The 7 Must Check Criteria for Credit Card Comparisons in the UAE

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Credit card use has grown so rapidly in the last decade that it is nearly impossible to imagine the number of issued cards in the UAE, let alone the world. There exists a credit card for nearly every spending category and economic segment. This has made the need for credit card comparisons in the UAE greater than ever before.

But we cannot simply attribute the need to compare credit cards online on the abundance of cards in the UAE. In fact, the need for credit card comparisons in the UAE can be pinned down on two major causes, issuers and the internet.

  1. Issuers: There are so many credit card issuers in the UAE offering near-identical features and benefits at near-identical fees. This has made the need for credit card comparisons in the UAE
  2. The Internet: High-speed internet has enabled customers to quickly compare credit cards online as information is easily available for anyone that requests

For readers interested in holding their own credit card comparisons in the UAE, here is a checklist of 7 things to keep in mind when comparing credit cards online:

Annual Fees

While there are dozens of credit cards with no annual membership fees, they often come at the cost of higher interest rates or lower benefits. Credit card comparisons in the UAE cannot be relied upon solely annual membership fees. However, for customers looking for an affordable card to help build a good credit score, fee-free cards can be an excellent place to begin.

Interest Rate

This is where credit card issuers make their money. Retail interest is charged monthly on the card’s outstanding balance unless the balance is cleared in full. Applicants should not be lured in by single-digit interest rates when comparing credit cards online, as this can amount to enormous amounts if left unpaid. This also ties in with our next crucial criteria of minimum payments.

Minimum Monthly Payments

Credit card issuers allow cardholders to make minimum monthly payments, which are a set percentage of the cardholder’s total outstanding balance. This tempts cardholders to maintain a balance, which the aforementioned interest can then be charged on. When carrying out a credit card comparison in the UAE, applicants should ensure they can make the minimum monthly payments at the very least.

Interest-Free Days

Also known as a credit card’s grace period, this is a certain period of time during which cardholders are not charged a late fee or interest on outstanding payments. As a rule of thumb, applicants should consider longer grace periods when comparing credit cards online. Even a single late day of payment can earn the cardholder a delinquency mark in their credit history.

Earning Rewards

It is commonly noticed that credit cards with a high annual membership fee offer the best mix of rewards and the highest saving potential for cardholders. However, most cardholders make the mistake of ignoring the associated minimum spending requirements and monthly restrictions that go hand in hand with most such rewards. A good way to identify the potential rewards during a credit card comparison in the UAE is to use a savings calculator (either provided on the card page itself or available through third-party credit card aggregators). Furthermore, applicants should also carefully read the terms and conditions for details on minimum spending requirements.

Lifestyle Benefits

For customers who do not wish to spend a fortune on yearly fees and end up using only a fraction of their available rewards, a lifestyle-specific card may be the way to go. Applicants should first identify what they spend the most on in a given month, then compare credit card online for that particular type of benefit. For example, cash back cards that reward the cardholder for grocery shopping.

Blackout & Expiry Dates

One of the most frustrating things a cardholder can experience is watching their hard-earned rewards points expire without having the chance to utilize them. Most rewards points are valid only up for a certain amount of time. As such when it comes to rewards cards, credit card comparison in the UAE should also take expiry dates into consideration. Similarly, blackout dates are times of the year when rewards points become invalid. This usually happens during popular festivals and the end of the year. Applicants are advised to compare credit cards online and find one that doesn’t carry any such dates, in order to enjoy uninterrupted card benefits.

To Summarize,

Before comparing credit cards online, it is important to clearly define one’s own expectations and spending habits. Additionally, applicants are urged not to settle for the credit card they come across and to spend some time making a thorough credit card comparison in the UAE.