Emirates Skywards Credit Cards

All you need to know about Emirates Skywards Credit Cards!

The Emirates Skywards miles programme is one of the best, premium airmiles programmes offered by any airline in the world. It gives members the opportunity to redeem their Emirates Skywards miles against flight ticket purchases and ticket upgrades on Emirates airlines in addition to other options such as hotels and travel bookings.

Skywards miles programme members can earn miles by purchasing tickets on Emirates airlines, however, another popular option to earn miles used by thousands of UAE residents is by using an Emirates Skywards co-branded credit card. These credit cards are issued as part of a joint arrangement between Emirates Airlines and the banks issuing the credit cards.

In the UAE there are several such co-branded airline credit cards offered by many banks. While the main objective to apply for an miles credit card is primarily to earn rewards in the form of “miles” and use those miles for flight tickets and upgrades there are other unique benefits offered by these cards which also vary significantly from one credit card to another. The focus of this article are Emirates Skywards co-branded credit cards and to help readers understand which of the many options available are best suited to them.

Banks in UAE that currently offer Emirates Skywards co-branded credit cards are –

  • Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank (ADIB)
  • Citibank
  • Dubai Islamic Bank
  • Emirates Islamic Bank
  • Emirate NBD

Across these 6 banks there are currently a total of 14 different Emirates Skywards credit cards offered. These are broadly categorised based on the minimum income required to be eligible for each credit card, the features and benefits offered, annual fees charged and so on.

Income Eligibility

The monthly minimum income requirement for Emirates Skywards credit cards are as below:

Credit CardMin. Salary
Dubai Islamic Emirates Skywards Platinum Credit CardAED 5,000
Citibank Emirates WorldAED 12,000
Emirates Islamic Skywards Signature Credit Card AED 12,000
ADIB Emirates Skywards World CardAED 15,000
Dubai Islamic Emirates Skywards Signature Credit CardAED 15,000
Emirates NBD Skywards Signature Credit CardAED 15,000
Citibank Emirates UltimateAED 18,000
ADIB Emirates Skywards World Elite Card AED 25,000
RAKBANK Emirates Skywards World Elite Mastercard Credit CardAED 25,000
Emirates Islamic Skywards Infinite Credit Card AED 25,000
Emirates NBD Skywards Infinite Credit CardAED 30,000
Dubai Islamic Emirates Skywards Infinite Credit Card AED 35,000
Citibank Emirates Ultima AED 36,750


Which is “The Best Emirates Skywards credit card” in the UAE?

While many readers would want to scroll directly to this section to find out the ‘best’, the reality, as is often the case, is that among the many options available there is no single “Best Emirates Skywards credit card” for everyone. Different Skywards credit cards offer different benefits. In the sections below we will help you identify which one is the “the best Skywards credit card for you” based on your specific needs, spend patterns and priorities as an individual.

Please note that the best credit cards identified tend to be ‘premium’ credit cards as they understandably have the highest rewards as well as features and benefits that the bank can offer. As such, these Skywards cards are likely to have higher annual membership fees. However, the benefits offered by these credit cards most often can easily justify the annual fees charged. This is especially true if the cardholder takes advantage of the specific features and benefits on offer – another reason to ensure they apply for credit cards most suited to their specific needs. However, there are also a few Emirates Skywards credit cards which have very low annual fees while still offering good benefits which can also be considered.EARNING SKYWARDS MILES FROM EVEN REGULAR ‘EVERY DAY’ SPENDS

Best for – Maximum Miles Earning Potential

This is perhaps the most important feature to be considered for any Emirates Skywards co-branded credit card as the main purpose for a cardholder is to maximize Skywards miles earned by using their credit cards.

This is also an aspect where there are significant differences in earning rates and eligibility requirements between the different Skywards credit card options available. Readers are advised to review the conditions carefully before arriving at a decision on which card is best suited to their specific spend patterns.

It is important to note that the cards in this category typically do not offer high earn rates on some regular, day-to-day categories such as groceries, utilities, fuel, school fees etc. but instead offer very high earn rates on almost all other types of spends - think electronics, clothes, luxury, travel, dining and most other categories. Depending on the individual’s spend patterns these cards are potentially the best options to earn the absolute maximum Skywards miles from your credit card spends.

ADIB Emirates Skywards World Elite Credit Card

Emirates Islamic Bank Skywards Black Credit Card

Citibank Emirates Ultima credit card

The ADIB Emirates Skywards World Elite credit card is an excellent option to maximise your Skywards miles earnings as it offers 3 Skywards miles per USD spent at Emirates Airline as well as offering 2 Skywards miles/USD for foreign currency spends and 1.5 Skyward miles/USD for domestic purchases.

The Emirates Islamic Bank Skywards Black Credit Card offers 3.5 Skywards miles for every 1 USD spent at Emirates airlines. This is the highest offered by any credit card in the UAE currently.

The Citibank Ultima credit card offers an extremely attractive combination of a high miles earn rate along with very minimal spend category restrictions. This credit card offers an even better earning rate on purchases made at Emirates as compared to the DIB Skywards Infinite credit card (which is also a great option). So, if you are a big spender at Emirates then this is the card to get to maximise your Skywards rewards. Compared to the Dubai Islamic bank Skywards Infinite card, it pays a lower earnings rate on two specific categories.
Earn rates are lower for specific everyday categories such as groceries, utilities, government spends, fuel, school fees, Salik etc. but for almost every other type of spend category this is an excellent option. In addition to the high Skyward miles earn rates, this card also has other very compelling features including complimentary Emirates Airlines home check-ins, Skyward Gold tier membership and so on.
In addition to this, it also offers 2 Skyward miles per USD equivalent of foreign currency spends and 1.5 Skyward miles per USD of domestic spends. This is again the highest offered by any Skywards credit card in the UAE (along with the ADIB World Elite Skywards credit card which also offers the same).

While this card has lower earn rates for some specific every day categories (grocery, fuel, utilities etc.) for all other purchases this is indeed a really powerful option to maximise your Skywards miles earnings.
Emirates Skywards miles earned per USD (equivalent) spent on the card:
2.5 Skywards miles for purchases made at Emirates online or at Emirates sales offices
1.5 Skyward miles for purchases made in foreign currencies
1 Skyward mile for all other local purchases
Spends at groceries/supermarkets and related to real estate will earn 0.5 Skywards miles per USD of spend and government services and utilities spends earn no miles

Best for – Earning Skyward Miles From Even Regular “Everyday” spends

These credit cards have the most ‘coverage’ of spend categories, that is they hardly exclude any category of spends from earning miles. Hence these cards have the advantage of ensuring that you earn Skywards miles no matter whether you’re buying groceries or paying for your child’s school fees.

