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Top 5 Credit Cards in UAE by category

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All You Need To Know About Credit Card in UAE

HOW DOES A CREDIT CARD WORK?

A credit card is a payment card that allows you to borrow money from a credit card issuer, up to a pre-set credit limit, to make purchases or obtain cash advances. Here's how a credit card typically works:

Credit Card Application: You apply for a credit card by applying to a credit card issuer, either online, by mail, or in person. The issuer evaluates your creditworthiness based on factors such as your credit score, income, employment status, and financial history to determine if you qualify for the credit card. Most of the banks in the UAE have a digital onboarding process which makes it convenient for customers to apply for a credit card at their convenience with minimum documentation. You can find a list of cards that you can apply online here.

Credit Limit: If your credit card application is approved, the issuer assigns you a credit limit, which is the maximum amount you can borrow on the card. Your credit limit is based on factors such as your creditworthiness, income, and other financial information.

Card Activation: Once you receive your credit card, you may need to activate it by following the issuer's instructions, such as calling a phone number or activating online.

Card Usage: You can use your credit card to make purchases at merchants that accept credit cards. You can also use it to obtain cash advances from ATMs or over the counter, although cash advances typically come with higher fees and interest rates compared to purchases.

Billing Cycle: Credit card transactions are typically grouped into billing cycles, which are usually monthly periods. During the billing cycle, you can make purchases and/or cash advances up to your credit limit.

Statement Period: At the end of each billing cycle, the credit card issuer generates a statement that includes a summary of your transactions, including the amount you owe (the balance), any fees or interest charged, and the minimum payment due.

Minimum Payment: The credit card statement specifies a minimum payment amount, which is the minimum amount you are required to pay by the due date to keep your account in good standing. However, paying only the minimum payment will result in interest charges on the remaining balance.

Grace Period: Some credit cards offer a grace period, which is the time between the end of the billing cycle and the due date for the payment, during which no interest is charged on new purchases if the previous balance is paid in full. Grace periods vary depending on the credit card issuer and the terms of your credit card.

Interest and Fees: If you carry a balance on your credit card by not paying the full balance by the due date or if you take a cash advance, you will generally be charged interest based on the Annual Percentage Rate (APR) specified in your credit card terms. Credit cards may also have fees, such as an annual fee, late payment fee, balance transfer fee, or foreign transaction fee, which you should be aware of.

Credit Card Rewards: Some credit cards offer rewards, such as cash back, points, or miles, for making purchases. These rewards may be earned based on your spending and can be redeemed for various benefits, such as statement credits, gift cards, travel, or merchandise, depending on the credit card's rewards program.

Credit Card Debt: If you do not pay your credit card balance in full by the due date, the remaining balance carries over to the next billing cycle and begins accruing interest. If you continue to carry a balance, it can lead to credit card debt, which can be costly due to interest charges and fees.

Credit Card Payment: To pay your credit card balance, you can make a payment online, by phone, by mail, or through other methods accepted by the credit card issuer. You have the option to pay the minimum payment, pay the full balance, or pay any amount in between, but paying the full balance by the due date can help you avoid interest charges and fees.

How to get your credit card application approved?

ere are some common reasons why a credit card application might get rejected:

Poor credit score: Credit card issuers typically check your credit score, which is a numerical representation of your creditworthiness based on your credit history. If your credit score is low, it might indicate that you have a history of late payments, high credit utilization, or other negative factors that make you appear as a high-risk borrower, resulting in a rejection of your credit card application.

Insufficient income or employment history: Credit card issuers may require applicants to have a minimum income level to qualify for a credit card. If your income is not sufficient or if you have a short employment history, it may lead to your credit card application being rejected.

High debt-to-income ratio: If you already have a significant amount of debt compared to your income, credit card issuers may view you as financially stretched and may reject your application to avoid adding to your debt burden.

Errors or discrepancies in the application: If you provided incorrect or inconsistent information in your credit card application, such as inaccurate personal details or conflicting financial information, it could lead to rejection.

Negative financial history: If you have a history of bankruptcy, defaulting on loans, or other negative financial events, it may impact your creditworthiness and result in your credit card application being rejected.

Too many recent credit applications: If you have applied for multiple credit cards or loans within a short period of time, it could raise concerns among credit card issuers about your credit-seeking behavior, and they may reject your application.

Bank's internal policies: Each credit card issuer has its own internal policies and criteria for evaluating credit card applications. Some of these could be an employer verification, company field visit, restricted segments for sourcing, compliance screening and so on. If your application does not meet their specific requirements, it could result in rejection.

It's important to remember that credit card issuers have their own specific criteria for evaluating credit card applications, and the exact reason for your application rejection may vary depending on the issuer and their evaluation process. If your credit card application is rejected, it's a good idea to contact the credit card issuer to inquire about the reason for the rejection and take steps to improve your creditworthiness before applying again in the future.

What should you do to get a credit application approved?

