There is no doubt that some credit cards are turning out to be more expensive than expected. But the best credit cards in the UAE are offering appealing rewards and benefits. Some of these benefits include golf privilege, airport lounge access, cash-backs, healthcare offers, movie offers, dining offers, etc.
If you can’t afford the best credit cards in UAE, you can get free credit cards online too. When you use your credit cards for daily purchases, you have the chance of getting free air tickets. Many air mile cards include some other benefits like pick-up and drop-off service, departure airport lounge access, travel insurance, etc. As long as you pay your complete bill on time, you can enjoy the benefits of your credit card.
It’s tough to choose the best air miles credit cards when there’s plenty of it available. But there are some factors that can help you get the best air mile cards for you, like your salary. Also, some air miles offer frequent flyer program by partnering up with several airlines while others are partnered with a particular airline.
Now that you have your air mile cards, let’s discuss ways to maximize your UAE air miles.
You can earn mileage points according to the traveled distance, your frequent flyer status, the type of ticket you had and the class you flew in. You can easily calculate your mileage points by using the calculator on the Etihad and Emirates websites.
Partnerships and Codeshare Agreements
Almost 500,000 open rewards member of Flydubai enrolled in Skywards last summer when Emirates and flydubai integrated their loyalty programs. According to Emirates, almost 300 million skywards miles have been earned by the 125,000 Skywards members from flydubai flights, since then. Emirates has also partnered up with 12 airlines through which the members can redeem points. Some of these airlines include South Africa Airways, Qantas and Air Mauritius.
Meanwhile, Etihad has teamed up with more than 20 airlines including American Airlines, Philippine Airlines, etc.
Credit and Debit Cards
The members can also earn points by using their debit and credit cards as both the airlines have partnered up with the banks. You can earn a point for every dirham spent. The annual fees charged on these cards are somewhere between Dh400 to Dh3000. Generally, you get more miles when you make international transactions or you purchase from the airline’s website compared to local purchases. Beware that not all purchases qualify and that there is a monthly limit on mileage points.
Emirates has partnered up with Emirates NBD, Emirates Islamic, and Citibank while Etihad has partnered up with Abu Dhabi commercial bank, First Abu Dhabi Bank and Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank.
In the beginning month of this year, Emirates Islamic introduced a new debit and savings card which offered up to 5 miles per dollar. This is the highest skywards miles offered in the market. However, there is a catch. And that is the minimum balance required to open the bank which is Dh500000. There is also an annual fee of Dh2500 (first year) and then from the second year, it turns to monthly fee of Dh200.
Emirates reboot their family rewards program last year in May where they allowed 8 members of a family to pool their miles. Within the 8 members, the ‘family head’ was also included in it. The only catch was that the miles earned through traveling in a non-emirates flight and miles earned via other ways like usage of credit cards would not be added to the family account.
According to Nejib Ben-Khedher, Senior Vice President of Emirates Skywards, some aspects of the family account might change in the future.
Whereas Etihad has offered Family membership since the Etihad guest program started 12 years ago, according to Mr. Al Yousuf. Etihad’s family membership also allows the pooling of miles by its members.
Both, Emirates and Etihad, have partnered up with numerous hotels, cars, and retail outlets. The lists of their partners are easily available on their websites.
Emirates has also partnered up with Dubai mall which offers 1 mile for a dollar spent and if you rent Hertz car, you will earn 3.5 miles for every dollar spent.
While Etihad has teamed up with Pan Emirates furniture to offer its members 2 miles for every Dirham spent. Etihad has also partnered up with Abu Dhabi’s Warner Brothers world to offer 1 mile for every dollar spent there.
Over to you
To make the most of your Hard-earned air miles, it would be better for you to trade them for flight tickets or upgrades rather than making online purchases. Make sure to use the miles before it gets expired. If you don’t have much mileage points, you can use them for gift cards or any other option that you want. If you have enough to buy a flight ticket, make sure to get a flight ticket, as far into the future as possible, which has the option of date change available. So, when the need arises, you can change the date and use that ticket for travel rather than letting it go to waste by expiring.