Over 50% increase in UAE residents applying for new credit cards

Biggest increase in applications came from those earning between AED 20,000 and AED 29,999 a month
Over 50% increase in UAE residents applying for new credit cards
Biggest increase in applications came from those earning between AED 20,000 and AED 29,999 a month\n(Shutterstock)
By Staff writer
Sun 15 Jan 2017 02:04 PM

Credit card applications in the UAE increased by 55 percent in 2016, according to a new report.

The Dubai-based financial comparison site compareit4me.com said majority of the residents opted for non-Islamic credit cards, with the number of applications for Islamic credit cards falling by 8.57 percent.

The biggest increase in credit card applications was registered among the group earning between $5,449 (AED20,000) and $8,174 (AED29,999) per month, over 240 percent increase in applications compared to 2015.

“It stands to reason that many people in this salary band were looking to get the most out of their relative wealth with credit cards that offer benefits such as airport lounge access and other lifestyle perks,” said Samer Chehab, chief operating officer, compareit4me.com.

Nearly 58 percent more people earning $1,362 (AED5,000) to $2,724 (AED9,999) per month applied for credit cards in 2016 than in 2015. Those earning $2,724 (AED 10,000) to $5,449 (AED19,999) per month also showed more interest in credit cards, up 141.53 percent on applications in 2016 compared to last year.

In terms of features, applications for cards that offered cashback almost doubled during 2016 from 2015.

American Express was the top credit card provider, taking 22.49 percent of all applications during 2016. Citibank took the second spot with 15.04 percent applications, while Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank (ADCB) came in third with 13.29 percent of applications. Union National Bank and Emirates NBD rounded off the top five.

In the non-Islamic credit card category, Simplylife credit card from ADCB was the most applied-for product followed by Citibank’s Citi Life Platinum card. American Express’ Platinum and Dubai Duty Free cards came in third and fourth respectively, while Standard Chartered Bank’s Titanium credit card was placed fifth, the report said.

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