The partnership gives Equity Bank the exclusive rights to issue American Express Cards in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania.
There will be two types of the cards dubbed Equity Bank American Express Green Card and Equity Bank American Express Gold Cards, both of which carry varied benefits.
Speaking during the launch of the card on Wednesday, Equity Bank CEO James Mwangi said the Green Card will offer retail and lifestyle benefits and will be ideal for spenders at local merchants while the Gold Card will on the other hand suit the high end spenders like on leisure and frequent travellers.
“What we have seen globally is that American Express, because of its prestigious status, attracts the highest net worth individuals. These are the people when they go to a restaurant, they take very expensive wines. Their spend on travel, hotels, on shopping is high,” Mwangi said.
“Card members can use their American Express Cards at millions of shops, restaurants, hotels around the world, as well as on American Express’ global network of ATMs,” he added.
The amount of credit one can get will vary depending on financial capability and will be expected to pay back within 30 days from day of spending.
“Within 30 days of spending, there is no interest. But after 30 days you will then pay interest. In each case, the Green and Gold Cards offer a level of financial flexibility reflective of the individual card members’ personal circumstances, with the Gold Card offering higher lines of credit,” Mwangi explained.
The bank has already been able to connect with at least 4,500 merchants in the region with hope of growing the number.
The card is acceptable in over 158 countries across the globe and in over 700 airport lounges.
“We are excited to partner with Equity Bank to launch the first American Express Cards in Kenya. This is an important milestone for our business and brings an opportunity to offer tailored products for Kenyan consumers characterised by outstanding rewards and benefits,” American Express, Middle East and Africa Vice President Andrew Stewart commented.
Card members will enjoy a range of insurance including travel accident insurance, travel inconvenience insurance including personal belongings protection, retail protection insurance including mobile phone theft protection, access to emergency cash advances and 48 hour card replacement services.
Customers will get the cards seven days after application.