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WhatCard of the Week (WCOTW) 15 Nov: StanChart Unlimited Card

WhatCard is currently running a promotion together with our partner SingSaver, offering $120 in cash (via PayNow) + $80 cashback for new-to-bank Standard Chartered card applications, with same-day approval and cash bonus transferred to you within the next day

If you are not holding any SCB cards currently, apply for the SC Unlimited Card now to get a total of $200 cash bonus

StanChart Unlimited Card

Key Features:

We recently wrote about Singsaver’s recent Next Day Rewards on Standard Chartered cards. In summary, if you are new to Standard Chartered (not an existing Standard Chartered cardholder), you will be eligible for $120 cash (transferred to you via PayNow within 1 day from bank verification; bank verification is instantaneous). Undoubtedly, the StanChart Unlimited Card is the best card to apply for under this campaign. In that article, we did a quick summary about it, but in this post, we will go more into more depth as to the reasons why.

Why We Love the StanChart Unlimited Card

1. No minimum spending and no cashback cap

The problem with most of the lucrative cashback cards issued in Singapore these days are twofold. Firstly, there are high minimum spending requirements of $600-$1000/month. This is problematic for young working professionals (like myself) who do not have substantial credit card expenses to charge to the card. The moment the credit card spending is below the minimum spend, it will typically give a low cashback rate of 0.3% per dollar spent instead.

Secondly, there is usually a monthly cashback cap. This results in you having to monitor your expenses like a hawk, because any excess spending will also result in a paltry 0.3% cashback per dollar spent. One example of such a card that I just described is the CIMB Platinum Card (see below for details):

Enter: the StanChart Unlimited Card. Like the Amex True Cashback Card, this card addresses both issues with a base 1.5% cashback rate on all spend, with no cashback cap. This makes it the ideal card for those of you who:

  • Do not want to be bothered to monitor minimum spending requirements,
  • Have large monthly expenses to charge to your card, large enough to bust the cashback dollar cap on other cards, and
  • Do not want to go through the hassle of tracking differing rewards by merchant categories (sadly, if this describes you, our merchant search engine tool is not so useful for you :frowning: )

2. Generous promotional cashback amount with fast card approvals

To be honest, the cashback on this card matches that of Amex True Cashback Card and has the edge against the HSBC Advance Card slightly (due to HSBC Advance Card having a cashback dollar cap for the month).

The reason why you could consider applying for this card when you have the 2 prior cards is because StanChart gives an $80 cashback to first time StanChart cardholders.

The card approvals are also lightning quick and straightforward. I applied for the card using MyInfo (a Singapore government service that pulls my profile information and CPF statement with my permission), and received instant approval (the physical card delivery took a good 1 week though). From now till 30th November, this card is also available as part of “Standard Chartered Bank’s Next Day Rewards” campaign; this means that you can get an additional $120 in cash by the next day. It really is lightning quick!

What this means for you is that you should:

Apply for the card before 30th November 2019 to get an additional $120 cash, using our affiliate link here.

3. Generally accepted among Singapore merchants

The fact that Mastercard is the payment gateway behind this card gives it the edge over its other key competitor: the Amex True Cashback Card. In general, American Express is not as widely accepted among the merchants in Singapore. So, this card will be able to cover a larger breath of merchants than the Amex True Cashback Card.

Limitations of the StanChart Unlimited Card

1. Lower cashback than other cards that have category-specific spending

At 1.5% unlimited cashback, the StanChart Unlimited Card is exactly similar to the 1.5% offered by the StanChart Unlimited Card. However, these cashback rates pale in comparison to other cards such as the DBS Live Fresh (5% cashback on contactless and online spending) or the OCBC 360 Card (6% cashback on dining, 3% on groceries, and more).

If regular expenses and willingness to invest effort/energy to manage your spending to hit the minimum spending cap and avoid the maximum cashback cap describes you, you can get higher cashback on your spending on those earlier cards mentioned, and are better off without the StanChart Unlimited Card.

2. Poorer FX exchange rates for foreign currency transactions

If you look beyond the headline 3% cashback on foreign currency transactions (compared to 2.5% at their competitors Amex True Cashback Card and HSBC Advance Card), it seems like a great deal to use this card on your holidays for overseas expenses. However hidden in the fine print is the fact that there are foreign transaction fees of 3.5%, along with a potential 0.5% spread above the spot rate. In short, WhatCard does not recommend using StanChart Unlimited Card for such transactions. Instead, exchange your cash directly at a moneychanger, or use a multi-currency wallet like YouTrip or Revolut.

Our Summary

Readers of this blog will know that the StanChart Unlimited Card is a staple in my wallet. Do take advantage of current promotions now if you haven’t already got a Standard Chartered credit card. If you would like to apply for one, please consider supporting the site by applying through our affiliate link below

This December only, get $200 in cash (via Paynow) when you sign up for a Citibank card , with no spending required and first year annual fee waived. Only for new-to-bank customers, defined as those who have not owned a Citibank card in the past 12 months. Find out more about this promo HERE .

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