The Credit Card Rewards Game in the UAE

The evolution of the credit card industry means that, even though there are more types of credit cards, taking advantage of the best offers now requires more thought.

Last Updated on November 12, 2014 by Brian Habibi

Credit card rewards and benefits in the UAE have become more diverse over the last few years. UAE banks offer numerous options with different value propositions. The evolution of the credit card industry means that, even though there are more types of credit cards, taking advantage of the best offers has become more complicated and requires a lot more research.

As we have constantly preached, credit card debt adds up quickly and can be extremely difficult to pay off because of the high interest rates. So before you decide to take advantage of credit card offers, you need to make sure you will be able to pay off your credit card bill each month, and on time! There is absolutely no point to try and save money by taking advantage of rewards programs if it means you are going to accumulate debt; so avoid making a very expensive mistake and make sure your finances are in order before applying for a credit card.

With that said, here are a few strategies that will help you maximize savings opportunities from credit cards:

Compare Credit Cards in the UAE to Find the Best Rewards
When rewards cards first came out, they were pretty easy to use. Whatever you spent, you would get cashback, points or air miles in return. Fast forward to today, some credit cards now may only reward you for certain categorical purchases such as groceries, dining, travel or utilities. Whatever the case may be, search for the card that gives you the optimum benefit based on how you shop. Having multiple cards for different purchases is also worthwhile. If one card gives you better savings for purchasing a plane ticket for instance, use that one over a card that will give you cash back for grocery purchases. Bayzat’s credit card wizard makes it easy to find the best credit card based on your spending habits, simply click here to get started.

Bonus Offers
Credit cards often have bonus offers in an effort to entice the customer to use them more. For instance, a credit card could offer its users extra cash back on fuel purchases. Others might give you bonus benefits for making a purchase from a specific merchant. Most introductory offers require you to spend a certain amount in the first month to be eligible for the bonus offer; so make sure you can pay it off before trying to take advantage of such a program.

Connecting to Loyalty Programs
Connecting a credit card to a loyalty program is a great way to accumulate added benefits. A frequently used airline, a hotel chain you prefer or rental car companies are some examples of loyalty programs that can offer you the greatest bang for your buck by linking them to your credit card.

Rule Changes
Credit card companies tend to change the rules every so often to make sure that they are still ahead of the game. Make sure that you are conscious of these changes and know how they may affect your savings on that card so that you can adjust your spending. For example, some cards may amend the rules for their air miles benefits and how the miles are accumulated.

Again, it is important to stress that if you do not pay off your balance on the card every month, you are more than likely not benefitting from the rewards program. Be careful not to fall into the trap of paying the minimum month-to-month, as the interest rate will eat up any potential savings you get from the actual rewards program. In addition, keep in mind that in many cases, late payments will void the rewards you have accumulated during the month.

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