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The Best Cashback Credit Cards in Singapore 2018

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Clara Lim

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Philosophically speaking, the best cash back you can get is probably the cash that you don’t spend.

But since most of us Singaporeans are not likely to do a Thoreau – renounce society and live off the land, the next best thing must surely be a good cashback credit card.

After all, wedding banquets aren’t going to pay for themselves, truffle fries don’t grow on trees, and that new Honda HR-V isn’t going to run on your hopes and dreams. Got free money leh, who don’t want?

So if you’re looking to get some of your hard-earned money back, here are the best cashback credit cards in Singapore.

Contents

  1. How do cashback credit cards work?
  2. Highest cashback credit cards
  3. Unlimited cashback credit cards
  4. All-purpose cashback credit cards
  5. Best cashback credit cards for groceries
  6. Best cashback credit cards for dining
  7. Best cashback credit cards for online spending

 

1. How do cashback credit cards work?

Cashback credit cards reward you for spending money, but instead of giving you rewards points or air miles, you get a fraction of your expenditure back in an automatic cash rebate – effectively a discount off your credit card bill.

At the most basic level, this is a simple percentage e.g. 1% that applies to all spend. This is known as basic cashback. But because the market is so competitive, most cashback credit cards have much better bonus cashback to reward spending with certain merchants.

Before you get too excited about that hefty 16% cashback, remember that banks aren’t charities. They often impose minimum spend requirements and/or cashback caps, otherwise they’ll just bleed money.

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2. Highest cashback credit cards (for all/general spend)

Most people who are new to cashback cards ask, “eh, which card has the highest cashback ah?” and just go straight for the one that advertises a straight-up 5% cashback.

What they don’t realise is that such cards are set up so you will get absolute peanuts if you fail to hit their high minimum spend requirements – regardless of whether you miss the mark by 50 cents or $500. Therefore, proceed with caution. Here are the best cashback credit cards for general spend:

 

Credit card Basic cashback Bonus cashback Things to note Cashback cap
UOB One Card N/A $50 / $100 / $300 (quarterly flat payout) Must spend $500 / $1,000 / $2,000 x 3 months consecutively $50 / $100 / $300 (quarterly)
HSBC Advance Credit Card 2.5% 3.5% (min. spend $2,000) For HSBC Advance customers only – all others get lower cashback & cap $125 (monthly)

 

2.1 UOB One Card

UOB One Card

UOB One Card


Card Benefits

  • Get S$80 cash credit when you apply online
  • Up to 5% cash rebate on all spend for spend above S$2,000/month per quarter (up to 3.33% cash rebate for spend of $500 or $1,000 monthly)
  • Up to 10% additional SMART$ rebate with UOB SMART$ Rebate Programme

The UOB One Card is like Marmite. There are people who absolutely swear by its 5% cashback, to the extent of proselytising on every online forum available. And there are people who think, “why would anyone want to put themselves through that?”

The UOB One works differently from most cashback cards. Think of it as a cash rebates card (rather than cashback) because the rebates are completely flat – either $50, $100 or $300 – and are paid out quarterly.

To get the highest rebate of $300, you need to spend EXACTLY $2,000 each month for 3 months consecutively. Same formula applies for the $50 ($500 x 3 months) and $100 ($1,000 x 3 months) rebates.

Unlike other cashback cards that reward you for spending more, there’s no point doing so with the UOB One. So in this case, the minimum spend is also, effectively, maximum spend.

Sign up if: You plan to spend exactly $2,000 a month on this card.

