Here are the Credit Cards I Use A Lot

Lots of changes and nerfs have happened over the last year, but the world of credit cards remain as rewarding as ever… as long as you use the right cards. Here are my credit cards of choice this year, most of which have dodged or survived nerfs mostly *knocks on wood*

A brief note on cashback vs miles (again)

For the benefit of those who are new to my credit card philosophy, I’m not someone beholden to either cashback or miles. If someone asks you whether you want money SGD or USD, the correct response is: “how much?”

Getting S$10 beats getting US$5, but US$5 beats S$3. This is my approach when it comes to credit card rewards – if I can get 6% cashback, 4 miles per dollar isn’t that attractive. But if something only gets me 1.5% cashback, 4 miles per dollar is a pretty decent offer. Generally, picking the larger number tends to be correct in my books to derive more value.

Check out lists of Best Cards for areas of spend

Of course, my card choices may differ from yours since we probably have very different spending habits. Check out the Best Cards to use for different situations. Don’t forget also that you can join the Telegram for discussion on credit cards and all things personal finance related.

Primary Card: UOB EVOL

UOB EVOL has so far dodged nerfs while its once-close siblings like OCBC FRANK and DBS LiveFresh have been changed drastically. While disingenuous marketing claims an 8% cashback rate, the UOB EVOL gives at best around 6.7% when used optimally.

It’s still a decently high earn rate, enough to use over 4 miles per dollar cards. The card is also simple enough to use with a relatively low minimum spend of S$600 per month, and all I need to do is to make sure that my online and Paywave transactions are roughly half of this S$600 figure each month to get a pretty good cashback rate.

Being one of the UOB One account’s cards also makes this card a must-use each month for higher interest on my savings. Giving a high cashback rate and unlocking more interest makes the value proposition of this card too high to ignore.

UOB EVOL

🔥 👍🏼

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!

Grocery Card: DBS yuu

DBS yuu was my Cashback Card of the Year for 2023, and with a super aggressive 17.5% rebate rate, it’s not hard to see why.

The card isn’t as versatile as UOB EVOL since it’s not useful for eateries, Shopee purchases or anything outside its list of yuu merchants, but I do spend enough on Singtel, Giant/Cold Storage, and foodpanda for DBS yuu to be an indispensable part of my card library. Things like Singtel bill payment and Giant/Cold Storage voucher purchases still work, so it is a very easy to use card.

Even if you don’t spend S$600 on groceries per month, you can buy S$600 worth of vouchers in a single month, get your 17.5% rebate in form of yuu points, then ration out those vouchers over the next few months.

Really not into Dairy Farm supermarkets like Giant or Cold Storage? Check out other grocery cards to use.

DBS Yuu

promo code 388CASH

🔥 👍🏼

New DBS/POSB cardholders

Get S$388 cashback¹ when you:

  • Apply for DBS yuu (either American Express or Visa) with promo code 388CASH
  • Make a min spend of S$800 within 60 days from card approval

Plus: S$30 vouchers if Team Cashback wins!

Existing DBS/POSB cardholders

Get S$60 cashback² when you:

  • Apply for for DBS yuu American Express (no promo code required)
  • Make a min spend of S$300 within 30 days from card approval

Last date to sign up: 31st May 2024

Terms and conditions (save a copy for future reference):

  1. New cardholder promo
  2. Existing cardholder

Get staggering 4.5% with no minimum spend, or 17.5% with S$600 eligible spend with a month! Staggering earn rate with few conditions required. Watch the review

Alternate Primary Cards

While UOB EVOL’s S$600 limit is usually sufficient for my monthly expenses, there are times where I fall onto 4 miles per dollar cards to soak up excess spending. The following are great for such purposes:

  • Citi Rewards (paired with Instarem Amaze)
  • UOB Preferred Platinum Visa
  • HSBC Revolution

While HSBC Revolution’s utility has diminished quite a bit with its recent nerfs, Citi Rewards with Instarem Amaze continues to be a great way to get 4 miles per dollar on most retail spend (aside from travel-related expenses). UOB Preferred Platinum Visa works pretty similarly, giving 4 miles per dollar on anywhere you can pay with contactless.

