Financial Services

Access Bank Introduces First American Express Cards Issued in Nigeria

Access Bank, Nigeria’s leading innovative bank, has introduced two groundbreaking consumer credit cards—the Access Bank American Express Gold Card and the Metal Platinum Card. These cards mark the first issuance of American Express cards in Nigeria and West Africa.

With the launch of these cards, Access Bank enhances its retail and private banking services, providing customers with access to the prestigious Membership Rewards loyalty program and an array of travel and lifestyle benefits.

In a strategic move in 2019, Access Bank partnered with American Express to facilitate merchant acquisition, enabling businesses across Nigeria to accept international American Express cards. Now, the bank is proud to unveil the first American Express credit cards in West Africa.

The Gold and Platinum Cards showcase the iconic ‘Centurion’ symbol, renowned internationally as a symbol of luxury and exclusivity.

Similar products are already offered outside Nigeria by American Express or authorized third parties, delivering extensive rewards and benefits to cardmembers.

Access Bank’s introduction of these credit cards brings the exceptional American Express experience to Nigeria.

Herbert Wigwe, Group Managing Director of Access Holdings, revealed that the cards will be available to customers by request and invitation. Those who have expressed interest can begin enjoying the benefits of the cards starting from Tuesday, June 13, 2023.

“We are a bank of many firsts. We do have a wide network and with this partnership, AMEX will have 60 million customers supporting this partnership. It is a massive endorsement for us to work with AMEX in this partnership.”

Roosevelt Ogbonna, Managing Director and CEO of Access Bank said: “The launch of American Express Cards in Nigeria is another milestone in the continued development of a vibrant and fast-growing payments industry. Customers want more than transactions – they want real value.

“With American Express, we can provide valuable card benefits, strong loyalty rewards, and a real reason to use electronic payments instead of cash. By diversifying our services to facilitate payments, we can connect more consumers to the SMEs and retail businesses across the country who we know are the engine of economic growth.”

Chizoma Okoli, Deputy Managing Director, Retail South, Access Bank, said the unveiling of the credit cards is a testament to the bank’s leadership role in the country.

Her words, “We are always at the forefront in the banking sector here in Nigeria and this is our newest innovation as we lead others. You can see these AMEX cards anywhere in Nigeria except here at Access. I know our customers who are going to reap the benefits will be proud of us”.

Victor Etiokwu, Deputy Managing Director, Retail North, said the partnership with American Express is not the first and won’t be the last.

He said, “In the payment world, it is important to have varieties and as a financial sector supermarket, we have varieties of lovely items for the benefit of our customers. AMEX is a unique brand and we have always wanted to have them on our portfolio and we are glad this has become a reality. We will continue to collaborate with AMEX”.

Mohammed Badi, President, Global Network Services at American Express, said, “By granting Access Bank a license to launch the first-ever American Express Cards in Nigeria, American Express’ presence in Africa is becoming even more vibrant. The Access Bank American Express Gold Card and the metal Platinum Card enhance the credit card experience in Nigeria with special benefits, access, and service – for Cardmembers both in Nigeria and when travelling overseas.”

Access Bank’s partnership with American Express brings an exciting array of benefits and features to the newly launched American Express cards in Nigeria. With the convenience of dual-currency functionality (NGN/USD) and global acceptance, cardholders can enjoy a host of advantages.

Airport lounge access, a sought-after perk for frequent travelers, is now accessible to cardholders, along with car rental benefits, membership rewards, loyalty points, and comprehensive insurance and protections.

The Platinum Card takes luxury to the next level, offering enhanced airport lounge benefits. Cardholders gain complimentary access to over 1,400 lounges through the prestigious American Express Global Lounge Collection.

Hotel enthusiasts will relish the special privileges and upgrades available through The Hotel Collection and Fine Hotels + Resorts. The Platinum Card also grants exclusive status access to renowned hotel rewards programs such as Hilton Honors, Radisson Rewards, and Marriott Bonvoy.

Moreover, cardholders enjoy complimentary access to hotel membership programs, including Tablet Plus membership and Mr & Mrs. Smith Gold status. Additionally, 24/7 travel and lifestyle concierge services are available to cater to their every need.

During the launch event, Briana Wisley, Vice President and General Manager of Network Partnerships EMEA at American Express, expressed delight in partnering with Access Bank. She highlighted that Access Bank perfectly met their criteria, making them thrilled to collaborate on this venture.

The collaboration between Access Bank and American Express sets a new standard for premium banking experiences in Nigeria, offering cardholders a wealth of exclusive benefits and a seamless connection to a world of luxury and convenience.

She said, “Across Nigeria and in West Africa, Access Bank has a great record of expertise and innovations in the payment space. And this is why we are excited to have them as the issuing partner for this product in Nigeria and West Africa. So it is very exciting for both of us.

“We are a globally integrated payments company and one of the world’s largest card issuers. We are happy with Access Bank and we give customers access to products, insights and experiences that make life better and help grow business value. Today, we have more than 135 million cards globally. You can use them in over eight million locations in 198 countries and territories.

“So you can see that we are a global brand and we are glad that Access Bank customers are now going to enjoy all the benefits of having AMEX cards. One of our key objectives is to continue expanding that scale and relevance globally. And we do this in many ways by investing to modernize the AMEX network by launching innovative products and granting licenses to financial institutions like Access Bank, which can issue cards and grant access to our cards to millions of merchants.

“In fact, since 2017, the number of places you can use your AMEX cards globally has more than tripled. And that is a great part, thanks to our wonderful partners like Access Bank”.

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