My Credit Card Strategy For 2023

Now that it’s done and over, we can safely say that 2022 wasn’t a great year for cashback cards. Popular cashback card OCBC FRANK was nerfed to near-uselessness, once-great cashback card UOB One also received multiple cuts, and GrabPay of course has been gutted and continues to see nerfs even as recent as this week.

In my opinion, miles are becoming increasingly relevant again as we head into a post-Covid world for travel. Tourism seems to be as close to what we remember it to be pre-pandemic, and I’m looking forward to more travels this year.

It is hence time to update my card strategy for the new year.

Strategy: team value

People familiar with my site/YouTube will know that I’m a proud member of Team Value who picks whichever card that gives better value rather than just sticking with cashback or miles. This strategy continues this year, and I will often pick the larger number when it comes to deciding between cashback or miles.

For instance, in a toss-up between 6% cashback and 4 miles per dollar, the 6% cashback card is going to win. Lower the cashback to around 3% and the 4 miles per dollar card would now win. This is based on my personal valuation that each mile is worth around 1 to 1.25 cents each.

Primary card

My primary card remains the UOB EVOL which gives an effective cashback rate of 6.67% for spends on Paywave or online transactions. This earn rate is very difficult to turn down, especially given the relatively easy conditions. It is even an eligible card for the UOB One account, and this combination is hard to beat if you want high cashback on your spend and good interest rates for your savings.

UOB EVOL

🔥 👍🏼

Get Apple Watch SE 2nd Gen worth S$382* when you sign up now!

Be the first 50 new-to-UOB Credit Cardmembers in the month to sign up and meet a min. monthly spend of S$800 within the first 2 months. 

All you need to do is to register for this promotion via an SMS to 77862 before 30 Jun 2023: SMS EVOLGIFT‹space› last 4 alpha-numeric characters of NRIC/passport (eg. EVOLGIFT 123A)

What’s more, enjoy up to S$140 cash credit# when you apply for a UOB One Account.
T&Cs apply.

Terms and conditions

Get 6.67% effective cashback on $600 of spend each month!

I have considered the Maybank Family and Friends which gives an excellent 8% cashback rate on selected categories, but it is a little bit more work for me compared to UOB EVOL’s conditions, so I’m sticking with my primary card for now.

Card for groceries

While it is a primary area of spend, grocery spends are best placed on the Citi Cash Back Card which gives 8% cashback. It also gives its high 8% rate on petrol, and 6% on dining, but the card is particularly easy for groceries since you can just make the minimum spend of S$800 on vouchers. I recommend going S$875 or S$1,000 of spend a month due to the way Citi credits cashback for this card (read the review for more details).

If you choose Maybank Family and Friends card as your primary card, it could also subsume the grocery spend portion.

Citi Cash Back

Please note there are two different promos and select carefully:

🔥 👍🏼

Citi Promo:

  • Citi PremierMiles: 30,000 miles
  • Citi Prestige: 120,000 points and more
  • Citi Rewards: 40,000 points
  • Citi Cash Back: S$300 cashback
  • Citi SMRT: S$300 cashback
  • Tap here to see Citi promos

Until 30th June 2023


Get 8% cashback on groceries and petrol, as well as 6% on dining! Read the review here

Secondary card for excess spending

On some months where my spending exceeds the maximum cashback limits of the UOB EVOL, I turn to 4 miles per dollar cards to soak up such excess expenditure.

The cards available are UOB Preferred Platinum, HSBC Revolution, or Citi Rewards paired with Instarem Amaze card. They all have some quirks and things to look out for (which I’ll cover in a separate piece), but each works generally well with both Paywave or online transactions with no minimum spend to worry about.

Citi Rewards

Please note there are two different promos and select carefully:

🔥 👍🏼

Citi Promo:

  • Citi PremierMiles: 30,000 miles
  • Citi Prestige: 120,000 points and more
  • Citi Rewards: 40,000 points
  • Citi Cash Back: S$300 cashback
  • Citi SMRT: S$300 cashback
  • Tap here to see Citi promos

Until 30th June 2023


Get 10X ThankYou Points (4 mpd or 2.27% cashback) on online and shopping transactions. Read the review here

HSBC Revolution

🔥 👍🏼

New HSBC Cardholder
Choose:

  • Receive a Samsonite Prestige 69cm Spinner Exp with built-in scale (worth S$670)¹ or
  • S$150 cashback¹
  • Bonus S$30 cash² (for HSBC Revolution)

Existing HSBC Cardholder
Existing cardmembers receive S$50 cashback² instead

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

  1. Provide HSBC consent to receive marketing/promotional materials during application
  2. Submit SingSaver Rewards Redemption Form in email
  3. For HSBC Revolution: email your card approval email to info@singsaver.com.sg
  4. Make a min spend of S$1,000 by end of the following calendar month from the card account opening to be eligible for the reward

Valid till 31st May 2023

For quick reference only; refer to terms and conditions for exact terms:

  1. HSBC terms and conditions
  2. SingSaver terms and conditions

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

Cards for bigger spends

When I need to spend on bigger expenses, say a new phone or laptop, the UOB Preferred Platinum, HSBC Revolution, and Citi Rewards aren’t as suitable because they are only good for around S$1,000 of spend within a month.

