CIMB World Mastercard—MoneySmart Review 2023

CIMB World Mastercard—MoneySmart Review 2023

Cashback credit cards are some of the most worthwhile cards to sign up for because they’re essentially giving you free money. Seeing as even fast food outlets charge for sauce these days, we’ll take whatever free stuff we can get.

But most cashback cards require you to satisfy minimum spending requirements and impose a cap on the amount of cashback you can earn each month—meaning you have to work for that “free” money.

The CIMB World MasterCard used to offer unlimited cashback of up to 2% with no minimum spending requirement.

But that has since changed as they decided to implement a minimum spending requirement of $1,000 in 2021. Bummer!

Let’s find out if the card is still worth your time.

CIMB World Mastercard—Is it MoneySmart?
CIMB-World-MasterCard
Overall: ★★★☆☆ (3.3/5)
Best for: High spenders who easily spend at least $1,000 a month in the eligible categories.
Pros—What we like Cons—What we don’t like
– No annual fees for life
– Unlimited 2% cashback, perfect for big spenders or for large purchases coming up
– A variety of spend categories (although we still wish there were more)
– Travel benefits and golf privileges
– You have to spend $1,000 a month to enjoy 2% cashback (1% otherwise)
– This isn’t quite a “catch-all” cashback card compared to other unlimited cashback credit cards, where almost any spending is eligible
– Airport lounge access is at a preferential rate, but there are no complimentary visits.
The CIMB World Mastercard at a glance
Category Our rating The deets
Earn rates: Cashback ★★★☆☆ 2% unlimited cashback (with $1,000 minimum monthly spend) on these categories: Wine & Dine, Online Food Delivery, Movies & Digital Entertainment, Taxi & Automobile, Luxury Goods.
– 1% unlimited cashback on the categories above if you spend below $1,000 a month.
– 1% cashback on all other spend with $500 minimum monthly spend.
Earn categories ★★★★☆
Annual fees and charges ★★★★★ No fees for life.
Accessibility ★★★☆☆ Minimum income requirement: $30,000 (Singaporeans and PRs).
Foreigners cannot be principal cardholders, but can apply as supplementary cardholders.
Extras/periphery rewards ★★☆☆☆ – Mastercard Travel Rewards: Cashback or discounts in categories such as arts and culture, food, entertainment, shopping, sports and wellness, and travel.
Mastercard Travel Pass: Pay USD32 per person per visit to access over 1,300 airport lounges worldwide.
Mastercard Southeast Asia Golf Program: 50% off green fees at 42 golf courses in Asia, 50% off golf lessons at the Golf Performance 360 Golf Academy in Singapore.
Sign-up bonus ★★★☆☆ Welcome gift: S$250 Cash via PayNow
Minimum spend: S$988 within a 60-day period from card approval date.
Lucky draw: You’ll also stand a chance to win a Panerai Radomir Quaranta Timepiece (worth S$8,700) OR 16,490 SmartPoints (worth an iPhone 15 Pro, 128GB in the Rewards Store) OR 5,990 SmartPoints (worth an Apple Watch Series 9 (GPS), 41mm in our Rewards Store).
Valid till 31 Dec 2023.

See our credit card ranking rubric to find out how we rank credit cards.

 

 

CIMB World Mastercard—MoneySmart Review 2023

  1. CIMB World Mastercard Review
  2. CIMB World Mastercard Terms and Conditions
  3. CIMB World Mastercard Cashback
  4. CIMB World Mastercard Lounge Access
  5. CIMB World Mastercard Golf Privileges
  6. How to maximise my CIMB World Mastercard?
  7. CIMB World Mastercard Promotion
  8. Should I get the CIMB World Mastercard?
  9. Alternative unlimited cashback cards

 

1. CIMB World Mastercard Review

The CIMB World Mastercard is a cashback card that offers unlimited cashback of up to 2% when you spend money on dining, online food delivery, movies, digital entertainment, taxi rides, ride-hailing, automobile and luxury goods.

That’s not all. The card doesn’t charge any annual fees. So even if you one day decide it’s nothing more than a useless piece of plastic, you can continue holding on to it for free.

