You might not notice it when you’re at the supermarket, but those $20 or $30 bills can quickly add up to a few hundred dollars each month, just on groceries alone. Check out this list to see the credit cards that will give you the best discounts and cash backs for grocery shopping.
Earlier this week, we published an article sharing 10 useful tips for saving on groceries. Some of the tips included: looking out for supermarket advertisements and coupons in Thursday’s newspapers, shopping in bulk for discounts, buying house brand items, as well as signing up for memberships to earn points to offset future spending.
Apart from these tips, there is also another way to slash grocery spending for all you frugal shoppers out there. That is, take advantage of your credit card’s rewards programme to earn additional cash backs and rebates.
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We asked 14 Singapore finance bloggers to share what they would do if they could go back in time and invest their first $20,000. They can no longer rewind time, but you can learn from their experience and hopefully start with a better footing.
Here are the best credit cards we’ve shortlisted to help you save on groceries:
Best at NTUC FairPrice
Why you need this card:
- As expected from a card bearing the NTUC branding, the NTUC Plus! Visa is the best credit card for shopping at NTUC FairPrice stores. Under their SG50 exclusive, cardholders who have valid Union memberships can enjoy a 9% rebate at NTUC FairPrice and FairPrice Online, as well as a 5% rebate in LinkPoints at Unity. This promotion is valid from 1 March 2015 to 28 February 2016 (both dates inclusive).
- The 9% rebate comprises a 5% LinkPoints rebate and 4% FairPrice Annual cash rebate. This works out to around 7.5 LinkPoints and 4 cents cash rebate per $1 charged.
- You can potentially earn an extra 1% rebate if you’re willing to credit your salary to an NTUC-OCBC Starter Savings Account, which comes together with this credit card. We don’t recommend you doing so just to earn a meagre 1% more rebate, because there are way better savings accounts out there. However, if you must, note that this 1% additional rebate is applicable only from 1 April to 31 December 2015.
- To qualify for the above rebates, you have to fulfil the following criteria:
– Use the card for Visa payments, with a minimum transaction sum of $20 at NTUC FairPrice and $15 at Unity. Not valid for purchase of gift vouchers, Big Sweep/4D/TOTO tickets and cigarettes.
– Accumulate $400 worth of Visa transactions outsideNTUC FairPrice and Unity within the same calendar month.
For the full terms and conditions, please refer here.
- Despite the somewhat cumbersome restrictions, the NTUC Plus! Visa also comes in useful for other benefits related to household spending. For example, you can earn up to 18.3% fuel savings at Esso, and 1.3% LinkPoints rewards on your mobile, electricity, water and gas, and town council bills.
- Annual fee: Lifetime fee waiver for NTUC members (prevailing NTUC membership fees still apply)
Best at Cold Storage
Why you need this card:
- This is hands down one of the best credit cards in town for hardcore grocery shopping. You get a generous 10% SMART$ rebate on all retail and online transactions at Cold Storage, Market Place, Jasons, Giant and Guardian (all under the Diary Farm Group).
- In order to earn the maximum 10% rebate, you have to fulfil just one criterion: charge $1,000 and above per month on the card. This is because rebates are earned according to different spending tiers:
1% rebate for spending $1 – $499
3% rebate for spending $500 – $999
10% rebate for spending $,000 and above
Hitting $1,000 shouldn’t be too much of a problem, especially if you grocery shop for the entire family and use the UOB Delight Card as your primary spending card. However, do note that the rebate earned is capped at 100 SMART$ per card member.
- This is also the only credit card that gives you 10% off house brands at Cold Storage, Giant and Guardian stores. (Sorry, atas supermarkets like Market Place and Jasons aren’t included.)
- If you frequent Cold Storage, there is an ongoing promotion that entitles you to daily special deals at selected outlets, plus get $10 Cold Storage vouchers with $60 minimum spend on weekends. The promotion is valid till 16 July 2015 and is not valid with other promotions or discounts.
- Additionally, if you shop in bulk and end up spending above $150 in a single receipt, you enjoy free home delivery for purchases at Giant Hyper stores (IMM, Parkway, Tampines and VivoCity).
- Annual fee: $85.60 (first year fee waiver)
Best at Sheng Shiong / Giant / Market Place
Why you need this card:
- Although it is the second best card for shopping at NTUC FairPrice, the Citibank SMRT Platinum Visa is the best card to have when you’re shopping at smaller supermarket chains like Sheng Shiong, Giant and Market Place. It offers up to 7% savings on groceries at all the aforementioned supermarkets, plus at NTUC FairPrice.
- The 7% savings comprises a 5% SMRT$ rebate and a 2% Citi Rebate, applicable at Sheng Shiong, Giant, and all FairPrice supermarkets (including FairPrice, FairPrice Xtra and FairPrice Finest).
(The only exception is FairPrice Xtra at Kallang Wave, where you earn 7.3% rebate directly in the form of SMRT$.)
- To entice new card holders to sign up, Citibank is currently holding a promotion that offers even more attractive savings on groceries – a whopping 12% off. All you have to do is to apply, get your card approved latest by 31 August 2015, and use your card within the first 45 days of approval. Do note, however, that you’re not eligible for this promotion if you have terminated your Citibank SMRT Platinum Visa Card in the past 12 months.
The terms and conditions of this promotion can be found here.
- To earn the maximum rebate rate, you’ll have to spend at least $50 per transaction and accumulate a minimum of $600 spending a month on your card. No need to worry even if you don’t hit $600 though – the SMRT$ earn rate just becomes 0.3% less.
- Apart from being surprisingly good for grocery shopping, the Citibank SMRT Platinum Visa also doubles up as a useful transport card, as its name implies. SMRT$ can be redeemed for free SMRT rides or shopping vouchers, and you can even earn an additional 2% SMRT$ simply by using EZ-Reload Auto Top-up to top up your card, which can also be used as an EZ-Link card.
- Other perks include: 15% savings at popular coffee joints (like Starbucks and The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf), 4% at pharmacies (like Watson’s, Guardian, Unity and GNC) and 5% savings when you pay service and conservancy charges at selected town councils.
- Annual fee: $160.50 (2-year fee waiver)
Other credit cards to consider:
- 6% cash rebate at Sheng Shiong, as well as at SPC, POPULAR, SP Services and StarHub
- Plus 3% cash rebate for flights purchased at AirAsia.com and 2% cash rebate on overseas spend
- Can be used as both an ATM and EZ-Link card
- Convenient to use as no signature is required; simply tap and pay for up to $100 per transaction
- Select “Groceries” as your preferred category for a calendar quarter to earn 5% cash rebate
- An additional 1% cash back on all other spending
- No minimum spend and no limit on total accumulated rebate
- 5% cash rebate for minimum $800 spend per month, for all 3 months in a calendar quarter; or 3% cash rebate for minimum $400 spend per month
- Applicable at all grocery stores and supermarkets in Singapore
- Also, up to 14% instant discount at all Caltex and Shell stations and 2% rebate at all F&B outlets (excluding hotel dining)
- 5% cash rebate at Cold Storage and NTUC FairPrice/Finest/Xtra, as well as at Guardian, Unity and Watsons
- Apart from these merchants, you also earn 5% cash rebate at leading petrol stations and hypermarts in Malaysia (useful if you like going across the Causeway to shop) and for fast food delivery like Canadian Pizza, KFC, McDonald’s and Pizza Hut
Which of these credit cards do you prefer for grocery shopping? Or do you have other useful cards to recommend? Let us know in the comments box below!
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