3 Best Credit Card Pairings for Maximising Cashback, Miles, and Rewards

best-credit-card-pairing-miles-cashback-rewards

We’ve all heard the clichés—you’re the cheese to my macaroni, the flip to my flop, the stars to my night. Well today, I’ve got a new one for you: you’re the UOB EVOL to my Citi Cash Back+.

Let me explain myself. Like pancakes and butter, some credit cards just go together. The 2 I mentioned above are a dream cashback combination, but there are also great credit card duos for different goals like miles and rewards.

Why is this important? Card payment is the most common mode of payment in Singapore at a 90% penetration rate—that’s the highest in the whole of ASEAN according to the FinTech in ASEAN 2021 report. Just look at how the volume of credit card transactions has grown over the years:

volume-credit-card-transactions-statista
Source: Statista

Why credit cards? According to the FinTech in ASEAN 2021 report, the most important reasons Singaporeans use digital payment methods are convenience (75%) and rewards schemes (55%). You don’t get rebates when you pay in cash, but you pay with a credit card instead and you can earn rebates on your spending.

But if there’s another thing that Singaporeans like, it’s efficiency. Some credit cards work better together to compliment your spending habits and rebate goals. Which credit cards pair best with other credit cards? Across earn rates, earn categories, and minimum spends, there’s a lot to consider. So let us do the leg work for you. After comparing dozens of credit cards, here are my top credit card pairings I’d recommend in Singapore for cashback, miles, and rewards.

 

1. TL;DR—Summary of the best credit card pairings in Singapore

Here’s a summary of the credit card pairings I’ve picked out. For the cashback, miles, and rewards pairings below, I found that UOB and Citibank credit cards tend to pair well together.

Best cashback credit card pairing: UOB EVOL Credit Card + Citi Cash Back+ Card or OCBC INFINITY Cashback Card

Cashback credit card Bonus rebate Why they are a great combination
UOB EVOL Credit Card 10% cashback on online, mobile contactless, overseas in-store foreign spend The UOB EVOL credit card gives you a capped 10% cashback. After you hit $800 spend on this card, use a fuss-free unlimited cashback card like the Citi Cash Back+ Card or OCBC INFINITY Cashback Card to earn 1.6% cashback.
Citi Cash Back+ Card / OCBC INFINITY Cashback Card 1.6% unlimited cashback

 

Best miles credit card pairing: UOB PRVI Miles Card + Citi PremierMiles Card

Miles credit card Bonus rebate Why they are a great combination
UOB PRVI Miles Card (Mastercard / VISA / Amex) – 6 miles per $1 spend (UNI$15 per S$5 spend) on major airlines and hotels booked through Expedia and Agoda
– 2.4 miles per S$1 overseas spend (UNI$6 per spend) including online shopping on overseas websites
– 1.4 miles per S$1 local spend (UNI$3.5 per S$5 spend)
For your plane tickets, use the UOB PRVI Miles Card to earn 6 mpd on airlines when you book through Expedia or Agoda. For accommodation, use the Citi PremierMiles Card for 10 Citi Miles per S$1 spent on Kaligo or 7 Citi Miles per S$1 spent on Agoda.
Citi PremierMiles Card – 10 Citi Miles per S$1 spent on Kaligo
– 7 Citi Miles per S$1 spent on hotel bookings worldwide on Agoda
– 2 Citi Miles per S$1 spend in foreign currency
– 1.2 Citi Miles per S$1 local spend
– Citi Miles never expire

 

Best miles credit card pairing: UOB Lady’s Card + Citi Rewards Card

Rewards credit card Bonus rebate Why they are a great combination
Citi Rewards Card – 10X Points for online purchases (online grocery, food delivery, ride-hailing and more)
– 10X Points for shopping purchases (department store, clothing stores and more)
– 1X Point for all other purchases
Earn bonus rebates on up to $2,000 monthly spend between these 2 cards. The Citi Rewards Card offers a large range of bonus categories, while the UOB Lady’s Card gives you the flexibility to choose your bonus category each quarter. Both have the same earn rate of 10X points per $1, and each point is equivalent to 0.4 miles for both.
UOB Lady’s Card – 10X UNI$ per $1 spending on your preferred category
– Up to 25X UNI$ on your preferred category with the UOB Lady’s Savings Account
– 1X UNI$ on other spend

