Best Strategies To Maximise Your Credit Card Cashback

When it comes to picking the best credit cards for cashback rewards, it is often wise to adopt a few strategies such as combining perks with the use of multiple credit cards, or even rotating the usage of cards every month to avoid surpassing cash rebates limits and to get the most out of each cards’ cashback benefits, just to name a few. To find out which strategies are for you, let’s take a look at the best ones our team has listed out.

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Strategy #1: Target category bonuses in everyday spending

One of the fastest ways to maximise your cashback is to maximise your credit card category bonuses. Many credit cards offer double, triple or even quintuple points in certain categories of expenditure. For example, the UOB One Card offers up to 15% on GrabFood spend, purchases at Cold Storage, Giant, Guardian, 7-Eleven, and many more merchants. This is more than 4 times the cash rebate that you’ll get for all other retail spend, which is only 3.33%. 

If you like to eat out and drive often, cards like Citi Cash Back Card will give you up to 8% of cashback benefits on dining, groceries and petrol. So be sure to know what bonus categories each of your credit cards offer and try to gain the cash back benefits you need or earn bonus points whenever you can.

Strategy #2: Time your big-ticket item purchases

By strategically timing your high-cost purchases, i.e. new furniture for your new home, honeymoon vacation or holiday gifting, etc, you’ll most likely be able to make the most out of the cashback perks that your credit card provides. For instance, if you've just moved into your new house and you’ll probably be spending thousands on new furniture in the coming months, it’ll be wise to wait until then to apply for a new credit card. This way, everything that you’re going to be charging to your credit card can go towards earning significant cash back or even a generous welcome bonus.

Strategy #3: Convert travel rewards to cash rebates

Certain credit cards have loyalty rewards programmes which lets you convert your reward points or even accumulated air miles to cash rebates or other cashback-related benefits. For example, if you hold a OCBC 90°N card, any OCBC Travel$ points you earned are essentially flexible rewards which can be converted to cash rebates or even deals on the OCBC STACK marketplace such as free hotel nights (for exclusive partner hotels), club lounge access dining vouchers and more. 


There’s no minimum spend and no cap on the amount of points you can earn each month. Other cards like Citibank’s Citi PremierMiles card allows you to earn and accumulate Citi air miles, Citi ThankYou PointsSM or Cash Back quickly when you use your Citi PremierMiles card to pay for your big-ticket bills such as rent, insurance premiums, vice versa, which you can easily redeem as cash rebates via their mobile app.


Strategy #4: Watch the cash rebate limit

This strategy requires a bit more bookkeeping for you as you’ll have to make sure to not go over the cash rebate limit of that particular credit card you’re using. You’ve got to maximise the respective categories per month without going over any limits so that your spending efforts will not go to waste. 


Let’s say you’re using the HSBC Visa Platinum card which offers 5% cash rebate on dining, groceries and petrol but has a $250 cash rebate cap per month. So if you’ve spent a huge amount that month and that 5% of your total spending for that month exceeds $250, you’ll still get only $250. Thus, overspending to a certain amount may not be that beneficial when you’re holding certain credit cards with cash rebate limits.

Setting calendar reminders using bills or budget organising apps like TimelyBills or Remember The Milk can help you remember to activate your monthly credit card bonus categories and to not spend over the cash rebate limit.

Strategy #5: Make payments in full, on time

When you pay your credit card bills on time and in full, you will not only maintain a good credit score, but also get the most value out of your credit card rewards. As most credit card interest rates are in the double-digits and rewards rates are typically single-digits, carrying a balance may most likely offset your earnings. In order to avoid missing out on any cash back rewards, pay off your statement balance in full for every billing cycle. This will help you avoid an unwanted debt too.

7 Best Credit Cards for Cashback (2023)

Whether you’re looking for a card with cashback benefits for your everyday spending or for specific spending categories, doing a comparison of what’s available at the moment will help you make a better decision.

You might want to also consider a two-card strategy if you're a cashback and travel junkie: One credit card for your everyday expenses to gain cash rebates, and another miles cum cashback card if you plan to use Singapore as a base to fly around Asia.

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MoneySmart Exclusive
Earn Unlimited 1.5% Cashback
MoneySmart Exclusive
Earn Unlimited 1.5% Cashback

Standard Chartered Simply Cash Credit Card

Cash Back on Eligible spend
Up to 1.5%
Min. Spend per month
S$0
Cash Back Cap per month
Unlimited

Get attractive gifts like a Nintendo Switch OLED (worth S$549) or a Hinomi Q1 Ergonomic Chair (worth S$499) or a Apple Watch SE (worth S$382.50) or a Sony WF-1000XM5 Wireless Headphones (worth S$429) or up to S$370 Cash via PayNow* when you apply and meet the relevant spend criteria! T&Cs apply.

Valid until 31 May 2024
MoneySmart Exclusive
Faster Gift Redemption
MoneySmart Exclusive
Faster Gift Redemption

Citi Cash Back+ Mastercard®

Cash Back on Eligible Spend
1.6%
Min. Spend per month
S$0
Cash Back Cap
Unlimited

[FASTER GIFT FULFILMENT]
Get an Apple iPad (9th Gen), 64GB (worth S$508.30) or a Sony WH-1000XM5 Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphones (worth S$589) or S$420 Lendlease E-Vouchers (can be used at 313@somerset, Jem, Parkway Parade, PLQ) or S$300 Cash via PayNow, in as fast as 6 weeks from meeting the S$500 spend criteria! T&Cs apply.

Valid until 31 May 2024
MoneySmart Exclusive
Get up to 15% Rebate
MoneySmart Exclusive
Get up to 15% Rebate

UOB One Card

Cashback on McDonald's, DFI Retail Group, Grab, Shopee, SP and more
Up to 10%
Cashback Cap per quarter
Up to S$500
Min. Spend per month
S$500
Receive S$350 Cash Credit when you are the first 200 new-to-UOB credit card customers in May 2024 who successfully apply for an eligible UOB Credit Card and spend a min. of S$1,000 per month for 2 consecutive months from their card approval date. T&Cs apply.
Valid until 30 May 2024
Online Promo
Up to 10% Cashback
Online Promo
Up to 10% Cashback

CIMB Visa Signature

Cash Back on Beauty & Wellness, Online Shopping, Groceries
10%
Min. spend per month to qualify for the 10% Cash Back
S$800
Cash Back Cap per month
S$100
Online Promo:
Get up to S$188 Cashback when you spend a minimum of S$988 in Eligible Transactions within 60 days from card approval date. T&Cs apply.
Valid until 31 Jul 2024
High Spend on Dining | MoneySmart x OCBC GIVEAWAY
High Spend on Dining | MoneySmart x OCBC GIVEAWAY

OCBC 365 Credit Card

Cashback on Everyday Dining (Including Local, Overseas and Online Food Delivery)
5%
with min. spend of $1,600 per month
Unlock up to $160 Cashback
with min. spend of $800 per month
$80 Cashback per month
Online Promo
Earn up to 8% Cashback
Online Promo
Earn up to 8% Cashback

Maybank Family & Friends Card

globally on 5 preferred cashback categories PLUS all other Malaysian Ringgit spend
Up to 8% Cashback
Unlimited Cashback on all other spend
0.3%
Annual Fee Waiver
3 years
Online Promo:
Receive a Samsonite ENOW SPINNER 69/25 EXP (worth S$570), or 10,000 Bonus Air Miles*, or an Apple AirPods (3rd generation) with Lightning Charging Case, or S$200 Cashback when you apply for a new Maybank Credit Card and spend a min. of S$600 in Eligible Transactions each month for the first two consecutive months upon card approval. T&Cs apply.
Valid until 31 May 2024
Online Promo
Earn Cash Rebates that Never Expire
Online Promo
Earn Cash Rebates that Never Expire

POSB Everyday Card

Cash rebates on Online Food Delivery
Up to 10%
Cash Rebates on Groceries from Sheng Siong
Up to 5%
Cash Rebate on Online Shopping
Up to 5%
Online Promo:
Get S$388 Cashback when you apply and make the min. spend of S$800 within 60 days of card approval. T&Cs apply.
Valid until 31 May 2024
Earn up to 1.8% unlimited cashback
Earn up to 1.8% unlimited cashback

OCBC INFINITY Cashback Card

on eligible transactions
Earn 1.6% Cashback
Min. Spend
S$0
Cashback Cap
Unlimited

Compare SCB Simply Cash Credit Card vs. Citi Cash Back + Card

As one of the ideal cards for cashback perks, Standard Chartered Simply Cash credit card is often compared with popular cards like the Citi Cash Back+ Card which is also another attractive cash back credit card option you would have come across on MoneySmart’s online credit card comparison wizard. Let’s have a closer look at the requirements and benefits of these two cards and do a more detailed comparison. The key factors which we’ll be focusing on are interest rates, annual fees, minimum annual income requirements and cash back benefits.

Although the interest rates and annual fees are similar, the Citi Cash Back + Card is a more affordable option for foreigners looking to apply for a cashback credit card as the minimum annual income requirement is much lower, by a significant $18,000.

In terms of cashback benefits, the Standard Chartered Simply Cash Credit Card falls short slightly in the percentage of cashback with 0.1% lesser cashback than Citi Cash Back + Card, and the “welcome” gift of $250 cashback is lesser than Citi Cash Back + Card’s $300. Moreover, the Citi Cash Back + Card entitles you up to a million of travel insurance coverage when you charge your travel tickets purchases to your Citi Cash Back+ Card, making it more suitable for those who like to travel frequently.

