Credit Cards

Amex Love Dining & More – 9 Best Credit Cards for Dining in Singapore (2019)

Amex Love Dining & More - 8 Best Credit Cards for Dining in Singapore (2019)

Unlike some credit card comparison websites, I’m not going to start this article with platitudes about how eating is a popular activity among Singaporeans, or how dining is a pleasant way to obtain essential vitamins and minerals.

Instead, let’s just acknowledge that I need to eat, you need to eat, so let’s find some ways to get rewarded for something we do over 1,000 times a year.

 

9 best credit cards for dining in Singapore (2019)

Credit card Dining benefits Monthly expenditure cap*
Amex Platinum Card Up to 50% off under Love Dining programme No cap
UOB Lady’s Card $1 = 4 miles $1,000
Maybank Horizon Card $1 = 3.2 miles $4,285
UOB KrisFlyer Credit Card $1 = 3 miles No cap
HSBC Revolution Card $1 = 2 miles No cap
BOC Family Card 10% cashback $250
Citi Cash Back Card 8% cashback $322
UOB YOLO Card 8% weekend / 3% weekday cashback $750 (based on 8%)
OCBC 365 Card 6% cashback $1,333

* Note: I included the monthly dining expenditure cap, which is based on the maximum bonus miles/points or cashback you can get per month. This is important because restaurant bills can blow up real fast. If you frequent Saizeriya and Pepper Lunch, you might be okay with a $250 cap, but it won’t work for someone who’s sampled the entire wine list at Les Amis. Your mileage may vary.

 

Amex Platinum Card: 50% off under Love Dining programme

American Express Platinum Credit Card

American Express Platinum Credit Card


Card Benefits

    • Love Dining @ Restaurants: 50%, 35%, 15% savings when dining with 1 friend, 2 friends, and alone respectively
    • Enjoy savings at artfully curated restaurants and Singapore's finest hotels with Love Dining
    • Love Dining @ Hotels: Discounts applicable for groups up to 19 pax at Raffles Hotel Singapore, Shangri-La Hotel Singapore, The St. Regis and more
    • With Love Dining @ Hotels, receive a complimentary The Far Card Classic Membership
    • Eligible for use with Apple Pay

    Despite its hefty annual fee ($321) and higher-than-usual salary requirements ($50K), the Amex Platinum Card is still one of those credit cards that self-styled gourmands feel they must have.

    This credit card’s key benefit is the Love Dining programme, which gives you up to 50% off at fine wining and dining establishments (that you actually want to eat at).

    To put the discount in perspective, imagine that you and your best friend feel like pigging out at a buffet this weekend. Would you rather pay $33.80++ per head at Buffet Town or $30-odd (after splitting the $59++ Amex bill) at Oscar’s at Conrad Centennial? Seems like a no-brainer to go for the atas hotel buffet.

    Before you rush to sign up for this card, know that practically all credit cards give you 1-for-1 deals on hotel buffets too. I personally think that the Amex Platinum Card’s annual fee is only worth it if you are an extremely discerning diner – otherwise, most other credit cards offer very competitive dining promotions these days.

    Read our review of the Amex Platinum Card to decide if it’s worth it.

     

    Best miles cards for dining: UOB Lady’s Card, Maybank Horizon Card, UOB KrisFlyer Credit Card

    Air miles card Dining benefits Monthly expenditure cap
    UOB Lady’s Card $1 = 4 miles $1,000
    Maybank Horizon Card $1 = 3.2 miles (min. spend $300) $4,285
    UOB KrisFlyer Credit Card $1 = 3 miles (must spend $500/year on SQ/Scoot) No cap
    HSBC Revolution Card $1 = 2 miles No cap

    If dining is one of your main spending categories, I would strongly suggest using an air miles or rewards card rather than a cashback card.

