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There are over 100 credit cards in Singapore today, and you shouldn't use just any card. With the right credit card, your money works harder for you by maximising the reward points, air miles, or cashback you get per dollar. But what if you don't have time to go through all the cards available in Singapore?
As a general rule, two credit cards are enough for most Singaporeans.
Make your first credit card a cashback card for general expenses like groceries and utilities. Cashback is the rebate you receive for using the card. This is typically 6% ? 8% of what you charge to it. We recommend cashback credit cards because rebates are versatile. It's like getting a permanent discount on your most essential purchases.
Your second credit card should be for the biggest portion of retail spend. If you spend most of your disposable income on restaurants, for example, there should be a dining credit card in your wallet. If you spend more on travel, then the second credit card could be for air miles.
Visa and MasterCard are intermediaries that connect merchants with banks. Visa and MasterCard process transactions when you pay with their credit cards, but they do not forward you the credit you are using (that money comes from your issuing bank). American Express however, is both a distributor as well as a card issuer.
Each card company has its own strengths. American Express is arguably the best choice for customer service, MasterCard seems to have slightly wider acceptance, and Visa is quicker on card replacement.
These are good to know, but ultimately it doesn't matter which intermediary you should choose. Instead, you should focus on finding a specific credit card that matches your spending habits, to maximise the rewards you can get. This page is a good place to start finding the best credit card for those purposes.
The one big advantage of a debit card is that it controls your spending. After all, you can't spend money you don't have with a debit card.
But if you have discipline, a credit card can be better for savings and is sometimes safer. If your wallet gets stolen, and you lose your debit card, simple things like paying electricity bills or buying food will be a major hassle. A credit card holder however, will still have cash: money charged to their credit card isn?t immediately deducted from their account.
Credit cards also allow you to collect and accumulate rewards points that can be traded for a range of benefits, such as vouchers and discounts. Rewards points are credited to your account when you spend on your card. Debit cards, on the other hand, rarely give rewards no matter how often you use them.
Think about what you spend most on and what your priorities are. Do you spend a lot on groceries? Or maybe you travel quite often during the year?
Examine your lifestyle and see which type of credit card can help you save money or earn points when you spend. Each credit card has its own benefits. Some are better for cashback rebates, some known for its air miles, and some are great at rewarding you with points. Pick one that suits your needs to get the most out of your credit card and save hundreds of dollars every year.
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