Our goal is to help consumers find the best credit card for their needs. With so many cards offering points, miles and other perks to choose from comparing cards can be very difficult. The best credit cards reward program will also depend upon your personal or business spending habits. In order help navigate this complex market, our team has researched over 100 cards in detail, and selected the best rewards credit cards that represent the best deals Singapore has to offer. Below, we segment our reviews into two sections: the best airline miles credit cards and the best cash back credit cards in Singapore.
Table of Contents
- Our Top Picks For the Best Cashback Credit Cards in 2017
- Our Top Picks For the Best Air Miles Credit Cards in 2017
- Comparison of Credit Card Rewards Dollar Value
- How You Can Find The Best Rewards Credit Card
Our Picks For the Best Cashback Credit Cards in 2017
To help narrow down your search for the best credit card, we've compiled our list of the best cashback credit cards of 2017. The following cards, in our opinion, represent the best deals currently available for people in Singapore. Read our detailed reviews for each card to see which one best fits your daily needs.
Best Cashback Rewards Credit Card: Citi Cashback Credit Card
Formerly known as the Citi Dividend Card, the Citi Cashback Credit Card is one of the best cash rebate credit cards in Singapore because it has one of the best set of rewards for food and transportation, easily two of the highest spending categories for an average consumer. For instance, this is the only cashback card in Singapore that offers 8% cash rebate on both dining and grocery. Not only that, Citi Cashback Card now also provides an 8% rebate on your Grab rides as well! For people who like to eat out at restaurants just as much as they like cooking at home, Citi Cashback is a superb way of getting great savings on all of their meals.
Though its cashback program does not include benefits for entertainment, shopping and utility expenses, Citi Cashback card still comes with a 21% cash rebate on petrol plus a S$120 of cash welcome gift. It also has a relatively high cap on monthly cashback of S$100, so you can earn up to S$1,200 of savings every year on food & transportation. Currently, Citi is running a promotion that boosts your rebate on Grab to 20% until 6 July 2017. If you are looking for a way to save money on all your meals in and out of home, Citi Cashback card could be an excellent choice for you.
Pros of Citi Cashback Card
- 8% cash back on grocery, dining
- 20% cash back on Grab rides until 6 July 2017 (8% thereafter)
- Up to 21% off on petrol (24.3% at Esso until 30 April 2017)
- Relatively high cashback cap of S$100 a month
- Promotion: S$120 cash rebate welcome gift + up to S$70 Grab credit
Cons of Citi Cashback Card
- High annual fee of S$192.6, first year waived
- Relatively high monthly minimum spend of $888 to qualify for maximum benefits
- All other retail expenditures not previously mentioned only receive 0.25% of rebate
Best Cash Rebate Card for Families: POSB Everyday Card
Cashback cards are becoming more popular due to their higher rewards rates, and POSB Everyday Card is definitely one of the top choices for consumers, especially for moms. Its diverse and generous cashback rewards program covers dining, petrol, groceries, monthly recurring bills and health & beauty, all major spending categories of a family. These represent the perfect areas of savings for moms who need to take care of their families and themselves. POSB Everday Card can even double up as an EZ-Reload and as an ATM card, making it ideal for daily use and helping to reduce the number of cards people have to carry. Last but not least, its annual fee of S$192.6 is waived for the first year.
