Prepaid cards in UAE have become an increasingly popular instrument for payments and transactions. With a prepaid card, you can easily make purchases without carrying cash or waiting in line for long periods.
Unlike debit or credit cards, prepaid cards are not linked to bank accounts or use credit. Instead, they are loaded with money and can be recharged when the balance gets low.
In this article, we will cover the different types of prepaid cards in the UAE and the benefits of using the prepaid card system. We will also discuss the different fees associated with prepaid cards and the various aspects of the best prepaid cards in the UAE for your needs.
Let’s discuss the best prepaid cards in the UAE along with their specifications and features -
(1) Pyypl Prepaid Digital Card
Card’s Validity (months)
Up to AED 3,500
Limit for Cash Withdrawal
Features of Pyypl Prepaid Digital Card
If you don’t use the card for a month, a fee of AED 9 would be charged in the form of an inactivity fee.
On local purchases, you would be charged a fee of AED 1.
On making international purchases, AED 3 or 3.9% (calculated on the transaction) would be charged.
In the case of international mobile top-up, AED 2 would be charged.
No fees will be charged for the loading and reloading of the card.
If funds are transferred to Pyypl accounts, a nominal charge of AED 2 would apply.
Benefits of Pyypl Prepaid Digital Card
You can quickly get a Pyypl card after applying.
You can easily apply for this card with minimal documentation via its app.
Using the app, you can easily track all the expenses made using the Pyypl card.
There is no requirement for post-dated cheques.
Both UAE and non-residents can apply for this card.
You can easily transfer funds to both domestic and international Pyypl users.
If you’re a UAE customer, you can easily remit to other nations like Bangladesh, Kenya, Philippines, Nepal, India, and Sri Lanka.
(2) FAB Ratibi Prepaid Card
Features of FAB Ratibi Prepaid Card
No minimum balance is required
You get complimentary personal accident cover along with the card.
As a FAB Ratibi Prepaid cardholder, you can gain access to a wide range of CDMs and ATMs.
Benefits of FAB Ratibi Prepaid Card
No delays in receiving the salary (for employees)
You can easily check your card balance online.
The moment your salary gets credited, you will receive an alert free of cost.
You can use this prepaid card for cash withdrawal via ATMs as well as offline and online shopping.
24 hours customer support assistance is available for the resolution of your queries.
For employees, the card comes up with complimentary accident insurance.
In case of an accident, one can get a daily cash benefit of up to AED 50.
(3) Al Fardan Exchange TravelEZ Plus Classic Card
Card’s Validity (Months)
Card First Load
Features of Al Fardan Exchange TravelEZ Plus Classic Card
The Al Fardan Exchange TravelEZ Plus Classic Card is provided by the renowned AI Fardan Exchange Centre.
As a user, you would be required to pay AED 30 as a one-time charge for opening this card.
You can reload the card by paying a charge of AED 5.
You can easily make ATM withdrawals with nominal charges.
Benefits of Al Fardan Exchange TravelEZ Plus Classic Card
You can easily manage this card with the help of the official mobile app and website.
You can load your card once a day and up to 12 times a month.
You won’t have to pay any annual membership fees.
AED 100 is the minimum load amount.
(4) Pyypl Prepaid Physical Card
Features of Pyypl Prepaid Physical Card
The card replacement fee is AED 9.
A transaction fee of AED 1 is applicable for local purchases.
In the case of international purchases, you’ll be charged a nominal fee of AED 3 or 3.9% of the transaction.
For international mobile top-up, you’ll have to pay AED 2.
No fee is levied on loading/reloading the card.
For international fund transfers, you’ll have to pay AED 10 or 3.9% of the transaction amount.
Advantages of Pyypl Prepaid Physical Card
You can use the card anywhere around the world for purchases and make secure transactions wherever you are.
With the card, you can shop online, pay bills, and enjoy the convenience of easily accessing your account information.
You can load your Pyyl account using a debit card at any of the MBME UPay kiosks or connect your bank account to Pyypl.
