Are you finding it tough to splurge on a family holiday, or to even have a special date-night with the missus, simply because you can barely manage your monthly bills?
There’s no argument that Singapore’s cost of living is high. When you want to ensure your family has the best that you can afford, your monthly expenses will inevitably creep up on you.
These days, things like a family car, piano lessons, schoolbooks, toys for the kids, cable television, and yearly holidays are increasingly becoming necessities, rather than luxuries.
If you can’t forgo them, you should at least think about how you can get more value and savings out of these diverse expenses.
One solution lies with the humble credit card.
The good thing with “family” credit cards is that they give rewards, usually in a form of rebates, for daily necessities like groceries, childcare, petrol, utility bills, personal care products, music lessons, books, and hospital bills. These are all things that a typical Singaporean family with young children would spend on.
Interestingly, many of these cards offer cash rebates as a reward, instead of points or miles.
Interestingly, many of these cards offer cash rebates as a reward, instead of points or miles. Perhaps the banks realise that Singaporeans rather reduce our expenses on necessities, than earn rewards, which may, in fact, make us spend more.
Most of us may already have several cards, and adding more to the mix may create confusion and likelihood of missing a payment. So, choose wisely. We’ve sussed out some of the best credit card options that will be worth your consideration.
The POSB Everyday Credit Card has been around for a number of years and was one of the first cards that boasted benefits for everyday expenses.
Benefits: Some of the best reasons to get the card include a 5 per cent cash rebate at Sheng Siong, a 1 per cent discount on recurring utility bills, a 3 per cent discount at Watsons, and rebates for child enrichment classes at Genius R Us and Kindergolf. If you drive, this card helps you save up to 20.1 per cent on fuel at SPC, and gives you a 40 per cent cash rebate at car rental company, Hawk Rent A Car.
In addition, the card recently launched a cash rebate promotion, letting you enjoy 14 per cent rebates on online food delivery, and 3 per cent and 9 per cent rebates for dining out on weekdays and weekends respectively.
Retail junkies get a 5 per cent cash rebate at computer store Epicentre, plus a 10 per cent cash rebate at clothing outlet Crocodile.
Find out more about the POSB Everyday Credit Card on BankBazaar here.
Click next for more information on the family cards from Maybank and the Bank of China.
Maybank credit cards don’t seem to be that popular, but the Family & Friends Card does look quite attractive.
Benefits: It boasts an 8 per cent cash rebate at selected merchants within Singapore and Malaysia, and 0.3 per cent cash rebates on other purchases. These select merchants include…
· Leading supermarkets such as Cold Storage and FairPrice.
· Taxi rides across all standard taxi companies like Comfort, CityCab, Prime Taxi, SMRT Taxi. Decent, but it’s a pity this doesn’t apply to Uber and Grab (Car/Share/Hitch).
· Petrol stations like Caltex, Esso, Shell, and SPC in Singapore, and many more in Malaysia.
· Food rebates are limited to deliveries from KFC, McDonalds, Pizza Hut and foodpanda, which gives us more options than just fast good.
· Wellness and health merchants like Guardian, Watson, and Unity.
· Kid-related stores like POPULAR, Toys ‘R’ Us, and Yamaha Music.
· All theme parks in Malaysia, including LEGOLAND Malaysia.
In general, the Maybank Family & Friends card looks promising, especially if these merchants are your usual go-tos. The only catch is that you’ll need to spend at least S$1,000 in the calendar month to enjoy the 8 per cent rebate.
The good thing with “family” credit cards is that they give rewards, usually in a form of rebates, for daily necessities like groceries, childcare, petrol, utility bills, personal care products, music lessons, books, and hospital bills.
If a monthly spending of $1,000 on your family card is too high you may prefer a card with a lower spending requirement. That’s where the Bank of China (BOC) Family Card comes in. With just a $500 monthly spend, this card also lets you enjoy cash rebates on daily necessities.
Benefits: A key highlight of the card is the 7 per cent rebate on dining locally and overseas, every day of the week. That is seriously a good perk, especially when you consider you only need to spend at least $500 a month. By the way, just spending $500 alone on dining will get you a 35 cash rebate!
If that’s not enough of a good deal, the BOC Family Card also let you earn 5 per cent cash rebates on online purchases, supermarkets, hospital bills, and at selected merchants like Best Denki, POPULAR, Unity Pharmacy, Watsons and Toys ‘R’ Us.
The total Family Cash Rebate is limited to $100 per card account. If you use a supplementary card you are entitled to an additional $20 cash rebate each month.
What does Citbank and OCBC have to offer? Click through to find out!
For families with older children and not much need for theme parks, bookstores, and music schools, the Citi Cash Back Card is a card you may want to consider.
Benefits: The benefits are straightforward: 8 per cent cash back on groceries, dining, and petrol worldwide. You first get 0.25 per cent cash back on all retail purchases, followed by a 7.75 per cent additional cash back on the three categories. However, note that the minimum monthly spending on the card has to hit $888 and there is a cash back cap of $25 on each of the categories.
One thing to note though is that if you spend a lot on either petrol, dining, or groceries, but not all three categories, then it will be harder to maximise this card. For example, if you spent $800 on dining, $100 on groceries, and nothing on petrol, you’ll only get S$35 in cash back.
An identical expenditure using the BOC Family card would have gotten you $61 in cash rebates.
Find out more about the Citi Cash Back card here.
Don’t simply look at the percentage cash back marketed by the card.
5. OCBC 365 Card
The OCBC 365 card is a decent card that offers cash back across most categories a typical Singaporean family would need.
Benefits: The key highlights are the 6 per cent cash back for weekend dining, 3 per cent cash back on weekday dining, online shopping, groceries, and recurring telco bills, and up to 23.9 per cent fuel savings at Caltex. If you’re not a driver that frequents Caltex, this card really won’t be that attractive to you.
By the way, you’ll need to spend at least $600 to enjoy the full weekend and weekday dining benefits. If you only manage to hit $500 on dining, you will only get $1.50 in cash back at the end of the month.
Another thing to note is if you have an OCBC 360 Account and need to fulfil the monthly credit card spending of $500 to get the bonus interest of 0.5 per cent per annum on your savings, then this could be a good reason to get the OCBC 365 Card.
Find out more about the OCBC 365 Card here.
In summary, an “all-in-one” card strategy really isn’t the way to go if you want to maximize your savings. But there will always be a card that suits your monthly spending pattern and specific needs for the family best.
Don’t simply look at the percentage cash back marketed by the card, but also find out whether there are any cash rebate caps, or monthly spending requirements that you need to meet.
This article was written by BankBazaar Singapore, a leading online marketplace in Singapore that helps consumers compare and apply for the best offers across all financial products: credit cards, personal loans, home loans, car loans & investments.