Getting a credit card approved typically involves several steps and considerations. Here are some general tips that may help you improve your chances of getting a credit card approved:

Check your credit score: Your credit score is an important factor that credit card issuers use to assess your creditworthiness. A higher credit score generally indicates a lower credit risk and can increase your chances of getting approved for a credit card. You can check your credit score for Al Etihad Credit Bureau in the United Arab Emirates.

Improve your credit score: If your credit score is lower than desired, you can take steps to improve it. This may include paying off outstanding debts, making timely payments on all your bills, and keeping credit card balances low. Improving your credit score can positively impact your credit card approval chances.

Provide accurate and complete information: When filling out a credit card application, make sure to provide accurate and complete information, including your personal details, employment information, and financial information. Any discrepancies or incomplete information may result in delays or rejection of your application.

Show stable income and employment: Credit card issuers want to ensure that you have a stable income and employment to repay the credit card debt. Be prepared to provide proof of income, such as inconsistent salary credits, breaks, etc., to demonstrate your financial stability and repayment ability. Most of the banks look for salary to be transferred to a bank as they can verify the salary credits into your account using an IBAN.

Keep your debt-to-income ratio in check: Your debt-to-income ratio is the percentage of your monthly income that goes towards debt payments. A lower debt-to-income ratio indicates better financial stability. Keeping your debt-to-income ratio low can increase your chances of getting approved for a credit card. UAE banks, in general, follow a minimum 50% debt-to-income ratio considering your new credit card's minimum due. So, make sure your credit burden is less than 40 or 45%.

Limit the number of credit card applications: Making multiple credit card applications within a short period of time can negatively impact your credit score and may signal to credit card issuers that you are in financial distress. It's advisable to limit the number of credit card applications and only apply for credit cards that you genuinely need.

Review credit card issuer's requirements: Each credit card issuer may have different eligibility requirements, such as minimum credit score, income, and other factors. Review the credit card issuer's requirements before applying to ensure that you meet their criteria.

Be patient and follow up: After submitting your credit card application, be patient and wait for the credit card issuer's response. If your application is not approved, you can contact the credit card issuer to inquire about the reasons for the denial and explore possible options to address any concerns.

Remember that credit card approval is not guaranteed and is subject to the credit card issuer's discretion. It's important to manage credit responsibly and use credit cards wisely to avoid accruing unnecessary debt.

Credit Card Interest Rates in UAE

Credit card interest rates, also known as annual percentage rates (APR), are the percentage rates that credit card issuers charge on any outstanding balances carried over from one billing cycle to the next. These rates can vary depending on several factors, including the creditworthiness of the cardholder, the type of credit card, and the prevailing market conditions.

Credit card interest rates can be categorized into several types:

1. Introductory rates: These are promotional rates that are offered for a limited period, usually ranging from 0% to a low rate, as an incentive to attract new cardholders. After the introductory period expires, the interest rate will typically increase to the regular APR.

2. Regular APR: This is the standard interest rate that applies to the ongoing balances on a credit card after the introductory period ends. The typical interest rates for credit cards in the UAE range from 2.99% to 3.99% per month, which translates to an annual percentage rate (APR) of approximately 35.88% to 47.88%.

3. Penalty APR: This is a higher APR that may be imposed as a penalty for certain actions, such as late payments or going over the credit limit. Penalty APRs are typically significantly higher than regular APRs and can be as high as 30% or more. This is more prevalent in the United States.

Credit Card Rewards in UAE

Credit card rewards programs are incentive programs offered by credit card issuers that allow cardholders to earn rewards for making purchases with their credit cards. These rewards can be in the form of points, miles, cash back, or other types of rewards, and can be redeemed for a variety of benefits, such as travel, merchandise, gift cards, statement credits, and more. Credit card rewards programs can vary widely depending on the credit card issuer, type of credit card, and the specific rewards program. Here are some common types of credit card rewards:

Points-based rewards: Cardholders earn points for every dirham spent on eligible purchases with their credit card. These points can be accumulated and redeemed for various rewards, such as travel bookings, merchandise, gift cards, or statement credits.

Miles-based rewards: Cardholders earn miles for every dirham spent on eligible purchases, and these miles can be redeemed for flights, hotel stays, and other travel-related expenses.

Cash back rewards: Cardholders earn a percentage of cash back on eligible purchases, typically ranging from 1% to 3% of the purchase amount. Cash back rewards can be credited to the cardholder's account, redeemed for statement credits, or received as a check or direct deposit.

Bonus rewards: Some credit cards offer bonus rewards for specific categories of spending, such as dining, gas, groceries, or travel. These bonus rewards may have higher earning rates than regular rewards, providing additional incentives for spending in those categories.

Introductory or sign-up bonuses: Many credit cards offer sign-up bonuses or introductory bonuses, where cardholders can earn many rewards points, miles, or cash back after meeting certain spending requirements within a specified timeframe after opening the credit card account.

Tiered rewards: Some credit cards offer tiered rewards programs where cardholders can earn different levels of rewards based on their spending levels. For example, a card may offer higher rewards for higher levels of spending, providing additional incentives for increased card usage.

