Co-branded credit cards form one among the major three types of credit cards that are available in Singapore with the other two being general purpose credit cards and private label credit cards. When we look at the market for co-branded credit cards we often see that they are referred to as either co-branded credit cards or as affinity credit cards. The difference being co-branded credit cards are general purpose credit cards that come about from a partnership between the bank and a merchant such as an Airlines or a hotel and the end reward is passed onto the cardholder. Affinity cards on the other hand are the product of a partnership between a bank and non-profit organization such as a charity or an educational institute. Cardholders use these cards not to derive any rewards but because they are partial to the cause of the institute. The expenses charged to such cards result in a very small percentage being donated towards the institute.
These credit cards have begun adopting strategies of both affinity concept and the co-branded concept. In Singapore, Co-branded credit cards have manifested themselves into cards that offer AirMiles. In fact the majority of the co-branded credit cards are ones that offer AirMiles for a frequent flyer programme whereas others are partnerships with Insurance providers, department stores and even Premier League Football Clubs.
Compare Co-branded Cards of 2018 in Singapore:
Compare Co-branded credit cards offer rewards, discounts and specific privileges at brands they have partnered with. These cards are usually issued when banks or other card issuers partner up with specific organisations. When your use these cards for transactions relevant to the partner organisation, you can maximise your earnings. These may be shopping outlets or departmental stores, airlines or telecom companies, and even petrol stations.
The top co-branded cards come with features such as:
|Card Name||Annual Fee||Earning Rates||Min. Spend Requirement|
|Citibank SMRT Card||S$192.60||Up to 5% savings on groceries, dining, coffee, movies, recurring bills, POPULAR Bookstores, and Toys”R”Us (7.3% at FairPrice Xtra Kallang Wave).||S$300|
|Citi M1 Card||S$192.60||Up to 10% Citi Rebate on M1 recurring bills. Up to 1% Citi Rebate on transactions made at M1 stores.||S$300 to S$600 - Earn rate of 3%. S$600 - Earn rate of 10%.|
|American Express CapitaCard||S$171.20||3x STAR$ for purchases made at CapitaLand Malls for every S$1 spent. 10x STAR$ at more than 65 participating outlets across CapitaLand Malls under the STAR$ Xtra Programme.||S$1,200 for complimentary parking benefit|
|American Express Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Credit Card||S$176.55||1.1 KrisFlyer miles for every S$1 spent across eligible transactions. 2.1 KrisFlyer miles for every S$1 spent in foreign currency overseas for the months of July and December. 3.1 KrisFlyer miles for every S$1 spent on Uber and Grab rides.||None|
|American Express Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Ascend Credit Card||S$337.05||1.2 KrisFlyer miles for every S$1 spent across eligible transactions. 2.2 KrisFlyer miles for every S$1 spent in foreign currency overseas for the months of July and December. 3.2 KrisFlyer miles for every S$1 spent on Uber and Grab rides.||None|
|American Express Singapore Airlines Solitaire PPS Credit Card||S$551.05||1.3 KrisFlyer miles for every S$1 spent across eligible transactions. 1.5 KrisFlyer miles on local spends and 2.4 KrisFlyer miles on overseas spends 3.3 KrisFlyer miles for every S$1 spent on Uber and Grab rides||S$3,800 to earn the 1.5 KrisFlyer miles on local spends and 2.4 KrisFlyer miles on overseas spends.|
|American Express Singapore Airlines PPS Club Credit Card||S$551.05||1.3 KrisFlyer miles for every S$1 spent across eligible transactions. 1.4 KrisFlyer miles on local spend and 2 KrisFlyer miles on overseas spend. 3.3 KrisFlyer miles for every S$1 spent on Uber and Grab rides||S$3,800 to earn the 1.4 KrisFlyer miles on local spend and 2 KrisFlyer miles on overseas spend.|
|Singtel-UOB Card||S$192.60||Cash rebate of up to S$360 on Singtel bills. Up to S$300 worth of Singtel vouchers.||None|
|METRO-UOB Card||S$192.60||10% discount at Metro on regular-priced commodities. 5% Metro$ Rebates at Metro. Get free Delivery on purchases.||S$150 nett at Metro for free delivery, which is increased to S$250 nett during Storewide Events.|
