Guide: Finding the Best Credit Card to Use Per Transaction

If you want high rewards from your credit cards, you need to know what card to use for each of your transaction. However, this can be challenging since there is quite a bit of knowledge required, and people tend to give up and use a subpar card with mediocre rewards.

Fortunately, there are some good ways to finding the best credit card to use for your spending, and it doesn’t require a degree in rocket science.

Minstant

I’ve written about Minstant before and those who have signed up for the beta would be able to use this app to figure out what is the best app to use.

Minstant is incredibly nifty as it not only tells you what card to use, it also states the requirements of each card and even reminds users to stack their credit rewards with other rewards programmes like Kris+ to truly optimise their spending.

The app will launch in a bit, so subscribe to be the first to get updated when Minstant launches!

Seth
Seth

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heymax.ai

heymax.ai is another useful tool in the game of credit card rewards. It’s a website you can use to search for different merchants, and it also lists the different cards you can use to maximise your rewards.

The website also exposes the Merchant Category Code (MCC) so you can check your credit card’s terms and conditions to make sure that it’s a suitable transaction for your card rewards.

Crowdsourced data from Telegram

Not all transactions can be found on Minstant/heymax, and some of the data might even be inaccurate or out of date. Checking with fellow credit card enthusiasts in the Telegram chat group is one good way to tap on the experiences of others.

Artificial intelligence may be all the rage now, but good ol’ fashioned human interaction is still around. Ask for card recommendations for your spend, but please do a search first. If you can’t find any past discussion, do provide details in the following format so that people can better advise you.

  1. Merchant Name
  2. Amount
  3. Type of Transaction (online/contactless)
  4. Can transaction be split?

Guides I’ve writtten

I’ve compiled a few lists on the best cards to use for different types of transactions. Some are more up to date and others, but again that is where the Telegram group comes in handy.

DBS Card Method

While it may be more time-consuming, the DBS card method offers a reliable way to identify a transaction’s MCC accurately. Here’s how it works:

  1. Charge a small transaction to your DBS card
  2. Wait a few days for the transaction to go from pending to unbilled transactions
  3. Log in to your iBanking account on a browser / mobile app
  4. Click on “Digibot” at the bottom right corner of the screen of browser / help screen in mobile app
  5. Tap “Check my Recent Transactions”→ Credit Cards → Select the card you used
  6. Under “Unbilled Transactions,” locate the transaction with a description.
  7. Match the description with a list of known MCCs.

For instance, if you attempted to charge your card at a telecommunications service like Singtel, the description would read “Telecommunication Services.” By cross-referencing this description with the MCC code list, you can accurately determine the MCC as 4812.

Though it takes a long time, this method ensures precise information, making it useful when you have more substantial transactions you cannot afford to lose rewards on.

Instarem Amaze method

It is similar to DBS method, but this is perhaps a lot easier to accomplish.

As of October 2023, Instarem Amaze started to reveal MCCs of transactions so you can easily check what MCC the merchant is coded under.

To use Amaze as a tool to check the MCC of a particular transaction, you would want your first transaction to fail first so you can check the app for the MCC before selecting the right card to perform the transaction. 

In order to make the transaction fail, you can do one of the following:

  1. Lock your Instarem card
  2. Lock the credit card set as the linked card in Instarem app
  3. Switch your Instarem payment method to Amaze Wallet with S$0 balance

Once you are sure that the transaction will not pass through successfully, you can then charge the transaction to your Amaze card. Thereafter, tap the transaction within the app to see its MCC.

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