Depending on your individual spend patterns, these cards could potentially save you the most of all the Skywards credit card options available. To see your specific individual savings on each please use the Savings Calculator on www.soulwallet.com.
Emirates Skywards Dubai Islamic Bank Infinite Credit Card

RAKBANK Emirates Skywards World Elite Credit Card

Dubai Islamic Bank Emirates Skywards Signature Credit Card

DIB Skywards signature
The Emirates Skywards Dubai Islamic Bank Infinite Credit Card is arguably the best credit card to maximise Emirates Skywards miles earnings as it offers an excellent combination of high earn rates on specific categories as well as no excluded spend categories.

This is indeed a rarity as almost all other Emirates Skywards credit cards have restrictions on some segments of spend (such as groceries, utilities and so on) which have a lower earning rate.
The RAKBANK Emirates Skywards World Elite credit card is also a great option to earn rewards on regular everyday spends. This card has a different way of awarding points – a fixed number of points are awarded for specific spend ranges.

As the number of Skywards miles are fixed for a specific spend range the actual earn rate can vary depending on how much you have specifically spent within that range. But rest assured, it is very competitive with other options available and again with the key benefit of not excluding several regular day to day spend categories (groceries, fuel, telecom, utilities etc.).

This card does, however, have a maximum cap of 40,000 Skyward miles per month.
The Emirates Skywards Dubai Islamic Bank Signature Credit Card is a great option just like it’s bigger “brother” the DIB Skywards Infinite credit card.

While it offers a slightly lower earn rate it also has a lower annual fee (AED 1,500 vs. AED 2,500) and also has the added benefit of having a lower minimum salary requirement (AED 15,000 vs. AED 35,000 for the Infinite).

It also offers an excellent combination of high earn rates on specific categories as well as no excluded spend categories.
The Emirates Skywards Dubai Islamic Bank Infinite Credit Card awards miles per USD (equivalent) spent on the credit card as below:

2 Skywards miles for purchases made at Emirates online or at Emirates sales offices
1.5 Skyward miles for purchases made in foreign currencies
1 Skyward mile for all other local purchases

A cap of AED 25,000 on government spends per statement (which we believe is quite generous!)
Spend based Tiers:

- 600 miles for 2000-4999
- 2000 miles for 5000-9,999
- 5000 miles for 10,000-19999
- 8000 miles for 20000-29999
- 11000 miles for 30000-39999
- 16000 miles for 40000-49999
- 20000 miles for 50000-74999
- 30000 miles for 75000-99999
- 40000 miles for > 100,000
The Emirates Skywards Dubai Islamic Bank Infinite Credit Card awards miles per USD (equivalent) spent on the credit card as below:

1.5 Skywards miles for purchases made at Emirates online or at Emirates sales offices
1 Skyward miles for purchases made in foreign currencies
0.75 Skyward mile for all other local purchases

A cap of AED 25,000 on government spends per statement (which we believe is quite generous!)

Best for – “Bonus” Skywards Miles:

Several credit cards award “bonus” Emirates Skywards miles based on specific criteria, such as a minimum spend levels achieved on the credit card within a specific time period. In this category, there can be varying opinions on which is the “best” option as some cards award higher total maximum bonus miles but at the same time require higher spend levels and over shorter time periods as well. The “best” option here would be determined by the individual’s specific spend patterns.
ADIB Emirates Skywards World Elite Credit Card & ADIB Emirates Skywards World Credit Card

Emirates NBD Skywards Infinite Credit Card

Emirates Skywards Dubai Islamic Bank Infinite Credit Card

ADIB Emirates Skywards World Elite Credit Card & ADIB Emirates Skywards World Credit

Cardholders can get up to 120,000 bonus Emirates Skywards miles with this card.
50,000 welcome bonus Emirates Skywards miles are awarded plus an additional 70,000 bonus miles if a minimum retail spend of AED 140,000 is achieved within 6 months of card issuance.
The Emirates NBD Skywards Infinite credit card offers cardholders the opportunity to earn up to 100,000 bonus Emirates Skywards miles:Emirates Skywards Dubai Islamic Bank Infinite Credit Card
offers cardholders the opportunity to earn up to 75,000 Emirates Skywards Miles
This credit card has a good combination of the total bonus miles awarded and the overall minimum spend requirement over a period of 6 months. In addition, there are no specific spend category restrictions.
35,000 “Welcome Joining Miles” on payment of the joining fee
40,000 additional “spend based miles” if cumulative retail spend of USD 20,000 is achieved within 3 months
"Annual miles”: 25,000 miles will be credited if USD 7,500 is spent at Emirates (online or at sales offices) within the first 12 months
25,000 miles on card activation
25,000 miles if spend of USD
20,000 is achieved in the first 4 statements
25,000 on balance transfer (minimum balance transfer of AED 50,000)

Best for – Joining offers:

While it is usually not advisable to apply for a credit only to take advantage of a specific joining offer by the bank, it is worthwhile considering the joining offers in addition to all other benefits and features offered by these credit cards.
Citibank Emirates Ultima credit card
Citibank Emirates Ultimate credit card

Citibank Emirates World credit card
Customers who apply online can get AED 2,000 back as a statement credit if a minimum retail spend of AED 25,000 is made within 90 days of the credit card being approved. Pls do verify on Citibank website before proceeding as this offer might change.

Customers can avail AED 1000 worth gift cards on booking. This offer is exclusive to customers who apply on Soulwallet.com
Customers that apply online on Citibank UAE can get AED 800 as a statement credit if a minimum retail spend of AED 20,000 is made within 90 days of the credit card being approved.Pls do verify on Citibank website before proceeding as this offer might change.

Customers can avail AED 1000 worth gift cards on booking. This offer is exclusive to customers who apply on Soulwallet.com
Customers that apply online on Customers that apply online on Citibank UAE can get AED 400 as a statement credit if a minimum retail spend of AED 10,000 is made within 90 days of the credit card being approved.Pls do verify on Citibank website before proceeding as this offer might change.

Customers can avail AED 500 worth gift cards on booking. This offer is exclusive to customers who apply on Soulwallet.com

Best for –Emirates Skywards Tier Membership

As most readers are probably aware the Emirates Skywards Miles programme offers different “Tiers” of membership – Blue, Silver, Gold and Platinum. Each of these tiers offer different benefits to members, with the type and number of benefits increasing in that order – starting with Blue and ending with Platinum which offers the maximum benefits.

An important feature offered by some Emirates Skywards co-branded credit cards is automatic membership for the cardholder into a higher tier of the Emirates Skywards programme simply by virtue of having the credit card. This saves cardholders from having to meet the minimum “tier” miles required to be eligible for the specific tier level, obtained normally through purchase of tickets on Emirates airlines.

