Which Is The Best Credit Card in Singapore – 2016?

Best Credit Card Singapore 2016

Lets tackle that most important question – that keeps hovering on almost everyone’s minds – which is the best credit card in Singapore for the year 2016? – in this blog post. The answer is short and simple, probably brutally so: there is no one best credit card in Singapore. Let’s explore this in a little more detail:

Scenario One…

You have a credit card that rewards you for your biggest spend categories: groceries, utility bills and SMRT travel. Something like the Citibank SMRT Platinum Visa Card that provides you with up to 7% rebate on groceries, savings on your SMRT spends, up to 15% savings on coffee, up to 5% savings on toys and books, waiver of annual fees for the first two years and more. If this is you, how could a review that presents XYZ Bank’s AirMiles credit card as the best credit card in Singapore help you?

 … Nugget One

So, there we’ve unearthed our first nugget: a category-wise credit card review is of more use to you than a “generic” review. You can navigate to the credit card category that is of most importance to you – whether it is cashback, travel, petrol, reward points etc. and check the top finishers in that category.

Scenario Two…

Let’s consider yet another scenario: You are a student. You come across a credit card review that throws up ABC Rewards Points card as the best credit card in Singapore. How do you think review was helpful to you when you are not even eligible for the top finishing cards?

There are just a few student credit cards in Singapore; a review that provides a comparison of the Citi Clear Card, the Standard Chartered Manhattan $500 Card, the DBS Live Fresh Visa Student Card and the Maybank eVibes Card would be far more useful to you.

Hot Tip to Choose Best Credit Card

Ok, here is another tip: if you just want to compare different credit cards you could use any of the several third-party comparison websites that are available in Singapore; once you select the cards you wish to compare, you will be presented with a feature-wise comparison of the selected cards.

… Nugget Two

Even if you are presented with a category-wise review of credit cards, you must consider eligibility. If you are a student or are in the early years of your career you may only be eligible for the basic credit card product offerings. A review that presents a Premier / Platinum credit card from your category as the winner may not be so helpful to you in your present situation.

 In conclusion…

So, when you come across a review that touts this card or that card as the best credit card in Singapore, take it with a pinch of salt. Don’t mistake me; I am not knocking on credit card reviews many of which are written by genuine-intentioned users who want to help fellow users based on their experiences.

As we’ve seen above, it is just that not every card that comes out on top in these reviews will have universal applicability. What you should do is: read the review, take the top finishers in your particular category and do a feature-by-feature comparison with your present card and then make a decision. And, of course don’t forget eligibility. That way, you will make the most of the review’s findings while not losing out on your unique requirements.

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Credit Card Promotion in Singapore – 2016

Credit Card Promotion

It has become de facto practice for banks to use promotions to gain credit card customers. With over 9.5 million credit cards in circulation as on March 2016, as per statistics released by the Monetary Authority of Singapore, for a population of approximately 5.53 million (putting together citizens, permanent residents and other residents as per statistics released by the Department of Statistics, Singapore) and a plethora of banks and financial institutions offering credit cards, the hunt for credit card customers is well and truly on!

Credit Card Promotion is one of the most important weapons in the arsenal of banks looking for credit card customers. Let’s look at some of the mechanisms by which banks leverage promotions in their holy grail quest for new customers:

Sign-up Promotions

These are meant for new credit card customers. Sign-up promos come in various forms – gifts, reward points, air miles, vouchers etc. For instance, when you apply online for HSBC’s Revolution Credit Card, you get a Samsonite RED Robo 65cm Luggage worth $335 plus $20 cash rebate. You will need to apply on or between 01st April 2016 and 31st May 2016 and should charge a minimum of $600 to your card within the month of issuance.

Another example is when you sign up for a credit card from DBS / POSB. You will need to apply online by 30th June 2016 for a DBS Live Fresh Card or DBS Black Visa Card, DBS Woman’s Card or the POSB Everyday Card and charge a minimum of $700 per month for the first 2 months from your card approval date.

On-going promotions

You can’t provide promotions for new credit card customers and leave existing ones in the lurch, can you?! On-going promotions are targeted at existing credit card customers. Here are a couple of examples:

If you have a Maybank credit card, you can enjoy 1-for-1 and up to 90% off deals with their Mid-Year Sale promotion that runs from 07th May to 31st July 2016.

The Citibank Expedia promotion offers you 6x Citi PremierMiles, 15x Rewards Points or 5% cashback depending upon the credit card used on Expedia. The promotion runs till the end of 31st July 2016.

Affiliate Promotions

Its not just banks that come up with promotional offers. Card affiliates like Visa and MasterCard also come up with promotions. For instance, Visa offers $1 off minimum for every $7 spend with Visa payWave and 4 movie tickets for the price of 3 with Visa Checkout at Golden Village.

MasterCard on its part offers 20% off any AirAsia international flights every Wednesday with their MasterCard AirAsia #PoseWinFly Photo Contest and a 10% admin fee waiver when you use book and pay for your taxi ride with MasterPass on the Comfort Delgro Taxi Booking App, amongst its currently running promotions.

