Paying utility bills and mobile phone bills every month forms most of your fixed monthly expenditure – which you can use to your advantage. Since you already know how much you expect to spend every month, you can plan ahead to maximise cashback or rewards every time you charge a bill to a credit card.
Think of it as money going out, but you’re earning something in return each time. Here are six credit cards in Singapore that help you maximise your spend on monthly utility and telco bills at the same time.
BEST CREDIT CARDS FOR PAYING UTILITY BILLS
Min. spend needed
Monthly cashback cap
|OCBC 365||3%||Singtel, M1, StarHub.
Power service providers such as Senoko Energy, Sembcorp Power and Keppel Electric
|S$800/month (less gets flat 0.3% cashback)||S$80/month|
|HSBC Visa Platinum||5%||Any recurring mobile, cable TV, and internet bill payments||S$400/month for all 3 months in the quarter||S$60 per account per quarter|
|UOB Delight||3% SMART$||Singtel, M1, StarHub, Prudential Insurance, United Overseas Insurance, Town Councils and SPH papers||S$400/month||S$50/month|
|POSB Everyday||1%||Power service providers like Geneco, iSwitch, Union Power, SP Group (including Best Electricity, Ohm Energy and Tuas Power) and StarHub||None||No cash rebates beyond $100/month|
|Maybank Barcelona Visa||1.60%||All local (Singapore) spend||None||Unlimited|
|Standard Chartered Unlimited Cashback||1.50%||All expenditure||None||Unlimited|
1. OCBC 365 Credit Card
The OCBC 365 Credit Card gives you a decent 3% rebate which covers 3 telcos – Singtel, StarHub and M1 – as well as power service providers such as Senoko Energy, Sembcorp Power and Keppel Electric. But you’ll need to charge a minimum of S$800 per month on your card to qualify. Otherwise, the cashback rate falls to a measly 0.3%. S$800 a month is achievable by consolidating all your utility and telco bills on this card.
Note the rebate is capped at S$80 a month but this still comes up to a hefty S$960 per year. Besides monthly utility bills, also earn 6% rebates on dining and online delivery, 3% on grocery shopping and online groceries and 5% on fuel charges (both local and overseas spending apply for dining, grocery shopping, and fuel charges).
2. HSBC Visa Platinum Card
Why say ‘no’ to a generous 5% rebate per month on recurring utility bills? With no restrictions on which telcos or Internet Service Providers to subscribe to in Singapore, the HSBC Visa Platinum Card gives you lots of flexibility. On top of that, enjoy up to 5% cash rebate on petrol and groceries and 2% rebates on dining.
To get the rebates, you need to spend at least S$400/month for all 3 months in the quarter. Take note that the rebates will be subjected to a maximum cap of S$60 per account per quarter.
3. UOB Delight Card
A card that lives up to its name, the UOB Delight Card gives you a decent rebate of 3% with a relatively low minimum spend of S$400 per month. This should not be too hard to achieve given that it covers the recurring bills of the 3 telcos (Singtel, StarHub, and M1), Prudential Insurance, United Overseas Insurance and even town councils and SPH newspapers subscriptions.
However, instead of receiving direct cashback, your rebate is awarded in the form of SMART$, which you can use to offset your payments with a variety of merchants. You can receive up to 50 SMART$ per month – equivalent to S$50 in value.
4. POSB Everyday Card
The POSB Everyday Card earns you 1% rebate on recurring utility bills from StarHub, Geneco, iSwitch, and Union Power, as well as the SP Group (Best Electricity, Ohm Energy and Tuas Power are engaging SP Group for its billing services). The big plus about this card? No minimum monthly spend required. But take note no cash rebates will be awarded beyond the maximum spend of $100 per month.
5. Maybank FC Barcelona Visa Signature Card
A cool card to own, the Maybank FC Barcelona Visa Signature Card is not only meant for die-hard football fans. This versatile card can actually save you lots of hassle every month when it comes to paying utility bills. With a flat 1.6% rebate on all local expenditure, it comes with no minimum monthly spend AND there is no cap on rebates.
Moreover, you earn 2X TREATS Points with every dollar spent on foreign currency transactions. With these TREATS points, you can redeem a host of privileges such as shopping and dining vouchers, cash credits and more (other than KrisFlyer Miles or AsiaMiles).
Another highlight is you can stand a chance to win a trip for 2 to watch the FC Barcelona LIVE in Camp Nou every football season. Accumulate $50 in local transactions, you get 5 chances (10 chances for S$50 charged in foreign currency transactions).
6. Standard Chartered Unlimited Cashback Credit Card
Like its slogan, “the card that lets you live without limits”, the Standard Chartered Unlimited Cashback Credit Card truly lives up to its name.
This card certainly makes life simpler (and cheaper): earn 1.5% rebate on all expenditure, period. No minimum spend required. No restriction on telco or power service provider you’re signed up to.
Other perks include generous discounts on a wide range of dining, travel, hotel bookings and entertainment. We also wrote about this card as being a simple, fuss-free cash back card.
When choosing the right credit card for you, be holistic. Don’t just consider the card’s rebate rate – also ask yourself questions like:
- Can you meet the minimum monthly spend?
- How likely are you to hit the rebate cap?
- Does the card provide access to other retail perks and discounts?
For example, if you’re splitting your expenses between cards and are unlikely to reach the minimum S$800/month spend for the OCBC 365 Credit Card, you may be better off with the Maybank FC Barcelona Visa Signature Card or the Standard Chartered Unlimited Cashback Credit Card, despite their lower rebate rates.
Similarly, the high 5% rebate for the HSBC Visa Platinum Card is only good till its S$60 cap per quarter – this means that anything spent above S$1,200 per quarter (the exact figure for the combined minimum spend for all 3 months per quarter) will not earn you any additional cashback.
Compare the best credit cards for a variety of needs with SingSaver and enjoy exclusive sign-up bonuses worth up to S$250 (and that’s on top of the banks’ own bonuses!).
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By Zann Huang
A recipient of the Magnum Foundation Emergency Grant in 2014, my photos from the Middle East and Asia have also been published in Time Magazine and Le Monde etc. My written work ranges from travel, politics (Mid-East) to the environment and finance-related matters.