    As you’ll see later on, it takes just a little bit of spending to burst the cap on a cashback card, whereas with rewards and miles cards, there’s a much larger cap (and sometimes no cap at all). You have the freedom to dine out as much as you like and foot the bill for the whole table without worrying about maxing out your rebates.

    UOB Lady's Card

    UOB Lady's Card


    Card Benefits

      • 5X UNI$ on your shopping (local & overseas)
      • UOB Lady's LuxePay Plan: 6 or 12-month installment plan with no interest or processing fees
      • Up to 10% SMART$ rebate at over 400 participating merchant outlets

      My pick for a dedicated dining credit card is the UOB Lady’s Card, providing you qualify for it, of course (“the men don’t get it”, as the tagline says).

      UOB has recently revamped this card, and you can now choose one category in which to get 4 miles per $1 spent. Given how much well-heeled Singaporeans spend at restaurants, picking the “Dining” category is an obvious winner. The downside is that it’s capped at $1,000 a month, so it’s not for those who pick up the tab for large groups.

      Maybank Horizon Visa Signature Card

      Maybank Horizon Visa Signature Card


      Card Benefits

        • Earn 3.2 air miles (8X TREATS Points) for every S$1 spent on selected dining merchants
        • Min spend: S$300/month
        • Capped at 30,000 Bonus TREATS Points per month
        • 1X TREATS Point with no minimum spend

        If that $1,000 cap is too restrictive, the Maybank Horizon Card and UOB KrisFlyer Credit Card are worthy options for miles chasers. Both come with conditions, though: The Maybank miles card has a monthly minimum spend of $300 and cap of $4K+, while the UOB KrisFlyer credit card requires you to spend at least $500 a year on SQ/Scoot flights.

         

        Best cashback cards for dining: UOB YOLO Card, OCBC 365 Card

        Cashback credit card Dining benefits Minimum spend Monthly expenditure cap
        BOC Family Card 10% cashback $800 $250
        Citi Cash Back Card 8% cashback $888 $322
        UOB YOLO Card 8% weekend / 3% weekday cashback $600 $750 (based on 8%)
        OCBC 365 Card 6% cashback $800 $1,333

        Like I mentioned, the trouble with paying with a cashback card at restaurants is that you can hit the maximum rebate cap pretty quickly. Take the Citi Cash Back Card for example: Its dining rebate of 8% sounds awesome, but it’s capped at $25 a month, which means you can only spend ~$300 on food every month before running into the limit.

        Citi Cash Back Card

        Citi Cash Back Card


        Card Benefits

        • Chinese New Year Giveaway - Win up to S$300 NTUC FairPrice Vouchers!
        • 8% cash back on your dining spends globally
        • 8% cash back also applicable for food delivery (including Deliveroo and foodpanda)
        • Exclusive dining deals with Citi Gourmet Pleasures at top restaurants such as Kuro Restaurant & Bar, Skyve Wine Bistro and more
        • Total min. retail spend of S$888/month, 8% cash back capped at S$25 per category
        • 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

        Meanwhile, the UOB YOLO and OCBC 365 cards have more reasonable terms & conditions.

        UOB YOLO Credit Card

        UOB YOLO Credit Card


        Card Benefits

          • 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

          The UOB YOLO Card has the lowest minimum spending requirement of the bunch, and it lets you earn up to $60 a month in rebates, which lets you spend up to $750 on dining a month, assuming it’s all on weekends to get the highest 8% rebate.

          OCBC 365 Credit Card

          OCBC 365 Credit Card


          Card Benefits

          • 6% cashback on local and overseas dining, everyday
          • 6% cashback on online food delivery e.g. Deliveroo and Foodpanda
          • Min. spend of $800/month, cap S$80/month

          The OCBC 365 Card has a higher minimum spend of $800, but it offers modest rebates in a variety of everyday categories (bills, groceries) as well as dining, so it’s a decent all-rounded cashback card for someone who likes his food, but also has other bills to pay.

          Over to you – tell us which credit card do you use at restaurants and why?

           

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