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Cashback cards refund to your account a certain percentage of the transacted amount when you make purchases. Some of them provide you with cashback when you spend only across certain eligible categories, while others give it against all spends. These are also known as cash rebate cards as they provide a certain percentage of rebate on your transactions. You can use the amount earned back to offset your future purchases or a part of the bill.
|Name of Cards||Recommended for|
|American Express True Cashback Card||All retail purchases|
|Standard Chartered Unlimited Cashback Credit Card||Foreign currency spending|
|Citi Cash Back Card||Dining, petrol, groceries|
|DBS Live Fresh Card||Online and contactless shopping|
|UOB One Card||All purchases|
|SAFRA DBS Card||Contactless and online shopping|
|DBS Takashimaya American Express Card||Takashimaya stores|
|POSB Everyday Card||Spending on daily essentials|
|HSBC Visa Platinum Credit Card||Daily purchases|
|ICBC Global Travel Mastercard||Purchases made with foreign currency|
|Maybank Family & Friends Card||Groceries and transport|
|Maybank Platinum Visa Card||Local spend|
|Maybank eVibes Card||Students at the level of tertiary education|
|Maybank DUO Platinum Mastercard||Fuel purchase|
|Maybank FC Barcelona Visa Signature Card||Local transactions|
|OCBC 365 Credit Card||Weekend dining|
|OCBC Great Eastern Cashflo Credit Card||Selected Great Eastern Life and General insurance plans|
|OCBC FRANK Credit Card||Entertainment and online spend|
|OCBC Robinsons Group Credit Card||Fashion brands|
|OCBC NTUC Plus! Visa Credit Card||FairPrice Stores and Warehouse Club|
|OCBC BEST Denki Credit Card||BEST Denki stores|
|Standard Chartered Spree Credit Card||Online spending|
|Standard Chartered MANHATTAN World Mastercard||Fees paid to schools and other organisations|
|UOB YOLO Card||Grab rides, entertainment, and dining|
|UOB Delight Credit Card||Grocery|
|Singtel-UOB Card||Singtel bills|
|UOB UnionPay Card||All local and overseas transactions|
|UOB JCB Card||Select Japanese merchants|
|Citibank SMRT Card||Groceries, fast food, coffee, and movies|
|Citi M1 Card||M1 bills|
With cashback and cash rebate cards, you can get more bang for your buck. Most card issuers in Singapore value your loyalty and reward you by giving back cash and cash rebates for eligible spends. These rebates can be used to offset your utility bills or retail purchases, as the case may be. You can earn cash rebates or cashback on categories like local spend, foreign spend, foreign currency spend, groceries, entertainment, utility bills, fashion brands, online shopping, contactless payments, and more. Most student cards in Singapore also offer cashback and cash rebates on eligible transactions.
With so many cards on offer, choosing the right card can become a little complicated. To make things easy, we have recommended cashback cards based on the primary spend category for which they are most appropriate. With optimal usage, you can maximise the cashback/cash rebate offered.
