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Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 15 December 2018

The best personal finance offers this Ramadan

From 0 per cent finance on new cars to rewards for credit card spend, customers can cash in this holy month

Illustration by Alvaro Sanmarti
Illustration by Alvaro Sanmarti

It is not only car dealerships that offer great deals during Ramadan.

Banks and financial firms also run promotions during the holy month such as competitive rates on bank loans and repayment deferments on debt instalments.

Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank, for example, offers its car and personal finance customers a postponement on their monthly instalment during Ramadan. Adel Al Zarouni, chairman of the Corporate Social Responsibility Council at the bank, says it offers flexible payments “at times when spending is known to be higher than usual” to help customers manage their outgoings.

Ambareen Musa, the chief executive and founder of price comparison website Souqalmal.com says customers "can save big bucks" during the holy month.

“Car finance at zero per cent interest rates, lucky draws for bank customers, as well as zero per cent instalment plans, dining discounts and extra cashback on credit card spend are some of the usual offers by various UAE banks this Ramadan," she says. "However, it is also incredibly easy to get wrapped up in a spending spree".

Ms Musa says credit cardholders are particularly "vulnerable" because offers give them the option to spend now and pay later.

"In fact, most credit card offers that have to do with 'additional' cashback, miles and rewards, come with additional minimum spend criteria too. Sticking to a budget, even during this festive month, can help you rein in your spending and avoid getting stuck in debt."

With this in mind, here is a roundup of six of the best offers that could boost your finances this holy month:

Lower car loan instalments with Emirates NBD:

Emirates NBD’s Accelerator Auto Loans Programme allows drivers to pay lower monthly instalments for the initial months of the loan. Eligible customers can borrow from Dh35,000 to Dh450,000 on all car models at all dealerships across the UAE. Lower instalment periods are available for the first six, 12 or 24 months of the loan tenure. The bank is also offering a 120-day first payment holiday on new car loans for brands associated with Al Futtaim, Al Nabooda and Habtoor Motors. Flat rates start from 1.99 per cent per annum for all new auto loans. Existing car loan customers can also apply for two deferred instalments yearly, including one free of charge deferment.

Beware: Never take on debt you cannot afford to repay, therefore choose a car that fits your budget to ensure you can meet the monthly repayments.

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Read more:

The best deals this Ramadan for buying a new car

UAE retailers to profit from bargain hunting 'Ramadan shoppers'

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Payment holiday with ADIB

Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank is offering its car and personal finance customers an automatic payment holiday this Ramadan. The offer is valid for instalments due between May 21 and June 20. Customers wishing to continue their repayments can opt out of the promotion. Those eligible will be contacted by SMS with the postponement made automatically.

Beware: Only delay the payment if you cannot afford it this month – missing a month only lengthens the time it takes to repay the debt.

Prizes, 0% car finance and cash back at Emirates Islamic:

Prizes

• The bank is offering its Kunooz account holders three additional prizes of Dh3,000, increasing the total number of daily prizes on the prize-linked account to eight. The monthly prize draw of Dh1million remains the same.

• Customers who transfer or exchange more than 2,000 Saudi riyals (Dh1,958) from any bank branch or via online or mobile banking channels will be entered into a draw to win up to three Umrah packages, with every additional transfer or exchange of 2,000 riyals, earning an additional entry into the draw.

Car finance

• Cardholders can take advantage of a zero per cent easy payment plan for up to 12 months for any car purchase, parts or service contracts.

• The bank is also offering a zero per cent profit rate on car loans for any car brands and dealerships in the UAE.

Cashback and dining

• The bank’s Cashback Plus card customers will receive up to 10 per cent cash back on all grocery purchases and dining spends across the UAE.

• The bank is also offering a number of buy one get one free iftar offers for its debit and credit cardholders.

Beware:

To qualify for the monthly grand draw, you must have Dh5,000 saved in the Kunooz account while every Dh1,000 saved offers access to the daily cash prizes.

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Read more:

The ABCs of car financing in the UAE

The expensive bills you can now pay monthly in the UAE

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Cash back, a VAT refund and loyalty points with CBD

Commercial Bank of Dubai's Ramadan Triple Bonanza is offering cash back on spending, a 5 per cent VAT refund for all expenditures over a certain target and CBD loyalty points on all qualifying credit card spends, which can be redeemed for air miles with Emirates or Etihad. For example, a customer with a spend target of Dh4,000 will earn Dh50 in cash back, Dh30 worth of loyalty points and Dh100 in VAT refunds. To opt-in, customers must SMS RMDN to 4266 from their registered number with the bank anytime during the promotion period, which runs until June 16.

Beware: Guaranteed Cashback and VAT refunds will only be given to the customers if they reach their target spend during the promotion period. The customer must set their own target, by email or text message, when signing up for the promotion.

Dh500 in vouchers with your next car insurance purchase with yallacompare

Financial comparison website yallacompare is offering Dh500 in vouchers with every comprehensive car insurance policy sold during the holy month. The vouchers, which represent over Dh500 in monetary value, according to yallacompare, can be used for a variety of UAE brands. The offers include: Dh50 off any job at MrUsta.com; a Dh200 off a holiday booking with holidayme.com and a 20 per cent discount on a car battery replacement with Dial-A-Battery.

Beware: Never buy an insurance product based on what you get in return. Only pick a product that suits your personal requirements as a driver.

Fixed deposit rates of 3 per cent plus prize draws at CBI

CBI has a range of Ramadan offers that run until June 30:

Fixed Deposit:

Deposit Dh50,000 into a fixed deposit account for one year and earn 3 per cent. That figure must be maintained for the full year to qualify for the interest rate.

Prizes:

Deposit Dh25,000 into the bank's Mabrook account and be eligible for a series of cash prizes; every Dh500 is eligible for the draw. There are over 1200 prizes available over the year with a Dh1 million mega draw. While the standard interest rate on the Mabrook account is 0.1 per cent, there is an additional 1 per cent bonus during the promotion period (capped at Dh1,000).

Beware: Remember, there are withdrawal penalties for pulling out the money early from a fixed deposit account and to be eligible for the Mabrook offer, your Dh25,000 deposit must be maintained for three months.