Many leading supermarkets in Singapore will reward customers for shopping with them while using a credit card. And there’s more to these types of card than just discounts at the grocery checkout line. You can also get money off at petrol stations, along with further savings at your favourite big-brand retailers.
In this guide, we focus on what you need to know to find the best credit card for groceries.
HSBC Revolution Credit Card
HSBC Revolution Credit Card
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HSBC Revolution Credit Card
Principal Annual Fee: S$0 annual fee for entire membership - S$0 thereafter.
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What are the benefits of grocery credit cards?
Retailers are trying to find new ways to promote customer loyalty and increase sales. No longer only providing store cards, supermarkets are partnering with banks to provide convenience as well as brand recognition to customers. When a credit card is combined with a supermarket rewards program, you get a versatile tool that’s able to be used in many locations, and one that’ll make your weekly shopping that bit easier.
How should I compare the best grocery credit cards?
There are a number of different types of grocery credit cards available. Here’s what you should keep in mind:
Partnered supermarket. There’s no point signing up for a rewards credit card if it’s linked to a supermarket that you don’t usually shop at. If you shop at more than one supermarket, consider your shopping habits and choose the one that will help maximise your rewards.
Cashback and discounts. The card might earn points which are automatically redeemed for a cashback or a discount on your shopping bill at the supermarket linked to the card. This is the main draw of grocery credit cards. It puts the money you spend back in your wallet. You can earn as much as 12% on your purchases as cashback. You should compare how many points you can earn per S$1 and what you can redeem with the rewards.
Other perks. These credit cards often come with extra perks, such as free shipping for online orders. Extra features can help you justify the card costs, so keep this in mind when comparing.
Cashback cap. If you have large grocery bills, make the most of it with a card that does not place a low cap on the cashback that you can earn.
Rewards program. Some cards only allow you to earn points with the linked supermarket. Other cards might get you rebates and cashback at partner stores such as cosmetics, airlines, petrol stations, recharge on travel cards and more.
Annual fees. High fees can negate the cashback you earn. Some cards waive fees for certain customers or members. For more information, we’ve compared no annual fee credit cards.
Interest rate (and any interest-free period). Always consider the effective interest rate and the interest-free period before choosing a card.
Eligibility requirements. Like all credit cards, supermarket credit cards also come with specific eligibility requirements that you’ll need to meet to receive approval. These usually include a minimum annual income, good credit history and permanent Singaporean residency or Singaporean citizenship. As rejected credit card applications can hurt your credit score, make sure you meet the eligibility criteria and have the necessary documents on hand before you apply.
Pros and cons of grocery credit cards
You get rewarded for purchases you make regularly.
You may earn a higher cashback percentage than a generic credit card.
Cross-promotions can offer you further discounts and access to exclusive deals.
You may not earn any cashback on non-grocery purchases.
You may be tempted to overspend.
You should monitor your budget to avoid interest charges.
Card features for the major retailers
Let’s take a look at the features of the various credit cards in Singapore partnered with supermarkets – NTUC Fairprice, Cold Storage, Sheng Siong and Giant. These features are comparable to, or even exceed non-supermarket credit cards. Take a look below:
There are two cards offered by NTUC Fairprice in conjunction with OCBC Bank – the OCBC NTUC Plus! Credit Card and the OCBC Visa Plus! Credit Card. You can earn guaranteed cashback when you shop at Fairprice stores across the island with either of the 2 cards. Every S$1 spent earns Linkpoints that can be redeemed. There is also an additional Annual Cash Rebate as a loyalty reward if you shop with the store the whole year round. You can also earn Linkpoints and rewards for Visa transactions at designated partner stores besides FairPrice, FairPrice Online and Unity. The only catch is that you need to become an NTUC Fairprice member to be eligible for the two cards.
This popular supermarket has also tied up with POSB Bank and Citibank to offer rewards cards to consumers. The POSB Everyday Card and the Citibank SMRT Card offer cashback on shopping with the supermarket outlets. You can also receive cashback at Watsons and AirAsia, EZ-Reload, and on petrol at SPC with the POSB Everyday Card. As the name suggests, the Citibank SMRT card also allows cashback on SMRT travel, subject to certain limits.
Giant and Cold Storage
The UOB Delight Credit Card allows you to earn cashback across 3 major supermarkets – Giant, Cold Storage and Market Place as these are all part of the same company. Cashback is rewarded in SMART$ and is valid if purchases exceed S$800 on a monthly basis. You can also get discounts and rebates off Giant and Cold Storage house brand products when you shop with the UOB Delight Credit Card.
Cold Storage has also partnered with the Maybank Family & Friends MasterCard Credit Card that not only rewards you for shopping in Singapore, but also in Malaysia. Besides grocery shopping, the card also lets you earn cashback and rebates on petrol, transportation (taxi, bus and train rides) in both countries.
Grocery credit cards: what else to be aware of
One of the easiest ways of knowing how you’ll earn points is to first work out what you don’t earn points for. Most cards issued by supermarkets list some transactions as being ineligible transactions — meaning you won’t earn points on them.
A grocery credit card earns rewards points in many of the same ways as a regular rewards card. This means most purchases and even some bill payments are valid transactions which will net you points.
You’ll need to be a part of whatever rewards scheme applies to your card. Sometimes these programs will make you a member automatically, but check to see whether you need to join separately and whether a joining fee will apply.
You’ll usually get points for making purchases at any store, provided the transaction is eligible but if you make a purchase at the supermarket or partners who provide your card you may earn bonus points. See what purchases will get you bonus points so you can choose where to spend and watch your points balance increase.
Tips to get the most out of your grocery card
If your card has a minimum spend, make sure to meet it in the prescribed period.
Check which stores are eligible for rewards and limit your purchases to those stores.
Find out if specific categories of purchases earn a higher cashback.
Budget so you can pay your credit card debt before the interest rate kicks in.
Yes, all purchases within your credit limit can be placed on a grocery credit card. However, they may earn lower cashback or rewards, or no rewards at all.
If you are an expatriate in Singapore, please note that the advertised minimum income requirement – usually $30,000 – is specific to Singapore citizens and permanent residents. It is generally $40,000 or higher for foreigners. Check with the issuing bank for the exact figure and other eligibility requirements.
You can use your card outside Singapore if it is approved for international use. However, not all grocery credit cards give you the option to earn rewards in foreign countries. Also, remember that you may be charged high transaction fees and currency conversion rates.
Sally McMullen is Finder's credit cards and frequent flyer editor by day and a music maven by night. She's also one half of the Pocket Money podcast. Her byline can be spotted on Yahoo Finance, Dynamic Business, Financy and Mamamia as well as Music Feeds and Rolling Stone. Sally has a first-class Honours degree in Communications and Media Studies (majoring in Journalism and Professional Writing) from the University of Wollongong.
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