Credit Cards

3 Best Cash Back Credit Cards in Singapore

cashback credit card

Eugenia Liew

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When it comes to comparing plastic, cashback is the most popular kind of credit card in Singapore. But which is the best cashback credit card in Singapore?

There is no clear-cut, universal “best” credit card. To me, the best credit card is one that suits your lifestyle, not the other way around. I don’t believe in micromanaging your spending and obsessing over how you can game the system to maximise your cash rebates – it’s too tedious and disruptive.

So yes, you could easily pick out other cashback credit cards with seemingly high rebates, but if it’s not here, I probably didn’t include it because it is quite difficult to qualify for the maximum cashback.

Credit card Cashback Restrictions
American Express True Cashback Card 3% for the first 3 months up to $5,000

1.5% thereafter

None
BOC Family Card 10% on dining, cinemas

5% online, groceries, hospital, NETS FlashPay

Min. spend $700

Capped at $30 for dining & cinema / $30 for online / $40 for all else

Citi SMRT Card 4.7% on groceries (min. $50 transaction), movies, fast food, coffee chains

2.7% online

1.7% on EZ-Link

+0.3% if you hit min. spend $300

No min. spend

Capped at $600 yearly

 

American Express True Cashback Card – cash rebates for big expenses

American Express True Cashback Card

American Express True Cashback Card


Card Benefits

    • Apply through MoneySmart from 22 Mar - 19 Apr 2018 to get S$100 worth of Grab OR NTUC Vouchers. Application must be approved by 3 May 2018. Submit your (i)Contact Details and (ii)14-digit Reference Number on the Thank You Page upon completion at this link before 19 April 2018. T&Cs
    • 1.5% Cashback on any purchase you make, anytime
    • 3% Cashback for the first 6 months up to $5000 spend
    • Enjoy first year fee waiver
    • Eligible for use with Apple Pay

    There are several frontrunners in the unlimited cashback category, namely American Express True Cashback Card, Standard Chartered Unlimited Cashback Card and the Maybank FC Barcelona Visa Signature Card.

    The standard cash rebate for the American Express True Cashback Card and Standard Chartered Unlimited Cashback Card are the same, 1.5% with no minimum spend and no cap.

    Maybank FC Barcelona Visa Signature Card is marginally higher (1.6%), but the reason why the Amex card has an edge is because you can earn 3% for the first $5,000 you spend (within first 6 months).

    That’s perfect since most people get unlimited cashback cards when they’re anticipating big ticket purchases that’ll burst other credit cards’ cashback caps. If you’re really going to be spending – think renovations and wedding banquets – you can always swipe your main credit card until you’ve met all the cashback caps before switching to your unlimited cashback card.

    • Singaporean Minimum Income: $30,000 per year
    • Non-Singaporean Minimum Income: $60,000 per year
    • Principal Annual Fee: $171.20 per year
    • Supplementary Annual Fee: $85.60 per year
    • Fee Waiver: 1 year fee waiver for Principal card, perpetual fee waiver for first 2 supplementary cards
    • Annual Interest Rate: 25.90%

     

    BOC Family Card – best cashback card for everyday use

    I know, the Bank of China Family Card isn’t the first “best cashback credit card” that comes to mind, but hear me out. Effective April 2018, the BOC Family Card’s cashback programme got an upgrade.

    For a start, rebates for dining (10%) and telco bills (5%) are some of the highest on the market for these categories.

    It’s the only credit card on this list with a minimum spend of $700 per month. But that’s still lower than its biggest competitor, the Citi Cash Back Card.

    The total cashback cap is $100, one of the highest on the market as well. Although there are split caps on the different categories – $30 for dining and movies, $30 for online spend and $40 for everything else – I find the cashback cap amounts reasonable.

    This means you can spend up to $300 a month on dining/movies, $600 on online shopping, and up to $800 on the 5% bonus categories (groceries, hospital bills, NETS FlashPay auto top-up, telco bills and selected merchants).

