American Express True Cashback Card – MoneySmart Review 2019

American Express True Cashback Card

The Amex True Cashback Card is a super low-effort gives you 1.5% cashback on virtually anything you spend on, and there is no limit to how much cashback you can get every month.

What’s more, in the first 6 months of card membership, you receive 3% cashback on up to $5,000 spending. That’s about $150 of cash rebates.

So is the Amex True Cashback Card really all it’s cracked up to be? Let’s investigate:

 

Amex True Cashback Card terms & conditions

American Express True Cashback Card
Annual fee & waiver $171 (waived for 1 year)
Supplementary annual fee Free for first 2 supp cards, subsequently $85.60
Interest free period 22 days
Annual interest rate 25.90%
Late payment fee $60
Minimum monthly repayment 3% or $50, whichever is higher
Foreign currency transaction fee 2.5%
Cash advance transaction fee 5%
Overlimit fee
Minimum income $30,000 (Singaporean) / $60,000 (non-Singaporean)
Card association American Express
Wireless payment Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, Google Pay
American Express logo
Cash Back on All Spend
1.5%
Cash Back Cap
Unlimited
Min. Spend per month
S$0

 

How the Amex True Cashback Card works

Well, there’s not much to explain. You get 3% cashback on everything you spend on in the first 6 months, up to $5,000. Subsequently, you get 1.5% cashback.

At first glance, the cashback rate of 1.5% isn’t that impressive, not when other cards are offering cashback rates as high as 6% to 9%.

But upon closer inspection, cards that offer very high cashback rates usually only do so subject to two conditions: spending in certain categories, and that you satisfy their minimum spending requirements.

That means a certain card might limit their generous cashback rate to specific categories (e.g. online purchases only), and/or require you to spend at least $600 a month to qualify for the cashback.

Therein lies the American Express True Cashback Card’s real strength — their 1.5% cashback rate is offered with no strings attached.

If you spend only $50 that month, you still get the cashback. If you used your card to pay for your new window grills at Ah Seng Contractor Pte Ltd, that qualifies for cashback.

Plus, from 1 August 2019, you can benefit even more from the True Cashback Card when you travel. You get an additional 1% cashback on all foreign currency spending with no minimum spending requirements, even through your Welcome Bonus period.

To enjoy the additional 1% cashback, existing and new card members must register online at amex.co/tcbfcs. Look under Amex Offers and selected “1% Cashback on Foreign Currency Spend”.

 

Who should use the Amex True Cashback Card?

As with most unlimited cashback cards, the Amex True Cashback Card is great for people who are making hugely expensive life transitions. Think: paying for a 5-star hotel wedding banquet or moving into a new home.

Before you get all excited, let’s set the record straight — you cannot use your credit card to repay your home loan. But still, it pays to sign up for a credit card with very relaxed terms & conditions when you’re about to move in to your new home.

That’s because, apart from your home loan repayments, you’re going to be paying for a ton of assorted stuff — furniture, appliances, renovations, an interior designer, etc. Many of these won’t fall into bonus cashback categories like online shopping, dining or groceries.

You’re also going to be spending thousands, if not tens of thousands of dollars kitting out your new home, and that can translate to a ton of cashback if you pick the right card. You don’t want to be restricted by a cashback cap.

 

What are the alternatives?

Let’s look at some similar cards on the market to see if they’re better for new homebuyers than the American Express True Cashback Card.

Standard Chartered logo
MoneySmart Exclusive
Cash Back on eligible spend
Up to 1.5%
Min. Spend per month
$0
Cash Back Cap
Unlimited
MoneySmart Exclusive: Get a pair of Sony wireless noise cancelling headphones WF-1000XM3 worth $349 delivered to your doorstep when you apply and activate your card! For new-to-bank cardholders only. Valid till 31 Jul 2020.

Standard Chartered Unlimited Cashback Card – This card used to be the American Express True Cashback Card’s closest competitor and also offers 1.5% cashback with no cap or minimum spending. They have a current sign-up bonus of $100 cashback for new-to-StanChart card members, which is actually more attractive than Amex’s introductory 3% rebate.

UOB logo
MoneySmart Exclusive
Cash Back on Grab and Daily Essentials
Up to 10%
Cash Back Cap per quarter
S$300
Min. Spend per month
S$2000
MoneySmart Exclusive: Get up to S$60 Grab Vouchers! Valid till 31 Jul 2020.

UOB One Card – This card gives a quarterly rebate of up to 5% on everything, but you will have to meet their complicated minimum spending requirements. You need to spend exactly $500/$1,000/$2,000 each month with a minimum of 5 transactions each month, for all 3 months in a quarter. You won’t get anything more than $300 in a quarter, no matter how much you spend, so it’s not for those expecting uneven expenditures.

OCBC logo
Cash Rebate with Monthly Bill of S$1,000 and above
1%
Cash Rebate Cap per month
S$100
Min. Spend per month
S$0

OCBC Cashflo Credit Card – Get 0.5% cashback when you spend less than $1,000 in a month, and 1% cashback when you spend over $1,000. Cashback rates aren’t as attractive as Amex True Cashback’s, so the only reason you’d want to sign up for this is if you want to take advantage of their 3- or 6-month 0% interest instalment payment plans (for purchases below and above $1,000 respectively).

Let’s be honest, the Amex True Cashback Card doesn’t quite have the “wow” factor of certain other credit cards. But it’s a solid one to have handy for any spending that doesn’t quite fit in your regular credit cards.

American Express logo
Cash Back on All Spend
1.5%
Cash Back Cap
Unlimited
Min. Spend per month
S$0

What credit card do you usually use for big purchases? Share your recommendations in the comments!

 

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