Before we proceed, I want to be upfront about some assumptions I’m making in this article:  

  1. You’re only getting 2 credit cards for one rebate category.
  2. You’re focused on only the rebate benefits of these 2 cards, even though many come with other benefits too, such as lifestyle deals, lounge access, and complimentary travel insurance.
  3. Cashback/miles/rewards are your priority over credit card promotions. (But do check those out; they can be very generous!)
  4. You are eligible for at least entry-level credit cards, which usually require that you draw an annual income of $30,000 (for Singaporeans) or $40,000 – $45,000 (for non-Singaporeans). This list will only include entry-level cards.
  5. There are 3 main rebate categories:
    1. Cashback: You earn cashback on your spending that is either automatically offset in the same or next month’s statement or that you can redeem to offset your next statement.
    2. Miles: You either earn miles directly or rewards points that can be redeemed for miles. Either way, these cards are optimised to earn you miles for your travel spending, especially on spend categories like flights and hotels.
    3. Rewards points: You earn rewards points that can be redeemed for lifestyle deals, miles, and more. 
  6. You’re not trying to max out any specific spend category such as food delivery or Grab rides. The cards below are catered for general spending and will include broad spend categories. There are other credit cards out there with higher rates for specific categories.

 

2. Best credit card pairings for cashback

Cashback credit card Bonus rebate Minimum monthly spend Monthly cap on bonus category
UOB EVOL Credit Card 10% cashback

on online, mobile contactless, overseas in-store foreign spend

$800 $80 (but I suggest you DON’T max this out—see why below)
Citi Cash Back+ Card OR OCBC INFINITY Cashback Card 1.6% unlimited cashback $0 No limit

 

UOB EVOL Credit Card

UOB logo
MoneySmart Exclusive
Online Promo
LUCKY DRAW | Up to 10% Cashback
on Online, Mobile Contactless, Overseas in-store FX spend
10% Cashback
Cash Back Cap per month
Up to S$80
Min. Spend per month
S$800
MoneySmart Exclusive:

[LUCKY DRAW]
Stand a chance to win a Cartier Santos-Dumont Watch - Large Model, Blue (worth S$6,000) or an Apple 11-inch iPad Air WiFi, 128GB (worth S$899) or a Sony PlayStation 5 SLIM Digital Edition (worth S$669) when you apply and spend a min. of S$1,000 in Eligible Transactions each month for the first two consecutive months from the card approval date. T&Cs apply.
 
PLUS get an Apple Watch SE 2nd Gen with CASETiFY Impact Band (worth S$453) from UOB when you are the first 50 new-to-UOB credit card customers in each calendar month from 7 June 2024 to 31 July 2024 to successfully apply and spend a min. of S$1,000 per month for the 2 first consecutive months from their card approval date. T&Cs apply.

Valid until 11 Aug 2024

Often, the cards that will earn you the highest cashback limit you to just 1 or 2 spend categories. That isn’t the case with the UOB EVOL Credit Card, which doles out a generous 10% cashback rate on online, mobile contactless, and overseas in-store foreign spend. 

UOB EVOL cashback Cashback cap per statement month
10% cashback on Online Spend and Mobile

Contactless Spend

$30 ($300 spend)
10% cashback on Overseas in-store FX

spend

$20 ($200 spend)
0.3% cashback on all Other Spend $30 ($10,000 spend)
Total $80 ($10,500 spend)

Source: UOB EVOL Credit Card terms and conditions

There is a catch to this. You do not want to charge $10,500 on your UOB EVOL just to earn a paltry $80 cashback. That means you’re only earning 0.76% cashback!

