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How to choose a rewards credit card?


We all would love to earn some rewards while we are spending at various stores. These reward points help us to offset some purchases or fly to an exotic destination.

Types of credit card rewards

Rewards may be in the form of points, miles, or called TREATS. This depends on the bank what it chooses to name it. Various banks name their rewards in different ways:

Maybank – TREATS



DBS – DBS points

Things we must consider when picking a rewards card

Choosing a cc with reward points is completely subjective in nature. It depends on which category you want to redeem for. With banks offering credit card with reward points for niche categories like travel, shopping, and grocery among others, it becomes difficult to make a decision. Here are some things you must consider before picking a credit card:

How much you earn: Usually, credit card which offers high reward points might have a high annual fee and/or a set higher amount for minimum spending. Though banks have prescribed a limit on the income as eligibility for almost all their cards, it is still important to consider whether you will be able to afford the charges when you spend so much.

What you spend on: You need to consider your lifestyle and spending habits. Are you someone who travels a lot? Are you a compulsive shopper? Or do you spend while saving enough? You could use your spending habits, to arrive at a decision.

How you want the rewards: Another factor to consider is to know how you want the rewards. For instance, if you are an avid traveler, you might consider cards that rewards in the form of miles. Or you might consider a credit card that offers conversion of reward points into miles at a low or no fee at all.

When you want the rewards: This is another aspect to consider when you apply for a credit card with reward points. Some banks have set a long expiry date for the reward points. For example, for Citi Rewards Credit Card has a validity of up to five years for its reward points. This means you could accumulate the reward points to redeem it for something huge.

Or else if you want instant redemption, that too is available with several credit card.

Comparison of best rewards credit cards

Here are some banks we picked, that offer credit card with a good amount of reward points per purchase.

Citi Rewards Credit Card

Citi too offers a card which you can use for shopping to accumulate reward points. A popular choice is the Citi Rewards Credit Card.

Pros –

There is a waiver on the annual fee for both (basic and supplementary) cards for the first year.

You have the chance of earning 10 times with the Citi Rewards Credit Card when you purchase shoes, clothes or bags, and at departmental stores. All purchases made online is also considered for this reward points.  Citi offers you 10 reward points for every S$1 you spend.

The benefit to the customer is, this covers all the local as well as overseas purchases.

All other purchases outside the above will gain you 1 reward points per S$1.

You have the option of offsetting purchases and redeeming vouchers instantly.

You can either redeem your reward points all through the year or if you accumulate the reward points, you have the choice of spending it at one time.

For one-time redemption, your choices would vary from $900 worth of shopping vouchers or $600 cash rebate or round-trip to Sydney or conversion to 96,000 Miles when you have 240,000 reward points at the end of the year.

Additionally, the validity of reward points is 5 years. The minimum age to apply for this card is 21 years.

Cons –

This card can be applied for by Singaporeans and PRs who earn at least S$30,000 p.a. and by foreigners who earn at least S$42,000 p.a.

The annual fee for the basic card is S$192.60 and the supplementary card will cost you S$96.30 after the first year. Please note these prices are inclusive of GST.

Maybank World MasterCard

This card offered by Maybank allows you to earn reward points called as TREATS up to 10 times which do not have an expiry.

Pros –

You can earn 10 times treat for every $1 you spend on travel. You could convert these TREATS into miles. It offers 4 air miles for each $1 you spend.

You can earn 10 times treat for every $1 you spend on petrol. You could save up to 19.1% on petrol.

Eating out and shopping will also earn you TREATS up to 10 times TREATS points for every S$1 you spend at selected merchants.

The minimum age of the principal cardholder should be 21 years, whereas, a supplementary card can be held by an individual above 18 years.

Cons –

There is an annual fee of $240 after the first year of signing up.

You are eligible to apply for the Maybank World MasterCard if your annual income is above $80,400.

HSBC’s Revolution Credit Card

Pros –

HSBC promises 5 times the reward points when using its Revolution Credit Card for the following:

  •    This is applicable to dining in restaurants and cafes locally.
  •    It also includes the online purchase of movies, concerts and airline tickets.
  •    Whenever you pay at local pubs, bars, and family KTVs, you gain 5 times the reward points.

For every S$ 1, you spend, you gain 1 reward points.  

Additionally, you have the option of converting your reward points into miles. Every dollar you spend will be equal to 2 miles.

You can decide your monthly budget to gain maximum rewards, which you can, in turn, use to pay for other items.

The bank has set no minimum spending for this and there is no upper limit of accumulating reward points.

There is no annual fee on the card for the first 2 years.

After you accumulate 12800 reward points, you can choose to redeem it in many ways like a vacation voucher, shopping mall voucher, KrisFlyer miles or Royal Caribbean voucher.

For Singaporeans and PRs, the minimum annual income is capped at S$30,000. Foreigners and self-employed persons earning above S$40,000 p.a. are eligible to apply for this credit card. However, if your income is not up to the limit set by the bank, the bank allows you to use a collateral of fixed deposit account amounting to at least S$10,000.

Cons –

5 times the reward points when using its Revolution Credit Card is applicable only for individual diners.



Ram Kumar blogs at DeviceBowl. He is a graduate in Computer Science and Engineering. Addicted to Blogging and Coding.

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