Pros of POSB Everyday Card
- Up to 20.1% discount on petrol at SPC
- 5% rebate on groceries at Sheng Siong
- Dining Rebate: 3% weekdays, 9% weekends and 14% online food delivery (until 30 Sept 2017)
- 3% cash rebate on Health, Beauty and Personal Care at Watsons
- Up to 1% rebate on monthly telco, SP services, cable TV and broadband bill (capped at S$1 per month)
- EZ-Link Auto Top Up
- Can be used as an ATM card for POSB banking customers
- Promotion: 5% cash rebate on overseas spend (S$1,000 minimum overseas spend) + 14% dining spend in foreign currencies
- Bonus: S$100 cash rebate for new customers (S$70 for existing customers)
Cons of POSB Everyday Card
- 0.3% rebate on everything not listed above
- S$700 monthly spend minimum
- Dining rebate, which is central to its value, may not be ever green
Best Flat Rate Cash Back Credit Card: UOB One Card
Some people prefer flat rate cashback cards because they reduce the complexity of managing multiple rewards cards. For those people, we highly recommend the UOB One Card. If you can spend around S$2,000, S$1,000, or S$500 consistently each month, UOB One Card can earn up to 5% of rebate for a maximum of S$1,200 cashback per year. While it takes a bit of work to closely monitor your expense level to meet these optimal spending level, UOB One Card stands out as one of the most highly rewarding credit cards in the country.
UOB One is most suitable for people who have high visibility on their monthly expenses and can optimize their balance on the card at S$2,000 a month. Ideal users would include families with large recurring or fixed expenditures. It also comes with a 24% discount on petrol. Its annual fee is on the other end of the spectrum at S$192.6, but UOB provides a waiver for the first year.
Pros of UOB One Card
- Flat rate cashback of up to 5%, one of the highest in the market
- Up to 24% discount on petrol at SPC and Caltex
- Extra interest income of up to 3.33% on your UOB One Savings account
- High monthly cap on cashback at S$100
- Promotion: S$80 of cashback for new customers
Cons of UOB One Card
- High Annual Fee of S$192.6 (1st year waiver)
- High monthly spending requirement of up to S2,000 to qualify for high rewards
- Rather complicated to use to maximize rebate
Best No Annual Fee Cashback Credit Cards
These two cash back credit cards are the best options for people who are conscious about paying an annual fee. One is better for an average person, while the other is better wealthier consumers who can qualify for HSBC's Advance status. Please read our review below to find out which is the better option for you.
OCBC 365 Credit Card
For people who want to avoid paying an annual fee, OCBC 365 Credit Card could is one of the best cashback cards you can find. OCBC 365 card is quite ideal for daily use because it covers a wide variety of reward categories. For instance, OCBC 365 provides 6% rebate on dining, 22% on petrol, and 3% on groceries and monthly bill. Not only that, OCBC 365 card is also a very cheap card to use because its annual fee is easily waived: first two years of fees are automatically waived, and subsequent years are waived as long as you maintain an annual spend of only S$10,000 on the card (less than S$1,000 a month). In summary, OCBC 365 presents a cheap and convenient way of earning rewards on daily necessities of any average person or family.
HSBC Advance Credit Card
For people who are wealthy enough to qualify for HSBC's Advance Banking status, HSBC Advance Credit Card is likely the best no-fee cashback card they can find. For them, this card combines a flat rate cashback of 3.5% with a perpetual waiver of its annual fee, making it an effective way to rack up savings over time. For high spenders, this card is especially rewarding because of its high cap on monthly rebate of S$125 vs. S$50-70 for most other cards. However, this card is not as effective for non-Advance customers, so we highly recommend that you read our detailed review to see if you can qualify for HSBC Advance Banking status.
Pros of HSBC Advance Credit Card
- No annual fee for Advance Customers
- 3.5% of cash rebate (2.5% for monthly spendings over S$2,000 + Extra 1%) for HSBC Advance Customers
- S$125 cap on monthly rebate for Advance customers
- 16% Discount on petrol at Shell and Caltex
- 7% discount on travel bookings on Agoda
- Promotion: Up to S$160 of cash back welcome bonus for new customers (up to S$90 for existing customers)
Cons of HSBC Advance Credit Card
- S$192.6 of annual fee for non-Advance customers
- 1.5% of flat rate cash rebate for monthly spendings under S$2,000 (non-Advance customers)
- S$70 cap on monthly rebate for non-Advance customers
Our Picks For the Best Air Miles Credit Cards in 2017
To help you maximise rewards on your spending, we've compiled our list of the best airline miles credit cards of 2017. The following cards, in our opinion, represent the best deals currently available for people in Singapore. Read our detailed reviews for each card to see which one best fits your daily needs.
