Saturday, May 21, 2011

My favorite credit cards in Singapore

This post has been updated with a new post on the Standard Chartered XtraSaver Master debit card which allows me to maximize on my cash rebates using credit cards.

Credit cards have been denigrated as a financial evil. I used to have a friend who was a part-time financial adviser and he refused to own a credit card because of the harm done to some of his clients. Credit cards are not inherently evil. They are simply tools in our financial toolbox and if used properly, they can serve rather than harm us.

Credit cards are my favorite financial tool to help me save money. Here are some of my favorite cards in Singapore;

(Note to readers: I don't get paid for advertising these cards. Neither am I paid as an adviser for recommending these cards. So, please do your own homework and don't blame me if my recommendations do not suit you or I got my facts wrong. I only know they suit me well for my lifestyle. )

1. CIMB Platinum Master Card
The favorite feature that I look for in a credit card is cash rebates. It is like getting discounts on all your purchases with the card.

The CIMB Platinum Master Card offers 0.5% cash rebate on all local spending. It offers 1% cash rebate on all foreign spending with no monthly cap. This is useful for people who make purchases from overseas (recently, I made an online foreign purchase but there was no cashback. Is the 1% rebate still valid? Anyone who knows better?). Unlike some other cards, there are no monthly minimum expense to enjoy the full rebates.

The rebates are automatically deducted every month. You do not need to wait for points to be accumulated nor take the trouble to redeem the points.

Another great feature of this card is that there is no annual fee for life. You can save yourself the effort each year to call up the bank to waive off the annual fee as well as the risk of forgetting to do so and being charged the annual fee. I always assume that I will become unemployed eventually in some point of my life. Once the banks know you are unemployed, there is no guarantee that banks will waive off the annual fee because an unemployed person assumes a higher risk profile to the bank. Having a free-for-life card saves me that worry.

One reader told me about the UOB One card. The cashback rate is up to 3.33% but I am not sure if there is a minimum expense in order to enjoy the rebate. I do not own this card, so I better not comment further.

2. Standard Chartered Manhattan card (newly updated)
I just got this card a few weeks later after a kind reader alerted me to it. The cashback rate is better than the CIMB Platinum card - 0.5% for SGD1-SGD999, 1% for SGD1000-SGD2999 and 5% for SGD3000 and above on your monthly statement. The cashback is credited every 3 months. Given the superior cashback rate compared to CIMB card, it makes better sense to spend using this card.

Unlike the CIMB card, this card is not free for life. So, I will still keep the CIMB card as a backup in case the free annual subscription fee waiver is not granted. It is actually quite stupid to pay annual subscription fees on your credit card because all it takes to get a waiver is a phone call.

3. SMRT Citibank card
This card can be used like an ez-link card which we use for public transport. It gives you 2% rebate on each ez-link topup which is the same as shaving 2% off your public transport expense.

Please take note that you are charged SGD0.25 for every topup. Therefore, it makes sense to maximize the top-up amount (SGD50) to reduce the frequency of top-ups to save money.

Because of my thrifty lifestyle, I prefer cards that offer high rebates on basic unavoidable expenses to cards that focus on luxury spending. One helps us to save money, the other tempts us to spend money. It is a matter of lifestyle choice. Just spend if it makes you happy.

The SMRT card offers high rebates on grocery shopping which are necessary household spending. You can get good discounts from the major supermarkets in Singapore like Giant, Carrefour, selected NTUC outlets etc

So far, I cannot find another card with rebates that covers so many supermarkets. Another kind reader has pointed out that the Maybank Family and Friends card offers 5% rebate for some supermarkets as compared to the SMRT card which offers 4.7% unless you spend more than SGD600 per month. By combining both cards, we can get better deals at the supermarkets. 


4. POSB Everyday Card
I use the POSB Everyday Card to pay for my utilities bill which is an unavoidable basic expense. I get 1% off my utilities by using this card. This is the only card I found in Singapore that can be used to pay utilties bill. Again, if you know of a better card, please share.

5. Any cards that offer useful free gifts. Cash is best.
The rare occasions when retail customers can make money off the banks (and not the other way) is through credit cards. The banks dangle free gifts and sometimes even money to get people to sign on their cards. If the gift is useful one,  I will probably take the card. If cash is being offered, I will surely take the card. 

Recently, Citibank gave me a free USB speaker for my computer. Thank you, Citibank. Not to forget Maybank and Standard Chartered, thank you very much for your free cash. 

This finishes the list of my favorite cards. There may be better credit cards out there. I can't know all of them and new cards keep springing up. Please share if you have good recommendations that I have missed out. 

Credit cards can be a good financial friend. Just don't owe money on your credit card but if you do, the top financial priority should be to pay them off. NEVER ROLL OVER YOUR CREDIT CARD DEBTS. Nobody can be rich if they have to carry debt at 20% compounded. Even a small amount can kill.