The documentation procedure is easy to complete.
You can send funds to both international as well as domestic Pyypl users.
You don’t require a minimum balance, minimum salary, post-dated cheques, and a bank account to operate this card.
(5) RAKBANK Travel Prepaid Card - Single Currency
Validity of Card (Months)
Benefits of RAKBANK Travel Prepaid Card - Single Currency
Affordable exchange rates
Currency conversion with this card is accompanied by a 2% fee.
You can maintain the card in a single currency.
Facility to immediately block the card in case you lose it
This card is accepted at all venues that accept Mastercard.
You can withdraw cash through this card free of cost at RAKBANK ATMs.
You can use this card for utility payments or any flight bookings, hotel bookings, and shopping.
As a cardholder, you can get up to 5 cards for your family.
You can send an SMS to 2737 with the text ‘BAL’ to easily enquire about the card’s balance.
With this RAK card, you can find numerous deals that can help you save 50% on online food delivery, local shopping, and more.
Through this card, you can easily avail of the “Buy Now, Pay Later” at a 0% instalment plan.
(6) Emirates Islamic Prepaid Card
Card First Load
Benefits of Emirates Islamic Prepaid Card
You can easily load this card either through online banking or by visiting an Emirates Islamic branch.
It comes up with a 3D security feature that requires you to authenticate every time you make any payments for enhanced security.
You can use the card at both domestic and international locations.
You can use the card for shopping, travel bookings, and more.
Up to 30% discount on select restaurants.
If the card is being loaded at a teller counter, a one-time fee of AED 26 would apply.
(7) RAKBANK FC Barcelona Mastercard Prepaid Card
Benefits of RAKBANK FC Barcelona Mastercard Prepaid Card
This card can be reloaded without any charges.
With this card, you can enjoy multiple offers like holiday packages to Barcelona, dining, Buy 1 Get 1 free, football training, and more.
You can withdraw cash from any RAKBANK ATM for free.
The card comes with AED 100 preloaded amount, meaning that you can easily use it the moment it gets activated.
You would be provided with a dedicated app to manage the RAKBANK FC Barcelona Mastercard.
(8) CashU Prepaid Majd Card
Validity of Card (Months)
Card First Load
Features of CashU Prepaid Majd Card
If you want to activate the Majd Card, a one-time charge of USD 1 would be levied.
If you wish to close the Majd card before its expiry, you would have to pay a charge of USD 5.
For funding the card, a fee of USD 1 is applicable.
This card can be used only for online purchases.
USD 1 or 2% of the total expense would be charged for the transactions made through the card.
You cannot renew an expired CashU Prepaid Majd Card.
All the leading merchants in the MENA region accept CashU.
USD 10 is the minimum amount that one can load on the card, and USD 400 is the maximum.
You should have a CashU wallet account for using this card.
As a user, you would need to ensure that the KYC for the account is completed.
(9) RAKBANK Travel Prepaid Card - Dual Currency
Validity of Card (Months)
Benefits of RAKBANK Travel Prepaid Card - Dual Currency
Affordable exchange rates.
As this card is a dual currency card, you use it in AED and USD.
The currency conversion has a nominal fee of 2%.
You can quickly block the card in case you lose it.
You can use the card at any place that accepts Mastercard.
Through this card, you can get travel insurance and protection insurance.
You can easily withdraw cash from any RAKBANK ATM without any extra charges.
You can use this card for shopping, flight bookings, hotel bookings, and so forth.
(10) Majid Al Futtaim Finance (Najm) Mall Prepaid Gift Card
Validity of the Card
Features and Benefits of Majid Al Futtaim Finance (Najm) Mall Prepaid Gift Card
While signing up, you’ll have to pay a fee of AED 7.5 as a one-time charge.
You can easily fund the card with a minimum limit of AED 100.
No documentation is required for this card.
You can easily track the purchases of this card via its application.