 

2.2 HSBC Advance Credit Card

HSBC Advance Credit Card

HSBC Advance Credit Card


Card Benefits

  • Get an American Tourister Caravan 70cm TSA luggage (worth S$260) + $20 Cash Back
  • 5% Cash Back on Online Spends
  • 1.5% Cash Back on all purchases with no minimum spend / 2.5% Cash Back on all purchases with $2,000 minimum spend per month. Capped at $70 per month
  • For HSBC Advance banking customers: 2.5% Cash Back on all purchases with no minimum spend / 3.5% Cash Back on all spend with S$2,000 minimum spend per month. Capped at S$125 per month
  • 1st year principal card annual fee waiver for non-HSBC Advance banking customers / Perpetual principal card annual fee waiver for HSBC Advance banking customers
  • Perpetual supplementary card annual fee waiver

If you want a respectably high cashback on all purchases WITHOUT micro-managing your spending, your other alternative is the HSBC Advance card, which touts a 3.5% cashback.

As you might guess from its name, that lovely 3.5% rate is for HSBC Advance customers only. But it’s easy to become one – just credit a monthly salary of at least $3,500 to a HSBC account. You’ll also get a perpetual fee waiver.

To get a 3.5% rebate, there’s a minimum spend of $2,000. If your spending falls below that, you still get a respectable 2.5% cashback.

However, a cashback cap of $125 applies for HSBC Advance customers. That’s much higher than the caps on other cashback cards, but it also means spending more than $3,571 will give you no further returns.

Sign up if: You plan to spend between $2,000 and $3,500 a month on this card. It’s great as a supplement to a category-specific cashback card with a low cap.

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3. Unlimited cashback credit cards

Ever got excited when you heard the phrase “unlimited cashback,” only to realise the cashback is a measly 1.5%? Chey.

While they won’t give you a sweet double-digit rebate, unlimited cashback cards are good for momentous (and expensive) life events, like weddings and home renovations, which would easily burst the cap on most other cashback cards.

 

Credit card Basic cashback Bonus cashback Things to note Cashback cap
American Express True Cashback Card 1.5% 3% (first 6 months up to $5,000) No min. spend No cap
Standard Chartered Unlimited Cashback Credit Card 1.5% N/A No min. spend No cap
Maybank FC Barcelona Visa Signature Card 1.6% (local spend only) N/A No min. spend

No cashback on overseas spend

No cap

 

3.1 American Express True Cashback Card

American Express True Cashback Card

American Express True Cashback Card


Card Benefits

  • Win 2 Business Class Tickets to Milan
  • MoneySmart Exclusive! - Bonus S$50 worth of Grab e-Vouchers
  • Apply through MoneySmart from 22 Feb - 28 Feb 2018 to get S$50 worth of Grab e-Vouchers. Application must be approved by 14 Mar 2018. Submit your (i)Contact Details and (ii)14-digit Reference Number on the Thank You Page upon completion at this link before 28 Feb 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

This one is so simple that it could be a PSLE maths question. Or maybe not, given how hard PSLE questions are these days. Anyway, it’s 3% cashback for the first 6 months up to $5,000, and 1.5% on everything thereafter. No minimum spend, no cashback cap.

We’ll be honest – this is one card we’d apply just to use on one holiday (to reap the introductory 3% cashback) and just have on standby afterwards.

Sign up if: You have a one-time $5,000 expense coming up.

 

3.2 Standard Chartered Unlimited Cashback Credit Card

Standard Chartered Unlimited Cashback Credit Card

Standard Chartered Unlimited Cashback Credit Card


Card Benefits

  • 20% Cashback on Uber Rides Globally
  • Get up to S$120 cashback when you sign up and use your Credit Card
  • Win up to $1,888 Cashback
  • 1.5% cashback on all eligible spend with no cashback cap and no minimum spend
  • Doubles up as your ez-link card with the EZ-Link facility enabled on it
  • Get 20% Cashback on Uber Rides* when you charge a min. of $900 on retail spend per month, $50 Cashback cap till 30 Sept 2018. *All transactions on Uber & UberEats App qualify

As with the Amex True Cashback card, Standard Chartered’s direct competitor offers a straight 1.5% cashback with no minimum and no cap. As a Mastercard, it’s a little more versatile than the competition.

It doesn’t have an introductory bonus cashback, but from now till 31 Mar 2018, those new to Standard Chartered credit cards can get a sign-up bonus of up to $120.

