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UAE banks dangle ‘quick cash’ offers for NRIs

Posted on March 28, 2012
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UAE dirham

With the Indian rupee continuing to weaken against the dollar, and therefore, the UAE dirham, local banks are offering “easy” and “quick” cash to the non-resident Indian expat based here looking to remunerate.

At the time of filing this report, one dirham could get you Rs13.98 and one US dollar Rs51.35.

Pitched against individual credit card limits, banks are offering cash that can be repaid in installments.

EmiratesNBD sent an email to their Indian customers about their new Dial-A-Cheque offer that allows instant cash at 0% interest on instalments for six months.

“This does appear like a good plan to capitalise on the exchange rate,” says Mark, marketing manager at a Sharjah firm. The blueprint, in the e-mail, elaborated on how a customer can cash out 90 per cent of their credit card limit at three per cent processing fee. And the “availed amount (will) be transferred to the Emirates NBD bank account in two working days or issued in form of a manager’s cheque that will be couriered in three to four working days”.

When contacted, an Emirates NBD official added that five per cent of the total amount withdrawn will have to be deposited for the first five months to avoid any interest, and the remaining amount will have to be cleared at the sixth month.

“And if the amount is not cleared, the customer will be charged 2.99 per cent monthly interest for the remaining amount,” she reported.

And this offer is also available for new customers.

Mashreq Bank has also dangled a (similar) carrot for its new customers, with an “easy cash” offer.

The new customer, can now, over the phone, give their Iban number and take home 75 per cent of the available cash limit on their credit card at a fixed installment plan of 0.70 per cent interest per month and an initial one per cent processing fee.

“The customer can choose the instalment plan, ranging anywhere from six months upwards,” explained their customer service agent.
The direct cash withdrawal option on credit cards is also available at a first-time three per cent (or dirhams 100, or whichever is higher) processing fee and 3.09 per cent monthly interest.

Financial experts in the region, however, aren’t gung-ho about these offers, and ask residents to use the opportunity wisely.

“Such decisions will have to be based on individual requirements.

Blindly sending money back, just because the figures read big doesn’t make sense,” said an experienced source.

Sneha May Francis

26 Mar 2012

http://www.emirates247.com/business/economy-finance/uae-banks-dangle-quick-cash-offers-for-nris-2012-03-26-1.450471

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