SCB Simply Cash Credit Card




Interest rate: 26.90%
Annual fee: S$196.20 (incl. 9% GST)
(First year waiver available)
Minimum annual income:

  • $30,000 for Singaporeans and PRs
  • $60,000 for foreigners

    Cash back benefits:
  • 1.5% cash back on all eligible purchases
  • $250 cash back upon activation of card
  • $80 cash back referral reward
  • No minimum spend requirement
  • Unlimited cash back (no cap on earned cash back)

  • Citi Cash Back + Card




    Interest rate: 26.90%
    Annual fee: S$196.20 (incl. 9% GST) for Year 1
    (First year waiver available)
    Minimum annual income:

  • $30,000 for Singaporeans and PRs
  • $42,000 for foreigners

    Cash back benefits:
  • Minimum of 1.6% cash back on spending on any category
  • Unlimited cash back (no cap on earned cash back)
  • Welcome gift of up to S$300 cash back
  • No minimum spend requirement
  • Up to S$1 million coverage of travel insurance

  • Is There A Right Credit Card For You? Our MoneySmart General Manager weighs in

    How To Pick The Best Cashback Credit Card?

    With so many credit cards with cashback benefits to choose from, it gets a little tricky to narrow down the best ones to suit your lifestyle. Truth be told, there’s no single best credit card in Singapore that is perfect for every person as each and every one of us has different spending preferences, annual income, and lifestyle needs and wants. Thus, you’ll have to choose the best one for yourself. Here’s how:

    Step 1

    Understand your spending habits

    Start by analysing your spending patterns. Look at your monthly expenses and identify the categories where you spend the most, such as dining, groceries, transportation, or online shopping. This will help you narrow down cards that offer higher cashback rates in those categories.

    Step 2

    Evaluate cashback rates and categories

    Compare the cashback rates offered by different credit cards. As some cards provide a flat cashback rate on all purchases, others may offer higher rates in specific categories. Cards that align with your spending patterns and offer the highest cashback rates in the categories you frequently spend in will be the most beneficial to you.

    Step 3

    Check for spending caps or minimum requirements

    Some cashback credit cards impose spending caps or minimum requirements to earn cashback. Consider whether you're likely to reach these thresholds based on your spending habits. If your expenses are higher, you might prefer a card with no caps or higher limits.

    Step 4

    Consider the annual fee

    Evaluate the annual fee associated with the credit card. Ensure that the cashback benefits you'll receive outweigh the cost of the annual fee. Some cards offer a waiver of the annual fee, which helps you make some savings.

    Step 5

    Review additional perks and benefits

    Look beyond cashback and consider the supplementary perks and benefits offered by the credit cards. These may include discounts, promotions, travel privileges, insurance coverage, or exclusive access to events. Choose a card that provides additional value based on your lifestyle and preferences.

    Step 6

    Compare and make an informed decision

    Once you have considered all the factors mentioned above, compare the shortlisted credit cards side by side. You may use a comparison tool such as MoneySmart’s best credit cards page to assess which card offers the most favorable cashback rates for you, suits your spending habits, and provides additional benefits that align with your preferences.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Which credit card has the best cashback benefits?

    There's no single best credit card in Singapore that is perfect for every person as each and every one of us has different spending preferences, annual income, and lifestyle needs and wants. At the moment, the UOB One Card offers one of the highest cash rebates that is up to 15% on GrabFood spend, purchases at Cold Storage, Giant, Guardian, 7-Eleven, and many more merchants. Other cards like Standard Chartered Simply Cash Credit Card, Citi Cash Back Card, CIMB Visa Signature, and OCBC Frank Card offer about up to 8-10% cashback benefits.

    Can I convert my reward points or air miles to cash rebates?

    Yes and no. Certain credit cards have loyalty rewards programmes which allow you convert your reward points or even accumulated air miles to cash rebates or other cashback-related benefits. For example, if you hold a OCBC 90°N card, any OCBC Travel$ points you earned are essentially flexible rewards which can be converted to cash rebates or even deals on the OCBC STACK marketplace such as free hotel nights (for exclusive partner hotels), club lounge access dining vouchers and more.

    Which cards have an unlimited cashback cap?

    Currently, Standard Chartered Simply Cash Credit Card, Citi Cash Back+ Mastercard, American Express True Cashback Card, CIMB Visa Infinite and CIMB World Mastercard are among the popular credit cards which do not have a cashback limit.

    Do I have to hit a minimum credit card spend amount to enjoy cashback benefits?

    Yes and no. Most credit cards do not require you to spend a minimum sum to qualify for the cashback benefits, but certain cards like the Maybank Horizon Visa Signature Card require a minimum spend of S$600 spend/month for all 3 months in a calendar quarter, while cards like the POSB Everyday Card requires you to spend a minimum of S$800 within 60 days from the date of Card approval to enjoy the cashback benefits.

    Are there waivers for cashback credit card fees?

    Yes, there are many credit cards that offer free waivers for your annual fees, but you’ll have to call in or email or log into your account with your credit card issuing bank to request for it.