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In the dynamic financial landscape of Singapore, understanding how to save money is more important than ever. With a vast variety of credit card options available, making an informed choice can significantly impact your savings. This guide dives into the world of cashback credit cards, focusing on CIMB's diverse offerings. We'll explore how to harness these tools to optimise your financial benefits, whether you're seeking the best cashback credit card available or strategies in saving more money with your current card.

Understanding Your Spending Patterns

The first step in mastering credit card usage is to analyse your spending habits. Are you a frequent diner, an avid shopper, or a regular traveller? By categorising your expenses, you can align your spending with the right credit card that gives you the highest cashback or rewards. List down the main categories of your expenses, and compare the cashback and rewards offered by different banks. You can easily make a call on which card to use for those categories of spend.

 

CIMB Visa Signature

CIMB World Mastercard

CIMB Visa Infinite

Bank A

Cashback card

Online shopping

10%

1%

1% 1.6%
Groceries

10%

- 1% 1.6%
Beauty & wellness 10%

1%

1% 1.6%
Luxury goods 0.2% 2% 1% 1.6%
Wine & dine 0.2% 2% 1% 1.6%
Travel spend - - 2% 1.6%
Overseas spend As per above categories As per above categories 2% 1.6%

Maximising Cashback with Strategic Card Usage 

Once you understand your spending habits, the next step is to align them with the right credit card. For instance, if you tend to spend substantially on online shopping, the CIMB VISA Signature card, offering up to 10% cashback on online shopping, can be a lucrative option. Conversely, for those who spend across a broader range of categories, the CIMB World Mastercardwith unlimited 2% cashback on wine and dine, online food delivery, movies and digital entertainment, taxi and automobile, and luxury goods, and 1% cashback on all other categories — might be more suitable.

Navigating Limited vs Unlimited Cashback 

Choosing between limited and unlimited cashback credit cards depends on your spending pattern. Limited cashback cards like CIMB VISA Signature offer high cashback rewards (10% on specific categories) but with monthly category-specific caps, i.e. S$20 per category (Online Shopping, Groceries, Beauty & Wellness, Pet Shops & Veterinary Services, Cruises). This makes it an excellent choice for targeted spending. Conversely, unlimited cashback cards like CIMB World Mastercard and CIMB VISA Infinite offer a consistent, uncapped cashback rate (2%) across various categories, making them ideal for more diversified spending. It's not about which is better, but which aligns best with your lifestyle.

 

Alternatively, consider tapping on the strengths of both types of cards. Start by concentrating your spending in the high-cashback categories of limited cashback cards to reach their caps. Then, switch to an unlimited cashback card for the rest of your purchases. This way, you can enjoy the best of both worlds: maximising your returns on focused spending areas while still earning consistent rewards on everything else. 

Exploring Non-Cashback Benefits of Credit Cards

While cashback is a significant factor, other benefits of credit cards should not be overlooked. For instance, the CIMB World Mastercard offers travel privileges like airport lounge access, which can be invaluable for frequent travellers. Additionally, the card's e-commerce purchase protection insurance is a boon for online shoppers. The CIMB VISA Infinite card enhances the travel experience further with complimentary travel insurance and exclusive concierge services. These added perks can substantially increase the value you get from your credit card, beyond just cashback. 

Using a Combination of Credit Cards

Strategically using a combination of credit cards can maximise both cashback and non-cashback benefits. 

 

Where Each CIMB Credit Card Shines

 

  • CIMB World Mastercard: Shines in its versatility, offering unlimited 2% cashback on a wide array of categories, making it ideal for everyday use and luxury spending.
  • CIMB VISA Signature: Best suited for targeted spending in online shopping, beauty & wellness, groceries, pet and veterinary services, and cruises, with a high 10% cashback rate but with monthly caps.
  • CIMB VISA Infinite: Tailored for the frequent traveller, with 2% cashback on travel and overseas expenses, plus additional travel benefits and concierge services.

Avoiding Common Pitfalls

Navigating the use of multiple credit cards to amplify savings can be a rewarding strategy, but it's also rife with potential pitfalls. Here are some key issues to take note of so as to ensure that your credit card usage remains a boon rather than a bane:

 

  • Not Understanding Reward Categories: Each card may offer different cashback rates for various categories. Ensure you understand which card to use for each type of expense to maximise your rewards.
  • Overspending for Cashback: One of the most common traps is spending more than necessary just to earn cashback. Remember, no amount of cashback can offset the cost of unnecessary purchases. Stick to your budget and use your cards wisely.
  • Ignoring Non-Cashback Benefits: If you're focused solely on cashback, you might miss out on other valuable benefits like travel insurance, extended warranties, or concierge services.
  • Forgetting Rewards Expiry Dates: Some rewards have expiration dates. Keep track of these dates to ensure you use these benefits before they expire.
  • Failing to Reevaluate Periodically: Your spending habits and the credit card market can change. Regularly review your credit card strategy to ensure it still aligns with your current spending patterns and the latest card offerings.
  • Ignoring Annual Fees: While some cards offer lucrative rewards, their annual fees can be high. Assess whether the benefits you receive outweigh the fees charged. Sometimes, a card with lower fees but slightly less cashback can be more beneficial in the long run. With CIMB credit cards, this concern is mitigated as all CIMB credit cards have no annual fees for life.

 

By avoiding these common pitfalls, you can ensure that your use of multiple credit cards is both financially rewarding and sustainable. Remember, the goal is to make your credit cards work for you, not against you.

A Symphony of Savings with CIMB Credit Cards

CIMB's array of credit cards offer the perfect harmony for savings and financial efficiency. Whether you're looking to maximise cashback, enjoy travel perks, or both, there's always a CIMB card tailored to your lifestyle. Dive into the world of CIMB credit card today and start your journey towards smarter spending and saving in Singapore.

 

T&Cs apply. Please visit CIMB Credit Card for more information.