Groceries are an expense that no one can do without, but there are still some ways that the financial cost of these necessities can be lowered in the United Arab Emirates.

There are a number of shopping options in the UAE, such as massive hypermarkets and smaller baqalas.

Online delivery and even the store that is nearest to you may offer convenience but lack cost-effectiveness.

Supermarkets with a large presence in the UAE include the likes of Carrefour, Lulu, Spinneys, Choithrams and Al Maya Group.

A study conducted by last year found that the cheapest store was Carrefour, followed by Union Co-Op.

The study compared the cost of 11 essential items such as bread, potatoes, laundry detergent, milk and eggs.

Other factors that shoppers need to take into account include store experience and the quality of the available products.

Retailers offer a number of different methods of saving money when shopping, including in-store promotions, loyalty programmes and credit cards.

In regard to credit cards, there are a number of co-branded credit cards and cashback credit cards that can help to save money at certain supermarkets in the UAE.

Deciding which single credit card or mix of credit cards is best suited for you will be based upon your own specific shopping needs.

There are six cashback credit cards that are particularly suited for those looking for supermarket savings.

Those cards are Standard Chartered Platinum, CBD Super Saver, ADIB Spice, Emirates Islamic Cashback Plus, HSBC Cashback, and RAKBank World.

The amount of supermarket cashback can vary between the cards.

For instance, Dh100 is offered per month by ADIB Spice, while Standard Chartered Platinum offers as much as Dh400 per month.

Some of the credit cards also have annual fees and set criteria for the minimum that needs to be spent with them per month.

10% cashback on groceries up to a monthly maximum of Dh400 is offered by RAKBank World, but only if a minimum of Dh20,000 is spent every month.

The RAKBank World credit card also waives an annual fee for the first year, but that fee will be Dh750 in the following years unless at least Dh50,000 is spent annually.

The real benefit of the RAKBank World credit card is that it can be spent on groceries outside of the UAE.

This makes it ideal for frequent international travellers, according to’s chief financial officer Jonathan Rawling.

One of the co-branded credit cards that offers savings for supermarket shoppers in the UAE is Najm, which can be used at Carrefour.

Both the Platinum and Platinum Plus Cashback credit cards from Najm can be used for up to 6% cashback at Carrefour on Tuesdays, and 3% on every other day.

Users can also save time shopping as there are checkout counters dedicated to Najm cards.

Platinum Plus comes with a Dh420 annual fee, though the standard Platinum card is free.

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