Everything you need to know about the latest restrictions on spending abroad
Last week, several banks in Egypt announced new restrictions on spending abroad, as well as limits on cash withdrawals.
Some Egyptians were also notified by SMS from their banks.
The Commercial International Bank (CIB), which went into effect the same day, set the maximum monthly cash withdrawal limit for most debit and credit cards at EGP 2,500, while the maximum limit for spending abroad for most debit cards would be EGP 20,000 and EGP 25,000 for most credit cards. Limits vary depending on the card type, whether it’s Prime, Titanium, Platinum, or some other variety.
At HSBC, the cash withdrawal limit per month is between EGP 15,000, EGP 25,000 and EGP 50,000, depending on the type of credit card. For debit cards, the limits are EGP 10,000, EGP 20,000 and EGP 40,000, depending on the card type.
The National Bank of Egypt has set the maximum daily cash withdrawal limit for most credit and debit cards at the equivalent of EGP 2,500 and the spending limit at EGP 10,000.
In addition to the restrictions, there was a 10 percent surcharge for using Egyptian bank cards abroad.
This is not the first time such restrictions have been introduced. In October 2022, Egyptian banks announced and implemented new regulations on foreign currency withdrawals from local currency accounts.
The restrictions vary from bank to bank to discourage people from taking advantage of US dollar withdrawals abroad. This is part of the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) measures to preserve the hard currency as the Egyptian pound exchange rate continues to decline.
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