It is generally accepted that residents of the USA have by far the best range of credit card sign-up bonuses to choose from. It is difficult to disagree with that, especially when you compare US to UK packages for the same card. However, I have generally thought that the UK is the second-best country to live in for loyalty credit cards.
I may need to change my view, though. Reader Luke, who lives in Dubai, sent me details of the Citi PremierMiles Elite credit card. And it is a stonking package!
Whilst the card has an annual fee of £300 (£150 in Year 1) and has no sign-up bonus, you can’t help but be impressed by the benefits:
3 airline miles per US$1 spent internationally (so 4.5 miles per £1, roughly) and 2 per $1 (3 per £1) in the UAE. You can take miles in seven airline schemes, including British Airways, plus three hotel schemes. Transfer to Hilton and you get 1:2, so 9 Hilton points per £1 for non-UAE spend!
‘Buy 1 Get 1 free’ deals for 100 restaurants and attractions
Sixt and Budget car rental deals
1-year use of the fast e-Gate at Dubai International Airport for free
Black level membership of Harrods Rewards (an odd one, but something I could really use!)
I have seen other big-number sign-up deals for UAE credit cards being advertised in Dubai, so I imagine it is a competitive environment for the expat credit card sector. What is interesting about this card is the lack of sign-up bonus offset by the very high earning, which presumably eliminates ‘churn’.