Top 3 Credit Cards For Shopaholics
Love to shop till you drop? We totally get it! Shopping can be therapeutic and exciting, but at the same time, if you aren’t careful you can burn a serious hole in your pocket. To enjoy your shopping trips without a guilt-trip later on, do remember to stick to a budget, write out a shopping list and use a good credit card. Yes, you read that right – a good credit card can help you save more, stretch your budget and still keep your savings intact! Each credit card has unique benefits that cater to specific spending styles and thus, shoppers always on a spree would be wise to look for one (or two) with as many of these attributes as possible:
If you don’t carry a balance and pay your bill within the grace period which is typically 20 days, you will not incur interest charges. However, if do you need to stretch your payments, make sure the card you sign up for is offering the lowest rate possible. This will help reduce interest costs and also reduce your risk of running into credit card debt.
Accepted by a wide variety of merchants
You want the comfort of knowing that your card is accepted (almost) everywhere. The good news is that Visa and MasterCard credit cards have wide acceptance in Malaysia, so you can shop worry-free. Do note however, that a small number of merchants may not accept American Express charge cards or incur a surcharge. Thus, when choosing your shopping credit card, check that it is accepted at stores where you frequently shop.
Extra loyalty points
Most brands offer loyalty schemes these days and some are tied to partnerships with credit card companies and banks. You’ll notice certain loyalty programs offering double or triple points when members pay with a specific credit card. This gives you the opportunity to earn even more points and convert it for cash, air miles, freebies and others (where offered). For instance, you can earn 1 extra Tesco Clubcard Point when you pay with your CIMB Tesco Platinum MasterCard for RM 2 spent in Tesco. These points can then be converted into Discount Vouchers, which you can use when shopping at Tesco.
Fed up of cash leaving you and never coming back? Well that’s why cashbacks were invented (we suspect)! Look for a card with high-cash back, low-minimum spend and higher (or no) cap. This way, you can get back as much money as possible, without
spending too much! Cashbacks usually work on a percentage and sometimes only apply to certain categories of purchases.
For instance, some cards may offer higher cashback for online shopping, petrol and groceries whereas another card will offer greater rebates for travel purchases and entertainment. The moral of the story: choose a card that provides higher cashback rebates for categories that complement your spending style.
A solid rewards program
A credit card with a strong rewards program will bring even more value every time you swipe your card! Since serial shoppers are likely to swipe more often than others, it’s best to seriously consider if your card has rewards that are worthy of you. These can be a combination of freebies, discounts, reward point redemptions, exclusive privileges, cashbacks, special promos and the like.
Rebates and Discounts
If you are a shopaholic, you probably love discounts! And with the good credit cards, your chances for more discounts abound. Now these are sometimes reserved for certain merchants, department stores and types of purchases Thus, it’s best to study the potential discounts and rebates on offer with your card before you sign up.
0% instalment options
When shopping for appliances, furniture and other big buys, a low-interest or 0% instalment plan offered by good credit cards can be a godsend! It takes the burden of coming up with a large chunk of cash away and allows you to buy high-quality items, even if it costs a little more. At the same time, you can maintain your savings and pay for the item in affordable instalments instead. Note that some cards charge a handling fee that averages 1% to 4%, although not all do.
Top 3 Shopping Credit Cards
So which cards are available in the market right now that make the most sense for a serial shopper? Here are our top 3 picks:
Bit of a shopaholic and a control freak? Then, you’re going to love this card! Its gives you control over the cashback categories you wish to receive rebates on. There are 10 categories to choose from and you can select two of which include departmental stores, pharmacies, groceries, dining, and entertainment. Depending on the categories selected, you will receive 10% rebates on eligible transactions from partner merchants (e.g. Parkson, Isetan, MPH, Guardian and Tesco, etc.). You’ll also get bonus cashback rebates of 10% on mobile bills on top of the two categories selected. Do bear in mind that the cashbacks are capped at RM100 per month and you do have to spend a minimum to qualify for cashbacks.
This card is a cashback king with up to 6% cashback for online shopping, retail shopping, travel and entertainment, respectively. Each category is capped but when you calculate the maximum amount you could receive in cashbacks: RM 35 for retail shopping, RM 35 for online shopping, RM 100 for overseas swipes, RM 35 for entertainment and RM 15 for general spending, it equals a possible RM 220 per month or over RM 2, 600 annually.
However, to qualify for cashback rebates you do have to spend a minimum amount in each category. Thus if you are a big spender, this would be a worthwhile card to hold on to. The annual fee is waived for the principal and supplementary card as well! As far as interest rates go, this card charges 15% per annum, which is not the lowest available, but you do benefit in other ways still. For instance, if you travel frequently, you’ll enjoy travel insurance, golf privileges and airport lounge access.
A big draw for this card is the 10% cashback on credit card interest charges, without capping. This means that even if you pass the grace period on your shopping (retail) swipes, you’ll essentially enjoy lower finance charges on the outstanding balance. Moreover, you also receive 0.2% cashback on all retail swipes, again, without capping. And there’s more cashback to be had for other spending categories as well – 2% for groceries, petrol and utility bills (capped at RM 50 per category, per month) and 5% cashback for all online shopping lovers (capped at RM 30 per month). Interest per annum is at 15% but do bear in mind that the annual fee is waived and minimum income requirement is rather low at only RM 24,000 per month. It’s a solid card to consider for credit card newbies and shoppers alike!
These are three of the best cards for shoppers, but you can discover even more options to cater to your unique spending style by using our credit card comparison tool!