CIMB logo
MoneySmart Exclusive
Unlimited 2% Cashback | FASTER GIFT REDEMPTION
Unlimited Cashback on the following categories (Wine & Dine, Online Food Delivery, Movies & Digital Entertainment, Taxi & Automobile, Luxury Goods)
Up to 2%
Min. spend per month to qualify for 2% Unlimited Cashback
S$1,000
Cash Rebate cap
Unlimited
MoneySmart Exclusive:

[FASTER GIFT REDEMPTION]
Get S$280 Cash via PayNow, in as fast as 2-3 months when you apply and spend a min of S$988. T&Cs apply.

Valid until 30 Apr 2024

 

2. CIMB World Mastercard Terms and Conditions

CIMB World Mastercard is an entry-level credit card, meaning you can sign up for it once you’ve snagged your first job, provided it pays you at least $30,000 per annum.

CIMB World Mastercard
Annual Fee None!
Annual Fee Waiver Not needed.
Supplementary Card Annual Fee None!
Interest Fee Period 23 days
Annual Interest Rate 27.8%
Late Payment Fee $100
Minimum Monthly Repayment 3% or $50, whichever is higher
Foreign Currency Transaction Fee 3%
Cash Advance Transaction Fee 8% or S$15, whichever is higher
Overlimit Fee S$50 or 5% of the excess amount, whichever is higher.
Minimum Income $30,000 (Singaporean / PR)
Card Association Mastercard
Contactless Payment Mastercard PayPass

Is the CIMB World Mastercard open to foreigners?

It seems like CIMB is only opening their CIMB World Mastercard to Singaporeans and PRs as main cardholders. However, foreigners can hold supplementary cards.

They don’t explicitly state that foreigners aren’t eligible to be principal cardholders, but they did state that the minimum annual income of $30,000 to apply is for Singaporeans and Singapore PRs, with no mention of foreigners. I trawled their website and found this statement under the “Requirements” section:

“A photocopy of both sides of an NRIC for both Principal and Supplementary Card applicants (if any) OR a photocopy of a valid passport for foreign Supplementary Card applicants (if any).”

So I think it’s safe to conclude that Singaporeans and PRs can hold main card or supplementary cards, while foreigners can only hold supplementary cards.

Do note that the eligibility age also differs: 21 – 70 years old for principal cardholders, and a lower minimum age of 18 years old for supplementary ones.

 

3. CIMB World Mastercard Cashback

The CIMB World Mastercard gives you the chance to earn up to 2% cashback when you spend locally or overseas in the following categories:

  • Dining–Most eateries except wedding banquets or hotels
  • Online food delivery–Only Deliveroo, Foodpanda, GrabFood (Grab transactions under MCC 5814 classification – Fast Food Restaurants only), WhyQ and AirAsia Food.
  • Movies and digital entertainment–audiovisual media, games and other digital goods, theatres. But note that if you are paying for certain merchants (e.g. Netflix, Spotify, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video) through subscriptions with Starhub and Singtel, these aren’t eligible.
  • Taxi rides—limousines are included, if you want to lead the high life.
  • Ride-hailing
  • Automobile–automotive repair and service shops, vehicle sales and supply stores
  • Luxury goods–Stores classified as selling precious stones and metals, watches, jewellery, clocks, silverware, leather goods, luggage

Now for the hardest part: To clinch the maximum cashback of 2%, you must satisfy the minimum spending requirement of $1,000 in a statement monthIf you fail to hit the minimum spending requirement, your cashback in eligible categories will fall to 1%.

cimb-world-mastercard-cashback
Source: CIMB

The good news is that there is no cashback cap. So, if you are a big spender or have a big purchase coming up, such as a luxury watch costing $50,000, you can earn 2% cashback on the full sum.

The next-best unlimited cashback cards only offer 1.5% to 1.7% of cashback—we’ll talk about them laterHowever, these “lesser” cards offer unlimited cashback on everything with no minimum spending requirement, while the CIMB World Mastercard only offers cashback in certain spending categories, and requires you to hit their $1,000 minimum spending requirement to qualify for the full 2% cashback. 

If you want to dissect the cashback T&Cs on the CIMB World Mastercard like I like to do, here’s the document you’re looking for: CIMB World Mastercard Cashback Programme T&Cs.

