Banks and financial institutions usually offer rewards to credit cardholders for using their cards. They try and establish a regular spending pattern among cardholders and incentivize them for the same. These rewards are designed taking into consideration the varied preferences of consumers. One such reward program is Miles.
Miles is a loyalty program provided on regular purchases where you accumulate free reward points, dubbed as ‘miles,’ based on the amount spent. There are two types of miles provided in UAE: Air Miles and Airline Specific Miles. Emirates Skywards Miles and Etihad Guest Miles come under the Airline Specific Miles. With an increase in the number of people traveling for business and pleasure, banks and financial institutions offer Air Miles on Credit Card to help you earn some travel rewards.
Keeping the requirement of frequent travelers in mind, Miles cards allow the cardholder to accumulate ‘miles’ against the transactions done on the card. These miles can be redeemed against travel-based expenses like the purchase of flight tickets, renting cars, etc. Usually, banks offer these benefits based on a tie-up with certain airlines. Due to a strong expat population, many people in the UAE opt for miles as the preferred loyalty program on their credit card. Some banks have started offering a welcome bonus of air miles against high annual fees on the card.
These Miles are offered by airlines like Emirates, FlyDubai and Etihad. Credit Card providers have tie-ups with these airlines and provide miles.
Air Miles can be earned by
- Enrolling on the Air Miles website and making purchases using the virtual card provided
- Or by using air miles partnered credit cards like HSBC credit cards in UAE
Emirates Skywards Miles or Etihad Guest Miles can be earned by using the specific credit cards.
Every merchant/ outlet/ credit card provider offers a different conversion rate which can vary from 0.5 miles per dirham spent upwards. If you focus only on the miles, then you might end up spending unnecessarily to boost your miles which can be counterproductive. Here's how you can earn air miles:
- Check the outlets/ purchase categories that are eligible to earn miles
- Make purchases according to your requirement and earn miles accordingly.
Most banks and financial institutions offering credit cards have Miles reward program for frequent travelers.
ADIB Emirates Skywards Card
ADIB offers skywards miles on the transactions made using the cards. There are two variants of cards provided: ADIB Emirates Skywards World Card and ADIB Emirates Skywards World Elite Card.
- Get up to 120,000 miles on World Elite Card and 60,000 miles on World Card as Welcome Bonus
- Get upgrade to Emirates Gold tier Membership on both the Cards
- Emirates and FlyDubai spends - Get 2.5 miles on every AED 3.68 spent using World Card and Get 3 miles on every AED 3.68 spent using World Card
- Foreign Currency spends - Get 1.5 miles on every AED 3.68 spent using World Card and Get 2 miles on every AED 3.68 spent using World Card
- Domestic currency spends - Get 1 mile on every AED 3.68 spent using World Card and Get 1.5 miles on every AED 3.68 spent using World Card
- Specific Category Purchases (Utility bills, Education, Public Transport, Government services, etc.) - Get 0.25 miles on every AED 3.68 spent using World Card and Get 0.25 miles on every AED 3.68 spent using World Card
- Can avail Home check-in facility for free
- Free airport transfer facility in the UAE
- Access to airport lounges worldwide
- Free access to golf clubs
- Free Valet parking facility
- Free travel inconvenience cover and travel medical cover
ADCB Etihad Guest Above Credit Card
Etihad Guest payment cards reward cardholders for their daily purchases. Etihad has tied up with several banks to offer Etihad Guest Credit cards and an opportunity for consumers to earn Etihad miles. The ADCB Etihad Guest Above Credit Card offered by the Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank has three variants; Infinite, Signature & Platinum with features:
- 12,000 Welcome Bonus Miles on Platinum Card, 35,000 on Signature Card and 60,000 on Infinite Card
- 1,000 Monthly Bonus Miles on Platinum Card, 2000 on Signature Card and 5000 on Infinite Card
- Complimentary one-way Airport Chauffeur service for the Platinum card and Infinite Card
- Complimentary Upgrade Vouchers
- Purchase Protection
- Multi-Trip Travel Insurance
- Balance Transfer and Credit Card Loan
HSBC Credit Card
HSBC Credit cards offer an exciting air miles rewards program along with a plethora of travel and lifestyle benefits. HSBC offers five variants of credit cards Black, Premier, Advance, Cashback and Platinum Select and the features:
- 250,000 Air miles as a signup offer
- Cashback offers
- Complimentary at 750+ airport lounges
- Up to 10% Travel discounts
Emirates Islamic Skywards Infinite Credit Card
It offers not only air miles but also many discounts on the price range and various complimentary offers.
- Upgrade to Emirates Skywards Silver Membership
- Complimentary lounge access with a guest
- Free valet parking
- Multi-trip travel insurance
- Balance transfer facility
⭐ Do Air Miles have an expiry date?
A. Yes. Air Miles earned are valid for 3 years.
⭐ When and how can I start redeeming my Air Miles?
A. Air Miles can be used to book flight tickets, upgrade your flight, renting cars and many such travel related expenses. You must check with the bank for options available for redeeming air miles.
⭐ Is there a minimum criterion to spend miles earned?
A. Yes. In order to redeem the miles earned, you need to have a minimum certain number of miles i.e. to redeem air miles on shopping vouchers, etc. you need minimum 14000 air miles. This may be different in the case of Skywards miles or Etihad guest miles.
⭐ Can I get the details of the miles earned in my monthly billing statement?
A. Yes. The details of the miles earned and available is provided on the monthly billing statement.
⭐ Can I redeem my air miles only on travel bookings?
A. No. Air Miles can be redeemed for travel bookings, hotel stays, shopping vouchers, dining vouchers, and much more.
⭐ Do I earn miles on paying school fees as well?
A. Yes. Miles can be earned on paying school fees using the credit card.
⭐ How many miles do I need to get a free flight ticket?
⭐ Can I use miles to get flight upgrades?
A. Yes. Miles can be used to get flight upgrades.
⭐ What is the validity of Emirates Skywards and Etihad Guest Miles?
A. Emirates Skywards Miles are valid for 3 years and Etihad Guest Miles are valid for maximum 3 years.
⭐ Can I convert my miles to cash?
A. No. Miles can't be converted to cash.
⭐ Can I cancel the miles redeemed?
A. No. The miles once redeemed can't be cancelled.