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 $3,000 laptop. You could also redeem the 10X points for 3.7 cents of vouchers which is substantially better than the cash rebate rate.
Other cards like DBS Altitude and DBS Woman’s World Mastercard also do great with travel-related expenses which cashback cards are pretty poor at handling.
A points card like CapitaCard can even get you 11.5% rebate for spending at CapitaLand malls. This is way above what any cashback card can offer.
Points/miles cards usually don’t have minimum spend
The miles game can be quite hassle, but point cards can be easier to use than cashback cards because there is no minimum spend to track. Most high-earn cashback cards come with some sort of minimum spend, and the popular ones like OCBC FRANK and UOB EVOL make it more challenging because you need to split your spending between contactless and online transactions.
A card like HSBC Revolution doesn’t require such a distinction, nor does it require a minimum amount of spend per month, making it perfect for people who don’t wish to track the monthly spend on their card.
New to Amex
Receive up to 150,000 STAR$® (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.
New to bank
S$30* + S$30^ = $60 cashback
*Sign up using SingPass MyInfo
^Minimum spend of $500 before end of following month from application
Valid until 31st July 2022
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