How to Bypass CBN Dollar Limit in Nigeria

For some years now, the Central Bank of Nigeria has been limiting how much Nigerians can spend online through the commercial banks in the country.

At first, Nigerians could spend $100 monthly online for foreign transactions before it was reduced to a paltry sum of $20.

Bypass CBN dollar limit

This means that if you pay for goods or services on foreign websites, you cannot spend more than $20 monthly.

This also affects Nigerian students studying online on websites like Coursera, Edx and Udemy.

In this article, I will show you how to bypass CBN Dollar limit in Nigeria.

Table of Contents

Why CBN Placed a Limit on Dollar Cards

There are various speculations to consider.

Arbitrage Business

A lot of Nigerians became involved in the Arbitrage business.

How does the Arbitrage business work?

Imagine this scenario;

CBN sells dollars for ₦450 per dollar meanwhile, in the black market, the price is ₦590 per dollar.

There are two friends, Kunle and Uche. 

Kunle lives in the United States while Uche lives in Nigeria.

Before Kunle travelled out of the country, he opened 20 different bank accounts and collected the ATM cards for each account.

Every month, Uche (the friend in Nigeria) funds Kunle’s Bank accounts with 1 million Naira while Kunle withdraws the dollar equivalent in the United States at the CBN rate.

If CBN sells a dollar for ₦450, that means 1 million Naira will be equivalent to $2,222.

Kunle will withdraw ₦2,222 dollars from an ATM in the United States and send the money back to Uche in Nigeria.

Uche will withdraw the dollar from his domiciliary account and go to exchange the dollar on the black market.

Remember that the black market rate is ₦590 per dollar.

After Uche changes the dollar on the black market, the $2,222 becomes ₦1,310,980.

From this transaction alone, the two friends made over ₦310,000 in profit.

They can keep doing this as many times as possible.

Another common method of arbitrage was using the Naira card to fund payment processors like Neteller at the CBN Dollar rate, use the money to buy crypto, and then sell the crypto at the P2P rate (black market) back to Naira.

People that knew about it made money by exploiting the system.

Forex Scarcity

Nigeria is an import-dependent country. We were spending more dollars than we were earning hence, the country’s foreign reserves were dwindling.

In a bid to reduce the effects of the forex scarcity in the country, Nigeria’s apex bank, the Central bank of Nigeria limited the amount Nigerians could spend on goods and services.

One of such effects is the increase in exchange rates.

5 Ways to Bypass CBN Dollar Limit

1. Get a Bitmama Crypto Card

Bitmama is a company that lets you trade cryptocurrencies with ease. On Bitmama, you can apply for a crypto virtual card or physical card (not available yet). This card can be used to make payments on any platform worldwide.

Bitmama makes use of the cryptocurrencies pegged to the United States dollar like USDT, USDC, and cUSD.

For example, 1 USDT is equal to $1.

In cryptocurrencies, if you have 1 USDT or USDC it is the same thing as having $1.

The Bitmama crypto card is of five different variants; 

  1. $5,000
  2. $10,000
  3. $30,000
  4. $50,000
  5. $100,000

You can select any one depending on the volume of transactions you do in a month.

So, if you need to make a $100 transaction, you must fund the card with 100 USDT, USDC or cUSD.

You can register for a Bitmama account here.

After registration, you need to verify your account with an identity card. You can use your NIN slip to verify.

2. Open a PayPal Account

Most foreign businesses accept payments in PayPal. You can open a Dubai or Lesotho PayPal account, fund the account through exchangers and use it to pay for goods and services online.

There is no limit to how much you can fund your account.

You can also use the PayPal account to receive payments if you want to.

You can check my article on how to open a Foreign PayPal account in Nigeria.

3. Get a Barter Card

Barter is a product of Flutterwave Nigeria. With Barter, you can apply for a virtual dollar card that can be used on most websites.

You can create a Barter account by downloading the app from the Google Play store.

After downloading, supply your email address, phone number and password to create an account.

You can use my referral code during registration christopherakuneme.

After registration, go to the cards section.

Click on new card.

From the two options, select virtual card.

Choose your card preferences (name and colour).

Enter the amount you want to fund the card with.

Note that you will need to fund your Barter account with the Naira equivalent first.

Once your card is created, you can use this card to make dollar payments online.

4. Get a Payoneer Account

Payoneer is an international payments platform that allows freelancers receive money from freelancing websites like Fiverr and Upwork.

Business owners also use Payoneer to pay for goods and services worldwide.

When you open a Payoneer account, you will get a free United States dollar bank account, Euro bank account and a pound bank account.

Payoneer will send you a free physical dollar MasterCard once you use your account to receive at least $1,000. Recently, Payoneer introduced a virtual card feature for its users.

When you get paid for jobs done online, you can use the funds in your Payoneer account to pay for services online. You can also request funds from other Payoneer users.

You will get a $25 signup bonus when you sign up to Payoneer with this link.

5. Open a Domiciliary Account

A domiciliary account is an account based on foreign currencies. It could be dollars, euros, rand, yuan etc.

When you open a domiciliary account at any bank, you can request a debit card. This card can be used both online and offline at ATM machines worldwide.

To fund your domiciliary account, you have to purchase dollars at the black market rate, and then go to the bank to deposit them into your dorm account.

Once you have a debit card that is attached to your dorm account, you can use the card to make transactions online without any limit.

For this purpose, I’ll recommend the GTBank Domiciliary account. It is free to open.

Download the GTBank domiciliary account form here.

Fill it out correctly and submit it at any GTBank branch close to you.

What is the Best way to Bypass CBN Dollar Limit?

I think the best way to bypass the dollar limit is to get the Bitmama Crypto card. You can register for an account on your phone and get verified almost immediately.

The exchange rate at the P2P market where you will be buying USDT to fund your Bitmama account is cheaper than Barter.

Also, the virtual card on Bitmama is completely free of charge.

The second best way to Bypass the Dollar limit is to open a GTBank domiciliary account. It is free to open, the only difficulty you may experience here is getting a guarantor/referee with a current account to sign for you.

The GTBank dollar master card will cost you ₦1,050 only.

Thank you for reading.

Did you find this article helpful? consider sharing it with your friends and colleagues using the share buttons below.

What method do you use to bypass the dollar limits? I would love to hear from you in the comment section.


Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


  1. Great article. Please I want to know if the Bitmama card be used to pay for zoom subscription. I was using Barter but they have discontinued the usage of Dollars card.

    Thanks you.

    1. I have not tried it for Zoom subscriptions but it has worked for every international transactions I’ve used it for.