Best Air Miles Credit Cards In UAE-Choosing A Travel Credit Card
We love credit cards! Don’t we? In a modern economy like United Arab Emirates, we can enjoy all the benefits a fast growing country can offer. The financial sector has bolstered the economy with products and services that serve the very needs of UAE residents. Credit card companies offer specialized deals which cater not only to the privileged elite but average residents like me.
In this article I am going to discuss:
#1. what is a air-miles credit card?
#2. Credit cards with Air-miles in UAE
#3. Things to know about Travel Credit Card
#4. Things to consider before you pick a Travel Credit Card
#1. What are Air-Miles credit cards Or Travel Credit Cards?
Air-miles card or travel credit card is a card which allows you to earn points or rack-up air-miles which you can redeem against air tickets, car rentals, retail merchandise, hotel stays, discounts on vacations and also you earn cash. You will get all this by just using your credit card. Along with this, you might also get to enjoy perks and privileges which make your travel comfortable, secure and enjoyable.
The credit card companies usually issue these cards by either partnering with an airline company or independently, which allow you to earn air-miles across several airlines.
Examples: ADIB Etihad Guest Classic Credit Card
Upon signing up for this card, you will receive 10,000 Etihad Guest Miles. So what entails 10,000 airmiles from this particular card?
These 10,000 airlines are enough for you to travel to and fro from Abu Dhabi to Doha, Kuwait, Muscat, Bahrain or Riyadh. Isn’t it great. For every AED 4 dirham spent with your ADIB Etihad Guest Classic Credit Card, you earn 1.5 Etihad Guest Miles.
. with every 1 USD spent internationally, you earn 1 Skywards Mile
. With every 1 USD spent locally, you earn 0.75 Skywards Miles
#2. Credit cards with Air-miles in UAE
This is a low interest, no annual fee credit card by HSBC. For every 1 AED that you spend with your credit card, you earn 1 air-mile which you can redeem against flight tickets and shopping vouchers.
Upon signing up for this card, you get a welcome bonus of 10,000 Etihad Guest Miles, and for every 4 AED spent internationally, you earn 1.5 Etihad Guest Miles and 1.1 Etihad Guest Miles for every 4 AED spent locally.
With a welcom bonus of 50,000 Etihad Guest Miles, for every 4 AED international transaction, you earn 3 Etihad Guest Miles and 2.2 Etihad Guest Miles for every 4 AED spent locally.
With this card, you get a welcome bonus of 35,000 Etihad Guest Miles. 2 Etihad Guest Miles for every 4 AED spent internationally and 1.65 Etihad Guest Miles for every 4 AED spent locally.
Other UAE travel credit cards include:
#3. Four Things To Know About Air-Miles Credit Card
a. You Can Earn And You Can Redeem
Air-miles credit cards allow you to earn points or airline miles whenever you use your card which you can redeem against flight tickets, hotel rooms and retail merchandise. The miles earned may vary from card to card and different kinds of purchases to flight bookings. So it is important that you read the terms of usage of your travel card in the fine print. This information is usually publicly available on bank’s website.
Example: HSBC Advance Credit Card
Click the link above to know more about earning airmiles on HSBC Advance Credit Card.
b. Exclusive Benefits
Many a times, the issuing bank partners with an airline company and offer exclusive benefits if you travel by that particular airline.
Example: ADIB Etihad Guest Classic Card
If you book Etihad Airways flights with your ADIB Etihad Guest Card, then Murabaha Monthly Profit up to 12 months is waived 100%. Also the processing fees are waived.
You can pay your annual fee using Ethihad air-miles. You can also enjoy so many other benefits like exclusive discounts on travel bookings, electronics, gifts etc.
c. Two Types of Travel Credit cards
They can either be sponsored by airline companies or by banks. If it is an airline sponsored plastic, then you might enjoy the benefits conferred only if you travel by that particular airline and also you might be rewarded with initial bonus miles and exclusive privileges and perks on that particular airline.
With bank sponsored air-miles card you don’t have to limit yourself to a particular airline and you can choose the airline of your liking and still earn benefits.
d. Annual Fees
Great value comes with a cost and usually travel credit cards are not free. They come with an annual fee which will be pretty high. So please don’t miss out on this detail. The benefits that you get from your travel credit card should always be more than the annual fee that you pay. If not, you don’t need that airline miles credit card.
#4. Tips For Choosing An Air-Miles Credit Card Or Travel Credit Card
Whether you are a frequent traveler or not, earning air-miles, discounts and free stays is enticing and enjoyable. But before you can sign-up for an air-miles credit card in UAE, consider the following below:
a. Favorite Airline:
If you are a frequent traveler and if you like to travel with a particular airline and like to stay at selective few hotels, then a co-branded air-miles credit card makes more sense. Such travel credit cards might have exclusive offers which would make your travel more enjoyable, cheap and also with added perks and security.
For example- ADIB Etihad Guest Classic Card
When you sign-up of this card, you earn earn Etihad Guest Miles when you fly with Etihad Airways or spend locally or internationally with your card. Also there is an enticing bonus offer. You can redeem your Etihad Guest Miles against flight bookings, electronics and home accessories.
But if you like to experiment with different airlines, then a travel oriented general credit card is better. You can earn air-miles on flight tickets across many airlines, get hotel stay discounts across many hotel chains, discounts in restaurants, car rentals and so on.
b. Sign-Up Bonus
A hefty initial sign-up bonus could be equivalent to several free flights and also hotel rooms stays. So look for a card which offers an attractive initial bonus air- miles.
Example: NAJM Voyager Signature Credit Card offers 100,000 signup rewards. These rewards can be redeemed against travel services across 400 plus airlines, 175,000 hotels and so on.
Before you take any step, check the criteria for eligibility and the approval process of the card. One important point to take into account is the annual fee and if there is any minimum spending requirement. Weigh all these factors and if all look good, you might as well enjoy a hefty free initial bonus offer of rewards or miles.
c. Air-Miles To AED
There are a lot of air-mile credit cards in UAE which offer one air-mile or point for every Dirham or AED spent. But you can do better by finding a credit card which offers more points for every AED spent with particular brands or retailers, thus helping you to rack up more miles easily.
d. Foreign Transaction Fee/Currency Conversion Fee
Whenever you use your travel credit card outside UAE’s borders, you might be charged a fee or an interest for making this facility available to you. So it is better to check how much is the fee or the rate of interest. If it is too high, compare with other credit cards.
e. Time To Redeem Your Miles
It is important to check the time period you have to redeem your points or air-miles. Read your fine print to know exactly when your air-miles will expire. You wouldn’t want to lose those carefully accumulated miles just because you ignored to read the terms and conditions of your points usage.
Credit card with air-miles can fetch you a lot of free flights, free hotel stays, discounted car rentals, retail discounts and free gifts. But do mind the annual fee, the minimum spending requirement, interest rate and foreign transaction fees. If the interest rates and the fee far out-weigh the benefits that you get from your air-miles or reward points, you are better off choosing a normal credit card. Before you sign-up for a credit card, take time to know your specific requirements, your spending habits and your affordability to pay off your monthly credit card bill.