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Review: StanChart Spree – 2.0% + 0.8% Cashback Virtually Without Conditions; Great Primary Card for Lazy People and Secondary Card for Optimisers

The StanChart Spree card is a conditional cashback card that is so easy to use that it is as good as unconditional. Giving 2% cashback on contactless and online payment with absolutely no minimum spend required, it’s an incredibly no frills card which gives a better earn rate than other fuss-free cards.

Yet, it still hides a trick up its sleeve which makes it really compelling, especially if you’re the lazy sort to optimise your cards for rewards, or if you’re looking for a backup card when your high-earn cards are maxed for the month. Of course, the generous sign up bonus doesn’t hurt – see section Sign up for more details.

Features and details

ProviderStandard Chartered
TypeConditional cashback card
Earn Rate– 3% on online spend in foreign currency
– 2% on contactless/online
– 1% on all other spend
LimitsMaximum of $60 monthly cashback

The Spree card gives 3% cashback on online spend in foreign currency, but you’re likely going to use the card for 2% cashback on contactless/online transactions in Singapore. For whatever reason your transaction doesn’t fall under any of these categories, you get a paltry 1% cashback.

The maximum cashback of $60 per month translates into spending $3,000 on contactless/online transactions, which is pretty roomy for most people. But oddly enough, you shouldn’t even be using the Spree card directly for your payments.

Grab top-ups

Update: Given the significant change Visa has done to Grab top-ups, this card may no longer give rewards on Grab top-ups. More information to follow.

The star feature of this card isn’t even mentioned by StanChart; it gives 2% cashback on Grab top-ups – something that many, many cards have since excluded for rewards. You should top up to your Grab Wallet before using your GrabPay MasterCard to spend instead of using your Spree card directly for 2 main reasons:

One, you get Grab points on top of the 2% you have already earned by topping up your wallet. 4 points are awarded per dollar, which translates into 0.8% cashback because you can quite easily redeem each point for 0.2 cents.

Two, it allows you to get 2% cashback on things that normally doesn’t allow you to get cashback on. Insurance premiums would be one such example. If you paid using your Spree card, you will be getting no cashback. Topping up Grab gives you 2% cashback, and then you can expend the Grab credits on your insurance premium.

Against other cards

Unconditional cashback cards
Because you get 2% cashback by topping up your Grab and there’s an extra 0.8% cashback in form of Grab points, Spree becomes an incredible 2.8% cashback card that is virtually unconditional. Other cashback cards in this space only offer a sad 1.5 to 1.6% cashback. They don’t have limits, but it’s probably not very common to be exceeding $3,000 of spend monthly.

Unconditional mile cards
In the miles space, unconditional cards give at best 1.4 mpd. By going for a 1.4 mpd card instead of 2.8% cashback means you are essentially buying miles for 2 cents each. That’s pricey, even slightly more expensive than paying $192.60 annual fee for 10,000 miles. There are much better ways to pay for miles.

There are of course, 1.2 mpd cards that can also be used to top up Grab for rewards, and thus we have to compare 1.2 mpd + 0.8% cashback to 2.8% cashback instead. In this comparison, you are giving up 1.67 cents per mile that you get if you chose the miles card. Whether it’s worth it depends highly on your travel habits and redemption efficiency – perhaps see what a mile is worth first.

Sign up

At the time of writing, cardholders new to StanChart get a pricey pair of Jabra Elite Active 75T Wireless Earbuds that retails for as high as $318. You even get an additional $20 cashback simply by applying with MyInfo.

Existing cardholders still get a very useful $50 in GrabFood vouchers.

StanChart
Spree

Conclusion

The Spree card may not seem exciting, but it is the answer for people who want a decent amount of credit card rewards without having to do much work tracking their credit card spending.

It is also a very decent secondary card to use when your primary high-earn cards are maxed for the month and you still need to spend. Moreover, sometimes you have expenditure that your high-earn cards can’t get rewards on, and the ability to still get rewards by topping up Grab makes this an incredibly versatile card.

The good:

  • 2% (+0.8%) cashback is great for non-optimisers
  • Still a good secondary card for optimisers
  • Gives cashback for Grab top-ups
  • Decent max cashback of $60 per month ($3,000 spending)

The bad:

  • Usefulness of the card dips if Grab is excluded from its 2% cashback

The ugly:

  • Thinking about the good old days when this was a 7% cashback card

★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
8 Stars of Sethisfaction

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5 thoughts on “Review: StanChart Spree – 2.0% + 0.8% Cashback Virtually Without Conditions; Great Primary Card for Lazy People and Secondary Card for Optimisers”

  1. Does it give 2% for grab top ups? the T&C mentioned the following are not eligible for spree rewards “any top-ups or payment of funds to any prepaid cards and any prepaid accounts including without limitation”

  2. Does one really get 2% cashback from spree card when he tops up his Grab? From my understanding, spree card doesn’t award 2% cash rebate for any top up to any prepaid wallet/ card, including grab wallet.

  3. Spree card did give 2% cashback for Grab wallet top-ups, as Spree did not exclude MCC 7399 business services not elsewhere classified. But no more since mid July when Grab top-ups was re-classifed as quasi-cash transactions. @Seth please update this post.

    1. Hi Euphorius, thanks for the comment. Indeed there was a change recently and I will update this and relevant articles accordingly.

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