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Best Credit Card in UAE & Dubai

Are you searching for the ideal credit card that meets your unique financial needs? Look no further than SoulWallet Credit Comparison. We understand that choosing the right credit card can be overwhelming with the multitude of options available in the market. That's why we've developed a user-friendly platform that simplifies the process and empowers you to make an informed decision.

SoulWallet credit cards comparison tool offers a comprehensive and unbiased comparison of credit cards, allowing you to easily navigate through the features, benefits, and rewards of various cards. Our advanced search filters enable you to customize your search based on criteria such as interest rates, annual fees, cashback offers, travel rewards, and much more.

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Whether you're a frequent traveler, a cashback enthusiast, or looking to build your credit history, SoulWallet Credit Comparison has got you covered. Take advantage of our platform today and embark on a journey towards finding the perfect credit card that unlocks a world of financial possibilities.

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All You Need To Know About Credit Card in UAE

HOW DOES A CREDIT CARD WORK?

A credit card is a payment card that allows you to borrow money from a credit card issuer, up to a pre-set credit limit, to make purchases or obtain cash advances. Here's how a credit card typically works:

Credit Card Application: You apply for a credit card by applying to a credit card issuer, either online, by mail, or in person. The issuer evaluates your creditworthiness based on factors such as your credit score, income, employment status, and financial history to determine if you qualify for the credit card. Most of the banks in the UAE have a digital onboarding process which makes it convenient for customers to apply for a credit card at their convenience with minimum documentation. You can find a list of cards that you can apply online here.

Credit Limit: If your credit card application is approved, the issuer assigns you a credit limit, which is the maximum amount you can borrow on the card. Your credit limit is based on factors such as your creditworthiness, income, and other financial information.

Card Activation: Once you receive your credit card, you may need to activate it by following the issuer's instructions, such as calling a phone number or activating online.

Card Usage: You can use your credit card to make purchases at merchants that accept credit cards. You can also use it to obtain cash advances from ATMs or over the counter, although cash advances typically come with higher fees and interest rates compared to purchases.

Billing Cycle: Credit card transactions are typically grouped into billing cycles, which are usually monthly periods. During the billing cycle, you can make purchases and/or cash advances up to your credit limit.

Statement Period: At the end of each billing cycle, the credit card issuer generates a statement that includes a summary of your transactions, including the amount you owe (the balance), any fees or interest charged, and the minimum payment due.

Minimum Payment: The credit card statement specifies a minimum payment amount, which is the minimum amount you are required to pay by the due date to keep your account in good standing. However, paying only the minimum payment will result in interest charges on the remaining balance.

Grace Period: Some credit cards offer a grace period, which is the time between the end of the billing cycle and the due date for the payment, during which no interest is charged on new purchases if the previous balance is paid in full. Grace periods vary depending on the credit card issuer and the terms of your credit card.

Interest and Fees: If you carry a balance on your credit card by not paying the full balance by the due date or if you take a cash advance, you will generally be charged interest based on the Annual Percentage Rate (APR) specified in your credit card terms. Credit cards may also have fees, such as an annual fee, late payment fee, balance transfer fee, or foreign transaction fee, which you should be aware of.

Credit Card Rewards: Some credit cards offer rewards, such as cash back, points, or miles, for making purchases. These rewards may be earned based on your spending and can be redeemed for various benefits, such as statement credits, gift cards, travel, or merchandise, depending on the credit card's rewards program.

Credit Card Debt: If you do not pay your credit card balance in full by the due date, the remaining balance carries over to the next billing cycle and begins accruing interest. If you continue to carry a balance, it can lead to credit card debt, which can be costly due to interest charges and fees.

Credit Card Payment: To pay your credit card balance, you can make a payment online, by phone, by mail, or through other methods accepted by the credit card issuer. You have the option to pay the minimum payment, pay the full balance, or pay any amount in between, but paying the full balance by the due date can help you avoid interest charges and fees.

How to get your credit card application approved?

ere are some common reasons why a credit card application might get rejected:

Poor credit score: Credit card issuers typically check your credit score, which is a numerical representation of your creditworthiness based on your credit history. If your credit score is low, it might indicate that you have a history of late payments, high credit utilization, or other negative factors that make you appear as a high-risk borrower, resulting in a rejection of your credit card application.