In this aspect as well, there are a few differences in the options available among the various Emirates Skywards credit cards. Many cards offer direct membership to the Silver Tier for the primary cardholder. A few credit cards also provide supplementary card holders the opportunity to enjoy Silver status, subject to a few conditions being met. However, only 3 credit cards offer cardholders the option to upgrade to the Gold Tier Skywards membership. This can be considered to be a significant perk of having the card by people who value the Gold membership tier in the Emirates Skywards program (which offers, among other benefits, 16kgs of excess baggage allowance, guaranteed seats even on fully booked flights and so on).
ADIB Emirates Skywards World Elite Credit Card & ADIB Emirates Skywards World Credit Card

RAKBANK Emirates Skywards World Elite Mastercard Credit Card
Emirates Islamic Bank Skywards Black Credit Card

This card offers cardholders Skywards Silver Tier membership as a basic feature of the card. However, in addition it also offers cardholders the option to upgrade their Silver Skywards membership tier to the Gold tier if they spend AED 5,500 at Emirates Airlines within 12 months of getting the card.

What’s more this card also offers the supplementary cardholder with the opportunity to upgrade to Gold tier status if a total spend of AED 200,000 is achieved in 12 months and 5,500 of that is spent at Emirates Airlines.

The RAKBANK Emirates Skywards World Elite Mastercard offers cardholders Silver tier membership as a default offering. Additionally, it also offers the opportunity to fast-track to Skywards Gold tier membership based on the below criteria being met:

Placing a deposit of AED 500,000 in the customer’s RAKBANK Emirates Skywards savings account. This credit card also offers supplementary cardholders the option to enroll in the Skywards Silver Tier membership at a fee of AED 900 per year.
This card offers customers Silver membership as a default tier for maintain the card. However, similar to the ADIB Emirates Skywards World Elite credit card the Emirates Islamic Bank Skywards Black credit card offers customers the opportunity to upgrade to the Skywards Gold tier status by simply spending AED 5,500 at Emirates on their credit card (no additional spend criteria required).

This card also provides the option for the supplementary to be upgraded to the Skywards Gold tier membership by spending AED 5,500 at Emirates and by paying an annual membership fee of AED 4,000.

Best for – Association Benefits

Credit card associations refer to organizations that set common transaction terms for merchants, issuing banks and acquiring banks. The associations we are referring to in our context here are Visa and Mastercard. All the Emirates Skywards credit cards issued in the UAE are either associated with Visa or Mastercard.

The relevance of this for a cardholder is that there are specific benefits and features offered by these associations to the cardholder by virtue of the partnership between the bank and the association. Similar to the different tier levels available in the Emirates Skywards miles programme, both Visa and Mastercard offer different “tiers” or levels of benefits for different credit card types.

Please note that these association features are offered in partnership with the banks and are for the most part a standard offering for the specific credit card type across all banks. Examples of these include VIP airport lounge access, travel insurance cover, car rental offers and so on. Please note that the type of benefits offered vary significantly between Visa and Mastercard.

These (Visa/Mastercard) features must not be confused with specific features offered by banks directly to their cardholders which are not part of the Visa or Mastercard benefits. Examples of such bank-specific features include complimentary valet parking, cinema tickets, airport transfer offers and so on.

Customers are advised to review closely all the features offered for each credit card to understand all the benefits available before arriving at the best credit suited to them.

Below is a categorization of the available Emirates Skywards options based on their Visa or Mastercard credit card association type:

1. Mastercard World Elite:
This is the top-of-the-line tier of credit card benefits offered by Mastercard and are available in the following credit cards:

ADIB Emirates Skywards World Elite credit card
Citibank Emirates Ultimate credit card
RAKBANK Emirates Skywards World Elite Mastercard credit card

2. Mastercard World:

This is the second highest tier of credit card benefits offered by Mastercard and are available in the following credit cards:

ADIB Emirates Skywards World credit card
Citibank Emirates World credit card

1. Visa Infinite:
This is the top-of-the-line tier of credit card benefits offered by Visa and are available in the following credit cards:
Citibank Emirates Ultima credit card

Dubai Islamic Emirates Skywards Infinite credit card
Emirates Islamic Bank Emirates Skyward Black credit card
Emirates Islamic Skywards Infinite credit card
Emirates NBD Skywards Infinite credit card

2. Visa Signature:

This is the second highest tier of credit card benefits offered by Visa and are available in the following credit cards:

Dubai Islamic Emirates Skywards Signature credit card
Emirates Islamic Skywards Signature credit card
Emirates NBD Skywards Signature credit card

3. Visa Platinum:

This is the third highest tier of credit card benefits offered by Visa and are available in the following credit cards:
Dubai Islamic Emirates Platinum credit card

All relevant features of this credit card, along with side-by-side comparisons can be seen at: www.soulwallet.com

Best for – Low-Fee, High Value Offered

Citi Emirates Ultimate Credit Card

While most of the above credit cards are premium credit cards and have reasonably high annual fees, the Citi Emirates Ultimate credit card offers excellent benefits for a very reasonable annual fee of only AED 800. Not only is this among the lowest fees on an Emirates Skywards credit card, this card also offers customers to earn the annual fee back as a statement credit if retail spend of AED 20,000 is made within 90 days of getting the card.

This card also has a very healthy Skyward miles earning rate of 1.25 Skyward miles per USD for all international spends and 1 Skyward mile per USD of domestic spends. Other benefits include free VIP airport lounge access for the cardholder plus a guest at over 1,000 lounges worldwide and golf and movie offers in the UAE.

Unique benefits offered by some Emirates Skywards credit cards:

  • Complimentary Emirates Airlines home check-in 4 times a year – ADIB Emirates Skywards World Elite Credit Card.
  • Complimentary access to Emirates Towers Health Club at any time, any day – Dubai Islamic Skywards Infinite Credit Card.
  • 15% discount on buying Emirates Skywards Miles – RAKBANK Emirates Skywards World Elite Credit Card.

The below Emirates Skywards credit cards all offer the primary cardholder complimentary Skywards Silver Tier membership as a benefit:

  •  Citibank Emirates Ultima credit card
  • Dubai Islamic Emirates Skywards Infinite credit card
  • Emirates Islamic Skywards Infinite credit card
  • Emirates NBD Skywards Infinite credit card
  • ADIB Emirates Skywards World credit card

All relevant features of this credit card, along with side-by-side comparisons can be seen at: www.soulwallet.com

We hope this article has been useful in giving you a better understanding of the various Emirates Skywards miles credit card options available in the UAE. While we have highlighted the best options for specific benefits offered by these credit cards we highly recommend that you review all the features in detail before deciding which is the best credit card for you. After all, the process of identifying the best option and applying for a credit card is not something undertaken on a regular basis and therefore getting it right will not only help one maximise potential saves but will also help enjoy specific benefits most relevant to your individual preferences.

Detailed features and benefits along with side-by-side comparisons of all these credit cards can be found at www.soulwallet.com.

balance transfer

5 Things You Must Know About Balance Transfers on Credit Cards

Balance transfer helps the credit card holder to pay off the balance amount on an existing card by transferring it to another card. A customer is usually drawn towards credit card balance transfers to avail lower promotional rates of interest and additional benefits like rewards programs, points, etc .. Most credit card companies aim to entice cardholders by waiving the balance transfer fee. They might even offer an introductory period of 6-18 months, during which no interest would be charged on the sum transferred.

