It's surprising that in this day and age there are still some Singaporeans that don't use credit cards. Some say that it is because credit cards could entice you to spend more, and you could sink yourself into debt.
If you are one of these people, you may think that anyone that uses a credit card could end up in debt. But the fact is, the vast majority of credit card users in Singapore borrow within prudent limits, and only 2% of them carry significant debts.
Credit cards are usually used as a convenient way to make payments, but they're much more than that! If used right, they can also help us save money, earn rewards and have access to many types of benefits, promotions and discounts.
We at GET.com will show you 4 ways you can save money by using credit cards:
1. Earn Cashback
A cashback credit card is a card that lets you earn part of the money that you spend back. Many of these cards let you redeem your cashback earnings in different ways (hard cold cash, discounts, vouchers, travel, etc). They work almost like discount cards, except that instead of getting an instant discount, you get a percentage of the money spent on your purchase back - which is a great way to save money when you shop.
Some cards let you earn different amounts of cashback on certain types of purchases (like dining, shopping, petrol, etc.), and other cards let you earn a flat rate of cashback on all your purchases.
For example, if you spend a lot of money on groceries, you will benefit the most from a card that offers large rewards on grocery shopping (here's our pick of the best credit cards for groceries).
If you want a hassle-free card without different spending categories, you may prefer one that offers a flat rate percentage of cashback on all your purchases.
One of our favourite flat-rate cashback cards is The American Express® True Cashback Card, which allows you to earn 1.5% cashback on all your spending. There's no minimum spending requirement or earning cap for this card either, so you can feel free to use it anytime, and earn cashback all year round.
2. Get Discounts And Deals
Many credit cards offer you discounts or deals when you shop at specific stores and restaurants. This is a benefit which you won't be able to enjoy if you pay with cash or a debit card!
For example, if you use HSBC Visa Platinum Credit Card, you can get up to 15% discounts at select restaurants islandwide. You can also get a lot of discounts on travel, entertainment and even medical care.
If you use OCBC 365 Credit Card to buy fuel, you will get up to 23% fuel savings at Caltex petrol stations. That's a lot of savings on your petrol expenses, and you'll never get to save this much if you would just pay with cash.
3. Save More On Your Trips
If you travel frequently, you may consider getting a travel credit card. Travel credit cards usually let you earn points or miles on your purchases, and you can generally redeem your rewards for flights (or travel bookings) from a specific airline or a number of airlines.
Some travel cards also provide you with free travel insurance when you use the card to pay for your airfare, so you don't need to spend extra cash on insurance.
For example, Citi PremierMiles Visa Card lets you earn 2 Citi Miles for every $1 you spend on purchases overseas, and 1.2 Citi Miles for every $1 spent on local purchases. You can redeem these Citi Miles for flights with over 60 airlines, or redeem them for hotel accommodations at 8,000 hotel properties.
The card also provides you with up to $1,000,000 of travel accident insurance coverage and $50,000 for your dependent child on the same flight.
4. Earn Rewards Points
Many credit cards also let you earn rewards points. You can redeem these points for things you like, such as free movie tickets, gifts or shopping vouchers.
Some rewards credit cards offer you more rewards points when you spend in specific categories. For instance, Citibank Rewards Card VISA lets you earn 10 rewards points for every $1 you spend when you shop for clothes, bags and shoes at retail stores, departmental stores or online shopping websites. That's 10 times more rewards points compared to what you earn with many other credit cards.
To get a better sense of the value of your card's rewards points, you can find out how much your rewards points are worth here.