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Going Cashless Abroad: Debit Cards and Credit Cards for Nigerian Expats in Ireland

13 Mar 2024

Do you know the one benefit of the ever-evolving technology for the Nigerians to earn a living to send money to Nigeria from Ireland to offer financial support back home?         

Well, one of the benefits is its impact on how you travel to a foreign country.  

Think of traveling to Ireland, for example, not too long ago from Nigeria and the one critically important traveling requirement then was to carry cash. Right?      

However, it is known to have posed several challenges to the traveler.

Fast forward to now, and you no longer need to carry wads of cash while traveling abroad. Rather, travelling has become cashless and more convenient. You have several alternatives to cash, which are almost as good as the cash itself.    

This evolution has addressed the questions and challenges of carrying cash while traveling abroad.    

Continue reading to ascertain the fascinating details about cashless traveling and credit and debit cards as replacements for cash.

Understanding Cashless Travelling – The Core Concept

As the term suggests, cashless traveling refers to the bare minimum requirement of carrying cash during travel – an idea completely inconceivable until not too long ago.  

Technology has connected the world in several ways.           

You are now connected with your loved ones round-the-clock regardless of the distance lying in between. Another dimension of this connection is the financial connectivity.         

Time restrictions are no longer pertinent if you want to purchase something or transfer funds back home, thanks to the availability of credit and debit cards.  

With these two financial tools at your disposal, you no longer have to worry about carrying cash with you whether you travel abroad or otherwise.  

Benefits of Travelling Cashless

The idea itself may sound awkward to you, but see it in the context of how you send money online to Nigeria from Ireland. Do you carry cash for these transactions? Or do you do it virtually? Well, answers to these questions nowadays do not merit mentioning.

Saving Money  

The first and foremost advantage of travelling cashless is that it helps you save money. With cash in hand, you are likely to spend only without need. Cards, on the other hand, however, serve as a barrier to unnecessarily spending your money.  

Safety from Theft      

Imagine you are carrying cash with you in one place and traveling to Ireland from Nigeria to work, and en route, you encounter a pickpocket! Can you quantify the damage you will suffer in such a scenario? Therefore, travelling cashless is a safer option.  

Check Balance Anywhere, Anytime

You open a bank account with which you get credit and debit cards. Almost every bank worldwide operates online and has a mobile app, allowing you quick access to your funds to get insights regardless of the time and place.    

  • You can check your current balance and transaction history
  • Change PIN, if needed     
  • Lock the cards for added security
  • Convenient encashments
  • Insurance covers

Let’s now understand the cards and their pros and cons as a Nigerian migrant working in Ireland.    

What are Credit Cards and Debit Cards?

These cards are issued by a financial institution, which, in most cases, is a bank. They appear almost identical with magnetic strips, expiry dates, 16-digit card numbers and EMV chips.

However, there is a core difference in the functionality of both cards.  

A debit card allows you to withdraw cash from your bank account where you have deposited money. A credit card, however, allows you to get money, as a loan, from the card issuing authority, which normally is a bank, on predetermined terms and conditions, do what is necessary, and return the borrowed amount later.   

These terms and conditions typically include the interest rate, credit card history and the repayment duration.    

Let’s now understand the pros and cons of both cards. But before diving into the pros and cons, remember these cards are not ideal for a money transfer from Ireland to Nigeriaparticularly when alternatives like ACE Money Transfer are at your disposal. It offers you the best ways to transfer funds globally through smartphone apps. 

Pros of a Credit Card

Credit cards offer certain advantages over debit cards. Although credit cards have their demerits too, certain benefits are worth considering. Look at some of the important pros of using a credit card.        

  • Your credit card usage and history are reflected on your credit report. If your record is positive, your future loan requests will be accepted and processed quickly.
  • Some credit cards offer additional warranties and insurance on purchased items other than those provided by the brand or the retailer.  
  • If you report fraud and theft within the stipulated time while following the guidelines, your compensation chances increase optimally.  

Cons of a Credit Card   

Credit cards do not only offer benefits and positives. They also have downsides. But remember that how you use your credit card will determine its positives and negatives. Look at some of the most common drawbacks of a credit card below. 

  • Using a credit card means you are spending your bank’s money, not your own. This can lead you to debt.  
  • You must be careful while using your credit card because its history will impact your credit score either way.     
  • Fees and interest rates on money borrowed through a credit card can be a grave challenge because fees and interest rates are typically high for credit card users.

Pros of a Debit Card

While using a debit card, you use the money you deposited in your bank account. Its usage does not involve seeking loans and then repaying the amount. Some of the pros of a debit card are discussed below.             

  • A debit card keeps you away from taking loans and building debt.
  • Nowadays, purchases made through debit cards are as protected as through a credit card.          
  • While using a debit card, you do not have to pay an annual fee, which is essential for using a credit card.          

Cons of a Debit Card

While using a debit card may help you avoid getting into the trap of loans and debts and may also help you save money in terms of annual fees, it also has some downsides. Some of the cons of using a debit card are listed below.  

  • While using a debit card, you do not earn any rewards, miles, or cash back on the purchases you make.  
  • Using a debit card does not build your credit score and history because no credit is involved in its usage.  
  • Although you do not need to pay the annual fee for a debit card, you have to pay other charges like maintenance fees, ATM fees, overdraft fees, and so on.  

You leave Nigeria to work in Ireland to earn a living and make an online money transfer from Ireland to Nigeria to offer financial support back home. Right?     

To do so, avoid using your cards, as you must pay huge fees and get uncompetitive currency exchange rates. You cannot afford this because you want to save every penny you earn abroad, right?  

Instead, choose ACE Money Transfer to send funds back home and enjoy swift and safe delivery. Get live and market-competitive currency exchange rates and pay low fees right from the middle of your comfort zone and from one stop.


What is cashless travelling?

Cashless travelling refers to travelling to a foreign country without carrying cash. It seemed an impossible proposition not too long ago. But the evolving technology has introduced alternatives to cash, like credit and debit cards, to serve the same purpose as cash.

What are the benefits of cashless travelling?

You can have several benefits of traveling cashless, as the benefits of traveling without cash or with a bare minimum of cash vary from person to person. Some common benefits, however, are safety, saving money, and convenient access to your funds through mobile apps for quick financial insight anytime and anywhere.

Is cashless travelling possible?

Yes. Cashless traveling is not only possible today but is also becoming a norm rather than an exception. Cashless traveling is gaining popularity with each passing day. More and more travelers prefer to avoid carrying wads of cash owing to the abovementioned benefits.

What are the merits and demerits of a credit card?

The merits of a credit card include additional safety, building credit history and score, and protection from fraud. Its demerits include increasing debt, high interest rates and fees, and using your credit card carelessly, negatively impacting your credit score.

What are the merits and demerits of a debit card?

The merits of a debit card include protection on purchases, no annual fee payments, and safety from loans and debts. Its demerits include not earning any rewards or cash back on purchases, not building credit history and score, paying maintenance fees, other ATM charges, etc.

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