Scrutiny of these offers is imperative to benefit. By being attentive you can gain a significant advantage while avoiding high interest rates during debt payment.

1. Zero interest card vs. balance transfer fee

When you are executing a balance transfer, you’re required to pay an interest of 3 to 5% of the total transferred amount, called the balance transfer fee. Although this can add up to a hefty amount on top of your balance, it might still be less than a card with high interest rate. It is important to calculate how much you are saving with a zero-interest credit card, compared to your current monthly interest rate. Choose what’s best for you- a card with 0% interest for an introductory period with an applicable balance transfer fee, or one without the zero-interest feature but no balance transfer fee.

2. Your credit score might get hit

If you’re planning to apply for a new credit card, be ready to brace your credit score from taking a hard hit. Whether your application is approved for the card or not, your credit score could decline after the enquiry. Canceling your original credit card upon making the balance transfer could result in your average account age to drop, as well as cause your total available credit to dwindle. So, beware of these factors impacting your credit score negatively. A simple way out of this mess is not to close the original card but to continue it with zero balance. Nonetheless, if you’re easily tempted to use the original card, then it’s best to close it.

3. The offer is temporary

It is important to remember that the zero-interest offer is only temporary for 6-18 months, and the Annual Percentage Rate (APR) will escalate once the introductory period gets over. Don’t let the low APRs tempt you, try to pay off your balance within this period itself. Make sure that you don’t miss the opportunity to pay off your debt while it is still low, and not start to accumulate high interests on your balance again.

4. Scrutinize the terms of your card

Your application has to be approved to avail a 0% promotional rate of interest. Also if the credit limit on your 0% balance transfer credit card is so low that it doesn’t even cover the amount you require, there’s no way the card can help you (even after you’re approved for one). You’ll simply have to pay two amounts instead of one, every month. Hence, remember to scrutinize the terms of what you’re getting yourself into. As promotional APR offers can exclude balance transfers, check whether the 0% interest is applicable on balance transfers and/or purchases, as a lot of companies offer it for either one.

5. Avoid making new purchases

If you’re an impulsive shopper, it is advisable to steer clear of getting a new credit card. If you keep adding debt to the original balance transferred via another credit card, it’s bound to put you in a worse position than where you started. More often than not, the 0% interest isn’t valid for new purchases, which means you’ll end up accumulating new interest immediately upon making that new purchase. Therefore, it’s best if you don’t start making new payments with your balance transfer credit card.

Your focus should be on strategically decreasing your debt through your balance transfer credit card. Make sure to enquire about each & every term singularly: starting from the expiration date of the 0% APR, to the interest rate after the introductory period, applicable balance transfer fee, and least monthly payment.


Why You Should Use Comparison Websites Before Signing Up for a Credit Card?

Why You Should Use Comparison Websites Before Signing Up for a Credit Card?

Whether you have great credit or are working hard to improve your credit score, you undoubtedly receive plenty of credit card information or application forms in the UAE. The potential offers and rewards are often extremely compelling, whether it is extra points for eating at your favorite restaurant or travel deals that are only available to certain cardholders. Credit cards also have many different terms, and these terms can become all too real if you are behind on a payment.

Therefore, when analyzing which credit cards in UAE to pursue, it is helpful to compare all of the offers that are available to you. This is much easier said than done. However, You may find yourself placing pieces of paper side-to-side or simply choosing a credit card that your friend or sibling likes.

Luckily, there is a better way. We believe that comparison websites are a true game-changer when signing up for a credit card. These websites make it extremely easy to compare different types of credit cards, thereby making it more obvious to you when making your final decision. Everyone from the first-time credit card holder to more experienced borrowers can find immense value from credit card comparison websites.

Below, you will find several key reasons why these websites are so important in today’s financial environment.

A Clean User Interface

As referenced above, credit card comparison websites make it easier and enjoyable to compare different credit card offers. Many websites, in fact, let you place credit cards side-to-side. They make it seamless for you to compare cards’ interest rates, annual fees, join fees, and more. This side-by-side layout is more effective than you may think, as it quickly gets to the crux of why certain cards are better for you than others. Instead of spending hours sifting through the paperwork and comparing the fine print, you can get a great first glance through credit card comparison websites.

Opening Your Eyes to New Opportunities

Credit card comparison websites aren’t just for comparing credit cards that you are considering. Arguably just as valuable (or even more valuable) is the fact that you can use them to discover new credit cards. For instance, if your most important factor is a low interest rate, you may use a credit card comparison tool to find a low-interest card that you haven’t even considered yet. This is just one simple example, but the discovery nature of credit card comparison websites makes them attractive to credit card applicants.

Helping You Maximize Your Points

In the example above, we explained how credit card comparison websites can help you find low interest card cards, thereby saving you cash if you end up making a late payment. But the flip side to this, however, is that credit card comparison websites can help you maximize potential incentives. If you enjoy traveling, for instance, you can find a new credit card that caters to travelers. Moreover, the website will help you understand how you can maximize your points so that you can rack up free flights or vacations. To put it another way, these websites are your trusted guide to get the most value out of a potential credit card.

A Godsend if You Have Bad Credit

Finally, credit card comparison websites can be especially helpful if you have bad credit and are looking for a new credit card. Repairing or strengthening a credit score is always time-intensive. That said, this shouldn’t mean that you can’t find a great credit card now. Credit card comparison websites can help you with this task. They can highlight some of the most attractive options for you—considering your financial situation.

Your Secret Weapon

These are just several key reasons why credit card comparison websites are so powerful. They are simple and easy-to-use, yet extremely powerful. They can help you stumble upon key insights about your spending goals and budget. They can even be a massive assistance in helping you more quickly save up for your dream vacation.

Whatever the case may be, we encourage you to check out these websites. Spend some time reviewing both the websites themselves and the credit cards that they let you compare. In sum, we  believe that credit card comparison websites can be your secret weapon as you work toward achieving all of your financial goals.

Soulwallet is a personal finance comparison portal in the UAE. With a team of “out of the box” thinkers and a deep understanding of the UAE consumer banking industry, we help customers make the best choices while shopping for financial products such as credit cards and personal loans in UAE.


Analyzing Positive Long-Term Effects of COVID-19 in Our Lives

COVID-19 (also known as the “coronavirus”) has disrupted the UAE and the rest of our world. From bans on public gatherings in the United States to the closure of restaurants, bars, and even sports leagues, the coronavirus has quickly changed day-to-day life.

It is all too easy to focus on these negative headlines. Anxiety is rampant and the world seems much darker in the near future.

But having said this, life as we know it is not going to end. We will get through this. Moreover, once this crisis fades, we believe that there are some extremely positive consequences that will make life better, healthier, and more enjoyable.

