various credit card options available in Sweden and why it is important to have one, you will be able to make an informed decision when visiting this Nordic nation.