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Cards (7)

Credit Cards in Lebanon - A good idea?

Some of us find credit cards useful, while others avoid it at any cost. It is the actual cost that many of us worry about. A credit card unlike a debit card is used as a mean to withdraw or make purchases on a credit basis. Similar to a debit card, it is issued by major credit companies in association with banks, financial institutions, retail stores, and businesses. A credit card holder has instant spending power within a limit set by the bank. It also provides a number of services.

As there are many advantages, there are many disadvantages to getting a credit card. To consumers who settle their balance on time, credit cards can be convenient. They can be indispensable to travelers as they are quite useful to purchase airplane tickets and to make hotel reservations. Credit cards can prove beneficial as a financial back up in time of crisis or in case of an emergency. They are quite handy in unaccounted for situations, such as healthcare costs or in case of a job loss, etc.

They are also a payment means to online and order by mail purchases. Some cards offer cash back, while others offer store discounts, miles, and rewards. Most reward system accumulates points that are swapped for gifts. It is also important to note that if handled wisely, credit cards can help build your credit history. They are also useful to handle and monitor your expenses and financial activities.

It is easy to get lured by the easy access credit cards provide its holder. The ready accessibility to funds and the purchasing power can be the pitfall of some if used unwisely. Some consumers consider credit cards as an extra income rather than what they are, an additional debt. Through a false sense of security, they feel compelled to spend more than they actually have. Another hazard is rolling over a balance for months, which can ruin your credit history score. Moreover, acquiring a large amount of credit card debt can work to your disadvantage. It will undermine your chances for getting a loan in the future. It is also essential to take into considerations the late fees and interest you can accumulate in case of payment default as well as the increase in the risk of credit cards fraud.

Credit cards are a commitment and should not be taking lightly. In order to not get carried away and fall into debt, avoid overspending, keep track of your purchases, review your monthly statements and pay the pending balance religiously. Furthermore, in case of loss or stolen credit card, inform your bank or credit card company immediately.

 

For further inquiries and to compare and choose the most advantageous credit card offered by Lebanese banks, visit Bnooki.com

 

 

Wednesday, 04 February 2015 Written by

Euro Cards from Lebanese Banks! Why opt for one?

Whether you are a businessman who takes regular trips to Europe, a student or a seasonal traveler, the Euro card is designed to complement your lifestyle.

 

Most major Lebanese Banks offer Euro cards.  There are two types of cards on offer: credit or charge cards. Credit cards offer repayment flexibility that can vary from full settlement to monthly installments with variable or fixed interest rates.  A charge card on the other hand must be paid in full at the end of each settlement cycle within the allowable grace period and consistent with the issuance of the periodic account statement.

 

The Euro Card provides each cardholder with a wide array of immediate conveniences with a limited application process.  It is a convenient facility when traveling to European destinations that allows you to withdraw funds, make and settle purchases denominated in Euros without incurring additional charges, such as conversion fees and exchange rate exposure.  Euro cards also provide protection against theft, fraud and unauthorized usage.

 

There are many advantages of using a Euro card available through the numerous Lebanese Banks.  Spouses, family members and authorized friends who are over the age of 18, can benefit from the use of a supplementary card associated to a primary account holder.   It is a financially convenient resource as the account holder can directly administer access to all supplementary cards.  The account holder can directly add or remove access, review account usage and modify the balance limit for each associated cardholder.  The number of supplementary cards, which you can apply for, however varies from one bank to another.

 

Most Lebanese Banks offer loyalty programs.  Cardholders accumulate redeemable points when using the card towards valuable gifts, travel rewards and various services.

 

Euro cardholders can also benefit from various services such as access to airport VIP lounges irrespective of what class he/she is traveling in.  Concierge services may also be available with your card.  These services can comprise a wide range of benefits such as restaurant reservations, a personal shopper, a personal assistant, etc.  These services can however differ from one bank to another.

 

As with most credit and charge cards, Euro cards available from Lebanese Banks provide an insurance program.  Airplane ticket purchases, accommodation payments and other expenses made with the Euro Card insure and protect its holder against purchase theft, loss or theft of luggage, flight delay and cancellation.  It also offers travel accident and emergency medical coverage around the world.