34 comments:

  1. check out the manhattan card.. up to 5% rebates per quarter!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you very much for the tip. Most helpful.

    ReplyDelete
  3. u should also look at maybank's family and friends card. 5% for quite a few supermarkets (smrt card is 4.7% unless u use more than $600 pm)

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hi kenny,

    Thank you for pointing this out about Maybank family card and SMRT card. I do own this Maybank card. It just happens that SMRT card covers the supermarkets that I visit more often.

    By combining the two cards, the coverage for discount grocery shopping will be wider. However, one problem is that credit card holders may have problems remembering the particular merchant outlets that are covered by individual cards.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Citbank also have a Dividend card that gives cash rebates back. I think the worse card has to be American Express.

    ReplyDelete
  6. The SMRT card does not give cash back for NTUC Fairprice outlets anymore... as compared to "selected outlets" previously.

    ReplyDelete
  7. "The SMRT card does not give cash back for NTUC Fairprice outlets anymore... as compared to "selected outlets" previously. "

    Thanks. This is important to know. NTUC is one of the most common supermarket in Singapore. Do you know which credit card offers discount at NTUC?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. UOB one card gives rebates for NTUC

      Delete
  8. The link below shows the credit card transaction fees made on overseas transactions. Interestingly, the banks that charge the most are UOB and Standard Chartered.

    http://www.singwealth.com/portal/index.php/credit-cards/49-overseas-transaction-fees-a-lowdown

    ReplyDelete
  9. Citibank is offering various credit cards to choose from - Travel Credit Card, Shopping Credit Cards, Platinum Credit Cards, Visa Cards and more.
    http://www.citibank.com.sg/gcb/credit_cards/creditcard.htm

    ReplyDelete
  10. Thanks dude for administration this abundant commodity to get added purposeful material. It is as well advantageous to get added user on the website.

    ReplyDelete
  11. What impact does closing credit cards have on your credit score?
    I have a number Credit Help Cards of credits that I am not using. What impact if any would closing some of these accounts have on my credit score?

    ReplyDelete
  12. You left out the UOB One Card! It has 3.33% cashback and extra 2% cashback for overseas spending. Check out these other cash back credit cards for more offers

    ReplyDelete
  13. Credit cards play a vital role in our life but we need to use them carefully. To get maximum credit periods and savings with credit cards from top banks as ANZ, Citi Bank, HSBC etc. we need to make payments on time and use them only when required. To Apply for ANZ Platinum Credit Card you need to fill the online registration form and reply to the emails and calls your receive for verification.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Do you need a loan or funding for any reason such as
    Personal Loan, Business Expansion,
    Business Start-up, Education,
    Debt Consolidation
    Hard Money Loans
    loan for any thing ?

    LOAN APPLICATION FORM.
    (1)Full Name:
    (2)Country:
    (3)State:
    (4)Address:
    (5)Sex:
    (6)Occupation:
    (7)Amount needed:
    (8)Loan duration:
    (9)Loan purpose:
    (10)Telephone

    Send to the via email:majidvijahlending@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  15. Good Day,

    I am Chua Teo (CEO) of Chua Teo Loans Firm, I'm a Reputable Money Lender who give out loans to Individuals & Companies in need of loan. Do you have a bad credit? Are you in need of money to pay bills or settle other debts? We will be glad to render you a loan service. We offer all kinds of loan at 2% interest rate. We offer loan from $2,000 USD to $50,000,000 USD, duration of 1 to 20 years.

    Apply with us and get approved without stress or delay! We await your response if you are serious and interested, upon response, you'll be mailed a Loan Application Form which you'll have to fill and send back to us. Looking forward to hear from you, you can reach us via....

    Email: chuateo_loansfirm@yahoo.com.sg

    ReplyDelete
  16. Do you Need Personal Loan?
    Do you Need Business Loan?
    Are you in need of a loan?
    Do you want to pay off your bills?
    Do you want to be financially stable?
    email:(easyloanoffer1@gmail.com)

    Fill The Application Form.

    1)Full Name:
    2)Country:
    3)State:
    4)Address:
    5)Sex:
    6)Occupation:
    7)Amount needed:
    8)Loan duration:
    9)Loan purpose:
    10)Telephone

    email:(easyloanoffer1@gmail.com)

    ReplyDelete
  17. Do you Need Personal Loan?
    Do you Need Business Loan?
    Are you in need of a loan?
    Do you want to pay off your bills?
    Do you want to be financially stable?
    email:(easyloanoffer1@gmail.com)

    Fill The Application Form.

