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American Express True Cashback Card – MoneySmart Review 2018

American Express True Cashback Card

Joanne Poh

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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 this 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

 

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 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.
 

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 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 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 + make 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 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- and 6-month instalment 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 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

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

     

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    Joanne Poh

    In my previous life, I was a property lawyer who spent most of my time struggling to get out of bed or stuck in peak hour traffic. These days, as a freelance commercial writer, I work in bed, on the beach, in parks and at cafes, all while being really frugal. I like helping other people save money so they can stop living lives they don't like.