 

Please note that eligibility, requirements and services vary from one bank to another.


To obtain information, compare options and choose the right Euro Card available from Banks in Lebanon, visit 

Monday, 05 January 2015 Written by

Prepaid cards from Lebanese banks – naughty or nice gift?

It’s nearly Christmas and shopping time is nearly over! But what about that elusive gift for the person who has everything? How about a prepaid card?

 

The basic principle of a prepaid card is that you preload a card with money which can then be spent. There are different kinds of prepaid card; some work like a debit card that you can add money to once the funds have been used up, and some work more like a gift card – they can only be used for a certain amount of money. In either case, any purchases made come directly out of the card so there is no chance of running into debt or going overdrawn.

 

This Christmas, banks in Lebanon have been putting forward the idea of giving prepaid cards as gifts. This is a similar idea to giving someone a store gift card, but the funds can be used anywhere the logo of the major credit card companies (Visa, American Express, MasterCard, etc….) is displayed. Because of this, the receivers are not restricted in their purchases and are really able to buy themselves what they need.

 

If you’re thinking of giving a prepaid card as a gift, you need to know exactly how it works, as well as its pros and cons.

 

As already mentioned above, a prepaid card from a Lebanese bank comes with a zero balance. You then choose how much money you want to charge the card with. Then, when the receiver buys themselves a gift, the amount is deducted from the card’s balance. Simple!

 

There are many advantages of using a prepaid card, including the fact that there are no overdraft or late payment fees to worry about. There are however, a few disadvantages that also need to be looked at, the main one of being fees, of which there are many.

 

Advantages

Disadvantages


  • Convenience, simplicity and financial peace of mind – no worrying about late payments and overdraft fees. What you have is what you spend.

  • Appropriate for young people – as well as being an ideal gift, they can also be used to teach teenagers to manage their money.


  • Fees. Depending on the card there could be fees for:

  • Setting up the card.

  • Loading money onto the card Making purchases on the card

  • Taking cash out at a cash point.

  • Inactivity.

  • Redeeming funds.

 

It’s important to suss out all the fees involved before giving a prepaid card as a gift, otherwise you could end up giving less than you wanted!


For more information on prepaid cards from banks in Lebanon, visit Bnooki.com to choose the right prepaid card for all your needs.

 

 

Wednesday, 24 December 2014 Written by

Online payments: Internet Card or Credit Card?

« Should one use a credit card, a prepaid card or a specialized internet card to pay online? »

 Have you ever wanted to buy that perfect gift online but hesitated before reaching for your wallet, scared that by inputting those precious digits, you will be handing over confidential information to person or persons unknown? Fear not! Here we give you the definitive guide to online purchasing.

We will look at the 3 main methods used for internet shopping in Lebanon; credit cards, prepaid cards and specialized internet cards.

 First up is the credit card. A credit card is issued by your bank and is the most common card used to pay for goods and services. It works by crediting the consumer with instant money when a purchase is made. Borrowing limits are set by the bank and the credit card charges interest on the amount borrowed, usually starting a month after the purchase has been made.  

 Using your regular Lebanese bank card is possibly the easiest and the most common method of paying for purchases online. After all, all you have to do is whip out your wallet, type in a few numbers and off you go. However, there are advantages and disadvantages of using your credit card to pay online that you should be aware of.

Advantages Disadvantages
  •  Widely accepted, even overseas
  •  Quick and easy to use
  •  Flexible, short-term credit
  • Reward incentives
  • Debt accumulation
  • Interest charges
  •  Credit card charges
  • Data theft

 

To use a credit card safely online you need to be careful about which websites you use, and keep your card details safe. Never email your information, or make purchases from a public computer as your information can be stored and used fraudulently. And even if you use your own computer, you need to make sure your antivirus protection is up to date and functioning.

 Next up are prepaid cards. These have been gaining popularity in recent years due to their increased security features. A prepaid card is used like a normal credit card but is preloaded with money before the purchase takes place. In this way, it is the opposite of a regular credit card! A prepaid card is a great way to curb your spending, as well as ensuring that your details are kept safe. But again, there are pros and cons to consider before using this type of payment method.

