When it comes to credit cards in the UAE, you really are spoilt for choice. Using yallacompare, you can compare up to 200 different credit cards in the UAE, with all of them offering various benefits from free movie tickets to help on school fees.
One of the most popular credit card benefits we see on yallacompare is air miles. Using these credit cards, you can earn air miles for favourite frequent flyer programme on your everyday transactions. In theory, if you use your credit card enough (and pay off the balance every month), you can use these cards to earn enough air miles for a flight ticket every few months. In a country where travelling by air is commonplace, that’s quiet a benefit.
But which air miles cards are best? To help you navigate the world air miles credit cards, we’ve put together a guide to the UAE’s best options. Using the information below, you’ll be able to work out which air miles credit card is the right one for you.
Citibank Emirates Ultima Card
As a yallacompare Banking Awards winner, the Citibank Emirates Ultima Credit Card is way up there with the best air miles cards available in the UAE. That said, there are a couple of catches. One is that you’ll have to be a member of Emirates Airline’s Skywards frequent flyer programme, and the other is that you need a minimum salary of AED 36,750 per month to be eligible.
But should you quality for this card, it’s well worth its AED 3,000 annual fee. For one thing, it offers amazing air mile-earning potential. You can get up to 2.5 Skywards miles for every US dollar spent on the card, and you’ll get 25,000 bonus miles for the first year when you sign up. Oh, and Citibank will throw in another 10,000 miles if you renew the next year.
On top of that, you get loads of travel-related benefits. Your Skywards account is automatically upgraded to Silver, for instance, giving access to Emirates’ Business Class lounge whenever you travel. There’s also unlimited complimentary golf sessions at various golf clubs in the UAE, and an international concierge service. And naturally, complimentary travel inconvenience and travel medical insurance comes as standard.
The American Express Platinum Card
Another yallacompare Banking Awards winner, the American Express Platinum Card is designed for people who travel a lot, all over the world, with a host of different airlines. The idea behind it is that you can earn rewards points that can be redeemed for air miles with 12 different airline partners. Naturally, Emirates and Etihad Airways are on that list, so the card is ideal for those living in the UAE.
In terms of miles-earning potential, you can earn two rewards points for every four dirhams that you spend. This means that you can rack up points at an alarmingly quick rate – and simply exchange them for miles with your preferred frequent flyer programme.
Naturally, the card comes with other benefits, too. For example, you get up to 56 days of interest-free credit on your purchases. Plus, you can also have your annual fee of AED 700 waived if you spend AED 10,000 on the card in the first three months of having it. Oh, and if you spend AED 40,000 annually, you’ll never have to pay an annual fee.
NBAD Etihad Guest Signature Card
The NBAD Eithad Guest Signature Card is one of the best air miles credit cards out there if you live in Abu Dhabi and tend to fly on Etihad Airways a lot. NBAD actually offers a whole suite of Etihad Guest credit cards to accommodate a range of salary levels, but we’ve chosen the Signature Card because it offers the right balance of cost versus benefits.
What are the benefits? Well, if you’re earning AED 20,000 per month and are prepared to pay the AED 1,500 annual fee, you’ll get fast-track enrolment into the Silver tier of the Etihad Guest frequent flyer programme. That gives you access to all of the airline’s business class lounges across the world. You’ll also get a discount voucher that’ll see two flights a year cost half as many air miles as the list price.
There other handy savings, too. For example, you get 10% off Eithad Holidays purchases, as well as complimentary Wi-Fi vouchers and complimentary airport transfers and meet-and-greets at both Abu Dhabi International Airport and Dubai International Airport. There are golf privileges and movie discounts included on the card, too.
And you won’t be low on miles if you use this card regularly. You get 3.5 Etihad Guest Miles for every AED 10 spent in the UAE, and five miles for every AED 10 you spend internationally. Online transactions will net you seven miles for every AED 10 spent, and you can earn AED 2.5 miles for every AED 10 of balance transfer from another bank’s card.
Emirates Islamic Skywards Infinite Card
Another card designed for Emirates frequent flyers, the Emirates Islamic Skywards Infinite Card offers amazing miles-earning potential, plus a few extra benefits, too. You’ll need to earn AED 25,000 per month to be eligible, and you’ll have to be prepared to pay AED 2,000 per year for the card’s annual fee, but given the way that this thing racks up air miles, you’ll likely make that money back on flight savings in no time.
How, you ask? Well, just for signing up to the card, you’ll get a complimentary joining bonus of 20,000 Skywards Miles. And on top of that, if you use this credit card for most of your purchases, you can earn up to 32,000 air miles per month. After a couple of months, you’ll have saved up enough air miles for a couple of flight tickets no problem.
In terms of the other benefits, this card offers unlimited complimentary access for two at over 500 airport lounges worldwide, discounts of up to 30% at restaurants across the UAE, as well as discounts at retail outlets in the UAE.
ADIB Etihad Guest Classic Card
The ADIB Etihad Guest Classic Card makes the cut for simply being a no-cost, no-nonsense tool for earning a whole lot of air miles with Etihad Airways’ frequent flyer programme. For starters, you only need to be earning AED 5,000 per month to be eligible (if you’re an ADIB customer, that is), and the annual fee is just AED 500.
Sign on, and you’ll be given 10,000 miles as a joining bonus. Plus, if you meet minimum spend criteria, you’ll be given an additional 5,000 bonus miles. Use your card for most purchases, and you’ll be earning miles like no-one’s business. On top of that, you get preferred rates from ADIB’s travel desk, four free supplementary cards, and ADIB will even throw in roadside assistance.