Based on latest research from Souqalmal.com, about 84 percent of all credit cards on Souqalmal.com come with a pre-designed rewards structure and offer users either cashback, miles or loyalty rewards points which can be redeemed at various partner outlets for lifestyle, shopping, dining, travel, entertainment and other purchases.
Besides these rewards schemes, credit cards offer cardholders various lifestyle privileges like discounts on movie tickets (like the popular ‘Buy-one-get-one-free’ tickets at VOX cinemas), discounts at golf courses across the UAE including complimentary rounds of golf, free valet parking, roadside assistance and airport lounge access.
Here’s a look at how these credit card features can save you some big bucks.
Fly for free with your miles
Considering that around 85 percent of UAE’s population is made up of expats, travel is big on most people’s agendas. Therefore, to cater to the travel-savvy market, about 43 percent of all credit cards in the UAE offer access to a miles program. These cards either offer miles as the primary feature of the card or as one of the features, giving cardholders the option to convert loyalty rewards to miles with various partner airlines’ mile programs. These miles can not only get you free flight tickets, but also upgrades and discounts on a range of travel related purchases.
Save on dining and shopping trips
Dubai has great dining options ranging from fine dining with cuisines from every corner of the world, as well as popular international restaurant chains. Besides that, Dubai is also home to some of the best brands and flagship stores. It is no surprise then, that about 70 percent of all credit cards offer shopping and dining discounts. Imagine getting a discount of 30 percent on your total bill of AED 1,000. That’s a great bargain, with you spending only AED 700 out of your pocket.
Spend less on your movie experience
Our analysis also shows that 32 percent of all credit cards in the UAE offer discounted movie tickets. Take for example the popular ‘Buy-one-get-one-free’ offer on movie tickets at VOX cinemas. Instead of the usual AED 70 for two tickets, you’ll only have to shell out AED 35. And not just that, you can also up-size your beverage or popcorn for free when you pay with your credit card.
But remember that these deals are finite – most banks put a cap of about three to four free movie tickets per month under this offer. And the offer may only be valid at select cinema locations and for certain ticket types.
Earn cashback on your purchases
Cashback is one of those features that most cardholders look for in a credit card. Over 42 percent of all credit cards in the UAE offer cashback on purchases. When choosing a cashback credit card one must look at the various categories that purchases are usually segmented in. So while a card provider may advertise up to 4 percent cashback, this might only be applicable to utility payments or supermarket purchases, with usually a lower cashback on other retail purchases.
Also, the cashback percentage on most credit cards is slightly higher for international purchases as compared to the ones made within the UAE. Cardholders should also check the maximum limit on cashback before applying. Card providers usually have a monthly or annual cap on how much cashback you can earn, and may have a minimum spend criteria too.
Enjoy premium lifestyle privileges
Usually premium cards offer perks like free valet parking, golf discounts and access to airport lounges worldwide. As per our credit card database, 22 percent of all credit cards offer golf privileges at certain golf courses and about 18 percent offer free valet parking at select locations across the UAE.
The exclusive golf privileges can get you free rounds of golf, discounted golf merchandise, as well as discounts on food and beverages at golf clubs. Remember though, that these offers at times are only available if you book in advance and can be subject to you meeting a minimum spend criteria on the card.