Get 5% cashback on eligible online spends and contactless payments made through Visa payWave. Payments made via mobile wallets such as Samsung Pay, Apple Pay, and Google Pay will also fetch you cashback of up to 5%. However, you’ll have to spend a minimum of S$600 in a calendar month to be eligible for this cashback offer. The cashback for this card is capped at S$60. You can earn up to S$20 on online spends, up to S$20 on payments made through Visa payWave, and up to S$20 on other spends.Card Highlights:
Get 3% cash rebate on all local Mastercard contactless transactions and eligible online spends with this card. However, you’ll have to spend a minimum of S$500 per calendar month to qualify for this offer. You can offset your purchases on the spot with your accumulated SAFRA$ cash rebates at participating merchants and 6 SAFRA Clubs in Singapore. You can also log in to your internet banking account and redeem your SAFRA$ points against KrisFlyer miles or for offsetting your card bills. Cash rebates are capped at SAFRA$50 per calendar month per card account. This card is available to SAFRA members only.Card Highlights:
Get cashback of 3% on all online spends completed in foreign currency and also on vPost spends. Cashback of 2% will be offered on online spends made in Singapore dollars. The same rate will also apply for payments made via mobile wallets and on contactless payments at selected retail outlets. With this card, you can earn up to S$60 in cashback every month. There is no minimum spend requirement, too. Till 31 July 2018, you can also get up to 20% cashback, capped at S$30 a month, on Grab rides taken in Singapore or abroad.Card Highlights:
Get a maximum of 8% cashback on retail purchases made at retail stores connected to the UnionPay payment network. For retail spends on qualifying spends not exceeding S$500 for each of the any three consecutive months, you’ll get cashback of 0.5% for the first month, 0.5% for the second month, and 0.5% for the third month. For retail spends at merchants connected to the UnionPay payment network that exceeds S$500 for each of the any three consecutive months, you’ll get cashback of 2% in the first month, 5% in the second, and 8% in the third. The cashback entitlement for the three months in question will be capped at S$50, S$60, and S$80, respectively.Card Highlights:
Get cashback of 3% on the total spend, provided you charge a minimum of S$1,000 per month to your card and cashback of 1% on the total spend, when you charge less than S$1,000 per month to your card. You can earn cashback of up to S$60 per month. The bank will also consider all the qualifying transactions made on supplementary cards for calculating the monthly cashback earned by you on your principal card. Certain transactions such as card fees and charges are excluded from the cashback offer. Cashback will be credited to your card account within 30 business days from the end of the month in which an eligible transaction was made.Card Highlights:
Get cashback of up to 8% on qualifying retail transactions charged to this card. The transactions must be made at retail outlets connected to the Visa payment network. If you make qualifying spends for three consecutive months of up to S$500, you’ll get 0.5% cashback for the first month, 0.5% cashback for the second, and 0.5% cashback for the third. For qualifying spends above S$500 for each of the any three consecutive months, cashback will be capped at 2% for the first month, 5% for the second, and 8% for the third. Cashback will not be awarded for top-ups and recharges.Card Highlights:
Get cash rebates of up to 6% on daily essentials from certain merchant outlets such as Watsons, Sheng Siong, SP Group, SPC, and Starhub. There is no minimum spend requirement. You can get a cash rebate of up to 5% on your grocery shopping at Sheng Siong. Use your card to get a 3% cash rebate on personal care products from Watsons. For all your recurring utility bills from SP Group, you can get 1% cash rebate. More mobile and broadband services, and in-store purchases from Starhub, you’ll be offered a cash rebate of 1%.Card Highlights:
Get cash rebate of 5% on your daily purchases. These include selected recurring bills, fuel, and groceries (includes all local supermarkets and grocery stores). This offer is valid for your recurring mobile, cable tv, broadband, and other telecommunication bills. If you’re a Starhub customer, you can sign up for this offer directly through the bank’s website. If you’re a subscriber of services provided by other local telecommunication companies, contact them directly. In addition to the regular 5% cash rebate, you can also get another 16% instant discount when you purchase fuel from Caltex or Shell.Card Highlights:
