High-earn Cards For Big Expenses

Have big expenses coming up? Here are some cards that allow you to earn a good rate significantly more than 1.5% or 1.4 mpd. Big is subjective of course, and we’re looking at anywhere up to $12,000 per transaction for this article.

5% on up to $12,000 online spend a year

The Citi SMRT Card gets a perfect 10/10 score from me for being the only cashback card able to handle a huge transaction without running into a monthly cap. Instead, it has an annual cap of $12,000, which means it can support a single large transaction of up to $12,000 at one shot (depending how much of your annual cap you have used).

The only requirement you need is that this transaction must be online (aside from travel-related and other excluded expenses). Given how you can buy just about anything online, the Citi SMRT Card is really easy to use whether you want to buy furniture for a home remodel, jewelry for the significant other, or electronics to upgrade your work-from-home setup.

Max: $12,000 (a year)
Min: $500 accumulated spend in a month

New to Citi cards
I recommend that you up for one of the other Citi cards first for the sign-up reward, then apply for this card.


Score easy $35 with Singlife Grow. No lock-in period and you can withdraw anytime without penalty!

4 mpd (or 2.78% cashback, 3.70% rebate in voucher) on electronics and popular retailers

OCBC Titanium Rewards is my go-to card for electronics because of its lack of a monthly cap. Like the Citi SMRT Card, it has an annual cap of $12,000 and can well support large transactions. On top of that, you can even apply for the blue and pink versions of this card to double that annual cap to $24,000.

It gives 50 OCBC$ per $5 spent on eligible categories – and this includes electronics, departmental stores, clothing, and various popular retailers like Qoo10, Lazada, IKEA etc. It’s not as easy to remember as “online” like Citi SMRT Card, but it does have the advantage of working with offline purchases too.

The earn rate translates into 4 miles per dollar, or 2.78% if you redeem the OCCB$ for cashback, or 3.70% if you opt to redeem your OCBC$ for vouchers. It even gives extra 2% cash rebate on Best Denki purchases, which results in a very sweet deal if you can find what you want at a decent price.

Max: $12,000 (a year, +$12,000 if you get a second card)
Min: $5 per transaction

Titanium Rewards

1.5% / 1.7% cashback + 1.2% Grab points

A “trick” that is repeated for the sake of the uninitiated, you can top up your Grab wallet with either the Amex True Cashback Card or the UOB Absolute Cashback Card, then spend using your GrabPay Mastercard. This gives you 1.5% (Amex True Cashback) or 1.7% (UOB Absolute) on amounts that you top up If you don’t have a card with Amex and/or UOB, the sign-up perks will also push your cashback yield up significantly for the first $5,000 on Amex True Cashback, and first $3,000 on the UOB Absolute Card.

When you spend with the GrabPay Card, you further get up to 6 Grab points per dollar, and at 0.2 cents each, that represents at least 1.2% rebate. The value of Grab points goes up when there are redemption promos, and it very recently more than doubled when redeemed efficiently.

Take note that you should make your large transaction only when you have reached Grab’s Platinum membership, something which is fairly easy to achieve if you use your GrabPay Card for a few hundred dollars of spend. Making a $5,000 transaction when you’re a silver member only gets you 3 points per dollar on the whole transaction.

Due to the nature of the GrabWallet, you can only pay up to $5,000 per transaction. There is also a rolling $10,000 monthly limit.

Max: $5,000 per transaction, $10,000 per rolling month
Min: None

True Cashback

See this for more info.

Absolute Cashback

New customers

  • $30 via PayNow
  • Enjoy a bonus 3.3% cashback on your first spend of S$3,000 (total 5% cashback)
    Bonus cashback capped at S$99 on first spend of S$3,000

Valid till 30th September 2021

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