 

4. CIMB World Mastercard Travel Privileges

By way of travel privileges, the CIMB World Mastercard comes with two types.

Mastercard Travel Rewards

These rewards include cashback or discounts in categories such as arts and culture, food, entertainment, shopping, sports and wellness, travel. Each offer is specific to a particular country. There are also several online offers. For example, there are 6 Boggi Milano offers: Online offer, Italy, Austria, France, UK and Spain.

If you ask me, these deals look pretty upmarket, and the minimum spends are from S$100 to S$500. They won’t be useful to the budget traveller.

Explore the full list of Mastercard Travel Rewards to see for yourself.

Mastercard Travel Pass (Provided by Dragonpass)

Since 16 Oct 2023, the CIMB World Mastercard has come with Mastercard Travel Pass privileges too. What this means is you get to access airport lounges at a discounted rate and enjoy some extra dining and spa offers in airports via the “Mastercard Travel Pass” app.

I like that the airport lounge access rate applies to over 1,300 airport lounges worldwide. I don’t like that this airport lounge access isn’t free—it’s USD32 per person per visit. While this is a preferential rate, free is always better. I’d personally rather take a fixed number of 100% free airport lounge visits per year than an unlimited number of visits, but with a fee. For example, the Standard Chartered Journey Credit Card comes with 2 complimentary visits to Priority Pass lounges each year. But that’s me, someone who doesn’t travel more than twice a year generally. More avid travellers may appreciate the CIMB World Mastercard’s preferential access rate.

 

5. CIMB World Mastercard Golf Privileges

Under the Mastercard Southeast Asia Golf Program, cardholders get 50% off green fees at 42 golf courses in Asia, as well as 50% off golf lessons at the Golf Performance 360 Golf Academy in Singapore. 

Participating clubs include local ones like Sentosa, Warren and Sembawang Clubs, as well as various golf courses in Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Myanmar, Vietnam, the Philippines, Taiwan, China and Korea.

This is great if you’re a golfer. But golfing is a rich man’s hobby, and this positions the CIMB World Mastercard as a rich man’s card—especially when you consider that the minimum spend per month to enjoy 2% cashback is $1,000.

 

6. How to maximise my CIMB World Mastercard?

To maximise the card on a monthly basis, always try to hit the $1,000 spending requirement so you can give your cashback a boost from 1% to 2%.

As the 2% cashback is unlimited, the card is ideal when you make big purchases—for instance, that $20,000 Rolex watch (luxury goods), or an overhaul of your car (automobile).

 

7. CIMB World Mastercard Promotion

CIMB logo
MoneySmart Exclusive
Unlimited 2% Cashback | FASTER GIFT REDEMPTION
Unlimited Cashback on the following categories (Wine & Dine, Online Food Delivery, Movies & Digital Entertainment, Taxi & Automobile, Luxury Goods)
Up to 2%
Min. spend per month to qualify for 2% Unlimited Cashback
S$1,000
Cash Rebate cap
Unlimited
MoneySmart Exclusive:

[FASTER GIFT REDEMPTION]
Get S$280 Cash via PayNow, in as fast as 2-3 months when you apply and spend a min of S$988. T&Cs apply.

Valid until 30 Apr 2024

Apply for the CIMB World Mastercard and get S$250 Cash via PayNow when spend a minimum of S$988 within a 60-day period from the date your card is approved.

You’ll also stand a chance to win a Panerai Radomir Quaranta Timepiece (worth S$8,700) OR 16,490 SmartPoints (worth an iPhone 15 Pro, 128GB in the Rewards Store) OR 5,990 SmartPoints (worth an Apple Watch Series 9 (GPS), 41mm in our Rewards Store).


ALSO READThe Best Entry-Level Luxury Watches to Buy in a Falling Market: Top Picks From Our Resident Watch Collector


 

8. Should I get the CIMB World Mastercard?

Unlimited cashback cards tend to be useful because they let you spend on those big-ticket, miscellaneous purchases that no other card will be able to reward you adequately for. Things like wedding dinners and home renovations.