Get up to 6% cash rebate on your daily expenses. You can enjoy up to 5% cash rebate on your purchases at local grocery stores. You’ll also get up to 5% cash rebate on recurring cable tv, mobile, and broadband bills. With this card, you’ll also enjoy up to 6% cash rebates on petrol. You’ll also get up to 2% cash rebate on local restaurants although hotel dining is excluded from this offer. To earn cash rebates at an accelerated rate, you’ll have to spend a minimum of S$800 per month, for three consecutive months. You’ll earn cash rebates at a lower rate on a minimum spend of S$400 per month in a calendar quarter.Card Highlights:
Get up to 5% cash rebate on all your spends. In order to benefit from this card feature, you’ll have to charge a minimum of S$2,000 worth of qualifying transactions per month to your card for at least three consecutive months. Additionally, you can also get SMART$ rebates at more than 400 participating merchants all through the island. SMART$ works like Singapore dollars and can be used to offset your purchases instantly. Since you can earn cash rebates at an accelerated rate with this card, you can also save more every time you make a purchase.Card Highlights:
Get up to 3.5% cashback on all purchases that you charge to your card. Additionally, there is no minimum spend requirement for this offer. If you’re a retail banking customer, you’ll enjoy cashback of up to 2.5% on your card if you spend more than S$2,000 per month and 1.5% if you spend up to S$2,000 on your card. If you’re an HSBC Advance banking customer, you’ll enjoy 1% additional cashback on all spends. The monthly cashback limit stands at S$70 for retail banking customers and S$125 for HSBC Advance customers.Card Highlights:
Get a cash rebate of 0.5% on all purchases, when your total monthly card bill is below S$1,000 and a cash rebate of 1% if the monthly bill is S$1,000 or above. Your payments will also be automatically split into 3-month instalments on transactions above S$100 but below S$1,000 and split into 6-month instalments on transactions worth S$1,000 at least. Due to the these two major benefits, this card helps you enjoy greater control on your cash flow and stretch your dollars.Card Highlights:
Get a cash rebate of 2% on all the transactions you charge to your card. There is no minimum spend requirement. This offer is applicable on all local and overseas retail transactions. As this card is accepted by more than 41 million merchant outlets worldwide, you can enjoy this benefit on spends made almost anywhere in the world. Between 11 June 2018 and 8 July 2018, you can earn an additional cash rebate of up to 3% when you charge a minimum of S$500 to your card. That means, effectively, you can earn cash rebates of up to 5% during this promotional period.Card Highlights:
Get cashback of up to 1.5% on purchase of goods and services. You’ll also get 3% cashback for the first 6 months after the issue of your card if you spend a total of up to S$5,000 within this period. Eligible transactions made on supplementary cards will also be considered for calculation of the total cashback you can earn on your principal card. You can save more by benefitting from the True Cashback deals in addition to the cashback offer.Card Highlights:
Get cash rebates of up to 3.33% on all your local spends. The rebates offered will be automatically used to offset your card bills. Simply spend a minimum of S$300 every month in a quarter to get cash rebates. To earn a cash rebate of S$30, your consolidated bill amount per month should be at least S$300 for every month in a quarter. To earn a cash rebate of S$100, you’ll have to spend at least S$1,000 per month over a qualifying quarterly period. Payment of card fees, certain recharges and other miscellaneous charges are excluded from this offer to earn rebates.Card Highlights:
Get 1.6% cash rebates on all local spends. There is no limit on the amount of cashback you can earn with this card. There is also no minimum spend criterion. You can further increase your savings and return on investment through the discounts that you’ll enjoy on various spend categories. You’ll get 10% off purchases made on the FC Barcelona Official Online Store Asia Pacific and get 5% off your purchases made at FCBotiga official store at Camp Nou.Card Highlights:
Get unlimited cashback of up to 3% on qualifying overseas/foreign currency transactions. There is no restriction on the number of transactions or any limit on the cashback that you can earn. There is also no minimum spend requirement. Some of the transactions excluded from this offer are card fees and charges, top-ups, payments to prepaid accounts and card, tax payments, payments related to trading of securities, and more. Cashback will be credited to your card account within 30 business days from the end of the month in which an eligible transaction was made.Card Highlights:
Get 3% cashback on your total monthly spend for three months if your card was approved before 30 June 2018. You’ll earn 1.5% cashback on all spends and an additional 1.5% on foreign currency spends during this period. After 29 September 2018, you’ll earn cashback at the regular rate (1.5%) on all your card spends. This offer doesn’t have a minimum spend criteria or a cashback cap. Whether you go for a Safari tour, a shopping spree or a lavish dinner, you can get more bang for your buck with this card.Card Highlights:
