Tuesday, 12 December 2017

Best Cashback Credit Cards to get for 2018

If someone came up to you to offer you free cash on the money you're already spending every month, would you say no?

I didn't think so either. Everyone needs a good cash back credit card, period.

If you're still paying via NETS / your debit card, it is high time you embraced the cash back rewards that credit cards have to offer!

I previously revealed the cards I have in my wallet during the live debate last week, but also shared a first glimpse into the spreadsheet I've been working on which captures the best cashback credit cards to move into 2018 with. A number of you have emailed me to ask for that list, so here are the best ones I've shortlisted:

Yellow - best in category
Green - second-best

If you're signing up for any of these cards, don't forget to indicate here that you're a Budget Babe reader so you can get additional free cash vouchers.

Battle of the Cashback credit cards

UOB One Card

Folks with a UOB One account should definitely get the UOB One, which is a fantastic cash-back card through and through, while helping you chalk up higher interest on your savings as well. If you're having a large purchase coming up, you'll probably benefit the most from getting a 5% cashback out of this card ($2000 monthly spend).

Read my previous review of the UOB One account here.

Note: Some readers have commented that they've faced long waiting periods for approval of their card application, of about 3 weeks to 2 months. Nonetheless, good cards are worth waiting for.

Standard Chartered Unlimited Cashback / AMEX True Cashback 

This is an easy and fuss-free credit card to hold, as it gives you 1.5% on all spend without any minimum or maximum limits, nor does it set caps by categories.

For the lazy folks who don't wish to manage multiple cash back credit cards in your wallet, this would be the best bet. Alternatively, you can also get the AMEX True Cashback Card, although that's accepted by fewer merchants in contrast to SCB's MasterCard.

Bank of China Family Card

This is a really fabulous card for online and dining. Moreover, if you're already on the BOC SmartSaver program (read my review here), this card can help you to get higher interest rates on your savings.

Citi Cash Back Visa Card

If you drive and dine out often, then you'll probably want to keep this card close as it is best for dining and petrol (up to 20.88% fuel savings at Esso and Shell). Or if you're frequently booking rides on the Grab app, this card also gives you 8% cash back for that, provided you're able to hit the minimum monthly card spend of $888. 

You can also get extra $125 Grab or NTUC vouchers by signing up here.

OCBC 365

This card has been talked to death as it has been around for a really long time, but if you're on the OCBC 360 account, you'll probably have to get this to maximise your savings interest rate. It also offers a relatively high dining cash back rate, and free travel insurance when you book your flights with this card.

UOB Yolo Card

The best use of this card would be for its 1-for-1 movie tickets at Cathay Cineplex, as well as the free Grab ride every weekend if you manage to meet the transaction spend in that preceding week. Use it for your weekend dining and entertainment.

OCBC Frank Credit Card

This was one of my very first credit cards, and I feel it is one that is often overlooked because no one really talks much about it online. The truth is, this is a really fantastic card with a 6% online shopping rebate which includes Grab and Uber rides. You'll also get 3% to 5% cash back on your movies, karaoke sessions and major coffee chains, including Starbucks and Coffee Bean.

And yes, you can use this to clock higher interest saving rates on your OCBC 360 account! In my opinion, this card is much more superior to OCBC 365 if your spending behaviour fits into what I've described above. The minimum spend is also much lower at $400 per month.

Citibank SMRT Card

Best for travelling on public transport and for groceries (across various places including Fairprice, Giant and Sheng Siong. This is broader, unlike the POSB Everyday Card which limits you to only Sheng Shiong supermarkets).

You can also get extra $125 Grab or NTUC vouchers by signing up here.

CIMB Platinum Mastercard

Get up to 10% cash rebate for specific categories. Travel, health and beauty on CIMB Platinum Mastercard, or go for the CIMB Visa Signature if you dine out considerably often.

I quite like this card for how it allows you to enjoy rebates even on your hospital / doctor / dentist / optometrist / pharmacies / spas / hairdresser bills. Not many cards offer this privilege.

You'll need to spend at least $500 in a month - consisting of at least 8 transactions of $30 or more - in order to enjoy the 10% cash rebate, so this warrants a bit more tracking than I'd like to have. Do also note that the maximum rebate is capped at $60 every month.


A few readers have highlighted specific cards to ask why they weren't included in this list. For clarity, the following cards were also examined but I felt that they either paled in comparison to the other cards here, or they had limited utility to warrant a permanent place in our wallets.

Some of the other cards reviewed were:
- SCB Manhattan card (paled in comparison to UOB One)
- DBS Live Fresh card (paled in comparison to OCBC Frank)
- HSBC Advance (a number of caveats to meet, sits in the middle of what UOB One and SCB / AMEX Unlimited offers)
- POSB Everyday card (limited categories and merchants)
- SCB Singpost card (used to be among the best for online shopping, but changed their T&Cs recently and dropped the cashback rate from 7% to 2%)
- SCB Spree card (seems like a revamp of the SCB Singpost card)

Cash back cards are a great way to get free money

I get a few hundred dollars of cash back every year (and I don't even spend a lot!) easily by maximising my cards this way, and that's not even counting the additional interest I get on my linked-bank account savings... If you play your credit card cash back strategy well, there's a lot of free cash that you can get back on money which you're already spending right now.