Seth
Seth

Get up to S$740 bonus vouchers or 74,000 bonus miles on top of usual welcome offers!

Subscribe to the Telegram for more great deals and updates. Prefer email/WhatsApp? Tap here.

Situational Cards: Big Expenses

Every now and then, a big expense comes along that blows past most of the monthly caps of other cards. In such a scenario, cards without monthly caps are particularly useful.

Citi SMRT card is one such option which has an annual limit of S$12,000 for its decent 5% cashback instead of a monthly cap. The requirements are pretty simple too: the transaction needs to be online, and at least S$500 needs to be spent within the month.

S$10,000 of furniture or S$3,000 laptop? Get 5% cashback as long as you buy them online.

Citi SMRT

🔥 👍🏼

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

Another option I turn to sometimes is KrisFlyer UOB credit card which is useful for miles and expenses that are even bigger than the S$12,000 cap of Citi SMRT. KrisFlyer UOB gives 3 miles per dollar on things like dining, food delivery, online shopping and travel-related expenses provided there is a minimum spend of S$800 on Singapore Airlines, Scoot or KrisShop.

There is no upper cap to this 3 miles per dollar earn rate too which is particularly useful for really large transactions. KrisFlyer UOB card is uniquely able to give its earn rate on however much I can charge to the card as long as they are online and one of the many Merchant Category Codes listed in the card’s terms and conditions. I have to be mindful to spend S$800 on Singapore Airlines or Scoot tickets, which isn’t too difficult since these are the two airlines I use the most.

KrisFlyer UOB Card

🔥 👍🏼

Get Miles

Gift for first 100 New-to-UOB Credit Card applicants who apply for KrisFlyer UOB Credit Card and spend S$2,000 in the first 60 days20,000 miles
Welcome Miles for first-time applicants5,000 miles
Miles earned with min S$2,000 spend in the first 60 days2,400 to 6,000 miles* 

TotalUp to 31,000 miles
*earn rate of 1.2 miles per dollar for local transactions and 3 miles per dollar for eligible categories

Terms and conditions:

  1. KrisFlyer UOB Credit Card

Last day to apply: 31st May 2024

Get 1.2 mpd on normal expenditure, and bonus 1.8 mpd on dining,
food delivery, online shopping and travel, and transport spend when you spend S$800 in a year with Singapore Airlines Group.

Bill Payments

Another big area of spend that I have is bill payments, and while many credit cards have excluded things like insurance, utilities, income tax payments etc. from their card rewards, there are still ways to squeeze some returns from the bills we pay.

For bills that accept American Express, I have been using UOB Absolute, but recent nerfs have brought Amex True Cashback back into relevancy again. 1.5% is better than nothing (and also better than the paltry 0.3% rate UOB Absolute will give from 6th May 2024 onwards).

American Express True Cashback

New to Amex Basic Cards

RequirementReward
New cardholder of Amex True CashbackBoosted 3% cashback on all eligible spend (except Grab-top) up to S$5,000 for the first 6 months
Fill up SingSaver Rewards Redemption Form and spend S$500 on eligible transactions within first 30 days from card approvalS$150 cash
⚠️ No form = no reward

Tap here for terms and conditions (save a copy for future reference)

Last date to apply: 4th June 2024

1.5% cashback on transactions except Grab top-ups

For other things that don’t accept American Express or even credit cards at all, I use DBS Vantage for CardUp/ipaymy, or Citi Prestige for Citi PayAll depending on which service has a good promo.

These services allow me to buy miles cheaply, and it can be a very good way to rack up lots of miles in a short period of time.

Lifestyle Cards

Finally, there are also “lifestyle cards” that I use for their perks. Such cards are used for the benefits and card features instead of their earn rates. Citi Prestige, for instance, is one of my favourite cards not because it has a high earn rate, but because it provides things like complimentary hotel nights, airport transfers, and unlimited airport lounge access.

