Thursday, June 8, 2017

No-Bullshit Cashback Credit Cards

With all the banks flinging "cashback" around like groups of monkeys in a free-for-all, I think it's time that I drop in with my 2 cents.

There are cashback cards. And then there are no-bullshit cashback cards.

Cashback cards need you to fulfil some criteria, usually it's a minimum spending of some sort. Some of them only gives you cashback on transactions above a certain value (ANZ, I'm looking at you). Some have ridiculously low caps (Citibank, I'm looking at you).

No-bullshit cashback cards are no bullshit. There is no minimum monthly spend. That's the main thing.

Here's the no-bullshit list.

I have purposely left out ANZ Optimum because there is a minimum transaction amount and because you need to go and actively redeem your cash rebate. Sure, it gives you 1% on everything as well, but it definitely isn't a no-bullshit card. It does come with some shit.

HSBC has finally joined the cashback bandwagon, and has thus completed the holy trinity by allowing people to choose between Visa, Master or AMEX as their preferred payment method. But then again, who in their right mind would choose amex unless they will whack the 3% promo?

CIMB has no-bullshit cards for the longest time, but the problem is hitting the $120k minimum, LOL. Well, they do allow the card if you have a $50k fixed deposit with them too. But with the 1.5% cards with much lower requirements, why would anyone get the CIMB ones?

So, long story short?

CIMB is out of the question because of the annual income AND lower rate.
AMEX is out because... AMEX. Haha.

The only 2 real contenders are SCB Cashback and HSBC Advance.

Question 1: Visa or Master?
Question 2: Do you spend more than $2800 in a month?

Personally, from a purely cashback point of view, I think that the HSBC Advance is better. Even though there is a $70 cap there, the odds that you hit ABOVE the cap is highly unlikely. Yet if there is a freak month that you do cross over the $2k mark (very possible during a holiday planning / booking month), you would get the enhanced 2.5%.

However, with no evidence to back anything up, I kind of feel that SCB has better tie-ups and promotions compared to HSBC.

Unfortunately, my usage with the OCBC 365 card still gives me solid rebates of over 3%, along with the bonus of 0.3% to my OCBC 360 balance. Haiz, I am still waiting for a better banking product to give me good interests, yet help me simplify the amount of work I need to do and things I need to think about.

If I was a simple man, I would go with HSBC Advance.


  1. I have ANZ Switch which has no annual fees for main and supp cards. But with DBS taking over, both will come with annual fees.
    I am now looking for both main and supp cards with no annual fees and no min spending.

    1. Hi Starlight, ANZ Switch seems like a very weak card other than the annual fees waiver.

      I'd much rather you sign up for a card through finty or singsaver, get a nice fat welcome bonus, and start collecting small cashback with one of the cards above.

      The credit card annual fees are usually waived, especially if you do regularly charge to your card. If not, you could always just cancel before the renewal!

      CIMB has main card free for life while 2 supp cards are waived for the 1st year. I think it could be a possible option.

  2. LOL I think although ANZ Switch has no annual fees, it also does not come with much benefits and features lol

    1. Yeah Anon, I agree. ANZ Switch has very poor rewards for a credit card.

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