x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 18 January 2018

Barclays issues UAE's first 'free for life' platinum card

According to Barclays its latest offering - the Barclaycard Platinum - is the first "free for life" platinum credit card on the UAE market.

Ryan Carter / The National
Ryan Carter / The National

As your parents told you as a child, there's no such thing as a free lunch.

This statement is especially true of credit cards. While banks often pile on the freebies and incentives, lurking in the fine print are often fees, rules and stipulations that chip away at your dirhams somewhere down the road.

But according to Barclays, its latest offering - the Barclaycard Platinum - is the first "free for life" platinum credit card on the UAE market.

"Being a Barclaycard customer means so much more than just having another credit card for your wallet," says Mark Elliott, the director of sales.

"And with our latest promotion you do not have to worry about annual fees, ever."

He adds that of the bank's 21 million customers around the world, more than 10 million reside outside of the UK.

With this in mind, the new Barclaycard Platinum is offering an attractive plan for its world travellers, whereby clients receive 50,000 reward points after signing up for the free card.

The programme allows card holders to book trips with any airline at any point in the year, including peak-season times.

However, to redeem them, the customer must have accumulated at least 75,000 points.

"As a Barclaycard customer, a range of benefits are available whether you're at home or abroad," Mr Elliott says.

"Travel is a big part of our customers' lifestyle and through the reward-points programme you can get free flights: any airline, any destination, at any time."

He adds that you don't have to hold an account with Barclays to qualify for the card. There are also no restrictions in terms of the method of booking. It can be done through a travel agent or independently by the customer. To earn additional points, card holders gain one point for every dirham spent on weekdays, and double that on the weekends.

In addition to the travel perks, the free-for-life Barclaycard includes many other benefits, including six months of interest-free repayments on products purchased at local electronics stores such as Sharaf DG, Harman House, Jacky's, E-Max and Switch.

Discounts of 15 per cent to 25 per cent are up for grabs at selected restaurants in the UAE, exclusive rates for golfers at the Els Club and Montgomerie in Dubai and also 24-hour, seven-day-a-week roadside assistance.

Credit Shield Protection, provided by Oman Insurance, makes the provision for critical illness, involuntary employment and fraudulent use of the card if your wallet is lost of stolen.

The interest rate on the Barclaycard Platinum is 2.89 per cent a month. To apply, call 800 BARCLAYS or text PLAT to 3652.