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The Best Cashback Credit Card in Singapore

by Apoorv Trivedi on
Best Cashback Card

Update: On 10 May, 2022 UOB announced a reduction in the cashback rate of UOB One from 5% to 3.33% and dropped the quarterly cap on cashback from S$300 to S$200. This article does not yet reflect this change and will be updated soon. 


The Best Cashback Credit Card: Maybank Family & Friends Card

Maybank Family & Friends Credit Card is the best cashback card for most people in Singapore. It has the highest cashback rate of 8% on 5 spending categories of your choice and also the highest monthly cashback cap of S$125.

Best Cashback Card in Singapore
Maybank Family & Friends Credit Card
Highest cashback rate & monthly cap

8% Cashback rate on 5 categories of your choice and S$125 monthly cap make this card stand out

The Best Cashback Credit Card for High Spenders: Citi Cash Back+ Card

The Citi Cash Back+ is the best cashback credit card if you spend more than S$6,000 a month on your card. Its cashback rate of 1.60% with no caps, overall or by category, make it stand out from the competition.

Best Cashback Card for High Spenders
Citi Cash Back+ Credit Card
Highest unlimited cashback rate of 1.6%

Citi Cash Back+ Credit Card offers 1.6% cashback, higher than most other similar cards

If you found this useful, consider signing up for your preferred cards via the link above. This gives you access to the best deals and helps us maintain the site.


Using multiple cards to spread out you spend can supercharge the effective cashback rate for high spenders. See our guide on how to optimize your rewards.

The Research


Who this is for?

There are more than 30 cashback credit cards available today in Singapore with a wide range of cashback rates, caps and other terms & conditions. If you are confused by this variety and want to find out which is the best card for your needs, this guide is for you.


What is a Cashback Card?

A cashback card is a credit card that gives you a reward in the form of cash, for using the card. This is different from rewards cards, where the usage based rewards are in the from of points or miles, which can then be redeemed for gifts, flights etc.

Cashback cards have a number of advantages over rewards cards.

  1. Value is clear: The value of the cash rebate is very clear while the value of a point may depend on where and what you redeem them for. You risk getting a very low value if you make the wrong choice.
  2. Risk of expiry: You may forget to redeem your points before expiry or you may get stuck with insufficient points to redeem any gift before expiry.
  3. Unwanted spend: You may end up redeeming the points for something you don’t need or wouldn’t otherwise buy, which is also a type of wastage.

Here we look at the best cashback cards for consumers in Singapore. See our piece on The Best Rewards Cards in Singapore for more on rewards cards.

2 Types of Cashback Cards There are broadly two types of cashback cards. The first types are uncapped or unlimited cashback cards. These cards usually don’t have any minimum monthly spending requirement or any cap on how much cashback you can earn in a month. The average cashback rate on these cards is around 1.5%, with some as high as 1.7%.

The second type are cards with a cap on the monthly cashback you can earn. These cards usually have much higher cashback rates, sometimes as high as 8-10%.

The unlimited cashback cards work better if you put a lot of spend on a single card e.g. more than S$6,000 a month. If your monthly spend is less or if you spread your spend over many cards, the cards with higher cashback rates but a cap on total cashback per month or per quarter are more rewarding.


How we selected?

We spend a week identifying all major cashback credit cards in Singapore and going through the terms & conditions of each of them. We looked at cards offered by the local banks, DBS, UOB & OCBC and also by foreign bank, HSBC, Standard Chartered, Citibank, CIMB & Maybank.

We compiled information on the cashback rates of 28 cards, by spending category or overall, the caps on how much cashback you can earn (again by category or overall), the minimum spends required to earn this cashback, the annual fees and fee waiver policies, sign up rewards etc.

We then created 5 different spending profiles, with increasing amount of total monthly spend on the card. For each profile, we split the monthly spend into the various spending categories typically tracked by the banks for cashback calculation e.g. dining and online entertainment.

Total Monthly Spend S$ →
by Category ↓
S$1K S$2K S$4K S$6.5K S$10K
Grocery 200 300 500 600 900
Utility Bills 150 150 250 300 350
Dining 100 175 450 850 1,300
Food Delivery 50 75 150 250 350
Online Shopping 50 300 500 1,250 1,750
Shopping 250 400 850 1,250 1,750
Petrol
Transport 100 150 300 500 1,000
Travel 150 400 600 1,100
Foreign 150 400 600 1,100
Entertainment 50 50 100 150 250
Online Entertainment 50 100 100 150 150
Total 1,000 2,000 4,000 6,500 10,000

We used these profiles to calculate the total value of cashback you could collect in a month with these 5 spending patterns. The total cashback earned per month was adjusted for category and overall caps, minimum spending limits etc. The cashback was also adjusted in case the cashback was restricted to few specific merchants in a category rather than available for the entire category.