Insufficient income or employment history: Credit card issuers may require applicants to have a minimum income level to qualify for a credit card. If your income is not sufficient or if you have a short employment history, it may lead to your credit card application being rejected.

High debt-to-income ratio: If you already have a significant amount of debt compared to your income, credit card issuers may view you as financially stretched and may reject your application to avoid adding to your debt burden.

Errors or discrepancies in the application: If you provided incorrect or inconsistent information in your credit card application, such as inaccurate personal details or conflicting financial information, it could lead to rejection.

Negative financial history: If you have a history of bankruptcy, defaulting on loans, or other negative financial events, it may impact your creditworthiness and result in your credit card application being rejected.

Too many recent credit applications: If you have applied for multiple credit cards or loans within a short period of time, it could raise concerns among credit card issuers about your credit-seeking behavior, and they may reject your application.

Bank's internal policies: Each credit card issuer has its own internal policies and criteria for evaluating credit card applications. Some of these could be an employer verification, company field visit, restricted segments for sourcing, compliance screening and so on. If your application does not meet their specific requirements, it could result in rejection.

It's important to remember that credit card issuers have their own specific criteria for evaluating credit card applications, and the exact reason for your application rejection may vary depending on the issuer and their evaluation process. If your credit card application is rejected, it's a good idea to contact the credit card issuer to inquire about the reason for the rejection and take steps to improve your creditworthiness before applying again in the future.

What should you do to get a credit application approved?

Getting a credit card approved typically involves several steps and considerations. Here are some general tips that may help you improve your chances of getting a credit card approved:

Check your credit score: Your credit score is an important factor that credit card issuers use to assess your creditworthiness. A higher credit score generally indicates a lower credit risk and can increase your chances of getting approved for a credit card. You can check your credit score for Al Etihad Credit Bureau in the United Arab Emirates.

Improve your credit score: If your credit score is lower than desired, you can take steps to improve it. This may include paying off outstanding debts, making timely payments on all your bills, and keeping credit card balances low. Improving your credit score can positively impact your credit card approval chances.

Provide accurate and complete information: When filling out a credit card application, make sure to provide accurate and complete information, including your personal details, employment information, and financial information. Any discrepancies or incomplete information may result in delays or rejection of your application.

Show stable income and employment: Credit card issuers want to ensure that you have a stable income and employment to repay the credit card debt. Be prepared to provide proof of income, such as inconsistent salary credits, breaks, etc., to demonstrate your financial stability and repayment ability. Most of the banks look for salary to be transferred to a bank as they can verify the salary credits into your account using an IBAN.

Keep your debt-to-income ratio in check: Your debt-to-income ratio is the percentage of your monthly income that goes towards debt payments. A lower debt-to-income ratio indicates better financial stability. Keeping your debt-to-income ratio low can increase your chances of getting approved for a credit card. UAE banks, in general, follow a minimum 50% debt-to-income ratio considering your new credit card's minimum due. So, make sure your credit burden is less than 40 or 45%.

Limit the number of credit card applications: Making multiple credit card applications within a short period of time can negatively impact your credit score and may signal to credit card issuers that you are in financial distress. It's advisable to limit the number of credit card applications and only apply for credit cards that you genuinely need.

Review credit card issuer's requirements: Each credit card issuer may have different eligibility requirements, such as minimum credit score, income, and other factors. Review the credit card issuer's requirements before applying to ensure that you meet their criteria.

Be patient and follow up: After submitting your credit card application, be patient and wait for the credit card issuer's response. If your application is not approved, you can contact the credit card issuer to inquire about the reasons for the denial and explore possible options to address any concerns.

Remember that credit card approval is not guaranteed and is subject to the credit card issuer's discretion. It's important to manage credit responsibly and use credit cards wisely to avoid accruing unnecessary debt.

