With over 200 credit cards in the UAE that provide some sort of rewards program, residents have plenty of options to choose from. A frequent decision customers have to make is whether to use their credit card rewards, or save them. This is especially true for Airmiles and Rewards Points cards.
The short answer is that you are probably losing the value of these rewards as you save them up. For example, accruing Airmiles is becoming easier because you can do it through so many channels, including spending on your credit card. At the same time, airlines are making it more expensive to use them through several ways. Firstly, it takes more Airmiles nowadays to upgrade or get a free ticket. In addition, there are more restrictions on when and how you can use them. The trend has been similar for Rewards Points, especially when it comes to hotel loyalty programs.
These programs have become more complicated with different tiers, varying redemption policies and most importantly, expiry dates for your Airmiles and Rewards Points!
For these reasons, it may be better to cash in on your rewards more often. Having more than one rewards credit card can also be useful. By spending on multiple cards, you will be protected if the rewards program on one card becomes more expensive, or the airline increases the redemption requirements for its Airmiles.
Reading the fine print and terms & conditions is always important. Most UAE banks have the right to change their rewards program or credit card benefits at anytime. The same is true for airlines and hotel loyalty programs. So while it is great to accrue rewards, cashing them is the safest bet to maximize your savings.