How to get a credit card in the UAE

Credit cards have now become essential for paying for the day to day expenses, as they not only give you access to short term credit, but also come with a number of additional benefits such as air miles, cash-back, two for one movie tickets and more.

Once you have gone through all the differet cards, what they each offer and then decided on which is the ideal one suited to you, the process of applying begins.

We have compiled a quick guide on the documents you would need to get a credit card and things you need to think about before applying. In addition to that, if you are happily shopping with your credit card, the last section of features briefly discusses, how to pay your credit to the bank on time.

What documents do you needed to apply for a credit card?

You will need at least the following documents when you go to the bank to apply for a credit card:

  1. Filled in and signed credit card application form
  2. Emirates ID
  3. Original passport with UAE residence visa
  4. Proof of residency (rental agreement, utility bill, or title deed)
  5. Salary slips, certificates or bank statements from the bank where your salary is paid into

Suvo Sarkar, Senior Executive Vice President, Head of Retail Banking and Wealth Management, Emirates NBD said, “Customers can also walk into a branch to sign up. Documentation needed for applying is based on the customer’s banking relationship with us, their salary and other details and will include providing their original Emirates ID, a copy of their passport and specific financial documents.”

Before applying, customers should understand the features and benefits of the different products available to choose the best fit for their needs. Customers should also familiarise themselves with the associated fees and charges and repayment schedules to ensure they have a good understanding of their obligations.

What are the things to keep in mind while choosing a credit card?

Banks offer you credit cards based on your income bracket. First check the choice of credit card you can apply for, depending on your salary.

If you are self-employed, banks can still offer you a credit card provided you keep a certain amount of money in your bank account.

Benefits and associated costs
Different credit cards offer you different benefits, some may offer you travel miles, some will give you cash-back and there are benefits which include free movie tickets, free lounge access at the airports, discounts on shopping, dining, entertainment, and even golfing discounts. Before you choose your credit card, you need to consider the benefits you want from a credit card as depending upon the card you choose, you may have to pay an annual fee. Cards with additional benefits often have higher annual fees.

There are cards for which banks waive the annual fee, if you commit to spend a certain amount of money every month. Then there are basic options which generally come for free. You need to evaluate the benefits you are looking for and your spending patterns, as well as the fee structure of the bank, before you decide if it’s worth paying an extra cost to the bank.

Additionally, if you travel a lot, you should also see how much you will be charged by your bank for using the credit card in another country and for potential foreign exchange conversions.

Interest rate
You should check the interest rates on all credit cards you have shortlisted. If there is a chance that you won’t be able to pay back the entire amount in a month, select the credit card with the lowest interest rate.

How to avoid unexpected credit card bills

Credit cards give access to short-term credit, however, we need to have a financial plan in place so we could return the credit we owe to bank on time to avoid piling up huge fees and financial burden on us.

Suvo Sarkar of Emirates NBD said, “Credit cards are a very useful tool in one’s daily life to make payments seamlessly across face to face, online or in-app channels, access short-term credit, meet unplanned expenditures or emergencies as well as obtain attractive rewards and discounts. Care must be however taken by the customer to ensure prudence in using the product and credit is availed wisely so as to prevent undue debt burden on the customer. Setting a monthly budget, managing one’s spends and finances carefully and paying off credit card dues in time are healthy financial practices that will ensure effective usage of the product. Emirates NBD’s #moneywise platform help customers with setting smart financial goals and providing knowledge about financial products that help make the right choices. The bank has also has created short videos available via YouTube to provide information on cards and other products, as well as holds regular ‘Ask Emirates NBD’ sessions on social media to clarify queries and doubts.”

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