Credit Card Interest Rates in UAE

Credit card interest rates, also known as annual percentage rates (APR), are the percentage rates that credit card issuers charge on any outstanding balances carried over from one billing cycle to the next. These rates can vary depending on several factors, including the creditworthiness of the cardholder, the type of credit card, and the prevailing market conditions.

Credit card interest rates can be categorized into several types:

1. Introductory rates: These are promotional rates that are offered for a limited period, usually ranging from 0% to a low rate, as an incentive to attract new cardholders. After the introductory period expires, the interest rate will typically increase to the regular APR.

2. Regular APR: This is the standard interest rate that applies to the ongoing balances on a credit card after the introductory period ends. The typical interest rates for credit cards in the UAE range from 2.99% to 3.99% per month, which translates to an annual percentage rate (APR) of approximately 35.88% to 47.88%.

3. Penalty APR: This is a higher APR that may be imposed as a penalty for certain actions, such as late payments or going over the credit limit. Penalty APRs are typically significantly higher than regular APRs and can be as high as 30% or more. This is more prevalent in the United States.

Credit Card Rewards in UAE

Credit card rewards programs are incentive programs offered by credit card issuers that allow cardholders to earn rewards for making purchases with their credit cards. These rewards can be in the form of points, miles, cash back, or other types of rewards, and can be redeemed for a variety of benefits, such as travel, merchandise, gift cards, statement credits, and more. Credit card rewards programs can vary widely depending on the credit card issuer, type of credit card, and the specific rewards program. Here are some common types of credit card rewards:

Points-based rewards: Cardholders earn points for every dirham spent on eligible purchases with their credit card. These points can be accumulated and redeemed for various rewards, such as travel bookings, merchandise, gift cards, or statement credits.

Miles-based rewards: Cardholders earn miles for every dirham spent on eligible purchases, and these miles can be redeemed for flights, hotel stays, and other travel-related expenses.

Cash back rewards: Cardholders earn a percentage of cash back on eligible purchases, typically ranging from 1% to 3% of the purchase amount. Cash back rewards can be credited to the cardholder's account, redeemed for statement credits, or received as a check or direct deposit.

Bonus rewards: Some credit cards offer bonus rewards for specific categories of spending, such as dining, gas, groceries, or travel. These bonus rewards may have higher earning rates than regular rewards, providing additional incentives for spending in those categories.

Introductory or sign-up bonuses: Many credit cards offer sign-up bonuses or introductory bonuses, where cardholders can earn many rewards points, miles, or cash back after meeting certain spending requirements within a specified timeframe after opening the credit card account.

Tiered rewards: Some credit cards offer tiered rewards programs where cardholders can earn different levels of rewards based on their spending levels. For example, a card may offer higher rewards for higher levels of spending, providing additional incentives for increased card usage.

Redemption options: Credit card rewards can typically be redeemed for various options, such as travel bookings, merchandise, gift cards, statement credits, or even charitable donations. The redemption options and value of rewards may vary depending on the credit card issuer and rewards program.

It's important to carefully review and understand the terms and conditions of a credit card rewards program, including earning rates, redemption options, restrictions, fees, and expiration policies. It's also essential to use credit cards responsibly, pay off balances in full, and avoid unnecessary spending or carrying balances just to earn rewards. Choosing a credit card with a rewards program that aligns with one's spending habits and financial goals can help maximize the benefits of credit card rewards.

Credit Card Fees in UAE

Credit card annual fees and charges are fees that credit card issuers may charge cardholders for the privilege of using a credit card. These fees can vary widely depending on the type of credit card, credit card issuer, and specific credit card program. Here are some common types of credit card fees and charges:

Annual fee: Many credit cards charge an annual fee for the use of the credit card. This fee is typically charged once a year and can range from a few dollars to several hundred dollars or more, depending on the credit card and its features, benefits, and rewards program. Annual fees are often associated with premium or high-end credit cards that offer enhanced features, benefits, and rewards.

Foreign transaction fees: Some credit cards charge fees for purchases made in foreign currencies or transactions processed outside of the cardholder's home country. These fees are usually a percentage of the transaction amount and can range from 1% to 3% or more, depending on the credit card issuer and specific credit card.

