Many people in the United Arab Emirates are reluctant to get a credit card for the first time because of the horror stories they have heard about people ending up in massive amounts of debt as a result of doing so.
Of course, the reality is that not everyone who has a credit card is in debt to any significant or worrying degree and that the management and use of a credit card is what will make it either a financial benefit or liability to the holder.
The good news is that there are some simple tips that new credit card users in the UAE can follow in order to make sure that they manage their card in the best possible manner.
The most sensible place to begin for those thinking of getting a credit card in the UAE for the first time is to research which card will be best for their purposes and lifestyle.
The research should include checking things such as the different rewards and fees charged by different cards.
Credit cards in the UAE essentially come in two broad categories: cashback cards and rewards cards.
Those who are interested in acquiring a cashback credit card should look for those that provide cardholders with flat-rate cashback.
This can be of great assistance in regard to providing users with the same cashback percentage on smaller purchases in addition to larger ones.
Alternatively, users who would prefer flat-rate cashback should be specific about the individual categories that are offering those rewards.
The interest associated with a credit card is another important factor that new users need to take into serious consideration.
People who have never had a credit card before would be well advised to select a card that comes with low interest rates in order to slowly but surely build their credit profile over the long term.
A credit card can seem like access to free money for new users, but however much is spent will need to be paid back during the next due cycle, and cardholders who fail to do so will then be charged interest on what they owe.
Failure to pay back debts can also result in long-term damage to a person’s credit score in the UAE.
The essential rule for new credit card users is to stick to a budget.
Items should only be bought if users can actually afford them, and if they stick to that rule, they will never have to choose between paying off their credit card and purchasing basic necessities.
New credit card users often make the mistake of only paying the minimum due amount, but if the full payment is not made prior to the due date, the result can be a heavy fine and an adverse effect on their credit report.
It is therefore important to ensure that the full payment is made wherever possible.
It is also inadvisable to apply for multiple UAE credit cards at the same time.
New users should wait for a couple of months to get the results of an application as making multiple applications can also affect credit scores.