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.

Seth
Seth

🔥 Final day for S$200 welcome offer for Amex True Cashback; becomes S$150 from 22nd April onwards

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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

🔥 👍🏼

S$350 Cash credits: 
The first 200 new-to-UOB credit card customers who successfully apply for an eligible UOB Credit Card between 1st April 2024 and 31st April 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.

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 different promos so select carefully:

🔥 👍🏼

Citi Promo:

  • Citi PremierMiles: 30,000 miles
  • Citi Prestige: 125,000 points and more
  • Citi Rewards: 40,000 points
  • Citi Cash Back: S$300 cashback + S$50 FRx voucher
  • Citi SMRT: S$300 cashback
  • Tap here to see Citi promos

Last day to apply: 30th April 2024


SingSaver Promo:

First 500 eligible applications from 9AM 9th April 2024, choose:

  • PS5 Slim (Disc Edition, retailing for S$799)
  • Dyson Airwrap(retailing for S$859)
  • S$500 in eCapitaVouchers!

501st eligible applications onwards, choose:

  • Apple iPad 9th Gen 10.2 Wifi 64GB (worth S$508.30)
  • Dyson Supersonic (worth S$699)
  • Dyson V8 Slim Fluffy (worth S$509)
  • S$400 eCapitaVoucher
  • S$300 cash via PayNow

Last day to apply: 30th April 2024
⚠️ Fill out SingSaver Rewards Redemption Form after application. No form = no reward
Terms and conditions apply

Get 8% cashback on private commute and petrol, as well as 6% on groceries and 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 different promos so select carefully:

🔥 👍🏼

Citi Promo:

  • Citi PremierMiles: 30,000 miles
  • Citi Prestige: 125,000 points and more
  • Citi Rewards: 40,000 points
  • Citi Cash Back: S$300 cashback + S$50 FRx voucher
  • Citi SMRT: S$300 cashback
  • Tap here to see Citi promos

Last day to apply: 30th April 2024


SingSaver Promo:

First 500 eligible applications from 9AM 9th April 2024, choose:

  • PS5 Slim (Disc Edition, retailing for S$799)
  • Dyson Airwrap(retailing for S$859)
  • S$500 in eCapitaVouchers!

501st eligible applications onwards, choose:

  • Apple iPad 9th Gen 10.2 Wifi 64GB (worth S$508.30)
  • Dyson Supersonic (worth S$699)
  • Dyson V8 Slim Fluffy (worth S$509)
  • S$400 eCapitaVoucher
  • S$300 cash via PayNow

Last day to apply: 30th April 2024
⚠️ Fill out SingSaver Rewards Redemption Form after application. No form = no reward
Terms and conditions apply

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

HSBC Revolution

🔥 👍🏼

New HSBC Cardholder¹
Choose:

  • Dyson AM07 (retailing S$459)
  • Apple Airpods (3rd Gen) With Magsafe Charging Case (retailing S$274)
  • S$250 eCapitaVoucher
  • 15K Heymax Miles (sign up heymax account for bonus 1,000 miles)

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: 14th May 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

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 31st January 2024
  2. Charge a minimum of S$800 within the first 60 days from card approval date
  3. Get S$150 cashback!

Consider the DBS LiveFresh or POSB Everyday 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

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

Great deals

Last updated: 15th April 2024

Super Upsized Reward: fastest 10 applicants at each time slot of 12PM, 3PM, or 6PM get upgraded gift of iPad or iPhone! Tap here for details; from 13th to 18th March 2024

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

CardsRewardsEndingRemarksReward Provider
🔥Citi CardsGet miles or S$300 cashback! Or choose between gadgets or S$400 eCapitaVoucher
30th April 2024Citi or SingSaver
🔥💳Citi PrestigeGet 50,000 miles, even for existing Citi cardholders31st May 2024Works even for existing Citi cardholders. Great deal offsets annual fees; useful features.Citi
🔥Maybank CardsS$200 cashback, suitcases, AirPods, or 10,000 milesOngoingMaybank
🔥
💳
DBS CardsDBS yuu: $388 cashback

DBS Vantage: 85,000 bonus miles

DBS Altitude: 43,400 bonus miles 

DBS Takashimaya:
S$150 cashback
30th April 2024Many DBS promos work even for existing DBS cardholders!DBS
CIMB CardsS$280 cash via PayNow30th April 2024SingSaver
🔥StanChartStanChart Simply Cash: get up to S$420 or iPad + S$90 eCapitaVouchers!

StanChart Journey: 45,000 miles + S$120 cash / Dyson Fan + up to S$40 bonus eCapitaVoucher
30th April 2024StanChart + SingSaver
🔥💳HSBC CardsS$350 eCapitaVoucher or gadgets14th May 2024Existing HSBC cardholders get some rewards too!HSBC
🔥UOB CardsUp to 31,000 Miles!30th April 2024UOB
Amex CardsAmex True Cashback: S$200!

Amex Platinum Charge: up to 140,000 points
21st April 2024Amex/SingSaver
🔥Kris+$5
Multiple promos happening in-app
OngoingWallet app with great promos and extra rewards
No income requirement
Direct
Big PayS$5 cashbackOngoingWallet app; no income requirementDirect
iChangeS$5OngoingMulti-currency wallet app
No income requirement
YouTripS$5OngoingMulti-currency wallet app
No income requirement
Direct
🔥Instarem Amaze325 points (S$3.25)OngoingDirect
For quick reference only. Please check respective terms and conditions for full details.

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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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