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.

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Top ten benefits of online shopping

Online or Internet shopping is booming in Singapore. Check this out: A 2011 survey on online and mobile shopping by e-payment firm PayPal showed that Singapore’s online commerce grew 30 per cent, from S$1.1 billion in 2010 to S$1.4 billion in 2011 and is estimated to touch S$4.4 billion in 2015.

Shopping cardsConsider also these statistical nuggets from the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore: In 2013, 87% of households in Singapore had broadband access; in 2012, more than 95% of individuals below 35 years had used the Internet; the proportion of online shoppers (to Internet users) had increased from 17% in 2003 to 52% in 2012, with the highest proportion of 72% belonging to those in the 25-34 years category. Currently more than 50% of ecommerce traffic arises from mobile phones.

A large young population (more than 50% of Singapore’s population is below 40), high percentage of Internet access that has increased due to increased smartphone usage have all driven Singapore’s online shopping industry. Currently 50% of ecommerce traffic originates from mobile phones.

This explosive growth in online shopping is largely due to the benefits conferred by online shopping. Lets examine a few main ones:

1. Save time and effort – No waiting for parking, no long searches across racks for brands / products, no waiting in queues for checkout and no carrying around large (and heavy) shopping bags.

2. Convenient – Searching for products, checking them out through 360 degree views or reviews, adding them to your cart and payouts – you can accomplish everything with a few clicks, wherever you are, whether in the office or on your favourite couch, at whatever time is agreeable for you.

3. Deals and discounts – Online shopping sites are fighting for your custom amongst themselves and with brick and mortar retailers. Which is why, you find yourself inundated by emails and alerts notifying you of the latest promotions. And, these are not merely generic promotions; based on your previous shopping record and the latest trends, e-tailers will send you personalised promotions.

4. Online-only deals – Brands are finding it profitable to partner with e-tailers; the increased volumes that they gain make up for any deals or discounts that they offer. This has even resulted in exclusive online launches of products.

5. Overseas purchases – With brands themselves venturing into cyberspace, their markets have  also expanded; so, those exclusive handbags or expensive watches that were spotted only in the salons of Europe are increasingly available to you, provided you can afford it!

6. The emergence of mobiles – Mobiles have become ubiquitous and have expanded access to the Internet; online shopping sites have used this ubiquitous technology to expand their reach by coming up with mobile versions of their websites and also through mobile apps making it even more convenient for you to shop online.

7. Discreet – Buy that piece of lingerie without embarrassment or having to bother about onlookers.

Online shopping with your credit card

Shopping online with your credit card brings further benefits:

8. Reward points – Shop online and gain reward points that can be redeemed against a catalogue of gifts from the card issuer. And, some, like the ANZ Platinum Card that gives you double rewards points for online shopping, give you additional rewards for online spends.

9. Cashback – Many credit cards also reward your online shopping with cashback. So you can go shop some more!

10. Online shopping cards – Made specifically for the online shoppers these, cards  provide a bouquet of online shopping benefits. The Citi Globeshopper service, for example, gives you 5% cashback of all your shipping, enables you to consolidate multiple merchant purchases for savings on shipping costs, free repacking services to reduce your shipping volume, free insurance coverage for certain shipments and more.