After regularly withdrawing money from an ATM for the good part of my life, I have recently stopped doing so.
This was not because my bank account ran out of money. It isn’t because I lost my ATM card. And no, I am not racking up cash debt by borrowing money from the people around me.
So what prompted this change?
Absence Of Any ATM Card
For the past 5 years, I have been using the DBS CapitaCard as my ATM card. In fact, it is the only one that I had. I cancelled one of my previous ATM card with DBS after misplacing it (I found it after I cancelled it) and had another card with OCBC expired without getting a replacement.
The DBS CapitaCard was discontinued with effect from 31 May 2016. With that happening, I no longer had any ATM card to withdraw money from.
Using Credit Cards Instead
Since I am not able to withdraw cash, my only mode of payment was to use credit cards, which is actually a smart thing to do, as long as you are able to control yourself.
Credit card companies give an insane amount of perks for you to sign up cards with them. Perks generally come in two main forms.
#1 Perks When You Sign Up
To entice people to sign up for credit cards, most companies would dangle perks for new applicants. The perks can come in different form.
An example will be the Amex Singapore Airline Krisflyer Card, new card members can earn up to 8,000 miles easily upon signing up. They receive 5,000 miles just for signing up, and another 3,000 miles if they spend $700 in the first 6 months upon card approval. This is of course, on top of all the miles they already enjoy when they charge purchases to the card.
I wouldn’t say no to free money and neither should you. Credit card companies love giving out free cash rebate just to get people to sign up for a credit card with them. An example would be the UOB YOLO Card.
If you do not have any active UOB credit cards over the past 6 months, you get a $50 cash rebate when you apply for the UOB YOLO Card today.
Free Travel Luggage & Other Gifts:
Have a damaged luggage during your last overseas trip? Before you spend more money buying a new travel luggage bag, why not just consider signing up for a credit card, and getting a free one instead?
#2 Perk When You Spend Using Your Credit Card
Since I do not have an ATM card, I am no longer able to withdraw cash from my bank account, unless of course, I queue in line at the bank branch during lunchtime, which would never happen.
That also means that my spending are all charged to my credit cards. This wouldn’t be a problem for places like restaurants and retail shops, since most of them have credit card payment services.
However, Singapore is still far from being cashless society. If you grab lunch at a coffeeshop or buy snacks from provision shops, you still need cash. So how do I deal with that?
The method I am currently employing is to simply pay for meals whenever I am eating in groups. Because I don’t carry enough cash, and do not have an ATM card to withdraw money, I need to be the person paying. So I offer my credit card for the payment and have my friends return me in cash.
Secondly, paying by credit card is a far more optimal option, especially if you use the right credit cards for the right things. For example, if you buy any items on Singapore Airline using the Singapore Airlines Krisflyer Credit Card, you enjoy 2 Krisflyer Miles for every $1 spent on eligible items.
Every credit card has their own perks. As long as you are disciplined enough to manage your spending, and pay off your bills promptly each month, credit card is the far superior option compared to cash.
The Proliferation Of New Technology
Apple Pay has added another dimension of convenience for credit card users. Instead of having to carry around multiple cards to enjoy all the best perks, I now simply preload the cards onto my Apple Pay. I am able to go grocery shopping at Sheng Siong not only without my cash, but also without my credit cards as well. I only need my iPhone with me.
Companies like Uber have also helped transformed previously frustrating activities such as hailing a cab and checking if the cab offers credit card payment. Transection takes place using your credit card and no cash is required. Simply brilliant.
And guess what, I don’t miss the long snaking queues seen at ATM.
That being said, the adoption of credit card usage will require cardholders to become responsible users of credit.
More Reasons For Going Cashless This Month
If you think going cashless sounds interesting, we will give you an added incentive to start doing so this month,
SingSaver.com.sg have compiled a list of their top credit cards in Singapore. If you apply for any of the 5 following cards – Amex Singapore Airline Krisflyer Card, ANZ Optimum World MasterCard, American Express Platinum Card, Standard Chartered SingPost Platinum Visa Card or UOB YOLO Card through SingSaver.com.sg in the month of June, you will receive an exclusive $60 NTUC voucher!
This is on top of any sign up perks that the banks typically would give for the card.
To do so, all you need to do is the following.
Step 1: Apply for one of the 5 credit cards shortlisted under their “Credit Card Best Deal”
Step 2: After completing the online application for the card through the bank, take a screen shot of the “Thank You” page
Step 3: Email the screenshot, application reference number, and your mailing address to [email protected] along with this SPECIAL DOLLARSANDSENSE CODE: DSXSS16. Remember, you need the code to receive your $60 NTUC voucher
Once your application has been verified, you will receive your $60 NTUC voucher in about 10 working days.
Promotion ends 30 June 2016
DollarsAndSense.sg is a website that aims to provide interesting, bite-sized financial articles which are relevant to the average Singaporean. Subscribe to our free e-newsletter to receive exclusive content not available on our website. Follow us as well on Instagram @DNSsingapore to get your daily dose of finance knowledge through photos.
Editors Note: Article was updated on 24 June 2016 to reflect a change in the promotion of the credit cards offered by SingSaver.com.sg
Change The Way You Send Money Overseas
Sending money overseas used to be a pain: high fees, large foreign currency spreads, needing to queue in line, and then wait for days before your money is remitted.
InstaRem offers a smarter, faster and more convenient way to transfer money overseas, with zero exchange rate margins and no hidden charges.
Exclusive For DollarsAndSense Readers: Use the promo code DNS20 to receive an additional SGD $20 when you make an initial transfer of at least SGD $1,000. Let us know what you think!