Access to credit is as valuable in Egypt as anywhere else in the world. The good news for ex-pat retirees and employees of multi-national companies is that the number of great deals on credit cards are as plentiful in the land of pyramids as they are in the UK, for example, or elsewhere in Europe.
And who wouldn’t want to visit or live in Egypt if they had the opportunity! Think beautiful climate with wall-to-wall sunshine, incredible sights, exotic culture and lots to see and do no matter what age you are or how active you might be. There is something for everyone.
Egypt has a vibrant finance industry with a host of modern, forward-looking and award-winning banks offering the full range of banking services we have all come to expect. Names like Visa and MasterCard are well represented at every turn and are helping drive the uptake of credit cards in the country. True, there’s still a long way to go in terms of numbers when compared to many countries in the West, but that situation is changing fast, year-on-year.
There are plenty of credit card offers to get your teeth into, so obtaining maybe your first card, or a second one should not present too many difficulties, especially for anyone opening a personal bank account in Egypt.
The process is usually fairly straightforward and is greatly helped by taking along all the official documentation required. Obviously you’ll need to bring your passport. You’ll also need to take along your work visa and any residence certificate. A letter from your home bank might also be useful as well as a couple of your latest bank statements.
Once the account has been opened, chances are you’ll be offered a credit card of some sort right from the word go – depending on a favourable credit history, off course. Credit checks are credit checks, and they’re the same necessary evil no matter where you are in the world.
Typically, whatever the credit card you eventually opt for, it’ll allow you interest free credit for a number of weeks if you settle your monthly payment in full. If not, you’ll probably pay something like a minimal 5% on any outstanding balance. You might also be able to take out a cash advance, which will likely be up to a certain percentage of the card’s credit limit. All fairly standard stuff.
But there’s usually much, much more. And no doubt your choice of card will have been heavily influenced – enticed is probably a better word to use – by the string of rewards and advantages which will no doubt come as part of any deal.
Many cards, for example, offer reward points, so the more you purchase the more you’ll rack them up. Then at some point in the future you’ll be able to ‘cash’ them in, so to speak. You’ll be able to use the points to acquire yet more goodies, or perhaps to dine out at some fantastic restaurant, or maybe to take in a show or two you’ve always wanted to see. There will be lots of exclusive ways to ‘spend’ your reward points!