The Standard Chartered Falconflyer credit card has a new look.

The Falconflyer credit cards are available in Blue, Silver and Gold variants each providing its own range of exclusive benefits. The Standard Chartered Falconflyer credit card is a collaborative product with Bahrain’s national carrier, Gulf Air.

New applicants for the credit cards will receive 10,000, 15,000 or 25,000 miles, respectively. Miles earned through local and international retail purchases, can be used to redeem airline tickets on Gulf Air to various destinations.

In addition, the card provides a range of exclusive benefits to customers. These include discounts up to 20% on Gulf Air flights, enhanced baggage allowances up to 30 kg. In addition, cardholders can receive free upgrade of class and many other travel privileges along with convenient banking experiences.

Kunal Varma, head retail banking, StandChart Middle East (ex UAE) says: “Our collaboration with Gulf Air is one of our long-standing partnerships. It is part of our commitment to provide customers with a range of innovative financial products, practical benefits and rewards.

“We are very pleased to offer free miles to our new customers as the added benefit.”

Credit card penetration rates in Bahrain low but rising

Pay-later card payments accounted for 61.5% of total card payments by value in 2018 according to GlobalData research.

The Bahraini credit card market recorded robust growth of 23% CAGR in terms of number of transactions the period 2014-18.

Growth has been supported by banks offering basic credit cards modest fees and the growth of Sharia-compliant cards. For example, in May 2017, Al Baraka Islamic Bank introduced credit cards based on the Qarz-e-Hasan model.

Pay-later card penetration in Bahrain is estimated at 23.8 per 100 individuals in 2018. This compares to its peers Israel (97.2), the UAE (48.3), Kuwait (20.6), Saudi Arabia (14.2), Lebanon (11.1) and Oman (9.6).

In terms of market share, the Bahrain credit card market is highly concentrated. The leading five issuers collectively account for more than 86% of total pay-later card transaction value in 2018.

The top five issuers by market share are BBK, HSBC, Standard Chartered, Ahli United Bank and Citi.