We all love shopping, even more so when there’s plenty of bargains and discounts. That’s why this Great Singapore Sale (GSS), we’ve rounded up some of the best deals for online shopping and various shopping mall promotions.

What’s more, when you make purchases using your credit card, you get to earn cashback or air miles with your spending. Depending on how much you’re planning to spend, some cards might get you more cashback than others. 

As credit cards have different spending requirements and cashback limits, you’ll want to find a card that gets you the most rebate for your bucks. In the following sections, we’ve compared four different cashback cards and your potential cashback if you’re planning to spend $500, $2,000, or $10,000 on shopping within the month.

Whether you’re a light shopper, a modest spender, or someone who splurges, we’ve got some suggestions for you. These tips can be especially useful if you’re hitting the cashback limits on your cards.

For the comparison below, we’re assuming that you’ll have other types of spending (dining, groceries, utilities etc) that will help you hit the minimum spend required on the cards. Also, we’re looking solely at the amount you’ll get back from your shopping expenses.

Best cashback credit cards for shopping

Maybank Platinum Visa Card

Maybank Platinum Visa Card

The Maybank Platinum Visa Card has one of the lowest qualifying spend. In order to earn a decent 3.33% cashback, you only need to spend $300 per month for the quarter. Having said that, the cashback cap is limited to $30 per quarter if you spend between $300 to $999 per month in that quarter and $100 per quarter if you spend more than $1,000 per month in the quarter. 

American Express True Cashback Card

AMEX True Cashback Card

If you find it a hassle to keep track of your spending across different categories, or do not want to be restricted by the cashback cap, the AMEX True Cashback Card keeps it simple with no minimum spend and no cashback cap. You get 1.5% cashback for spending across every category. With the AMEX card, you also get access to plenty of dining deals in their Love Dining Programme.

UOB One Card

UOB One Card

The UOB One Card offers a tiered cashback programme, where you can spend as little as $500 per month for 3 months to qualify for 3.33% cashback. If you spend over $2,000 per month for 3 months, the cashback would increase to 5%. This makes the UOB One card a prime choice for many shoppers as you get the flexibility of spending as much as you want to.

HSBC Advance Card

HSBC Advance credit card

The HSBC Advance Card offers one of the highest cashback (2.5%) across all categories. They do require you to spend at least $2,000 per month and you are capped at $70 in cashback every month. If you are a HSBC Advance member, you get 3.5% cashback across all categories, with a higher cashback cap of $125 per month. Card holders are also entitled to many 1-for-1 dining deals with the Entertainer app

What do the above mean for you?

  Maybank Platinum Visa AMEX True Cashback UOB One HSBC Advance
Minimum spend $300, or $1,000 per month, per quarter No minimum $500, $1,000, $2,000 per month for 3 consecutive months $2,000 per month
Cashback cap $30, or $100 per quarter (depends on above spending requirements) No cap $50, $100, or $300 per quarter (depends on above spending requirements) $70 per month ($125 per month for Advance members)
Cashback % 3.33% 1.5% 3.33%, or 5% (with $2000 X 3 months) 2.5% (additional 1% for Advance members)
Cashback from $500 of shopping $16.50 $7.50 $16.50, or $25 (with $2000 X 3 months) $12.50
Cashback from $2,000 of shopping $66 $30 $66, or $100 (with $2000 X 3 months) $50
Cashback from $10,000 of shopping $100 $150 $100, or $300 (with $2,000 X 3 months) $70

As you can see from the above table, if you’re not the biggest of spenders, the Maybank Platinum Visa Card and UOB One Card offers the most cashback on $500 of shopping – at 3.33%, it means that you’ll get $16.50 back. At that rate of spending, you’ll also unlikely hit the cashback cap on these cards.

However, if you’re planning to spend more and expecting to exceed the cashback limit, getting a card like the American Express True Cashback Card that comes with no minimum spending and no cashback limit may be the better option. 

For a well-balanced card, the UOB One Card offers a highly competitive cashback rebate for all types of shoppers. Moreover, if you have a savings account with UOB, this spending requirement on your UOB One Card will also earn you bonus interest on your savings.

We understand. It can be quite a hassle to clock the minimum spend and to be limited by the cashback cap. What if you are exceeding the cashback caps and you want to earn more than 1.5% cashback? Here are some suggestions for you. 

1. Consider getting air miles instead of cashback

Unlike the cashback cap on cashback cards, there is usually no limit to the amount of air miles you can earn on your air miles cards. Some cards have restrictions with regards to miles collection and redemption so look out for the terms and conditions. 

If you’re planning to spend a substantial sum of money this GSS, some air miles cards also offer a lump sum bonus on your first bulk spending. For example, Citibank’s PremierMiles Visa card offers 21,000 bonus miles when you spend $7,500 in your first 3 months and pay your annual fee.

So if you’re already planning to spend $10,000 this GSS, you can easily earn 12,000 miles (assuming 1.2 miles earned per dollar) with 21,000 bonus miles on the Citi PremierMiles card. What can that get you? Assuming you redeem 30,000 miles for a round-trip to Taiwan, which is worth around $400, you would be getting more value than any of the above cashback.

The downside of collecting air miles is that it is only worth it if you redeem the air miles for flight tickets. If you prefer to have the flexibility of cash, or if you’re not an avid traveller, this may not be for you. 

2. Spread out your spending across multiple cards

If you’re hitting the cashback limit on your card, but you still want to earn a large cashback, an alternative is to get another card to spread out your spending. 

It may be more tricky to manage your expenditure across different cards because you want to make sure that you hit the minimum spending on each of them. But hey, if you’re really out to maximise your cashback, you have to do some homework to mix and match the cards. 

This probably applies more for those who are spending upwards of several thousand dollars every month, and you might want to consider splitting up your cards according to the spending categories e.g. a card for dining, groceries, and petrol, and another card for shopping and online shopping.

Look at your overall monthly spending across categories

In this article, we’ve only covered the cashback cards that give the best rebate for shopping. Besides the shopping bargains and discounts, there are also plenty of dining deals for you during GSS. That's when you can consider using other specialised cashback cards that earn a higher cashback for specific categories of spending like dining or petrol. 

Whether you’re looking for a card that gets you the most cashback or air miles, or if you’re looking for another card to spread out your spending, you can easily compare across over 30 different cards on GoBear. On our site, you can even put in your expected monthly spending in the filters and you’ll get an estimate of your potential savings or miles earned over the year. 


Compare Credit Cards On GoBear


We’re also running our own GSS credit card promotion. From now till 31 July 2019, if you’re getting selected cards like the above-mentioned AMEX True Cashback Card or the HSBC Advance Card from us, you’ll stand a chance to win a holiday to Melbourne, Bangkok, and Ho Chi Minh City. 

What are you waiting for? Whether you’re a modest shopper or someone who splurges, we have got the right credit cards for you. Find a card for your GSS shopping today. 


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Zhi Han

Zhi Han

He specialises in writing on investing and finance topics and is a long-time supporter of cryptocurrencies.