Advantages Disadvantages
  • Convenient to use
  • No risk of debt
  • Can be used online or in person
  • No credit check required
  • Personal details kept secure 
  • Hidden fees and expiry dates
  • Cannot be used as widely as a credit card
  • You need to have enough money loaded onto it to make a purchase

 

You can pick up a prepaid card from most major banks in Lebanon (even if you don’t have an account with them) then, simply load it with as much money as you like and use it for both online and shop purchases in Lebanon. The disadvantages of such a card is that there are often fees and expiry dates involved. You should check the small print carefully before purchasing this kind of card. 

 Finally we come to the specialized internet cards. These are like prepaid cards but can only be used online. You can get one from your bank or from specialist companies in Lebanon. There is also the option of buying a rechargeable or a single use card. Rechargeable cards can be used many times but you may be charged a small fee for reloading them, whereas a single use card can only be used once, and then after a new card needs to be purchased. 

Advantages Disadvantages
  • Convenient to use
  • No risk of debt
  • No credit check required
  • Personal details kept secure online
  • No bank account required 
  • Hidden fees and expiry dates
  • Cannot be used as widely as a credit card
  • You need to have enough money loaded onto it to make a purchase

Check out which card is right for you by comparing cards offered by banks in Lebanon on Bnooki.com. Click here: http://www.bnooki.com/cards/internet-cards/list

Tuesday, 18 November 2014 Written by

Internet Cards In Lebanon: Pay Online and stay Safe!

Afraid of using your Credit Card online and getting hacked?  No worries, there are other ways of paying online using a card while keeping your money safe: Internet Cards. Such cards are usually pre-paid and therefore the risk of your money being stolen or hacked is equal to the amount you had initially pre-paid in your card. The less you pre-pay, the less money you risk losing. There are more than 21 Internet Cards on Bnooki.com from 12 different banks in Lebanon. Here are some directions to help make a choice:
 
 
Rechargeable V/S One Time Cards:
Rechargeable Internet Cards are cards that you buy once and recharge for a certain amount as many times as you want and can use them to pay on the internet for the amount you have deposited in them.
 
One time Internet Cards are none rechargeable and have a fixed amount. You can use the card many times but only until its limit is reached. Once you use it for the full amount you have to throw it away and buy a new one.
 
Maximum Amounts:
Rechargeable Internet Cards can sometimes be recharged for an unlimited amount. The more you pay the more you can use them.
Prepaid One Time Cards have small ceilings and are generally used for small transactions. The amounts of these cards can vary from 25$ to 5000$.
 
Card Price:
Prices of Internet Cards vary from 5$ to 25$. Rechargeable Cards are usually more expensive than One Time Cards. Note that the price of the card is different from the amount that you can use it to pay for online transactions. So if you pay 30$ for a One Time Card that costs 5$ it means you can use it only for 25$. The 5$ is just to buy the card from the bank.
 
Rechargeable Cards usually have to be renewed on a yearly basis. So each year you have to pay a certain fee in order to keep using them. Usually the renewal fee is less than the initial price you pay for them.
 
Minimum Reload Amounts:
This is only applicable for Rechargeable Cards. The minimum reload amount is the minimum amount you can recharge you card with so that you can use it to pay online. In most cases there is no minimum amount restriction, but in case there is it usually varies between 20$ and 100$.
 
Reload Fees:
Reload Fees are only applicable for rechargeable cards. Some banks take a small commission each time you recharge your card, but it’s no big deal as this commission is usually only 1$.
 
Check out more that 21 Internet Cards offered by banks in Lebanon on Bnooki.com. Click here: http://www.bnooki.com/internet-cards-lebanon-banks
Friday, 07 November 2014 Written by

How to choose a Credit Card in Lebanon: Benefits and Costs

Here are a few important facts about credit cards in Lebanon:

Fact 1- The cost of a card per year can be as high as USD 750 while the average price of a credit card in Lebanon is USD 97.6 and some cards are even free! 