Redemption options: Credit card rewards can typically be redeemed for various options, such as travel bookings, merchandise, gift cards, statement credits, or even charitable donations. The redemption options and value of rewards may vary depending on the credit card issuer and rewards program.

It's important to carefully review and understand the terms and conditions of a credit card rewards program, including earning rates, redemption options, restrictions, fees, and expiration policies. It's also essential to use credit cards responsibly, pay off balances in full, and avoid unnecessary spending or carrying balances just to earn rewards. Choosing a credit card with a rewards program that aligns with one's spending habits and financial goals can help maximize the benefits of credit card rewards.

Credit Card Fees in UAE

Credit card annual fees and charges are fees that credit card issuers may charge cardholders for the privilege of using a credit card. These fees can vary widely depending on the type of credit card, credit card issuer, and specific credit card program. Here are some common types of credit card fees and charges:

Annual fee: Many credit cards charge an annual fee for the use of the credit card. This fee is typically charged once a year and can range from a few dollars to several hundred dollars or more, depending on the credit card and its features, benefits, and rewards program. Annual fees are often associated with premium or high-end credit cards that offer enhanced features, benefits, and rewards.

Foreign transaction fees: Some credit cards charge fees for purchases made in foreign currencies or transactions processed outside of the cardholder's home country. These fees are usually a percentage of the transaction amount and can range from 1% to 3% or more, depending on the credit card issuer and specific credit card.

Balance transfer fees: If a cardholder transfers a balance from one credit card to another, some credit cards may charge a balance transfer fee, which is usually a percentage of the balance being transferred or a flat fee, whichever is higher.

Cash advance fees: If a cardholder uses their credit card to withdraw cash from an ATM or obtain cash-like transactions, such as gambling or money orders, a cash advance fee may be charged. Cash advance fees are typically higher than regular purchase transaction fees and may also accrue higher interest rates.

Late payment fees: If a cardholder fails to make the minimum payment or pays after the due date, a late payment fee may be charged. Late payment fees vary depending on the credit card issuer and may be charged in addition to the interest charged on the outstanding balance.

Overlimit fees: Some credit cards may charge overlimit fees if the cardholder exceeds their credit limit. However, credit card issuers are now required to obtain cardholder consent before allowing charges that would exceed the credit limit, and overlimit fees are less common than in the past.

Returned payment fees: If a cardholder's payment is returned due to insufficient funds or other reasons, a returned payment fee may be charged.

It's important for cardholders to review the terms and conditions of their credit card, including the fees and charges, before applying for a credit card or using it for transactions. Understanding the fees and charges associated with a credit card can help cardholders manage their credit card usage, avoid unnecessary fees, and make informed decisions about which credit card best fits their financial needs and budget.

Things to be aware of while using Credit Cards in UAE

When using credit cards, it's important to be aware of several key factors to ensure responsible and effective credit card usage. Here are some things to be aware of on credit cards:

Interest rates: Credit cards typically charge interest on outstanding balances that are not paid in full by the due date. It's important to understand the interest rate (APR) associated with your credit card, as it can significantly impact your overall costs if you carry a balance. Avoiding carrying a balance and paying off your credit card in full each month can help you avoid interest charges.

Fees and charges: Credit cards may come with various fees and charges, such as annual fees, foreign transaction fees, balance transfer fees, cash advance fees, late payment fees, and returned payment fees. It's crucial to review the terms and conditions of your credit card to understand the fees and charges associated with it and factor them into your overall credit card usage strategy.

Credit limit: Credit cards have a credit limit, which is the maximum amount you can charge on the card. It's important to be aware of your credit limit and not exceed it, as doing so may result in over-limit fees, damage to your credit score, and potential negative impacts on your creditworthiness.

Credit utilization: Your credit utilization rate is the percentage of your available credit that you're using. High credit utilization can negatively impact your credit score, so it's generally recommended to keep your credit utilization below 30% of your available credit. Monitoring your credit card balances and managing your credit utilization can help you maintain a healthy credit score.

Payment due dates: Credit cards have payment due dates by which you must make at least the minimum payment to avoid late fees and potential negative impacts on your credit score. It's important to be aware of your payment due dates and make timely payments to maintain good credit card management practices.

Rewards programs: Credit card rewards programs can be beneficial, but it's essential to understand the terms and conditions, including earning rates, redemption options, and any restrictions or expiration policies. Some rewards programs may have fees or limitations, so it's important to weigh the costs and benefits of a rewards program against your spending habits and financial goals.

Security and fraud protection: Credit cards can be vulnerable to fraud and unauthorized charges. It's important to take precautions to protect your credit card information, such as not sharing your card details with unauthorized parties, monitoring your card activity regularly, and reporting any suspicious transactions or potential fraud immediately to your credit card issuer.

Credit card benefits and features: Credit cards may come with various benefits and features, such as travel insurance, purchase protection, extended warranties, and more. It's important to understand the benefits and features of your credit card and take advantage of them when applicable to maximize the value of your credit card.

By being aware of these key factors and understanding the terms and conditions of your credit card, you can effectively manage your credit card usage, avoid unnecessary fees and charges, maintain a healthy credit score, and make the most of the benefits and features offered by your credit card.

