This article is written in collaboration with Standard Chartered Bank (Singapore) Limited (“Standard Chartered”). All views expressed in the article are the independent opinions of Heartland Boy. All information provided is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be construed as advice or an offer for any product or service. Standard Chartered is not liable for any informational errors, incompleteness, delays, or for any actions taken in reliance on information contained herein
I have reviewed several no-frills, cashback with no cap credit cards in the past and it all started when Standard Chartered Bank (‘SCB’) launched the . In my opinion, it pioneered the fuss-free cashback credit card wave by simply rewarding 1.5% cashback without any requirement of minimum spending.
I also discovered another card by SCB, the , that provides up to 3% cashback and also with no minimum spending required to be met at all. This is especially useful for card holders who have small and irregular online spending. Fresh graduates, or the Generation Z come to mind as they might not have regular household bills and are most accustomed to doing their shopping online.
Here is a review of the Unlimited Cashback and Spree Credit Cards by SCB.
How Unlimited Cashback Card resolved common pain points
Cardholders of other higher cashback credit cards need to constantly monitor their spending to ensure that their spending gets rewarded. Since much mental accounting is heavily involved here, a higher cashback rate is usually accorded and that’s fair game. However, do note that for transactions that do not fall into those specific categories, the cashback is usually lower at 0.3%. Moreover, in a desperate attempt to hit the minimum spend for such cards, cardholders may charge a transaction that is not eligible for the higher cashback rate. (Heartland Boy himself is guilty of this from time to time). As a result, the overall cashback rate earned is severely diluted.
Moreover, the cashback cap limit does not just apply to overall spend as some of them have imposed caps on various categories such as online spending, groceries etc, which further increases the mental effort required to track one’s spending. All these pain points can be resolved with a fuss-free, no strings attached cashback card such as the Unlimited Cashback Card.
As a fuss-free credit card, no minimum spend is required to start earning cashback on SCB’s Unlimited Cashback Card. As the cashback awarded is a constant 1.5% throughout all categories, no mental accounting is therefore required of the cardholder. Do take note that the usual exclusions such as payment of insurance premiums, topping up of prepaid accounts and mobile wallets will not attract a cashback. Finally, true to its name, there is no limit on the amount of cashback to be earned as well!
A 3-2-1 lowdown of Spree Card’s cashback
A close cousin of the Unlimited Cashback card would be the Spree Card which is also by SCB stable. Here’s the 3-2-1 lowdown of the cashback provided by Spree Credit Card.
- 3% cashback on all online spend in foreign currency and all vPost spend
Sometimes, we may be required to pay in foreign currency when shopping at popular online overseas merchants such as Amazon US and Taobao. In such circumstances, Spree cardholders may get 3% cashback on their spending to help offset the foreign currency exchange fees.
- 2% cashback for online local transactions, contactless and mobile payments.
This is likely the most common cashback category that cardholders may find themselves earning from. 2% may not be a world-beater but it is no chump change either considering that other no- minimum spend cards only provide cashback ranging from 1.5% to 1.7%. Do note that the Spree card supports Apple Pay, Google Pay and Samsung Pay.
- 1% on general spend
If your spending does not fall into the above 2 categories, it will earn 1% cashback. However, please note that usual exclusions such as payment of insurance premiums, fees to education institutions, tax bills to IRAS etc will still apply.
How does Spree Card’s cashback work?
The best news is that there is no minimum spend requirement to earn the cashback. Therefore, cardholders get rewarded with cashback from the first dollar they spend on the card monthly. Cashback is credited to the credit card account and automatically offset against following month’s billed amount.
Most importantly, there is a maximum $30/month cashback cap. Assuming 2% cashback rate, which I think one should charge most of the spending towards, that equates to $1,500 of online spend and contactless payments. However, if one is able to reach such threshold consistently, there are better alternatives with higher cashback rate but they require consistent minimum monthly spending.
Other benefits of SCB Spree Card
Besides the cashback provided on eligible online transactions, cardholders can also enjoy savings when they choose to ship via vPost or SingPost. The benefits include:
- 10% off selected SingPost services and purchases (SpeedPost Priority International Service)
- 25% off shipping fees for standard air shipments to Singapore with vPost
- 5% off selected SmartPac purchases
For those online businesses or Carousell enthusiasts who send parcels regularly, these savings will add directly to your profit margins. In addition, if Spree cardholders are looking for temporary extra space to store their shopping loot or to make more space for WFH arrangements, they get to enjoy 15% off Lock+Store storage units.
SCB Spree credit card is ideal for the following profiles
In Heartland Boy’s opinion, the SCB Spree credit card would be suitable to the following profiles:
- First jobbers who do not have regular spending behaviour and hence would be deterred by minimum spending amount required by other credit cards in the market
- People who prefer to shop online from the comfort of their homes
- As a secondary card for optimisers who have already reached the maximum cashback cap on their primary credit cards
How To Apply For These Credit Cards by SCB?
The Card has low entry requirements as only a minimum annual income of only $30,000 is required. The S$192.6 annual fee is also waived for the first 2 years, that means all the cashback earned goes straight to your pocket. This is a fantastic fuss-free card for cardholders who are content to simply receive 1.5% rebate on their purchases as they might not have the required bandwidth to optimise their credit card strategy.
Click here to apply for the Unlimited card now.
Similarly, the Card has low entry requirements and the annual fee is also waived for the first 2 years. SCB Spree Card fills a super niche space as it is a great beginner online shopping credit card for those who swipe their cards irregularly, but when they do, most of the expenditure goes towards online spending.
Click here to apply for the Spree card now.
If either of these cards by Standard Chartered Bank is suitable for you, get up to S$230* cashback during the bank’s promotional period when you successfully apply and make 1 eligible transaction with no minimum spend. Note that this upsized cash reward is exclusive to Heartland Boy’s readers!