I must preface this article with a confession that I’m really not the best person to write it. Look, I have a folded-up $20 CapitaLand voucher that’s been sitting in my wallet for over a year, untouched.
My colleagues find this mildly hilarious. CapitaLand malls are generally regarded as the best ones in Singapore. Why is it so hard for me to use up a measly $20 voucher?!
Indeed, most people I know do spend a lot of time and money at CapitaMalls, whether it’s the high-profile ones like Plaza Singapura, Funan Mall and Jewel Changi Airport, or the neighbourhood ones like Junction 8 or Westgate. If that’s you, read on for 7 ways to make the most out of your shopping mall habit.
By the way, this article isn’t sponsored in the least. (Don’t send me any more vouchers, CapitaLand!)
1. Memorize this list of CapitaLand malls in Singapore
This isn’t strictly a “hack”, but if you don’t have all 18 CapitaLand malls committed to memory, then you’re not really a Singaporean.
Much like how Americans know all 50 US states by heart, we Singaporeans should memorize the following list of CapitaLand malls located all over Singapore:
|Jewel Changi Airport
|The Star Vista
|Bukit Panjang Plaza
|Choa Chu Kang
2. Get your hands on free or cheaper CapitaLand vouchers
But you also can get CapitaLand vouchers for free or at a discount!
The easiest way to get free CapitaLand vouchers is with a well-timed credit card sign-up. For example, a couple of months back, MoneySmart ran a $300 CapitaLand voucher promotion with Citibank credit cards.
Those glorious days may be over, but it’s good to keep your eyes peeled for the next promo anyway. Bookmark MoneySmart’s credit card promotion page and sign up for our email newsletter so you’ll never miss a CapitaLand voucher giveaway.
If you happen to be buying a big-ticket item like a fridge or computer online, look out for online retailers that dangle free CapitaLand vouchers with the purchase. I’ve found that smaller, no-brand sellers do that on marketplaces like Lazada.
Speaking of Lazada, you can also buy CapitaLand vouchers at a discount on there. Sellers list CapitaLand vouchers for the same price or a little more than the vouchers’ value, but you can get them for less by deploying Lazada credit card promotions.
For example, I saw $80 CapitaLand vouchers going for $83 (incl. postage) on Lazada. But if you collect and use the weekly $10 off $80 DBS Lazada voucher, you need to pay only $73. Plus, if you use a cashback card like the DBS Live Fresh Card, you get another 5% rebate. That’s effectively $69.35 for $80 of CapitaLand vouchers, i.e. 14% off!
You can also try your luck on Carousell — there are usually a few sellers trying to offload their CapitaLand vouchers for a slight discount.
3. Know which stores accept CapitaLand vouchers
So now that you’ve gotten hold of your “hard-earned” CapitaLand vouchers, the next step is to find out if your favourite shop or restaurant is a CapitaLand voucher participating store.
There is no easy way to do this; you’ll have to check each CapitaMall individually for the list of stores that accept CapitaLand vouchers.
Under the shopping mall of your choice, click on the “Stores” link to go to the mall directory. You’ll see a bar of filters including “Accepts CapitaVoucher”, “Accepts eCapitaVoucher”, and so on.
Check the “Accepts CapitaVoucher” (assuming you’re using a physical voucher) to find out which stores accept vouchers. In my experience, most mall tenants do, even those small F&B stalls like Polar Puffs and Wok Hey.
It’s important to note, however, that Jewel Changi Airport does NOT accept CapitaLand vouchers.
In the unlikely event that none of the 2,000 stores that accept CapitaLand vouchers have anything you need/want, it’s relatively easy to convert your vouchers back into cash by selling them on Carousell.
As long as they’re not too close to expiring, you can usually sell them for about 10% off the voucher value.
… Says something, doesn’t it, that CapitaLand vouchers are de facto pseudo-currency in Singapore?
4. Download the CapitaStar app & start scanning your receipts
I feel really stupid now. I downloaded the CapitaStar app this one time to unlock entry to the free showers at Funan Mall, but deleted it after.
It turns out that the CapitaStar app lets you earn points by scanning shopping receipts from all CapitaMalls except Ion Orchard. These CapitaStar points (STAR$) can be exchanged for CapitaLand vouchers.