Of course, as always, remember to be responsible about your credit card spend and always pay off your bills on time at the end of the month! Otherwise, if you're worried about potentially overspending, then you can consider the DBS Visa Debit Card for its 5% cashback (I've also previously reviewed here).

Are there any other cash back credit cards that I've missed out which you think deserves to be on this list? Let me know!

With love,

Saturday, 9 December 2017

Terms to know in the cryptocurrency social universe

When I first dipped my toes into the universe of cryptocurrencies, I could barely understand a word of what the crypto folks were talking about on Reddit, Medium and the various other forums. It was like a whole new different language, and I'm not even referring to the technical terms found in most of the whitepapers.

Given how much price is largely driven by market sentiment in the crypto universe, it pays to understand what's happening on the ground, so today's guide is largely targeted for the newbies who need a little help understanding the slang flying around on Facebook when folks discuss about cryptocurrencies.

Government-issued currency, or basically cash.
Eg. You need to convert your fiat into bitcoin before you can buy alts.

Altcoin / Alts
Refers to all other coins that are not Bitcoin.
Eg. People congratulate me when Bitcoin makes a bull run, but they don't know my alts are bleeding.

Any coin that purports to save the world. Also refers to alts that are perceived to be terrible, worthless, or a downright scam. (Note, one man's shitcoin could be another's treasure.)
Eg. Is FAILcoin a shitcoin? Its original developer completely disappeared after its announcement.

Acronym for initial coin offering. Similar to IPOs in the stock market, only that ICOs are in the crypto universe.
Eg. There's a new ICO coming up. You subscribing?

Short-form for 1 satoshi, the lowest denominator of a Bitcoin.
Eg. Did you watch that video about that Buzzfeed guy who couldn't buy a Bitcoin because he didn't have enough money? He could only afford a few sats.

Acronym for fear of missing out.
Eg. Bitcoin just hit $10,000! This FOMO is real, should I buy?

Acronym for all-time high.
Eg. Bitcoin is hitting ATH every single day!

To the moon / moon
Refers to the price of a coin going up, supposedly with no upside limit.
Eg. Bitcoin is mooning! 

To hold. Also means Hold On for Dear Life.
Eg. I intend to HODL Bitcoin until it moons.

Acronym for fear, uncertainty and doubt.
Eg. Bitcoin's drop now is only temporary and all just due to baseless FUD.

Shill / Shilling
The act of promoting good stuff about alt coins (usually on social media) in hopes that people will start buying and the price will go up.
Eg. Stop shilling IOTA!

Pump and dump
Refers to prices going up rapidly (usually because of FOMO or shilling) and crashing after (sometimes due to FUD).
Eg. Stop shilling IOTA just so it'll pump and dump.

Eg. Is NEO's recent dip due to Choyna FUD?

Bagholder / Baghodler
A person who purchased a crypto coin at an all-time high or during a bull run, and are now stuck in a tight position now that prices have plummeted.
Eg. Peter bought IOTA because he FOMO-ed when it mooned overnight, and now he's a badhodler hoping for another bull run so he can unload it.

Bears / bearish
Folks familiar with stocks will know this. A bear is someone with bearish sentiment about the market and thinks that prices are headed down.
Eg. I'm bearish about the Bitcoin market right now.

Bull / bullish
The opposite of being bearish. A bull is someone who believes the market is headed upward.
Eg. I'm super bullish about Bitcoin now, it is going to the moon!

Refers to a person with deep pockets.
Eg. Satoshi is a whale. He reportedly owns one million bitcoins! / Peter just bought USD 100k of Bitcoin. What a whale!

Basically means wrecked.
Eg. Uh oh big dip. I'm rekt.

What you'll feel when your shitcoin goes to zero.
Eg. Oh crap, turns out XXX was a shitcoin. I'm butthurt.

Acronym for buy the farking dip. Basically refers to buying when people are panic selling.
Eg. Bitcoin just dumped! BTFD!!!

Acronym for do your own research.
Eg. Stop asking me whether Litecoin will moon. DYOR!

A suspicious Ponzi scheme often shilled by Youtubers and social media influencers who have vested agendas. Tread at your own risk.
Eg. Did that Youtuber CryptoNick really earn $500,000 USD from beetconnek? Madness!

Can you stomach the wild ride in the crypto universe? (If you can't, keep calm and put in only money you can afford to lose. A few hundred dollars is fine too.)

Let me know if you come across any new slang terms which I've missed out!

With love,