With so many types of credit cards available in the UAE, many of them allow the customer to earn rewards. The key to maximizing the benefits of such programs is to fully understand the value that they offer.

A 2018 study from eMarketer found that only 30% of shoppers are aware of exactly how many points and rewards they earn from loyalty programs, while 52% of respondents are unsure of what they had earned.

There are different loyalty cards available in the UAE, each with offerings such as travel miles, daily deals, cashback or points that can be used for store purchases and credit card payments.

There is no shortage of loyalty credit cards that appeal to customers who enjoy high-end experiences and perks. Many luxury credit cards encourage customers to spend by making it easy for them to redeem their points on hotels, restaurants, leisure and entertainment attractions that fall under a company brand.

The Emirates – Citibank Ultima Credit Card is an ideal option for those who want the best of both worlds in terms of luxury and travel perks. This exclusive 100% metal card offers a wide variety of benefits and perks from earning Skywards Miles on your spend, bonus miles for signing up, Skywards Silver Tier Membership , access to airport lounges for the card holder and a guest, Unlimited golf and more.

More often than not, there are costs that come along with high-tier credit cards such as annual or monthly maintenance fees and other financial responsibilities that may not apply with other loyalty cards. At the same time, many luxury credit cards require you to be within a specific salary bracket in order to qualify.

For the world travelers

Then there are those consumers who prefer more flexibility when it comes to using their travel rewards. If you are one of these people, it would be wise for you to opt for a travel card that gives you access to a wide network of airport lounges worldwide and allows you to redeem for flights or hotel stays.

The Citi Prestige Card, for example, offers cardholders a lot of flexibility and the ability to choose from 12 airline partners, including Etihad Airways, British Airways and Turkish Airlines, in addition to the above-mentioned travel perks.

For those who want it all

Cash back is one of the most popular type of rewards used by credit card holders today due to the fact that the earning process is simple and straightforward. Customers who hold cash back credit cards earn a certain percentage of purchases.

Most credit cards give people a lot of freedom in terms of where and how they can use the points that they have earned. The Citi Thank You Rewards allows cardholders to redeem their Thank You Points on items bought using pay with points, shopping vouchers, or booking holidays or shopping for the latest gadgets on Citi Global Rewards Portal.

Before you sign up

When it comes to loyalty programs linked to credit cards, less is more. Signing up for several cards or programs simply for the perks may not be the best idea as cardholders are usually required to spend a certain amount per month in order to access rewards.

One easy way to meet the minimum spend amount is to get supplementary cards for your family members. By doing this, you can earn more points on purchases and spread the benefits to your loved ones. Most banks do not charge for supplementary cards.

However, these cards are usually only issued to blood relatives. Bear in mind that as the primary cardholder, it is your responsibility to set spending limits on supplementary credit cards and settle the bills each month.

One important question to ask yourself before committing to a new card is what kinds of rewards and benefits offer the most value to you. Once you narrow down this list, you can get a better idea of which type of card is most suitable to your lifestyle.

Remember to read all of the fine print before signing up so that you are clear about all the terms and conditions that apply to the credit card or loyalty card you are committing yourself to. That way, you can avoid disappointment or any unwanted surprises down the road.

Credit card and loyalty rewards programs offer a great value proposition for consumers. After all, you are spending money anyways, so why not earn something extra and put those points to good use?