Will My Naira ATM Card Work Abroad? Reasons Why Your ATM Card Is Not Working Internationally and Online; What to do (2022)

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This is the exact question on almost everyone’s lips. Sometimes, this is very frustrating – one time I logged on to this online store, carefully selected and carted in all my items properly, and then bam! Naira Card declined. This could ruin your day as it did mine, especially if other activities are hinged on the payment going through.

This article will focus on the reasons why your Naira Debit or Credit Card is not working online, abroad, or internationally. In this post, our readers will also get to know what to do if they find themselves in this situation.

The Problem…

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Recently, Nigerian commercial banks have further cut the monthly international spending limits on their Naira Cards. Reports suggest that banks have found it extremely difficult to facilitate card and online transactions that require an immediate exchange of currency from Naira to any foreign currency. 

The banks, in a move to reduce their FX obligations, recently cut the international card spending limits from $100 (or its equivalent in any other foreign currency) to just $20. Aside from all other possible errors that your bank card could have experienced, this ban on the monthly international spending limit is essentially why your Naira Card is not working online or abroad. It will always throw a ‘declined by issuer’ error.

Despite this meagre limit, you will even find out that you may not be able to successfully link your Naira Card to your Apple ID – yes, it’s that bad now. True that some banks totally yanked off Naira Cards from performing any type of transaction on any platform outside the coffers of the country.

In a public statement to their customers, Union Bank announced that:

“Please be informed that the daily/monthly spend limit on your Naira MasterCard is now $20.

If you require a higher international spend limit, open a UnionAce account. UnionAce offers you up to 4 percent per annum on your dollar deposits. You also get a card that allows you to shop globally with a daily limit of $7,500 on POS and $4,000 online.”

– Union Bank

This story on international limits is the same across all the banks in Nigeria currently. We will let you know if anything changes.

What to do…

naira card online abroad usd

The solutions are both simple and straightforward.

  1. Open a domiciliary bank account (SEE HOW), and get an ATM card for the account. 
  2. Get a USD/GBP/JYN/EUR denominated Prepaid Card (SEE HOW).

How to fund? Get your FX from the parallel market (aboki) and deposit the cash into the domiciliary bank account/card. You can also use the bank account/prepaid card to receive funds from abroad (SEE HOW).

Once you do any of these, you don’t need to struggle to make your Naira Card work online or abroad.

With an account/card that’s already domiciled in your chosen foreign currency e.g US Dollar, Great Britain Pounds, Japanese Yen, or Euro, the need for local to international currency change is totally removed. 

The international spending limits attached to the foreign currency card can then influence your choice of bank. Some banks have a limit as high as $10,000/month while some still limit their customers to $3,000.

1 Comment
  1. Baba said says

    Sir which app someone can use to convert naira to dollar and send to his dollar prepared card and spend it online?

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