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For an expat, to apply credit card in the Kingdom is not really a hard job but it takes time to get the needed documents. First, he has to get the approval of his employer about his plan to avail a credit card. If approved he will now request his employer for the certificate or an endorsement letter regarding his monthly pay. If his employer approved his request on the spot, the needed documents will be released immediately with the company and KSA Chamber of Commerce seal stamps but if not, he has to wait when his boss is available and comfortable to approve his appeal. Sometimes it takes weeks and months to wait.
What is Iqama? This is an Arabic word for Residence Permit. It is the most important document that an expat in Saudi Arabia should bring with him every now and then. It justifies him that he is not an alien and he is legally working with the company that hired him in the Kingdom. It is an Identification card that caters all the information about him. It is needed for any imaginable transactions that he will transact inside the Kingdom. Without this there will be no transaction to happen between him and the bank.
Why Passport is needed? The bank will need it to record the following:
- His country of origin
- His nationality
- His name and other information found in the passport
The correct and complete names are important for the bank. If his name written on his Iqama is not the same what was written on his passport, it could be the reason for rejection. Bank needs the passport for comparison with the certificate of his monthly pay to help correct the error.
How important is the endorsement letter of his monthly pay? Through his monthly pay, the bank will determine if he will qualify to get a credit card. Aside from it, the bank will record the following important information such as:
- The justification of the company or employer that the person is his legal employee and the name written on his Iqama and the name written on his Passport is the same person.
- The number of years that the person has been working with the company and his work assignment.
- The location address, contact numbers of the company/employer and the employee.
- The total amount of the person’s monthly basic salary, monthly food allowance, monthly travel allowance, monthly housing allowance and other allowances.
When the applicant has already completed all the necessary documents, he will now see the bank and fill up the application form completely with his best choice option such as: unlimited credit or limited credit and submit it with the copies of the documents together with the original documents as the bank needs them for comparison. Usually, the applicant will wait at least ten to fifteen days before he will receive his credit card with important instructions, agreements and some confidential policies of the bank. Sometimes it takes 30 days or more to wait.
Credit cards are convenient and can also save you. Using credit card is a very convenient way to pay for your purchases – if you have the discipline to stay within budget. You need not to carry cash all the time and you get to keep a good record of your expenses. However, you must always keep the copy of your signed slip or the proof of payment each time you use it to keep track of how much you have already charged it. Always pay the full amount of the bank statement every month. If you do it there will be no interest charge. This is using the credit card as a simple debit card.