    All in all, the BOC Family Card a great all-purpose cashback credit card to have. The rebates are competitive, the cashback caps are reasonable, and best of all, the minimum spend is manageable.

    Only thing to note is that the BOC Family Card has no bonus rebates for petrol, which may be a big deal for those who drive daily. If that’s the case, you can consider the Citi Cash Back Card which offers up to 20.88% at Esso and Shell (8% for all other petrol stations).

    • Singaporean Minimum Income: $30,000 per year
    • Non-Singaporean Minimum Income: $60,000 per year
    • Principal Annual Fee: $190 per year
    • Supplementary Annual Fee: $95 per year
    • Fee Waiver: First year free for Principal and Supplementary cards
    • Annual Interest Rate: 28.88%

     

    Citi SMRT Card – best cashback card with no minimum spend

    Citibank SMRT Card

    Citibank SMRT Card


    Card Benefits

      • Up to 5% savings on on Groceries. 4.7% (For transactions above $50. If transaction is $50 and below, 2.7% awarded instead) + 0.3% (If monthly card spend is at least $300)
      • Up to 5% savings on Fast Food, Movies & Coffee. 4.7% + 0.3% (if monthly card spend is at least $300)
      • Up to 3% savings on Online Shopping. 2.7% + 0.3% (If monthly card spend is at least $300)
      • Up to 2% savings on Health & Beauty. 1.7% + 0.3% (If monthly card spend is at least $300). Including GNC, Guardian, Nature's Farm, NTUC Unity Healthcare & Watson's
      • Up to 2% EZ-Reload Auto Top-up. 0.3% + 1.7% (If top-up more than $30. If $30 or less, 0.7% awarded instead)
      • Up to 5% savings for the following with monthly spend of at least $300. 5% at POPULAR Bookstores and Toys"R"Us, 5% at selected Town Councils for Service and Conservancy Charges, 1% savings on Telecommunication bills, 1% on selected Insurance providers, 1% on SPH Newspaper Subscriptions. If monthly spend is less than $300, SMRT$ earn rate will be 0.3% less.
      • Savings awarded in SMRT$. 1 SMRT$ = S$1 of vouchers. Vouchers available for Giant, Sheng Siong, Popular, Watsons, Shaw Theatres
      • 0.3% awarded on all other spend categories

      If you struggle to hit the minimum spend of other cashback cards, I recommend the Citi SMRT Card for your general purchases. The cash rebates are decent and cover all the essential categories – transport, food, groceries and online shopping.

      The Citi SMRT Card’s cash rebate (4.7% on groceries, movies and fastfood + 2.7% on online shopping + 1.7% on EZ-reload, health and beauty) is slightly lower than most cards, but is already considered very competitive for one without a minimum spend.

      The cashback cap is $600 per year, which is quite generous considering the rebates. If you reach the cap early, you can always just swipe another card since there’s no minimum spend. Plus, it doesn’t hurt to get a bonus 0.3% cashback if you spend at least $300.

      You should also use the Citi SMRT Card as your EZ-Link card. You can earn rebates without any transaction fees. Just remember to change the default $30 auto reload amount to $40 or $50 to get the maximum rebate of 1.7% (instead of 0.7%).

      • Singaporean Minimum Income: $30,000 per year
      • Non-Singaporean Minimum Income: $42,000 per year
      • Principal Annual Fee: $193
      • Supplementary Annual Fee: $96.30
      • Fee Waiver: 2 years fee waiver
      • Annual Interest Rate: 26.9%

       

      Got a better cashback credit card to recommend? Share it with us in the comments below!

       

      Want to see more of the best cashback credit cards in 2018? Check out this article here:

      The Best Cashback Credit Cards in Singapore 2018

      Keep updated with all the news!

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      Eugenia Liew

      I’m a 90s millennial who’s starting to realise that #adulting is more expensive than it seems on Instagram. When I’m not writing for MoneySmart, I’m usually playing with drain-dwelling stray cats or shopping at Sephora.

      • 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.