10 Tips to Choose the Right Credit Card in UAE

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A credit card offers a variety of feature and benefits. Selecting the right credit card can help you manage your finances. Before selecting a credit card, take your lifestyle needs into consideration as a card is more than a financial instrument that helps to enjoy your life to the fullest. For example, if you travel frequently, you should opt for a travel credit card. Such a card will enhance your overall travel experience with various benefits like free lounge access, priority privileges, etc. You can also earn miles on every purchase that can be redeemed later on for free flights. If you like indulging in entertainment, fine-dining or socializing, the best thing would be to pick a card that offers numerous discounts and rewards.

Credit Card Offers

Select a credit card that offers benefits as per your credit card needs and offers rewards based on your credit card spending. The best credit cards in UAE come in a collection of co-branded, specialized and standard cards that are tailored to suit different lifestyle needs. It all boils down to what features you expect from your credit card. Some of the credit cards in UAE come with a plethora of features. For example, many RAKBANK credit cards come with a host of lifestyle offers such as exclusive shopping offers, dining discounts, premium shipping discounts, MasterCard ‘Buy One, Get One’ Offers, complimentary hotel, and resorts offers and more. So, compare the credit card offers before you select one.

How to Select the Best Credit Card in the UAE?

It goes without saying that picking the best credit card can be stressful at times. What if you settled for a card that can wreak havoc on your financial goals, or choose one that doesn’t meet your needs? We don’t mean to scare you; our objective is to make you aware of the implications of picking the wrong credit card.

When it comes to selecting the best credit card in the UAE that matches up with your needs, these tips will come in handy:

Spending Habits

Before even realizing the need for a credit card, you should be clear-headed about your spending habits. When analyzing your needs with respect to your spending habits, having clarity will help you decide whether a specific card will be able to fulfil your financial objectives in the long run.

In order to understand your spending habits, you can answer the following questions:

  • Do you splurge a lot on entertainment or dining?
  • Does a vast majority of your expenses consist of retail, grocery, and utility payments?
  • Do expenses pertaining to frequent travelling cause a big dent in your overall savings?

After careful consideration, you can analyse and find out whether you need a credit card or not. If yes, the answers will help to decide what type of credit card will suit you.

Annual Fees

Almost all the banks in the region offer free-for-lifetime credit cards. In case a credit card representative lures you into buying a specific credit card, you should ask the applicable credit card fee. There are some cards that charge an annual fee up to AED 2000. Having said that, the cards offer various benefits that can be useful for the applicants. For example, frequent flyers might benefit from a cashback reward credit card that accumulates points for every purchase while travelling. Later on, these points can be redeemed at airport lounges, hotel bookings, car rental services, retail stores, and more.

Interest Rates

No one wants to pay a hefty interest rate on their pending credit card dues. This point is worth considering while searching for the right credit card in the UAE. You can refer to some of the best online sources and find the best credit cards in UAE.

Note - Credit cards offered by Sharia-compliant Islamic banks do not charge profit/interests on the pending amounts.

Rewards and Benefits

Air miles, bonus points, cashback offers, reward points etc. are the various privileges and discounts you can avail with the best credit cards in UAE. If you have gone through the first step properly, you will not find any difficulty in sorting out your preferences.

Keep in mind that some of these benefits are subject to specific terms and conditions, such as minimum amount spend or partnership with select retailers. The moment you sign up for your preferred credit card, the credit card issuer will offer a host of introductory offers. You can also check with the selected banks of your choice to ensure that you get nothing but the best deals.

Supplementary Cards

In addition to the primary card, most banks offer an additional credit card which could be either a supplementary card or an online purchases card. It’s solely up to the user’s discretion whether or not they want to opt for it or not.

Note- Consider the reasons for which you need a supplementary card and then opt for it.

International Expenses

In this fast-paced life, you can enjoy various benefits offered by your selected credit card. For example, if you need a card that you can use abroad as well, you need to do a bit of homework. You should inquire with your bank about the applicable overseas usage rates. Some banks may charge up to 3 % of your spends as processing fee charges each time you use your credit card while travelling overseas. 

Credit Shield Insurance

If you opt for a credit shield add-on cover, a small amount will be deducted periodically for safeguarding you against various uncertainties like death, injury or temporary unemployment, which might affect your financial capacity to pay the outstanding balance on your card. This optional insurance cover is very important if you use the credit card for huge expenses. If you are on the lookout for the best credit cards in UAE, make sure that you do not overlook such a feature.

Instalment Plans

Most popular banks offer zero-interest instalment schemes starting from three months of the date of purchase and onwards. You can compare some of the best credit cards in UAE and check which cards offer the best interest–free options. Some credit cards also come with fee-related offers. Using such a credit card, you can apply for an easy instalment plan for your paying the education fees of your children.

The Fine Print

While selecting the best credit card, most of the people tend to ignore the fine print of the terms and conditions. Take some time to fully understand the applicable terms and conditions as it will help you to have a better understanding of the limitations of a particular credit card. Double check if there is any condition on purchases or specific store.

You ought to check for the details regarding the applicable charges on the credit card. Extra hidden charges can be charged for availing offers and discounts on the card. If you don’t check the fine print of the applicable terms and conditions of the selected credit card, you might have to pay additional charges.

How much can You Pay for Getting a Credit Card?

This is an important question you should ask yourself before you select a credit card. Comparing the various fees and charges of different cards including the annual fee will help you to decide which card you can shortlist. Most credit cards charge an annual fee only to waive it off if you meet the minimum spending requirement.

Typically, banks will deduct interest if you carry your pending amount forward beyond the due date. Similarly, there is a concept of late payment and over-limit fee that comes into play if you spend more than your credit limit or pay off the outstanding balance after the due date.

Over to You

Those who are searching for the best credit cards in UAE should be aware of the points mentioned above. Keep in mind, if you withdraw cash from an ATM using your credit card, you are likely to attract a withdrawal charge. All credit cards come with a monthly credit limit. You should opt for a card that suits your needs. For example, if you are a frequent traveller, a food connoisseur, and an avid movie-goer, then you ought to select a credit card that offers the travel, food and movie-related benefits.

If you do not wish to use your card so frequently, you might want to go for a credit card with a lower credit limit.

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