Credit cards, being short-term loans that do not come with interest as long as they are paid off in time, can make life in the United Arab Emirates a lot easier.
Millions of merchants all over the world accept credit cards and even offer a simple way to keep track of how much money you are spending.
Spending by using credit cards even comes with rewards and perks.
However, credit cards can also cause problems, particularly if you overspend with a card or are simply unable to pay a monthly bill before or on the due date.
People can sometimes be in need of an urgent injection of funds for some unforeseen reason.
There are two finance management methods that are relatively cost-effective: credit card loans and easy instalments.
Banks and credit card companies in the UAE are often happy to give people loans in the form of a transfer of money to their bank account.
This is not dissimilar to a personal loan and is normally a percentage of the credit card limit that you have not utilised.
The duration of a loan in the UAE and elsewhere in the Middle East is normally between three months and two years.
A loan processing fee will be charged, as will a monthly finance charge.
The loan amount can be paid off either in one go at the end of the loan’s duration or in monthly instalments.
Anyone who is eligible to get a credit card loan in the UAE is likely to have already been offered one by a bank or credit company.
There is also an option to apply for such a loan offered after you log into your online banking account.
The UAE does not have a ‘do not disturb’ option, which means that credit card loan offers are likely to be made to anyone eligible by banks and credit card companies on a frequent basis.
In the UAE, there are a number of available options, including a loan with a six-month duration that carries a 3% processing fee but no other charges or interest and a loan with a six-month duration that comes with a 1% processing fee but also 0.39% monthly charges or interest.
Taking out a credit card loan is not the same as being given a cash advance via a credit card.
The latter is an instantaneous transaction that comes with fees and often very high monthly finance charges.
A cash advance is possibly the very worst way of using a credit card, save for not paying the minimum monthly amount due.
The easy instalment option works in regard to high-value transactions.
A large purchase can be spread over a number of months, meaning that only a small amount needs to be paid per month.
This option also comes with a monthly finance charge and a loan processing fee.
Purchases that are converted into instalments are unlikely to be counted as part of the minimum spending required for earning credit card rewards.