Best Air Miles Rewards Credit Card: Citi PremierMiles Visa Card
Citi PremierMiles Visa Card is our favorite travel card for the average consumer. First, it has a very decent set of mile awards that includes 1.2 miles for S$ spent locally and 2 miles for S$1 spent overseas. But, the highlight of the card, in our opinion, is its bonus miles. When you pay the annual fee of S$192.6 and spend S$10,000 in the first 3 months, you can receive an award of up to 40,000 bonus miles (roughly worth at least S$400). From there on, you can continue to earn 10,000 miles every year as you renew your card.
Citi PremierMiles card can also help you save money on petrol with its 14% discounts at Shell and Esso stations. Combining mile value and savings petrol, in our view, can add up to around S$2,000 of rewards over a 2 year period.*
Pros of Citi Premier Miles
- 1.2 miles for S$1 spent locally, 2 miles for S$1 spent overseas
- Flexible convertibility to over 60 airlines & 8,000 hotel properties, including Star Alliance, Skyteam, IHG rewards and Hilton HHonors points
- 14% off petrol spend at Shell & Esso
- Promotion: Up to 30,000 bonus miles (15,000 when you apply and spend within first 3 months + 15,000 miles when you spend a total of $10,000 within first 3 months)
- Bonus: 10,000 miles when you pay the annual fee and renew
Cons of Citi Premier Miles
- S$192.6 of annual fee, no waiver
- S$25 administration fee for each Frequent Flyers Programme redemption
Best No Annual Fee Miles Cards
The two below miles credit cards are probably the best options for people who are looking for ways to earn miles without paying an annual fee. They both come with annual fee waivers that are relatively easy to get. However, their rewards systems are distinct enough that they will be useful for different people.
HSBC Revolution Card
We think HSBC Revolution Card is an ideal mile card for young people with active shopping habit or social life who are conscious about paying annual fees. While its flat rate award is relatively weak at 0.4 miles per S$1 spent, HSBC Revolution Card grants 2 miles for every dollar spent on dining, entertainment and shopping (online), which composes roughly 1/3 of an average person's monthly spending. Not only that, its annual fee of S$160.5 is waived for anyone who spends only about $12,500 on the card per year, roughly S$1,000 per month. As long as your spending is concentrated around having fun, HSBC Revolution Card provides one of the cost-effective ways of earning miles.
Pros of HSBC Revolution Card
- Annual fee of S$160.5 is waived for 2 years, and then waived in subsequent years for those who spend S$12,500 per year (S$1,042 per month)
- 2 miles on online spend (shopping and travel bookings), dining, and entertainment
- 16% off on petrol at Caltex & Shell
- Up to 10% off on travel bookings online
- Promotion: Up to S$180 cash back welcome bonus for new customers (up to S$100 for existing customers)
Cons of HSBC Revolution Card
- Very low flat award rate of 0.4 miles per S$1 spend on everything outside of online, dining and entertainment
- Not many other perks to speak of (i.e. lounge access, airport limousine service, etc.)
DBS Altitude Visa Card
DBS Altitude Card is the best no-fee air miles credit card to use if your expenditures are spread evenly across different areas. You can earn 1.2 miles for every S$1 of local expenditure and 2 miles for every S$1 of overseas expense. Though it's quite similar to Citi PMV card in this aspect, DBS Altitude waives its annual fee of S$192.6 for those who spend more than S$2,000 a month (S$25,000). Also, DBS provides 3 miles for S$1 spent on online travel bookings, a feature Citi Premier Miles does not have. Hence, if you value saving on annual fee waivers over earning bonus mile awards, DBS Altitude maybe the right card for you.
