3 Best Cash Back Credit Cards in Singapore

best cashback credit cards singapore

Money doesn’t grow on trees, but with the number of cashback credit cards in Singapore, it sure feels like it. Instead of the reward points system that many cards offer, cashback credit cards give you a cash rebate. Cash rebates work much better than rewards points because they usually don’t expire, and you don’t have to redeem them for vouchers that will just force you to spend more!

Strangely enough, in a market where just about every bank has a cashback credit card, some cards still come with very strange spending requirements. If a card sounds too good to be true, it’s usually because it comes with a list of terms and conditions so complicated that you require thick glasses and a crack team of lawyers and auditors to understand.

We give you a breakdown of some of the best cashback credit cards available in Singapore, and rank the cards based on how easy it is to get their rebates. We also look at some cashback credit cards that just don’t make the cut, either because of low cashback rates or a complicated cashback system.

Monthly spending of $500 and below on a cashback credit card

Case Study 1: Helena spends $500 a month.

Best cards for her:

  1. American Express True Cashback
    • $7.50 cashback
  2. Standard Chartered Unlimited Cashback Card
    • $7.50 cashback
  3. ANZ Optimum World MasterCard
    • $25 cashback (if spent on one chosen category – dining, groceries, travel or shopping)

Worst cards for her:

  1. Maybank Platinum Visa
    • $10 cashback (if she spends at least $300 every month, rebate given per quarter)
  2. Standard Chartered Manhattan World MasterCard
    • $2.50 cashback
  3. POSB Everyday Card
    • $1.50 cashback

The American Express True Cashback card ties with the Standard Chartered Unlimited Cashback card for the victory here. When your credit card spending is small, the cashback amounts tend to be negligible, so you have to be more concerned about minimum spending requirements.

The American Express True Cashback card, Standard Chartered Unlimited Cashback Card and ANZ Optimum World MasterCard all do not have any minimum spending requirements or maximum rebate caps, making them most suitable for small monthly expenditure.

Monthly spending of $501 and $1,500 on a cashback credit card

Case Study 2: Dinah spends $1,500 a month.

Best cards for her:

  1. American Express True Cashback
    • $22.50 cashback
  2. Standard Chartered Unlimited Cashback Card
    • $22.50 cashback
  3. Citi Cash Back Card
    • $78.75 cashback (assuming spending on dining, groceries and petrol is $500 each)

Worst cards for her:

  1. UOB ONE Card
    • $33.33 cashback (if she spends at least $1000 every month on at least 5 purchases)
  2. Maybank Platinum Visa
    • $33.33 cashback (if she spends at least $1000 every month)
  3. Standard Chartered Manhattan
    • $15 cashback

The American Express True Cashback card and Standard Chartered Unlimited Cashback card once again live up to their names here, because they have no minimum spending requirement and no maximum rebate cap.

The Citi Cash Back card inches out the ANZ Optimum World MasterCard for a close second place. It misses top place only because you can get 8% cashback on three categories (dining, groceries, and petrol). Furthermore, there is a cap of $25 per category on the bonus cash back you can earn each month, and a minimum $50 transaction to be eligible for cash back.

They both definitely beat the UOB One card and the Maybank Platinum Visa card. Those two cards have a minimum spending requirement of $1,000 each month for 3 months before you can earn this tier of rebates. What’s worse, you forfeit your rebates if you do not meet the spending requirement. Talk about getting kicked while you’re down. 

Monthly spending of $1501 and above on a cashback credit card

Case Study 3: Barbara spends $3,000 a month.