Sign up if: You’re new to StanChart credit cards.

 

3.3 Maybank FC Barcelona Visa Signature Card

Wait! What’s this card doing here? It’s not even marketed as a cashback card. Some more you’re a Real Madrid fan.

If you can get past the football rivalry, listen up because the Maybank FC Barcelona Visa Signature card actually offers the best unlimited cashback rate on the market – 1.6% on all local spend, no minimum, no cap. However, there’s no cashback on overseas spending – only rewards.

Sign up if: You’re expecting massive local transactions in the coming year, e.g. a wedding.

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4. All-purpose cashback credit cards

The bulk of popular cashback cards in Singapore fall within this category. All-purpose cards boast good bonus cashback in general categories like dining, petrol and groceries – in other words, the things that most Singaporeans bo pian must spend money on.

The trade-offs are usually low basic cashback rate and low cashback caps on each bonus category. So before signing up, observe your typical expenditure in each category and make sure that you’re not setting yourself up for a poor deal.

 

Credit card Basic cashback Bonus cashback Things to note Cashback cap
Citi Cash Back Card 0.25% 8% (dining, groceries, petrol, Grab) Min. spend $888 $25 per bonus category (monthly)
BOC Family Card 0.5% 7% (dining)

5% (groceries, online shopping, hospital bills, NETS FlashPay)

1% (telco bills)

Min. spend $500 $100 (monthly)
HSBC Visa Platinum Credit Card N/A 5% (telco bills, groceries, petrol)

2% (dining)

Min. spend $800 x 3 months consecutively $120 (quarterly)

 

4.1 Citi Cash Back Card

Citi Cash Back Card

Citi Cash Back Card


Card Benefits

  • Get S$120 Cashback
  • MoneySmart Exclusive! - Free S$100 CapitaVouchers
  • 8% cash back at food & beverage outlets, supermarkets, food & groceries delivery (including Foodpanda, Deliveroo, honestbee, RedMart) and Grab rides globally
  • Up to 20.88% at Esso and Shell, and 8% Cash Back at other petrol stations
  • Total minimum retail spend of S$888/statement month, 8% cash back capped at S$25 per category (Dining, Grab rides valid till 6 Apr 2018, Groceries, Petrol). For retail spend less than S$888 and/or other retail spends, 0.25% cash back is awarded, no cap on 0.25% cash back earned

8% cashback on dining, groceries, petrol and Grab rides with minimum spend of $888 each month? Huat ah! No wonder this is one of the most popular cashback cards around.

For average Singaporean adults, the Citi Cash Back Card is perfect for everyday use. But note that there’s a $25 cap in each bonus cashback category, limiting your spending to $312.50 in each category.

Sign up if: You spend modestly – up to $300/month – in most of the bonus categories.

 

4.2 BOC Family Card

The OCBC 365 Credit Card used to be our runner up all-purpose cashback credit card, but that has all changed since Bank of China revamped its Family Card a few months ago. Sorry, OCBC. (Thanks to MoneySmart reader Eddy for pointing it out!)

With a lower minimum spend of $500, the BOC Family Card is a more accessible everyday card compared to the Citi Cash Back.

The rebates aren’t quite as high, but they’re competitive – 7% on dining; 5% for groceries, online shopping, hospital bills and NETS FlashPay (i.e. public transport and parking, limited to 4 top-ups); plus 1% on telco bills. You can get up to $100 cashback a month without individual caps on categories, which makes this card pretty user-friendly.

Sign up if: You want a really, really low-effort cashback credit card.

