UAE-based consumer finance firm Dubai First and Visa announced the new Skyy Miles credit card programme on Monday.
Cardholders can spend, earn and redeem Skyy Miles on any airline, flying to any destination, any time, and via any route, while also collecting standard airline miles at the same time, said Dubai First.
The cards have been launched to capture increasing ‘value share’ in the premium UAE credit card market, said Ibrahim Al Ansari, CEO of Dubai First.
The cards come in two varieties: the Exclusive Visa Infinite and the Visa Platinum. The Exclusive card requires a minimum monthly salary of Dhs40,000 and the Platinum card has a salary requirement on Dhs17,500.
Dubai First conceived the idea of global rewards currency following a study on the evolving preferences of the frequent traveller and the firm sought to overcome the obstacles currently enforced by existing airline co-brand programmes.
“The Skyy Miles Premium Visa credit cards are the first programme of this kind in the region, the Skyy model is a natural upgrade for those grounded by their typical airline-linked frequent flyer credit cards,” he said.
“Credit cards continue to be the number one way to earn miles without flying.”
Al Ansari added: “The global recession of 2008 has brought about a massive shift in people’s preferences, both in the way they live and spend, and the way they choose to travel.
“They have certainly re-arranged their financial priorities, learned to be more vigilant and prudent, and are channeling their lifestyle spendings based on what gets them more returns. We are aiming to make a difference in the market, by serving the UAE’s astute ‘miles-hungry’ community, anywhere around the world.”
Dubai First is a part of Dubai Holding. The company was established in 2007 and currently only provides credit card products to UAE customers.
“We will look at expanding the Skyy Miles scheme out of the UAE,” the CEO said.