Get 5% Takashimaya voucher rebates with the DBS Takashimaya Visa Card. These vouchers can be used to offset your future purchase bills. Every S$30 worth of Takashimaya vouchers can be redeemed for 100 Takashimaya Bonus Points. These points can be used to pay for your Takashimaya retail purchases. You’ll also get 0.5% voucher rebates for out-store spends. So, for every S$2,000 charged to this card outside Takashimaya stores within a quarter, you can redeem S$10 worth of Takashimaya vouchers. This offer is valid till 30 June 2018. Some of the exclusions are payment of card fees, membership fees, top-ups and payments to prepaid cards, payment to financial institutions, and cash withdrawal among others.Card Highlights:
Get 6% voucher rebates with this card. You can also earn 2 Takashimaya Bonus Points for every S$10 you charge to your card. You can redeem every 100 Takashimaya Bonus Points for S$30 worth of Takashimaya Gift Vouchers. These rebates can be used to offset future purchases at Takashimaya. For every S$2,000 charged to your card outside Takashimaya per quarter, you can redeem S$10 worth of gift vouchers to offset your purchases. This offer is valid till 30 June 2018. Payment of recurring bills, My Preferred Instalment Plans, and local and foreign retail spends, qualify for this offer.Card Highlights:
Get 12% rebate on the expenses charged to your card at Fairprice stores. Cardholders with NTUC membership will enjoy this special benefit. This offer is valid only if a cardholder charges S$400 worth of transactions outside FairPrice, Unity, FairPrice Online, and Warehouse Club within the same calendar month. This offer is only valid for Visa transactions above S$20 outside FairPrice. The 12% rebate comprises 7% LinkPoints rebate, 4% FairPrice Annual Cash Rebate, and an additional 1% rebate for cardholders who agree to credit their salaries to the NTUC-OCBC Starter Savings Accounts. Check the bank’s website for exclusions.Card Highlights:
Spend S$500 a month outside FairPrice stores to get 7% cash rebate at Warehouse Club and FairPrice stores. You can also get 3% rebate when you shop from the FairPrice website. Qualifying spend include telecommunication recurring bills, insurance premiums, EZ top-up, purchases made at Popular bookstore, and other retail purchases. The cash rebates will be provided in the form of LinkPoint Rewards. 150 LinkPoints is equal to S$1. While 5.67% rebate or 8.5 LinkPoints will be offered by OCBC, the remaining 1.33% rebate or 2 LinkPoints will be offered by FairPrice, bringing the total to 7%. LinkPoints will be credited to your card account within 60 days of the relevant transaction.Card Highlights:
Get 12% BEST Rewards equivalent to 3% cash rebates when you use this card to purchase electronic items from BEST Denki. This offer is valid for all purchases made at BEST Denki including those purchases which have been made under the 0% instalment payment plan. If you spend at least S$10,000 at BEST Denki with your card, you’ll get an additional cash rebate of 2% and if you spend at least S$20,000, you can earn an additional 2.5% cash rebate. Only transactions made at BEST Denki will qualify for the annual cash rebate. Use these rebates to offset your future purchases at BEST Denki.Card Highlights:
Get 0.5% cash rebate on consolidated monthly bill below S$1,000 and 1% on consolidated monthly bill of S$1,000 or more. Get 1% cash rebate when you purchase selected Great Eastern General Insurance plans or Life Insurance products. Purchases valued over S$100 but below S$1,000 are automatically divided into 3 monthly instalments and purchases valued S$1,000 and above are divided into 6 monthly instalments. Some Great Eastern Life and General Insurance products can be distributed into 12 monthly payment plans. The cash rebates earned by you will be automatically credited to your card account. You may use these rebates to offset your card bills.Card Highlights:
Get 6% cashback on weekend dining when you charge the dining bills to your card. You’ll also get 3% cashback on weekday dining both within and outside Singapore. You can also earn cashback at the same rate when you charge your online shopping purchases to this card. This includes Grab and Uber cab bookings. You’ll also get 5% cashback on fuel, 3% cashback on grocery, 3% cashback on recurring telco bills, and 0.3% cashback on all other spends. Spends on EZ-Link and TransitLink of up to S$200 in a calendar month will earn cashback of 0.3%. Cashback can only be earned at an accelerated rate if you post S$600 in eligible transactions in a calendar month. Otherwise, the flat rate of 0.3% will apply. You can earn a maximum of S$80 in cashback in a particular calendar month.Card Highlights:
Get cashback of 0.3% on retail transactions that you charge to this card. Not only can you get more value for money when you shop online, order food online, reserve hotel rooms online, or book a cab online but also when you make Visa payWave purchases at participating merchants across the city-state. Check the bank’s website for the spend exclusions. This card is also automatically enrolled for EZ-Reload. That means, it can be used as your EZ-Link card, too.Card Highlights:
Get 1% cash rebate on everything you buy with this card. The date on which an eligible transaction is posted to your card account will be used for the purpose of calculation of your card spend. All retail transactions charged to your card will be eligible for cash rebates. Cash rebates will be calculated correct to 2 decimal places and won’t be rounded off. No cash rebate will be awarded by the bank for transactions that are deemed to be commercial or corporate in nature. Transactions completed in a particular month but not posted to the card account in the same month will be considered for cashback calculation in the next month.Card Highlights:
Get 5% cash rebates every time you charge your fuel purchases to this card in Singapore or Malaysia. Transactions made at participating petrol stations in Singapore and Malaysia, classified under MCC 5541 and MCC 5542 will be considered to be valid. Cash rebates will be calculated correct to 2 decimal places and won’t be rounded off. Transactions, deemed to be corporate or commercial in nature by Maybank, won’t earn you any cash rebates. If you charge a minimum of S$1,000 worth of fuel purchases per month on or before 31 July 2018, you can get cash rebates of 13%.Card Highlights:
Get 8% cash back every time you charge your fuel bills to your card anywhere in the world. You’ll also get 8% cash back on dining (includes order placed on online food delivery marketplaces such as FoodPanda and Deliveroo), Grab rides (Valid till 30 June 2018), and groceries. All other retail spends will fetch you 0.25% cash back. There is no minimum spend requirement on cash back earned through the base rate. However, cash back earned on categories that earn additional cash back, will be capped at S$25 per category per month.Card Highlights:
Get cash rebates of up to S$360 on the recurring Singtel bills you pay every year. If you charge Singtel bills of less than S$50 a month, you’ll get a cash rebate of 1%. If your monthly Singtel bill payment is more than or equal to S$50 but less than S$100, get a cash rebate of S$1. For payments greater than or equal to S$100 but less than S$300, you will get a cash rebate of S$3. If your monthly Singtel bill is more than or equal to S$300 but less than S$500, you’ll get a cash rebate of S$10. For bill payments equal to or exceeding S$500, you’ll get a cash rebate of S$30.Card Highlights:
Get 10% Citi Rebate on your recurring M1 bills, 1% Citi Rebate on purchases made at M1 stores, and 0.3% Citi Rebate on all other retail spends. The Citi Rebates earned, can be used to offset purchases at more than 300 merchant locations. If you spend less than S$300 in local and foreign transactions, you’ll earn Citi Rebate of 0.5% on your recurring M1 bills. For a total spend of more than S$300 but less than S$600 in a month, you’ll get Citi Rebate of 3%. For transactions exceeding S$600 per month, you’ll get 10% Citi Rebates. This offer is only valid for recurring M1 bills.Card Highlights:
Get 8% cashback on daily essentials such as groceries, transport, and retail transactions completed at selected merchants in Singapore and Malaysia. You’ll have to spend a minimum of S$1,000 in eligible transactions to benefit from this offer. If you, however, charge more than or equal to S$500 but less than S$1,000 per calendar month to your card, you’ll earn cash rebates at the rate of 5%. For all other purchases, you can earn cash rebates at the rate of 0.3%. There is no cap on earnings for the base cash rebate rate.Card Highlights:
Enjoy 8% SMART$ rebate on groceries purchased from departmental stores such as Jasons, Cold Storage, Guardian, Market Place, and Giant if you spend at least S$800 per month, 3% SMART$ rebate for a monthly spend greater than or equal to S$400 but less than S$800, and 0.3% for spends below S$400. You can also earn 3% SMART$ rebate on contactless payments and recurring bills, and 0.3% SMART$ rebate for all other retail spends. In addition to the said SMART$ rebates, you can also get discounts of 10% at selected house brands at Guardian, Cold Storage, and Giant stores.Card Highlights:
Get 5% SMRT$ rebates when you purchase groceries from local departmental stores such as FairPrice, Sheng Siong, and Giant. You’ll get 7.3% SMRT$ rebates at FairPrice Xtra Kalang Wave. 5% rebate will only be offered on single transactions worth S$50 or more. For anything less, SMRT$ rebates of up to 3% will be offered. Also, for consolidated monthly spends less than S$300, 0.3% less rebate will be provided. You’ll also get up to 5% SMRT$ rebates on fast food, movie, and coffee. You can also save up to 3% on online shopping. All other spends will fetch you SMRT$ rebates of 0.3%.Card Highlights:
