2021 Recap: Hottest Finance Articles and Deals of the Year!

I am not sure how, but 2021 is somehow over. Being the sethimental sentimental person I am, here’s a look at what excited readers of Sethisfy.com the most, and my thoughts on the articles.

1. Huat Pals

It’s Chinese New Year marred by Covid-19, and with everyone limited to only a couple of visitations a day, Google Pay launches their Huat Pals “game”. I reluctantly use the word game because it was anything but entertaining, but perhaps that is the side-effect of me trying to farm as many as 7 BB Lohs to give out as lucky draw prizes.

I initially didn’t even think that the post was worth writing, but my posts on Huat Pals and BB Loh became the top result during Chinese New Year. And rightfully so, because I doubt anyone else got as many BB Loh’s as I did, and gave most of them away to readers.

It was my first post to go viral, and with it came a whole wave of new readers and Telegram subscribers. Still following this site because you discovered it through Huat Pals? Say hi!

I fully expect Huat Pals to make a return in a couple of months, and I’m already getting slight PTSD.

2. UOB Absolute Card Review

I’m not sure why a review of such a card is really needed when you can just sum things up in a single sentence – “1.7% cashback on anything that accepts Amex including Grab top-ups” – but this was the most popular review the whole of 2021. Maybe it caught Google’s fancy, or perhaps people are just interested in something really fuss-free and don’t mind settling for 1.7% cashback.

Paired with GrabPay Mastercard, the combination offers almost 3% of rebate on practically anything one can think of, and the appeal is certainly obvious if you don’t like to fuss over the various conditions that most high-earn cards impose.

It is also a great backup plan when your high-earn cards are maxed for a particular month, and if you haven’t already gotten your card, December is as good a time as any before the promo ends:

UOB
Absolute Cashback

New to UOB cards

Get S$150 cashback if you are among the first 100 new-to-UOB cardmembers to make a min. spend of S$1,500 within 30 days of card approval. Valid till 28 Feb 2022. T&Cs apply

3. Getting discounted eCapitaVouchers with GreenUP

Looking back at this post brings sighs and maybe tears to even the strongest of reward optimisers. We endured the frustrating loading times of the app and the entirely boring affair of farming leaves to grow our in-app Plant because SP GreenUP presented us with an alluring reward: a massive 30% discount off eCapitaVoucher redemption. Instead of 5,000 STAR$, people who achieve their Plant status only needed 3,500 STAR$ for each $5 voucher, drastically increasing the value of their STAR$.

After a year or so, SP finally nerfed it in September, and the redemptions went from an unlimited number of times to only a pathetic 3 times per month… although some of us (namely: me) got a nice bug on 1st October and still managed to redeem an unlimited number of times. The bug has since been fixed, and with only 3 redemptions a month with the chore of having to complete SP GreenUP every quarter, this might be a thing only hardcore reward chasers would continue doing into 2022.

4. Citi SMRT Card Review

The oddly named Citi SMRT Card is extremely useful for non-SMRT things: it gives you 5% cashback without a monthly cap as long as you spend online and can meet its minimum spend of $500. Cashback cards tend to struggle with big purchases, but the Citi SMRT handily gives 5% on big-ticket items like laptops and furniture as long as you buy your stuff online. The only cap is an annual cap of $12,000 of spend (or $600 cashback), and that’s good for multiple laptops, smartphones, and tablets, not that you should spend so much.

5. How to get 3% cashback on Grab top-ups

Before UOB Absolute was released this year with the slightly higher 1.7% cashback rate, Amex True Cashback was the de facto choice for cashback when it comes to filling up your GrabPay wallet. If you don’t have an Amex Basic Card, it’s still a very relevant choice: new cardholders can get a really generous 3% rate on the first $5,000 of spending.

In fact, this article was written last year, so it being one of the most popular posts in 2021 might give some indication why UOB released their Absolute card. People really want cashback on their Grab top ups.

Popular Deals of 2021

Everyone loves a good deal, and you people loved these deals more than others.

moomoo and Tiger Brokers

This year was characterised by trading apps giving lots of goodies for people to sign up, and moomoo and Tiger Brokers seemed to be the Grab v. Uber story of this year. Both dangled – and are still dangling – really fantastic promos when you sign up for their apps to trade, and it’s quite a bit of money for very little effort.

Investing is something that I’ve always encouraged anyway, and these apps are a great way to dip your toes into the water. You can even start with paper trading features which both of them include.

Current promos:

Bonus$aver account

Again, like Huat Pals, I didn’t think this was going to be as popular as it turned out to be, but it turns out that putting aside $50,000 for $200+ is a pretty popular thing to do: Bonus$aver started offering such promos this year, and it has been quite well received by Sethisfy.com readers. If you haven’t done so, there is still an on-going promo for it if you happen to have $50,000 lying around.

Revolut

Where most wallet apps give $5, Revolut decided to give a much more generous $50 sign-up reward earlier in May this year. Their generosity had an abrupt end as they pulled the campaign prematurely.

Nowadays, they are a bit more conservative with their sign-up rewards, and if you haven’t gotten your Revolut account yet you might want to consider the current promo.

My recommended articles

Some articles didn’t get the attention I thought they deserved, and I’m highlighting them here for your consideration:

It’s Giving Season: Make a Difference For Children From Low-income Families

We are still some ways off our goal of $3,000, and the fundraiser is supposed to end today. Do chip in if you are in the position to, and get card rewards and tax relief!

How to Find a Good Financial Adviser

Finding the right financial adviser can make a world of difference on your finances, and unfortunately there are overwhelmingly more mediocre and bad ones.

Hefty Income Tax? Pay it With Credit Cards to Earn Rewards! Exclusive CardUp Promo!

Income tax is a pesky thing to pay, but at least we can get some rewards on it.

Review: HSBC Revolution – 4 mpd + 1% Cashback or 3.5% Cashback

A rather underrated card I must say, given how versatile the HSBC Revolution is. It gives a great earn rate for miles at 4 mpd, and if you pair it up with the HSBC EGA account, you can get as much as 3.5% cashback on most things you can pay for with PayWave.

Conclusion

What a year! What were your favourite things that happened this year?

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