Bank of China will begin issuing American Express credit cards, the state-owned banking giant's first credit card designed for its private banking customers, the financial firms said Wednesday.
Under the terms of their new partnership, BOC, one of China's "big four" banks, will issue a credit card for the affluent branded Bank of China Private Bank American Express(R) Card.
The new card rolled out offers VIP banking services, access to premium golf courses, fast-track service through immigration and security at select airports and unlimited access to lounges in major airports around the world, the companies said in a joint statement.
Card members also will have special benefits and privileges across an array of hotels, offers from merchants around the world, and access to a 24-hour concierge service, comprehensive overseas relocation services and healthcare and wellness services.
The card has "dual currency functionality," with one account in US dollars and another in Chinese yuan, the firms said.
"American Express is a leading global brand that is recognized for providing premium services to affluent customers around the world," Xiangqun Zhong, general manager of BOC's credit card center, said in the statement.
"The launch of this new card marks the first milestone of our long-term partnership, and we look forward to offering our private banking customers exclusive privileges and benefits that they can enjoy both in China and when traveling abroad."
American Express vice president Dave Keung said the launch of the card represented "an important opportunity" to expand the reach of its brand and offer "world-class" benefits and services to the growing number of affluent consumers in China.
American Express and BOC launched the world's first yuan prepaid travelers checks in April 2010.
AmEx shares closed 2.1 per cent higher at $50.45 on the New York Stock Exchange.