Islamic Credit Cards in UAE

Islamic credit cards, also known as Sharia-compliant credit cards, are credit cards that are designed in accordance with Islamic principles of finance. These principles are based on the teachings of Islamic law, or Sharia, which prohibits charging or paying interest (riba), as well as engaging in certain types of business activities, such as those involving alcohol, gambling, or pork products.

Islamic credit cards operate on the concept of "murabaha" or "tawarruq," which are forms of sale-based financing rather than lending with interest. Here are some key features of Islamic credit cards:

No interest (riba): Islamic credit cards do not charge or pay interest on outstanding balances. Instead, they follow the principle of murabaha or tawarruq, where the bank purchases the goods or services on behalf of the cardholder and then sells them to the cardholder at a higher price. The cardholder repays the bank in installments, which includes the original purchase price plus a profit margin agreed upon upfront.

No penalty fees: Islamic credit cards do not charge penalty fees for late payments or over-limit charges, as these fees are considered as interest in Islamic finance and are prohibited.

Restricted transactions: Islamic credit cards may have restrictions on certain transactions, such as those involving alcohol, gambling, or other activities not compliant with Sharia principles.

Eligibility requirements: Islamic credit cards may have specific eligibility requirements, such as being a Muslim or meeting certain income criteria. However, this may vary depending on the specific terms and conditions of the card issuer.

Rewards programs: Islamic credit cards may offer rewards programs that comply with Sharia principles, such as cashback, discounts, or donations to charitable organizations, instead of traditional rewards that involve interest-bearing investments or prohibited activities.

Transparency and disclosure: Islamic credit cards are expected to be transparent in their terms and conditions and disclose all fees, charges, and profit margins upfront to ensure compliance with Sharia principles.

It's important to note that not all credit cards labeled as "Islamic" are created equal, and it's crucial to carefully review the terms and conditions of any credit card to ensure it aligns with your financial goals and complies with your beliefs and principles. If you are interested in an Islamic credit card, it's recommended to consult with a qualified financial advisor or conduct your own research to fully understand the features, benefits, and requirements of the specific card you are considering.

Cash Advance Fee

Cash advance fee is a fee charged by credit card issuers when a cardholder uses their credit card to withdraw cash from an ATM or perform a cash advance transaction. Cash advances are considered a type of loan, and credit card issuers may impose fees and charges for this service. Cash advance fees are separate from interest charges and are typically assessed as a percentage of the cash advance amount or as a flat fee, whichever is higher.

The cash advance fee on credit cards can vary depending on the credit card issuer and the specific terms and conditions of the credit card. As of my knowledge cutoff date of September 2021, common cash advance fees on credit cards in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) can range from 2% to 5% of the cash advance amount or a flat fee of AED 50 to AED 200 per transaction, whichever is higher. It's important to note that cash advances usually accrue interest from the date of the transaction and often have higher interest rates compared to regular credit card purchases.

It's crucial to review and understand the specific terms and conditions of your credit card agreement, including the cash advance fees, interest rates, and other relevant charges, before using your credit card for cash advances. Cash advances should generally be used as a last resort due to the associated fees, higher interest rates, and potential negative impacts on your credit card balance and financial health. If you have any questions or concerns about cash advance fees on your credit card, it's recommended to contact your credit card issuer directly for more information and clarification.

BEST JOINING OFFERS ON CREDIT CARDS In February 2023

Credit card companies often offer joining or sign-up bonuses to entice new customers to apply for their credit cards. These joining offers can vary widely depending on the credit card issuer and the specific card being offered.

Here are some common types of joining offers that credit card companies may provide:

Air miles  are a popular joining offer that many credit card companies offer to entice new customers. Air miles are rewards points that can be redeemed for free or discounted flights on participating airlines.

To earn air miles as a joining offer, you typically need to meet a spending requirement within the first few months of opening your account. For example, a credit card may offer 50,000 air miles as a joining offer if you spend AED 10,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of account opening.

It is important to note that air miles joining offers may come with some restrictions or limitations. For example, the air miles may only be redeemable on certain airlines, or there may be blackout dates when the miles cannot be redeemed. Some credit cards may also charge an annual fee or other fees associated with earning and redeeming air miles.

If you are considering a credit card with an air mile joining offer, be sure to read the terms and conditions carefully to understand any restrictions or fees associated with the offer. It is also important to consider whether the rewards and benefits of the credit card align with your spending habits and travel preferences.

Bank Name

Product Name

Joining Offers

Annual Fee

ADCB


Etihad Guest Infinite Credit Card


Welcome bonus of 60,000 Etihad Guest Miles on the first year, provided AMF is paid within 60 days of card issuance. Qualifying Cardholder shall also be eligible for Anniversary Bonus Miles in the subsequent year upon the ADCB Etihad Guest Card anniversary

2625

ADCB

Etihad Guest Platinum Credit Card


As a welcome bonus, you will receive 12,000 Etihad Guest Miles during the first year of membership. You can redeem your miles for flights and upgrades across a growing list of exciting destinations on the Etihad Airways network and its partners.