Positive Effects from the Coronavirus

Some of the more prominent changes from the COVID-19 crisis will center on our work lives and human interactions.

Even before the spread of the coronavirus, remote work was becoming increasingly important for knowledge economy workers. COVID-19, however, is a substantial catalyst that is going to unlock plenty of remote work opportunities in the UAE and around the world. Employers will increasingly notice that at-home employees are happier and more productive. To continue training their teams, employers will also utilize online coaching and counseling tools. Even though in-person work will not disappear, remote work is going to be a mainstay of our lives.

Aside from work itself, the coronavirus is going to make our world more digital. New social media users and applications will emerge—all leveraging the power of video. Wi-Fi will be free and available everywhere. We may even see virtual reality and augmented reality play an even more important role. Simply put, the world will become even more digital, allowing us to remove physical boundaries and connect with others from the comfort of our own homes.

Next, COVID-19 is going to dramatically reshape global healthcare. Again, we’re likely to see a digital-first approach here. It is going to be completely normal to get health checkups and treatment from our homes. DIY self-administered medication delivered to our front doors will also be more prevalent, allowing us to bypass visits to a doctor’s office or pharmacy. More serious illnesses or ailments will still require us to seek in-person care. That said, digital diagnosis and treatment are going to lead to a more convenient and healthier future.

COVID-19 has already rocked the business world in the UAE and throughout the world. Even though a global recession may already be here, we believe that the business world is advancing even more rapidly toward significant changes. First, ecommerce and digital channels will be the primary (or even sole) revenue channels for some businesses. Businesses will need to be creative to better serve online customers. Digital Wallets will be used widely. Cryptocurrency having operated in an unregulated market has expanded amid major upheaval, financial scandals, bankruptcies and mounting skepticism. With players such as Litecoin, Ripple, Mintchip, Tether, Ethereum, Libra, Monero and several more emerging, cryptocurrency will evolve from the nascent stage and gain momentum and better customer acceptability. All of this will lead to better experiences and more security for customers.

Finally, education and food are going to rapidly transform. In terms of education, distance and online learning will become even more prevalent. While children will face challenges in developing social skills, remote learning will grant us easy access to the best educators and experts around the world. As for food, the coronavirus is going to catalyze new and innovative catering options at home. More people will begin to grow their own food and renewable energy will be more commonplace (and necessary).

A Dramatically Different World

COVID-19 may or may not be a “Black Swan” event, but the effects of this global pandemic are going to be long-lasting. Even though there is some short-term pain, we believe that there will be long-term gain.

Day-to-day life is going to be more digital and less analog. We will connect with others through the power of digital technologies. The home is going to become much more important in our day-to-day lives, whether we are looking for our next meals or simply trying to diagnose a mild illness that we have.

In the UAE and around the world, we must prepare ourselves for these changes. As with any change, the transition may be difficult. However, we strongly believe that modern-day life is going to be better after this crisis. In the interim, we must stay positive and look out for each other. This crisis will end, and we will be in a great position coming out of it.

Soulwallet is a personal finance comparison portal in the UAE. With a team of “out of the box” thinkers and a deep understanding of the UAE consumer banking industry, we help customers make the best choices while shopping for financial products such as credit cards and loans.

credit score

Maintaining a Good Credit History: Some Helpful Tips and Strategies

Whether you are seeking personal loans to pay off outstanding debt or simply want to obtain some new credit cards, one of the first things that lenders will do is check your credit history. Your credit score, as calculated by the AECB (Al Etihad Credit Bureau), is essentially a profile of your financial health. It is something that lenders in the UAE closely scrutinize before deciding to extend you credit.

Because of this, it is extremely important to maintain a good credit history. Doing so will make it much easier to get access to some of the best credit cards in the UAE today. Having a poor credit history, however, will make it much harder to accomplish your financial goals.

In this post, we want to share several important tips and strategies on how you can maintain a good credit history. Following some (or all) of these tips, you’ll drastically increase your chances of avoiding any unpleasant surprises and increase the chances of getting the loan or credit card that you desire.

Ways to Maintain Your Credit History

To start, one of the best ways to maintain your credit history is to pay your bills on time. It’s simple enough. If you are a borrower that doesn’t skip or delay payments, banks and other financial institutions will view you as more creditworthy. They will have the confidence that you will make your required payments for your  loans and credit cards, thereby extending you more credit than others. On the opposite side, making late payments not only costs you in interest or other penalties, but it hurts your credit score. From there, a lower credit score hurts your chances of qualifying for some of the best credit cards or future personal loans.

Along with paying your bills on time, seriously consider paying off your credit cards in full. This is a great tactic both for the health of your pocketbook and the health of your credit history. Paying off your balance in full helps you avoid interest payments, which can become substantial if you are solely paying the minimum required payment on your credit card. But not only that, paying off your entire balance, once again, shows financial institutions and the AECB that you are a responsible borrower. Your credit score will rise and you’ll be more likely to receive even more generous credit terms in the future.

So one significant part of maintaining your credit history is to be on top of your payments. But that said, another key area centers on credit utilization. By this, we mean responsibly using the credit that has been provided to you. Just because your credit card has a credit limit of Dh100,000, for instance, does not mean that you should draw upon all of that credit. Instead, the general rule of thumb is that you should use only 30 percent of that credit limit. While it isn’t the worst thing in the world if you go above that guideline, you should tread lightly. It may put you at greater risk of being unable to pay off your credit card in full.

Finally, don’t apply for loans that you don’t need. If you already have great credit, it is all too tempting to apply for a wide range of  loans. You may use those  loans to get a more luxurious car or to splurge on something for your home. Whatever item or experience that you want, it is much safer to fund it through your day-to-day savings and cash flow rather than a loan. Yes, it may take longer to find the funds to make the purchase. However, foregoing a loan that you don’t actually need minimizes the potential hit to your credit score. To put it another way, it is an investment in your long-term financial future.

Get Started Today

Obtaining and maintaining a good credit history is an ongoing task. That said, it is certainly doable. Following the tips and strategies above can help you fortify that credit history, allowing you to obtain the best credit cards and personal loans in the future. By staying disciplined and on top of your pending payments, you will be setting yourself up for continued financial success.

Smart Money Moves for a Financially Healthy 2020

Planning to set your financial goals right at the beginning of the year is a great way to start in 2020.

Review your financial position, check where your money goes, review your debt, cut down on extra expenses and plan efficiently. This will help you stay on savings course and prevents you from getting into any money hurdles.

Here are a few ways to help you do that:

1: Revisit your mortgage loans.

Home loans are one of the biggest financial responsibilities that require regular revisits. Look for better options to save your money or get other benefits when there is a change in your financial situations, bank’s loan terms or interest rates.

Check if refinancing can help you save money. Compare your loan interest rates with the current rates because even half of a percentage point drop will give you substantial savings.

