Know Your Credit Cards – Smart Tips To Reduce Living Costs In Singapore

According to CNBC, Singapore has been rated as the most expensive city to live in for 5 years running by the Economist Intelligence Unit’s (EIU) Worldwide Cost of Living 2018 Survey. However, the Singapore government quickly explained that the situation was only for expats.  With the availability of cheaper necessities options, Singaporeans can choose to go for a standard of living they can afford. If you belong to the high Socioeconomic Status (SES) crowd but is feeling the heat of living cost, it is time to learn how to make use of your credit cards to help you breeze through your lifestyle at much-reduced living costs in Singapore!  

1. Know Your Credit Cards – All Credit Cards Comes With Rewards

Credit cards have some of the worst reputations in the market which are caused by folks who do not know how to use them to their advantage. In fact, many Singaporeans think they are synonymous with debt.

The truth of the matter is, credit cards do come with a lot of benefits (they have to hook you in first right) that can help you save money on the things you love. The most common are Cashback (receiving back a percentage of what you spend), Reward points (which can be traded for vouchers or air miles), and Direct Discounts. Our personal favourites are the cards that pay you cash up front for every signup!

If you have the discipline to spend within your means, these rewards effectively reduces your living expenses. 

2. Know Your Credit Cards – One For One Dining Deals

All foodies should know which are some of the best cards to go for delicious one for one dining offers at some of the top-notch restaurants in Singapore. The trick is to hold a few of these credit cards with the best deals in towns to expand your coverage, then compare between these cards for the best discounts each weekend and gather the right number of makan kakis to make full use of the discount.    

2. Know Your Credit Cards – Cashback Cards

Cashback cards are for the super practical folks who believed nothing is more reliable than money in hand. Different cards offer different cashback percentage for popular expenditures ranging from grocery shopping to petrol. Depending on your spending habits, compare and get the card that will give you the best bang for your money!  

3. Know Your Credit Cards – Petrol Rebates

Using a credit card for petrol in Singapore has its perks. There are some credit cards that literally prey on drivers by dangling an irresistible discount that it doesn’t make sense not to use them.

Petrol credit cards usually offer an instant discount when you pump at the station. Beyond the upfront discount, there may also be station or site discount and a loyalty card discount. There are many credit cards that can give you discounts at petrol stations, but the final decision lies with the driver.  The easiest way to decide is to choose the best petrol credit card for the petrol company you patronise most often.

4. Know Your Credit Cards – Clock Your Miles

Airline miles, also known as frequent flyer miles or travel points, are part of a loyalty program offered by credit cards. Typically, you accumulate a set amount of miles based on how much you spend on your credit card. You can then use these miles to buy tickets. If you love to travel (like us), a good air miles credit card is a must-have. Compare and apply to earn credit card miles to redeem discounts, upgrades or even your entire airfare!

5. Know Your Credit Cards – Cost Amortisation

There are some credit cards in the market that allow you to set instructions to automate the splitting of your purchases into 6 or 12 months payments without incurring additional fees. We love to use them on family holiday trips or other big-ticket items.  Do be warned that this is not recommended for folks with low willpower when it comes to managing their finances. These amortised payments when accumulated will come back to haunt you in later months.

6. Know Your Credit Cards – 0% Balance Transfers 

Credit cards have a reputation for high interest rates but some cards let you transfer balances from other loans. This is a financial trick that can be played by folks who are struggling to pay off debts. The transfer will offer you more grace time to repay your debts at a much lower interest rate.

It can be tough understanding and comparing the benefits of various credit cards. Why not leave the hard work to MoneySmart where you can get unbiased financial information and compare not just credit cards but also loans and insurance? Visit them now to find out more about the various financial tools and products as well as learn from experts to better manage your finances and the cost of living in Singapore! 

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