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It’s our belief that no one single credit card will be better than a team of well optimised cards. Similar to insurance policies and investment products, the best credit cards depend largely on the types of spending you typically make.
Previously, I wrote about the credit cards that I have, and the reasons why I choose each one of them. Following that, we also ran a Facebook contest where we invited readers to share with us the credit cards that they use, and the reasons for using each of them.
We received many quality responses from our readers. From the many responses we received, we selected the top three. Here are our selected winners, in no particular order.
UOB One Card;
Maybank Family & Friends;
Great Eastern OCBC Cashflo;
Maybank Horizon Visa.
# 1 UOB One Card
I use this as my main card for bill payments, especially SP services, to hit the minimum spend of $500 each month and to earn the $50 rebate every 3 months, plus the higher interest on my UOB One bank account. After hitting the $500 minimum spend, I will use other cards according to my spending types.
# 2 Maybank Family & Friends
I use this card for supermarket purchases, Popular bookstore and Grab rides. I always hit the $500 min spend to enjoy 5% rebate.
# 3 Great Eastern OCBC Cashflo Card
I use this card whenever I want to spread out my payment over three or six months, interest free. I also use it for my Great Eastern policies annual premium, which is automatically spread out over 12 monthly instalments.
# 4 DBS Altitude Card
I use this card for all other purchases which falls under other categories (e.g. retail) if I have met the minimum spend on my main cards to accumulate points (1.2 miles per dollar), which can be redeemed as Krisflyer miles. Also, it provides me with two complimentary priority pass airport lounge access each year.
# 5 Maybank Horizon Visa
I use this card for dining if I have met the min spend for my main cards to accumulate points (3.2 miles per dollar), which can be redeemed as Krisflyer miles.
In addition, I also link all the cards to Samsung Pay and use it whenever it’s possible to earn the Samsung pay points.
For someone that pays the regular household bills in the family, it makes sense to have a designated credit card that can be used to earn cash rebates and bonus interest from the savings account. This is one of the main reasons why many people have the UOB One Card. By charging just $500 per month to it, one can easily enjoy the $50 cash rebate every three months (3.33% cashback).
However, Gen doesn’t just use it for all his spending. For grocery spending, he uses the Maybank Family & Friends, which gives a higher 5% cash rebate on groceries, transport and other selected merchants as long as you spend a minimum of $500 per month.
Being a Great Eastern policyholder, he benefits from using the Great Eastern OCBC Cashflo Card. This card automatically splits his annual insurance premiums from Great Eastern into 12 monthly instalments, at no extra cost.
Last but not least, both his air miles cards, the DBS Altitude Card and the Maybank Horizon Visa, give good miles return in addition to lounge access.
BOC Family Card;
BOC Sheng Siong Card;
UOB One Card;
Citi Rewards Card;
UOB Signature Visa.
# 1 BOC Family card – I use it mainly for the 7% dining cashback, and 5% for online spend which is cap at a maximum of $30 for each statement month, with the remaining spend category at $70. This gives a total of $100 cash rebate each month.
# 2 BOC Sheng Siong card – It gives me an unbeatable 12% cash rebate for anything spent within the supermarket including liquor (promotion ends 31 December 2017). With 5% on taxis rebate which can be part of the minimum $400 spend. After the promotion, this card still offers a good 7% rebate with no minimum spend.
Most importantly, I use both cards (including BOC Family card) to hit the $1,500 per statement monthly to enjoy an additional 1.6% bonus interest with the BOC Smart Saver account. Unfortunately, BOC cards are not smart pay enabled. I would love if it allows Android Pay.
# 3 UOB One Card – I charged my insurance, telco bills, membership subscription and all miscellaneous spend to get the max 5% rebate as well as 2.43% interest from the UOB One Account.
# 4 Citi Rewards Card – When there’s a promotion on Amazon, Lazada and other partners, it gives a rewarding 8 miles per $1. This is the best card for miles accumulation.
