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Credit Card Usage in Kuwait


I hope this would be some useful information to people.

Most people in Kuwait do not use credit, and have never had credit cards. In the middle east most transactions are done with cash one way or another. Loans might be taken for vehicles or other large purchases, but what Im talking about is regular purchases.

In Kuwait if you pay by credit card most places will add a minimum of 3% to your purchase. And even if you pay with a check card(KNET) they might still include a 1% charge to what your paying. I have run into this problem at electronic stores, cell phone stores, travel agencies, and even computer stores at Wala’a complex. I got used to the idea of using my credit card, and paying for the purchase later for the sake of building credit.

The problem we face is simple there is no real consumer rights in Kuwait, the people selling you items can do as they please and they are rarely held accountable. But charging you the percentage for the Knet or credit card charges is ILLEGAL in Kuwait. I spoke to my bank manager about it at NBK, and she told me that if a company is doing that and they have an account with NBK and NBK found out then they will suspend their account until further notice. NBK wants people to report to them if a company is doing that because its something very wrong.

The hard part of going about this is finding out which bank the store has an account with. So you have to contact that bank and tell them what the store is doing. This issue has been pissing me off for the past couple of months. And there are no consumer rights laws clearly written to protect the consumer! Its always about big business, and the ones that do take care of the consumer (which are rare) are the ones that benefit.