When the BOC Family Card was first launched, it was easily the best, if not one of the best, cashback cards for a typical Singaporean family. The card had a low minimum spend and gave generous cashback on dining, grocery shopping, online expenses, and more. It also had a flexible cashback cap of S$100 regardless of what you spent on. This later changed to a cashback cap on individual categories, but the overall cashback amount was still S$100. And the minimum spend was increased to S$700. Still, it wasn’t a bad card to have.
Good deals usually don’t last that long, and true enough, the BOC Family Card adjusted their offering in December of last year. The question is, do we still consider the BOC Family Card as a good cashback card in Singapore? Or if you’re new to the card, should you be getting it? Let’s take a look.
BOC Family Card Review: Is the card worth a slot in our wallet?
What are the top features of this card?
- Earn up to S$1,200 cash rebate each year.
- 10% cash rebate on local and overseas dining and movies.
- 5% rebate at selected merchants which include BEST Denki, Unity Pharmacy, Watsons, POPULAr Bookstore, and Welcia-BHG.
- 3% cash rebate on online purchases, Garb rides and taxi rides in Singapore, on telco bills, and at supermarkets.
- 0.3% rebate on all other spends.
- 2% rebate when you use your supplementary card for all other spends.
Which features have changed since the last revision of terms and conditions?
- The 5% cash rebate is now only at selected merchants. Previously, you could earn 5% cash rebate on online transactions, telco bills, and at supermarkets.
- BOC also seems to have done away with awarding transactions made at hospitals and the rebate you used to receive on your first 4 NETS FlashPay auto top-ups. So, you should consider using a different card for your NETS FlashPay transactions now.
Caution, speed bumps ahead!
With a revamp of their existing terms and conditions, the individual cap has reduced for all the categories. So, let’s take a look at how this affects how much cash rebate you can earn.
10% rebate on dining and movies
If you eat out often, then this is a great card to use since you get 10% off on your dining expenditure. Go out for a fancy S$200 meal and take S$20 off the bill. Fantastic!
So, what’s the catch?
Well, previously, the cash rebate for dining and movies was capped at S$30 per statement period. It is now S$25. Which means that after your expensive S$200 meal, you should only put another S$50 worth of dining or cinema expenses on the card. Beyond that, your cashback is going to be negligible.
5% rebate at selected merchants
Prior to this revision, 5% cash rebate was earned on online spends. Now, this rebate is applicable only when you spend at selected merchants. Moreover, the cash rebate cap has also reduced to S$25 from S$30. This means that you should ideally only spend S$500 at these merchants each month. And, to be honest, you probably won’t be spending as much at these merchants every month. If you do, though, make sure you don’t exceed the S$500 cap.
liveries, Lazada shopping and Bangkok trip tickets on the BOC Family Card because the definition of online spends is very broad. You just don’t want to be booking expensive flight tickets with this card since there is a cashback cap.
3% rebate at supermarkets, on online purchases, telecom bills, and more
The rebates for supermarkets, online purchases, and telecom bills have been reduced to 3%. And since the rebate is now capped at S$30, you have up to S$1,00 to spend each month. So, you should ideally charge your online shopping to your BOC Family Card. This means, your food delivery and Lazada shopping can all be done using this card. We wouldn’t recommend booking your tickets to Bangkok with this card since you can earn better rewards with BOC’s Elite Miles World Mastercard.
Honestly, this rebate is okay if it’s just you and your spouse. If, however, you have 2 or 3 kids, your monthly grocery bills alone may exceed S$800, so reaching that S$1,000 cap is quite easy. In such cases, you should consider using another credit card.
0.3% rebate on all other retail purchases
Also capped at S$30, there really isn’t much to say about this benefit.
Additional 2% rebate on supplementary cards
If a supplementary cardholder charges S$400 per month (previously S$200) to their BOC Family Card, then they are entitled to an additional 2% rebate.
However, this rebate is only applicable to categories that earn the 0.3% rebate when you use the principal card.
Which other credit card in Singapore is comparable to the BOC Family Card?
This is a bit of a tough one since the BOC Family Card covers so many categories for its rebates. The closest alternative that comes to mind would be the Citi Cash Back Card. It too has a high cash back percentage on dining and groceries, and Grab rides.
However, there is a higher minimum spend, but the individual cashback caps are similar to that of BOC’s for dining. Additionally, the Citi Cash Back Card allows you to earn a maximum of S$100 cash back per month on categories that earn 8% cash back. In comparison to the S$80 you now get with the BOC Family Card, this does seem like a better alternative.
So, when should you consider using the BOC Family Card? Use it if you’re someone who prefers cashback on a larger range of categories.
So, do we recommend the BOC Family Card?
The answer isn’t a straightforward yes or no since there are quite a few things you will need to consider. Like the minimum spend amount of S$800 which is a S$100 increase from earlier. If you use the card to pay telco bills and use it for your dining and grocery spends, then hitting this spend requirement won’t be a problem.
That being said, the biggest gripe we have is with the rebate cap in each category. The caps essentially mean, that now you will have to track your spends for each category so that you can get the most out of the card.
It may not be the best cash rebate card out there as of today, but it is still one of the few cards which reward a wide category of spends. So, is it worth getting? If you already have this card, we recommend that you hold on to it. Especially if you have a BOC SmartSaver account since you get to earn bonus interest of 1.6% p.a. on credit card spends. If not, you could consider getting another card. Maybe even get yourself BOC’s Elite Miles World Mastercard and earn miles like never before!
|BOC Family Card||Details|
|Annual Fee||Principal card: S$190 p.a. (1-year waiver)
Supplementary card: S$95 p.a. (1-year waiver)
|Effective interest rate||28.88% p.a|
|Eligibility||21 years old and above
Annual income requirement: