One of the long-standing ways to meet spending requirements of credit cards is to buy vouchers from a supermarket. When checked out at the cashier, all the credit card knows is that the merchant category code (MCC) is 5411 or that of groceries.
This works for excellent cashback cards like the Citi Cash Back where one could just buy S$800 to S$1,000 of supermarket vouchers, get the high 8% cashback on the spend, and use the vouchers over however long it takes for you to spend that amount on groceries.
New DBS/POSB cardholders
Get S$388 cashback¹ when you:
- Apply for DBS yuu (either American Express or Visa) with promo code
- Make a min spend of S$800 within 60 days from card approval
Existing DBS/POSB cardholders
Get S$60 cashback¹ when you:
- Apply for for DBS yuu American Express
- Make a min spend of S$300 within 30 days from card approval
- Sign up before 31st May 2024. Terms and conditions (save a copy for your own reference)
Does DBS yuu know exactly what you are buying?
DBS yuu Card, however, comes with a worrying exclusion that specifically targets voucher purchases.
Some theorise that the card is deeply integrated with payment terminals of the yuu merchants and hence can see what exactly is purchased, making it easy for the bank to exclude such spend from card rewards and spend requirements.
This may well be true, but my theory is that DBS simply copied the terms and conditions of the yuu app instead, but does not actually differentiate between voucher and non-voucher spend. At least , itdoes not exclude voucher spend from the yuu’s base earn rate from what I have gathered.
I did a little experiment by buying some groceries at CS Fresh that came up to S$45.55 and asked the nice cashier for a S$10 voucher.
She asked me whether I wanted to separate the transactions, and I said yes at first, but she then suggested lumping them together because “put together then got points”. My initial impression was that she knew a bit more about the whole system than I did, so I took her advice.
Instantly, I got 45.55 points from the yuu app for my S$55.55 transaction with the voucher spend getting zero points. This was entirely expected, aside from the fact I thought the cashier knew that layering a voucher into a transaction with other groceries would magically render it eligible for points from the yuu app.
A few days later, the yuu app informed me that 499.95 points were in from my DBS yuu card – exactly the points you’d expect for a S$55.55 spend, inclusive of the S$10 voucher.
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What we know pretty conclusively now:
- yuu app does not give points for voucher purchases
- DBS yuu Card gives 9X points (4.5% rebate) for voucher purchases if you include other items in a single transaction
What we don’t know for sure (update: after months of using the card, we now know that the answer is yes to each of the questions below):
- Does DBS yuu Card award 9X points (4.5% rebate) for standalone voucher purchases?
- Does DBS yuu Card count vouchers into the S$600 minimum spend for 26X points (17.5% rebate)
- Does DBS yuu Card count vouchers into the minimum spend required for sign-up bonus?
- Does DBS yuu Card award 26X points for voucher purchases when the minimum spend of S$600 is reached?
Number 1 is pretty easy to find out; just buy a small voucher and wait a couple of days. I expect some helpful people from the Telegram group to find out – especially from the various yuu merchants – and share results. Even if this doesn’t work, buying a candybar or two along your voucher purchase hardly seems like a difficult thing to do
Number 2 is a little bit uncertain, but I’m going to say that it does, seeing as to how even non-yuu spend that gets 1X points (0.5% rebate) counts, I don’t see why a transaction that gets 9X points should be excluded.
Number 3 is quite a bit similar to Number 2, and again I’m guessing that it does since it gives 9X points. I imagine the way to figure this out would be to make a small voucher purchase, and check with DBS whether the spend counts towards the sign-up bonus minimum spending.
From personal experience, DBS customer service officers are usually helpful and know their stuff – a rarity when it comes to bank service in Singapore.
Finally, Number 4 should be a yes, and this is again based on the fact that voucher purchase does get the higher 9X points and counts as a yuu merchant spend. We won’t know for sure until someone who has made voucher spend reports back in the group chat 2 months later when the extra 26X points are given.
Number 4 would of course drastically improve the value proposition of the DBS yuu Card for those who don’t spend S$600 a month, making it a card you can just buy S$600 worth of vouchers at a go and get rid of the hassle of tracking minimum spends for the card.
The yuu app does not give points on voucher purchases.
The DBS yuu Card gives 9X points (4.5% rebate) for voucher purchase if bought with other items.
We are not sure whether they count towards the monthly S$600 minimum spending required for DBS yuu Card’s bonus 26X points (13% rebate) or the spend requirement for the sign-up bonus.
Stay tuned to the Telegram for more exciting yuu updates.
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