A reason why cashback cards seem to be around every corner is largely to do with the image a credit card has acquired. While many see the benefits a card provides, a lot of people still approach credit cards with apprehension and view them as instruments of debt. Cashback cards were introduced to help us save on our expenses, especially given the high cost of living in Singapore.
In particular, cashback cards have been very successful among people who see little value in collecting points and miles, and prefer the instant gratification of cashback. Here’s a look at the best cashback credit cards that you can get your hands on in Singapore.
The Citi Cash Back card offers cashback on many of the expenses a family in Singapore would need – groceries, dining and petrol. In addition, the Cash Back Card offers 20% cashback on all Grab Taxi rides up to 6 July, 2017. Up to 30 June 2017, if you apply for the card and get an approval, you are eligible for a cashback of S$120 and 7 free rides with Grab Taxi.
The card offers higher cashback rates for dining and groceries as compared to nearly every other cashback card. At 8%, it is only beaten by the CIMB Visa Signature Card, which gives 10% cash rebate. Furthermore, Citi’s cashback applies not just in Singapore but globally.
Petrol expenses charged at stations like Shell and Esso provide savings of up to 21.8% and 20.88% respectively whereas charges made at any other station would fetch a cashback of 8%.
The downside is that it doesn’t cover enough categories. Outside of groceries, dining and petrol, any other expenses would fetch a cashback of only 0.25%.
You need to run up a slightly higher monthly bill than most cards. The minimum monthly expenses required to achieve the cashback is set at S$888 a month, and the cashback earned on each of these categories is capped to S$25 a month. Failing to do so would only earn you a 0.25% rate of cashback.
HSBC’s new and revamped Advanced Credit Card is another great addition to the wonderful no-category-limit cashback credit cards in Singapore. Though the card comes with a cap on how much cashback you can earn, it’s still a great card to have in your wallet because the cashback cap is quite high. If you are a moderate-to-high spender, this card will definitely reward you well!
The HSBC Advance Card allows you to earn a maximum of 3.5% cashback on all online transactions, all retail transactions in Singapore and overseas, and regular bill payments.
The exclusions are the usual suspects such as balance transfers, cash withdrawals, annual fees, tax payments, transactions converted to Instalment Payment Plan, brokerage or securities payments, money transfer, gaming, and prepaid card top-ups for EZ-Link, Transitlink or NETS Flashpay.
There is no minimum spending requirement as such, but the rate of cashback is tiered according to the amount spent per month.
On spends of less than S$2,000, you will get 1.5% cashback and Advance Banking customers will get 2.5% cashback.
On spends of S$2,000 or more per month, you will get 2.5% cashback and 3.5% cashback if you are an Advance Banking customer.
Oh, and unlike the Standard Chartered Unlimited Cashback Card or the American Express True Cashback Card, there is a limit on how much cashback you can earn. For Advance Banking customers the cashback is capped at S$125 per month, while others will earn a maximum of S$70 per month.
DBS/POSB has updated its ever-popular cashback card with several additional cashback options and offers. Now you can also get high rebates on dining and overseas purchases. But the bank has also made the terms and conditions of getting cash rebates slightly more complicated.
Overall, the earnings are huge but you need to be cautious about where to use your card and how much to spend to save properly in different categories. For example, if you buy electronics with this card, you are not going to save much, but taking it out for a few meals every month might prove to be very cost-effective.
Dining, overseas transactions, personal care, grocery purchases, and petrol costs – you name it and there’s a rebate in that category by the POSB Everyday Card.
The card promises 14% cashback on online orders of food, 9% cash rebate during weekends and 3% during weekdays at restaurants, fast food, food courts and cafes.
Overseas payments will also earn you up to 14% rebate, and petrol at SPC can be cheaper by 20.1% if you have a membership card there. Groceries at Sheng Siong will be cheaper by 5%, Watsons will give you a rebate of 3% on personal care shopping, and SP Services and StarHub bills will cost you 1% less. For all other transactions made through the POSB card, you’ll get a cash rebate of 0.3%.
You need to spend at least S$600 per month to get the dining rebates and the 14% rebate on overseas dining. If you spend S$1,000 or more per month you can get 5% rebate on all other overseas transactions. At Sheng Siong, you cannot earn more than S$50 per day as cash rebates, for purchases worth a maximum of S$1,000 in a month. SP Services and StarHub will not reward transactions beyond S$100 in a month.
The BOC Family Card is not talked about too much, probably because the bank is not very aggressive in its promotions, but the Family Card offers great cashback in categories that are ideal for families. But if you have higher expenses on entertainment, petrol or travel, this isn’t the right card for you.
This card gives you 7% cash rebate on dining both in Singapore and abroad, and 5% cashback on supermarkets, hospital bills (this is just awesome, isn’t it?), online transactions, on four NETS FlashPay Auto Top Ups and at stores such as BIG BOX, BEST Denki, Watsons, Unity Pharmacy and Toys ‘R’ Us. You also get 1% rebate on telco bill payments.
You need to spend at least S$500 every month to qualify for the higher cash rebates. If you spend less than that, you will only get a uniform basic cashback of 0.5% on all transactions. The maximum cash rebate that can be earned by primary cardholders in a month is S$100 and the extra rebate for non-categorized purchases by supplementary cardholders is limited to S$20. The maximum annual cashback you can earn is S$1,440, which you have to admit, is an alluring sum!
5. UOB One Card
UOB claims that its One Card is the most generous rebate card in Singapore. It offers up to 5% cash rebate on all expenses, amazing rebates on petrol and extra SMART$ discounts at selected merchants. So is this the right cashback card for you? Let’s find out.
The UOB One Card gives 3.33% cash rebate on spends of up to S$1999.99 and 5% rebate if you spend more than S$2,000. This is applicable for ALL retail transactions. In addition, you also get higher interest rates on the UOB One Account if you spend at least S$500 every month on the credit card. Sounds great, doesn’t it? But there are some conditions applicable. Read on.
For transactions worth up to S$500, the cashback is capped at S$50 per quarter, while transactions up to S$1,000 can earn you a maximum of S$100. Both of these don’t look too great, do they? If you spend S$2,000 or more, you get a rebate of up to S$300 per quarter. But in addition to this, you also have to make at least 5 transactions a month – irrespective of which spending bracket you fall in – to qualify for the quarterly rebate.
How do you pick the ideal cashback card?
Before you go out and get yourself a cashback card, there are a few things you need to consider. Firstly, you need to check your monthly expenses. Will you be able to meet the monthly minimum spends? Are these expenses unavoidable? Figuring out your monthly expenditure pattern can go a long way in deciding on a card.
If it crosses the highest spend requirement on this list which is S$888, then think about where the money is going. If it’s going towards a specific category, you’d be better off going with a card that offers higher rates of cashback on the category you spend on the most.
If you’re the type who can’t be hassled with categories or doesn’t use a card too often, then a cashback card which provides a blanket rate of cashback on all expenses without any caps or spend requirements might be the better route to go.
Are these the only options?
Of course not! If these are not the credit cards you are looking for then here are some others that you can choose:
- American Express True Cashback Card
- Standard Chartered Unlimited Cashback Card
- OCBC 365 Card
- UOB Delight Card
- DBS Live Fresh Card
Regardless of what you choose, just keep in mind that even the best cashback rates can’t outrun poor payment habits. Pay off your monthly bills in full to enjoy the most of your cashback.