Shopaholics know the drill: zoom in on your target, whip out your credit card, click “Pay”, and voilà – just wait for your item to arrive via post. Easy peasy. Now the real question is, do you know which credit card gives you the best discounts and shopping deals online?
[Photo Credit: Dealwithus]
Words by Lee Weiliang
Oh online shopping, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
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One of the best things about shopping online is that it gives you all the benefits of “retail therapy” without you actually having to step out of your house.
With the annual Great Singapore Sale just round the corner (FYI folks, it starts on 29 May and lasts till 26 July 2015), shoppers who prefer to shop from the convenience of home rather than squeeze in crowded malls will find cause to rejoice in this article.
Based on my research, here are the 3 best credit cards to have for online shopping:
Why you need this card:
- You get a generous 6% rebate on all online purchases and NETS FlashPay Auto Top-ups, so long as you spend at least $500 per month. (Note that cash rebate for ATU transactions is limited to 2 top-ups per month.)
- The 6% rebate applies across all categories: fashion, gadgets, fast food, groceries, hotel, flights, movies and departmental stores. Unlike some of the other banks’ credit cards, PayPal transactions are included and eligible for online rebates.
- However, there is a catch: the 6% rebate is capped at a maximum of $60 a month, or $720 a year. Once you’ve earned the $60, the rebate drops to a meagre 0.5%. Assuming you want to earn the full $60 monthly rebate, you’ll have to spend $1,000 in that month.
- Under OCBC’s card promotions, you enjoy shopping deals with a wide range of online retailers. For example, you get up to 50% discount on Gmarket (Qoo10 locally), 20% on Luxola, 13% on Zuji, 10% on Expedia, 6% on Reebonz, and more.
- The OCBC Frank Credit Card also doubles up as an ATM card as well as a transport card. You can withdraw cash, make NETS payments using the card, or even tap and pay for public transport rides, ERP and carpark charges.
- To top it off, the OCBC Frank Credit Card comes in 120 different card designs for you to choose from. While this may not mean much financially, the unique designs can enhance your wallet aesthetically.
Requirement: Aged 21 and above, with a minimum annual income of $30,000 (for Singaporeans and PRs) or $45,000 (for foreigners).
Why you need this card:
- You earn 10x Rewards Points for every $1 spent on clothes, bags or shoes, at department stores, or on online shopping sites. Valid for both local and overseas shopping. Do note that there is a cap of 120,000 Reward Points on the card per anniversary year.
- These Rewards Points can be used to offset your subsequence purchases, redeem for vouchers (be it shopping vouchers, dining vouchers, or miles), or exchanged for cash rebates. If you choose cash rebates, the exchange rate is 3,600 Rewards Points (or Citi Dollars) to $10 cash rebate.
(Editor’s Note: This works out to a 2.78% cash rebate for the Citibank Rewards Card, which is lower than the 6% cash rebate for the OCBC Frank Credit Card.)
- You get direct discounts at participating online retailers, such as up to 40% off Luxola, 25% off Zalora, 20% off Kwerkee, 10% off Blue Nile, and more.
- In addition, you also enjoy special lifestyle privileges, including 5% cashback on your online shipping charges with Citi Globeshopper, 10% rebate at over 700 merchant outlets such as Burger Kind, Cold Storage and Starbucks, as well as dining offers at Citibank Gourmet Pleasures preferred restaurants.
- Signing up for the Citibank Rewards Card entitles you to a plethora of welcome gifts in the form of complimentary shopping vouchers, from brands such as Camper, Levi’s and Rakuten.
Requirement: Aged 21 and above, with a minimum annual income of $30,000 (for Singaporeans and PRs) or $42,000 (for foreigners).
Why you need this card:
- Standard Chartered’s SingPost Platinum Visa Credit Card gives you a 7% cashback on eligible online purchases, plus 6% cashback on supermarket purchases and 0.25% cashback on other eligible retail purchases. By “eligible”, the online purchases have to be identified as online transactions based on codes assigned by Visa.
