Standard Chartered Rewards+ Card Review: Not as Rewarding as We Hoped

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Standard Chartered Rewards+ Card Review

We always wondered when Standard Chartered would jump in with a rewards card that the average person could afford (because let’s be honest, the annual fee on the Visa Infinite Card is not for all of us). And they entered this highly competitive category with the Rewards+ Credit Card.

With no minimum spend requirement and earnings that match some of the best reward cards out there, should this be the new card in your wallet?

Let’s find out.

Who could the Standard Chartered Rewards+ Credit Card be for?

Benefits of the Standard Chartered Rewards+ Credit Card

Standard Chartered claims that this card upsizes your rewards so that you can live an upsized life. The card offers you the following:

  • Up to 10X reward points for every S$1 spent in foreign currencies on overseas dining, retail, and travel.
  • Up to 5X reward points for every S$1 spent on local dining transactions.
  • 1X rewards points on all other eligible spends.
  • No minimum spend required.

1. Up to 10X reward points for foreign currency spends

 Standard Chartered Rewards+ Credit Card - Up to 10X Rewards Points

Image source: Standard Chartered website

10X points for every S$1 that you spend in foreign currencies is a great feature to have especially if you make such transactions often. In fact, you don’t even have to be overseas to be eligible to earn these points. If you shop online on websites based overseas and make your purchases in foreign currencies, you can still earn these points.

So, if you purchase furniture from an overseas website and you make your payment in foreign currency, you will get 10X reward points on that spend. If you’re overseas and you’re paying for your hotel stay at the hotel, you also get 10X reward points.

At first glance, it may seem that the Standard Chartered Rewards+ Card is on par with other 10X rewards credit cards like the Citi Rewards Card or OCBC Titanium Rewards Card when it comes to overseas shopping spends. But it turns out that it’s not the case.

The mystery lies in the miles earning rate on this card. You would assume that 1X point = 0.4 miles, like most miles credit cards. But a closer look at the fine print will show you that for the Rewards+ Credit Card, the miles earning rate at 10X rewards is 2.9 miles/dollar since you need 3,500 points to redeem 1,015 KrisFlyer Miles.

 Standard Chartered Rewards+ Credit Card: How much rewards to convert into Krisflyer Miles

Image source: Standard Chartered 360 Rewards

2. Up to 5X reward points for dining spends

Standard Chartered Rewards+ Credit Card - 5X Reward Points on Dining

Image source: Standard Chartered website

The 5X points on dining are only for local dining not including dining in hotels. So, you can forget about earning 5X points for that delicious buffet at The Line at Shangri-La Hotel.

Because of the points to miles conversion, you only earn 1.45 miles per dollar on your dining spends. It goes without saying then that you wouldn’t use this card when you can earn more miles by using HSBC’s Revolution Credit Card instead. With the Revolution card, you can earn 2 miles/dollar on local dining, and there is no minimum spends too.

3. 1X point on all other spends

Once again, not a great earning rate (terrible in fact). If you’re not careful, you’ll easily hit the annual cap of 20,000 bonus points, and start earning 1X points of all your spends. As soon as you’ve spent about S$2,222 in foreign currency spend in the year, it’s time to switch to another miles card.

Drawbacks of the Standard Chartered Rewards+ Card: A curiously low cap on bonus points

We hinted at this in the previous paragraph. The cap on bonus points is only 20,000 points a year. Here’s a table from the card’s T&Cs that illustrates this.

SCB Rewards+ Credit Card T&C

Image source: Standard Chartered Rewards+ Credit Card T&C

Rewards+ Card upsized gift

So far the Rewards+ Card hasn’t given us too many reasons to celebrate. So, maybe you can get it for the gifting promotion Standard Chartered is currently running? I mean, who doesn’t want some stylish luggage, right?

Standard Chartered Rewards+ Credit Card: Free Luggage Bag

Image source: Standard Chartered website

Be one of the first 500 Rewards+ Cardholders to earn 5,000 reward points and you can get an American Tourister Luggage Bag worth S$210. Sounds great?

Not really.

First, this promotion is only for the first 800 customers who register for this offer. Of them, if you are one of the first 500 to earn 5,000 points, then the bag is all yours!

Again, not quite.

You see, this isn’t really a gift. To get the bag, you need to spend at least S$500 overseas or S$1,000 on dining. Only then will you earn 5,000 points. Which is then deducted so that you can redeem it for the American Tourister Bag – a bag that is worth S$210.

So, essentially, you have paid for your own gift. This isn’t a perk in any sense of the word.

What else do you get?

1. Up to 50% off at Fullerton Hotel and Fullerton Bay Hotel

Pay with your Rewards+ Credit Card and you get up to 50% off at all of the 5 restaurants at The Fullerton Hotel. You also get up to 50% off at all of the 4 restaurants at The Fullerton Bay Hotel. This is a promotional offer and is valid until March 2019.