Instead, charge only $800 to your UOB EVOL, maxing out the 10% cashback categories. You’re not going to max out the full $80 cashback cap, but the $44.40* you’ll earn works out to an overall cashback rate of 5.55% on your $800 spend. (*I accounted for the 3.25% foreign currency transaction fee, since one of the cashback categories is on overseas spend.)

Beyond that, use a no minimum spend, unlimited cashback card like the Citi Cash Back+ Card.

 

Citi Cash Back+ Card / OCBC INFINITY Cashback Card

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Cash Back on Eligible Spend
1.6%
Min. Spend per month
S$0
Cash Back Cap
Unlimited
MoneySmart Exclusive:

[FLASH DEAL | FASTER GIFT FULFILMENT]
Get UPSIZED CASH REWARDS of up to S$480* OR 5,040 SmartPoints + S$80 Trip.com Coupon, in as fast as 5 weeks from meeting the S$500 spend criteria! T&Cs apply.
 
Use 5,040 SmartPoints to fully redeem a product from our Rewards Store. If the product costs more, redeem with your points and top up the rest by purchasing additional SmartPoints e.g. get an Apple 10.9-inch iPad Wi‑Fi 64GB (10th Generation) at only S$110 on top of your earned SmartPoints.

Valid until 15 Jul 2024
OCBC logo
MoneySmart Exclusive
Earn up to 1.8% unlimited cashback
on eligible transactions
Earn 1.6% Cashback
Min. Spend
S$0
Cashback Cap
Unlimited
MoneySmart Exclusive:

Earn 1,890 SmartPoints or S$200 Cash via PayNow when you apply and spend a min. of S$500 in qualifying spends within 30 days from card approval date. T&Cs apply.
 
Use 1,890 SmartPoints to fully redeem a product from our Rewards Store. If the product costs more, redeem with your points and top up the rest by purchasing additional SmartPoints e.g. get an Apple 10.2 inch iPad Wi-Fi (9th Generation) 64GB at only S$315 on top of your earned SmartPoints.

Valid until 14 Jul 2024

Unlimited cashback cards with no minimum spend are the least stressful cashback cards out there. No calculation tables like the one I did up above, no minimum or maximum spends to stress out over. Just charge your spending to the Citi Cash Back+ Card or OCBC INFINITY Cashback Card and earn 1.6% cashback on it.

Both cards have the same earn rates with no minimum or maximum spends, and they’re also both Mastercard. One difference I would like to point out is that with the Citi Cash Back +, your cashback will be credited into your account and can be redeemed via the Citibank app whenever you like, in increments of $10. With the OCBC INFINITY, the cashback you earn will be automatically credited into your card account the following month.

While 1.6% cashback isn’t a lot, it’s a good option if (a) you’re making a large purchase that will grossly overshoot the bonus caps on your other cards, or (b) you won’t hit the minimum spends on higher cashback credit cards.

BONUS: Instead of the Citi Cash Back+ Card or OCBC INFINITY, you could also consider another unlimited cashback card—the CIMB World Mastercard. The catch? While this card covers a broad range of categories—Wine & Dine, Online Food Delivery, Movies & Digital Entertainment, Taxi & Automobile, Luxury Goods—the Citi Cash Back+ Card covers more. Also, it has a minimum monthly spend of $1,000.

Why they’re a great combination

After you make use of the higher 10% cashback on the UOB EVOL credit card, spending more on it will only earn you a meagre 0.3% cashback. So past $800 spending, use the fuss-free, $0 minimum spend, unlimited Citi Cash Back+ Card to earn 1.6% on your other spending for the month.