Making The Most of Credit Card Promotions

This might seem like a no-brainer but you must use your credit card at the promotion offering store to avail of the offer. Sometimes, you must also ensure that the card is swiped at a particular bank’s terminal as well. Also, go through the fine print; promotions could be potential minefields.

Promos may be conditional on a certain amount of spend happening on the card; they may be restricted to the “Early Birds”, those who first take advantage of the offer; promotional offers may also not be clubbed with other existing offers either on the card or at the merchant’s.

For example, Citibank Singapore offers best deals in singapore on your Citi credit cards spends online or storewide at dining, online shopping, travels, petrols savings or fuels etc. Some of the promo offers are year-long offers or occasional, based on the merchants and availability. Another example, you get a $15 rebate when you shop on Taobao for a minimum of $100 with your Maybank credit card on the 11th of May 2016; however, this offer is limited to the first 500 redemptions.

How to Earn More Rewards Points with Credit Cards

Rewards credit cards offer you reward points on your credit card spends. You can then redeem these reward points against a range of gifts, products and benefits offered by your credit card issuing bank.

Rewards credit cards – how do they reward you?

Depending upon the card-issuing bank you can redeem your reward points for free movie tickets, gift certificates, air miles, cash rebates, store purchases, paying your annual fees etc.

For instance, when you earn rewards points with your Citi Rewards Card, you can redeem your rewards points for a variety of gifts. This includes:

  • Vouchers from their Online Catalogue
  • Transferring them to your preferred Airlines’ Frequent Flyer or Hotel Membership Programs
  • Offset purchases or redeem for vouchers instantly at 500+ instant reward outlets
  • SMS Citibank to convert rewards points into cash rebates on your credit card statement.

Click here to view the Citibank Latest Rewards Offer & Deals.

Rewards credit cards – tips on making the most of them

  •  Go for a rewards credit card that syncs best with your spends. If, for example, you go in for the DBS Black Visa Card, you get 3X DBS Points (or 6 miles for every $5 spend) for all local Visa payWave purchases and 1X DBS Points for all purchases. However, if you are looking for a rewards credit card that rewards you for your utility payments, you may be better served by the OCBC Plus! Visa Credit Card that lets you earn up to 2% LinkPoints rewards on EZ-Reload, telecom bills and utilities.
  •  Pay with your rewards credit card – This might seem like a no-brainier but you will be surprised at how many miss it! If you wish to accumulate rewards points on your credit card, you must pay for your purchases, online or offline, with your credit card.
  •  Pay attention to promotions – Promotions can help you earn a deal more reward points than at other times. The Citi Rewards Card has a promotion running from 04th March to 30th April 2016; you get 20X rewards when you charge your purchases at Qoo10 to your Citi Rewards Card.
  •  Don’t neglect affiliate promotions – Affiliates are the global payment processing networks with which your card is associated. They could be Visa, MasterCard or American Express. Affiliates also tie up with service providers to come up with great promotions for cardholders like you.

For example, you can get $1 off minimum spend of $7 with Visa payWave at Toast Box. This offer is valid from 01st April 2016 to 30th April 2016. If you are a MasterCard holder, you can get a 10% admin fee waiver when you with your MasterCard via MasterPass on the Comfort Delgro Taxi Booking App.

5 Benefits of using a Debit Card over a Credit Card

The debit and the credit card from a certain stand point, are the same; they both are plastic money and they both  offer a sense of security and convenience while shopping. Both the cards let you withdraw money and both the cards let you enjoy discounts and offers. However these similarities aside, the cards are fundamentally different, in that, one is based on credit while the other is an extension of your account with your own money.

If you are someone who is conscious of your spending and someone who does not like the “credit way”, the debit card should be your plastic card of choice.

Credit  Card Versus Debit Card
Credit Card Versus Debit Card

Here are 5 good reasons why the debit card is better than a credit card

1.The first defining difference is that your debit card is free, you don’t pay interest to anyone for spending on your card. You are using your money and so there are no interests or fee or billing cycles that you need to constantly be careful of.
2.When you withdraw cash from an ATM, you don’t pay a transaction fee. And even in some of those rare arrangements, where you pay, the fee may be far far lesser than what you pay, if you were to use your credit card.
3.You can never go over budget with your debit card, since you will always be within your balance limits. Your credit card, however, can take you way over board and this applies to a lot of young, first time card users, who get all excited with their first card, even more so in a very tempting marketplace like Singapore.
4.Strangely for some reasons, credit cards are always the primary target, while luckily debit cards don’t even come close to enjoying that negative attention. 7 out of 10 cases of fraud with cards happen to be ones that involve credit cards.
5.If you need a safe plastic card to use, without a credit check, a debit card is the one that you go for. It is easy to apply and doesn’t require the rigorous scrutiny of the standard credit card. It comes with even most basic bank accounts.