How holiday expenses may add up to US$20,000 prize

While many of us are still looking forward to that well-deserved holiday this summer, there could also be a dreaded spike in expenses looming on the horizon.

April 7, 2009- provided photos of the RAK bank debit card

Courtesy RAK Bank *** Local Caption ***  RAKBANK Debit Card 1.jpg

While many of us are still looking forward to that well-deserved holiday this summer, there could also be a dreaded spike in expenses looming on the horizon. The cost of hotels, restaurants and entertainment can quickly mount on your credit card, leaving you with an unpleasant surprise when you return home. But the MasterCard Cross-Border Promotion with RAKBANK could ease some of the financial pain.

Every time RAKBANK MasterCard holders use their plastic overseas, they will be entered into a draw to win back those travel costs - and then some. In other words, the more times you pay with the card, the more chances you have to win US$20,000 (Dh73,460) in cash. The offer expires on August 15 and three winners will be announced next month. A second contest is scheduled to run from November 15 until January 10, 2011, after which another three cardholders will cash in on the prize.

"This specifically targets people who are worried about spending while on holiday," says Banali Malhotra, the head of marketing at RAKBANK. "Each time you spend, you receive one coupon and there is no additional fee for using your card overseas." Ms Malhotra adds that there is no price restriction on each transaction, with every charge resulting in yet another lottery ticket. "From my experience, this is the peak travel time for our card members," she says. "For those who are using their cards anyway, it's a chance to win some valuable rewards."

As always, consumers should approach their plastic with a degree of caution. With an annual interest rate of 29.88 per cent (or 2.49 per cent each month), holiday costs can add up and spiral out of control. RAKBANK currently offers a variety of credit-card options and a debit card. There are no annual fees levied on the cards. As well as the Cross-Border Promotion, cardholders can also receive up to 5 per cent cashback on all overseas expenditures and as much as 3 per cent for domestic purchases. The cashback amount is calculated based on your monthly expenditure.

Other credit-card rewards include dining and hospitality discounts, special holiday packages to Oman and a chance to win Dh1 million every six months. @Email:jtodd@thenational.ae

EDITOR'S PICKS
NEWSLETTERS