    1)Full Name:
    2)Country:
    3)State:
    4)Address:
    5)Sex:
    6)Occupation:
    7)Amount needed:
    8)Loan duration:
    9)Loan purpose:
    10)Telephone

    email:(easyloanoffer1@gmail.com)

    ReplyDelete
  18. Hello,i am Mrs Rebecca Nathan from Florida USA,i will really want to thank God so much for making me come in contact with Mr Zhang loan company after i have been scammed three time by fake lenders,their ways was very easy no credit check,no cosigner,no collateral and with just 3% interest rate, at first i never taught it is through because i have been scammed by fake lender so i find it difficult to believe them.. But with God i find trust in them and i receive my loan from them. they give loan of any amount and any currency. The name of the Loan Firm is GOD IS GOOD INSTANT LOAN FIRM, so i will advise anyone out there that need a loan to contact them via their Email: is.zhangloancompany@gmail.com or..zhangloancompany@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  19. Thank you so much for posting these for global use!
    You are making the world a better place!

    Best Moneylender In Singapore | Personal Pay Day Loan

    ReplyDelete

  20. Do you need a Loan?
    Are you looking for Finance?
    Are you looking for a Loan to enlarge your business?
    I think you have come to the right place.
    We offer Loans at low interest rate.
    Interested people should please contact us on
    For immediate response to your application, Kindly
    reply to this emails below only:
    mohamendloanservice@gmail.com

    Please, do provide us with the Following information if interested.
    LOAN APPLICATION INFORMATION FORM
    First name:
    Middle name:
    Date of birth (yyyy-mm-dd):
    Gender:
    Marital status:
    Total Amount Needed:
    Time Duration:
    Address:
    City:
    State/province:
    Zip/postal code:
    Country:
    Phone:
    Mobile/cellular:
    Monthly Income:
    Occupation:
    Which sites did you know about us.....
    mohamendloanservice@gmail.com

    http://mohammedloanserviceplc.gnbo.com.ng

    ReplyDelete
  21. if you need a loan contact me now johnlutherloanfirm1@outlook.com
    hello ladies and gentlemen, young and old, i no you have problems that money can solve, you don't have to worry anymore okay, all you have to do is to contact us now via email as johnlutherloanfirm1@outlook.com
    so that we can help you out okay.....
    welcome we love you...
    regards
    Mr Luther

    ReplyDelete

  22. Do you need personal loan? Does your firm,company or industry need financial assistance? Do you need finance to start your business? Do you need finance to expand your business? We give out loan to interested individuals who are seeking loan with good faith. Are you seriously in need of an urgent loan contact us at Email: flourishloancredite@gmail.com
    APPLICATION DETAILS
    Your Full Details:
    Full Name:
    Loan Amount Need:
    Loan Duration:
    Phone Number:
    Applied before?
    State:
    Monthly Income:
    Country:
    You are to send this to our Company Email;flourishloancredite@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  23. Do you need personal loan? Does your firm,company or industry need financial assistance? Do you need finance to start your business? Do you need finance to expand your business? We give out loan to interested individuals who are seeking loan with good faith. Are you seriously in need of an urgent loan contact us at Email: flourishloancredite@gmail.com
    APPLICATION DETAILS
    Your Full Details:
    Full Name:
    Loan Amount Need:
    Loan Duration:
    Phone Number:
    Applied before?
    State:
    Monthly Income:
    Country:
    You are to send this to our Company Email;flourishloancredite@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  24. your blog is giving very useful knowledge for all, i'm sharing your information to all friends.Do you need cash loan against credit card?.Swipe Your Credit Card And have Immediate cash With Cheapest Costs. Provide Your ID Card Photo Copy As A Document Resistant.Kindly
    Click Here

    ReplyDelete
  25. CYS Credit Pte Ltd, Money Lender Singapore offering a broad range of credit loan products to suit a wide variety of customer needs. This includes Personal Loan, Short Term Loan, Foreigner Loan and Low Income Loan.

    We are licensed by the Registry of Moneylender and we are committed to provide customers with the highest quality products delivered with superior customer services. As Licensed Money Lender, our customers have access to exclusive products and programs, allowing them greater flexibility to meet the individual needs.

    For more detail, visit us at http://loansingapore.com.sg/

    ReplyDelete
  26. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Foreign exchange signal suppliers often cost for their service, typically as a lot as $one hundred a month. For this the subscriber will get 1-5 alerts a day, sent by way of e-mail, text message or instant messenger. The dealer is below no obligation to do something with the knowledge, of course. They are advisory in nature, and the dealer is free to ignore them fully if he wants to. But most traders usually go along with the recommendation that involves them by forex signals. They wouldn’t pay for the service if they didn’t find the advice useful. To know more visitforex signals

    ReplyDelete
  28. Do you need an urgent loan? We offer loans with a low interest rate.
    Whatever your circumstances,business loan, person loan, have a poor credit rating,
    contact for more info :unityfirmfinancialhelp@gmail.com
    Full Names:
    Date of Birth:
    Amount Needed:
    Purpose for Loan:
    Duration:
    Country:
    Mobile:
    The site you found our advert:
    Regards,
    On-line Advertiser/Announcer
    unityfirmfinancialhelp@gmail.com
    Shahraban Mohammed
    Unity Firm Financial Help

    ReplyDelete