My Credit Card Strategy, Second Half of 2021 Edition

I didn’t expect to have to write a new article for the entire year so soon after the last, but there have been so many changes in the world of credit cards that my card strategy has changed pretty dramatically. Here are some of the changes that have greatly altered the credit card landscape:

Cashback is still king

Three months on, our nation’s vaccine programme is accelerating, but travel remains a distant possibility. Some may argue that it is the ideal time to start earning miles, but travel redemptions are likely to be very volatile over the next year or so at least. It doesn’t take a crystal ball to foretell a significant devaluation on the horizon, or that travel options would be severely limited, not to mention seats available for mile redemption.

Cashback has ruled the pandemic landscape for some time, and will likely continue. Banks know this too, and have updated and released several compelling cards that now fit into my card strategy.

Main card: OCBC FRANK

OCBC FRANK remains atop on the hill as the reigning cashback king for most people, including myself. 6% on a monthly spend beween $600 to $833 is quite the sweet spot for many working adults, I’d imagine, and OCBC FRANK remains one of the most permissive cards available. Contactless is available virtually everywhere, and OCBC FRANK even gives 6% cashback on things like ipaymy.

OCBC FRANK

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No current promo; apply for one of the other OCBC Cards first.

Back-up/alternatives: DBS LiveFresh and/or UOB EVOL

UOB EVOL is a great alternate card for people who spend only $600 a month, or have overflow expenses. Throw in a DBS LiveFresh too if your spending calls for a third card. In any case, depending on the sign-up promo, you may just pick the one with the higher gift since all three cards are very close competitors (comparison here).

DBS LiveFresh

Promo code: SC388
(you may have to turn off content blockers on your browser)

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New Cardholders

  1. Apply and use promo code SC388 by 30th June 2024
  2. Charge a minimum of S$800 within the first 60 days from card approval date
  3. Get S$388 cashback!

Terms and conditions

Get 6% cashback on shopping and transport spend with minimum S$800 spend each month.

UOB EVOL

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S$350 Cash credits: 
 The first 200 new-to-UOB credit card customers in May 2024 who successfully apply for an eligible UOB Credit Card between 1 May 2024 and 31 May 2024 (both dates inclusive) and spend a min. of S$1,000 per month for 2 consecutive months from their card approval date, will receive S$350 cash credit. Click here for full terms and conditions.

Terms and conditions

Get 6.67% effective cashback on $600 of spend each month!

Back-up for bigger online spend: Citi SMRT

The newly revamped Citi SMRT Card is now an excellent card for big online purchases that no other cashback card can handle. Previously, bigger transactions were way out of reach for high-earn cashback cards, and I had to put them on mile cards which tend to have higher caps. Now I can get a handsome 5% cashback on larger expenses.

Citi SMRT

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One of the only high-earn cashback cards with no monthly cap! Gives 5% cashback on online transactions. Read the review here.

Used with GrabPay Card: UOB Absolute Cashback

The newly released UOB Absolute Cashback Card gives 1.7% cashback on Grab top-ups – a slight improvement from the previous 1.5% for Amex True Cashback. With Grab giving 6 points per dollar (equivalent to 1.2% rebate) for Platinum members, it’s a combined rebate of 2.7%.

For groceries: Citi Cash Back

I don’t spend $800 per month on groceries to hit the Citi Cash Back Card’s minimum spend, so what I do is that I would buy $800 of supermarket vouchers to spend over a few months. This gets me an unbeatable 8% cashback rate on my grocery spend.

Citi Cash Back

Please note there are different promos so select carefully:

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Citi Promo:

  • Citi PremierMiles: 30,000 miles
  • Citi Prestige: 125,000 points and more
  • Citi Rewards: 40,000 points
  • Citi Cash Back: S$300 cashback
  • Citi SMRT: S$300 cashback
  • Tap here to see Citi promos

Last day to apply: 31st July 2024


SingSaver Promo:

Choose:

  • Apple iPad 10th Gen 64GB WiFi (retailing for S$529)
  • Dyson Supersonic (retailing for S$699)
  • Sony HT-AX7 Portable Theatre System (retailing for S$769)
  • S$450 eCapitaVoucher
  • S$300 cash via PayNow

Optional – upgrade reward:

  • Top up S$999 for MacBook Air 13-inch 256GB M3
  • Top up S$1,099 for iPhone 15 Pro 128GB
  • Top up S$1,488 for Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra 512GB

Last day to apply: 2nd June 2024

New cardholders only; spend S$500 within first 30 days of card approval to qualify.
⚠️ Fill out SingSaver Rewards Redemption Form after application. No form = no reward
Terms and conditions apply

Get 8% cashback on private commute and petrol, as well as 6% on groceries and dining! Read the review here

For mortgage payment: UOB One

CardUp’s new transaction type of mortgage payments is very compelling and puts UOB One to good use.

For electronics: OCBC Titanium Rewards

OCBC Titanium Rewards’ usefulness is diminished by the Citi SMRT Card for big ticket expenses, but it’s still useful for offline purchases. It’s best used at Best Denki, awarding cashback on top of miles. 2% cashback + 4 mpd is quite hard to beat.

OCBC Rewards

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New OCBC Cardholders

Choose:

  • Get an Apple Bundle [Apple AirPods (Generation 3) with Magsafe Charging Case + MagSafe Charger] (worth S$330.50)
  • Travel Bundle [Samsonite Volant Spinner 68/25 EXP + 2x Apple AirTag] (worth S$570)
  • Hinomi H1 Classic Plus Ergonomic Office Chair with Headrest (worth S$459)
  • S$300 cash via PayNow

Charge at least S$500 within 30 days from card approval

⚠️ Fill up SingSaver rewards form in email to choose your gift. No form completed = no reward given

Last date to apply: 31st January 2024

Terms and conditions:

  1. Tap here (save a copy for your own reference)

Get 4 miles per dollar or 2.78% cash rebate on up to S$1,110 of spend on eligible categories per month.

Conclusion

Mile cards have almost completely disappeared from my list of active cards. 4 mpd isn’t terribly attractive when you can get 5-6% cashback easily now, even if you ignore the ongoing pandemic.

What’s your card strategy like? Share it with us in the comments or Telegram group.

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