There are a number of great credit cards in the United Arab Emirates.
There are also credit cards that may be more appealing to certain people because of the particular benefits specific to those cards.
Hotel loyalty programmes offer an excellent way to get the most from your credit card spending.
These programmes allow for stays at the best hotels at great discounts.
The UAE has plenty of hotels, with more than 100,000 hotel rooms in Dubai alone.
There are 200 five-star hotels in the UAE, with almost every hotel chain imaginable represented.
Among the leading hotel chains in the UAE are Marriott Group, Intercontinental (IHG), Rotana, Anantara, Hilton and Jumeirah.
There are also a number of niche hotel brands, including Radisson, Taj and Melia.
Hotel loyalty points can be earned and burned in the UAE in many different ways.
One aspect that is unique to the UAE is the major difference in night rates in hotels during the high and low seasons.
Luxury hotels such as JW Marriott Marquis may sell for over AED1,000 nightly during peak season, but in the low season, they can become as cheap as AED300 per night.
Hotel loyalty points can be earned in two ways with credit cards: you can either choose a rewards credit card or a co-branded credit card that enables points to be converted to hotel loyalty programmes.
Options for this available in the UAE include the Citi Prestige Card, the American Express Platinum Credit Card, and the SPG World Elite Mastercard from Emirates NBD.
The Citi Prestige Card comes with a sign-up reward of 30,000 Thank You points and an extra statement credit of AED1,250 if AED20,000 is spent in a three-month period.
The card has a number of airline partners, including British Airways, Singapore Airlines, Etihad and Jet Airways.
The annual fee is AED1500.
The American Express Platinum Credit Card offers two MR points for every AED4 you spend.
These points can then be converted to a variety of hotel loyalty programmes such as Hilton Honors, Jumeirah Sirius and Marriott Bonvoy.
The annual fee is AED700, which is waived if AED10,000 is spent within the first three months.
However, small establishments in the UAE and the rest of the Middle East often do not accept American Express cards.
The SPG World Elite Mastercard from Emirates NBD earns six Marriott points for every USD that is spent at Marriott properties.
There are also three Marriott points earned for every USD spent at another retail outlet.
Once you pay the joining fee, you will receive 75,000 points.
Another 75,000 points can also be earned if you spend $10,000 within the first three months.
This card also comes with Gold Elite status.
This brings with it 25% bonus points on your hotel stays and also enables you to get late checkout and a room upgrade depending on availability.
The annual fee is AED1,500.
All these cards come with very different uses, making it simply a matter of choosing the benefits that appeal to you the most.