My Credit Card Strategy for 2022

VTLs have been suspended and travel is once again a medium-sized question mark. I’m stuck with too many miles (watch the video to find out exactly how many) and I don’t foresee my stash being used up over the next couple of years, so it’s going to be another year of cashback for me in 2022.

Besides, cashback cards are so good now with a rate of 5% easily achievable. I’m not going to give up 5% for only 4 miles per dollar.

Primary Card for everyday expenses

UOB EVOL has become my card of choice. Spending $600 a month both satisfies its monthly minimum spend, and hits the maximum cashback cap of $40 a month. While it’s advertised as an 8% cashback card, the effective yield is closer to 6.67% cashback since there are sublimits of $20 on each of the online and contactless categories.

Nonetheless, 6.67% cashback is a generous rate since you can spend on most things either online or through contactless these days.

Mile chasers can replace this with HSBC Revolution which can give 1% cashback on top of 4 mpd.

UOB
EVOL

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

Card for mortgage

My mortgage is almost $2,000 a month, and that is the magic number for UOB One’s 5% cashback tier. ipaymy and CardUp both support mortgage payments, so it’s an excellent way to get cashback on an unavoidable expense that normal does not generate any card reward.

ipaymy and CardUp’s fees range between 1.8 to 2.25% or so, and hence you can earn the difference between the cashback you receive and the fees you pay. No brainer.

UOB One

New to UOB cards

Get a Secretlab Titan Evo (worth S$619) if you are among the first 200 new-to-UOB cardmembers to make a min. spend of S$3,000 per promotion month. Valid till 21 Jan 2022. T&Cs apply.

Card for excess spending

Once the maximum cashback caps for UOB EVOL and UOB One have been reached, excess spending can be placed on my GrabPay Mastercard which I top up using UOB Absolute. UOB Absolute is one of two cards giving cashback on Grab top ups (the other being Amex True Cashback), and you get more rebates in form of Grab points when you spend using the GrabPay Mastercard. The effective yield is about 2.9%, and it only goes up when you include things like Grab Power Up Challenges and redemption sales.

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

Card for groceries

Groceries easily get 8% cashback with the Citi Cash Back Card, and I use it to buy $800 to $1,000 worth of vouchers at a time to satisfy the monthly minimum spend for a month. Thereafter, I use the vouchers over the next few months, having already earned 8% cashback. The Mastercard variant of this card can even be paired with the Instarem Amaze for an additional 1% cashback. 9% cashback is too good to pass up.

Citi
Cash Back

New to bank*
Choose:

  1. Apple AirPods Pro (worth S$379) or
  2. Ninja OP300 Multi Cooker (worth S$499) or
  3. S$350 cash 

Existing customers
$30 via PayNow, no min spend required


*Minimum spend of S$500 within 30 days of card approval.

Until 30th January 2022

Card for big purchases

When I want to buy something substantial – a new laptop, phone, or furniture perhaps – Citi SMRT is the cashback card that handles big purchases handily. Having an annual $12,000 cap instead of a monthly limit, the Citi SMRT card is perhaps the only cashback card giving a high earn rate for large purchases. A useful card to apply and keep on the off-chance you need to buy something expensive for sure.

Citi
SMRT

New to Citi cards
I recommend that you sign up for one of the other Citi cards first for the sign-up reward, then apply for this card.

Take note of prevailing promotions

Promotions will change the value proposition of cards, and companies can be very generous with their spending promos. DBS, for instance, has been giving as much as 8% in additional cashback on top of its usual card rewards, and that makes the humble 5% LiveFresh card a lot better than the UOB EVOL.

Grab Power Up Challenges too boost the rebates given by the GrabPay Mastercard, so these are things you need to take note of if you do want to get as much card rewards as possible.

Keep up to date on the best cashback/mile cards, savings accounts, attractive deals, and more tips to maximise your financial wellbeing by subscribing to my Telegram channel.

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