Let’s explore the various types of credit cards available in UAE.
Maybe you simply want to earn and accumulate reward points for that free airline ticket? Or maybe you want to transfer your card outstanding balance because the interest rate being charged by your bank is astronomical and you want a lower rate or simply you want to use a credit card as a very convenient payment tool? Whatever the reasons might be, there are credit cards for every reason. Here are the most popular types of credit cards in UAE.
1. Travel Rewards Cards
Travel rewards credit cards are possibly the most common credit cards and rank among the most popular credit cards in UAE. There are three different types of travel credit cards:
Airline- Gives you miles with every transaction which you can redeem for free tickets or discounted airfare when you travel.
Hotel- Every transaction gets you points which can be used to gain extra nights and other services.
Flexible- Valid across a range of both airlines and hotels.
2. Cash Rewards Credit Cards
Cash rewards credit cards offer the ability to earn a cashback with each purchase.
Some of these cards may let you redeem your rewards points for gift cards, Amazon shopping credits, or even award travel. However, the most common redemption offerings are statement credits or bank account deposits. These cards are popular in international shopping destinations like Dubai and rank among the top most widely used credit cards by travellers and shoppers.
3. Balance Transfer Credit Cards
Interest rates on credit cards can be outrageous and cost a small fortune. One way to pay off your remaining interest fee is to look for a balance transfer credit card when you apply for a credit card in UAE.
Some travel and cash rewards cards offer 0% introductory offers. These cards can be a good option if you have excellent credit history as you can still earn rewards points on new card purchases. But there also are other credit cards that offer very attractive balance transfer options, up to longer terms.
4. Secured Credit Cards
Most credit cards don’t require a deposit or any kind of collateral. However, if you are found to be ineligible for a credit card due to whatever reason, or your credit score is below the bank’s required threshold, a secured credit card can be a better option. With secured cards, your credit limit is almost equal to your security deposit.
As your credit profile and history changes and your credit score increases, you can begin applying for the regular (unsecured) credit cards.
5. Co-Branded Credit Cards
These credit cards are associated with a particular company, such as an entertainment provider or airlines, therefore they are termed co-branded credit cards. They are loaded with incentives and benefits that can be reaped by the card holder once they understand how to gain advantage from them.
For credit cards with offers, some of the most common affiliations are with airlines, department stores, retailers, telecom companies, restaurants and hotels.
6. Virtual Credit Cards (Also called as Internet or Web Cards)
Virtual credit cards are intangible credit cards that are only available online. These cards are created to carry out online transactions. This type of credit card has a card number, CVV, and validity dates just like a regular credit card without having a physical form you can put in your wallet. Your virtual credit cards will have an e-wallet or will be present in one of the various payment apps in your phone.
7. Tokenised Credit Cards
The newest type of credit cards. Credit card tokenisation is the process of removing all the sensitive data from a company’s internal network by replacing it with a randomly generated code called a token. For instance, if a card number was 1234 5678 8765 4321, it would end up looking something like EG69TY420GQ11L. This token is used to access, retrieve, and maintain a customer’s credit card information to ensure a higher level of security for both the customer and your business. These are some of the most secure credit cards.
8. Islamic Credit Cards
Islamic credit cards in UAE need to be Sharia compliant and free from any activities that are deemed as unlawful in Islam. The main differences between Islamic credit cards and conventional credit cards in UAE are the prohibition of gharar and riba. Gharar is overcharging, while riba is interest. There are no compound charges as overcharging is also prohibited under Sharia law.