A Selection of Dubai's Best and Most Exclusive Credit Cards

Written by Bethan Hurst-Haynes

Credit cards are undoubtedly a versatile and useful item to have in your wallet, be it as a financial management tool or for the rewards and benefits they offer. Some are designed for every-one, some are exclusive and some are elite - cloaked in secrecy with eye-watering prerequisites and rumoured rewards. Here, we’ll take a look at some of the best as well as the best of the best.

Best Credit Cards in UAE

 
1. The Best Standard Cards 2. The Best of the Best - Elite Credit Cards 3. American Express (Amex) Black Card
4. JP Morgan Chase Reserve Card 5. Dubai First Royale

The Best Standard Cards

 

If you’re looking for an entry-level card, choices are plentiful depending on your income and desired benefits - the Citi Simplicity card is available with a minimum AED 5k per month salary and has no annual fees or charges for late payments, cash advances or overlimit fees - ever. Additional benefits include selected airport lounges across the Middle East plus dining and entertainment discounts.

In collaboration with the Dubai Economic Department (DED), Dubai Islamic Bank (DIB) has launched a platinum card offering monthly cash back of up to 4% on supermarket purchases, as well as fuel costs and Du / Etisalat bills. Cashback is also available on selected school fees - there are spending caps for all eligible cash back options which are clearly set out for card holders.

For those excited to restart world travel as COVID-related restrictions ease, consider the ADCB Traveller card, which offers 20% off on flights and hotels as well as a year of free insurance and great entertainment discounts. New joiners can take advantage of a free two-night hotel stay, in conjunction with Hotels.com, plus exclusive buy one get one free offers.

The Best Standard Cards

The Best of the Best - Elite Credit Cards

 

1. American Express (Amex) Black Card

 

The original elite credit card, the Amex black card was launched in the mid-90’s but despite its long history, the exact details regarding benefits and how to get your hands on one remain somewhat elusive. What we do know is that the card is by invitation only - Amex’s dedicated team will reach out to eligible customers to start the process and it’s rumoured this is only for those who spend (and pay off) over $250,000 annually. The fees are hefty - a $10,000 one-off initiation payment plus $5,000 annually to simply have the card, or get supplementary cards for family members. Benefits are believed to include automatic upgrades on flights and hotels, plus discounts on a wide variety of luxury brands and products. If you’re lucky enough to have one of these cards, fill us in!

American Express (Amex) Black Card

2. JP Morgan Chase Reserve Card

Do you have $10m that you’re not sure what to do with? Give it to JP Morgan to invest in non-Real Estate assets and they’ll give you their JP Morgan Chase Reserve credit card in return. With a modest annual fee of $595, the card is palladium-plated, which makes it around five times heavier than a standard credit card - use with caution! Card holders get an annual allowance of travel and lounge credits, plus additional hotel benefits. What these are exactly we’re not sure, but we’d be happy to find out.

JP Morgan Chase Reserve Card

3. Dubai First Royale

Rounding out our list of elite credit cards is one that claims to be the world’s most exclusive, from Dubai’s own First bank. The Royale card has no preset spending limit and is trimmed in solid gold, with a solitaire diamond set in the centre. Detailed information on benefits is of course kept firmly under wraps, but we do know that the card comes with a dedicated Relationship Manager as well as a Lifestyle Manager who acts as a concierge. Rumour has it there is no limit to what they can achieve for their customers. Of course, the card is invite only and the majority are held by Dubai’s ultra high net worth individuals, with a small number located overseas.

Dubai First Royale

Have any of these caught your eye? We don't claim to be Financial Advisors but we can certainly advise on Dubai's best property from apartments to penthouses, villas and mansions so please contact our Private Client Advisors today to discuss your next move.