But you wouldn’t be able to do that with the CIMB World Mastercard, which limits the 2% cashback to a few categories. The categories in which you could potentially spend a ton include luxury goods and automobile, so don’t forget to use the card the next time you treat yourself to a Louis Vuitton suitcase or decide to pimp your ride.

Those who can benefit most from this card are high spenders who have no problem hitting at least $1,000 a month in the eligible categories.

The problem is that some of these categories like dining and/or transport already enjoy more generous cashback through other cards like the Citi Cash Back Card (6% cashback on dining with $800/month spend) and the OCBC 365 Credit Card (5% cashback on dining and online food delivery with $800/month spend), with less onerous minimum spending requirements.

So, in the end, people who would truly benefit from this card would probably be high rollers who have busted the cashback caps on their other cards and are looking for an alternative way to earn cashback on spending in the eligible categories…and who are still able to meet the card’s $1,000 spending requirement.

For instance, if you’re looking to buy a $20,000 Hermes handbag, you could get 2% cashback or $400 back by using the card to pay, since one of the eligible categories is luxury goods. In this case, it’d be hard to find another card that would be willing to pay $400 worth of cashback in a single month.

What’s the card’s biggest plus? It is free for life. So, there’s no harm in just applying for it and keeping it on hand in case you really decide to buy a $20,000 Hermes handbag someday.

CIMB logo
MoneySmart Exclusive
Unlimited 2% Cashback | FASTER GIFT REDEMPTION
Unlimited Cashback on the following categories (Wine & Dine, Online Food Delivery, Movies & Digital Entertainment, Taxi & Automobile, Luxury Goods)
Up to 2%
Min. spend per month to qualify for 2% Unlimited Cashback
S$1,000
Cash Rebate cap
Unlimited
MoneySmart Exclusive:

[FASTER GIFT REDEMPTION]
Get S$280 Cash via PayNow, in as fast as 2-3 months when you apply and spend a min of S$988. T&Cs apply.

Valid until 30 Apr 2024

 

9. Alternative unlimited cashback cards

Truth be told, the newly-revamped CIMB World Mastercard isn’t for everyone. It’s really for a specific kind of person who spends a lot on drinking, dining and luxury shopping. That probably applies to a significant chunk of Singaporeans, though.

However, if this credit card unfortunately doesn’t suit you, there are plenty of other unlimited cashback cards to choose from. Here are some of the best I like because they all some with unlimited cashback on almost anything, and with no minimum spend.

Citi Cash Back+ Card: 1.6% cashback on all spending, with no cashback cap and no minimum spend. It plays second fiddle to the UOB Absolute below (0.1% cashback difference), but I like that’s it’s Mastercard and not Amex.

Sponsored
Citibank logo
MoneySmart Exclusive
LUCKY DRAW | GET UP TO S$18,000 WORTH OF PRIZES
Cash Back on Eligible Spend
1.6%
Min. Spend per month
S$0
Cash Back Cap per month
Unlimited
MoneySmart Exclusive:

[FASTER GIFT REDEMPTION | GIVEAWAY]
Get a Sony WH-1000XM5 Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphones (worth S$589) or an Apple iPad (9th Gen), 64GB (worth S$508.30) or a Nintendo Switch OLED (worth S$549) or S$300 Cash via PayNow, in as fast as 6 weeks from meeting the S$500 spend criteria!
 
PLUS stand a chance to get a Rolex Submariner 124060 (worth S$15,521) or an Apple iPhone 15 Pro, 128GB (worth S$1,664.25) or a Sony PlayStation®5 (SLIM) Digital Edition (worth S$669) when you apply through MoneySmart! T&Cs apply.

Valid until 21 Apr 2024

UOB Absolute Cashback Card: 1.7% cashback on all spending, with no cashback cap and no minimum spend. Just note that it’s an American Express card and some merchants don’t accept it.

UOB logo
MoneySmart Exclusive
AMAZING APRIL PROMOTION
Cash Back on Eligible Spend
1.7%
Min. Spend per month
S$0
Cash Back Cap
Unlimited
MoneySmart Exclusive:

[Amazing April Promotion | CASH BONUS]
Stand a chance to get an Sony PlayStation®5 (SLIM) Disc Edition (worth S$799) when you apply through MoneySmart! The first 6 successful applicants who submit the claim form at 2pm or 9pm can also receive a S$88 Cash Bonus via PayNow! T&Cs apply.
 
