Did you receive a credit card via courier which you had never applied for? UAE residents have also faced such an issue where they received a credit card for which they haven’t submitted an application. They just received them randomly by their respective banks and cancelling them has been a hassle. Also having an active credit card under your name can have an effect on your DBR.

For example, recently Amina, an expatriate staying in the UAE faced a similar issue.

“My bank emailed saying that they had pre approved a credit card for me. I ignored the email thinking that unless I say, yes I wanted the card, they wouldn’t send it to me. Next thing I know, there is a call from a courier company telling me that they are delivering a credit card to me, one I never asked for. I got very annoyed and told the courier to return it.

Then I had to waste my time on the phone with my bank to cancel my credit card – Why? The moment they issued it, 5% of the credit limit got added to my Debt Burden Ratio and now this card is on record at the Credit Bureau which will affect my ability to get credit in the future when I actually need it.”

View the Debt Burden Ratio calculator

Phillip, a finance executive living in the UAE also shared his experience with us:

“I received a courier with a platinum credit card courtesy of my bank. I rarely use my credit card and mostly in case of emergencies, so applying for a new one was out of the question. That was not the only time this has happened, over the years I keep receiving these random credit cards which are free for the first year but upon activation a charge is applied.

How I dealt with this?  Just kept it in a briefcase and never activated it. Initially I called the call centers and explained the situation but was a waste of time and didn’t get any results.”

Besides sending unwanted credit cards, other unwelcoming situations include increasing credit card limits which is commonly known as ‘Unsolicited Credit Card Limit-increase Offer’. It’s when banks increase your credit limit even when you haven’t applied for it.

[Related: Credit card limit increased without asking?]

Wondering when banks can legitimately issue you a new credit card? Below are a few examples:

  • In response to an oral or written request
  • In response to submitting an application
  • In response to getting a substitute or replacing your current credit card which is accepted by your bank

What should be done after you receive an unwanted credit card?

  • Inform your bank about the unsolicited credit card and request it to be cancelled immediately as certain credit card charges may apply.
  • Receiving an unsolicited card can also raise suspicion of identity theft as a third party may be responsible for applying. In such a case request for credit report from your bank to look for abnormalities.
  • Contact your bank and freeze your account if you feel it has been tampered with.
  • If banks are not responding to your requests you can file a complaint with UAE Consumer Rights.

[Compare credit cards in the UAE and apply online]

Banks tend to avoid such slip ups but sometimes they can be caused due to human or technical errors. Customers need to be careful as it’s easy for your personal information to be misused or stolen.