Check out the resources I’ve compiled based on my experience using the card.

Citi Prestige

If code is required C04233289T

🔥 👍🏼

New or existing Citi Cardholders

Apply here (if you get an error message signing up as an existing cardholder, try again as a new Citi cardholder)

Get bonus 125,000 ThankYou points worth 50,000 miles (even existing cardholders of other Citi cards are eligible!):

Welcome Gift (payment of annual fee)62,500 bonus points
(25,000 miles)
S$2,000 spend in local or foreign currency within qualifying period62,500 bonus points
(25,000 miles)
Total125,000 bonus points
(50,000 miles)

For quick reference only. See terms and conditions for full details.

  1. Fee-paying Citi PayAll transactions also count towards the local spend requirement.
  2. Qualifying period is 2 months after end of card approval month (e.g. card approved on 15th March 2024 → qualifying period until 31st May 2024).
  3. Existing cardholders of other Citi cards can also enjoy this promo.

Until 31st May 2024

⚠️ For new to Citi customers: I encourage you to apply for one of the other Citi Cards first before getting Citi Prestige. This way you enjoy both promos.

Complimentary hotel nights, unlimited lounge access, and limousine service. Annual requirement of S$120,000 (fairly flexible and up to the bank’s discretion). Read the review here and an analysis if the promo is worth it

Another card I’ve been keeping for the benefits would be Amex Platinum Charge. The card comes with a laundry list of features, and I think the accelerated status match to Hilton’s gold tier is one of the more notable ones. That gets me free breakfast at Hilton’s properties and I don’t have to climb their loyalty programme for it.

Of course, I also get a bunch of statement credits and those signing up get a nice sign-up bonus on top of the card perks. These can greatly offset the price of admission which is the S$1,744 annual fee.

American Express Platinum Charge Card

Annual Fee: S$1,744 (inclusive of 9% GST)

Please fill in this form after application to track promo

Promo from American Express

Receive up to 140,000 Membership Rewards® points (87,500 miles) for new American Express cardholders. Up to 92,500 points for existing American Express cardholders.

ActivityReward
Compulsory annual fee of S$1,72840,000 Membership Rewards® points
S$5,000 spending in first 3 months of Card Membership5,000 Membership Rewards® points
S$6,000 spending within first 2 months of Card approvalNew to Amex: 87,500 Membership Rewards® points 

Existing Amex Cardholder: 40,000 Membership Rewards®points 
Base earn rate on S$6,000 spent7,500 Membership Rewards® 
TotalNew to Amex: 140,000 points (87,500 miles)

Existing Amex Cardholder: 92,500 points (57,812 miles)
⚠️ Holding period of at least 6 months from card approval or fees equivalent to the points credited will be charged.

Receive statement credits per calendar year:

  • S$200 local dining credits (participating outlets)
  • S$200 overseas dining credits (participating outlets)
  • S$400 lifestyle credits (participating outlets)
  • S$204 entertainment credits (Netflix, Disney+, Straits Times etc.)
  • S$200 airline credits (Singapore Airlines or Scoot)
  • S$150 fashion credits (Mr Porter and NET-A-PORTER)

Apply card in 2024, get one set of statement credits in 2024 and another in 2025!

More benefits:

  • One complimentary night’s stay at selected properties
  • Enjoy complimentary access to more than 1,400 airport lounges across 650 cities and 140+ countries for you, your one Supplementary Member and one guest each.
  • Special rates and pleasant surprises worth S$800 when you stay at over 1,300 properties worldwide that are part of FINE HOTELS & RESORTS.
  • Complimentary upgrades to hotel loyalty programmes.
  • Access to the elite, members-only Tower Club Singapore.

Terms and conditions

Enter a world of warmer welcomes, richer experiences and special treatments.

There are too many things to go through for this card and the last time I did so was more than a year ago, so stay subscribed for a more updated version coming soon.

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