|SAFRA DBS Card||No Fee for SAFRA member||Enjoy privileged access to six SAFRA Clubhouses and its facilities. 1 SAFRAPOINT for every S$1 at participating SAFRA outlets.||S$500|
|DBS Takashimaya American Express Card||S$192.60||6% voucher rebates at Takashimaya Department Stores and Takashimaya Square, B2. Extra discount of 10% on in-store purchases during specific sale events. Enjoy free delivery service upon meeting certain spend criteria.||S$200 during Takashimaya 10% Promotion Day, and S$100 on all other days for free delivery.|
|DBS Takashimaya Visa Card||S$192.60||5% voucher rebates at Takashimaya Department Stores and Takashimaya Square, B2. Extra discount of 10% on in-store purchases during specific sale events. Enjoy free delivery service upon meeting certain spend criteria.||S$200 during Takashimaya 10% Promotion Day, and S$100 on all other days for free delivery.|
|DBS Esso Card||S$85.60||Up to 21.6% savings on fuel spends. S$30 cashback at Esso for three consecutive months. Automatic enrolment into Esso Smiles Driver Rewards programme.||S$180 nett required per month to get S$30 cashback for three consecutive months.|
|OCBC BEST Denki Credit Card||S$160.50||Get 12% BEST Rewards at BEST Denki. Get complimentary delivery service upon spending a certain amount. Up to 2.5% cash rebates per year.||S$200 required for complimentary delivery. Minimum annual spend of S$20,000 gets you 2.5% cash rebate. Annual spend between S$10,000 and S$20,000 gets you 2% cash rebate.|
|OCBC Great Eastern Cashflo Credit Card||S$160.50||Split your premiums over 12 months for selected Great Eastern Life and Great Eastern General insurance plans. Up to 1% cash rebate on monthly instalment bills, or for selected Great Eastern Life and Great Eastern General insurance plans.||1% cash rebate for premiums of selected Great Eastern Life and Great Eastern General insurance plans. Minimum monthly bill of S$1,000 gets you 1% cash rebate. 0.5% cash rebate on monthly bill below S$1,000.|
|NTUC Plus! Visa Credit Card||No fee for NTUC Plus! Members||Up to 12% rebate at Unity, FairPrice and Warehouse Clubs. 3% rebate at Popular.||S$400 spent outside of Unity, FairPrice, FairPrice Online, and Warehouse Club.|
|OCBC Robinsons Group Credit Card||S$192.60||5% rebate at 18 select retail brands. 10% rebate at Robinsons and Marks & Spencer.||S$5,000 for the 10% cash rebate.|
|Maybank Manchester United Platinum Visa Card||S$80||10 TREATS Points for every S$1 transacted at United Direct Online Megastore. 5 TREATS Points for every S$1 transacted when Manchester United wins a Premier League game. 10% discount at the United Direct Online Megastore, and on food and drinks at the Red Cafe.||None|
|Maybank FC Barcelona Visa Signature Card||S$120||Up to 1.6% cashback on all local spend. 2X TREATS Points on every S$1 transacted in foreign currency. 10% rebate when you spend at FC Barcelona Official Online Store Asia Pacific.||None|
|BOC Zaobao Credit Card||S$190||Up to 20% cash rebates on newspaper subscriptions from Zaobao and SPH.||S$600|
|BOC Sheng Siong Card||S$30||Up to 12% cash rebates on Sheng Siong spends, where an additional 5% rebate is provided on top of the base rate of 7%.||Out-store spend of S$400 for the additional 5% cash rebates on Sheng Siong spend.|
|ICBC Koipy Dual Currency Credit Card||S$120 (Gold). S$150 (Platinum).||Discount of 12% or more at over 30 participating restaurants under ICBC-Koipy Up to 3% cashback on retail transactions.||Minimum monthly spend of S$1,000 for 3% cashback. Monthly spend below S$1,000 gives 1% cashback.|
Best for Singapore Airlines
American Express Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Ascend Credit Card: Probably the cream of the crop not just in co-branded credit cards but travel credit cards as well. The main highlight of this card is that it offers AirMiles on every expense and earns them at a higher rate on overseas expenses. The card earns 1.2 Miles on every S$1 charged locally and 2 Miles on every S$1 charged on eligible purchases overseas and on both online and in-flight purchases made at singaporeair.com, silkair.com, KrisShop and SilkAir SkyShop. The card also offers a bonus of 5000 Miles on the very first expense charged to the card as well as a bonus of 5000 miles when S$1000 is charged to the card within first 6 months of the card being approved. Cardholders also receive 4 complimentary airport lounge access passes which allow them access to any SATS Premier Lounge in Singapore and any Plaza Premium Lounge in the world.
