It’s no secret the UAE is a nation obsessed with travel – be it back to residents’ homelands, escaping the summer heat, enjoying one of the many public holidays, or making the most of its position in the centre of the world – and award-winning airlines and airports. A travel credit card is a fantastic way to earn points on day-to-day purchases and use them towards free hotel stays and flights or room or cabin class upgrades, all while enjoying perks like lounge access, valet service, discounts and complimentary golf. From cards with 50% off beach and pool days to free hotel nights every year, here are the best credit cards in the UAE for travellers.
Marriott Bonvoy World Mastercard from Emirates NBD
Cost per year: AED1,575
Minimum salary requirement: AED25,000
Apply now: emiratesnbd.com
Another one of the best credit cards in the UAE for travellers and hotel lovers is Emirates NBD’s Marriott Bonvoy World Mastercard, allowing cardholders access to Marriott’s incredible global portfolio of properties – which includes brands like EDITION, Ritz-Carlton, St Regis and JW Marriott. The card allows holders to earn up to 150,000 bonus points, enjoy free night stays at more than 8,100 hotels worldwide and enjoy room upgrades, free flights, VIP experiences and more. Holders of this UAE credit card will be automatically upgraded to Marriot Bonvoy Gold Elite status – which gives a multitude of benefits like 25% more points, room upgrades and 2pm late check out – and have VIP access to Marriott Bonvoy moments and receive one free night’s hotel stay when renewing their card. Airport lounge access to more than 1,000 cities in 300 countries, complimentary UAE golf across, the chance to transfer points to over 40 airlines and 6 points per US$1 spent at hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy are all top perks of this UAE credit card.
ALL – ADCB Signature Credit Card
Cost per year: AED1,050
Minimum salary requirement: AED20,000
Apply now: adcb.com
Launched in 2022, ADCB’s ALL Signature Credit Card was highly anticipated, giving users a chance to earn coveted points to use at one of the region’s most prolific and dynamic hotel groups, Accor. Partnering with Accor’s loyalty programme, ALL, the credit card allows you to acquire points to redeem on hotel stays, along with getting automatic discounts just for being a card member – like 50% off beach, pool and gym passes at select Accor hotels in the UAE, 35% off all-inclusive beach access at select Rixos resorts in the UAE, 25% off spa treatments at UAE Accor hotels and fast-track upgrade to Gold status, and $50 f&b credit and late check-in and check-out during hotel stays. A free night’s stay is also awarded to the cardholder after each annual renewal. With Accor brands including Raffles, Fairmont, Sofitel, Rixos, SO/ and M Gallery, this is, perhaps, the best credit card in the UAE for hotel and staycation lovers. Hotel and lifestyle perks aside, the card gives you two reward points per US$ spend at UAE Accor hotels, two reward points per US$ on all international spends and one reward point per US$ on all domestic spend. A special promotion with a 2,5000 bonus rewards point is also available – comprising 7,500 for applying, 10,000 as an introductory offer, and 7,500 when you spend AED20,000 in the first 90 days.
RAKBANK Emirates Skywards World Elite Mastercard
Cost per year: AED1,499
Minimum salary requirement: AED25,000
Apply now: rakbank.ae
RAKBANK’s Emirates Skywards World Elite Mastercard allows new cardholders to earn up to 20,000 bonus Skywards Miles and 40,000 Skywards points per month. The card launched in 2021 and is one of the newer co-branded Emirates Skywards credit cards around, which means its perks are incredibly attractive.
Top perks include an automatic upgrade to Emirates Skywards Silver tier status (and a fast-track to Gold by moving AED 500,000 into a RAKBANK Emirates Skywards Savings Account (more than AED 500,000 deposited will also earn Skywards Miles). Cardholders will also get unlimited access for themselves and one guest per visit to over 1,000 airport lounges across the world – 450 cities and 135 countries.
Cardholders will also be enrolled in GHA’s Discovery Titanium Membership which grants access to exclusive benefits across the world, including guaranteed room availability for bookings up to 48 hours before arrival, room upgrades, early check-in and late check-out. Other perks include complimentary airport pick up and drop off, cinema tickets and discounts, hotel discounts and many more. A supplementary credit card is also available for AED999 annually with Silver tier membership and AED200 without.
Emirates NBD Etihad Guest Inspire Credit Card
Annual fee: AED727
Minimum monthly salary: AED15,000
Get it now: emiratesnbd.com
An affordable and hard-working Etihad Guest credit card, Emirates NBD’s Inspire card gives you up to 60,000 in bonus miles throughout the year (along with a 40,000 welcome bonus if hitting the card’s spending requirements). Cardholders will earn up to seven Etihad Guest Miles for every AED10 spent and have fast-track to Silver Tier upon completing one return flight with Etihad. Other perks include 10% back on purchases made with Etihad Airways (flights, extras, upgrades, in-flight services), and a 25% discount voucher on redeeming miles. Outside of flying, cardholders can enjoy buy-one-get-one-free on movie tickets at Vox Cinemas, complimentary inter-city airport transfers, lounge access to over 1,000 airports and golf and concierge benefits
Alhilal Etihad Guest Signature Credit Card
Annual fee: AED1,050
Minimum monthly salary: AED8,000
Get it now: alhilalbank.ae
Coming in an attractive brushed silver, Alhilal’sEtihad Guest Signature Credit Card is a great fuss-free Etihad Guest credit card with low annual fees and an approachable minimum monthly salary. New cardholders will get 40,000 Etihad Guest miles as a welcome bonus, 5,000 quarterly bonus miles when spending AED37,000 on the card and 20,000-anniversary bonus miles for every subsequent year or subscription on payment of the annual fee.
Points aside, this is a great card for lifestyle, with unlimited airport lounge access and two complimentary airport transfers per year, plus up to 25% back on hotels and restaurants, buy one, get one free on the Entertainer app and a discount at various golf clubs across the world. Fast-track Gold status is also available, with instant Gold status granted when completing two economy return flights or one business class return flight in the first six months of card membership.
Emirates Citibank Ultimate Credit Card
Cost per year: AED800
Minimum salary requirement: AED18,000
Apply now: citibank.ae
Citibank’s Ultimate Credit Card, in partnership with Emirates, allows users to enjoy the benefits of the card an approachable fee of AED800 per year. Users can earn 1 Skyward Miles per US$1 of local spend and a slightly higher 1.25 Skyward Miles per US$1 on non-AED spend. A great addition to the card is unlimited complimentary access to 1,100+ airport lounges worldwide (including one guest free per visit), a free round of golf in the UAE once a month and dining and entertainment discounts locally and across 95 countries. Right now, the card is offering AED800 joining bonus back as statement credit when meeting the mimumum spend.