What the hell!? I’m constantly refusing receipts at shops and throwing the pesky things away. Had I known you could turn trash into money, I would probably be crawling on the floor of Bedok Mall looking for stray pieces of paper…
Membership is free; all you need to do to become a CapitaStar member is download the app and provide a few worthless personal details. You need a phone number to receive an OTP too.
Thereafter, you earn CapitaStar points for every receipt you scan and upload. You have to do this by the following day or it won’t be accepted.
For receipts from shops, restaurants and dental / medical clinics, the earn rate is $20 = 100 CapitaStar points. For supermarkets and food courts, it’s $20 = 20 CapitaStar points. It takes 5,000 CapitaStar points to redeem a $5 CapitaVoucher.
Based on this earn rate, it takes $1,000 of (non-supermarket, non-food court) spending to get $5 back. That works out to be a measly 0.5% rebate.
However, you can earn points faster by taking note of promotions like this 3X STAR$ at Muji one. You also get 2X CapitaStar points on your first transaction in your birthday month.
Also, note that there is a cap of $1,000 a day; after this amount you typically won’t be able to earn any more CapitaStar points.
5. Sync your PAssion Card to CapitaStar app for 1.5X STAR$
Here at MoneySmart, we’re legit obsessed with the PAssion Card, and it’s almost a joke how often we mention this card in our articles. Seriously, just get one if you don’t have it already — it’s free via POSB, and membership is open to locals and foreigners alike.
You can link your PAssion Card to your CapitaStar account to earn 1.5X CapitaStar points with every transaction. In other words, you earn $20 = 150 CapitaStar points instead of 100 points.
With a PAssion Card, you can redeem your first $5 CapitaVoucher after “just” $666.67 spent, i.e. about 0.75% rebate. Not very “wow”-inducing, but hey, it’s free.
6. Sign up for the Amex CapitaCard for free parking
If the PAssion Card x CapitaStar rewards earn rate of 0.75% isn’t good enough for you, you may want to look into the American Express CapitaCard, which is an Amex credit card designed to let you earn points more quickly.
- for every S$1 spent on eCapitaVoucher purchases, capped at S$1,200 monthly
- Earn up to 15 STAR$®
- at participating Merchants at Heartlands CapitaLand Malls, capped at S$1,200 monthly
- Earn up to 20 STAR$®
- at participating Merchants in CapitaLand Malls in Town
- Earn up to 30 STAR$®
The Amex CapitaCard lets you earn 3X STAR$ at CapitaLand malls: $20 = 300 CapitaStar points, which works out to 1.5% rebate, capped at $1,200 a month. You also earn 1X STAR$ on your normal spending.
But the main and most attractive benefit of this card is free parking for 3 hours at CapitaLand malls (all malls except Ion Orchard and Jewel Changi Airport). You have to spend at least $1,200/month on your credit card, but it can be outside of CapitaLand malls.
If you spend at least $1,800/month on your card, you can even get free parking in the Privileged Parking lots reserved for you(!). The CapitaLand malls that have this are: Bedok Mall, Clarke Quay, Funan, IMM, Junction 8, Lot One. Plaza Singapura, Tampines Mall, The Star Vista, Westgate.
More details on the free parking benefits here.
If you’re highly motivated by the parking perks and have no trouble hitting the minimum spending requirement (bearing in mind it’s an Amex card, not Visa or Mastercard) then by all means go for it.
Otherwise, it’s a bit too much trouble for what it is. Personally, I’d rather not make payment with the Amex CapitaCard unless really necessary, because there are several other credit cards with more attractive rewards for shopping and dining.
7. Save the CapitaLand free wifi password on your phone
If you’re not particularly keen on shopping but often get dragged to the shopping mall by your partner, spouse, kids or whoever, then you definitely want to have the CapitaLand free wifi details handy.
Wifi network: CAPITALAND FREE WIFI or CAPITALAND FREE WIFI SSID
Next time you have to sit outside Love, Bonito or wait for your kid to finish enrichment classes, you can use their free wifi to stream movies or play games on your mobile device.
If you’re lucky, you might even find yourself in one of the CapitaLand malls with better public seating options, like the cool “bar seats” at Funan Mall, complete with wireless charging docks.
Got any more CapitaLand mall tips to share? Tell us in the comments.