Best for Takashimaya Stores
DBS Takashimaya American Express: The DBS Takashimaya range of credit cards offer cardholders exclusive perks at Takashimaya stores. The cards come in an American Express version and a Visa version. The American Express version offers slightly higher rewards and provides cardholders with 6% voucher rebates and earns 2 Takashimaya bonus points for every S$10 charged at Takashimaya stores. Cardholders can redeem 100 Takashimaya bonus points for a total of S$30 in Takashimaya gift vouchers. Cardholders can also earn 1 DBS point for every S$5 spent at 100 Takashimaya stores and convert these points to earn more Takashimaya bonus points. Cardholders can also enjoy an additional savings of 10% during select Takashimaya sale events. The card has a lower minimum annual requirement for foreign applicants at only S$45,000. The annual fees of the card is S$192.60 for the principal card and S$96.30 for supplementary cards. The annual fees are waived for the first year and when the cardholder charges a minimum of S$6,000 to the card, they receive a waiver on the annual fees for the following year.
Best for Footbal Sport Lovers
Maybank Manchester United Platinum Visa Card: This credit card from Maybank allows cardholders to not only show their support to their favourite football team but also revel in their celebrations. Cardholders can win a trip for two people to see the Manchester United Football club play live at the start of every football season. The card also collects TREATS points and earns 10 TREATS points for every S$1 spent at the Manchester United Store and the United Direct Online Megastore. Every time Manchester United wins a match, cardholders can earn 5 TREATS points for every S$1 charged to the card. Cardholders can also enjoy great discounts on Manchester United merchandise. They can receive a discount of up to 10% when shopping at the United Direct Online Megastore. Cardholders can also enjoy a discount of 10% on food and beverage at the Red Café at Old Trafford and can get up to 20% discount on Manchester United Stadium and Museum tour tickets purchased at the Old Trafford Football Ground. The annual fees of this card is very low at S$60 for the principal card. The supplementary cards are complimentary. The annual fee is waived for the first year and subsequent fees are waived when the cardholder charges S$3600 to the card annually.
Best for Greate Eastern Life Instalment Payment
OCBC Great Eastern CashFlo Credit Card: With this credit card, cardholders can avail select insurance plans from Great Eastern Life and Overseas Assurance Corporation and manage payments through instalments. Cardholders can split the charges over a span of 12 months at 0% interest and earn cash rebates of 1% on premiums for select Great Eastern Life and Overseas Assurance Corporation insurance plans. Cardholders also receive access to the Live Great Programme which access to workshops, seminars, articles and apps on holistic health and wellness. The card also splits all expenses charged to the card under S$1000 into instalments of 3 months and expenses over S$1000 into instalments of 6 months. The annual fee for principal card is S$160.50 and for the supplementary card is S$80.25. The annual fees are waived for two years and subsequent annual fees are waived when S$5,000 is charged to the card within its anniversary date.
