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Hi and thanks for maintaining such a nice community on Expatforum!
I've already found a lot of useful and relevant info here.

My question is about credit card terms.

A bit of background info - you can skip below the horizonal line if you don't care. When I came to Dubai, I wanted just a basic personal account in AED and USD with working online banking. I had my EID and residence visa and approached a few banks... I was incredibly frustrated by the level of their service and their products.

Some were basically telling me lies (it's not possible to open personal account unless you open company account first), some were trying to scam me (you must buy this investment-insurance plan with a 5-year commitment, then we open account), some had ridiculous service (online banking is for free if you just want to look at it, if you want to actually make transfers online it costs 200 AED/month, seriously wtf?).

Even different people in different branches of the same bank told me different information

Maybe they didn't like my nationality or they didn't like the fact that I'm not their typical customer, an Asian worker who sends the salary to them and takes up three different loans and a mortgage. And also I'm not a dumb expat who is willing to put 100k into their useless investment product.

It is ridiculous what the banks think is important. Chequebook? Literally noone uses it in my country, I don't even know why I'd need that! 3 free cash deposits per month? I couldn't care less. Credit card? Never needed that.

All I wanted is to come into a bank and open a goddamn account without feeling like a retard. Or how about an online banking that actually works and doesn't crash every 5 minutes in every browser except Internet Explorer?

So after trying multiple banks, I ended in one bank where the account didn't seem to be a problem and they could open it on the spot if I signed up for their credit card. The card costs like 500 AED per year and it had some benefits like lounge access and some discounts in the large malls.

It didn't seem like a bad deal so I agreed, I was actually pleasantly surprised that they opened the account in multiple currencies on the spot and my card and activation package arrived the next day.

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I noticed that to use the card benefits (lounge access, limo transfer...), there is a required minimum spending of 7500 AED in the previous month. I don't plan to spend that and I'm outside of UAE big part of the year anyways.

So my question is - how can I meet the turnover requirement by rotating the funds?

I know it's possible in some countries to pay for services which aren't real services but cash transfer - and fake it a little bit. For example in my country you can send a COD (cash on delivery) package to yourself with specified amount of X. You pay with your credit card and the money then goes from yourself to yourself. You don't lose anything except a $2 fee for the post office.

Or another option it to topup a prepaid card at a payment terminal with your credit card - and then you do it the opposite way.

These are the options I know work in my country. Is there something similar in UAE?

I thought about using the credit card for Revolut topups - it would work if the card was in USD. Revolut allows card topups in USD but it only allows wire topups in AED.

I could also topup some other online wallets or accounts but they are mostly in USD - the conversion fee for USD/AED on the card is 2% so I'd spend at least 150 AED on minimum conversion.

What would you recommend? And what is your experience with the banks here?
Maybe I should just cancel the credit card now that I have what I wanted (the account).
 

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Two things spring to mind - first, you ain't in Kansas anymore so you'll just have to accept your belief of how things should operate here won't be met. Its not the same as home. Accept that and you'll suffer less frustration and less stress. Its not 'wrong' but just different here.

In respect of rotating money, I doubt it will work. They are smart enough to spot the difference between personal expenditure and business expenditure on cards for the purposes of discounts and redemptions so I guess they are unlikely to fall for that.

My experience with banks here has been completely fine. Never had an issue, but then again I don't expect the to be a Wstern Bank.

PS You may find when you try and rent a home, you'll need a cheque book. Without one, you can pay by BACS but many landlords wont trust that. they like to see a cheque, which, if it bounces, they can take to the Courts as evidence.
 

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Two things spring to mind - first, you ain't in Kansas anymore so you'll just have to accept your belief of how things should operate here won't be met.
Thanks, I get your point.

I mean, I lived abroad for quite some time, in Europe and in Asia. However, I've never been SO FRUSTRATED by the incompetence of banks anywhere else as in Dubai.

Trying to reach a call center of an UAE bank is yet another funny story. The call will be ignored, or picked up either by some Indian whose accent I don't understand, or a Filipino who pretends to be nice but is completely unable to use any common sense or logic, just following a script like a robot.

Maybe I shouldn't complain because actually there IS something worse than banks in Dubai. The telcos! How can something so bad as Etisalat and Du even exist :confused2:
 

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Two things spring to mind - first, you ain't in Kansas anymore so you'll just have to accept your belief of how things should operate here won't be met.
Thanks, I get your point.

I mean, I lived abroad for quite some time, in Europe and in Asia. However, I've never been SO FRUSTRATED by the incompetence of banks anywhere else as in Dubai.

Trying to reach a call center of an UAE bank is yet another funny story. The call will be ignored, or picked up either by some Indian whose accent I don't understand, or a Filipino who pretends to be nice but is completely unable to use any common sense or logic, just following a script like a robot.

Maybe I shouldn't complain because actually there IS something worse than banks in Dubai. The telcos! How can something so bad as Etisalat and Du even exist
Personally I’ve never had any major issues with my bank (HSBC) or Etisalat. The service is different but never usually problematic.
 

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Personally I’ve never had any major issues with my bank (HSBC) or Etisalat. The service is different but never usually problematic.
Ditto re the bank and I run three company accounts although I find Etisalat less then useful. In my case, worse than the GPO in the 80's.

As to the language issue, then when in Rome, learn the language and that includes accents.

@OP - what are you trying to do with the call centre as most things can done online.
 
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