525

ADCB


Etihad Guest Signature Credit Card


You will receive 35,000 Etihad Guest Miles as welcome bonus during the first year of membership

1050

ADIB


Emirates Skywards World Card


Welcome Offer: Up to 60,000 bonus Skywards Miles 40,000 welcome bonus Miles 20,000 bonus Skywards Miles (subject to meeting spend thresholds)

1500

ADIB


Emirates Skywards World Elite Card


Welcome Offer: Up to 120,000 bonus Skywards Miles 50,000 welcome bonus Miles 70,000 bonus Skywards Miles (subject to meeting spend thresholds)

4500

ADIB

Etihad Classic Card


Welcome bonus of 10,000 Etihad Guest Miles

0

ADIB

Etihad Gold Card

Welcome Offer Welcome bonus of 35,000 Etihad Guest Miles.

350

ADIB

Etihad Platinum Card

Welcome Offer Welcome bonus of 50,000 Etihad Guest Miles.

700

CBD

Smiles Visa Platinum

Welcome Offer: 70,000 Smiles points as Welcome Bonus

199

CBD

Smiles Visa Signature

Welcome Offer: 100,000* Smiles points as Welcome Bonus

999

Citibank

Emirates Ultima

Get 25,000 welcome bonus Skywards Miles when you apply for the card and 10,000 Skywards Miles annually upon renewal

3000

Dubai Islamic

Emirates Skywards Infinite Credit Card

Earn up to 75,000 bonus Miles with the Emirates Skywards DIB Infinite Credit Card 25,000 bonus Miles on card activation. 25,000 bonus Miles when you spend an equivalent of USD 20,000 or more in the first four card statements. 25,000 bonus Miles on balance transfer.

2625

Dubai Islamic

Emirates Skywards Platinum Credit Card

Earn bonus Skywards Miles: 5,000 bonus Miles on card activation.

525

Dubai Islamic

Emirates Skywards Signature Credit Card

Earn up to 30,000 bonus Skywards Miles with the Emirates Skywards DIB Signature Credit Card: 15,000 bonus Miles on card activation 15,000 bonus Miles on balance transfer

1575

Emirates Islamic

Etihad Guest Ameera

Welcome bonus of 20,000 Etihad Guest Miles upon payment of Annual Membership Fee.

733

Emirates Islamic

Etihad Guest Platinum

Welcome bonus of 5,000 Etihad Guest Miles upon payment of Annual Membership Fee.

199

Emirates Islamic

Etihad Guest Saqer

Welcome bonus of 30,000 Etihad Guest Miles upon payment of Annual Membership Fee.

899

Emirates Islamic

Skywards Black Credit Card

Get up to 100,000 bonus Skywards Miles with the Emirates Islamic - Skywards Black Credit Card

4200

Emirates Islamic

Skywards Infinite Credit Card

Get up to 75,000 bonus Skywards Miles with the Emirates Islamic - Skywards Infinite Credit Card Offer valid from 1 March till 31 May 2023.

2100

Emirates Islamic

Skywards Signature Credit Card

Get up to 50,000 bonus Skywards Miles with the Emirates Islamic - Skywards Signature Credit Card Offer valid from 1 March till 31 May 2023.

735

Emirates NBD

Etihad Guest Visa Inspire Credit Card

Welcome offer: Up to 60,000 Etihad Guest Miles

735

Emirates NBD

Skywards Infinite Credit Card

Exciting welcome offers Earn up to 100,000 Skywards Miles & get Rotana Rewards membership

1575

Emirates NBD

Skywards Signature Credit Card

Earn up to 40,000 Skywards Miles with your Skywards Signature Credit Card: 15,000 Skywards Miles on payment of the joining fee (AED 735) 15,000 Skywards Miles on spending minimum USD 10,000 within the first three billing statements. 10,000 Skywards Miles on spending minimum USD 3,750 on emirates.com or at any Emirates sales office in the UAE within the first twelve billing statements.

735

FAB

Etihad Guest Infinite Credit Card

55,000 Etihad Guest Miles bonus.

2500

FAB

Etihad Guest Platinum Credit Card

Primary Card- Earn 10,000 Etihad Guest welcome bonus Miles. Supplementary Card- Earn 5000 Etihad Guest welcome bonus Miles. Double Etihad Guest Miles when you use your card to buy Etihad Airways or Etihad Partner Airlines flight tickets.

500

FAB

Etihad Guest Signature Credit Card

35,000 Etihad Guest Miles bonus.

1500

RAKBANK

Emirates Skywards World Elite Mastercard Credit Card

Get Joining bonus Skywards Miles of 20,000 on payment of annual fee of AED 1,499. The bonus Skywards Miles will be credited within a week of the next statement cycle. The card is also available with First year free offer without the joining bonus miles, offer is valid till 31st Jan 2023.

1499

Cashback  is another popular joining offer that credit card companies may offer to entice new customers. Cashback is a type of reward that gives you a percentage of your purchases back as cash.