Lower interest rates help in reducing your mortgage term because here you can raise your monthly payments and prepare to clear the loan early. For example, paying off the loan in 10 years instead of 20 years offers great savings incentive to the homebuyer.

2.  Get a personal loan

A personal loan is a viable money-saving solution in many situations when you borrow it for the right reasons. With personal loans, you can settle higher interest loans, create a good credit score, pay off credit cards or consolidate debts with more manageable fixed EMIs.

For instance, when you want to consolidate debts on your different credit cards, taking a personal loan can help pay off all the charges in one monthly payment. You benefit from lower loan interest rate compared to the annual percentage rates (APRs) on your credit cards.

However, before taking a loan, calculate your repayment capacity using an online app, select repayment tenure that is within your reach and carefully review all the fine print.

3.  Select the right credit card

A properly selected card can help you make savings on purchases, but the choice of the card should be based on your use and habits.

For instance, a frequent traveler will make savings when his card offers discounts and rewards on air tickets, hotels or lounge access.

The choice of the card also depends on whether you carry a balance each month or pay off dues before time. When you take forward a balance on credit, select a card that has a low annual percentage rate (APR).

Knowing your credit scores always helps you to apply for a card that is more likely to get approved. Lastly, compare the annual savings you make on the card against the card’s annual fee to see if it is right for you.

4. Find a balance transfer scheme

A balance transfer can help you make substantial money savings. Transferring high-interest debt from credit cards or loan to a card with a lower interest rate gives saving on interest and helps in clearing off the debt faster.

However, check if any balance transfer fee is levied to carry the balance to your new card. Another critical factor is the new card APR rate; check the introductory APR offer and price after the promotional period ends.

Always evaluate the terms carefully and put a debt repayment plan in place. Remember your debt doesn’t disappear when you do a balance transfer, but effective planning can help make good money savings.

5. Work out your monthly budget

Make a note of your cash flows to curb all unnecessary spending. Different apps come as a handy tool to do all the calculations for you.

Feed-in your monthly income and your expenses and the app will give you a clear picture of how to plan yourself well.

These tools help you consolidate all your bills, track the spending pattern and get an alert message when the due date of any statement is nearby to avoid late fees. Money management is a vital step to rein spending and get finances under control.

6. Review your subscriptions

If you are a Netflix and Amazon Prime addict, ask yourself if you need all these subscriptions and if you have the time to watch them?

Most people pay more on subscribing too many services but hardly use that entertainment and reading channels they have.

It’s the time to evaluate the spare time you have at hand to use these services and the cost you are spending monthly on subscribing to these. This helps you track the service you can do without and make money savings.

Besides entertainment, your current telephone and mobile plan also needs to be reviewed. Check your bills to study your usage patterns. If you are not using the full service, try considering another package. And if you are paying extra after the service amount, see if you can sign up to a new scheme that serves best to your needs.


Six Ways Digital Banking Systems Transform People’s Lives

Technology is changing the way we talk, dress and interact with each other, and it’s also changing the way we manage our money. With smartphones,  tablets, PCs and even smartwatches becoming a vital part of people’s daily lives these days, the desire to use one of these devices to access financial services conveniently has become commonplace.

A recent survey conducted by Oracle found that 60 percent of customers globally want to open a bank account online. Whether by need or by choice, customers want more digital options to access banks and manage their finances.

If you are unfamiliar with the nuances of digital banking, here are some basic pointers. “Digital banking” means digitization of traditional banking activities and services that have so far been available to customers only when they either physically visited a bank or contacted their bank’s customer service department over the phone.

These services usually include:

  • Money deposits and withdrawals
  • Transfer of funds
  • Checking and savings account management
  • Applying for financial products
  • Management of loans
  • Paying bills
So, is digital banking just a passing trend, or is it a  here to stay?

Innovations and technology have been driving the expansion of the banking business across the world over the past two decades.

Higher internet and mobile penetration even in remote corners of the world is helping establish deeper links between people and organizations. The preference for digital banking, therefore, is growing rapidly and is here to stay.

Here is how digital banking adds convenience to people’s lives:

 1. Saves time

Digital banking provides you with the luxury of banking from anywhere in the world and at any time. Online banking systems are available round the clock, with the exception of scheduled maintenance periods of the banks’ websites. These are necessary as banks use a host of technological solutions that require frequent upgrades to make your experience easy and fast.

Through online banking, you can check your account balance and transaction history, print account statements and balances. You can also pay bills, use direct debit services, order cheque books, transfer funds from (and to) your account and so on. All these online services can save you a lot of time and money.

2. Eases money planning

Digital banks have loan calculators, financial planning tools, investment solutions, budgeting apps, etc. to help in proper planning. They also support with tax matters, so customers can plan their finances without having to visit a bank physically.

3. Flexibility with payments

Say goodbye to carrying cash when you go shopping. Now mobile wallets (m-wallets), or virtual wallets are getting to be new trendsetters with more and more people using them. With banks going digital, it also gives you the flexibility of using digital wallets that lets you pay by using your smartphone.

It is a safe and easy way of conducting transactions. Digital wallets are paving the way for a cashless future, enabling customers to pay via mobile phones and thereby eliminating the use of cash.

4. Get real-time information

Digital banks use technology that helps notify you of account activities in real-time. So, you can be informed almost instantly of any activity that takes place in your account –credits, debits, charges, etc.. These messages can help to combat fraud and keep your finances secure.

5. Have a remote advisor

Some digital banks also provide you with a dedicated digital relationship manager for your service, so do not feel alienated due to technology. Your digital manager, even though working remotely, will take care of your banking needs around the clock. There are chatbots and robotic consultants, equipped with AI and online banking tools. However, as customers often like to speak to an actual person, striking an ideal balance is essential.

In many countries, digital banks are a huge help for start-ups and small-to-medium sized companies. They facilitate these organizations to carry out their day-to-day banking requirements through mobile apps, which gives them the flexibility of accessing a variety of services to help manage their business.

6. Provides secure solutions

As banks try and provide more seamless customer experience, there is the risk of fraud where millions of dollars could potentially be siphoned off within the blink of an eye. Customers demand convenience and efficiency, but they also seek state-of-the-art safety and security for their digital transactions.

Going forward, digital banks will need to partner with fintech companies to solve business problems and create new solutions. Such collaborations will help support the development of new products and guarantee a better acquisition of customers. AI and machine learning will be an essential part of the digital banking landscape, and so will comprehensive fraud management and cybersecurity tools.

Digital banks are leading a silent transformation in the banking sector for a more connected generation. As people continue to use a wide range of devices, the expectation of services from financial institutions is based increasingly more on the click of a button while being on the move. Digital banks are indeed ushering in a new era of banking with their ever-connected services


5 Smart ways to make your credit card work for you

UAE certainly has the highest credit card, internet and e-commerce penetration in the MENA region. However, a significant percentage of transactions are still made through cash. Visa and Mastercards are popular and are widely accepted by merchants in the region.