Features of Prepaid Cards in the UAE
Prepaid cards have become increasingly popular in the UAE, offering convenience and flexibility to consumers. Some of the major features of prepaid cards in the UAE include -
Convenience: Prepaid cards are easy to obtain and use, allowing users to make purchases online and in stores without having to carry around cash.
Security: Prepaid cards make for a secure payment method. As they are not linked to a bank account, the cardholder’s personal information is not at risk.
Control: Prepaid cards allow users to manage their spending, as they can only spend the amount loaded onto the card.
Accessibility: Prepaid cards are available to almost everyone, with no credit checks required.
Rewards: Some prepaid cards offer rewards programs in the form of loyalty points or cashback, which can be beneficial for future purchases.
Eligibility of Prepaid Cards in the UAE
Discussed below are the eligibility criteria for the best prepaid cards in the UAE -
Prepaid cards are available in the UAE for both residents and non-residents.
To be eligible for prepaid cards, you must be at least 18 or 21 years old (depending on the bank or financial institution offering the card).
You may have to present valid proof of identity.
It must be noted that the criteria for prepaid cards vary as per the institution. For instance, some banks may require you to have a bank account with them to grant you a prepaid card. Before applying for a card, make sure to verify these terms with the institution.
Pros and Cons of Prepaid Cards
Check out the table below for the major advantages and disadvantages of prepaid cards in the UAE -
Offer a convenient way to spend money and can be used where credit and debit cards are accepted Can be used to withdraw cash at ATMs
Prepaid cards don’t offer the same level of protection as credit cards
Safe alternative to carrying cash - the prepaid card can easily be replaced if it is lost or stolen, with the funds remaining protected from fraud and theft
Although the types of fees are generally lower than credit cards, prepaid cards come with various fees such as activation fees, inactivity fees, reloading fees, and more
Prepaid cards make for a great way to help manage your finances - you can load a specific amount of money onto the card and use it to stay on track and not overspend
Prepaid cards can only be used to make purchases with the funds loaded onto the card - you cannot use the card to transfer funds or move money between accounts
Usually less expensive than traditional credit cards
Prepaid cards are not accepted everywhere
Prepaid Cards vs. Credit Cards
Discussed below are the major differences between prepaid cards and credit cards -
Prepaid cards are not associated with a line of credit. They are loaded with your own funds, unlike a credit card that operates on borrowed funds.
No interest is charged on prepaid cards. Credit card payments, on the other hand, incur interest.
While credit card issuance requires the submission of multiple documents, most of these requirements are eliminated in the case of prepaid cards.
For prepaid cards, credit history scrutiny is not done, which is otherwise mandatory for credit cards.
The only similarity between the two types of cards is that both can be used at ATMs, POS, and online payments.
The UAE is a great place to get prepaid cards, with several options available for the same. With a suitable prepaid card as per your requirements, you can enjoy the convenience of using your own money without worrying about the hassle of carrying cash.
Prepaid cards make for a great way to track your spending and avoid the depletion of your funds. However, even though they are not linked to bank accounts, it is advisable to maintain basic safety precautions while using prepaid cards to ensure their safety.
Check out some of the most frequently asked questions related to prepaid cards in the UAE -
Frequently Asked Questions
Q1: How long is a prepaid card valid?
Ans: Prepaid cards are usually valid for a range of 6 months to 5 years. It is advisable to verify the exact validity of your card as it varies from one bank to another.
Q2. Is there any minimum balance requirement for a prepaid card?
Ans: A large number of prepaid cards require the maintenance of a minimum balance. Failing to do so can make the card inactive, which can bring an additional inactivity fee.
Q3. Is cash withdrawal possible using a prepaid card?
Ans: You can withdraw cash from ATMs using a prepaid card. Keep in mind that a cash withdrawal fee is charged.
Q4: What happens if the prepaid card expires?
Ans: If your prepaid card expires, you can get a new card issued or have the old card renewed (if the bank permits).
Q5. Is it possible to transfer the balance from one prepaid card to another?
Ans: The balance from one prepaid card can be transferred to another, although a fee is charged for the same.