To earn cashback as a joining offer, you typically need to meet a spending requirement within the first few months of opening your account. For example, a credit card may offer AED500 cashback as a joining offer if you spend AED 5,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of account opening.

The percentage of cashback that you earn on your purchases may vary depending on the credit card and the spending category. For example, a credit card may offer 1% cashback on all purchases, but 3% cashback on dining and entertainment purchases. Some credit cards may also offer higher cashback rates for a limited period, such as 5% cashback on rotating categories every quarter.

It is important to note that cashback joining offers may come with some restrictions or limitations. For example, there may be a cap on the amount of cashback that you can earn, or the cashback may expire after a certain period. Some credit cards may also charge an annual fee or other fees associated with earning and redeeming cashback.

If you are considering a credit card with a cashback joining offer, be sure to read the terms and conditions carefully to understand any restrictions or fees associated with the offer. It is also important to consider whether the rewards and benefits of the credit card align with your spending habits and financial goals.

Bank Name

Product Name

Joining Offers

Annual Fee

ADCB

365 Cashback Credit Card

A welcome bonus of AED 365 is subject to a minimum spending of AED 5,000 within the first 45 days. Welcome bonus will be credited as cashback within 90 days of card issuance, upon meeting the spend eligibility criteria

383

Citibank

Premier Credit Card

AED 500 can be offset with 15,000 Thank You Points; for any; travel-related purchase, No limitation

750

Citibank

Prestige Credit Card

Apply for a Citi Prestige Credit Card and get up to AED 750 welcome offer as a statement credit. Also, earn 10,000 annual Thank You; Points on yearly renewal of your Card.; Citibank Terms & Conditions apply.

1500

Dubai First

Cashback Card

AED 500 joining bonus this Ramadan.

300

FAB

Al-Futtaim Platinum Credit Card

AED 500 cashback in the form of Al-Futtaim FAB Rewards. Spend AED 5,000 or more in the first 60 days of card issuance to qualify for your cashback bonus. Offer valid until 14 June 2023.

0

FAB

Cashback Credit Card

Apply for a new FAB Mastercard credit card and earn cashback and earn AED 300 cashback as welcome bonus. Make one retail transaction in the first 30 days of card issuance and you receive AED 300 as bonus cashback.

315

HSBC

Cash+ Credit Card

Enjoy up to AED 500 cashback when you get a new primary HSBC credit card, and a minimum of AED 8,000 spend within 60 days. No annual fee for the first year and second year onwards waiver subject to meeting minimum spends of AED 24000 in previous 12 months. *Offer valid from 16 January to 30 April 2023 (both days inclusive).

1050

HSBC

Cashback Credit Card

Welcome offer: Get AED 500 cashback when you apply for a Cashback Credit Card. Offer valid till April 30, 2023. No annual fee for the first year and second year onwards fee waiver subject to meeting minimum spend.

313

HSBC

Max Rewards Credit Card

Enjoy cashback when you apply for a Max Rewards Credit Card before 30 April 2023.; You will also pay no annual fee for the first year, or from the second year onwards if you spend at least AED 12,000 a year

630

Mashreq

Cashback Card

Joining bonus offer of AED 500 on Cashback card, AED 500 on Platinum Elite card and AED 2,000 on Solitaire card. Minimum retail spend of AED 4,500 required in first 2 months to avail this offer. AED 500 cashback is applicable only for customers new to Mashreq Credit Cards. Existing customers (or cards cancelled in the last 6 months) will be eligible for AED 100 cashback.

0

Mashreq

Platinum Elite MasterCard

Joining bonus offer of AED 1000 on Cashback card, AED 1000 on Platinum Elite card and AED 2,000 on Solitaire card. E.g.: if a card is set up in June, AED 4,500 needs to be spent by 31st; August to get the Joining Bonus. Cashback that will be credited subject to customer spending AED 4,500 in Acquisition Month + 2 months’ timelines. E.g.: if a card is setup in June, customer must be spent AED 4,500 by 31st August to get the Joining Bonus

682

Mashreq

Solitaire Credit Card

Apply and get AED 2500 cashback will be credited subject to spending AED 4,500 in Acquisition Month + 2 months’ timelines. E.g.: if a card is set up in June, AED 4,500 needs to be spent by 31st August to get the Joining Bonus.

650

Standard Chartered

Cashback Credit Card

AED 500 cashback joining offer (requires a spend of AED 5000)

525

Standard Chartered

Manhattan Platinum Card

AED 500 cashback joining offer (requires a spend of AED 5000)

525

Standard Chartered

Saadiq Visa Signature

AED 500 cashback joining offer (requires a spend of AED 5000)

315

Standard Chartered

Visa Infinite Card

Visa Infinite Card AED 500 cashback offer on Sadiq card

1575

No annual fee for the first year: Some credit cards waive the annual fee for the first year as a joining offer. This can be a good option if you want to try out the card and see if it is worth paying the annual fee in subsequent years.


