Saturday, March 08, 2008

CIB Womens Credit Card

Met with some representatives of CIB (Bank) who were marketing their Women's Special Credit Card.

One meeting was enough to show me how far the Egyptian Credit Card market has to grow. Credit Card acceptance is quite low in Egypt. Other than the top hotels & restaurants, the hypermarkets and airlines, there are very few outlets that accept payment via credit cards.

This is not a big problem, given that these are the only places where you spend in large amounts and don't want to be carrying all that, in cash.

But today's encounter with the CIB reps took the cake. As an expat wife, I obviously don't have a job in Egypt (expat resident wife visas don't permit you to work - with or without pay)

So the bank reps kindly informed me that to get a credit card with a credit limit of 10,000LE, I would have to pay them a deposit of 11,000LE. That's right - a deposit of 1000LE more than the "credit"they were willing to extend me! And I would still have to pay the bills at the end of the billing cycle.

They did advertise some discounts and some special invitations they would send out to cardholders.

But why would I want to tie up 11,000LE for the length of our stay in Egypt for probably credit card purchases of about 2000LE per month at a max.

Sorry maam, but the offer is of no interest to me at all!

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

I'm a single expat female living in Cairo (not working) and have a savings account with United Bank. I was informed by the bank that I am able to have a visa card (didn't enquire about the limit) if I give them one of my savings certificates (3 year term) that I hold with the bank as security. So if you did want an Egyptian credit card there are other ways of doing it.

Kim said...

Hey thanks for the heads up. I do have a card here in Egypt with the bank that we bank with.

j. hauser said...

i don't really understand the gimmick all together. are they saying that they expect women to make more credit card transactions if they have an account that's soleley focused on them? how are the terms of the card any different from a regular credit card? except that it's secured and then some? i guess the whole concept is kind of over my head.

Kim said...

They say they will offer some women specific discounts.

Also they will invite the women for some special events etc....

Anonymous said...

Hello!, I am sorry to interrupt by dropping into the conversation, but it's worthy to note that Egypt is a high-risk country for credit card fraud and I am not aware of the existence of proper credit authorities. However, the offer that you had sounds ridiculous as it isn't that different from an ordinary debit card that you can get anywhere.

I thoroughly enjoyed your list of Bookshops in Cairo, I have been dying to find a similar list. Thanks!

If you have plenty of time then you may want to try Powells.com as you may be able to save a couple of bucks there, their new books are often more expensive than Amazon though.

Kim said...

Hey, you aren't interrupting and you are welcome to drop in and comment anytime.

Glad you liked the list.

Keep stopping by :)

Joleno At msn dot com said...

Hello everyone, I'm of sales head at cib and nowdays the policy of issuing credit cards has been changed as we used to take cash from all forigners in egypt to gurantee giving them credit cards and about Mrs.Kim i would like to tell that you can only make a deposit by 2500L.E to take card limit with 2000L.E which is ur month expenses and you dont have to go for the 10000L.E one, other wise our policy has been changed so you can apply for credit card without cash Gurantee and you can apply as supplementry to your husband's card or with income certifcate if you have a work here and this is world wide banking policy good known process , there have always to be a gurantee for any credit facility. Joleno@msn.com Thank you

Joleno At msn dot com said...

Sorry to disturb again , All Credit Cards transactions in egypt is safe as all banks have fraud monitor system for all cards movments and transactions, this is just for aknowledgement and reply to the person who said that credit cards in egypt are not safe, and if it's not safe so it will be like this world wide not only in egypt, as we all follow master card and visa international policy.

Kim said...

Joleno,
I have lived in 2 other countries, both of which did not require any deposit before giving me a credit card. These are with well known banks like Bank of America, Citibank, HSBC, among others.

I have had credit cards issued to me without any prior relationship with the bank or an appointment letter or a deposit.

If I have to give the bank a deposit and the bank gives me a credit card with a lower limit than my deposit, it makes the credit card worse than a debit card. At least in a debit card, I can withdraw all the money that I deposit.

If I have to give the bank a deposit higher than my so called "credit limit", then technically, it is no longer a credit card.

I have done consulting for and conducted induction programs for credit card divisions of MNC banks. I respectfully ask you to brush up your concepts.

The 'established' practice in Egypt does not mean that it is a world wide standard.

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