It’s hardly surprising that rewards cards are one of the most popular types of credit cards in Singapore. After all, Singaporeans <3 collecting points and redeeming them.
These days, there’s a lot more in banks’ rewards catalogues than boring old shopping vouchers. You can redeem anything from Les Amis dining vouchers to Amazon credit to cash rebates these days. And of course, they’re a good way to earn air miles with your day-to-day local spending.
Best rewards cards in Singapore 2018
Here’s a quick look at the best entry-level rewards credit cards in Singapore and what type of spending they’re best for.
|Credit card||Bonus rewards||Spending categories|
|UOB Preferred Platinum Card||10X ($1 = 4 miles)||Online shopping, food, entertainment + contactless payment|
|DBS Woman’s Card||5X ($1 = 2 miles)||All online spending including travel|
|Citibank Rewards Card||10X ($1 = 4 miles)||Shoes, bags, clothes + department stores|
|HSBC Revolution Card||5X ($1 = 2 miles)||Online spending, dining, entertainment|
|OCBC Titanium Rewards Card||10X ($1 = 4 miles)||Major online shopping sites, department stores, fashion, electronics, kidswear|
|Standard Chartered Rewards+ Card||10X ($1 = 2.9 miles)||Foreign currency spending|
|Amex Rewards Card||21,000 points||Welcome bonus with first $1,500 spend|
UOB rewards – UOB Preferred Platinum Card
UOB rewards are probably the most sought-after rewards catalogue in town. Apart from the usual air miles, you can choose vouchers from a range of malls, boutiques and restaurants including Spa Esprit, EpiCentre, Ikea and Les Amis group. If all else fails, just convert your points into a cash rebate.
- Enjoy 2% rebate at Metro, World of Sports and Winter Time
- Enjoy 3% rebate at bYSI, ColorWash, Crocodile, DHL, and Sephora
- Enjoy 5% rebate at Tissot
The best credit card for earning UOB rewards points, or UNI$, is the UOB Preferred Platinum Card. It looks boring but is a solid workhorse that gets you rewards on all kinds of day-to-day spending.
If you buy a lot of stuff online, you’ll appreciate the 10X rewards on shopping, groceries, food delivery and entertainment (e.g. movie tickets). However, categories like travel and services are excluded.
Make sure you have this card in your wallet as well because you get the same 10X rewards on contactless payment (Visa payWave), which is available practically everywhere now.
While there’s no minimum spend, there is a monthly cap of $1,000. But that’s reasonable for average Singaporeans who don’t live the high life.
DBS rewards – DBS Woman’s Card
DBS rewards may be well known in Singapore, but its catalogue really isn’t the most impressive. Apart from a couple of standouts like PS Cafe vouchers and a yacht charter package, it has a rather limited range of restaurants and retailer vouchers. But of course, the usual air miles and major shopping mall vouchers are there.
- Earn 5X Rewards (5 DBS Points OR 10 miles per S$5 spend) when shopping online
- Enjoy 0% interest over 3, 6 or 12 months and waived processing fee with My Preferred Payment Plan
- Enjoy exclusive shopping privileges with DBS Lifestyle App
If you’re keen to earn DBS rewards, the DBS Woman’s World Card is your best bet if you’re the average Singaporean millennial who buys everything online. (Ignore the name – men can sign up too!)
Online spending includes travel bookings (flights, hotels, activities like Klook), daily essentials (online groceries, food delivery, GrabPay credits) and online shopping. That’s pretty much everything young working adults in Singapore spend on.
So even though the bonus multiplier of 5X isn’t the highest, the wide basket makes it easy to rack up points fast, especially if you use it for your travel bookings.
Note that the cap of $1,000 a month means you can’t cash in on higher-expense occasions like long-haul travel or revamping your home. (Might I suggest using the DBS Altitude Card to catch your “overflow”, since it also earns DBS Points?)
Citibank rewards – Citi Rewards Card
The Citibank rewards catalogue continues to be one of the best around, with everything from vouchers to watches to toys to hotel stays. You can also pay for Amazon purchases with rewards points, a nice way to use leftover points that are just rolling around.
Although the Citibank Rewards Card offers 10X ($1 = 4 miles) rewards, the categories are limited. You can only get bonus rewards on shoes, bags and clothes (online and offline), and when you shop at department stores. That means you earn almost nothing on purchases like books, movie tickets, groceries and flights.
Still, if you’re a hardcore fashionista you’ll appreciate the generous rewards and the fact that there’s a lenient cap – up to $12,000 over a 5-year period.
HSBC rewards – HSBC Revolution Card
HSBC rewards aren’t the most astounding in terms of variety, but the catalogue is lovely and well-curated. Apart from the usual air miles and vouchers, there are some nice premium gifts like Japanese whiskeys, Fitbits, Bang & Olufsen devices and a mini Segway.