Get 6% cash rebate when you shop or dine at top Japanese merchant outlets such as Kuriya Dining, Isetan, Ichiban Boshi, Kuriya Japanese Market, Ichiban Sushi, Sushi Tei, Tokyu Hands, Meidi-Ya, and UNIQLO when you spend at least S$300 in a calendar month. If you don’t meet the minimum spend criterion, you would still earn a cash rebate of 3%. On all other spends, you’ll earn a cash rebate of 0.3%. You can earn a maximum cash rebate of S$50 per calendar month. Cash rebates aren’t awarded on payments made for government services, and donations to charitable/religious organisations.Card Highlights:
Get up to 5% cash rebate on entertainment with this card. While the higher rate of 5% is offered at KTVs, selected cafes, bars, movie theatres, and clubs from Friday to Sunday, a lower rate of 3% is offered at these places of entertainment on other days of the week. With this card, you can also earn 6% cash rebate on online retail transactions - purchase of clothes and accessories, gadgets, booking of hotels and travel packages, and even Grab rides. 0.3% cash rebate on all other spends. The monthly cash rebate cap stands at S$60. In order to be eligible for cash rebates, you’ll have to charge at least S$400 in offline transactions.Card Highlights:
Get 5% cash rebate all year round across 18 fashion brands at more than 80 retail outlets in Singapore. There is no cap on rebates earned from in-store spends. These rebates will be offered on all in-store items on top of other existing promotional offers and special discounts. Cash rebates, earned from eligible transactions, will be credited immediately to your card account. For some of these brands, cash rebate will be posted in the form of Rob$ Rebate. For some, the rebate offered will appear in the form of OCBC$ Rebate. For the remaining brands, you’ll get rebates in the form of RSH Group Rebate.Card Highlights:
Get up to 12% cash rebate on booking Grab rides, on entertainment, and dining if you sign up for this card for the first time. You’ll also get 3% cash rebate on online shopping for fashion accessories and travel packages. 0.3% rebate will be offered for everything else. The earn cash rebates at an accelerated rate, you’ll have to spend a minimum of S$600 per calendar month. In case you fail to meet the minimum spend criteria, you’ll earn cash rebate at the base rate of 0.3%. You can also earn 10% SMART$ rebates at more than 400 participating stores in Singapore.Card Highlights:
Get up to 3% cashback on eligible transactions such as payment of school fees for tuition centres, local and overseas retail transactions - dining, shopping, and entertainment, online payments on purchases made through the seller’s website, and instalment payment plans. You can earn up to S$200 in cashback every quarter and up to S$800 a year. Cashback is calculated on a monthly basis depending on the date in which a qualifying transaction was posted to your card account and the statement cycle. Cashback for a quarter is posted a month from the end of the quarter. Cashback won’t be offered on certain transactions such as balance transfer, payment of card bills/charges, top up of prepaid cards and accounts, and AXS/ATM transactions, to name a few.Card Highlights:
Disclaimer: The “best” cards listed here have been chosen from all cards available in Singapore. It doesn’t represent preference or prejudice to ot against any card or card issuer.
Cashback cards are among the most popular type of credit cards in Singapore, as many surveys, including one conducted by BankBazaar, have pointed out. By making strategic use of them, you can earn significant savings on what you spend. Besides, they often combine other privileges and reward programmes. Here are their key benefits:
Cashback cards can prove useful to anyone, because of their unique characteristic of returning a certain percentage of the amount spent on purchases. Cards that provide rebates on retail and online purchases, such as the OCBC Frank, can really prove beneficial if you’re a regular shopper. If you eat out a lot, you would want to use a card that gives you a higher earning rate on dining spends, such as the Citi Cash Back Card. Similarly, you should choose a cashback card that gives you more benefits on whichever category you spend the most in.
These credit cards are the least complicated, as you either earn back a certain percentage of your transaction amount, or you save through rebates on eligible purchases. This could be in the form of cashback points which are credited to your primary card account. Cashback/cash rebates generally have a validity period, before which you must redeem your credits. It usually extends to a year. Some cards may have never-expiring earnings. Most of these cards are also characterised by a minimum monthly spend requirement and a cap on how much you can earn back. For instance, you have to spend at least S$600 each month to qualify for the money-back benefit in case of the OCBC 365.