Card Cost / Year:

  • Minimum: USD 0
  • Maximum: USD 750
  • Average: USD 97.6

Fact 2- You might be paying as high as 27.42% interest on your credit card if you calculate annually! Also if you use your credit card to withdraw cash from an ATM you pay a higher interest than when you use it to make a purchase a paying with it! Here are the numbers:

Interest Rate:

POS (Point of Sale i.e. when you buy something by swiping your card):

  • Minimum: 0.9% per 45 days or as if you are paying  an Annual interest of 7.2%
  • Maximum: 2.99% per 45 days or as if you are paying  an Annual interest of 27.32%
  • Average: 1.62% per 45 days or as if you are paying  an Annual interest of 14.08%

ATM (When you use your card to withdraw cash from the machine):

  • Minimum: 0.9% per 45 days or as if you are paying  an Annual interest of 7.62%
  • Maximum: 3% per 45 days or as if you are paying  an Annual interest of 27.42%
  • Average: 1.94 per 45 days or as if you are paying  an Annual interest of 17.06%
Friday, 07 November 2014 Written by

Credit Cards in Lebanon: Charges and Interest Rates applied

There are more than 200 credit cards offered by banks in Lebanon in Dollars, Liras, Pounds and Euros. Which one to choose?

First of all, a credit card allows you to use money you don’t have so that you can pay for purchases or even make a cash withdrawal from an ATM machine. In other words, every time you use a credit card you are taking a small loan (a credit). All the amounts of money you have used your credit card to cover for over a period of time add up and you reimburse them in small payments that you have to make periodically (usually between 10 or 60 days depending on the card).  Just taking any other loan, you have to pay interest on all amounts you have used your credit card for.

So many questions: Credit card cost? Interest charges? Maximum amount you can use it for? Any advantages and benefits? Where do I get it from? Etc. We will help you answer all these questions below:

How much does a credit card cost?
The price of a credit card is paid once per year. Usually the price of credit card depends on the amount that it allows you to use it for. For instance, a credit card allowing you to use it for an amount of 5000$ would cost more than a credit card allowing you to use it for 2000$. The prices of credit cards offered by Lebanese banks range from nothing (0$) to about 500$ with the price of a standard credit card at around 50$ per year.

What is the maximum limit of a credit card?
Usually the maximum amount you can use a credit card for depends on how much money you have in your accounts and your relationship with your bank. The more money you have and the better your relationship with your bank, the higher the limit of your credit card maximum amount will be. The maximum limit can range from as low as 300$ to 50,000$. Cards with higher limits are usually branded as “Gold” or “Platinum” internationally and in Lebanon as well.

When and how do you have to pay the money back?
To reimburse the amount of money you have spent using your credit card you have to make small periodical payments at your bank. The amount you have to pay is usually a percentage of the total you have spent using your card or a pre-defined minimum lump sum (ex: 10% of the amount but not less than 20$). These can range from 3% of the used amount with a minimum of 10$ to 10% with a minimum of 100$.  In Lebanon, the period for you to make the payment can go from 30 to 56 days.

Some banks require you to make the payment on fixed day every month (ex: on the 5th of each month)

What is the interest rate that you pay?
The interests you have on amounts used through your credit card in Lebanon are usually monthly. So do not be fooled by an interest rates as low as 1% because these are calculated monthly. Indeed, a 1% interest rate calculated monthly is equal to a 12.7% annual interest rate, so if you have a card with a 1% monthly interest rate, it is as if you are taking a loan at 12.7% interest per year which is high. Also avoid using your card to withdraw cash from an ATM as interest rates on such withdrawn amounts are usually higher that than on amounts used when you pay with your credit card at a merchant.

What benefits do I get for using my credit card?
In order to encourage you to buy a credit card from most banks in Lebanon offer you very interesting benefits. These can include discounts in stores, free call minutes to use on you mobile phone, points that you can exchange against gifts or free air miles that you can travel with a specific airliner (in Lebanon it's usually Middle East Airlines).

We will be giving you more specific tips about all the issues addressed above. Meanwhile, do not hesitate to ask us any question by posting in the comment box below!

Friday, 07 November 2014 Written by

bnooki.com Bnooki Magazine: Your guide to banking and insurance in Lebanon

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