My current credit card setup
Let me preface the article by saying that using credit cards is the best way to pay for your purchases. Debit cards do not offer the same amount of protection and benefits that credit cards have. Ever since I’ve started working and became eligible to apply, I’ve gotten a total of 7 credit cards from Singapore.
I will go through the cards that I have and in which situation do I use them.
Why use credit cards?
With all the bad rep credit cards have gotten over the years, many of my friends still wonder why I use credit cards. The main reason is that they offer much more benefits than your usual credit cards if you know how to manage your finances.
Many credit cards offer rewards on your every purchase. By using credit cards, you can get back part of your money either as cashback or points/miles. These can be used to offset your next purchase, allowing you to save on your hard-earned money.
Did you know that most retailers already have the credit card processing fees baked into their prices? Therefore if you’re using cash or debit cards, you’re technically paying for other people’s rewards.
Credit cards offer a greater amount of protection against fraudulent transactions as compared to using debit cards. As credit cards do not directly debit from your bank account, the money that you’re spending is technically not yours. It is a lot easier to dispute a credit card fraudulent transaction with the bank as compared to a debit card.
Miles vs Cashback
This is the century-old debate in the personal finance space. It is also usually the first question that comes into people’s minds when the first think about credit cards. Cashback is simple and easy to quantify. Miles is more complicated but may provide additional returns for travellers.
I am a miles person as I like to travel and appreciate the complexity of the system. When I’m free, I like to look at the different ways I can conjure up travel routes to maximise my points. This is a rabbit hole which I’ve devoted countless of my precious hours into.
This set of cards are the cards that I am actively using. There are other cards that I have but will not be mentioned below as they have been sock-drawered in current circumstances. Even though I own many cards, there are only 2 currently that are my main daily drivers.
Citi Rewards Visa
The last card standing which still offers 4 mpd for Grab Pay top-ups. I don’t expect this open secret to last for long, so I’m just trying to maximise every dollar that I can. Every month, I’ll try to top up to the limit of $1000 to maximize the amount of miles I get.
However, this Visa version of the Citi Rewards card is no longer available for application. Once my card expires (in 4 years time), I’ll not be able to apply for it anymore.
I try to use my Grab Pay Mastercard as much as possible anywhere to deplete the credits. I find this to be very useful as I can pay for my family’s bills and still get points. Most credit card companies have already listed these type of payments as an exclusion.
Citi Rewards Mastercard
This is the Mastercard version of the same card above. The main difference is that it does not give any points of Grab Pay top-ups. This card is mainly used for my online purchases.
I prefer to have my points with Citibank as they have the largest number of transfer partners in Singapore. As a result, I tend to be able to get more value out of my points with Citibank as compared to other banks such as UOB.
UOB Preferred Platinum
This very underrated card gives 4 mpd for every contactless purchase. With contactless payment terminals virtually everywhere in Singapore, it’s very easy for me to use this card. I use this card whenever I’ve finished the $1000 limit from the Citi Rewards card.
The main downside to this card is that the 4 mpd is awarded on every $5. Meaning I’ll get the same amount of miles between regardless if I spend $5 or $9.99. This has made me very conscious whenever I’m putting a small purchase on this card.
UOB also has what they call their $SMART merchants. These merchants such as Cold Storage gives you $SMART cashback instead of miles. I try my best not to use this card whenever I’m shopping at these merchants.
The DBS Altitude card offers 1.2 mpd for almost every type of purchases uncapped. This is a very easy to use card and I got it as one of my first credit cards.
The main reason I use this is to clock the extra category for my DBS Multiplier account. I mainly use this card for my daily public transport. Due to its low earn rate, I seldom use this card for my purchases.
These are the 3 main cards that I use on a daily basis to rack up my miles balance. It is quite easy to rack up a large number of miles in Singapore even if you’re not spending a lot every month.
The banks often come up with promotions that provide even more rewards with every spending. Recently, Citibank even offered an 8 mpd campaign for online purchases.
With all the points that I’ve racked up over the past couple of months, I can’t wait for travel to resume soon and redeem all of them!