Your Credit card guide in UAE

With credits and facilities, come charges and responsibilities. Credit cards are not for the spendthrift and weak willed ones. You need to be wiser and thrifty when it comes to owning a credit card. Through this article we will try to form a manual, addressing some of the basic concerns that require contemplation before acquiring or using a credit card.

What is a credit card?

It refers to a card which lets you spend money on a credit basis but only up to a pre-set limit after which you will be charged with an interest on the percentage of money that you have borrowed from the provider.

It’s purposes

  • Shopping
  • Daily expenditure
  • Repayment of debt
  • Payment of bills
  • School fees
  • Traveling

Things that you need to consider before applying or while using a credit card

  • Interest rates: They vary from providers to providers. One should be aware of it to avoid getting high interest charged. Interest rates depend on banks, credit history, employment status.
  • Annual fee: They are charged annually to your credit card. Be careful in reading the terms and conditions. Make sure you read all the terms and conditions before signing on anything.
  • Exchange rate: This you need to be careful about if you’re traveling abroad. Make sure you have a good international spendings plan if you travel abroad a lot.
  • Minimum salary: most of the credit cards have a minimum salary for you to avail them, make sure you are aware of it.
  • Benefits: banks usually provide various credit card offers for different purposes. Make sure you are aware of the offers that are provided and choose a card that benefits you likewise.
  • Other charges: read the fine print thoroughly and make sure you’re aware of all the other fees and charges to avoid surprises.
  • Credit limit: this is the limit your bank agrees to provide you with or you qualify for. Know your limit.

Picking a card

A number of factors contribute while making this decision, such as

  • If you’re the type who pays off the balance in full, then you shouldn’t be bothered about interest rates. You should be looking for credit cards in UAE that reward spending instead.
  • If you are looking to purchase a refrigerator or a washing machine, but cannot afford to pay the whole amount in a go. In that case, 0% on purchases will be a better deal for you as it would spread the purchase.
  • If you are looking for a card to pay off your existing debts, then make sure you acquire a 0% balance transfer card.
  • If you travel more frequently then you should be looking for cards which charge low exchange fees abroad and higher rewards and air miles.
  • Cashback cards are good if you use your credit card for daily use or for paying bills. But they are mostly not applicable in all scenarios.

Further evaluation and best cards available in the market for the same

For everyday spending

We need to choose a card which provides offers such as cash back, buy one get one free and at a minimal or no annual. Some of the cards available in the market with such offers are:

  • Majid Al Futtaim (Najm) Blue Visa Card: Minimum salary AED5000, it offers 2% cashback on all purchases from the hypermarket Carrefour, and 1% cashback on purchases from all other locations. including buy-one-get-one-free offers on movie tickets at any VOX cinema in the UAE. The card has no annual fee and can be used overseas; Foreign exchange fees are applicable.
  • ADIB Cashback Visa Platinum Card: minimum salary AED5000, it offers 1% flat Cashback: anywhere, and also free roadside assistance. (view more details)

For Travelers

we need to choose cards which provide air mile or discount/cashback on purchase of airline tickets, lounge access, valet parking. Some cards which provide these services are:

  • ADIB Etihad Guest Visa Platinum Card:  minimum salary required for this card is AED5000 and at an annual fee of AED 2000, it offers card holders 2.5 Etihad miles on every 4 AED spent on the card. Privileges include airport lounge access, 4 free valet complimentary parking visits per month at most Dubai and Abu Dhabi malls, and roadside assistance. 
  • RAKBANK Islamic Gold Credit Card: Minimum salary is AED 5000, with a foreign exchange rate of 1.5%, Travel accident & Purchase protection Takaful, you can also redeem RAK rewards for air tickets, booking hotels, online Shopping and dining vouchers or can be redeemed for air tickets on 300+ airlines.

Apart from these, there are some more best credit cards like Najm Credit Cards, etc. for travel purpose. 

For education

It is essential that buyers look for a discount is offered by various cards on school fees or any cashback. Points or rewards are also sometimes offered which can be used in multiple manners. Few such cards in the market are:

  • FAB Gems Titanium Credit Card: FAB has a tie-up with GEMS education group, offers up to a maximum of 7% discount on annual school fees paid in advance at any of the GEMS schools in the UAE, it also offers 1.75 stars for every 1 AED spent. These stars can be redeemed for a range of travel and lifestyle treats. There are no annual fees but does charge a late fee of AED 275 on delay in payments.

We should always remember that the right credit card can provide assistance and the help that we require but a wrong one can bury us in debts, hence we recommend you to do a thorough check as well as comparisons before choosing one.

Meet the author
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Hemanta Bijoy Kaushik is a personal finance writer. Discovering his love for writing, he has written a number of blogs on personal finances and other genres on various digital media platforms. He has completed his MBA from IMT and currently working at HDFC bank as Personal Banker. When he’s not writing, you can find him exploring different cuisines and binge-watching TV series. Hemanta hopes to write a novel soon. You can check out his work on


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