 

4.3 HSBC Visa Platinum Credit Card

HSBC Visa Platinum Credit Card

HSBC Visa Platinum Credit Card


Card Benefits

  • Get an American Tourister Caravan 70cm TSA luggage (worth S$260) + $20 Cash Back
  • 5% Cash Back on Online Spends
  • 5% or 3% cash rebate on all grocery spend (with min. $800 or $400 spend/month for all three months in the quarter)
  • 5% cash rebate on Recurring Mobile/Cable TV/Internet Bill Payment (with min. $400 spend/month for all three months in the quarter)
  • 5% or 3% cash rebate at all Shell and Caltex stations (with min. $800 or $400 spend/month for all three months in the quarter)
  • 2% or 1% cash rebate on dining (with min. $800 or $400 spend/month for all three months in the quarter)
  • S$60 cap per account per quarter

Want to shave 5% off your telco bills? The HSBC Visa Platinum does that with a minimum spend of $400 a month.

For those who spend $800 per month consistently, this card also works as an all-purpose card as it gives the maximum 5% rebate for groceries and petrol on top of telco bills.

Like the UOB One card, this card requires you to consistently spend either $400 or $800 per month for 3 months before you can get a quarterly cashback, capped at $60 or $120. Assuming you’re maxing out your rebates, it’s not worth it to spend more than $400/800 on the card because you won’t get anything more.

Sign up if: You have about $400 worth of telco bills, or $800 of telco bills + groceries + petrol per month.

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5. Best cashback credit cards for groceries

Although the all-purpose cashback credit cards above offer good rebates for groceries in Singapore, you might want to consider one of these groceries-specific cards as a backup. That’s because it’s very easy to burst a low cashback cap like $25, especially if you’re shopping for the entire household.

Otherwise, you might want a dedicated card for groceries as you can’t meet the minimum spend on an all-purpose card. Either way, Singapore isn’t short on cashback cards for groceries.

 

Credit card Basic cashback Bonus cashback Things to note Cashback cap
UOB Delight Card 0.3% 8% (groceries)

3% (bills, NETS FlashPay)

Min. spend $800 $50 (monthly)
BOC Sheng Siong Card 0.3% (local)

1% (overseas)

7% (Sheng Siong) No min. spend

Get 12% Sheng Siong cashback if you spend $400 elsewhere

$70 (monthly)
POSB Everyday Card 0.3% 5% (Sheng Siong)

3% (medical) *

1% (utilities)

No min. spend

* Only for Child Dev account trustees

$50 (monthly)

 

5.1 UOB Delight Card

UOB Delight Card

UOB Delight Card


Card Benefits

  • Get S$80 cash credit when you apply online
  • 8% or 3% cash rebate at Cold Storage, Market Place, Jasons, Giant and Guardian stores. Minimum spend: S$800/S$400 per month respectively.
  • 10% discount on house brands at Cold Storage, Giant, and Guardian
  • Up to 3% rebate on ALL contactless payments and selected recurring bills
  • Free home delivery at Giant IMM, Parkway, Tampines, VivoCity with S$150 min. spend in a single receipt
  • 0.3% cashback on spends less than S$400 and on all other spends

The Citi Cash Back Card has set the bar high with 8% cashback on groceries, but the UOB Delight card offers the same with a minimum spend of $800 a month. Unfortunately, total rebate is capped at $50 per month.

The UOB Delight is also one of the rare cards which let you earn cashback (3%) on a wide variety of day-to-day spending, including contactless transactions such as payWave, NETS FlashPay top ups (e.g.  for public transport) and bills (including telco, insurance, town council and SPH newspaper).

Sign up if: You plan to spend up to $800 a month on groceries, bills, petrol, dining and dining.

 

5.2 BOC Sheng Siong Card

If you are not one of those atas Cold Storage shoppers and do not want to hit any minimum spend requirement, the BOC Sheng Siong Card is a good alternative. It gives you a respectable 7% rebate at Sheng Siong with no minimum spend – and there’s a fairly high cashback cap of $70.

Sign up if: You don’t want to hit a minimum spend to get a grocery rebate.

