Credit cards have become increasingly popular in Singapore. In our push to transform our nation into a cashless society, credit card companies are finding ways to grow their market share, and to retain a place in our wallets.
One way to get new customers to sign up and use their credit cards is to launch co-branded cards.
What Are Co-Branded Credit Cards?
Think of popular credit cards that you see in Singapore that include not just the name of the credit card companies which issued them, but also a popular retailer that you would frequently buy a product or service from.
For example, one the most popular co-branded credit card in Singapore would be the American Express Singapore Airline KrisFlyer Card. As you can observe from the name of the card itself, the credit card is issued by American Express, which the issuing credit card company, and Singapore Airline, which is its marketing partner.
How Do Co-Branded Credit Cards Work?
The commercial relationship between credit card issuers and their marketing partners vary for each card issued. However, just by observing the perks offered by a few of these cards, we can make an educated guess on how some of these commercial relationships work.
By issuing a co-branded credit card with a marketing partner, the credit card company is able to reach out to a large base of customers.
In return for that, it’s likely that the marketing partner either 1) enjoy fixed remuneration for the partnership, 2) receive a fee for each customer who signs up for the card through them or 3) enjoy a lower processing fee for customers who use the card for payment. Most likely, a combination of all three ways would be how a marketing partner is remunerated.
In return, attractive perks are usually given by the marketing partner to users of the co-branded credit cards. This creates a potential win-win-win scenario.
Credit Card Companies – Acquire new customers who are likely to use their credit card frequently.
Marketing Partners – Receive additional revenue as well as potentially, lower processing cost for customers using the card for payment
Consumers – Enjoy additional benefits for using the co-branded credit card at their favorite merchant.
There are different types of co-branded credit cards that you can apply for in Singapore, each of which providing different types of benefits. Do note that our list is not exhaustive, and that there are other co-branded credit cards beyond what’s mentioned in this article.
# 1 Frequent Travelers – American Express Singapore Airlines Card
Credit Card Issuer: American Express
Marketing Partner: Singapore Airlines
American Express have a longstanding relationship with Singapore Airlines and they offer consumers a variety of Singapore Airlines co-branded credit cards. These include the American Express Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Credit Card and the American Express Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Ascend Credit Card
Aside from earning miles each time you spend using these cards, the cards offer discounts on eligible purchases on Singapore Airline merchandise and in-flight purchases. The miles you earn are directly credited to your KrisFlyer Account so there is no need to do a separate conversion.
# 2 Grocery Shopping – BOC Sheng Siong Card
Credit Card Issuer: Bank Of China (BOC)
Marketing Partner: Sheng Siong
If you do your grocery shopping frequently at Sheng Siong, the BOC Sheng Siong Card is a must-have.
The BOC Sheng Siong Card gives you an unbeatable 7% cash rebate whenever you shop at Sheng Siong. Additional cash rebate can be earned if you achieve the minimum spending of $400 per month.
Even if you do not use the card outside of your Sheng Siong spending, the 7% cash rebate, on its own, is still worth getting the card for.
# 3 Telecommunication – Citibank M1 Card
Credit Card Issuer: Citibank
Marketing Partner: M1
You obviously apply for this card only if you are an M1 subscriber. By using this card to pay for your M1 bill, you enjoy the following benefits.
> Up to 10% Citi Rebate on your recurring M1 bills
> Free $5 worth of 3G video calls per month for 3 months
> Free $20 worth of mobile data usage per month for 3 months
> Waiver of all registration fees on M1 VASes
> Waiver of activation fees for Data Passport
> Waiver of re-contract administrative fee
# 4 Shopping – OCBC Robinsons Group Credit Card
Credit Card Issuer: OCBC
Marketing Partner: Robinsons Group
If you are a frequent shopper at retail brands under the Robinson Group, the OCBC Robinson Group credit card would be a card that you ought to have.
Do note that the card offers benefits beyond just Robinson outlets. For example, you get discounts at brands such as Zara, Marks & Spencer, Sperry, Ted Baker and many other well-known shopping brands. You can find out more details on these brands here.
# 5 Sports Fanatic – Maybank FC Barcelona Visa Signature Credit Card
Credit Card Issuer: Maybank
Marketing Partner: FC Barcelona
Launched in January 2018, FC Barcelona is not a traditional marketing partner that you would expect for a co-branded credit card. Yet the global popularity of FC Barcelona, estimated at more than 119 million supporters across Asia Pacific, is what make the football club an enticing partner to be teaming up with.
Aside from an attractive 1.6% unlimited cashback (no minimum spend, no cap) on all local spend, the Maybank FC Barcelona Visa Signature Credit Card also gives 2X TREATS point with every dollar spend on foreign currency transactions.
Of course, it goes without saying that you will enjoy a discount of 10% on any merchandise that you purchase from the FC Barcelona online store in Asia. And if you happen to be at Camp Nou, you will enjoy a 5% discount on merchandise purchased.
Cardholders who charge to their Maybank FC Barcelona Visa Signature Credit Card will also stand a chance to win two pairs of tickets every La Liga season to Camp Nou to watch Barcelona play. The prize includes economy class return tickets with airport, hotel transfer and three days of accommodation.
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