Many are confused on which bank to use, given the poor services offered by all Egyptian banks. The bureaucracy in most of them is a killer, kicking everyone to multinational banks. Even those international banks have been Egyptianised offering a rubbish service.
This is a guide on choosing the best value for money and services by decent banks with ‘good’ customer support and reviews. The following list constitutes the reviews of a Facebook poll we did as well as our personal experiences with the banks. The list does not include banks as Faisal Islamic or Housing Banks as none of our generation actually deals with them.
1. Banque Misr:
As a public bank, it is a huge bank with branches all around the place. ATMs are decent and available everywhere. However, the service is typical Egyptian government . Service is very slow and outdated. The credit cards are poor compared to other banks. Customer support is terrible. We had an account there, we shut it down years after we got fed up. It is useful for the average Egyptian but not for the elite as we call them.
It is also a huge public bank, however, it went through a lot of re-branding and restructure to what it is today. The bank offers a lot of services as loans, cash back credit cards, multiple tier services. The bank has a lot of branches all over EGYPT with a good ATM network.
CIB has a few perks as Internet banking. You’d be amazed that it actually works and they alive points for using their internet banking service too!! Their credit cards work fine and their customer support is fine, but it even gets better. They offer a new credit card that gives cash back miles at EgyptAIR miles account. This is the first card linked to EgyptAIR and it actually works too!
CIB has also the highest interest rate on dollar bonds (up to 4% annual).
CIB has also different tiers of services ( like roadside assistance ) providing excellent corporate support and elite and wealth accounts according to account size . CIB is highly recommended for those seeking versatility and good support.
3. Credit Agricole:
An international bank with decent branches all over Cairo. However, not many all over Egypt. Their customer support is fine and their credit cards offer 2% instant cash back. We have not heard a bad review about probably as it is a low profile bank.
American tycoon and worldwide famous bank, unfortunately in our poll, had the worst reviews. Actually, everyone was pissed off and started talking about their bad experiences. Checking their website, the bank has many credit cards that give cash back and lounge access (through Priority Pass) but it seems they have a very poor customer support. They have actually been acquired by CIB a few years ago and only a subsidiary works for retail customers.
Most of the bad reviews, involved miscalculations and wrong financial statements. It is shameful as we expected a lot from it. We wanted to apply for a credit card there but retreated at the last minute. They do however, have a good marketing team working real hard to fix their image.
5. Audi Bank:
Another new bank in Egyptian market. The bank is centered in greater Cairo with decent services. We have had a few encounters with them but our biggest complaint was that they close at 2 pm (all private banks close at 5)!!
Our favorite bank till this day. Despite some bad reviews by friends and the poll, HSBC has managed to claim a strong position in Egyptian banking system. They offer many services and tiers to different clients. The PREMIER level is the best in its category in the market with many perks. They were the first to offer the middle level account named ADVANCE for middle wealth Owners. The ADVANCE and PREMIER offers many perks as travel insurance, lounge access in middle east and many other offers.
They did a stunt a few years back when they decided to shut off all small corporate accounts kicking away many loyal customers. But in our community, almost everyone has a an HSBC account.
Their credit cards are excellent (though most offer no cash back) and they come with many offers and perks. Their internet banking is excellent and they also have an App (it’s 2015 already, who doesn’t.). The customer support is very good and the branches and ATMs are everywhere. Another highly recommended bank for hose still searching for a decent bank that has it all.
Being a British bank, you’d think they have class, but you’ll be mistaken. The bank has so many excellent services and their credit cards are lovely. One of them even offers instant cash back at 5% and others offer lounge access (through Priority Pass). They have their own credit cards linked miles program called World Miles which can be claimed against any airlines. They have similar wealth programs as HSBC but named Prestige and Premier.
However, their biggest downfall is their staff. They are very unprofessional and untrained to represent such a reputable a bank. The branches are decent and scattered but not as HSBC which is a same category bank. They have now been acquired by Attijari Wafa and everything was rebranded.
Public bank with a huge network of branches. Perhaps, not a bad option for middle class citizens who seek high interest rates and accessibility. Their ATMs are in every corner. But the bank suffers from the bureaucracy of the government although they have many social and investment programs for everyone. Surprisingly, we did not have a single complaint from them and we hope they keep it up.
9. Arab Bank:
We visited them a couple of times. It is a low profile, bank with excellent staff. You’d be amazed by their services. They offer credit cards with lounge access (through Priority Pass) and good return rate. Another bank worthy to explore. They have been awarded as the Best bank in the Middle East a few times so they are definitely top notch.
So tell us about your experience with Egyptian bank? Which one do you prefer and how do they treat you?