Cashback, Free Petrol or Uber Rebates – Which Credit Card Sign Up Bonus is Best for You?

manhattan card sign up

Competition is always good for the consumer. In the very highly competitive industries of private car hires and credit cards in Singapore, we consumers are the ones who benefit from the freebies and discounts. When companies are trying to fight for a bigger piece of the market share, they tend to be more generous.

(update: this card has since been phased out)

And right now, one of the most generous credit card sign up bonuses in the market happens to be Standard Chartered’s Manhattan Credit Card. In fact, there are three equally generous sign up bonuses to choose from. The only problem is which to pick – here’s how you can decide:


What are the three sign-up bonuses that the Standard Chartered Manhattan Credit Card is offering?

If you sign up for the Manhattan World Mastercard credit card online, and you are a new Standard Chartered principal cardholder, you will be able to choose from the following sign up bonuses:

  1. $150 worth of Uber Credits,
  2. A $150 Caltex StarCash card, or
  3. $138 cashback

Now, at first glance, it may seem obvious which sign up bonus is best for you. Surely, if you drive, then $150 off at Caltex is the obvious choice. If you don’t drive, then surely you’d pick the $150 Uber Credits. After all, why would you opt for a lesser amount in cashback?

Here’s a little more about each sign up bonus so that you know exactly what you’re getting.


1. $150 worth of Uber Credits

The private car hire industry has taken off in Singapore, a city where no destination is too far away and everyone can appreciate the convenience of booking a ride via your smartphone. For those of us who don’t drive, choosing a sign up bonus that gives us $150 worth of Uber Credits seems like a no brainer.

But here’s the fine print, and trust me, there’s a lot of it.

Firstly, the $150 worth of Uber Credits are given in the form of a single promo code. This promo code is sent via SMS within 30 days of the date of activation of your Manhattan credit card. This of course means that you should activate your credit card as soon as you get it, but it also means that it could be a while before you key in the promo code into your Uber app and get to enjoy your Uber Credits.

Secondly, the promo code gives you $10 off the next 15 consecutive rides. So, it’s not like you get $150 off immediately, just $10 off each of your next 15 Uber rides. This not only means you might still end up paying for each Uber ride you take if it costs more than $10, but it also means you forfeit the difference if your ride costs less than $10. And because it is 15 consecutive rides, you can’t choose when to use the $10 discount – so if you use Uber for a work-related ride, for example, good luck convincing your miserly company to reimburse you for the $10 you’ve saved them.

Thirdly, the Uber Credits only last for 6 months after using the promo code. This is fine if you Uber almost daily anyway, but if you use Uber sparingly, then you must make sure you Uber at least 3 times a month to use up the Uber Credits in time.

Fourthly, you must link your Manhattan credit card to the Uber app to use the promo code. At least, you should, since if you use any other credit card, Standard Chartered reserves the right to charge the full amount of the ride to that other credit card.

The good news is, these four points are relatively small inconveniences because from now until 30 September 2017, the Manhattan Card also gives you 20% cashback on Uber fares in Singapore, up to $50 each month. All you need to do is accumulate retail spend of at least $600 on the Manhattan Card each month.

Here’s how much you could be saving on your Uber rides with the Manhattan Card:

Say your Uber journey costs you $15 normally. First, you get $10 thanks to the promo code, then you get 20% cashback on your remaining fare of $5, which is $1. So for a ride that usually costs you $15, you now effectively pay only $4!

Who should opt for this sign up bonus? Well, if you use Uber a lot, this is a no-brainer. The combination of Uber Credits and 20% cashback means you are cutting your transport costs significantly. However, if you use Uber sparingly, or your Uber journeys tend to cost less than $10 (lucky you!), then maybe this isn’t the best sign up bonus for you.


2. A $150 Caltex StarCash card

In the past, when you think of the best petrol credit card in Singapore, the Standard Chartered Manhattan card doesn’t come to mind. That all changed recently, and now you can get up to 26.6% savings at Caltex with the Manhattan card. This discount comprises a 14% site discount, an 11.70% Caltex rebate if your retail spend is $600 or more on the card that month and up to 3% total cashback depending on your monthly expenditure on the card.

And if that’s not reason enough to get the Manhattan card, you now have the option of a $150 Caltex StarCash card as a sign up bonus.

The StarCash card is basically a prepaid card that you can use for fuel purchases at Caltex. Note that it’s only for fuel purchases, which means you can’t use it for other products at Star Mart. The other thing you should note is that usage of the Card is not entitled to any site discount or other discount programmes. That implies that while you won’t get the 14% off when you use this card, though you should still get the remaining savings as cashback rebates.

Still, it’s free money, and you probably don’t need to worry about the StarCash card’s expiry dates since you’ll probably use up the amount in 2 to 3 visits to the petrol station.

Who should opt for this sign up bonus? Obviously, drivers who already pump at Caltex will benefit the most. But drivers who are willing to pump at Caltex until you use up the card value should also benefit, since Caltex is able to keep their prices competitive.


3. $138 cashback

This sign up bonus is pretty much self-explanatory, and is the remaining option if you choose not to go with the Uber Credits or the StarCash card. Although it’s a smaller amount compared to the first two, do note that you’ll get the whole $138 cashback in your account within 30 days from the date of activation of the Manhattan card, which is pretty impressive.

Who should opt for this sign up bonus? If neither the choice of Uber Credits nor Caltex fuel appeals to you, especially since you may not even be using this card to qualify for the $600 minimum retail spend to enjoy the additional rebates you get, then why not just go for a flat cashback rebate, even though it’s a slightly smaller amount.

Do take note though, that Standard Chartered reserves the right to charge your first year annual fee of $192.60 (including GST) if you don’t use your Manhattan Card at least 3 times within 60 days of your Card approval date. Also, remember that all these sign up bonuses are only applicable to those who have never owned a Standard Chartered credit card before – yes, even if you had one and then cancelled it, you won’t be eligible for these sign up bonuses.


Which Standard Chartered Manhattan Card sign up bonus appeals most to you? Let us know.