For example Standard Chartered Smart credit card offers cashback on dining only at fast food restaurants and coffee & toast joints like Fun Toast and Toast Box. In this case we assumed that the cashback rate for this category applied only to 20% of the total dining spend.

We compared the cards based on the total monthly cashback you could earn by using the card for the spending profiles we created and chose cards that earned highest cashback. Where the cashbacks earned were relatively similar we preferred cards with higher monthly cashback caps, more categories eligible for discount and lower minimum spends.

Cashback Earned per Month on Top 5 Cards

Monthly Spend Maybank Family & Friends Citi Cash Back+ UOB EVOL Frank by OCBC UOB One* UOB Absolute
S$1,000 S$48 S$16 S$41 S$36 S$25 S$17
S$2,000 S$74 S$32 S$57 S$72 S$77 S$34
S$4,000 S$118 S$64 S$60 S$75 S$95 S$68
S$6,500 S$125 S$104 S$60 S$75 S$110 S$110
S$10,000 S$125 S$160 S$60 S$75 S$132 S$170

In our comparison, we assumed that these cards would not be used for Petrol purchases, since the best cards for petrol give discounts of 20%+. So if you drive a vehicle, you are usually better off getting one card just for your petrol purchases and using a separate card for other spend.

We also did not take into account the spends on Travel & Foreign categories in this analysis for cards with cashback caps. This is because these spends are likely to be lumpy – you will probably only travel 2-3 times a year for leisure.

In those months you are likely to cross the cashback caps on your cards leading to a much lower effective cashback rate. In other months you may get a good rate but a lower amount due to less spending.

If possible, because of their lumpy nature, travel and foreign spend should be put on an unlimited card, even if it comes with a lower cashback or reward rate.

In some cases (e.g. POSB Everyday or UOB One) the cashback cards were also great for petrol. In these cases also we would advise getting a separate card for petrol since otherwise the high discount on petrol can quickly eat up the cashback cap on some of these cards, leaving little cashback on other spend.

Some cards (e.g. UOB One) have cashbacks paid and capped on a quarterly basis rather than monthly basis. We converted these into monthly amounts by dividing by 3. This may be slightly inaccurate, but shouldn’t impact the choice of the best cards.

While we looked at the annual membership fee as a tie breaker in some cases, we did not consider the impact of the annual fee on rewards. In most cases, as long as you regularly use the card, this fee should be easily waived.

Many of these cards also give big signup gifts like Apple AirPods Pro and Samsonite luggage. We did not include the value of these gifts in our analysis. For profiles with smaller monthly spends, the value of these gifts could change the decision because the gap in monthly cashback is small between cards. For larger spends, it should not matter as much over a 2-3 year period.

The best cashback card for you depends on how much you spend on the card every month. This is different from rewards cards, where the KrisFlyer UOB Credit Card was the best rewards card across spending categories.

If you spend more than about $2,000 a month on your credit card, you could improve your cashback quite a bit by using 2 (or more!) credit cards. In this guide we are looking at the best card for those who want to keep things simple and use a single card for most of their spending.

Our guide for getting the most cashback / rewards with multiple cards is here.


Maybank Family & Friends Card

The Maybank Family & Friends Credit Card offers 8% discount on 5 categories of your choice and has the highest monthly cashback cap of S$125, making it the best cashback card for most people.

The Family & Friends (F&F) card also waives the annual fee for 3 years and has a very low bar to get it waived after that time. It has a monthly minimum spending requirement of S$800 to earn the high cashback rate. Other similar cards require only S$600.

Feature Summary

Card Maybank Family & Friends
Cashback Features 8% cashback on any 5 of these 8 categories:
– Groceries,
– Dining & Online Food Delivery,
– Transport,
– Mobile/Broadband/TV and Online Streaming,
– Children’s Retail & Pets,
– Online Fashion,
– Entertainment,
– Pharmacy & Wellness;

0.3% for everything else

Cashback Caps $25 per chosen category per month,
$125 total per month
Minimum Spend S$800 per month
Quarterly Fee S$48.15 (S$192.60 per year), waived for first three years.
Thereafter you need 1 transaction a quarter to get it
waived on every quarter.
Monthly Spend Est. Cashback Earned
S$1,000
S$2,000
S$4,000
S$6,500
S$10,000
S$48
S$74
S$118
S$125
S$125

The F&F card is one of the few cards that allows you to chose the spending categories on which you earn the high 8% discount (remaining spend earns 0.3%). The category choices are fixed for 1 year from the day of choice. This can be a problem if you choose a wrong category initially.