There have been several changes in recent years, which are moving the needle on credit card usage in the market. Some customers would have witnessed their credit cards being reissued by the issuers with a chip around 2016/17. This was due to a mandate from the Central bank of UAE for the issuers to comply with EMV (Europay, Mastercard and Visa global standard for chip-secured credit cards) standards a few years ago.

Credit cards are extremely convenient, secure and what’s more also reward cardholders on usage as well. There are more than 200 credit cards issued by banks and financial institutions in the UAE. While the number of banks is shrinking with the recent M&A announcements, there are several new credit cards which keep popping up with innovative and irresistible offers to the customer.

Many of us would have had a difficult experience with our first credit card. Not understanding differences between a credit or debit card, we would likely have dashed to the nearest ATM to withdraw some cash and spend on stuff which we really did not have any plans of buying. A scenario which would most likely have ended finally with some sort of settlement with the bank after weeks and perhaps months of painful collections calls and negotiations.

As we got a little more aware of how credit cards work, we generally end up with one or two cards (ideally issued to us by the banks where our salary gets credited) and have built some sort of loyalty to these cards over the years.

This article gives a credit card user 5 useful tips on how to use a credit card and maximize savings. These are simple and proven steps which can help one save thousands of dirhams:

  1. No one Credit Card is best suited for everyone

Credit cards are diverse in their offerings. One must understand that 200+ credit cards in the market come with several differences. Some of them being:

Fees and Charges: Annual Fees, Interest rates, International transaction charges, cash advance charges and so on.

Reward Features: Cashback, Airmiles, Reward Points, No Rewards no fee, Reward earn rates, Redemption or burn rate etc., Note- The value of the rewards might vary based on spend amounts, type, location etc.,

Features: Airport Lounge, Free Cinema, Complimentary Golf, Valet Offers etc.,


Apart from the above there are also credit limits, co brands (Skywards, Etihad and so on) etc., which differentiate cards.

With so many differences among them it is important to spend a few minutes to compare the features and identify the most suitable credit card for your specific needs.

Soulwallet’s  “Best Fit”  comparison tool uses smart algorithms that can match one’s individual spend pattern and feature preferences with the most suitable credit cards among all options available.

One will also get a good indication of annual saves in dirhams earned through credit card rewards. Do check how your current credit cards stack up against the ones which are best for you. Click here to find out.

Also, do look at the feature wise rankings to find out which is the best card for your favourite credit card feature (Cinema, Golf etc.,)


  1. No one Credit Card can give you the best value

Why do banks have multiple credit cards under their offering? These are typically to cater to different segments of customers who are keen on a specific feature or a reward program. Cashback and Airmiles are couple of popular reward categories.

After evaluating credit cards in the UAE and the reward offering across their products, it is quite evident that there is no one card which may fit in the best for you. In order to optimize your savings (reward value for the transactions you make on the credit card), you probably might have to keep 2 or 3 credit cards in your wallet which satisfy all your requirements with a high rating.

For example, John travels frequently. He spends his weekends generally watching movies with his wife and two school going children. The best option for John is to look at the below combinations:

Credit cards that:

  • Reward him with maximum reward rates for a) School Fees b) Grocery expenses c) Travel spends
  • Includes complimentary features such as a) Cinema Offer b) Airport Lounge c) Airport Transfer
  • Has low international (foreign currency) transaction charges.

The answer might be more than 1 card and if the saves are significant, why not?


  1. Pay on time and if possible, in full

Making payments on time is probably the most important criteria which helps build one’s credit score. Having a healthy credit score means keeping your credit options available. There is always going to be a need for some sort of credit requirement, for example a home loan, salary transfer loan and so on. Find out more on Credit scores in the UAE.

Making your credit card payments on time is extremely critical and if possible, try to make them in full. This means one would save money on interest which can be in thousands of dirhams.

Most banks have options such as Standing Instructions (from your bank account to your credit card if both are with the same bank), Direct Debit (a standard transfer instruction on your bank account), exchange house payments etc. One has an option of setting this up for a minimum payment or full and sometimes a fixed recurring amount as well. Enquire with your bank and set up a payment instruction which will ensure you don’t miss a payment date.

Regular payments build one’s credit history well and allows banks to re-underwrite your credit lines periodically and automatically.


  1. Balance Transfer – If you are incurring interest by not paying your credit card dues in full each month

Balance transfer in simple terms is moving debt from one credit card to another. If you are not paying the total outstanding and incurring interest on your statement balance, a balance transfer is a smart and easy method to save money on interest.

Balance transfers normally come with an interest free offer period. This is a no brainer – it can help you save interest that you would otherwise end up paying on your current card for 3 to 12 months (and more in most cases), depending on the balance transfer offer period.

Example: If a cardholder has an AED 5,000 balance on a credit card with a 20% interest rate. Such a balance would incur an interest of approximately AED 1,000 in a year. By transferring his credit card balance the card holder can save on the AED1,000 of interest with only a small balance transfer fee instead.


  • Balance transfer does not earn you rewards on transferred debt.
  • Once you have transferred your balance to a low interest card, do review the need of continuing to keep the high interest credit card active. Any unnecessary spend on this open credit card can delay your payoff on the new card.
  • Defaulting on the new credit card might trigger standard or higher interest rate as per banks policies.
  • Before you make the balance transfer move, do the math to ensure that you end up saving. Points to consider are Annual fees, Interest rates etc.,


  1. Change with the industry- Adapt to smarter payment methods

In recent years, banks have evolved and are continuously evolving in the digital space to stay updated and relevant to the future customers. Smart payment methods have gained a lot of momentum and acceptance among UAE consumers.  Apple pay, Samsung pay are already common names and are quite popular.

These smart payments make the process seamless and are focused primarily on convenience and security.  While Apple and Samsung are already building the culture of adapting and shifting to newer technologies in the mobile space, one must be more adaptive and embrace future technologies to leverage upon the benefits available.



Credit cards are convenient and a popular payment method for purchasing products or services. While it is quite a privilege to flash a prestigious credit card from your wallet for a purchase, it is important to make sure that the credit card works best for you..

As a personal finance aggregator Soulwallet has analysed various credit card features and rated them to identify the best credit cards for each feature.. Be it golf offers, complimentary airport transfers, valet services or even cinema offers, one can easily find the best credit cards with the ratings provided. For more details visit us www.Soulwallet.com.


Travel Credit Cards – What are They and What Makes Them Unique?

UAE residents are among the top 5 spenders on travel as mentioned in a recent study conducted by Visa. There are several reasons why travel expenses form a significant part of a UAE resident’s spend –  an expat population of over 80%, tax free salaries, attractive holiday packages, proximity to several international tourist destinations, kids studying abroad are a few.

