5 Perfect Entry Level Cards for New Expats in the UAE

5 Perfect Entry Level Cards for New Expats in the UAE
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Though picking a credit card is not as simple as it seems, platforms for credit card comparisons in the UAE have definitely made the task much more convenient. With their complicated banking terms and a huge variety of benefits, online credit card applications can understandably confuse and intimidate customers. And this is truer still for expatriates who have newly arrived in the UAE.

For this very reason, the right platform for credit card comparisons in the UAE is crucial in the search for a perfect card. Here are 5 credit cards which we believe are ideally suited to new expatriates in the UAE. Furthermore, all of the mentioned cards can be applied for via an online credit card application form.

Najm Platinum Cashback Card

The Najm Platinum Cashback card ranks highly on any credit card comparison in the UAE due to its low barriers to membership and its enormous saving potential. Najm is a branchless banking institution and as such, all banking operations from application to termination can be performed through Najm’s intuitive online credit card The Najm Platinum Cashback card offers lifestyle, dining, shopping and travel benefits.

  • Annual Membership Fee: Free for life.
  • Monthly Retail Interest: Varies from 3.25% to 3.79%
  • Why We Like It:
    • Up to 3% cash back at Carrefour stores in the UAE and 0.5% cash back at all other Visa accepting vendors. Monthly savings of up to AED 200.
    • Travel discounts on hotel stay, car rentals and airport transfers.
    • Discounts on movie tickets, dining and golfing.

Standard Chartered Platinum Card

With a low monthly salary requirement of AED 5,000, the Standard Chartered Platinum card is hard to beat in credit card comparisons in the UAE. Customers can get the card at any Standard Chartered branch across the UAE or through the online credit card application form. Local and international benefits merge in the Standard Chartered Platinum card to form one of the ultimate starter cards.

  • Annual Membership Fee: AED 525 (Free for the first year)
  • Monthly Retail Interest: 3.33%
  • Why We Like It:
    • 10% cash back across all supermarkets in the UAE, on utility bills and on school fees.
    • Unlimited airport lounge access and discounts on flight tickets, hotel bookings, Careem rides and more.
    • Dining and lifestyle discounts.

ADIB Etihad Visa Classic Card

By partnering with the prestigious Etihad Airways, ADIB has managed to create a stunning travel card which can be used to rack up air miles with ease. In-store and online credit card purchases alike earn the cardholder Etihad Guest Miles. With its low annual fee and profit rate, the ADIB Etihad Visa Classic card is an Islamic Banking card that clearly stands out in any credit card comparison in the UAE.

  • Annual Membership Fee: AED 500
  • Monthly Profit Rate: 2.99% - 3.09%
  • Why We Like It:
    • Cardholders earn Etihad Guest Miles with every purchase, local and international.
    • A currently active welcome offer grants new customers 10,000 Etihad Guest Miles.
    • Complimentary roadside assistance.

HSBC Platinum Select Credit Card

The Platinum Select card is HSBC’s answer to a global travel and lifestyle credit card. The HSBC online credit card application can be successfully submitted for applicants with a minimum monthly income of AED 5,000 only. The HSBC Platinum Select Credit card offers lifestyle discounts and air miles to make travel enjoyable and accessible to all.

  • Annual Membership Fee: Free for life.
  • Monthly Retail Interest: 3.25%
  • Why We Like It:
    • Owners of the HSBC Platinum Select card earn Air Miles for every AED 4 of expenditure on the card. Air Miles can be redeemed for flight bookings, hotel reservations, shopping and more.
    • Purchase protection and extended warranties for in-store and online credit card
    • Access to the HSBC Entertainer app, which contains thousands of complimentary offers for dining, shopping and leisure activities.

Emirates NBD MasterCard Titanium Credit Card

As one of the biggest banking consolidations in the Middle East, Emirates NBD has an excellent idea of what UAE resident want from a card. With its extremely diverse range of benefits and low annual membership fee, the Emirates NBD Titanium MasterCard is a regular feature on any credit card comparison in the UAE.

  • Annual Membership Fee: AED 400
  • Monthly Retail Interest: 3.25%
  • Why We Like It:
    • Cardmembers are enrolled in the Emirates NBD Plus Points rewards program. Cardholders can redeem these Plus Points directly at vendors or as frequent flyer miles and cash back.
    • Free access to airport lounges across the Middle East.
    • Discounts on dining and spa treatments via the MasterCard online credit card app – ‘Buy 1 Get 1’.

A Final Word

While these cards make an excellent ice-breaker to responsible spending, we would still like to advise new expats to conduct their own credit card comparisons in the UAE for the best results.

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