PLUS enjoy 10% cashback (equivalent to S$100) on the first S$1,000 spend within thirty days and get S$350 Cash Credit from UOB when you successfully apply for an eligible UOB Credit Card and spend a min. of S$1,000 per month, for 2 consecutive months from the card approval date. T&Cs apply.

Valid until 21 Apr 2024

Standard Chartered Simply Cash Credit Card: 1.5% cashback on all spending, with no cashback cap and no minimum spend.

Standard Chartered logo
MoneySmart Exclusive
1.5% UNLIMITED CASHBACK
Cash Back on Eligible spend
Up to 1.5%
Min. Spend per month
S$0
Cash Back Cap per month
Unlimited
MoneySmart Exclusive:

Get a Nintendo Switch OLED (worth S$549) or a Hinomi Q1 Ergonomic Chair (worth S$499) or a Apple Watch SE (worth S$382.50) or a Apple AirPods Pro (worth S$365.70) or a ErgoTune Classic Ergonomic Chair (worth S$399) or a Titan V1 Foldable Bike (worth S$399) or up to S$370 Cash via PayNow* when you apply and meet the relevant spend criteria! T&Cs apply.

Valid until 30 Apr 2024

 

P.S. Here’s our MoneySmart credit card ranking rubric

In case you’re wondering, here’s how we decide on our credit card rankings.

Is that credit card MoneySmart? Our MoneySmart credit card ranking rubric
Category Our rating
Overall The average rating for the credit card on the whole, calculated from the ratings for the individual categories below. Plus, we’ll give you a one-liner on who we think the credit card is best suited for. 
Earn rates: Air miles / Cashback / Rewards points Air miles ✈️✈️✈️✈️✈️ / Cashback / Rewards points . This category looks at the depth rather than breadth of earn rates.

  • 5 stars means this card’s got the highest earn rates within that credit card type.
  • 3-4 stars mean it’s average
  • 1-2 stars reflect earn rates that are below average.
Earn categories This category looks at the breadth rather than depth of your earnings.

  • 5 stars: Earn with ANY spend.
  • 3-4 stars: Earn on a large number of categories (e.g. all dining, transport and retail, but not telco bills) OR earn on 1 very broad category (e.g. all contactless/mobile payments).
  • 1-2 stars: Earn a decent rate only on selected categories, such as fast food only.
Annual fees and charges
  • 5 stars: $0 
  • 4 stars: $1-200
  • 3 stars: $201-500
  • 2 stars: $501-$999
  • 1 star: $1,000 and up
  • We dock a star if fee waiver is NOT allowed.
Accessibility Minimum income requirements:

  • 5 stars: Less than $30,000 a year
  • 4 stars: Around $30,000 a year for Singaporeans and $40,000-$45,o00 for non-Singaporeans
  • 3 stars: $30,000-$60,000 a year for Singaporeans, $40,000-$70,000 for non-Singaporeans
  • 2 stars: $60,000-$120,000 a year for Singaporeans, $70,000-$120,000 for non-Singaporeans
  • 1 star: $120,000 and up for either, or both

Exclusivity: We dock 1-2 stars if there is/are another category/categories that make the card exclusive and very specific to a certain clientele.

Extras/periphery rewards These include:

  • Travel benefits, such as airport lounge access
  • Lifestyle benefits, such as spa privileges
  • Dining benefits, such as complimentary AMEX Love Dining or Entertainer with HSBC subscriptions

We count the number of benefits and award between 0.5 to 2 stars for each, depending on how good the perk is.

Sign-up bonus
  • 5 stars: The gift(s), cash, or miles are the highest we see out there compared to other credit cards of the same type (miles, cashback, etc). Also easy to attain these welcome bonuses.
  • 3-4 stars: Average but not disappointing sign-up bonus compared to other credit cards. You aren’t losing out.
  • 1-2 stars: You are probably losing out in terms of the welcome bonus you’re getting; there are other similar credit cards with sign-up bonuses that are better or easier to attain.

Check out our ultimate list of credit card reviews for the low-down on credit cards in Singapore.

 

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