Also not all categories may be viable choices for everyone. For e.g. the Retail & Pets category includes only a few children’s stores like Mothercare and Kiddy Palace under the retail portion. If you don’t have young kids and pets, this category won’t be useful for you. But overall this card still offers a fair bit of flexibility.

A related drawback of this card, compared to many other cards, is that the 8 possible categories for high cashback do not include either general shopping or contactless transactions. Many other similar cards (e.g. OCBC Frank and UOB EVOL) do offer high rebates on this category.

Since these can often be the largest categories for many people, along with grocery and dining, it hurts your ability to maximize your cashback. However we think the high cashback cap of S$125 and the high rate of 8% still makes it likely the best card for most people today.

Best Cashback Card in Singapore
Maybank Family & Friends Credit Card
Highest cashback rate & monthly cap

8% Cashback rate on 5 categories of your choice and S$125 monthly cap make this card stand out

The Maybank Family & Friends card is also a great card for combining as a second card with other cards with great deals because it allows you to choose the categories on which you get discount. So you could simply choose the categories where the your other card does not offer high discounts. More on this soon, in our guide on optimizing your credit card rewards.

One concern we have with the Maybank Family & Friends card is that it is almost too good to be true. The effective cashback rate on the card can be very high, possibly more than what Maybank could be earning from the merchants and other sources.

This means that Maybank is likely using this card to acquire customers in the hope of selling other products to them later and may also eventually reduce the rewards on this card to a more sustainable level, more in line with other similar cards.

Its difficult to say if and when this change may happen and if it does happen how low do the rewards get revised.

If you want to avoid the hassle of getting a new card in that case, you may want to choose a credit card that offers a more sustainable cashback rate. We recommend the these credit cards based on your monthly spend level:

Monthly Spend 2nd Best Card Est.^ Monthly
Cashback
Est.^ Monthly
Cashback
with F&F*
Upto S$1,000 UOB EVOL S$43 S$48
S$1,000 – S$2,000 OCBC Frank S$72 S$74
S$2,000 – S$4,000 UOB One** S$93 S$118
*F&F = Maybank Family & Friends Credit Card
** Includes additional cashback for Shopee, Grab, SimplyGo and Dairy Farm (Cold Storage, 7-11, Guardian)
^Based on the spending profiles used for simulation

Citi Cash Back+ Card

For people who spend more than about S$6,000 a month on their cards, unlimited cashback cards are a better choice. These cards offer lower cashback rates than the capped cards, but do not have any minimum spend requirement or cashback caps.

The Citi Cash Back+ card offers the highest cashback rate of 1.6% on all your spend.

Feature Summary

Card Citi Cash Back+
Cashback Features 1.60% on all spend
Cashback Caps None
Minimum Spend None
Annual Fee S$192.60 per year, waived for the first year.
Monthly Spend Est. Cashback Earned
S$1,000
S$2,000
S$4,000
S$6,500
S$10,000
S$16
S$32
S$64
S$104
S$160
Best Cashback Card for High Spenders
Citi Cash Back+ Credit Card
Highest unlimited cashback rate of 1.6%

Citi Cash Back+ Credit Card offers unlimited 1.6% cashback, higher than most other similar cards

While theoretically this card is better than the Maybank Family & Friends card only for spends above S$7800 (Family & Friends cashback cap of 125 divided by 1.6% cashback rate on Citi Cash Back+), realistically it probably becomes a better choice over S$6,000 or so because you will start hitting the category caps of S$25 on the Family & Friends card well before getting the full S$125 cashback.


The competition

UOB EVOL Credit Card offers 8% cashback on all online and contactless spend, up to a maximum of S$20 a month in each category and a maximum of S$60 cashback in total each month. It also has a lower minimum monthly spend of S$600, making it a great option if you are concerned about being able to hit the higher minimum on our pick, the Maybank Family & Friends.

Feature Summary

Card UOB EVOL
Cashback Features 8% Cashback on following categories:
– Online
– Contactless Transactions (no swipe, card tap or Apple Pay, Google Pay etc.)

0.3% for all other spend

Cashback Caps $20 per category per month
$60 total per month
Minimum Spend S$600 per month
Annual Fee Lifetime Free
Monthly Spend Est. Cashback Earned
S$1,000
S$2,000
S$4,000
S$6,500
S$10,000
S$43
S$60
S$60
S$60
S$60
UOB EVOL Credit Card
8% Cashback on Online & Contactless Spend

UOB EVOL offers 8% cashback on all online and contactless spend, capped at S$60 per month .

