Till now, there was an unspoken practice in UAE. Banks headquartered in Abu Dhabi had co-branded Etihad Guest credit cards – First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB), Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank (ADIB), Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank (ADCB).
Similarly, banks headquartered in Dubai had co-branded Emirates Skywards credit cards – Emirates NBD, Emirates Islamic and Citi.
However, things have gotten mixed up now. Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank (ADIB) has introduced two interesting co-branded credit cards in the market. Read below to find out if they are a good fit for your wallet.
ADIB Emirates Skywards Credit Cards
There are two variants here – Skywards World Elite MasterCard and Skywards World MasterCard. There benefits are similar with the World Elite version being the more premium one. There are several interesting benefits including
1. Skywards Gold Membership
If you travel with Emirates often, a Skywards Gold membership is a great perk to have. The key benefits of the membership are:
- 50% bonus Skywards miles on Emirates / flyDubai flight
- Access to Emirates Business Class Lounges (cardholder + 1)
- Unlimited in-flight WiFi
- Priority baggage
- Free seat selection in Economy class
- Additional 16 kg baggage allowance
- Double-dip on Skywards and Marriott World Rewards (click here to find-out more)
It is worth understanding the value of these perks. For example, if you are on a flight from Dubai to London,
- Seat selection will cost you AED 125 each way
- Excess baggage costs US$ 30 per kg (approximately)
- 150MB worth WiFi costs US$ 10
- Business-class lounge access costs US$ 100 per passenger
In other words, if you end up using all the above benefits, you can save in excess of AED 600 each way. Assuming you use only 50%, you save approximately AED 300 per one-way trip.
2. Complementary Airport Transfers
ADIB Skywards Credit Card gives you complementary airport transfers to / from Dubai Airport. This also includes rides from other Emirates. So, let us assume you will save AED 100 on each trip.
3. Complementary Home Check-in Service
This is a feature no other credit card offers. With ADIB Skywards Credit Card, you will get complementary home check-in service if you are flying Emirates. This means Emirates will issue your boarding pass and pick-up your luggage from your home / hotel or any other place.
With World Elite Credit Card, you get four check-ins annually and with World Credit Card, you get two.
4. MasterCard Benefits
Both MasterCard World and MasterCard Elite Cards are premium versions of MasterCard. There are many benefits you get in UAE. You can find them here.
Comparison Between ADIB Skywards World Elite and World Credit Cards
The table below will show the comparison in a simple manner
|ADIB Skywards World Elite||ADIB Skywards World|
|Joining Bonus||50,000 miles||40,000 miles|
|Spend-linked Bonus||70,000 miles||20,000 miles|
|Emirates Membership||Skywards Gold on spending AED 5,500 with Emirates||Skywards Gold on spending AED 5,500 with Emirates and AED 150,000 in total|
|Earnings rate per US$ spent||3 miles on Emirates / flyDubai
2 miles on forex
1.5 mile on local spends
0.25 mile on select merchants*
|2.5 miles on Emirates / flyDubai
1.5 miles on forex
1 mile on local spends
0.25 mile on select merchants*
|Airport Transfers||Four free airport transfers anywhere within UAE||Two free airport transfers anywhere within UAE|
|Complementary Home check-in||Four times per year||Two per year|
|Annual Fee||AED 4,500 + VAT||AED 1,500 + VAT|
* Select merchants / categories include supermarkets, government services, utilities, education, fuel, real estate agents, public transport, road tolls, charities/religious organisations.
It is easy to save on ADIB Skywards Credit Cards if you fulfill two criteria. One, you do not have Silver or Gold membership of Emirates Skywards. Two, you fly Emirates at least 4-6 a year in Economy. With each trip, you could save about AED 500.
Still, the annual fee for both cards is quite steep. Especially, the World Elite Card which has one of the highest annual fee in UAE.