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Shopping credit cards are exactly what they say they are. They offer exclusive rewards every time you use them to shop at your favourite online stores and retail stores in Singapore. You get more out of your purchases when you use a credit card for shopping compared to other types of cards.
Should you use these credit cards to shop online, they come with security features to keep your account safe. MasterCard and Visa now offer extra layers of security on their credit cards, which include password protection and personal message features. In the case of MasterCard, transactions are made private with the SecureCode feature, which only you and your bank can have access to. Visa also offers the Zero Liability feature, which protects you from theft, loss, and fraudulent transactions made using your card.
Credit cards form partnerships with different online stores to provide discounts, accelerated rewards points, and other exclusive benefits when you use your card to make purchases at that store.
When using your card to make a purchase online, you need to provide your credit card number, expiration date, and your name, as well as the three-digit security code at the back of the card. Your purchase will not be processed until all these details have been provided.
There are many advantages to using a credit card when you shop. Besides being a convenient mode of payment, credit cards help build your credit history when you pay your bill in full and on time. This is important for you to do early in life; having a healthy credit score gives you access to mortgages and other crucial loans later in life.
Some credit cards also offer 0% instalment plans, which make important big purchases more affordable and manageable. An instalment plan is basically an short-term interest-free loan charged to your credit card for large purchases, which you must repay in fixed instalments. Instalment plans can last anywhere between 6 to 24 months, depending on the merchant. If buying an important big-ticket item would mean clearing out your savings, such as replacing your refrigerator or laptop, it is better to use the instalment plan instead of cash. This way, you have funds to cushion you if a true emergency should occur.
Finally, the right shopping credit card gives you rewards every time you make payments on it. So long as you pay your bill in full and on time, you can reap the extra benefits of using a credit card and enjoy perks you never would have gotten if you had paid in cash.
Shopping rewards vary from card to card. Generally, they come in the form of cashback, rewards points, or straight-up discounts at your favourite stores.
Cashback rewards let you earn back a small portion of your retail spend. If the credit card gives 5% cashback on shoes, clothes, and bags, and you spend S$200 in Zara, then you earn S$10. Cashback is not actually awarded in cash; it is usually credited towards your next credit card bill.
Rewards points, on the other hand, are awarded to your account for every S$1 you spend on retail or at a particular store. Once you've managed to accrue several thousand points, you can exchange them for vouchers at your favourite stores. Before signing up for a card, take a few minutes to check if their catalogue carries rewards from brands and websites you like, and how much you'll need to spend to earn it. There's no real point in getting a rewards credit card if you don't like anything from the catalogue, or if the cost of earning the reward is far greater than its value.
There is no such thing as a "best credit card" for shopping. The best credit card for you is one that will reward you for your spending habits and your lifestyle. This is why we urge you to compare credit cards carefully before applying for one.
If you shop frequently at a particular online store, such as Amazon or Zalora, it's worth finding a credit card that offers discounts and other perks at these stores. In the long run you get to save money every time you shop, and get rewarded for your loyalty. If you shop at a wide variety of stores, it may be better to get a cash rebate shopping card that's not affiliated with a particular brand. Examine the credit card's partners and see if they offer discounts, free shipping, and other exclusive benefits for cardholders.
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