Maybe I’m too innocent or naïve, but I don’t know how people who cheat on their significant others do it. Like, how do you live a double life and keep your story straight? Especially when both people you’re dating haven’t caught on that they’re not the only special person in your life. Heck, I can barely keep track of using two credit cards when it comes to dining!
Wait, why do you need so many credit cards when it comes to dining?
Because several credit cards give you cash back rebates when you use them for dining transactions. If you find yourself dining out often, you should consider getting a dining credit card to earn up to 9% cash back on your meals. If you spend $700 a month on various meals, like I do, I can ideally earn about $55 in rebates. That’s the price of a pretty good meal for two.
Hmmmm… $55? That’s less than 8% of $700.
You caught me. Let me explain. Here’s how the ideal dining credit card situation should work.
The POSB Everyday Card gives me 9% rebates on my weekend dining. This is the highest dining rebate available on the market today. Unfortunately, it’s only for weekends – weekday dining earns 3% rebates.
I also have to get the Citi Cash Back Card, which gives me 8% rebates on all dining expenditure, weekday or weekend.
Seems straightforward… what’s the problem here?
The trouble comes with the maximum cash back rebates you can earn on each card.
With the POSB Everyday Card, you can only earn a maximum of $30 in dining rebates each month. This means, after spending $334 on the card on weekend dining alone, I won’t earn anymore rebates for my dining spend. This is also only a temporary promotion that is valid till 31 October 2016. After that, rebates for dining revert to the base of 0.3%.
The Citi Cash Back Card allows me to earn dining cash back at a rate of 8% up to $25, after which it reverts to the base of 0.25%. This means that if I spend $350 on dining the card, I earn a total of $25.88 cash back.
Oh, and there’s a minimum spending limit too. The POSB Everyday Card dining promotion requires me to spend $700 a month to enjoy up to 9% dining rebates, while the Citi Cash Back Card requires me to spend $888 a month to enjoy up to 8% dining rebates.
So if I want to get the maximum dining cash back from two credit cards, I will need to spend $334 a month on weekend dining with the POSB Everyday Card, and at least $323 a month on weekday dining with the Citi Cash Back Card. What’s more, I need to make sure that I spend over $1,588 a month on my credit cards in order to achieve the required amount.
If it seems troublesome, it is, and it’s frustrating when you have to keep track of everything. But for $55 a month, all that effort almost seems worth it.
You see, I have a confession to make…
I’m not like most Singaporeans. Many Singaporeans will see the above scenario as an achievable one, and make meticulous accounts and notes on their smartphones to ensure that they maximise their dining rebate every month. Not me.
The truth is, I’m not really good with details. People who know me well know this. I even forgot my girlfriend’s birthday. So when it comes to trying to maximise my cash rebates for dining expenditure, I sometimes forget about the maximum cash back rebates I can earn each month, or I forget to meet the minimum spending requirement.
For someone like me, the ANZ Optimum Card hits the sweet spot.
But the ANZ Optimum Card only gives you 5% rebate on dining!
Yes, but that’s a 5% rebate on all my dining expenditure, regardless of how much, or how little I spend.
You see, the ANZ Optimum Card has no minimum spend requirement, and no maximum cash back rebate limit. The only condition is that you cannot earn more than $30 in rebates in a single transaction. Which means I should not use it for transactions that cost me more than $600.
And while that might be a problem for transactions that are travel-related, or maybe even shopping-related, it definitely isn’t going to be a problem for dining transactions. Unless you’re treating your entire department to lunch at one of the restaurants in Marina Bay Sands.
How the ANZ Optimum Card Works
The ANZ Optimum Card aims to help consumers optimize their savings by breaking down the cash rebate categories into 4 main areas of expenditure: Dining & Leisure, Travel, Shopping and Groceries. The classification of a merchant where you have spent money is dependent on the Merchant Classification Code (MCC), but by and large if you aren’t purchasing items from some weird, dodgy, place, the 4 categories are relatively straightforward. Dining, however, does not include wedding dinners.
Every 25th of the month before the start of the next calendar quarter, you just have to choose which category of expenditure you would like to allocate your 5% cash rebate to. You will also earn 1% cash rebate on everything else.
Choosing the Dining & Leisure category
If you choose the Dining & Leisure category, you don’t have to worry about when you spend, or even where you spend, as the card doesn’t differentiate your cash rebate based on weekday or weekend dining, nor does it distinguish local and overseas spend. So essentially, you can dine literally anywhere without having to worry about which tier of cash rebates you’re getting. I’m glad I don’t have to explain any more how much simpler this is.
Leisure expenditure encompasses things like the booking of hotels, so if in the case of your family vacation you happen to be just taking one flight and city-hopping, booking your various hotels with this card is a no-brainer, allowing you to get 5% cash rebate every time you book your accommodation. Just remember the $30 rebate cap per transaction, which equates to a $600 transaction.
To use two dining credit cards, or just one?
Again, if you’re the type to keep close track of your credit card expenditure, and can ensure you spend above the minimum spend requirement, then you can enjoy cash back rebates of $55 a month using a combination of the POSB Everyday Card (for weekend dining) and the Citi Cash Back Card (for weekday dining). If you are interested in the POSB Everyday Card, apply here.
But if you’re like me, and just want a card for all your dining transactions that is simple and doesn’t require you to worry about hitting the minimum spending amount, consider the ANZ Optimum Card. For a monthly dining spend of $700, I get $35 in rebates.
Do you prefer to use multiple credit cards for dining? Or just one? Share your thoughts with us.