However, unlike the F&F card which allows you to choose 5 categories for high cashback, UOB EVOL offers high cashback only on two broad categories and has a lower monthly earn cap of S$20 per category. This means that UOB EVOL could be the better choice if your spend is low but as the spend increases, the F&F card becomes a lot better.

Frank by OCBC offers 6% cashback all online and contactless spend, up to a maximum of S$25 a month in each category and a maximum of S$75 cashback in total each month. It also has a lower minimum monthly spend requirement of S$600,

Feature Summary

Card Frank by OCBC
Cashback Features 6% Cashback on following categories:
– Online
– Contactless & Foreign Currency transactions

0.3% for all other spend

Cashback Caps S$25 per category per month
S$75 total per month
Minimum Spend S$600 per month
Annual Fee S$85.60 per year; Waived for the first 2 years
Monthly Spend Est. Cashback Earned
S$1,000
S$2,000
S$4,000
S$6,500
S$10,000
S$36
S$72
S$75
S$75
S$75
Frank by OCBC
6% Cashback on Online, Contactless & Foreign Spend

Frank by OCBC offers 6% cashback on all online, foreign and contactless spend, capped at S$75 per month

Frank by OCBC falls somewhere between UOB EVOL and Maybank F&F cards because of its lower cashback rate vs. those two but higher monthly cashback cap vs. UOB EVOL. If your spend is closer to S$600 a month, you will probably earn more with UOB EVOL because of the higher cashback rate of 8%. If your spend is higher than S$1000, you are probably better off with F&F because of the 5 categories and higher overall cap.

UOB One Credit Card has a somewhat complicated set of rules but is a very strong contender for people who consistently spend between S$2-4,000 a month.

It’s also a great option if you spend a lot on Grab, Bus & MRT and Cold Storage due to the very high 10% cashback on those spends.

Feature Summary

Credit Card UOB One
Cashback Features 3.33% Cashback on all spend
Additional 5-6.67% cashback on
– Shopee
– Grab
– Bus & MRT with SimplyGo
– Dairy Farm Group (Cold Storage, Guardian, 7-11 etc.)
Cashback Caps S$200 total per quarter
Additional 5-6.67% cashback (for Shopee & Dairy Farm Group) capped at S$100 per month

Minimum Spend S$2000 per month ( below S$2000 per month cuts the quarterly cashback cap to S$100 and below S$1000 spend to S$50)
Annual Fee S$192.60 per year; Waived for the first 1 year
Monthly Spend Est. Cashback Earned
S$1,000
S$2,000
S$4,000
S$6,500
S$10,000
S$25
S$44
S$93
S$110
S$132
UOB One Credit Card
Upto 3.33% Cashback but Complicated

UOB One offers a 3.33% cashback capped at S$200 per quarter if you spend more than S$2,000 every month

To earn the maximum cashback of $200 in a quarter, you must spend at least $2,000 every month. If you do that, you get 3.33% cashback on all your spend with an effective monthly cashback cap of S$66.67.

If your spend in one or more months is less than $2,000, you still earn cashback at the rate of 3.33%, but the effective monthly cap falls to S$33.33, which is very low. If your spend falls below S$1,000 in one or more months, you still get the 3.33% but the monthly cap falls to $17.50 only. Go below S$500 in any one month of the quarter and your cashback effectively falls to zero (actually 0.03%) for the quarter.

UOB One gives an additional 6.67% cashback on your spend at Shopee, Grab, Bus & MRT and Dairy Farm Group (Cold Storage, Guardian, 7-11 etc.), which is not impacted by the quarterly cashback cap but has a much higher, S$100 per month cap of its own.

If you spend frequently at these places, your effective monthly cap for UOB One could be as high as S$166.67, making this an outstanding card for you.

The important thing with UOB One is to make sure you are spending more than S$2,000 every month on the card.

UOB Absolute Credit Card offers a market highest unlimited cashback rate of 1.7%. In theory this makes UOB Absolute the best cashback card for high spenders in Singapore.

Feature Summary

Credit Card UOB Absolute
Cashback Features 1.70% Cashback on all spend
Cashback Caps None
Minimum Spend None
Annual Fee S$192.60 per year; Waived for the first 1 year
Monthly Spend Est. Cashback Earned
S$1,000
S$2,000
S$4,000
S$6,500
S$10,000
S$17
S$34
S$68
S$110
S$170
UOB Absolute Credit Card
1.7% Unlimited Cashback on this Amex Card

UOB Absolute offers 1.7% cashback but may be accepted in fewer places and may not waive Annual Fee

However UOB Absolute is an American Express card, which is usually less widely accepted than Visa & Mastercard and our research suggests it may be harder to get the annual fees waived for American Express cards.

The additional 0.1% cashback is not enough, in most cases, to take the additional risk that your annual fee may not be waived.


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