The 971 Report

Where to find the best air miles programmes in UAE

With more than 20 credit cards on the market, offering eight different air miles programmes, UAE travellers are getting confused and lost when it comes to choosing the best and most convenient air mile schemes, according to a survey by personal financial products comparison website Souqalmal.com.

And many credit card holders signed up to one of the schemes say they still don’t know how many hours they need to fly to get a free flight.

But that confusion could all be about to end thanks to a new comparison service provided by Souqalmal.com. The site compares the various offers available in the UAE, allowing users to compare how much they can earn per US dollar spent, and how many miles on average you need to travel to London, Mumbai or Beirut.

This table shows a sample of the air mile programmes available:

Credit card
Programme
$1 spend in UAE gets you
$1 spend overseas gets you
Miles required for Mumbai
Miles required for London
Miles required for Beirut
ENBD Skywards Infinite Card
Skywards
  1 mile
1.5 miles
37,500
61,250
37,500
ADCB Etihad Guest Above Platinum Card
Etihad Guest
1.5 miles
2.5 miles
22,500
62,000
24,000
FGB Platinum Card
First Miles
1 mile
2 miles
25,000
70,000
20,000
MAF Najm Platinum Card
Premium Miles
1.65 miles
2.25 miles
42,000
65,000
50,000
Dubai First Skyy Miles Platinum Card
Skyy Miles
1.5 miles
2 miles
39,500
62,000
47,000

Commentating on the findings, Ambareen Musa, founder and CEO of Souqalmal, said: “Comparing all the frequent flyer programmes out there is a nightmare by the time you figure out how many miles you get and how many you need to get free ticket. 

"Customers in the UAE very often think they are getting the best value in terms of their air miles card but it is only when it comes to redeeming the miles that many of us find out the real value of the programme we have chosen."

The comparison was carried out through a survey of 200 people from across the UAE. The full comparison table of all credit cards with airmiles programme is on the Souqalmal website.

The hottest and latest packages in the miles world:

  • Dubai First’s Skyy Miles programme:
    With the Skyy Miles Visa Infinite Card, you can now earn two miles for every dollar spent in the UAE and three miles for every dollar you spend globally. To travel to London, you would need approximately 62,000 miles and can book your flight on any airlines, anytime.
  • The new Najm Visa Platinum card from Majid Al Futtaim:
    MAF recently launched a new credit card - the Najm Visa Platinum card - which offers users 1.65 miles for every dollar spent in the UAE and 2.25 miles for international spends. You can also book on any airline and during any season. A flight to India would need around 42,000 miles.
  • ADIB's Etihad Guest programme offers you 50,000 sign up miles:
    What does 50,000 miles mean for you? To travel to London, you need 62,000 miles; to India, 22,500; and for Lebanon, 24,000 miles. You get 2.5 miles for every dollar spent.
  • Mashreq bank offers up to 1% Air Arabia Dirhams:
    The Air Arabia Dirhams are actual dirham value so, if your trip to India costs you AED2,700, you would need to accumulate 2,700 Air Arabia Dirhams.
  • Citibank offers 25,000 Skyward miles on sign up:
    The Citibank Emirates Ultima Card not only gives you a good jumpstart on your Skywards account but you can also continue to top that up by 1.5 miles for every dollar spent.

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