Standard Chartered MANHATTAN World MasterCard Review: Is Old Still Gold?

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Image of the Standard Chartered MANHATTAN World Mastercard

I remember the days when the MANHATTAN card was the cool kid on the block. It was one of the first cashback cards in the market, and boy was it marketed well. The website was sleek, the copywriting inspiring and the even the card collaterals were one-of-a-kind.

It’s been a while since those days. And obviously, the MANHATTAN card is still around, but it has A LOT of competition. Like before, the Standard Chartered MANHATTAN World MasterCard offers cashback on dining, shopping, entertainment, and (nearly) everything in between.

So, is the Standard Chartered MANHATTAN World MasterCard staying ahead of the competition, or does it fall flat when pitted against other credit cards? There’s only one way to find out.

How the cashback works

This credit card offers cashback of up to 3% on eligible purchases throughout the year. Here is the breakup of the cashback you can earn on this card:

Monthly Spends Cashback percentage
Below S$1,000 0.5% cashback
Between S$1,000 and S$2,999 1% cashback
Above S$3,000 3% cashback

 

And so far it’s not that appealing

So, here’s the problem with the card: the maximum cashback offered on this card is 3% and you have to spend above 3,000 every month to earn it. When compared to other credit cards, it’s quite a lot.

And that’s not the only problem – cashback is capped at S$200 per quarter (3 consecutive months), so that’s an average of S$66.77 cashback per month. That’s way lesser than what other cashback credit cards in the market are currently offering.

If you take the same bank’s different cashback card, the Standard Chartered Unlimited Cashback Card, you get a flat cashback rate of 1.5% on all transactions with NO minimum spend requirement and NO cap on how much cashback you can earn.

But there are unique features which make this card an occasional gem

Although the cashback isn’t fantastic, there are some unique attributes associated with this card. The first one being that you can earn cashback for paying your tuition fees using this card. Yes, if you pay any school fees or tuition fees, the amount paid will be eligible to earn cashback up to the cashback cap.

Another attribute that is unique to this card is that you will earn cashback on your monthly 0% instalment payment amount if you’ve converted any purchases into 0% interest instalment payment plans.

It’s unique because most credit cards on the market do not offer any cashback or rewards on purchases converted to such plans. Plus, it’s a safe assumption to make that most purchases converted to such plans are expensive, ergo, more cashback.

How does the card fare against other cashback cards?

Here’s how the MANHATTAN World MasterCard fares when compared to other cashback credit cards on the market:

Criteria MANHATTAN World MasterCard OCBC 365 Credit Card Citi Cashback Credit Card The American Express True Cashback Card
Cashback earning potential Up to 3% on all eligible purchases such as dining, shopping, entertainment + 0% instalment payments, tuition fees, etc. Dining/Petrol – Up to 6% each

Online shopping, grocery, telco bills – 3% each

8% per category in Dining, grocery, petrol, Grab rides 3% cashback for the initial 6 months after card approval up to S$5,000 spend

1.5% cashback on all categories such as dining, shopping, entertainment, insurance, etc.

Minimum spend requirement S$3,000 to earn maximum cashback of 3% per month S$600 per month S$888 per month No minimum spend requirement
Cashback Cap Approx. S$66.77 per month (S$200 per quarter) S$80 per calendar month Approx. S$100 (S$25 per category per month) No cap

 

When you compare the MANHATTAN World MasterCard with other cashback credit cards, it doesn’t look to be doing great – it requires the highest minimum spend amount and offers the lowest cashback.

Should you go for the Standard Chartered Unlimited Cashback Card instead?

Criteria MANHATTAN World MasterCard Unlimited Cashback Card
Eligible spend category All categories – Dining, shopping, entertainment + 0% instalment payments, tuition fees All categories including 0% instalment payments
Cashback earning potential Up to 3% on all eligible purchases 1.5% on all eligible purchases
Minimum spend requirement S$3,000 to earn maximum cashback of 3% per month No minimum spend requirement
Cashback Cap Approx. S$66.77 per month (S$200 per quarter) No cap

 

Although the Unlimited Cashback Card doesn’t offer more than 1.5% cashback, it will never offer lesser cashback either. But, with the MANHATTAN World MasterCard, if you spend below S$3,000 a month, you’ll only earn a cashback rate between 0.5% and 1%. Plus, the cashback cap is a definite bonus on the Unlimited Cashback Card.

Any takers?

Ultimately, this credit card is useful if you want to maintain a card which you will use only to make large purchases and convert them into instalment plans at 0% interest. This is the only area where the MANHATTAN World MasterCard has one over other cards because it offers cashback on the monthly instalment payments you make which currently other cards don’t offer.

It will also come in handy if you want to use this card to pay for educational courses, school/tuition fees, etc. because you will earn cashback there as well. And needless to say, education is expensive and making a large payment using this card could mean earning cashback to the brim (up to the cashback cap).

But if you’re looking for a cashback credit card for your daily spending, the MANHATTAN World MasterCard is no superhero, but just an average Joe.

Do you agree with us? Let us know in the comments section.

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