# 5 UOB Signature Visa – This is the card I use for my overseas trip or overseas online shopping. I have the flexibility to convert either 4miles per $1 spend or 5% cash rebate. There is a minimum of $1,000 spend.
The two BOC cards that Jasmine use provides great cashback, especially if you are a frequent Sheng Siong shopper. At the same time, she uses the UOB One Card to charge non-dining, non-groceries and non-transport costs to earn the bonus interest from the UOB One Account and the cashback from the UOB One card.
When it comes to earning miles, both the Citi Reward card and the UOB Signature Visa allows her to earn miles at a quick rate, as long as she uses it under the right conditions.
Jasmine’s meticulous usage of credit cards show that it pays (literally) to pay close attention to how you use each credit card, and to know the strengths of each card.
UOB One Card;
UOB Preferred Platinum Visa (PPV) Card;
UOB PriviMiles Card;
Citi SMRT Credit Card;
DBS Altitude Visa Signature Card.
My main objectives when selecting Credit cards are:
(i) Maximize my rewards (Cashback/miles) by assigning my spending to the most rewarding credit card. Rewards include bonus interest earned by associated high interest bank-account. To value miles earned, I use a conservative conversion rate of 1 mile = 1% Cashback (although the value of miles can be higher when redeeming flights!)
(ii) Ensure the rewards meet the Terms and Conditions for each individual card (minimum spend requirement) to avoid unpleasant surprises.
(iii) Monitor my expenditure to ensure I do not overspend. Along with reason (ii), this is the reason why I avoid carrying multiple cards with high minimum spending requirements. I also ensure that I pay my bills in full every month to avoid late fees and interest charges.
With the above considerations in mind, I selected the following cards:
# 1 UOB One Card
For recurring bills and expenditures that do not fall into any specialized spending category (e.g. gym membership, auto-recurring telecom bills and subscription to Netflix, Spotify, etc). My spending on this card also fulfils the spending criteria for my UOB One account for bonus interest of 2.41%, the highest in the market for regular banking activities!
# 2 UOB Preferred Platinum Visa (PPV) Card
My discretionary expenses card for dining, shopping, entertainment for online stores, or where PayWave is accepted. The card offers a generous 4 miles/$ (10x UNI$) for selected online and PayWave transactions with no minimum spend. With PayWave terminals ubiquitous nowadays, this card can be useful at many merchants including restaurants, supermarkets, fast-food outlets, shops and departments stores. With Apple Pay, I no longer need to carry the physical card in my wallet!
# 3 UOB PriviMiles Card
My big-ticket general expense card for one-off purchases, e.g. household furnishing, medical bills, etc. This card is a great complement to my UOB PPV as UNI$ are pooled into in a single account!
# 4 Citi SMRT Credit Card
My card for transport related expenses. The card offers up to 2% Cashback for EZ-reload top-ups with no minimum spend. I also use this card at merchants where the cash rebate is at least 5%, e.g. movie theaters, selected fast-food & coffee places, or where a merchant has special tie-ups with Citibank (e.g. 10% CITI$ rebate at Starbucks)
# 5 DBS Altitude Visa Signature Card
I use this card largely for travel and overseas expenditure due to the miles bonus for online flights & hotels (3 miles/$). As an added bonus, the card comes with 2x Priority Pass Lounge visits a year and the miles do not expire!
Justin explains very well his objectives for selecting each card so there is no need for us to further critique. However, here are some observations that we have from all three winners.
Firstly, all three of our winners have the UOB One card. However, none of them use it as their main credit card when it comes to dining, groceries or transport. Instead, it’s usually used for recurring miscellaneous spend such as telco bills, subscriptions and utility bills.
All three winners also have at least two miles card to help them chalk up miles. Each of these miles cards provide a different way for users to accumulate miles quickly. Knowing when to use which card can help you maximise the miles you receive.
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