While there are a million ways to entertain yourself for free on the internet – like reading bo liao subreddits, trolling Ah Bengs on forums, and swiping right on everyone on Tinder (try it) – sometimes one feels the urge to put on actual pants and, you know, go out and have fun.
So, which credit card should you bring along on your night out? Let’s take a look at the best credit cards for entertainment in Singapore.
|Credit card||Entertainment benefits||Things to note|
|American Express Platinum Credit Card||Free or 1-for-1 drinks or complimentary welcome drinks at bars under Chillax programme
Free entry to Capital, Zouk and Phuture before 12am on Fridays and Saturdays
|Min. income $50,000 p.a.|
|CIMB Visa Signature Card||10% cashback at restaurants, bars & clubs (Wine & Dine category)
||Min. spend $600
Cashback cap $100
|UOB YOLO Credit Card||8% cashback on weekends
3% cashback on weekdays
1-for-1 drinks at selected bars
Discounts at Cathay and GV
|Min. spend $600
Cashback cap $60
|OCBC FRANK Credit Card||6% cashback online spend (e.g. movie ticketing)
5% cashback on weekends
|Min. spend $400 offline
Cashback cap $60
|Citibank SMRT Card||4.7% cashback on movies & coffee OR 5% with min. spend of $300||Rebate capped at 600 SMRT$ p.a.|
|UOB Preferred Platinum Visa Card||10X rewards ($1 = 4 air miles) on online entertainment, Visa payWave||Expenditure cap $1,000|
|HSBC Revolution||5X rewards ($1 = 2 miles) on online spend, bars & clubs
Movie tickets from $7 with HSBC Movie Card
|Maybank Platinum Visa Card||Movie tickets from $5.50
Up to 3.33% cash rebates on all local spend
|Many promo restrictions apply|
|SAFRA DBS Card||Movie tickets from $7.50
3% cashback on online, contactless payment
|Min. spend $500 for 3% cashback
Cashback cap SAFRA$50
American Express Platinum Credit Card – free drinks & entry to Zouk
Personally, I’d take a good freebie over a rebate or reward any day. What can I say – I like instant gratification. Plus I’m forgetful. Later my rewards points expire how?
That’s why I’m quite fond of the Amex Platinum card. Apart from its excellent Love Dining programme, it has a lesser-known nightlife programme called Chillax!, which gets you free (usually with at least one purchase) or 1-for-1 drinks and complimentary welcome drinks at various bars.
No, the offers are not at deserted neighbourhood KTVs but at places people actually go to, like Mad Men, Gem Bar and 1-Altitude. Considering that bespoke cocktails can cost $25 or even $30 a pop these days, it’s likely you’ll save quite a bit.
If you want to go clubbing, this card also gives you free entry to Capital, Phuture and Zouk, including its Members Lounge from now to 31 December 2019. That’ll save you the cover charge of somewhere between $30 to $60 each time.
You don’t need to spend a minimum or jump through hoops to qualify for the perks – hooray! There’s a higher-than-usual income requirement of $50,000 p.a., but I believe it’s attainable for some Singaporeans.
CIMB Visa Signature Card – 10% cashback at restaurants, bars & clubs
Another credit card for people who like their drinks is the CIMB Visa Signature card. Its generous 10% cashback applies not just to dining and online shopping, but also extends to all bars and clubs.
It has just increased its cashback cap to $100 from $60, so you can spend up to $1,000 on this card and still get the full 10% cashback. Do note their minimum spending requirement of $600.
It’s good for people who are frequent but modest diners/drinkers – ideally you’d use this card at least twice a week, spending about $30 to $100 each time.
UOB YOLO Credit Card – 8% cashback on weekend entertainment, 3% on weekdays
If you’re the type who has pretty spontaneous and varied weekend plans, you’ll want a card that gives you a big cashback for all kinds of entertainment spending.
And the biggest on the market (for now anyway) is the UOB YOLO card’s 8% (regular) on weekend Grab rides, dining and entertainment. You also get 3% on weekend Grab rides, dining and entertainment.
In UOB’s case, “entertainment” encompasses bars, clubs, and cinemas. That’s great for those who like to watch movies. I just wish the cap of $60 (regular) was higher.