Balance transfer fees: If a cardholder transfers a balance from one credit card to another, some credit cards may charge a balance transfer fee, which is usually a percentage of the balance being transferred or a flat fee, whichever is higher.

Cash advance fees: If a cardholder uses their credit card to withdraw cash from an ATM or obtain cash-like transactions, such as gambling or money orders, a cash advance fee may be charged. Cash advance fees are typically higher than regular purchase transaction fees and may also accrue higher interest rates.

Late payment fees: If a cardholder fails to make the minimum payment or pays after the due date, a late payment fee may be charged. Late payment fees vary depending on the credit card issuer and may be charged in addition to the interest charged on the outstanding balance.

Overlimit fees: Some credit cards may charge overlimit fees if the cardholder exceeds their credit limit. However, credit card issuers are now required to obtain cardholder consent before allowing charges that would exceed the credit limit, and overlimit fees are less common than in the past.

Returned payment fees: If a cardholder's payment is returned due to insufficient funds or other reasons, a returned payment fee may be charged.

It's important for cardholders to review the terms and conditions of their credit card, including the fees and charges, before applying for a credit card or using it for transactions. Understanding the fees and charges associated with a credit card can help cardholders manage their credit card usage, avoid unnecessary fees, and make informed decisions about which credit card best fits their financial needs and budget.

Things to be aware of while using Credit Cards in UAE

When using credit cards, it's important to be aware of several key factors to ensure responsible and effective credit card usage. Here are some things to be aware of on credit cards:

Interest rates: Credit cards typically charge interest on outstanding balances that are not paid in full by the due date. It's important to understand the interest rate (APR) associated with your credit card, as it can significantly impact your overall costs if you carry a balance. Avoiding carrying a balance and paying off your credit card in full each month can help you avoid interest charges.

Fees and charges: Credit cards may come with various fees and charges, such as annual fees, foreign transaction fees, balance transfer fees, cash advance fees, late payment fees, and returned payment fees. It's crucial to review the terms and conditions of your credit card to understand the fees and charges associated with it and factor them into your overall credit card usage strategy.

Credit limit: Credit cards have a credit limit, which is the maximum amount you can charge on the card. It's important to be aware of your credit limit and not exceed it, as doing so may result in over-limit fees, damage to your credit score, and potential negative impacts on your creditworthiness.

Credit utilization: Your credit utilization rate is the percentage of your available credit that you're using. High credit utilization can negatively impact your credit score, so it's generally recommended to keep your credit utilization below 30% of your available credit. Monitoring your credit card balances and managing your credit utilization can help you maintain a healthy credit score.

Payment due dates: Credit cards have payment due dates by which you must make at least the minimum payment to avoid late fees and potential negative impacts on your credit score. It's important to be aware of your payment due dates and make timely payments to maintain good credit card management practices.

Rewards programs: Credit card rewards programs can be beneficial, but it's essential to understand the terms and conditions, including earning rates, redemption options, and any restrictions or expiration policies. Some rewards programs may have fees or limitations, so it's important to weigh the costs and benefits of a rewards program against your spending habits and financial goals.

Security and fraud protection: Credit cards can be vulnerable to fraud and unauthorized charges. It's important to take precautions to protect your credit card information, such as not sharing your card details with unauthorized parties, monitoring your card activity regularly, and reporting any suspicious transactions or potential fraud immediately to your credit card issuer.

Credit card benefits and features: Credit cards may come with various benefits and features, such as travel insurance, purchase protection, extended warranties, and more. It's important to understand the benefits and features of your credit card and take advantage of them when applicable to maximize the value of your credit card.

By being aware of these key factors and understanding the terms and conditions of your credit card, you can effectively manage your credit card usage, avoid unnecessary fees and charges, maintain a healthy credit score, and make the most of the benefits and features offered by your credit card.

Islamic Credit Cards in UAE

Islamic credit cards, also known as Sharia-compliant credit cards, are credit cards that are designed in accordance with Islamic principles of finance. These principles are based on the teachings of Islamic law, or Sharia, which prohibits charging or paying interest (riba), as well as engaging in certain types of business activities, such as those involving alcohol, gambling, or pork products.