Best cards for her:

  1. ANZ Optimum World MasterCard
    • $150 cashback (if $3,000 spent on one chosen category – dining, groceries, travel or shopping)
  2. Citi Cash Back Card
    • $82.50 cashback (assuming spending on dining, groceries and petrol is $1000 each, up to a maximum of $800 cash rebate a year)
  3. American Express True Cashback
    • $45 cashback
  4. Standard Chartered Unlimited Cashback Card
    • $45 cashback

Worst cards for her:

  1. Standard Chartered Manhattan World MasterCard
    • $90 cashback (cashback rebate capped at $200 per quarter)
  2. Maybank Platinum Visa
    • $33.33 cashback (if she spends at least $1,000 every month)
  3. POSB Everyday
    • $9 cashback

The ANZ Optimum World MasterCard takes the clear lead here, but only if you know how to use it right. Firstly, you have to plan ahead and choose your category you expect to spend the most in. The four categories are dining, groceries, travel or shopping. Your choice is locked in for three months, so choose wisely. Transactions in your selected category will earn 5% cashback. All other transactions will earn 1%. Do note that there is a maximum rebate cap of $30 per transaction. So if you choose the travel category for example, and your airline tickets cost $600 or above, you will still only earn $30 in cashback for that transaction.

The Citi Cash Back card is great for high monthly spending, especially if you spend a lot on groceries and fuel. If you apply for the Amex True Cashback card now, you will also get up to 3% rebates on your first $5,000 spent on your first 6 months!

A card that has not been mentioned thus far is the OCBC 365 Card, which just missed the Top 3 for the latter scenarios. Offering 6% cashback rebates for weekend dining, 5% for petrol and 3% for weekday dining, groceries and telco bills, it is a good all-rounder cashback card, but just not the best.

The smart cashback credit card user will mix and match the above cards according to their needs. They may use the Standard Chartered Singpost Platinum Visa card for online transactions, and the Citi Cash Back card for fuel and groceries (while taking note of the minimum $50 transaction amount). Here are some more tips on how to maximise your cashback card benefits.

Of course, with all credit cards, your cashback rebates aren’t worth anything if you’re not making payment in full each month. So always make sure to spend within your means.

If you are interested in the American Express True Cashback Card, you can apply here.

If you are interested in the Standard Chartered Unlimited Cashback Card, you can apply here.

If you are interested in the Citi Cash Back Card, you can apply here.

If you are interested in the Standard Chartered Singpost Platinum Visa Card, you can apply here.

If you are interested in the ANZ Optimum World MasterCard, you can apply here.

If you are interested in the OCBC 365 Card, you can apply here.

What is your favourite cashback credit card? How much have you saved in a month using that card?

I am the poster boy for reinventing one's self. I've been a broadcast journalist, a technical writer, a banking customer service officer and a Catholic friar. My life experiences have made me the most cynical idealist you'll ever meet, which is why I'm also the co-founder of a local pop culture website. I believe ignorance is not bliss, and that money is the root of all evil only if you allow it to be.

  • jermyn wee

    Correction! Frank card has $500 minimum spend for the 6% cash rebates, and a monthly rebate cap at $60

  • Roy

    Lol I’m surprised there’s 1 card not mentioned here.

    It’s quite gullible for most people to think that “oh only cashback cards can be used for cashbacks”… because there are other ways to receive cashbacks/cash credits.

    Based on your situational spending cut-offs (I haven’t done a full sweep on all alternatives) on my card (which is non-exclusive membership too if I could add) that gives over $10 per $500 spent, Just under $40 cashback on $1500 spent, and just under $80 cashback on $3000 – [[on all purchases, not restricted to online shopping ]]

    tl;dr – This card is a straight-up 2.5%-no-cap rebates card. And you don’t even know it, because it’s not directly marketed as a cashback card.

    Anyone care to guess? =D =D

    • Cedric

      Please share? Thanks man!

      • Roy

        MH has got it right! You sure did your work! Well it might be a stretch to obtain, but here we are talking about *best* cash rebates/cashbacks from any cards, no? Besides, this article speaks so highly of Amex but they die die also never ever granted me a fee waiver

        …..Now you deduct their $171 fees off your cashbacks you’ll find the benefits chomped away.

        But yes I agree with MH that the ocbc 360 account is really the next best thing above cashbacks: interest! Exploit the 3% annual interest on the 3 easy-to-meet conditions! I’ve yet to study and compare Frank though. But I’m more of a miles person hence I’d choose Citi Rewards over other cards for online shopping for the 4miles/$ rate.

        • Cedric

          thks roy and mh!

