Some of the Biggest Pitfalls for Credit Cards in Dubai

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Every credit card in Dubai comes with its own set of terms and conditions, usually in the form of a lengthy document provided to the cardholder. But while cardholders realize the responsibility of owning such a powerful financial instrument, very few actually bother reading the document. This is unfortunate as a lot gets said in the intricate language of credit card terms and conditions that cardholders are left completely unaware of. Even the best credit cards in Dubai come with caveats and restrictions, ones that should be kept in mind before applying for a credit card.

Here are 5 of the biggest restrictions imposed on credit cards in Dubai:

Fee-free Cards

It is said that a single sign bearing the word ‘FREE’ on it can do more to sell a product than weeks of dedicated marketing, and this is true for credit cards in Dubai as well. While many credit cards in Dubai boast of being fee-free, it is not financially feasible for credit card issuers to provide cards for absolutely no charge. Here are what some of the best credit cards in Dubai may charge instead of an annual membership fee:

  1. Some credit cards in Dubai carry a monthly membership charge instead of an annual membership fee. These monthly charges can turn out to be much more expensive than a simple one-time yearly fee.
  2. Instead of holding a yearly fee, credit cards in Dubai may charge a higher rate of interest.
  3. Fee-free credit cards in Dubai typically do not offer the same variety of benefits as compared to their paid counterparts.

Retail Interest

Cardholders are required to make a fixed minimum payment at the end of every billing cycle in order to avoid interest charges and late fees. In order to pose as a low-interest card, most credit cards in Dubai display a monthly interest rate (usually between 2% - 4%). Note that these interest rates can quickly amount to as much as 30% or more annually if the outstanding balance isn’t cleared in full at the end of every billing cycle. Some of the best credit cards in Dubai offer up to 55 days of interest-free grace periods for these payments.

Credit Limit

Most new credit card applicants would want the highest possible credit limit, unaware of the associated charges they would need to bear for the same. While higher credit limits are usually offered only to applicants with good credit history, a higher credit card doesn’t necessarily an indicator of the best credit cards in Dubai. It should be noted that cardholders will be required to submit a security deposit cheque of an amount greater than the requested credit limit. So, the higher the requested credit limit is, the higher the required security deposit amount will be as well.

Rewards Cards

As is evident by the name, a rewards card is any credit card in Dubai that offers the cardholder membership into a rewards/loyalty These rewards can range from daily cash back and annual fee waivers to loyalty points that may be redeemed for flight tickets, travel expenses and more. But while the best credit cards in Dubai may offer unbelievably generous amounts of rewards points, they usually come with strings attached:

  1. Some of the rewards credit cards in Dubai allow cardholders to enjoy benefits only after meeting a minimum spending requirement.
  2. Cashback rewards nearly always have a monthly cap amount, i.e. a limit on the amount of cash back that can be earned during the month.
  3. Most credit cards in Dubai offer reward points only on fixed spending categories.

Foreign Transactions

Many credit cards in Dubai contain the Dynamic Currency Conversion feature, which ends up costing cardholder enormously when conducting foreign currency transactions. The Dynamic Currency Conversion feature works in the following way – whenever an international transaction is made with the credit card, the local currency is first converted into the foreign currency before the respective amount is debited. However, the exchange rate used for the Dynamic Currency Conversion feature is much higher than the standard exchange rates. This causes cardholders to end up paying more for foreign transactions. The Dynamic Currency Conversion feature is automatically enabled on most credit cards in Dubai and in some cases can be stopped by requesting the credit card issuer for the same.

In Summation:

Cardholders should strive to understand all the associated fees and charges before applying for a credit card in Dubai. The provided policy documents can be referred to for useful information on the card in question, while issuers of the best credit cards in Dubai even assign a customer support representative to help clarify queries.

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