Best for Travelers
SC Tigerair Platinum Credit Card: Candidates who apply for this card can either receive an upfront award of a one way ticket to any of the 11 destinations offered to cardholders by Tigerair or can choose to receive it later. If the upfront reward is chosen, the cardholder needs to charge a minimum of S$5,000 to the card and should do so every year to continue receiving the ticket. When the future rewards plan is chosen, cardholders need to charge S$8,000 to the card and convert the reward points to redeem the ticket. Cardholders can also enjoy other Tigerair perks such as advance seat selection, priority boarding, complimentary luggage size upgrades and early access to promotions. The annual fee of the principal card is S$192.60 and supplementary cards are free for life. The fees for the first 2 years is waived and subsequent annual fees is waived when a minimum spend of S$5000 is charged to the card.
Benefits of Using Co-branded Cards
The primary features of a co-branded credit card include:
- Earn higher rewards when you transact at the co-branded establishments.
- Rewards earned can be used to offset future purchases at the same establishments.
- Get exclusive invitations to in-store or sale events with additional discounts and/or privileges.
- Enjoy privileges provided by both, the bank and the partnering organisations.
Why Should You Use Co-branded Cards?
Co-branded cards usually benefit those who prefer transacting with specific brands or outlets.
- Those who make repeat purchases at specific stores/brands/outlets.
- Those who wish to use the same credit card to make purchases at specific stores/brands/outlets.
- Those who wish to earn and redeem points/discounts/offers at specific stores/brands/outlets.
For instance, if you use your own transport to get around in Singapore and often fill fuel at Esso stations, the DBS Esso Card will benefit you in terms of fuel savings each time you refuel. This card will provide you up to 21.6% savings on your fuel spends at Esso in addition to earning cashback and Smiles Points. And if you’re a frequent traveller, owning an American Express Singapore Airlines Card will earn you KrisFlyer miles on all eligible spends that are directly credited to your KrisFlyer account saving you time and money on converting your miles. You can directly redeem them for flight tickets on Singapore Airlines and SilkAir.
How Does It Work in Singapore?
In case of co-branded cards, retail organisations usually partner with a financial institutions and a network processor. Usually the banks function as the network processor too. They work with the retail organisation to process transactions made through these cards. By partnering with a retail unit or airlines, banks are able to provide additional benefits from the partnering organisation. For example, the Maybank FC Barcelona Visa Signature Card not only provides 1.6% cashback on every local transactions, but it also provides 10% rebate for spending at FC Barcelona Official Online Store Asia.
Things to Consider Before Getting a Co-branded Card
Some of the key considerations before selecting a co-branded credit card would include:
- Often co-branded credit cards partner with education institutions or other business guilds to offer cards with no annual fees charged. In such cases, you might need to have a membership with the partnering organisation, and membership fees might be applicable.
- Your co-branded card might have certain minimum spend criteria along with a cap value. You must check these criteria before getting a card to see if you meet the minimum spend requirements to maximise your benefits and the check if your spends exceed the cap value.
- Some co-branded cards provide additional benefits or rewards during specific events. You should also check for that criteria before choosing and applying for a card.
- Lastly, check if there are any benefits of using the card elsewhere so you don’t have to limit your card use only to specific establishments.
How to Choose the Right Co-branded Card?
Let’s look at some of the key elements that govern the selection of the right co-branded card for you:
- The card chosen must reflect on your spending habits. You should ideally choose a card that partners with an organisation where you spend the most. It could be a retail chain, an airlines, and so on.
- Co-branded cards can offer several benefits from the partnering organisation in the form of rewards, exclusive privileges, additional discounts and more. To maximise benefit of your card, you should apply for one that combine a larger array of benefits.
- Besides, the partnering organisation-specific benefits, banks also offer its own separate set of privileges through the co-branded card. Thus, you should also look out for and compare these benefits before you choose a card.