Pros of DBS Altitude
- Annual fee of S$192.6 is waived when you spend at least S$25,000 a year
- 1.2 miles for S$1 of local spend and 2 miles for overseas spend
- 3 miles for S$1 spent on online travel bookings
- Promotion: 2x the miles for above benefits until 31 Jul 2017 (9 miles per S$1 spent on Expedia and 13 miles per S$1 spent on Kaligo)
- Bonus: 10,000 bonus miles for new customers (7,000 miles for existing customers)
Cons of DBS Altitude
- Lags peers in bonus awards, especially if you spend less than S$25,000 per year
Best Air Miles Credit Card for Affluent Spenders: UOB PRVI Miles American Express Credit Card
The UOB PRVI Miles American Express Credit Card provides the most cost-effective way of earning miles for affluent consumers who care only about earning miles but not about other travel perks like lounge access. It offers one of the highest flat-rate mile awards in the country at 1.4 miles per S$1 spent locally and 2.4 miles per S$1 spent overseas, all while charging an annual fee of just S$256.80, which is waived for the first year; other luxury cards with similar award rates charge S$500 or more. Not only that, UOB PRVI Miles card provides 20,000 loyalty miles every year if you can spend at least S$50,000 on the card annually (S$2,500 per month).
However, the savings do come at a price, with the card offering fewer perks compared to more expensive options. This card works well for people willing to forgo perks like free lounge access or hotel rewards in order to build up high mileage and dodge high fees. Currently, UOB is also providing a welcome bonus of S$80 for new customers.
Pros of UOB PRVI Miles Card
- One of the highest awards rates, 1.4 miles for S$1 spent locally, 2.4 miles for S$1 spent overseas, 6miles on S$1 spent on travel
- Low annual fee compared to other high mile cards (S$256.8, waived 1st year)
- Promotion: S$80 cash rebate for new customers (S$50 for existing customer)
- Bonus: 20,000 loyalty miles every year with at least S$50,000 of spend on the card
Cons of UOB PRVI Miles Card
- Points expire in 2 years
- No complimentary lounge access (you do get 30% discount on lounge fees)
- Limited perks like complimentary nights at a limited hotel chains
Best Miles Card for Business Travelers & Overseas Spending: Standard Chartered Visa Infinite Card
Standard Chartered Visa Infinite Card is an excellent travel card for frequent business travelers. Its highlight, in our opinion, is the 3 miles awarded for every S$1 spent overseas. In fact, Standard Chartered Visa Infinite Card is the best way to earn miles on your overseas spending. Not only that, Standard Chartered Visa Infinite card provides additional perks like HHonor Gold status and discounts for golf clubs, yacht rentals and private jet usages. Award on local expenditure is also one of the best in the market at 1.4 miles per S$1 spent. For business travelers who spend a great portion of their time abroad, SC Visa Infinite card is a great way of earning miles quickly.
Pros of Standard Chartered Visa Infinite Card
- Some of the highest mile award rates of 1.4 miles and 3 miles for every S$1 spent locally and overseas, respectively.
- Luxurious perks like Hilton HHonor Gold status, discounts on Uber rides globally, complimentary VIP lounge access, and Gold Class Infinite Experience Package (i.e. discounts for golf clubs, yachts and private jets)
- Promotion: Welcome bonus of 35,000 miles (or 15,000 miles and a Samsonite 28" luggage)
- Bonus: 20% discount on Uber fares globally (max $50 rebate each month, $600 min monthly spend)
Cons of Standard Chartered Visa Infinite Card
- Expensive annual fee of S$588.6 and no waiver
Summary of Best Rewards Credit Cards 2017
In case you want a quick look at our picks, here are ValuePenguin's best credit cards for 2017.