Travel credit cards are normally associated with those that earn airmiles on spends. Emirates Skywards and Etihad Guest miles are the most popular airmiles programs in the UAE and are offered as rewards on several credit cards issued by UAE banks. “Travel” credit cards have evolved over the years from a simple airmiles offering to a multitude of benefits bundled together. Today, any cards that offer the below travel related features can be classified as travel credit cards:

Rewards: Cards that earn rewards in the form of airmiles or any other type of rewards which which can be redeemed against free flight tickets & upgrades, hotel bookings and upgrades, car rentals and so on.

Convenience: Cards that offer complimentary access to airport lounges, complimentary airport drops or pickups (some of the cards offer these in other countries as well), free “Meet and Greet” facilities and so on. These features can potentially save the cardholder over a thousand dirhams if used wisely.

Leisure benefits: Hotel discounts, international golf memberships, shopping offers in international locations (outlet village shopping in Europe for example) and so on.

Travel related co-branding: These are travel cards associated with popular travel partners such as booking.com cards, Marriott Bonvoy programs and so on.

A few important tips in choosing and using travel credit cards-

  1. Non-AED transaction rates: This is an important aspect one need to be aware of. Banks charge a fee for transactions incurred on credit cards in non-AED currencies and these charges typically vary anywhere between 2% to 3.9%. In many cases these charges alone would reduce the potential benefits that can be earned from using the card. It is recommended that one reads the fine print on fees and charges to ensure that the rates are clear and understood. The ADCB Traveller credit card is an example of one that does not have a charge for non-AED transactions which is a unique benefit offered to cardholders.
  2. Understand the finer details of the features and benefits offered:
    • Complimentary airport drop and pick up is a useful travel feature offered by many banks. This feature alone has the potential to save you hundreds of dirhams each year depending on how often you travel. However, there are differences in various aspects such as a) the number of transfers in a year b) whether intercity transfers are offered c) if there is a minimum spend requirement to avail the offer d) if the airline ticket needs to be booked on the same credit card and so on.
    • Complimentary Airport Lounge Access: While most of the credit cards in UAE limit the number of free visits in a year, there are a few credit cards which have unlimited access for the primary as well as the supplementary card holders. Some credit cards (Visa Infinite for example) offer free access not only for the card holder but also for a guest. There are also differences in the specific airports and lounges where the offer is applicable so it is advisable to check these details before your trip.

You can find a detailed rating of features such as airport transfers, valet service, cinema offers,  golf benefits etc. on Soulwallet. Click here  to find out more.


Whether you are travelling to exotic locations (the fjords in Norway or Mount Fuji in Japan anyone?) or even just back home to your family, an ideal travel credit card can not only make your trip more pleasant and seamless but also save you valuable dirhams at the same time.

Take advantage of Soulwallet’s credit card comparison platform to make sure you make an informed decision and – safe travels!


Good Credit Score Means Good Financial Health – Understanding How Credit Score Works can Help You Save Thousands of Dirhams

Credit reports and scores are essential to financial health of any economy. Its primary use is to help financial institutions use the information provided in the report to assess the credit standing of an individual prior to issuing individuals any credit products (credit cards, personal loans and so on).

Al Etihad Credit Bureau is the entity which provides credit reports to consumers and financial institutions in the UAE.

As an individual it is beneficial to have a good credit score as this will not only ensure that your chances of getting a credit card or loan (personal loan, auto loan, home loan) etc. are increased but, almost more importantly can help you save money as banks frequently give better terms (lower interest rates, higher loan amounts etc.) to individuals with better credit scores.

In this article we will help you better understand credit reports.

Components of a Credit Report

Financial Liabilities – Financial institutions are required to provide details of credit facilities such as credit cards, personal loans, mortgage loans etc., to the UAE Credit Bureau. Details such as assigned credit limits, utilized limits on credit cards, payments made, delayed payments, returned/bounced checks, loan amounts issued, outstanding balances, age of the loan/credit card, active status, police case history and so on are some of the key data points shared. In addition, the below details are also shared with the credit bureau:

Employment Details: Employer Name, Income, Date of Employment are a few details pertaining to employment

Addresses: Residence address, emirate, contact details including mobile numbers and email ids.

Personal Identification – Emirates Id number, Passport Number, Date of Birth etc.,

The Al Etihad Credit Bureau (AECB) manages the process of collating the information received from all financial institutions (as well as some other non-financial entities such as telecom and utilities providers) and summarizing this at an individual customer level.

These details are structured in a systematic and easily readable format which the financial institutions can access in assessing the credit worthiness of potential customers.

What is a credit score and why is it important?

Credit score is a three- digit number which is assigned by the credit bureau based on various variables such as number of loans, repayments, delayed payments, credit utilization and so on. Credit scores range from 300 to 900, higher the better from a financial health perspective.

The credit score is an indicator of a customer’s financial profile and it is important to note that quite a few banks have moved to offer credit score-based features (interest rate, loan amounts etc.) to their customers. This means you will get more beneficial terms the higher your credit score .

So, what is the mantra to maintain a healthy credit score?

Below are some simple disciplined practices one needs to follow:

  • Do not hold too many credit cards. Find out the best credit cards for “You” and stick with it. Close the ones which are not suitable for you or you carry but don’t use too often. Use Soulwallet’s “Best Fit Credit Cards Tool” to find out how good your credit card isyou’re your individual spend patterns and other requirements.
  • Ensure payments are made on time. And whenever possible, in full. This is the most important aspect and has a significant weightage in one’s score. Missing payments is a huge no-no and will definitely adversely impact your credit score. Remember the golden rule – “only borrow what you can afford to repay”!
  • Avoid going over the credit limiton your credit card.
  • Try and stay below 40% of your credit utilization. If you have a credit limit of AED 10,000 and your current credit card balance outstanding is AED 4,000, your utilization rate is 40%. The lower the better.
  • Keep copies of your bank clearance letters for records, there are possibilities that one might have to provide them to have the details amended (if they still show up on the credit report).

Please note – credit scores are not carved in stone, it is a dynamic and ever-changing variable, updated periodically when inputs are received from banks and financial institutions.

Credit scores take a significant time and effort to improve and, in this case, we would clearly recommend that prevention is better than cure.

How and where can I get my credit report?

For individuals the best recommended option is to download the AECB (Al Etihad credit bureau) app on the mobile phone via Google play or the IOS App store and download the report or score. Note, the charges are much lower to download the report online rather than by visiting an AECB branch. Click here  to find more details.


Soulwallet strongly recommends you to compare products through a neutral and unbiased comparison site before you make a financial decision which can be as simple as signing up for a credit card in UAE.

Most UAE residents at some point or the other will need to explore options to avail credit facilities from a financial institution. The reasons could be as simple as managing to pay an annual school fee or to cover an unexpected medical expense. Having a good credit score can not only make the process of getting a loan much simpler but can also potentially help one save thousands of dirhams (a simple example is the money saved through a lower interest rate offered on your personal loan in UAE based on a good credit score).