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

New cardholders
First 300 gets S$50 cashback

Existing cardholders
First 300 gets S$30 cashback

Until 30th April 2022. See terms and conditions

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

  • 5% cashback

New to bank
Click Apply to see the bank’s latest promo.

UOB EVOL

🔥 👍🏼

New to bank

Gift A: S$150 cash credit for signing up card

Gift B: S$80 for customers new to UOB bank; or
S$60 for customers new to UOB deposit accounts; or S$30 for existing UOB deposit customers

Gift C: S$50

Total: Gifts A + B + C = up to S$280!

Terms and Conditions

Gift A: successfully apply for a UOB personal credit card in the month of July 2022 and spend a min. of S$1,500 within 30 days from card approval date on their new UOB credit card. Card exclusions apply. Tap here for full terms and conditions.

Gift B:

  1. Successfully open a new Eligible UOB Account online from 1 May 2022 to 31 July 2022, and
  2. Deposit at least S$5,000 into their new UOB account within the account opening month and hold it till the end of the following calendar month.
  3. S$5,000 must be fresh funds for existing customers
  4. Tap here for full terms and conditions

Gift C:

  1. successfully submitted an online participation form here; and
  2. successfully credit monthly salary (of at least S$1,600) into an Eligible UOB Account+ via GIRO within two calendar months from the date of submission of the participation formd

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.

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

🔥 👍🏼

New to bank*

Click here to see Citi promos

  • Up to 30,000 miles, 120,000 points and more

Or choose Singsaver’s promos:

  1. Apple iPad 9th Gen (worth S$499) or
  2. ErgoTune Supreme V3 (worth S$850) or
  3. Apple Watch SE 2nd Gen (worth S$379) or
  4. S$350 Cash

Until 2nd October 2022

*Minimum spend of S$500 within 30 days of card approval. Terms and conditions apply

Sign-up Process

  1. Apply with the link
  2. Important: find SingSaver email and fill in redemption form after application
  3. Fulfil requirements as stated in terms and conditions

Credit card terms and conditions
Banking account terms and conditions
Priority banking terms and conditions

Get 8% cashback on groceries and petrol, as well as 6% on 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
Titanium Rewards

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.

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

Subscribe to the channel, then join the group chat. You would often benefit from the tips exclusively shared in the group chat!

Disclaimer: I may receive an affiliate/referral fee when you sign up for services/products on this site, and such fees keep the site running. I would only recommend services/products I would personally use or recommend to my own friends and family, but I do not provide any warranty or guarantee for the quality of these services/products. Please exercise due diligence when signing up for any service/product as I will not be liable for any personal loss, financial or otherwise. None of the information here constitutes personal financial advice. Thank you for supporting my site!

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: