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The best card for an upcoming S$5k lump sum expense!

Cashback cards are notorious for offering attractive cashback percentages, but hidden in the fine print is an extremely low spending cap. For example, the DBS Live Fresh Card offers a 5% cashback on a S$600 minimum monthly spending. However, because it is capped at S$60 per month, any spending above S$1200 does not earn you this 5% rate. In fact, using our example of a S$5k expense, the cashback that you would obtain (if you charged the whole amount to DBS Live Fresh Card) would only be S$71.40.

So what is the best strategy for a S$5k expense?

Without any additional information about the type of spending and its merchant cateory code, in my experience, the best strategy is to go with a credit card that does not cap the cashback amount. These generally have a lower cashback percentage (1.5%) compared to higher cashback cards like DBS Live Fresh Card, but with a higher total spending, the cashback is much higher. For example, a 1.5% cashback on the entire S$5k expense is S$75, which is higher! But wait! If you do not currently have this credit, then you can apply and get much more rewards!

So what is this credit card?

It is none other than the American Express True Cashback Card!

In my opinion, this is the best cashback strategy for a S$5k expense, because there within the first 3 month of your successful application, you would get a bonus 1.5% cashback, for a total of 3% cashback. This doubles the cashback from Standard Chartered or HSBC to a whopping S$150. Moreover, if you sign up for this card through our affiliate link above, you would be eligible for an additional $60 Capitaland voucher from Amex, S$30-S$100 Grab voucher from Singsaver (both conditional upon S$500 spending on the first month of receipt of your credit card) and $20 of Capitaland vouchers by using MyInfo (a new service by the government to pre-fill your application).

This means that you can get up to S$330 of total rewards for a S$5k expense, which is 6.6% and the highest absolute cashback in terms of dollar amount.

Therefore, in my opinion, signing up for a new American Express True Cashback Card! is the best credit card spending strategy for an upcoming expense valued at S$5k or more.


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An alternative to the American Express True Cashback Card is the Standard Chartered Unlimited Cashback Card. Gives the same 1.5% unlimited cashback on all spend :slight_smile:

Hi there, i’ve got a lump sum payment of 20k payable to Great eastern for insurance which is due end of this month. What’s the best card i can utilise to maximize my cashback/benefit?

Welcome to the community :slight_smile:

@Sherman_Chua Is it a life insurance plan? Without knowing the full details as of now, I would suggest converting your payment into a monthly plan and using the UOB One card. $20K over 12 months should be about $1.67K++ monthly which brings you very close to the 5% quarterly rebate for the UOB One card if you spend a min of $2,000 each month in a quarter. Over 4 quarters, you’ll be able to get a maximum of $1,200 cashback.

Currently, there is also the possibility of getting 10% cashback on your entire insurance premium but that depends on whether the GrabPay Virtual Mastercard is available to you. You can read more about the strategy in Best Credit Card Strategy to Save More on Grab Top Up (August 19)

Hi tgxworld, as of now i do not intend to split the premium over 12 months as i manage to consistently hitting 1k min per month on my uob one…

Just come across this new axs m-station offering grabpay as method of paying.
Is it wise for me to do topup on grabpay and make the payment via grabpay thru axs?

Or is there any other card that i can explore?

Yup this is why I suggested using the UOB One Card that awards a bonus 5% for Grab topups. If you can hit 2K/month in a quarter, you’re actually getting a 10% rebate on $6000 spend.

Not many cards awards bonus cashback for insurance premium payments. If you do not already have the Amex True Cashback card, you can apply for that and take advantage of the 3% cash back promo on the first $5000 spent and then a 1.5% cash back for the remaining balance.

Is it applicable for insurance payment too? How to work around this? To add ammex as payment in axs?

Do you mean for American Express? I don’t think you can use it via AXS since they only accepts credit cards from certain banks. I don’t have any GE products so you’ll need to check if they accept AMEX.

SC Manhattan still can use?

Hi @Kingagu, the SC Manhattan card still does work, but we do not typically recommend it because the cashback conditions are quite stringent (min. spend $3k/month to get the highest tier 3% cashback, cashback cap of $200/quarter), making it relatively difficult to optimize fully. But if your spending pattern happens to work well for Manhattan card then its definitely still worth a shot :slight_smile:

One of the unlimited cashback cards (Amex True, SC Unlimited, Maybank FC Barcelona) typically works better for most people as it can cover a much broader range of spending amounts

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