 

3. Best credit card pairings for miles

Miles credit card Bonus rebate Minimum monthly spend Monthly cap on bonus category
UOB PRVI Miles Card (Mastercard / VISA / Amex) – 6 miles per $1 spend (UNI$15 per S$5 spend) on major airlines and hotels booked through Expedia and Agoda
– 2.4 miles per S$1 overseas spend (UNI$6 per spend) including online shopping on overseas websites
– 1.4 miles per S$1 local spend (UNI$3.5 per S$5 spend)
$0 No cap
Citi PremierMiles Card – 10 Citi Miles per S$1 spent on Kaligo
– 7 Citi Miles per S$1 spent on hotel bookings worldwide on Agoda
– 2 Citi Miles per S$1 spend in foreign currency
– 1.2 Citi Miles per S$1 local spend
– Citi Miles never expire
$0 No cap 

 

UOB PRVI Miles Card

UOB logo
MoneySmart Exclusive
Online Promo
LUCKY DRAW | Earn up to 6 Miles per S$1
Local Spend
S$1 = 1.4 Miles
Overseas Spend
S$1 = 2.4 Miles
Selected Online Hotel and Flight bookings
S$1 = 6 Miles
MoneySmart Exclusive:

[LUCKY DRAW]
Stand a chance to win 54,000 Air Miles (worth a Round-Trip to Tokyo for 1) OR an Apple 11-inch iPad Pro WiFi, 256GB (worth S$1,499) OR an Apple Watch Series 9 GPS, 41mm (worth S$604.50) when you apply and meet the relevant spend criteria. T&Cs apply.
 
PLUS get up to 50,000 miles from UOB when you spend a min. of S$1,000 on your new UOB PRVI credit card for 2 consecutive months from your card approval date, payable first-year annual fee and SMS registration required. T&Cs apply.

Valid until 11 Aug 2024

The UOB PRVI Card is a powerhouse in the miles card game. It gives you a generous 6 miles per $1 (mpd) on airlines and hotels you book through Expedia and Agoda, which, to my knowledge, is currently the highest in the market for air tickets. On top of that, its local and foreign spend earn rates are collectively also the highest base rates around, at 1.4 mpd and 2.4 mpd respectively.

You earn miles in the form of UNI$, UOB’s rewards points currency. Note that you earn per every $5 spent, and UNI$ expire 2 years from the last day of each periodic quarter in which the UNI$ was earned.

Citi PremierMiles Card

Sponsored
Citibank logo
MoneySmart Exclusive
FASTER GIFT REDEMPTION | FLASH DEAL
Local Spend
S$1 = 1.2 Miles
All Foreign Currency Spend including Retail and Online
S$1 = up to 2 Miles
Selected Online Hotel and Flight bookings
S$1 = Up to 10 Miles
MoneySmart Exclusive:

[FLASH DEAL | FASTER GIFT FULFILMENT]
Get UPSIZED CASH REWARDS of up to S$530* or 5,100 SmartPoints + S$80 Trip.com Coupon, in as fast as 5 weeks from meeting the S$500 spend criteria! T&Cs apply.
 
Use 5,100 SmartPoints to fully redeem a product from our Rewards Store. If the product costs more, redeem with your points and top up the rest by purchasing additional SmartPoints e.g. get an Apple 10.9-inch iPad Wi‑Fi 64GB (10th Generation) at only S$104 on top of your earned SmartPoints.

Valid until 15 Jul 2024

The highest miles earn rate for hotel bookings belongs to the Citi PremierMiles Card, coming in at 10 Citi Miles per S$1 spent on Kaligo. You can also get 7 Citi Miles per S$1 spent on hotel bookings worldwide on Agoda. While its regular local and foreign spend miles earn rates are average at best, there’s the added benefit of the fact that Citi Miles never expire. If you don’t travel often, don’t sweat it. Take your time to accumulate your Citi Miles.

Why they’re a great combination

If you’re looking at miles cards, I think it’s safe to assume you have travel on your mind. That means 2 major expenditures: air tickets and hotels. For your plane tickets, use the UOB PRVI Miles Card to earn 6 mpd on airlines when you book through Expedia or Agoda. Then for your accommodation, whip out your Citi PremierMiles Card for 10 Citi Miles per S$1 spent on Kaligo or 7 Citi Miles per S$1 spent on Agoda. For all other general expenses, use the UOB PRVI Miles Card for 1.4 mpd earnings on local spend and 2.4 mpd earnings on foreign spend.