I turn to DBS Woman’s World Mastercard instead for bigger online transactions up to S$2,000 within the month for 4 miles per dollar. The UOB Visa Signature also gives 4 miles per dollar for S$2,000 a month for contactless Paywave transactions.

DBS Woman’s World Mastercard

Promo code: 150CASH

👍🏼

New to bank

  1. Apply and use promo code 150CASH by 30th June 2023
  2. Charge a minimum of S$800 within the first 60 days from card approval date
  3. Get S$150 cashback!

Consider the DBS Yuu Card as your first DBS card for a better promo

Get 4 miles per dollar on online transactions. Men can apply too! Tap here for review

Cards for even bigger spends

If the spending gets even larger, there are more cards to consider such as the OCBC Titanium Rewards which gives 4 miles per dollar on mostly electronics and furniture shops, and the Citi SMRT which gives a decent 5% cashback on most online spend. Instead of a monthly limit, both cards have an annual limit (S$13,330 for OCBC Titanium Rewards, S$12,000 for Citi SMRT) for their high earn rate which can be used entirely within a single month if you wish.

Citi SMRT

🔥 👍🏼

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

Lifestyle card

The final card on my list is technically a miles card, but given its poor earn rate of 1.3 miles per dollar, I will almost never use it for my spending. The Citi Prestige card is used more for its perks and benefits, such as getting the fourth night hotel free, and unlimited lounge access for the cardholder and one guest.

Combined with PayAll promos and getting free limousine rides, the Citi Prestige card is a great one to have for my travels in 2023.

Citi Prestige

Use code C04233289T

🔥 👍🏼

New or existing Citi Cardholders

Apply here with code C04233289T (if you get an error message signing up as an existing cardholder, try again as a new Citi cardholder)

Get 120,000 ThankYou points (48,000 miles) with payment of annual fee of S$540 and making minimum spend of S$800 within first 2 months.

Terms and conditions

Until 30th June 2023

⚠️ 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

Great deals

Last updated: 21st May 2023

🔥 Great deal
💳 Sign-up gifts for existing bank customers

CardsRewardsEndingRemarksReward Provider
🔥Amex CardsUp to 21,500 miles for KrisFlyer cards.
93,750 points for Amex Platinum Charge
31st May 2023Amex or SingSaver
🔥Citi CardsFree iPad! Or choice of other gadgets or cash31st May 2023Citi
🔥💳Citi PrestigeGet 48,000 miles, even for existing Citi cardholders31st May 2023Works even for existing Citi cardholders. Great deal offsets annual fees; useful features. Read this for promo analysisCiti
🆕DCS CardsGet a pair of luggage!30th June 2023DCS
🔥OCBC CardsFree Samsonite 28” luggage or S$250 in cashback​31st May 2023
🔥Maybank CardsS$200 cashback, suitcases, or AirPodsOngoingMaybank
🔥
💳
DBS CardsDBS Yuu Card: $350!

DBS Taka Card: $300 cashback!!

DBS Altitude: up to 37,000 miles
6th June 2023Many DBS promos work even for existing DBS cardholders!DBS
🔥CIMB CardsS$280 cash21st May 2023SingSaver
🔥StanChartStanChart Smart: S$270 cashback
with no minimum spend!

StanChart Journey: 45,000 miles + S$20 cash + ReboundTag
31st May 2023Stack with Bonus$aver Account for double rewardStanChart or SingSaver
🔥💳HSBC CardsHSBC Revolution: Samsonite suitcase worth S$670 or
S$150 cashback + S$30


HSBC TravelOne: 20,000 miles
31st May 2023TravelOne promo works for existing HSBC cardholders too!HSBC
UOB CardsBank offerOngoingUOB
🔥Kris+$5
Multiple promos happening in-app
OngoingWallet app; no income requirementDirect
Big PayS$5 cashbackOngoingWallet app; no income requirementDirect
YouTripS$5OngoingWallet app; no income requirementDirect
🔥Instarem Amaze1,000 points (S$10)10th June 2023Direct
For quick reference only. Please check respective terms and conditions for full details.

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Please exercise due diligence when signing up for any service/product as I will not be liable for any personal loss, financial or otherwise. Content published here are my sole views and personal opnion, and none of the information here constitutes personal financial advice nor represents the views of my employer(s).

1 thought on “My Credit Card Strategy For 2023

  1. Thanks for this — a good insight.
    A follow up question, since we can’t do paynow qr on axs with grab anymore, what are the available options to earn some miles or cashback from credit card bills payment?

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