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

🔥 👍🏼

New to bank

Welcome Gift:Get $300 cash credit if you are the first 100 new-to-UOB Credit Cardmember and make a min. spend of S$1,000 for 2 consecutive 30 day periods from Card Approval date. Valid till 31 Jan 2023. T&Cs apply.

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

🔥 👍🏼

Choose to get Citi Promo:


Or, choose Singsaver Promo:

  • Receive a Dyson Supersonic (worth S$649)
  • Nintendo Switch OLED (worth S$549)
  • Apple AirPods Pro 2nd Gen + MagSafe Charger bundle (worth S$421.90) or 
  • S$350 cash 

Until 14th February 2023

Terms and Conditions

  • Promotion valid only for new card members
  • Verification of reward eligibility can take 120 days
  • All cardholders will need to activate and spend a minimum S$500 within 30 days of card approval to be eligible for the sign up gifts
  • Successful applicants must ensure that their credit card is valid and in good standing (not cancelled or blocked) at the point of gift fulfilment, and must retain and not cancel it for a period of 12 months from the date of approval
  • Reward may be retracted or cancelled if the card is cancelled before this 12-month period
  • No promotion for existing card members
  • Terms and Conditions apply (download a copy for your future reference)

Sign-up Process

  1. Apply with the link
  2. Important: find SingSaver email and fill in redemption form after application; no form no reward
  3. Promo code field can be left blank
  4. Fulfil requirements as stated in terms and conditions

Credit card terms and conditions
Banking account terms and conditions
Priority banking terms and conditions

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

🔥 👍🏼

Choose to get Citi Promo:


Or, choose Singsaver Promo:

  • Receive a Dyson Supersonic (worth S$649)
  • Nintendo Switch OLED (worth S$549)
  • Apple AirPods Pro 2nd Gen + MagSafe Charger bundle (worth S$421.90) or 
  • S$350 cash 

Until 14th February 2023

Terms and Conditions

  • Promotion valid only for new card members
  • Verification of reward eligibility can take 120 days
  • All cardholders will need to activate and spend a minimum S$500 within 30 days of card approval to be eligible for the sign up gifts
  • Successful applicants must ensure that their credit card is valid and in good standing (not cancelled or blocked) at the point of gift fulfilment, and must retain and not cancel it for a period of 12 months from the date of approval
  • Reward may be retracted or cancelled if the card is cancelled before this 12-month period
  • No promotion for existing card members
  • Terms and Conditions apply (download a copy for your future reference)

Sign-up Process

  1. Apply with the link
  2. Important: find SingSaver email and fill in redemption form after application; no form no reward
  3. Promo code field can be left blank
  4. Fulfil requirements as stated in terms and conditions

Credit card terms and conditions
Banking account terms and conditions
Priority banking terms and conditions

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

HSBC Revolution

🔥 👍🏼

New to bank
Choose:

  • Receive a Samsonite Prestige 69cm Spinner Exp with built-in scale (worth S$670) or
  • S$200 cashback

Existing cardmembers receive S$50 cashback

Important:

  • Make a min spend of S$500 by end of the following calendar month from the card account opening to be eligible for the reward
  • Consent to receive marketing/promotional materials.
  • Use handphone number’s final 4 digits as application reference number for SingSaver’s form

Valid till 30th April 2023

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 DBS cardholders

Get S$150 cashback when you apply with promo code 150CASH make a min spend of S$800 within 60 days from card approval. 

Terms and conditions

Get 4 miles per dollar on online transactions. Men can apply too!

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 31st March 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: 3rd February 2023

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

CardsRewardsEndingRemarksReward Provider
🔥Amex CardsUp to 21,500 miles for KrisFlyer cards.
113,750 points for Amex Platinum Charge
28th February 2023Amex or SingSaver
🔥Citi CardsMiles or S$350 cash14th February 2023Citi or SingSaver
🔥💳Citi PrestigeGet 48,000 miles, even for existing Citi cardholders31st March 2023Works even for existing Citi cardholders. Great deal offsets annual fees; useful features. Read this for promo analysisCiti
Maybank CardsFirst 4,500 applicants: Samsonite Harts 68/25 Spinner (worth S$500)
4,501 onwards: S$100 cashback
OngoingMaybank
🔥
💳
DBS CardsDBS Yuu Card: $260 for new cardholders, $10 for existing
DBS Taka Card: $150 cashback!!
DBS Altitude: up to 43,000 miles
28th February 2023DBS Taka and Altitude promos work even for existing DBS cardholders! DBS
🔥CIMB CardsMarshall Stockwell II / S$250 Cash28th February 2023SingSaver
🔥StanChart SmartApple AirPods Pro 2nd Gen (worth S$359)
Xiaomi TV A2 HD 32” (worth $329) or 
S$270 cash via PayNow
28th February 2023Stack with Bonus$aver Account for double rewardStanChart or SingSaver
HSBC CardsReceive a Samsonite Prestige 69cm Spinner Exp with built-in scale (worth S$670) or
S$200 cashback
30th April 2023HSBC
UOB CardsS$30 from SingSaver
First XXX reward from UOB
31st January 2022UOB rarely has promosSingSaver + UOB
🔥Kris+$5
Multiple promos happening in-app
OngoingWallet app; no income requirementDirect
Big Pay$10 cashbackOngoingWallet app; no income requirementDirect
YouTrip$5OngoingWallet app; no income requirementDirect
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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