- Although the 7% cashback sounds generous enough in theory, it is actually capped at $50 per month per principal card. (Supplementary cards do not qualify for cashback awards.) Do note that you’ll have to charge a minimum of $500 to your card each month.
- Starting from 1 July 2015, there will be some changes to the card’s benefits. To qualify for the cashback on online purchases, capped at a maximum of $60, you’ll have to spend a minimum of $600 every month. You earn 2% cashback for supermarket and 0.2% on other qualifying retail transactions (down from 6% and 0.25% respectively).
- Other perks include:
vPost: 30% off shipment for new customers and 20% off for subsequent shipments
Omigo: $20 off with minimum spend of $80 for new customers and 15% off subsequent purchases
Singapore Post: 10% off Speedpost Priority Service package; 25% off Lock + Store
- A unique feature of this credit card is that it offers an online price guarantee. If you find the same item with a lower price within 30 days of purchase, you can claim a refund of 50% of the price difference. However, this online price guarantee comes with a list of cumbersome restrictions:
- The price difference has to be at least $50 and not more than $250.
- The maximum liability per cardholder for the period of insurance does not exceed $1,000.
- Items listed in the Terms and Conditions, which include jewellery and consumable goods, are not eligible for price refunds.
Requirement: Aged 21 to 65, with a minimum annual income of $30,000 (for Singaporeans and PRs) or $60,000 (for foreigners).
Other credit cards you could consider:
- Emerging as a decent option from the Bank of China, the Shop! Card, as its name suggests, is targeted at savvy shoppers. You receive a 6% cash rebate when you shop online, or even when you pay your bills online. For all other spend, you receive 1% cash rebate (for spending above $1,000) and 0.5% (for spending $1,000 and below).
- To qualify for the cash rebate, you have to spend a minimum of $500, up to a maximum of $1,000, on online transactions and/or at selected department stores.
- The total monthly cash rebate is capped at $100, the most generous amongst the credit cards I’ve seen so far. However, do note that the additional 5% cash rebate for online transactions is only valid till 30 September 2015.
- Some of the participating online merchants for which you enjoy shopping discounts include: Go Buy Lah, Faire Belle, and VanityTrove.
- The ANZ Optimum World MasterCard Credit Card is another attractive option if you shop online frequently. It gives you the flexibility to choose how you earn cash rebates, based on your spending habits.
- You get 5% cash rebate on any one of these categories: dining and leisure, travel, shopping, or groceries. To earn cash rebates for your online purchases, simply select “shopping” as your preferred rebate category. You can also earn 1% on all other spend outside your preferred category.
- Another attractive feature of this card is that there is no minimum spend required and no limit on your cash rebate earnings.
- Do note that the rebate is accumulated in the form of Optimum$, at the rate of 0.5 Optimum$ for every $10 spent (under the 5% category tier) and 0.1 Optimum$ for every $10 spent (under the 1% category tier). You can use Optimum$ to redeem for cash rebates, but only in $50 denominations. Also, Optimum$ will expire after 3 years.
- With the UOB Preferred Platinum Visa Card, shopping online gives you 10 times UNI$ (or 4 miles). Whether you’re shopping for clothes, bags, electronic items, books or even paying for your fast food delivery order online, you earn 10 UNI$ for every $5 spent. UNI$ can be used to redeem for shopping rewards under the UOB Island of Rewards.
- Note that the amount of UNI$ earned is capped at UNI$24,000 per calendar year, after which you earn 1 UNI$ for every $5 spent.
- Some of the participating online merchants include: Deal.com.sg, Luxola, Qoo10, Reebonz, Cathay, and Golden Village.
- At the same time, you also earn UOB SMART$ rebates, which can be used to offset your next purchase at over 800 participating outlets.
Are you using any of these credit cards for shopping, or do you have other useful cards to recommend? Let us know in the comments box below!
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