The benefits aren’t limited to cashback only. Cardholders get a handful of entertainment perks, like up to 10% rebate at Cathay Cineplexes and 1-for-1 Gin & Tonic at The White Rabbit, making it probably the best all-round credit card for weekend entertainment.
OCBC FRANK Credit Card – 5% cashback on weekend entertainment
The UOB YOLO card’s direct competitor is the OCBC FRANK, which offers similar cashback categories, only with lower cash rebates.
So why would you get this card? At $400 (offline only), its minimum spend requirement is a good deal lower, making it suitable for students, first-jobbers or just people with lower expenditures.
If you prefer simple, not too expensive weekend plans – watching movies, chilling at Starbucks or Coffee Bean, and maybe having a drink – this is a decent enough credit card that will cover the bases.
Citibank SMRT Credit Card – up to 5% cashback on movies and coffee
It’s not the sexiest card on the block, but I like the Citibank SMRT credit card because it has no minimum spend at all for a 4.7% cashback on movies and coffee. (If you spend $300, your cashback is bumped up to 5%.) If you spend $300 more, you get 5%.
That makes it a perfect entertainment card if you, like me, hide in your cave most of the time and only crawl into the open when there’s a good movie out. Also, let’s be friends.
UOB Preferred Platinum Visa Card – 10X rewards ($1 = 4 miles) on entertainment
If you prefer to earn air miles than rebates, consider getting the UOB Preferred Platinum Visa Card which gives you 10X rewards (i.e. 4 miles per dollar) on online entertainment spending.
Hey, get your head out of the gutter – we don’t mean THAT kind of online entertainment. The rewards apply mainly to movies and ticketing agents. So you can go ahead and charge the next Coldplay concert to your UOB Preferred Platinum card.
You can also take this baby out for a night on the town. It also gives you 10X rewards on contactless payment so you can use it at pretty much any establishment offering that payment method – probably more movies and coffee houses than nightspots though.
The main advantage of this card is that it also offers 10X rewards on online shopping, online groceries and food delivery. So it’s not just an entertainment card but one with all-round returns up to $1,000 a month.
HSBC Revolution Credit Card – 5X rewards ($1 = 2 miles) on entertainment
Despite a much lower earn rate, we still have a soft spot for this card because it gives 5X rewards on such a wide range of spending, making it great for those who don’t like to be restricted.
For example, you can use it to buy concert tickets online and order UberEats for dinner at home, then head out to the pub for a beer, before paying for you and your friends’ KTV session – a mix of online and offline spending with no need to worry about which card to use. There’s no expenditure cap either.
Cardholders can also get the HSBC Movie Card which bundles 10 Golden Village movie tickets at either $7 per ticket (weekdays – regular price $8.50 upwards) or $9.50 (any day – $13 upwards on weekends). It’s not a jaw-dropping offer but it’s definitely a nice touch.
Maybank Platinum Visa Card – movie tickets from $5.50
If you thought the HSBC Movie Card was cheap, you obviously haven’t come across this pretty unbelievable offer from Maybank, where you can get $3 off Shaw movie tickets. That means $5.50 tickets on Mon to Thu and $9.50 from Fri to Sun.
$5.50 movie tickets? Like that how to make money? Exactly, and that’s why there are heaps of terms & conditions in place to prevent us from bleeding Maybank/Shaw Theatres dry.
These include: (deep breath) minimum purchase of 2 tickets, maximum of 4 tickets a day, limited to first 600 redemptions per month, no advance/online ticket sales, no sneak previews, no major blockbusters in their first 2 weeks, no premium movies, etc. etc.
SAFRA DBS Card – movie tickets from $7.50
If you don’t want to take your chances with Maybank, another solid option for discounted movie tickets at Shaw Theatres is the SAFRA DBS Card.
At $7.50 or $9 (Mon to Thu) and $10.50 (Fri to Sun) they’re not as cheap as the HSBC Movie Card, but SAFRA membership arguably offers other forms of entertainment too, such as rock climbing at SAFRA Yishun.
Additionally, there’s a modest 3% cashback on online spend and contactless payments with a minimum spend of $500.
Still can’t decide which credit card to use?
When you have more than 10 options to choose from, it can be quite difficult to make a decision. Always compare the best credit cards for entertainment in Singapore before deciding which to apply for.
Want to save money on entertainment in Singapore? Here are a few more ideas:
What is your favourite (legal) way to save money on entertainment? Tell us in the comments section.