 

4. Best credit card pairings for rewards points

Rewards credit card Bonus rebate Minimum monthly spend Monthly cap on bonus category
Citi Rewards Card – 10X Points for online purchases (online grocery, food delivery, ride-hailing and more)
– 10X Points for shopping purchases (department store, clothing stores and more)
– 1X Point for all other purchases
$0 $1,000
UOB Lady’s Card – 10X UNI$ per $1 spending on your preferred category
– Up to 25X UNI$ on your preferred category with the UOB Lady’s Savings Account
– 1X UNI$ on other spend
$0 $1,000

 

Citi Rewards Card

Citibank logo
MoneySmart Exclusive
FASTER GIFT REDEMPTION | FLASH DEAL
on Online & Shopping Purchases
S$1= 10X Points
on all other purchases
S$1= 1X Point
Rewards Conversion
10X Points = 4 Miles
MoneySmart Exclusive:

[FLASH DEAL | FASTER GIFT FULFILMENT]
Get UPSIZED CASH REWARDS of up to S$480* OR 5,040 SmartPoints + S$80 Trip.com Coupon, in as fast as 5 weeks from meeting the S$500 spend criteria! T&Cs apply.
 
Use 5,040 SmartPoints to fully redeem a product from our Rewards Store. If the product costs more, redeem with your points and top up the rest by purchasing additional SmartPoints e.g. get an Apple 10.9-inch iPad Wi‑Fi 64GB (10th Generation) at only S$110 on top of your earned SmartPoints.

Valid until 15 Jul 2024

The chief strength of the Citi Rewards Card is the large range of categories you can earn bonus points on. Earn 10 Citi ThankYou Points per $1 spent on:

  • Online purchases, including online spending on groceries, food delivery, ride-hailing and more. Excludes mobile wallet and travel-related transactions. 
  • Shopping purchases, referring to department stores, clothing stores, shoe shops, and more.

All other purchases earn 1X Point, which is the base rate.

The 10X Points rebate is actually split into 1X Base Point and 9X Bonus Points. While Base Points have no cap, Bonus Points are capped at 9,000 a month, which you’ll hit with $1,000 spend. 

Rewards points expire after 5 years. They can be redeemed as cash rebates, used to offset your purchases with Citi Pay with Points, or you can even choose to redeem them for merchandise or shopping vouchers. The conversion rate is 440 Points = S$1 cash rebate. If you do the math, that’s a cashback rate of 2.27%. It’s not a very high rate, but it’s a high spend cap and a large number of categories.

  • You spend $100 and earn 1,000 Points
  • You redeem 1,000 Points for $2.27

Alternatively, redeem your points for miles at a rate of 10X Points = 4 Citi Miles, where 1 Citi Miles is 1 airline miles/hotel point.

 

UOB Lady’s Card

UOB logo
MoneySmart Exclusive
Online Promo
LUCKY DRAW | Earn up to 6 Miles per S$1
on up to One Rewards Category
S$5 = Up to 9X UNI$ (equivalent to 3.6 miles per S$1)
on All Other Spend
S$5 = 1X UNI$ (or 2 miles)
Rewards to Miles Conversion, no min. spend
1 UNI$ = 2 Miles
MoneySmart Exclusive:

[LUCKY DRAW]
Stand a chance to win a Cartier Santos-Dumont Watch - Large Model, Blue (worth S$6,000) or an Apple 11-inch iPad Air WiFi, 128GB (worth S$899) or a Sony PlayStation 5 SLIM Digital Edition (worth S$669) when you apply and spend a min. of S$1,000 in Eligible Transactions each month for the first two consecutive months from the card approval date. T&Cs apply.
 
