If you love collecting points and redeeming them, then a rewards credit card will give you some added life satisfaction.
These days, there’s a lot more in banks’ rewards catalogues than boring old NTUC vouchers — you can redeem anything from Les Amis dining vouchers to Amazon credit to cash rebates.
And of course, they’re a good way to earn air miles with your day-to-day local spending, for the day when everyone is no longer under house arrest on this island.
Best rewards credit cards in Singapore 2021
Best rewards credit cards
Citi Rewards, DBS Woman’s Card
Standard Chartered Rewards+, HSBC Revolution, UOB Preferred Platinum
UOB Lady’s Card, OCBC Titanium
1. Citibank Rewards Card
Apply and spend $200 to get: $300 Cash OR Beats Studio Buds RED + $100 Cash (worth $319) OR Apply and spend $500 to get MORE: $350 Cash OR the NEW 10.2-inch Apple iPad Wi-Fi 64GB (worth $499) OR Beats Studio Buds RED + $100 Cash (worth $319)!
Apply and spend $200 to get: $300 Cash OR Beats Studio Buds RED + $100 Cash (worth $319)
Apply and spend $500 to get MORE: $350 Cash OR the NEW 10.2-inch Apple iPad Wi-Fi 64GB (worth $499) OR Beats Studio Buds RED + $100 Cash (worth $319)!
The Citi Rewards catalogue is filled with things you would actually want to spend your hard-earned points on, from from Apple products to Amazon Points. So don’t worry about having to begrudgingly exchange your points for Popular Bookshop vouchers.
At the moment, the Citi Rewards Card offers 10X rewards (or 4 miles per $1) on online and in-store shopping, Grab/Gojek rides, food delivery and online groceries, making it a decent card for everyday expenses.
However, there’s also a monthly expenditure cap of $1,000 on the 10X points, so don’t go too crazy.
2. DBS Woman’s Card
If all your transactions now take place online, the DBS Woman’s Card is a good rewards card to have as it offers 5X points (or 10 miles) for every $5 you spend on online or overseas purchases.
If you have an income of at least $80,000 per annum, skip the DBS Woman’s Card and sign up for the DBS Woman’s World Card instead. The card gives you 10X points (or 20 miles) on online purchases, 3X points (or 6 miles) on overseas purchases and 1X points (or 2 miles) on other purchases.
The card’s definition of online spending is extremely broad, and includes everything from online grocery delivery to GrabPay credits. So, in essence, the card could potentially reward you for the bulk of your spending.
On the downside, the DBS rewards catalogue is admittedly not terribly exciting, with a limited range of restaurants and retail vouchers — you can exchange your points for things like Crystal Jade vouchers or Shaw Theatres movie tickets, yawn.
3. Standard Chartered Rewards+ Card
- on Foreign Currency Spend
- S$1= 10X Points
- on Local Dining Spend
- S$1= 5X Points
- Rewards to Miles Conversion
- 1 Point = 0.29 Miles
Apply and spend $200 to get: $200 Cash OR Samsung Galaxy A7 Tab Lite Wi-Fi (worth $228)
Apply and spend $300 to get MORE: $250 Cash OR a Ergotune Ergonomic Classic Chair (worth $399) OR Samsung Galaxy A7 Tab Lite Wi-Fi (worth $228)!
The Standard Chartered Rewards+ Card is marketed as an overseas spending rewards card, which doesn’t exactly sound very useful at the moment.
You get up to 10x rewards points (or 2.9 miles per $1) on overseas retail, dining and travel, but that’s pretty much useless at the moment due to COVID-19.
But, it does have a side perk: 5x rewards points (or 1.45 miles per $1) on local dining. Great if you’re the kind who likes to spend your travel budget on glorious food, because what else is there to do here? Look out for the low annual cap of 20,000 points, though.
Here’s Standard Chartered’s rewards catalogue. Not as exciting as Citibank’s, but there are some restaurants, shopping mall and staycation vouchers that could be fun.
4. HSBC Revolution Card
Following a recent revamp, the HSBC Revolution Card is pretty legit. You can earn 10X rewards points (or 4 miles per $1) on online spending (includes food delivery and travel bookings) and contactless payments, with no cap.
Another nice touch is that there is no annual fee, so even if you don’t use the card much you won’t have to worry about accidentally getting charged for it at the end of the year.
The HSBC rewards catalogue isn’t the world’s biggest or most varied, but it does contain a nice selection of well-curated treats. Apart form the usual air miles and vouchers, you’ll find some interesting additions like Bang & Olufson wireless in-ear earphones, JBL FLIP5 speakers, the Fitbit Charge 4 and the Dyson Tower Fan.
5. UOB Preferred Platinum Card
This card offers up to 10 rewards points (20 miles) for every $5 spent on selected online shopping, online entertainment (including food delivery and ticketing) and mobile contactless payments. GrabPay credits are, however, not eligible.
Once upon a time, this was one of the better rewards cards for online spending, but lots of cards have since started doing the same and better.
Still, if you like what you see in the UOB rewards catalogue, this can still be a good card for day-to-day spending. UOB’s is one of the most sought-after rewards programmes out there, and lets you exchange your points for spa vouchers, Apple vouchers and vouchers at luxury stores like Club 21.
There is a cap at 2,000 points, which means you can only enjoy their preferential earn rate on a maximum of $1,000 worth of spending each month.
6. UOB Lady’s Card
This card offers 10x rewards points (or 20 miles per $5) when you spend in one of seven categories: fashion, dining, beauty and wellness, family, transport, entertainment and travel. Every quarter, you can change your selected rewards category online.
It’s is particularly useful when you’re anticipating high one-off expenses in a particular category. For example, if you’re having a baby, choose the family category just before you do your pre-baby shopping, and then see the rewards points roll in when you buy your baby clothes, stroller and so on.
Sadly, it’s for women only — unlike the rest of the cards here which are unisex, even the DBS Woman’s Card.
You can only earn bonus points on a maximum of $1,000 per month, so you’ll have to reign in your inner shopaholic.
7. OCBC Titanium Card
OCBC Titanium offers 50 rewards points (or 20 miles) for every $5 spent on eligible online and retail purchases, and 5 point on all other spending. You also get 2% cash rebate when you shop at Best Denki.
You only enjoy the maximum earn rate if you spend at a store on their list of merchants, so it pays to check beforehand.
You can earn 50 points per $5 at department stores like Takashimaya, TANGS and Isetan, clothing brands like Zara, H&M, Uniqlo, Cotton On and Charles & Keith, and electronics stores like Apple, Best Denki and Harvey Norman, as well as online marketplaces like Amazon and Alibaba.
Unfortunately, OCBC rewards are extremely bare bones. You’re basically forced to choose between air miles, cash and Best Denki vouchers.
Who should use a rewards card?
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 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 find 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.
Want to find out more about the best rewards credit cards in Singapore? Compare and apply at MoneySmart!