 

5.3 POSB Everyday Card

POSB Everyday Card

POSB Everyday Card


Card Benefits

  • Online Exclusive - Up to S$100 Cashback
  • 5% cash rebate with Sheng Siong
  • S$50 cash rebate cap per calendar month (maximum spend of S$1,000 per calendar month)
  • Cash rebate awarded in Daily$

The POSB Everyday card also gives you rebates at Sheng Siong with no minimum spend, but it’s only a 5% rebate and the rebate cap is lower, at $50.

It has several fringe benefits – notably up to 20.1% savings at SPC, 3% cashback for medical spend (for POSB Smiley Child Development Account trustees only) and 1% cashback for utilities bills.

Sign up if: You’ll make use of the SPC, medical spend and utilities bills rebates.

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6. Best cashback credit cards for dining

While some all-purpose cards have good rebates for dining (notably the Citi Cash Back at 8%), the existence of puny cashback caps means you can burst the limit quite easily, especially if you’re paying for the group.

Enter the niche category of dining rebates cards. Given how many Singaporeans apparently live to eat, we’re surprised that this category isn’t any bigger.

 

Credit card Basic cashback Bonus cashback Things to note Cashback cap
UOB YOLO Card 0.3% 8% (weekend dining & entertainment)

3% (weekday dining & entertainment, online spend)

Min. spend $600 $60 (monthly)
CIMB Visa Signature 0.2% 10% (local dining, foreign currency online spend) Min. spend $500 &

AND min. 8 transactions of at least $30 each

$60 (monthly)


6.1 UOB YOLO Card

UOB YOLO Credit Card

UOB YOLO Credit Card


Card Benefits

  • Get up to 16% rebate on Dining and Entertainment on weekends
  • Get S$80 cash credit when you apply online
  • 16%* cash rebate on weekend Dining, both local and overseas
  • Get up to 10% cashback at Hareloom Bistro Modern offers
  • 3% cash rebate on weekday Dining
  • 0.3% cash rebate on all other spend
  • Minimum spend of S$600 per statement month for 16% and 3% rebate, otherwise 0.3% rebate earned on all spend. Total rebate capped at S$60 per month

With its still ongoing 8% + 8% weekend dining rebate (up to 31 Mar 2018), the UOB YOLO Card is the undisputed king of weekend dining cashback cards.

But it’s not limited to dining – the same generous 16% rebate also applies to movies, concerts and drinks. Basically, this is a must-have card for anyone who spends most weekends paktor-ing.

The additional 8% rebate is not automatic, though. You have to register to qualify. Also, you need to spend $600 on your card or else your rebate will plummet to a pathetic 0.3%.

Do not spend much more than $600, as returns will diminish from there thanks to cashback caps of $60 (for the first 8% cashback) + $40 (for the promotional additional 8%). Spend $500 to $600 tol get maximum rebates of $80 to $88 while the promotion is still ongoing.

Sign up if: You mostly go out on weekends and plan to spend about $500 to $750 a month on that.

 

6.2 CIMB Visa Signature Card

The UOB YOLO Card may get all the hype now, but what about when its 16% cashback inevitably comes to an end? You’ll want to have the CIMB Visa Signature handy for then – it offers a 10% rebate on ALL dining, including weekdays.

That same 10% cashback is applies to online spend as well – as long as it’s on foreign currency transactions. A total cap of $60 applies.

However, look out for its minimum spend requirement, which is pretty low at $500, but requires 8 transactions of at least $30 a month.

Sign up if: You want a card for weekday dining too.

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7. Best cashback credit cards for online spending

I have friends who no longer buy stuff in stores. Every time I point something out in while shopping, they just look bored and say things like “I’ve seen the exact same thing for ⅓ the price on Taobao” and “That’s not cheap. I know a website with even cheaper toilet paper.”

If that sounds like you, you definitely have to get a cashback card with good rebates for online spending.

Even if you don’t shop online, this sort of card is handy for those who do their travel purchases online. Booking flights, Agoda, Airbnb, etc. all count as online spend too!

