So you’re going to have a baby! Assuming that’s what you want, that’s an occasion for celebration!
But after the excitement dies down, you’re faced with the rather painful fact that this pregnancy is going to cost you quite a bit of cash—and we’re not even talking about the actual costs of bringing up this new addition to your family.
To minimise the damage, figure out what the expenses you’ll have to incur are ahead of time, and then sign up for credit cards that can maximise the cash back, air miles and rewards you get from your spending.
What you can expect to spend on
Your spending will fall into two broad categories as follows:
- Prenatal checkups – Months before you give birth, you will start incurring medical costs. Beginning from around the 16th week of pregnancy, you will have to go for checkups at least once a month. The frequency will increase as the date of delivery draws nearer. Most mothers-to-be purchase a prenatal package at one hospital, which costs much less than booking individual appointments.
- Delivery – When it comes time to give birth, you’ll have to pay for the delivery costs and hospitalisation, which will likely amount to a four figure sum. A C-section is more expensive than a natural birth, but some people have no choice but to opt for the former.
- Postnatal costs – Once your baby is born, that doesn’t mean the paying stops. Gynaecologist and paediatricians’ bills await as doctors check that you and your newborn are doing fine.
- There’s a whole lot of equipment that has to be bought in preparation for your newborn, from milk-related stuff, including bottles, breast pumps and/or milk powder, to cots, prams, baby food and the list goes on. Most of these items can either be bought at local brick and mortar retailers or online.
What credit cards to use
Since you’re going to spend a ton of money, you can also earn a ton of air miles/cashback/rewards points by strategically using your credit cards to pay for the above expenses.
We can roughly divide the above expenses into two categories: medical and retail.
For medical expenses, the best you can do is to find a credit card that offers a good rate on cashback or air miles for general spending. Even better, look for a card that offers great promotional cashback/miles/rewards points conversion rates for a limited time when you sign up, and then apply for it just before you incur the expenses.
Here are some cards to consider for medical expenses:
- Amex True Cashback Card: When you sign up for the card, you get 3% cashback on up to $5,000 spent during the first 6 months. After the first 6 months, you get cashback of 1.5% on all spending.
- 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
- POSB Everyday Card: This card offers 3% cash rebate on on-site medical services at hospitals at clinics so long as you spend $500 in a calendar month and have opened a POSB Smiley Child Development Account.
- Up to 20.1% cash rebate at SPC
- 5% cash rebate at Sheng Siong. S$50 cash rebate cap per calendar month.
- 3% cash rebate at Watsons, and local medical spend (dental, clinic, hospital)
- 1% cash rebate on recurring utilities bills from SP Group and recurring StarHub mobile/digital cable/broadband bills and ins-tore purchases
- Get 0.3% on everything else
- No minimum spend required
For baby purchases, finding the right card depends on whether you’re buying online or offline. You might want to get a separate card for both types of purchases.
When buying stuff offline (as you will probably do for bulky items like prams, strollers and cribs), the Amex True Cashback Card will be useful so long as you make your purchases during the promotional time frame.
When it comes to online shopping, you can get an even better cashback rate by applying for one of the following cards:
- UOB Preferred Platinum Visa Card: Receive 10x rewards points or 4 air miles when you spend money online.
- $5 = UNI$1
- Earn rewards faster with 10X UNI$ when you make online purchases
- Be rewarded 10X UNI$ every time you pay using Visa payWave
- Standard Chartered SingPost Platinum Visa Credit Card: Receive 7% cashback on eligible online purchases and 2% cashback on supermarket purchases when you reach at least $600 retail spending in a calendar month. You also get 10% off Speedpost Priority Service packages and 20% off vPost shipping fees.
- 7% cashback on eligible online spending (min. $600 spend per month)
- 10% off Speedpost Priority Service package, 5% off SMARTPAC with minimum order of three pieces
- vPost - 20% off vPost shipping fees (Promo code SCB20B). capped at $1250, valid till 30 Jun 2017
- Omigo - $20 off with minimum spend of $80 for new customers and 15% off subsequent purchases
- OCBC Frank: Receive 6% cashback on online shopping when you spend at least $400 in a month on offline payments, not including NETS flashpay and auto top-up.
- 6% rebate on online shopping
- 0.3% rebate on everything else
- Min. spend $400 exclude online spend and ATUs, capped at $60 for all rebates
Hopefully, with the right combination of credit cards, you’ll be able to save enough money to get your new bundle of joy a Nintendo Switch when he/she is old enough to ask for one.
What are your biggest financial concerns about pregnancy and having children? Tell us in the comments!
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Tags: Credit Cards