KSA banks are continuing to compete fiercely to win more credit card customers by offering attractive perks and benefits from free flights to football tickets, however a recent survey conducted by amwalak.com revealed that 81 percent of consumers are failing to utilise the free benefits.
amwalak, part of the compareit4me group which operates finance comparison websites across the Middle East, enables users to compare all the banks in one place and offers guides and advice for managing money. Their survey highlights a lack of awareness and prior planning which is causing consumers to miss out on thousands of riyals worth of benefits.
Credit cards and pre-paid cards have emerged as key financial drivers in the Kingdom, with the Saudi Credit Bureau (SIMAH) stating credit is becoming a vital part of the Saudi lifestyle, due to the growing trend of shopping online via hand-held devices such as mobile phones and tablets. The number of pre-paid card transactions increased from 0.6 million in 2012 to 1.4 million in 2013 and again 2.8 million in 2014 showing just how rapid the growth is.
Samer Chehab, COO compareit4me group which owns and operates amwalak.com, said: “Used correctly credit cards can be a very useful tool. When selecting a card, it’s essential to choose one with benefits that match your lifestyle. Compare the cards on offer and choose one that offers benefits you will actually use. Many offer discounts at restaurants, air miles and airport lounge access. If the card suits your lifestyle, the benefits become easy to measure.” He added: “Signing up for bank alerts and downloading associated apps will ensure consumers keep track of the latest offers and benefits associated with credit cards.”
According to the central bank, credit card use in Saudi Arabia climbed 8.8 percent to 322 billion riyals in 2014 so it’s never been a better time for consumers to understand the benefits available to them.