Do Cashback Credit Card Offers in the UAE Pay Off?

Many people have the impression that cashback credit cards are marketing gimmicks with a lot of red tape and restrictions that make it difficult for the cardholder to actually take advantage of the rewards. Throw in high annual fees, and the skepticism is understandable. However, it is important to compare credit card rewards in the UAE as not all programs are created equal. Some are actually practical and the savings are achievable.

Always keep in mind that any potential savings will quickly disappear if you start accruing interest; for this reason, the most important factor is making sure you can pay off the balance each month. If this is feasible, then you can actually benefit from cashback cards. Below, we take a look at how you can actually save money by spending on your card (but only if you pay off the balance!).

Disclosure: While we were not paid to write this article, at the time of its writing, Standard Chartered is a client of bayzat.

Standard Chartered credit cards in the UAE actually provide fairly transparent rewards programs. Through the Titanium Credit Card, a customer can actually save money by making a conscious effort on how they use it. In fact, the AED 500 annual fee can pay for itself through savings in the first few months.

The Titanium Card’s main feature is that it provides Cashback for the following purchases:

Category

Description

Maximum Cashback

Supermarket

Any purchase at a UAE supermarket.

AED 400 per month

Utilities

This includes telephone, internet, TV, Salik, DEWA, SEWA, and ADWEA bills.

AED 200 per month

School Fees

Tuition fees at schools that accept credit card payments.

AED 400 per month

 

Almost all Cashback programs come with minimum spending amounts. The reason Standard Chartered’s program is more practical is because even though you earn cash back on specific categories, the minimum spending limits take into consideration all your purchases, not just spending on certain categories.

So what is the secret?

  • With the Titanium Credit Card, you need to spend at least AED 2,500 a month on all purchases to be eligible for cashback.
  • The Cashback rate and the maximum savings also depend on the amount spent.

For example, if you spend AED 2,499 or less on all purchases during the monthly billing cycle, you don’t get any cash back. If you spend AED 10,000 or more, you get AED 400 (the maximum). In between, it gets slightly trickier:

Spend

Maximum Cashback

AED 2,500 to AED 3,332

3% of amount spent

AED 3,333 to AED 4,999

AED 100

AED 5,000 to AED 9,999

AED 200

AED 10,000 or more

AED 400

 

The same spending requirements and maximum cashback are applicable for school fees. While there are other restrictions such as a minimum cashback redemption of AED 100, the terms and conditions are fairly standard and easy to follow.

So lets take a look at how you can actually save money with the Standard Chartered Titanium Card; assume your monthly spending is:

Category

Monthly Spend

Cashback

Groceries

AED 4,000

AED 200

Utilities

AED 1,500

AED 150

Tuition

AED 2,100

AED 200

Total:

AED 7,600

AED 550

 

These savings do not even factor in cinema ticket discounts and other privileges for dining and travel. It is clear that the annual fee should not be a factor in considering Cashback products such as the Titanium Card, since you can make up for the fee through savings. While you definitely need to look at the terms and conditions, we stress that you should only consider credit cards if you can pay off the balance. The average credit card interest rate in the UAE is 34%, so you can easily erode any savings by incurring interest charges. 

You can click here to view more details on the Titanium Card from Standard Chartered. 

Related articles:

The Credit Card Rewards Game in the UAE

Foolish Credit Card Mistakes You Should Avoid

Your Guide To Cashback Credit Cards in the UAE