Bank Name

Product Name

Joining Offers

Annual Fee

ADCB

Touchpoints Infinite Credit Card

Hotels.com’s stay voucher worth AED 1,200 will be issued within 60 days of payment of the annual fees in the first year. The vouchers are redeemable for a stay of 2 nights and above at any property listed on Hotels.com, anywhere in the world. The stay must be completed within 6 months from the date of voucher issuance.

1050

CBD

Super Saver Credit Card

No Annual Fee for the first year on Primary Card. Annual fee applicable only from the second year onwards.

400

Emirates Islamic

Cashback Plus Card

No AMF for the first year subject to retail spend of AED 5,000 within 90 days of card approval.

299

Reward points are a common joining offer that credit card companies may offer to entice new customers. Reward points are a type of currency that can be earned by making purchases with your credit card, and they can be redeemed for various rewards such as merchandise, travel, or statement credit.

To earn reward points as a joining offer, you typically need to meet a spending requirement within the first few months of opening your account. For example, a credit card may offer 50,000 reward points as a joining offer if you spend AED 3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of account opening.

Bank Name

Product Name

Joining Offers

Annual Fee

ADCB

ALL- ADCB Infinite Credit Card

Up to 50,000 Reward points, equal to €1,000 in hotel stays at Accor hotels around the world

1575

ADCB

ALL- ADCB Signature Credit Card

Up to 25,000 Reward points, equal to €500 in hotel stays at Accor hotels around the world

1050

ADCB

Touchpoints Platinum Credit Card

Receive 10,000 bonus Touchpoints when you spend AED 10,000 each month

0

ADIB

Booking.com Infinite Card

200,000 sign-up reward points

2000

CBD

Visa Platinum Card

Welcome Offer 20,000 CBD Reward Points. Welcome Bonus is given provided the cardholder spends 500 AED within 30 days from card issuance date.

0

RAKBANK

Air Arabia Platinum Credit Card

A Joining Bonus of 15,000 Air Rewards Points will be credited upon payment of Joining Fee and a minimum retail expenditure of AED 5,000* in the first 3 months. (*Only Retail transactions eligible (RAKMoneyTransfer, Cash Advance, Balance Transfer, Credit Card Cheque, Smart Cash and Utility Bill Payment via Digital Banking will not be considered).

400

Gift vouchers are another common joining bonus that credit card companies may offer to attract new customers. Gift vouchers are prepaid cards or certificates that can be redeemed for goods or services at a specific store or merchant.

To earn gift vouchers as a joining bonus, you typically need to meet a spending requirement within the first few months of opening your account. For example, a credit card may offer AED 500 in gift vouchers as a joining bonus if you spend AED 3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of account opening.

The type of gift vouchers that you can earn may vary depending on the credit card and the merchant. For example, a credit card may offer gift vouchers for popular retailers, restaurants, or online merchants. Some credit cards may also offer bonus gift vouchers for a limited period, such as extra vouchers for the first 6 months of card membership.

It is important to note that gift voucher joining bonuses may come with some restrictions or limitations. For example, the gift vouchers may only be redeemable for certain types of goods or services, or they may have an expiration date. Some credit cards may also charge an annual fee or other fees associated with earning and redeeming gift vouchers.

Bank Name

Product Name

Joining Offers

Annual Fee

ADCB

ALL- ADCB Infinite Credit Card

Up to 50,000 Reward points, equal to €1,000 in hotel stays at Accor hotels around the world

1575

ADCB

ALL- ADCB Signature Credit Card

Up to 25,000 Reward points, equal to €500 in hotel stays at Accor hotels around the world

1050

ADCB

Touchpoints Platinum Credit Card

Receive 10,000 bonus Touchpoints when you spend AED 10,000 each month

0

ADIB

Booking.com Infinite Card

200,000 sign-up reward points

2000

CBD

Visa Platinum Card

Welcome Offer 20,000 CBD Reward Points. Welcome Bonus is given provided the cardholder spends 500 AED within 30 days from card issuance date.

0

RAKBANK

Air Arabia Platinum Credit Card

A Joining Bonus of 15,000 Air Rewards Points will be credited upon payment of Joining Fee and a minimum retail expenditure of AED 5,000* in the first 3 months. (*Only Retail transactions eligible (RAKMoneyTransfer, Cash Advance, Balance Transfer, Credit Card Cheque, Smart Cash and Utility Bill Payment via Digital Banking will not be considered).

400

0% APR introductory offer: Some credit cards offer an introductory period of 0% APR on purchases or balance transfers. This can be a wonderful way to save money on interest charges if you need to make a large purchase or transfer a balance from a high-interest credit card.

When considering a credit card offer, it is important to carefully read and understand the credit card offer disclaimer to fully understand the terms and conditions associated with the credit card. If you have any questions or concerns about the offer, you may want to contact the credit card issuer directly for clarification.

The above information is gathered based on best effort basis from publicly available information as of April 22nd and might change in the future, please do verify the respective banks at the time of application for validity of the offers.