    • MH

      You are referring to the ANZ Travel Visa Signature which gives 2.54% rebate if you use the accumulated airlines to redeem a cash credit. It is a good card, however the $60,000 pa salary requirement is a bit hard for most people to qualify for.

      I only can speak for myself, but I think most young working adults around my age would benefit best from the OCBC Frank Card. 6% rebate for online purchases (with min $500 spent in a month) is a huge rebate. Airline tickets and hotel accomm also qualifies for the 6% rebate, which is a huge plus!

      I did a small review about it before.

      http://gotmoneygothoney.blogspot.sg/2014/02/my-new-credit-card-obviously-my-name.html

    • omeprazolel

      I used my Maybank card to buy air tickets at $2,055.30 but I got only $6.16 cash back. How come you spent $1,500 can get $40 cash back? This means, I gotta give up this lousy May Bank card.

  • Edison

    2 questions/considerations I have:

    1. Do most vendors in Singapore accept AMEX cards like the True Cashbard card as much as Visa/Mastercard cards?

    2. If Helena can reliable spend at least $500 bills every month (closer to $300/$800), would UOB One Card be a better card?

    • Great questions, Edison.

      1. While AMEX is not as popular among merchants compared to Visa and Mastercard, there are still many places in Singapore, including grocery chains, department stores and restaurants that do accept AMEX.

      2. The UOB ONE Card requires a minimum spending amount as well as a minimum number of transactions each month for three months before you can earn the rebates. Missing out on either requirement would mean you get NO cashback rebates for three months. If your credit card expenditure is “reliable”, the UOB ONE Card can give you more rebates (as stated in the article above). But it really only takes one less transaction to lose all your rebates for three months. So it depends on your definition of “better”.

  • Christopher Colombus Chua

    Your facts and figures are totally right, but i would like to defend the negatives of the UOB One Card. This card is special because it gives you 3.33% cash back on ANYTHING, and not on specific products, merchants etc

    For scenario 3, the Citi Dividend already loses out because it has needs to be used for a specific purpose, i,e fuel, groceries. This is subjective, assuming she does not drive and does not do heavy grocery shopping.

    In the world of “Credit-Card Skepticism”, this post might mislead people into thinking that the above mentioned “top 3 (good)” cards are the must haves. Again, it depends on what you are looking for and what suits your lifestyle best. cheers

    • Thanks for your comments, Christopher!

      In terms of the AMOUNT alone, the UOB ONE Card does have a better rebate – as demonstrated in the comparison. But it is also “subjective”, because it assumes that she is able to meet the minimum spending and minimum number of transactions each month for three months. If she does not meet either of the criteria, she either gets a lower rebate or does not get any rebate AT ALL for those three months.

      But we definitely agree with you that you should pick a credit card that suits your lifestyle best!

  • Wilbur

    I use a combination of cards:

    1. ANZ Optimum World MasterCard – no cap, no minimum. 5% rebate for your choice of one the category a) dining/leisure, b) travel, c) shopping d) groceries each quarter. I use mainly for weekday dining+ movie at Shaw (Rare mastercard with good cash rebate, which also allow you to get free popcorn combo if pay via Masterpass for Shaw). Alternatvely, use for shopping, 5% at any fashion store (less departmental store) is huge!

    2. OCBC 365 for 6% rebate for weekend dining (Note no 6% for dining at hotel), 3% for overseas dining, minimum $600 spending per month though. Adds 1% interest to my OCBC 360 bank account.

    3. OCBC Frank for 6% rebate for online purchase and Nets flashpay ATU (2 times per month ie 2x$50), minimum $500 spending per month though. Also rebate capped at $60 per month. Use for air tickets, holiday package, furnishing, paying of M1 bill at M1 website each month, payment using flashpay at iNets kiosk. Adds 1% interest to my OCBC 360 bank account.

    4. SingPost Platinum Visa Credit Card for 7% rebate for online purchase and 6% groceries, minimum $500 spending per month though. Also rebate capped at $50 per month. (terms changing to min$600, rebate cap $60 and 2% groceries on Jul 2015)

    5. Citi SMRT for groceries (up to 7.3%), popular bookstore (up 5%), toys ‘R’ us (up 5%).See the official website for the fine prints.