Keep in mind, though, that using your card to pay these bills does not make you eligible for the additional points you can earn on dining. You will only earn 1X point for every S$1 that you spend, in addition to the discount. There are a few other conditions as well.

If you go out with a friend and you order only one item from the menu (because you are small eaters), your discount will be capped at 15%. For you to be eligible for the entire discount, all of your guests must order 1 item each from the à la carte menu.

2. 1-for-1 Platinum Movie Suites tickets with Cathay Cineplex

If you enjoy going on movie dates, then this will surely get you excited! For every Cathay Cineplex Platinum Movie Suites ticket that you purchase, you get another absolutely free!

You or your supplementary cardholder can redeem up to 5 complimentary tickets each day.

How does the Standard Chartered Rewards+ Credit Card fare against other rewards credit cards?

You are probably used to seeing one comparison table in our other credit card reviews. This time, we decided to compare the Standard Chartered Rewards+ Credit Card with other cards based on the various categories reward points are awarded for. This way, you will be able to get a better picture of which credit card is more suited to your style of spending.

Shopping spends – fashion and apparel

Standard Chartered Rewards+ Credit Card

Citi Rewards Card

OCBC Titanium Rewards Card

Up to 10x points per S$1 spent on overseas retail in foreign currency

(equivalent to 2.9 mpd)

10X points for every S$1 spent

(equivalent to 4 mpd)

10X points for every S$1 spent

(equivalent to 4 mpd)

When it comes to shopping for clothes, bags, shoes and in department stores, the Citi Rewards Card and the OCBC Titanium Rewards Card win hands down. Not only do they offer a high mile earning rate, but you are rewarded for local and overseas shopping, regardless of the currency you choose to pay in.

Overseas spends – that don’t have minimum spends

Standard Chartered Rewards+ Credit Card

UOB PRVI Miles Citi PremierMiles Visa Card

DBS Altitude Card

Up to 10X points per S$1 spent

(equivalent to 2.9 mpd)

UNI$6 for every S$5 spent

(equivalent to 2.4 mpd)

2 Citi Miles for every S$1 spent 1 DBS Point for every S$1 spent

(equivalent to 2 mpd)

For non-online overseas spending such as hotel payments, dining or groceries, the Standard Chartered Rewards+ Card performs better than other miles cards that don’t have any minimum spends. The exception being the UOB Visa Signature (not included above), which earns you 4 miles/dollar, but only if you spend at least S$1,000 in foreign currency in a statement period.

Dining spends – not including Apple Pay promotions

Standard Chartered Rewards+ Credit Card

HSBC’s Revolution Credit Card

Maybank Horizon Visa Signature Card

5X points for every S$1 spent on local dining

(equivalent to 1.45 mpd)

5X points on local dining transactions

(equivalent to 2 mpd)

8X TREATS Points for every S$1 spent on local dining

(equivalent to 3.2 mpd)

Even though dining is one of the stated benefits of the Rewards+ Card, you are better off using the Maybank Horizon Visa Signature Card since it has the highest miles earning rate among the three. If you don’t like the conditions that the Maybank card comes with, the HSBC Revolution Card would be your next best alternative.

Online overseas spends in foreign currencies

Standard Chartered Rewards+ Credit Card

HSBC’s Revolution Credit Card

DBS Woman’s World Mastercard

10X points for every S$1 spent

(equivalent to 2.9 mpd)

5X points per S$1 spent

(equivalent to 2 mpd)

10X DBS Points for every S$5 spent

(equivalent to 4 mpd)

There is s no denying that the DBS Woman’s World Mastercard blows the competition out of the water when it comes to earning reward points for online overseas spends. The downside though? The income requirement for the Woman’s World Mastercard is S$80,000 per annum.

In the absence of the DBS Woman’s World Mastercard, the Rewards+ card might be a good choice but do remember that Standard Chartered credit cards charge a hefty 3.5% fee on foreign currency transactions.

BankBazaar’s final thoughts

The Standard Chartered Rewards+ Credit Card has carved out a unique though somewhat small niche for itself. The optimal use for this card would be for non-online foreign currency spends that are not fashion and apparel related.

Contrary to what some of us might think, the Standard Chartered Rewards+ Card is NOT suitable for frequent travellers. The very low cap on bonus points means that you should only be spending about S$2,222 (20,000 points divided by 9) a year in foreign currency.

Consequently, the card is only good for 6,443 miles in a year. Considering that you need S$25 to convert those points to miles, and after two years you might have to pay the annual fee of S$192.60, we suggest that you think about this carefully before getting this card.

Standard Chartered Rewards+ Credit Card

Details

Annual Fee S$192.60 (2 years waiver)
Effective interest rate 25.9% p.a
Eligibility 21 to 65 years old

Annual income requirement:

  • S$30,000 and above for Singaporeans and PR
  • S$60,000 and above for foreigners with EP

 

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