Credit card Basic cashback Bonus cashback Things to note Cashback cap
DBS Live Fresh Card 0.3% 5% (online spend, contactless payment) Min. spend $600 $60 (monthly)
CIMB Visa Signature Card 0.2% 10% (foreign currency online spend) Min. spend $500 &

AND min. 8 transactions of at least $30 each

$60 (monthly)
Standard Chartered Spree Credit Card 1% (retail transactions) 2% (local online spend)

3% (foreign currency online spend)

No min. spend $60 (monthly)

 

7.1 DBS Live Fresh Card

DBS Live Fresh Card

DBS Live Fresh Card


Card Benefits

  • Online Exclusive - Up to S$100 Cashback
  • Up to 10% cashback
  • Win a customised Nike Air Force 1 sneaker and G-Shock Watch by SBTG
  • Win a 5D4N trip to Moscow to watch the FIFA World Cup live
  • Win S$88 with PayLah!
  • 5% cashback when you shop online
  • Additional 5% cashback for the first 6 months with S$600/month min. spend; Cashback cap at S$60/month
  • Sign up within 8 Jan - 31 Mar 2018

DBS recently revamped its Live Fresh card, and it now offers a cool 5% on all online spend and contactless payment (Visa payWave, Apple Pay, etc.) as long as you spend $600 on the card.

That’s easily the best online spending rebate you can get in Singapore – but guess what? There’s a sign-up promotion right now (until 31 Mar 2018) that gives you an additional 5% for the first 6 months. That’s 10% cashback in total.

The significant drawback is that bonus cashback is capped at $60, meaning diminishing returns beyond $600/month for the first 6 months.

Sign up if: You spend at least $600 online every month.

 

7.2 CIMB Visa Signature Card

OK, so what if you burst the cap on your LiveFresh card?

Consider supplementing it with a CIMB Visa Signature, which offers an amazing 10% rebate for all foreign currency online spend. What’s more, there are super low foreign transaction fees with this card – just 1% compared to the usual 2.5 to 3% – so you still get 9% back on your spending.

However, cashback is capped at $60 and therefore the card is good for only $600 spend a month.

While its minimum spend requirement is lower, at $500, it’s easy to get disqualified if you don’t micro-manage it. You need at least 8 transactions of at least $30 a month.

Sign up if: You mostly spend in foreign currency.

 

7.3 Standard Chartered Spree Credit Card

Standard Chartered Spree Credit Card

Standard Chartered Spree Credit Card


Card Benefits

  • 20% Cashback on Uber Rides globally
  • Get up to S$120 cashback when you sign up and use your new Credit Card
  • Win up to $1,888 Cashback
  • 3% cashback on all online spends in foreign currency
  • 2% cashback on all online spends in local currency, contactless and mobile payments
  • 20% off vPost shipping fees for air shipments to Singapore, capped at $1250 per shipment
  • Online Price Guarantee: refund of 50% of the price difference if you find a lower price for the same item within 30 days of your online purchase*

Coming a distant third in the online spend rebate race is the StanChart Spree card.

So why would you pick this card? One, there’s no minimum spending requirement, so you get a decent rebate no matter how little you spend. Two, you want to get the sign-up promo of up to $120 cashback for those new to Standard Chartered (ends 31 Mar 2018).

Sign up if: You need a backup for when you burst the caps on the other two cards.

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Want to find out more about the best cashback credit cards in Singapore? Here are some related articles:

3 Best Credit Cards for Petrol in Singapore

5 Tips To Maximize Your Cashback Card Benefits

Here’s All the Fine Print of Cashback Credit Cards that Singaporeans Don’t Know About

If You’re Going to Spend More than $15,000 On a Single Purchase, Which is the Best Cashback Credit Card to Use?

 

 

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Clara Lim

I used to be MoneyDumb. I hung out at H&M every day and thought that a $50 lunch set was a good deal. These days, I spend my time researching the crap out of life and trying to maximise utility on micro-decisions. I'm not sure if that's an improvement.