    6. HSBS cards for GV moviepass

    7. Imagine prepaid AMEX for 7% rebate for MRT/bus

    8. BOC unionpay card for 20% off takashimay, BHG, OG, Tangs (till 31 March 2015). After 31 Mar will using BOC Shop card for 6% rebate for online shopping and departmental store, minimum $500 spending, limit $100 rebate per month

    9. UOB One or Maybank Visa Plat, for 3.33% rebate for other purchases and overseas spending (dining using OCBC 365), but need to carefully plan to spend the amounts for the various tiers for each month in a quarter. Also need at least 3 transactions each month. Use for paying of bill over the counter at Singapore Powers (FYI somerset branch has closed), use for topping up of my Imagine Amex prepaid. UOB One also gives additional rebate in terms of cash value on the card at certain stores, so it is preferred over the Maybank Visa Plat.

    10. Manhatten Card/ Manhatten World card for big item spending above $3000. Rebate capped at $200 per quarter for each card. If you have both Manhatten Card and Manhatten World card they will be treated to be 2 separate accounts for rebates.

    11. I have the CIMB platinum mastercard for 3.8% rebate on insurance, education and home furnishing and appliances, but find it quite cumbersome to use. Eg So far only made one-time first premium payment to Prudential, CIMB card cannot be used for recurring payment to Prudential. So far only know NTUC income accept credit card payment also; AIA, manulife, great eastern etc don’t accept credit card payment. Need at least $500 per transaction, the additional 3.3% rebate (over the basic 0.5%) is capped at $50, need at least 3 transactions.

    Hope this is useful. Pls see how to make this even more optimised.

    • Jeff

      you deserve a metal….

  • Low Linhui

    Hello, thanks for the info – probably going to sign up for a FRANK card but what do you think about cashback sites like ShopBack? There’s no min spending unlike cards so do you know if I will be able to get cashback on both? ShopBack is giving 16% cashback on merchants like Zalora so seems like a good deal if I can get both.

  • tay huiling

    Hi I think you got it wrong. The ANZ world optimum card has a max. cash rebate per Retail spend of $30. e.g. assuming your expenditure qualifies for the 5% rebate. Only the first $600 of each expenditure will qualify for the 5%, any additional value beyond that the rebate is forfeited. This is bad especially if you select Travel and are buying expensive air tickets.

    True story, I bought $2200 worth of air tickets thinking that the ANZ card will give me $110 cash rebate back. Wrong, they only gave me $30 rebate for that $2200 spend saying that the rebate amount per spend is capped. It is a tiny clause in their terms and conditions. Terribly false advertising!! This is despite the claim that there is “No limit on your cash rebate earnings”

    https://sg.anz.com/apps/optimum/

    • Peter Lin

      Hi Huiling,

      Thanks for your feedback! Yes, you are right, there is unfortunately a rebate cap of $30 per transaction. As you said, this is not ideal if you are making a transaction of more than $600, such as buying expensive air tickets.

      However, that being said, there really is no limit to the number of transactions or the amount of cash rebates that you can earn per month on the ANZ Optimum World MasterCard.

  • Aliim Khamis

    What do they mean by 3 transactions per month for the UOB ONE card? Must it be ONLY 3 transactions that amounts up to $500? So if I charged a whole lot of small spendings over the course of the month to get a total billing of $500, that wouldn’t count? Sorry if the question seems dumb. Planning on getting my first credit card.

    • Peter Lin

      Hi Aliim,

      Thanks for your question! It just means that you have to use the UOB One Card at least 3 times a month. You can make a lot of small purchases over the month to reach the minimum of $500. Do use our credit card comparison site to help you find the best credit card for your needs! http://www.moneysmart.sg/credit-cards

  • omeprazolel

    I used my Maybank card to buy air tickets at $2,055.30 but I got only $6.16 cash back. How home you spent $1,500 can get $40 cash back? This means, I gotta give up this lousy May Bank card.