The Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) announced in a statement that it issued new regulatory instructions to organize the use of credit cards for travel purposes.
Last week, the central bank informed banks to suspend the usage of Egyptian pound debit cards for purchases abroad to stop a foreign currency shortage.
The CBE said that banks have to activate the maximum credit limit for credit cards users, who are traveling abroad after their customers notify them.
The main goal is to make it easier for citizens traveling abroad to use their credit cards and to prevent the misuse of those cards. In some cases, citizens use their credit cards to withdraw cash in foreign currency but they are not actually traveling.
Local banks have begun informing their customers about these instructions and how to comply with them. The National Bank of Egypt (NBE) said its customers have to visit the branch with proof of travel at least 48 hours before departure.
The bank requires specific documents to verify this, including a valid passport, a confirmed round-trip airline ticket, and a valid visa if required. However, the request is subject to acceptance or rejection.
For customers who want to use their credit cards for education or medical purposes, they must submit documents to support their claim, according to the CBE.
For customers with current or new credit cards located within Egypt, as well as those who are abroad for reasons other than education or medical treatment and have not submitted travel documents, they can use their credit cards in foreign currency with a maximum limit of $250 per month for purchases or cash withdrawals, or the equivalent in other foreign currencies.
The maximum amount for a single transaction in foreign currency is determined by the individual credit card’s limit.
The use of foreign currency cards is still allowed for other transactions, including purchases and cash withdrawals.
There is a 10% commission for using credit cards in foreign currency. Both debit and credit card transactions are charged at the official rate of about 31 pounds to the dollar whereas, on the black market, a dollar sells for around 40 or 41 pounds.
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