|Best For...||Annual Fee|
|Citibank Cashback Visa Card||Cash Back||S$192.6|
|UOB One Card||Flat Rate Cash Back||S$192.6|
|POSB Everyday Card||Cashback for Families||S$192.6|
|OCBC 365 Card||Cash Rebate + No Annual Fee||S$192.6|
|Standard Chartered SingPost Platinum Visa Credit Card||Online Shopping||S$180.0|
|Citibank PremierMiles Visa Card||Airline Miles||S$192.6|
|HSBC Revolution||Air Miles + No Annual Fee||S$160.5|
|DBS Altitude Card||Air Miles + No Annual Fee||S$192.6|
|Standard Chartered Visa Infinite||Business Travelers||S$588.6|
|UOB PRVI Miles American Express Card||Affluent Spenders||S$256.8|
Best Rewards Credit Cards by Dollar Value
Below, we prepared a visual illustration of dollar value of the best rewards credit cards in Singapore. By applying each card's unique set of rewards programs to an estimate of average monthly spend for consumers in Singapore, we can estimate the total dollar value of each card's rewards over 2 years. Below, we feature the best cashback rewards credit cards and the best air miles credit cards in Singapore.
You should note that the dollar value can heavily depending on your spending habits, so make sure to read through each card's review and see if it fits your monthly budget. There are also other "intangible" benefits like complimentary travel insurance and free access to airport lounges whose values are difficult to quantify but nevertheless incredibly valuable to some consumers. You can read more about how to choose the best rewards card in our guide below.
How To Find The Best Rewards Credit Card
To help you best evaluate which card is best for you, we have prepared a list of things to consider. Every person has unique needs and circumstances to which different cards may best cater. Use this framework to guide your evaluation process for any credit card offers you come across to help you assess how each card might fit into your personal spending decisions.
Your Spending Habits
While most consumers shopping for a rewards credit card just want to find out "What is the best rewards card?", the answer unfortunately depends on many different factors. Which rewards card will be the best for you will depend entirely on your personal spending, travel and credit habits. Taking a moment to consider your personal preferences before searching for a card will go a long way in helping you find the best deal.
Do You Keep A Balance On Your Credit Card?: In exchange for giving you bonuses and rewards, rewards credit cards always charge an extremely high interest rates around 25%. If you're unable to pay off your monthly charges in entirety, additional interest wil easily exceed what you earn in rewards. Therefore, rewards card are only beneficial for consumers who pay off their credit card bills on time on a monthly basis. If you are having difficulty in doing this, you should consider getting a low interest credit card or sticking to using cash. You're much better off reducing your interest payments than trying to get few percentage points in rewards.
How Do You Use Your Rewards?: For you to benefit from rewards cards, you actually have to use them. People tend to rack up miles and points that are never used. Even worse, many miles and reward points expire within a certain time frame. For those consumers these rewards might as well be worth nothing. Since some rewards expire, you might want to consider whether you like save up towards one big redemption or want to be redeem rewards as frequently as possible.
Also, take inventory of what kind of rewards you actually will be likely to use. Do you travel frequently, and would like to get free air tickets? Or would you rather receive cashback for daily purchases?
Lastly, you should consider how much you value flexibility. While cashback rewards are often immediately awarded, redeeming miles often take weeks of preparation because of processing time, and it may be more difficult to earn a free trip than you would like.
How Much Money Can You Spend?: Cards with the highest rewards rates often come with a high annual fee and minimum spend requirements. With many no-fee rewards credit card options available, the decision to pay an annual fee will depend on the amount you will spend on the card. As a rule of thumb, you should plan to spend at least S$500 a month per card for a fee-based rewards card to be viable.
Below, we have prepared real life examples of how these factors can influence how each card works differently for individuals with varying preferences.
Example 1: Why Your Spending Pattern Matters
What credit card you should choose should depend first on how much money you spend. For example, my friend Robert makes S$50,000 a year, and spends about S$2,000 on his UOB One Card on a monthly basis. UOB One Card is a great cashback card that provides up to 5% cash rebate for all of your expenditures, plus some other benefits like discounts on petrol. Based on Rob's spending level, this translates to about S$1,200 of cash rebate annually, which nets out to S$2,207.4 in rebate over 2 years after subtracting S$192.6 of annual fee (which is waived for 1 year). While this may seem great, one should wonder: what if Robert spends less money?
