How Miles & Points Cards Can Get You Better Cashback

After antagonising many miles card users, I’m now calling on cashback card users to stop using only cashback cards! This is even if you have no intention of ever collecting miles.

Points/miles can be worth a lot more than cashback

If given a choice between Singaporean dollars and Malaysian ringgit, which would you choose?

The instinctive response would probably be to pick SGD, because that’s the currency we use and it’s also worth more. The answer would obviously be very different if we added more details to the question: would you rather have $1 SGD or 20 MYR?

The same logic can be applied to miles, points, and cashback. Between 10X points, 4 miles, and 3% cashback, what exactly should we pick? To elucidate this matter, I have compiled a list of various bank points that show their worth in miles, cash rebate, and even value in vouchers. I have also made a list of popular points cards and their earn rates so that it’s easier to see which card can earn you more rewards.

Points/miles cards can earn more rewards in many situation

High-earn points/miles cards tend to earn more than high-earn cashback cards in quite a few scenarios. Buying expensive laptops, for instance, is something that cashback cards do poorly at. OCBC Titanium Rewards, a card commonly associated with miles, can give you its full earn rate on big electronics expenses.

With 10X OCBC$, you could redeem 4 miles as what most mile chasers would do, but you can also redeem them for cash rebate which amounts to 2.78%. It’s not the worst rate considering how you might otherwise use a 1.5% cashback card on a $3,000 laptop. You could also redeem the 10X points for 3.7 cents of vouchers which is substantially better than the cash rebate rate.

Other cards like DBS Altitude and DBS Woman’s World Mastercard also do great with travel-related expenses which cashback cards are pretty poor at handling.

A points card like CapitaCard can even get you 11.5% rebate for spending at CapitaLand malls. This is way above what any cashback card can offer.

Points/miles cards usually don’t have minimum spend

The miles game can be quite hassle, but point cards can be easier to use than cashback cards because there is no minimum spend to track. Most high-earn cashback cards come with some sort of minimum spend, and the popular ones like OCBC FRANK and UOB EVOL make it more challenging because you need to split your spending between contactless and online transactions.

A card like HSBC Revolution doesn’t require such a distinction, nor does it require a minimum amount of spend per month, making it perfect for people who don’t wish to track the monthly spend on their card.

Amex
CapitaCard

New to Amex

Receive up to 150,000 STAR$® (worth S$150 eCapitaVouchers) when you make a min. spend of S$1,500 within the first 3 months of card approval. T&Cs apply.

HSBC Revolution

🔥 👍🏼

New HSBC Cardholders

From 5PM 17th May 2024, first 500 get to choose:

  • PlayStation 5 Disc Version (worth S$799)
  • Dyson Airwrap (retailing S$859)
  • S$500 eCapitaVouchers

Spend S$500 in eligible spend by the end of following month from card approval (e.g. approval in May, make spend by end June)

501 onwards:

  • Dyson Supersonic™ hair dryer (worth S$699)
  • Apple iPad 9th 10.2″ WiFi 64GB (worth S$508.30)
  • S$350 eCapitaVouchers
  • 21K Max Miles (sign up heymax account for bonus 1,000 miles)

Spend S$500 in eligible spend by the end of following month from card approval (e.g. approval in May, make spend by end June)

Optional:

  • S$200 top up – Sony HT-AX7 Portable Theatre System (retailing S$769)
  • S$200 top up – Xiaomi Robot Vacuum X20 (retailing S$699)
  • S$1,099 top up – Apple Macbook Air M3 13″ 256GB (retailing S$1,599)
  • S$1,099 top up – Apple iPhone 15 Pro 128GB (retailing S$1,664.25)

Existing HSBC Cardholder²

  • S$50 cashback (with S$1,000 min spend)

⚠️ Important – complete all the following steps to be eligible for rewards:

  1. Provide HSBC consent to receive marketing/promotional materials during application
  2. Fill up SingSaver gift redemption form
  3. Make a min. spend of S$500 by the end of the following month from card approval date to be eligible for rewards

Last date to apply: 2nd June 2024

For quick reference only; refer to terms and conditions for exact terms and save a copy for future reference:

  1. Terms and conditions
  2. Terms and conditions (existing cardholder)

Get 10X points on eligible Paywave and online transactions. Annual fee waived for life. Tap here for the review

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