Islamic credit cards operate on the concept of "murabaha" or "tawarruq," which are forms of sale-based financing rather than lending with interest. Here are some key features of Islamic credit cards:

No interest (riba): Islamic credit cards do not charge or pay interest on outstanding balances. Instead, they follow the principle of murabaha or tawarruq, where the bank purchases the goods or services on behalf of the cardholder and then sells them to the cardholder at a higher price. The cardholder repays the bank in installments, which includes the original purchase price plus a profit margin agreed upon upfront.

No penalty fees: Islamic credit cards do not charge penalty fees for late payments or over-limit charges, as these fees are considered as interest in Islamic finance and are prohibited.

Restricted transactions: Islamic credit cards may have restrictions on certain transactions, such as those involving alcohol, gambling, or other activities not compliant with Sharia principles.

Eligibility requirements: Islamic credit cards may have specific eligibility requirements, such as being a Muslim or meeting certain income criteria. However, this may vary depending on the specific terms and conditions of the card issuer.

Rewards programs: Islamic credit cards may offer rewards programs that comply with Sharia principles, such as cashback, discounts, or donations to charitable organizations, instead of traditional rewards that involve interest-bearing investments or prohibited activities.

Transparency and disclosure: Islamic credit cards are expected to be transparent in their terms and conditions and disclose all fees, charges, and profit margins upfront to ensure compliance with Sharia principles.

It's important to note that not all credit cards labeled as "Islamic" are created equal, and it's crucial to carefully review the terms and conditions of any credit card to ensure it aligns with your financial goals and complies with your beliefs and principles. If you are interested in an Islamic credit card, it's recommended to consult with a qualified financial advisor or conduct your own research to fully understand the features, benefits, and requirements of the specific card you are considering.

Cash Advance Fee

Cash advance fee is a fee charged by credit card issuers when a cardholder uses their credit card to withdraw cash from an ATM or perform a cash advance transaction. Cash advances are considered a type of loan, and credit card issuers may impose fees and charges for this service. Cash advance fees are separate from interest charges and are typically assessed as a percentage of the cash advance amount or as a flat fee, whichever is higher.

The cash advance fee on credit cards can vary depending on the credit card issuer and the specific terms and conditions of the credit card. As of my knowledge cutoff date of September 2021, common cash advance fees on credit cards in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) can range from 2% to 5% of the cash advance amount or a flat fee of AED 50 to AED 200 per transaction, whichever is higher. It's important to note that cash advances usually accrue interest from the date of the transaction and often have higher interest rates compared to regular credit card purchases.

It's crucial to review and understand the specific terms and conditions of your credit card agreement, including the cash advance fees, interest rates, and other relevant charges, before using your credit card for cash advances. Cash advances should generally be used as a last resort due to the associated fees, higher interest rates, and potential negative impacts on your credit card balance and financial health. If you have any questions or concerns about cash advance fees on your credit card, it's recommended to contact your credit card issuer directly for more information and clarification.

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FAQs

At Soulwallet you can identify which credit card is most suitable for you by comparing all the available credit cards in the UAE. Once you have reached a decision on which card is best suited to you, you can apply for the card by simply clicking on the “Apply” button and filling in a few details.
As per the UAE Central Bank regulations, an individual must earn a minimum salary of AED 5,000 per month to be considered eligible for a credit card. In addition, the Debt Burden Ratio of the customer must not exceed 50% to be eligible for a credit card.
Late payment fees are levied by banks if the minimum payment due on a credit card is not received on or before the payment due date as stipulated on the credit card statement. It can vary from bank to bank but is usually about AED 250 per month.
The Soulwallet Savings Simulator is a financial tool developed to help customers understand which credit cards can offer them the best opportunity to maximize their savings. To use the Savings Simulator, you only need to input your actual or anticipated expenses each month and then review the saves you can earn on different credit cards available in the UAE.
Most banks in the UAE offer customers multiple options when it comes to making payments towards their credit card. The simplest way to make a credit card payment is if you have a savings or current account with the same bank. In such a scenario you can do a direct transfer from your bank account towards your credit card.