PLUS get S$350 Cash Credit from UOB when you are the first 200 new-to-UOB credit card customers in July 2024 who successfully apply for an eligible UOB Credit Card and spend a min. of S$1,000 per month for 2 consecutive months from their card approval date. T&Cs apply.

Valid until 11 Aug 2024

The credit card that offers the most flexibility all-round is the UOB Lady’s Card, which was rebranded this year to offer up to 25X UNI$ per S$5 spent (equivalent to 10 miles per S$1) on a preferred category of your choice: Beauty & Wellness, Dining, Entertainment, Family, Fashion, Transport and Travel. If/when you change your mind, you have the flexibility to change your preferred category every quarter. The UOB Lady’s Card also lets you earn bonus rates online, in-stores, locally and overseas, so you can cast your net wide and she will deliver.

The catch is that the generous 25X UNI$ per S$5 spent (10 miles per S$1) carrot that UOB is dangling only applies if you also save with the UOB Lady’s Savings Account and deposit at least $100,000. Here’s how the bonus UNI$ stack to add up to 25X UNI$:

UOB Lady’s Card earn category UNI$ earn rate Monthly cap
Base earn rate UNI$1 per S$5 spent (equivalent to 0.4 miles per S$1) No cap
Bonus on preferred category 9X UNI$ for every S$5 spent (equivalent to 3.6 miles per S$1) $1,000
Bonus with UOB Lady’s Savings Account Up to 15X UNI$ (equivalent to 6 miles per S$1) 
TOTAL – 10X UNI$ per $1 spending on your preferred category
– Up to 25X UNI$ on your preferred category with the UOB Lady’s Savings Account
– 1X UNI$ on other spend

On the bright side, there’s no minimum spend required and the monthly rebate cap on Bonus UNI$ is quite high at $1,000 spend per calendar month.

You can choose to redeem UNI$ for over 1,000 rewards across dining, shopping and travel, and have 2 years to do so before they expire. So the UOB Lady’s Card is flexible from earning UNI$ to redeeming them.

Why they’re a great combination

Between the Citi Rewards Card and the UOB Lady’s Card, you can earn bonus rebates on up to $2,000 worth of spending each month. Both breach a large number of categories in different ways—the Citi Rewards Card lets you earn bonus points on a large number of online spend categories, while the UOB Lady’s Card gives you the flexibility to choose the category you want to earn bonus UNI$ in each quarter.

Between the 2, assuming you use the UOB Lady’s Card without the UOB Lady’s Savings Account, both have similar earn rates and redemption conversion rates.

ThankYou Points (Citi Rewards Card)  UNI$ (UOB Lady’s Card) 
Earn rate S$1 spend = 10X ThankYou Points S$1 spend = 10X UNI$
Miles conversion rate 10X ThankYou Points = 4 Miles 10X UNI$ = 4 Miles
Cash rebate conversion rate 4,400 Points = S$10 cash rebate UNI$1,136 = S$10 cash rebate (under the Auto Conversion Programme)

If you’re redeeming your points for miles, use either card. But if you’re redeeming them for cash rebates, you’re better off reaching for the UOB Lady’s Card—provided the purchase you’re making falls under the preferred category you chose that quarter. And if you’re gunning for a merchandise or voucher reward, check the UNI$ rewards catalogue and Citi ThankYou Points reward catalogue first. Either way, you should have a good range of options between these 2 cards.

 

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About the author

Vanessa Nah is a personal finance content writer who pens articles on the ins and outs of buying your first home, the T&Cs of credit cards, and the ups and downs of alternative investments. She’s a researcher at heart and leaves no stone unturned when it comes to breaking down complex finance concepts and making them easy to understand for the everyday Singaporean. When Vanessa’s not debunking finance myths, you’ll find her attending dance classes, fingerpicking a guitar, or (most impawtently) fulfilling her life mission to make her one-eyed cat the most spoiled and loved kitty in the world.