Because UOB One Card requires at least S$2,000 of monthly spend to qualify for the 5% rebate, anything less would only earn maximum 3.33% of flat rate cashback. This means that my other friend Henry, who only spends S$1,000 on his card every month, can only earn S$607.4 in net cash rebate over 2 years if he uses the UOB One Card. In this case, Henry may have been better off by using a card like OCBC 365 Card, which earns cash rebate and waives the annual fee for anyone who spends S$10,000 per year on the card. To be specific, OCBC 365 earns 24% on petrol, 3% on online shopping, up to 6% on dining and 3% on groceries, among other things.
Let's now assume that my third friend Tom is a foodie who loves to eat well. However, he doesn't care that much about traveling, shopping or entertainment (i.e. bars, karaokes, etc.). Therefore, he spends about 60% of his monthly budget on dining and groceries, while Henry only spends 35% of his spending on these two categories. In this case, Tom should prefer to use Citi Cashback Card over using OCBC 365 Card, since Citi Cashback card earns 8% cash rebate on all of his dining and grocery bills.
Example 2: Why How You Redeem Your Rewards Matter (Miles vs Cash Back)
There are many other factors besides your spending patterns that you must consider before choosing the right credit card. For instance, you may want to go for an air miles credit card instead of a cash back carf if you tend to travel frequently. This is especially so for people who like to redeem their miles for business class or first class seats. Our study has shown that 1 mile can be worth up to S$0.08 for longer and more expensive flights, compared to S$0.01 conversion rate for economy flights.
Let's consider our example of Robert again from the scenario above, who spends about S$2,000 per month on his card. If he used a Citi PremierMiles Card, he could be earning about 110,920 of miles over 2 years, plus additional savings on petrol, according to our calculations. This is because Citi PMV card awards 1.2 miles for every S$1 you spend locally, 2 miles for S$1 you spend overseas, 15,000 miles for customers who use the card within the first 3 months, and another 10,000 miles when you pay the S$192.6 of annual fee to renew your card. It can also earn 14-15% discounts on petrol in Singapore. If you were to convert the 111,000 miles you earn at a S$0.03 to 1 mile rate (i.e. short-haul business class seat), that's worth significantly more than the cashback Robert would earn on UOB One Card even after subtracting the annual fees. On the other hand, if Rob used his miles at a S$0.01 per mile rate, or never redeemed his miles at all, then UOB One Card would be the better deal.
Understand How Each Card Is Different
In examining the different rewards credit cards, we looked at different factors that should influence your decision. Understanding all these different aspects can help you figure out just how good a card really is.
How Do the Rewards Work?: While most cards use the same set of terms (points, miles, cash back), the ways these rewards work will vary significantly. Some rewards can be applied as statement credits, as cashback, as reward poitns or as miles. Some cards will even allow for conversion between rewards points and miles. While cashback and statement credits are two best options for most people, miles can be highly valuable for those who redeem them for long-haul flights on business class or better. Some cards also allow you to transfer your rewards to other loyalty programs giving you another way to use what you've earned.
Rewards Rate: If your rewards card is going to be your primary card then the rewards rate for general spending is very important. For everyday spending you can expect to earn up to 5% of what you spend as rewards. As a rule of thumb, the more flexible the type of reward you get, the lower the rewards rate you can expect. Otherwise, you could pick a few cards that collectively offer high award rates on most of your expenditures.
Welcome & Renewal Bonuses Matter: The promotions offered to new card holders and renewal bonuses are major contributors of the value you can get from rewards cards. Most of these bonuses require you to either make a purchase on the card or spend a certain amount within a set time limit. Because the value of welcome bonuses and renewal bonuses can range from S$50 - S$500, you should make sure to fulfill the qualifications.
*ValuePenguin calculates the dollar value of rewards based on S$2,000 of monthly spending. We sum the value of points, miles and cashback in dollar terms and subtract the annual fee over a 24-month period. The estimates here are ValuePenguin's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer.