It’s been over a year since I joined MoneySmart, and I’ve only just realised that, although we’ve got “best of” lists for the different types of credit cards (like cashback, miles, and rewards) we haven’t come up with a list of the best best credit cards in Singapore, period.
The problem is that it’s pretty damn hard to say what’s best in Singapore. So you know what? We’re just going to pick our favourites instead.
Of course, since we scrutinise boring credit card terms & conditions for a living, you can be sure our recommendations aren’t just randomly plucked out of thin air. Our favourite credit cards are all the best for some reason, as you’ll find out later on.
7 best credit cards in Singapore
|Best credit card in Singapore||Why we love it|
|Citi Cash Back Card||Highest all-rounded cashback card|
|DBS Live Fresh Card||Best cashback card for online shopping|
|Citi SMRT Card||Best cashback card with no minimum spend|
|UOB KrisFlyer Credit Card||Earn KrisFlyer miles with day-to-day spending|
|OCBC Titanium Card||Earn miles with new home purchases|
|Maybank Family & Friends||Family-oriented cash rebates in both SG & MY|
|HSBC Advance Credit Card||Hassle-free backup cashback card|
Best cashback credit card in Singapore: Citibank Cash Back Card
- 8% cash back at food & beverage outlets, food & groceries delivery (including Deliveroo, honestbee, RedMart)
- Up to 20.88% savings at Esso and Shell, and 8% cash back at other petrol stations
- Total min. retail spend of S$888/month, 8% cash back capped at S$25 per category (Dining, Grab, Groceries and Petrol)
- For retail spend less than S$888 and/or other retail spend categories, 0.25% cash back is awarded, no cap on 0.25% cash back earned
For a good 6 months, the entire MoneySmart editorial team’s pick for the best cashback card in Singapore was the CIMB Visa Signature Card, which gave us all an astounding 10% cashback (up to $100 a month) on online spending, groceries, and dining.
Unfortunately for those of you who didn’t get to enjoy this glorious golden age of 10% cashback, that ship has most certainly sailed. CIMB, probably realising just how much money they were haemorrhaging, has revised the T&Cs to make it pretty damn impossible to max out your cash rebates.
Even though we are still in mourning, we nonetheless must crown a new best cashback card in Singapore. My pick is the Citi Cash Back Card, which gives you a not-quite-as-tantalising 8% cashback on groceries, dining, petrol and Grab.
Yes, the online shopping category is conspicuously absent (*cries*). And both the minimum spend of $888 and category-specific cashback caps of $25 each are a mild pain in the ass to manage. But, having reviewed the competition, this is probably as good as it gets for the Singaporean middle class.
See the full review of the Citi Cash Back Card here.
Best cashback card for online shopping: DBS Live Fresh Card
- 5% cashback on online shopping and when you pay using Visa payWave, Apple Pay, Samsung Pay or Android Pay through your Card
- Additional 5% cashback for the first 6 months with S$600/month min. spend when signing up within 8 Jan - 31 Mar 2018, Cashback cap at S$60/month
- Lazada: 20% off storewide for new shoppers with ‘DBS2017’; Valid till 31 Dec 2018
- Expedia: 20% off eligible hotel bookings with ‘DBS10EXP’ at checkout; Valid till 31 Jan 2019, and travel till 30 Apr 2019
- Base rate: 0.3% on all other spend
Ahh, the DBS Live Fresh Card. The credit card equivalent of a recently-divorced distant uncle who revamps his entire image in an obvious attempt to try to get into the game again.
Although their marketing strategy is clearly lost on me, I have to give DBS credit for making a pretty good all-purpose cashback card with minimal hoops to jump through. More importantly, it gives you the coveted cash rebates on online shopping, albeit only 5% and capped at $20 a month.
The tradeoff is that it’s pretty easy to meet the minimum spend of $600, because contactless payments also get 5% rebate (which is also capped separately, at $20).
See the full review of the DBS Live Fresh Card here.
Best no minimum spend cashback card: Citibank SMRT Card
It was probably a bad decision for Citibank to co-brand their card with SMRT (don’t quote me though, I haven’t exactly done any ~brand uplift~ studies).
But although you would hardly whip out your Citi SMRT Card to impress the chicks/dudes, it’s probably the best cashback credit card in Singapore with no minimum spending requirement.
Well, technically, there’s a “minimum spend” of $300, but going below it doesn’t significantly affect your rebates. Your rebate goes down 0.3% (e.g. from 5% to 4.7%), that’s all.
The list of places where you can get rebates is really impressive. I’m just going to rattle off some names right now: McDonald’s, Starbucks, ToastBox, NTUC FairPrice, Giant, Cathay, GV…. Even Pet Lovers Centre is in there.
To top it all off, you can also get some cashback on online spending (2.7% or 3%) and your EZ-Link top-ups (1.7% or 2%). That’s really not bad considering you’re not forced to spend a certain amount each month.
For comparison, similar cashback cards in Singapore require a minimum spend of at least $600 (some impose $800) a month. If your expenses fall below that, then it’s definitely a good idea to use the Citi SMRT Card rather than be forced to overspend.
See the full review of the Citibank SMRT Card here.
Best miles card in Singapore: UOB KrisFlyer Credit Card
And the winner for best miles card in Singapore? This might ruffle a few feathers, but I’m going to go with the freshly-launched UOB KrisFlyer credit card.
This baby is official co-branded with Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer, so it’s one of the few credit cards that lets you earn KrisFlyer miles directly – no conversion needed. Now, UOB could have left it at that, but they didn’t.
No, what makes this card legitimately good is that you can earn 3 miles per $1 spent on:
- Dining including food delivery
- Online shopping (fashion websites)
- Major travel booking sites
- Transport both public (bus, MRT) & private (taxis, Gojek)
That’s a whole lot better than most other miles cards, which just give you 1.2 miles per $1 spent locally and 2 miles overseas. How are you supposed to rack up the miles if you’re just a normal office worker who doesn’t travel every week, right?
Surely it’s way easier to earn miles with the UOB KrisFlyer miles card. Just think about how much you spend on your daily Daily Cut lunches and ASOS shopping sprees and multiply by 3.
This being UOB, there are naturally some T&Cs you need to fulfil. But for once, the conditions are quite reasonable and clearly laid out. You need to spend $500 a year on Scoot or SQ, and the miles are credited only after a year. Apart from that, there’s no minimum spend or cap.
See the full review of the UOB KrisFlyer Credit Card here.
Best credit card for new home owners: OCBC Titanium Card
Do you already have an entire Google Drive filled with pictures of minimalist homes? Have you already made a wishlist of every. single. item you’re planning to get from IKEA?
In other words, are you counting down the days to your BTO key collection day?
Then you should probably arm yourself with a credit card especially for this wallet-busting (but oh so exciting) major event in your life. Because, apart from the renovation, you’re probably also going to be spending a lot of money on Taobao, Lazada and at IKEA.
The OCBC Titanium rewards card was practically made for this purpose, as it explicitly awards 10X rewards points (equivalent to 4 miles per $1) spent on merchants like:
- Mustafa Centre
Plus the following retailer categories: department stores, fashion, kidswear, and electronics stores.
So yeah, if you’re going to be spending loads of money on furniture, homeware and electronics, and even baby stuff, I can’t think of a better credit card to use.
Additionally, there’s no monthly cap on your points, just an annual cap of 120,000 OCBC$. That’s good for up to $12,000 of spending and you won’t have to worry about spreading it out.
Find out why the OCBC Titanium Card is one of the best rewards cards in Singapore here.
Best credit card for parents: Maybank Family & Friends Card
Apart from becoming home-owners for the first time, the other majorly money-burning life stage for most Singaporeans is “starting a family”. Which is a euphemism for “henceforth sacrificing 100% of your time, money, and personal needs to your adorable but completely ungrateful offspring.”
To stay sane and save a little bit here and there, it’s a good idea to get a cashback card that helps you save on essentials like groceries, toiletries, petrol… and assessment books.
Of the many cashback cards available in Singapore, the Maybank Family & Friends card is the one that ticks all the boxes for young parents.
It gives you either a 5% (minimum spend $500) or 8% ($1,000) rebate on the following:
- Groceries: NTUC FairPrice & Cold Storage
- Toiletries: Watsons, Guardian & Unity
- Enrichment: Popular bookstore, Yamaha Music, Toys R Us
- Food delivery: Foodpanda, McDelivery, KFC, Pizza Hut
- Transport: Petrol, taxis, public transport
Plus, if you drive over to JB often to stock up on cheaper groceries and the like, it also gives you rebates at Malaysian hypermarkets (Giant, Aeon, Tesco) as well as Malaysian petrol kiosks and even their theme parks (including Legoland).
See a more in-depth review of the Maybank Family & Friends Card here.
Best backup credit card: HSBC Advance Credit Card
The benefits of the HSBC Advance Credit Card (which is open to non-HSBC Advance customers, too, by the way) pale in comparison to most of the credit cards listed above, but I still really like having it around as a security blanket.
That’s because it’s a no minimum spend cashback card that you can use for those random expenses that don’t fall under any category, especially one-off expenses like annual insurance premiums and minor emergencies.
Non-HSBC Advance customers get 1.5% cashback on all purchases (there are the usual exclusions, e.g. tax payments, brokerages). If you spend at least $2,000 that month, the cashback is bumped up to 2.5%. (HSBC Advance customers get higher cashback.)
Unlike credit cards like the Standard Chartered Unlimited card or the Amex True Cashback card, the HSBC Advance card does have a cap of $70. But that’s OK if you use it as a backup, once-in-a-while card like I do.
There are tons of similar “1.5% cashback” cards on the market, it’s true, but most of these exclude insurance premiums, while the HSBC one doesn’t. Also, none of them give you higher rebates if you spend a lot that month.
See the full review of the HSBC Advance Credit Card here.
Bonus! Best debit card in Singapore: DBS Visa Debit Card
I feel the need to include at least one debit card option, because not everybody can afford a credit card. Even those who meet the income qualifications may still opt to use a debit card, which offers the convenience of a credit card without the potential loss of control over your spending. (Plus, no annual fees ever!)
Though DBS has a number of credit cards in its stable, I actually think their strongest card is the DBS Visa Debit Card.
Unlike most debit cards, which offer no benefits whatsoever, it actually gives you 3% cashback on contactless payment. That’s Visa PayWave, Apple Pay, Google Pay, even SimplyGo – any payment mode where you just wave your card over a reader.
Since contactless payment is accepted by most major merchants anyway, this means practically every aspect of your day-to-day life can be covered – such as dining, getting coffee, buying groceries, shopping, etc.
You do need to hit a minimum spending of $400 a month, and limit your cash withdrawals to $400, to get the rebate, so it’s not for everyone.
See the full review of the DBS Visa Debit Card here.
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