Some of them don’t have any spend criteria but may have an earning limit – such as the SCB Spree Card – and a few have tiered earning rates, such as the HSBC Advance Card. There are also cards like the American Express True Cashback that have neither a minimum spend nor a cap. You can maximise the rebate by using your card wisely. Use it to make purchases across categories for which it gives you more cash rebates. Redeem the cashback earned at any point by paying a part of your bill or annual fees.
Cash rebate/cashback cards, if used wisely, can really help you save a lot. But here are a few things to consider:
Here are a few tips that will help you choose the perfect rebate card:
Getting the right credit card will not only help you save but also manage your cashflow well. But always make sure that you are paying the dues on time and not incurring late payment penalties or heavy interest charges, as that will negate the benefits of cashback.
Cashback is a marketing concept that has gained wide traction with modern marketers due to the perceived value on money it offers to customers. As the name suggests, it is a portion of the purchase price that is returned to the customer. It could be in the form of money, or rewards points equivalent to cash. Credit cards and debit cards often add a certain percentage of the value of a transaction to the account of a customer as an incentive. Many popular online retail websites offer such rebates too. They may either store the value in a separate online wallet of the customer or add it to a registered bank account. Some experts have said that cashback schemes, introduced in the market at the right time, can also increase the total life-cycle of a product. It is a revenue-sharing model where a manufacturer/marketer shares a small percentage of the revenue with their customers. It also improves customer loyalty and repeated use of a card/site.
While there may not be a definitive answer to this question, Fang Ying, the author of an article titled What Makes Consumers Use Their Loyalty Points? published by SMU refers to researchers who said that loyalty marketing has been around for decades.
Frequent flyer miles programmes, cashback and rebates, and rewards points aren’t new. Cards and brick-and-mortar shops have used them for a long time. However, with the rise of internet marketing, such rewards types have gained more significance. The article tries to establish the fact that retaining a customer is easier and more cost-effective than acquiring a new customer. Loyalty programmes that are perceived to offer constant value, play a big role in retaining customers. In a survey involving 7,000 respondents, conducted by Collinson Group, a globally recognised marketing firm, only 9% had said that they were devoted to a brand. The report had concluded that loyalty programmes, along with dependable product quality and effective communication, could help increase this number.
The Nielson Global Retail Loyalty-Sentiment Survey in 2016 had shown that almost 70% or seven out of 10 Singaporeans were part of some loyalty programme or the other. The survey had shown that around 83% of the respondents in the country identified flexibility of earning rewards points as one of the most important factors for choosing a loyalty programme. Almost 80% found the flexibility of choice among rewards points attractive. Most wanted more value for every dollar spent and any card or programme which had too many exclusions or restrictions on how the rewards points could be used or restrictions on the nature of transactions, were summarily dismissed. A similar trend was seen in another independent study carried out by the Collinson Group. Interestingly, almost 67% of the respondents also chose cashback and cash rebates as more attractive than product discounts, freebies, free shipping, and other forms of customer incentives. Another research report had established that despite most Singaporeans being avid travellers, most still preferred cashback over miles because of the restrictions many cards placed on spend categories and also because they often required higher income to qualify.
Most cards or websites would help you earn cashback on daily spends throughout the year or offer you accelerated money-back on joining or during certain promotional periods. Many cards and e-commerce websites also offer special deals during festivals such as Chinese New Year and Christmas. Standard Chartered will also offer cashback of up to 20% on Uber rides globally, subject to a maximum of S$50 per month, with a minimum monthly spend of S$900. This particular offer is valid until 30 September 2018. With the Citi Cash Back Card, you can get 20% back on FoodPanda until 30 April 2018. These are examples of promotional rebates.
During the Chinese New Year 2018, HSBC credit cards gave cashback of up to 15% on eligible spends, subject to a minimum spend of S$4,088. Standard Chartered had offered money-back on foreign transactions during Christmas 2017. Maybank FC Barcelona Visa Signature Card, one of the newest co-branded credit cards in Singapore, lets you save 1.6% on all your local spends. The Standard Chartered Unlimited Cashback Card gives you 1.5% back on all spends. Both the cards have no upper limit, no minimum spend requirement, and the returns are available throughout the year. The Citi Cash Back Card lets you earn up to 8% on daily spends on dining, grocery, Grab rides, and petrol – the earnings are capped at S$25 per category and you need to spend at least S$888 per month. This card also gives you S$50 cash credit for referring friends. While there could be some seasonality to cashback offers, most cards and websites offer them on a daily or periodic basis to keep customers loyal.
Both are essentially a form of getting some money back from your usage of the card. Cashback is generally credited directly into the account in the form of cash credits, which can be used to offset your bills (e.g. Citi Cash Back Card). Cash rebates could be direct money-back (e.g. Maybank Family & Friends Card), credits under a loyalty programme (SAFRA DBS Card), or instant redemption options plus cash credit (POSB Everyday Card).
However, most banks in Singapore use both the terms interchangeably.
Every time you charge a qualifying spend to your card or make a purchase at a site offering rebates, you’ll get a portion of the expense back. So, a cashback of 1.5% on a transaction of S$40 means that S$0.60 will be credited to your card account. Some banks will allow you to earn additional or bonus rebates. However, you need to be aware of restrictions that might be imposed. Unlike rewards points and miles, the monetary value of which may not be immediately perceptible and often involve slightly complicated calculations, cashback is easy to understand because money is directly credited to your account.
Many cards place restrictions on the amount of money you can save. Some cards may impose limits on how much you can earn per month or have a minimum spend criterion in place. Plus, you may not be earning money back on all types of transactions. Paying your card bill or transferring funds, for example, may not be considered as an eligible spend.
For example, cashback on the HSBC Advance Card is capped at S$70 for retail customers and S$125 for Advance Banking customers. The Maybank Family & Friends Card has a minimum monthly requirement of S$1,000 per month.
You may earn money back on the following products/categories:
You can earn cashback in the following ways:
Finding the right money-back deals on your favourite websites can sometimes become daunting. By visiting the best cashback sites, you can stay apprised with the latest deals and offers available. If you’re a paid member of such a site, you’ll have access to codes that you can redeem at partner websites for instant discount. You may be able to use the cash credits on your next transaction. Some of the top cashback sites in Singapore are as follows:
To maximise your returns, you should have a clear idea of the terms and conditions of the offers. You need to know the restrictions. Find out if there is a cap on how much money you can earn back in a certain period, a minimum spend requirement, and/or restrictions on transactions that would be considered eligible for cashback. You may even use multiple cashback cards to increase your rewards. As soon as you have hit the ceiling for the month, you can start accumulating more savings with another card. Choose a card or offer from a cashback site that matches your spending habit rather than just going for cards/deals that offer the highest money-back. If you want maximum savings on petrol, you can go for the OCBC 365 Card that helps you save up to 23% at Caltex stations. You also earn cashback of 5% on charging petrol transactions to your card.
However, if you want to earn more on grocery, dining, cab rides, and petrol, you can opt for the Citi Cash Back Card. You’ll also earn up to S$120 when you apply for the card and spend. You can earn up to S$50 for referrals.
Most sites won’t charge you a separate fee for cashback redemption. It’s because they’re simply passing a small percentage of the commission they earn from partner sites for customer conversion, onto you. Most cards in Singapore may also not charge a separate fee for redemptions.
The answer to this question lies in your primary usage pattern and the kind of card you own. If you know that you’re going to make a purchase anyway, it’s nice to get something in return for the money you spend. However, charging more transactions to your card to get more value is a debatable point. This is because most cards have a minimum spend criteria and an earning limit. If the spending requirements are high and the rebates earned are not high enough, then you are not really saving anything significantly.
Now, if the spending requirements are low-to-reasonable, and the cashback cap is sufficiently high, then the card makes perfect sense. For example, by charging a minimum of S$600 a month or S$7,200 a year to the card, you could earn up to S$80 a month or S$960 a year. So savings over a longer period may be significant. However, you should always look at the bigger picture. Most of these cards offer a range of other complimentary benefits. Check the annual fee on the card and if there is a waver during the initial period. Moreover, if you continue to pay your monthly outstanding balance in full, you can save on interest payments. That would mean you’re getting a higher return on every dollar you spend. Even if you’re paying an annual fee, you can use your earnings from cashback to offset the fee, if you’re earning enough cash credits.