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FAQs

A credit card is a plastic payment card that allows you to borrow money from a financial institution (usually a bank) up to a certain credit limit. It enables you to make purchases or withdraw cash, which you need to repay later with interest or within a specified grace period.
When you use a credit card for a purchase, the issuing bank pays the merchant on your behalf, and you incur a debt to the bank. You receive a monthly statement outlining your transactions and the minimum payment due. If you don't pay the full balance by the due date, interest is charged on the remaining balance.
A credit card allows you to borrow money, whereas a debit card is linked directly to your bank account and uses your available funds for purchases. With a credit card, you're essentially taking a short-term loan that you need to repay, while a debit card uses your existing funds.
Credit card issuers consider various factors, including your credit history, credit score, income, employment status, and debt-to-income ratio. They assess your creditworthiness to determine whether to approve your application and what credit limit to assign you.
A credit limit is the maximum amount of money you can borrow on your credit card. It's set by the credit card issuer based on factors like your creditworthiness, income, and other financial obligations. It's important to manage your spending within this limit to avoid additional fees or penalties.
An interest rate is the cost of borrowing money on your credit card. It is expressed as a percentage and can vary depending on the credit card issuer and your creditworthiness. If you carry a balance on your card, interest is charged on the remaining amount, and it's added to your outstanding balance.
A grace period is a period of time during which you can pay off your credit card balance in full without incurring interest charges. It typically lasts around 21-25 days from the end of a billing cycle. If you pay the full balance within this period, you won't have to pay any interest on your purchases.
Credit cards may have various fees, including annual fees, late payment fees, balance transfer fees, cash advance fees, foreign transaction fees, and more. It's important to review the terms and conditions of a credit card to understand the fees associated with it.
Using a credit card responsibly can help build a good credit history. Paying your bills on time, keeping your credit utilization low (using a small portion of your credit limit), and avoiding excessive debt can contribute to a positive credit score and a healthy credit profile.
Yes, foreigners residing in the UAE can apply for credit cards. However, eligibility criteria may vary among banks, and some banks may require a specific minimum income or employment status.
The required documents may vary depending on the bank, but common requirements include:
  • Passport copy
  • Residence visa copy
  • Emirates ID (Identity Card) copy
  • Proof of income (salary certificate, employment contract, or bank statements)
  • Proof of address (utility bill or rental agreement)
UAE banks offer a wide range of credit cards to suit different needs, including:
  • Rewards credit cards: Earn points or cashback on purchases.
  • Travel credit cards: Offer travel benefits, such as airline miles or airport lounge access.
  • Cashback credit cards: Provide cash rebates on eligible purchases.
  • Islamic credit cards: Comply with Shariah principles, avoiding interest-based transactions.
A salary transfer credit card is a type of credit card offered by some banks in the UAE. To qualify for this card, you usually need to transfer your salary to the bank issuing the card. These cards often come with benefits, such as higher credit limits or lower interest rates.
Credit card fees in the UAE may include:
  • Annual fees: A yearly fee charged for card ownership.
  • Late payment fees: Charged if you don't make the minimum payment by the due date.
  • Cash advance fees: Applied when you withdraw cash using your credit card.
  • Foreign transaction fees: Levied for purchases made in a foreign currency.
  • Over-limit fees: If you exceed your credit limit, a fee may be charged.
Yes, most credit cards issued in the UAE can be used internationally, both for online and offline purchases. However, be aware that foreign transaction fees may apply for purchases made in a different currency.
You can typically check your credit card balance and transactions through your bank's online banking portal, mobile app, or by contacting the bank's customer service. Many banks also send monthly statements that provide a detailed summary of your card activity.
Some UAE banks offer credit shield or credit card protection plans. These are optional services that provide coverage in case of unforeseen events like job loss, disability, or death. These plans may help cover outstanding balances or minimum payments during difficult times.
Missing a credit card payment can result in late payment fees and interest charges on the unpaid balance. It may also negatively impact your credit history and credit score. It's important to make at least the minimum payment by the due date to avoid these consequences.
To cancel a credit card, you typically need to contact the bank's customer service or visit a branch. The bank will provide you with the necessary instructions and may require you to settle any outstanding balance before canceling the card.
Citi Cashback Credit Card, Standard Chartered Cashback Credit Card, Mashreq Cashback Card, HSBC Cash + Credit Card & Emirates Islamic Skywards Signature Credit Card are among the best credit cards in the UAE. The best credit card for you will depend on your individual financial needs, spending habits, and preferences.
Yes, there are credit cards available in the UAE. Credit cards are widely offered by various banks and financial institutions in the UAE. These credit cards can provide benefits such as Cashback, Airport Lounge Access, Travel Rewards, discounts at local and international merchants, and more.
Some general factors that are often considered when evaluating eligibility for a credit card are Age, Income, Employment, Residency Status, Credit History, Credit Score & Documentation. Each bank may have its own specific requirements and criteria.
The easiest credit card to get can vary based on factors such as your income, credit history, employment status, and the specific policies of different banks. Entry level credit cards are also offered by some banks. ADCB TouchPoints Titanium Credit Card, FAB Standard Credit Card, RAK Bank Red Mastercard Credit Card, & more are some of the easiest credit cards to get in the UAE.