Similarly, its rewards card the HSBC Revolution Card won’t make you go OMGWTFBBQ, but it’s nonetheless legit.
The best thing about this card is that you get a respectable 5X rewards on a very wide range of online spend – including flights, food delivery, movies, even insurance premiums…. PLUS offline dining and entertainment.
More categories means more money spent, and more money spent means more rewards points. No need to fuss over minimum spends or worry about caps either, because this credit card has no cap at all. Woohoo!
OCBC rewards – OCBC Titanium Rewards Card
OCBC rewards are fairly basic – the usual KrisFlyer miles and shopping vouchers at major retailers, plus dining vouchers at a better-than-average selection of restaurants.
- 10x OCBC$ (10 points or 4 Miles) for every S$1 spent on clothes, shoes, bags, department stores, kidswear, electronic gadgets, online, offline, locally and overseas
- 2% Cash Rebate when you spend at BEST Denki, on top of the existing 10 OCBC$ (worth 4 Miles) OCBC Titanium Rewards Cardmembers earn on a usual basis.
- Valid till 31 Jan 2019
As for the card itself, the OCBC Titanium Rewards Card is a very sleek looking credit card that offers 10X rewards on specific merchant categories (both online and offline) – fashion, electronics, department stores and kidswear. You can get the same 10X rewards on major online retailers like Amazon, Lazada, Taobao and AliExpress.
So go ahead and use this card to whack your renovation/redecorating expenses online – there’s no monthly cap, only an annual cap of $12,000.
Standard Chartered rewards – Standard Chartered Rewards+ Card
To be honest, Standard Chartered rewards aren’t too exciting, mostly vouchers at chain restaurants and a few department stores and malls. However, their KrisFlyer miles are available in small denominations, as low as 1,015 miles.
Frequent flyers looking for new ways to earn miles might be interested in the new Standard Chartered Rewards+ Card, which rewards overseas spending (or online purchases in foreign currency) at a very good earn rate of $1 = 2.9 miles or 10X rewards.
You also get 5X rewards ($1 = 1.45 miles) on local dining, which is a better rate than the typical $1 = 1.2 miles you can get on local spending with normal miles cards.
However, look out for very low annual cap of 20,000 points. It takes just $2,000 of foreign currency spending to hit that cap, so be careful!
Amex rewards – American Express Rewards Card
Amex rewards are a travel junkie’s dream come true. Apart from the usual KrisFlyer and Asia Miles, there are frequent flyer programmes like British Airways Executive Club, Thai Airways Royal Orchid Plus and Emirates Skywards, plus hotel loyalty programmes like Starwood Preferred Guest and Hilton Honors.
In addition, the catalogue has a smallish selection of gift cards, dining vouchers and gifts. But let’s face it, it’s the travel section that really shines.
- 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
If you’re after Amex rewards points, you can slowly earn them with an Amex Platinum credit card, which is mainly for dining and clubbing privileges.
Or, you can get instant gratification with the little-known American Express Rewards Card. It’s the only one on this list that gives you a generous welcome bonus of 24,000 points just for spending $500 a month for the first 3 months of spending. That’s enough for at least a $100 voucher from the Amex rewards catalogue.
Who should use a rewards card?
Are you sick and tired of tracking your expenses to the very cent in order to maximise your returns from a cashback card? Or frustrated by how you can never seem to get enough points on your air miles card for that dream trip to Europe?
You might want to consider switching to a rewards card, which is probably the lowest effort type of credit card on the market.
Most rewards cards have no minimum spending requirements, so you don’t have to agonise over your expenses and track them in a spreadsheet. That makes them good for “fun” spending (e.g. shopping, entertainment, dining, travel) which can vary from month to month.
The rewards points you earn are also versatile. You can use them to redeem whatever is in your bank’s catalogue of goodies. Usually there’s a variety of shopping and dining vouchers, and some have gifts like fancy whiskeys and gadgets. Some even offer cash rebates.
Lots of people redeem air miles with their rewards points. In fact, they’re are actually great for travel junkies as some rewards cards outperform miles cards in earning air miles!
Just be aware of the expenditure cap, if any, as you won’t get bonus points beyond that. Check the expiry date of your points too, so you don’t get a nasty shock when you try to redeem stuff.
How do rewards cards work?
Because of banking jargon, rewards cards might seem complicated, but they’re actually really easy to use. Even the most tech-illiterate of Singaporean aunties can know their way around them. Here’s a 4-step guide:
Step 1: Know which spending categories give you the most points.
Step 2: Go ahead and spend in those categories! (But know your expenditure cap so you don’t go overboard.)
Step 3: Rewards points are magically credited to your account.
Step 4: When you have enough points, redeem stuff you want from the rewards catalogue.
Got a credit card rewards hack to share? Tell us about your tricks in the comments.
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