Monday, January 29, 2018

How I Use Credit Cards To Better Manage My Finances

Credit cards are great tools for me to better manage my finances. There is ease of tracking my expenses as there is always a record of my spending. I also use credit cards to get bonus interest on my savings plus get rewards in the form of cashback and miles.

In this post, I will share the credit cards I have and how I use them in the right way to maximise the benefits. Let's begin.

1. Standard Chartered Unlimited Card & AMEX True cashback card

The first card I have is the SCB unlimited card. This card is straightforward to use as it just gives 1.5% cashback on all spending. There is no minimum spend and no cap to the cashback given. I use this for most of my spending to make sure I get cashback on every single cent I spend on. I seldom use cash to pay for anything now unless the shop does not accept credit cards which is rarely the case now.

Another good cashback card is the AMEX True cashback card which also gives 1.5% cashback. AMEX has good perks and their customer service is top notch. Many offers they have linked up too for their customers.

You can apply for both the SCB Unlimited and AMEX True cashback card here.

*Get 1 Year LiveUp subscription + 3 x GuavaPass classes + $50 Takashimaya vouchers on approval for both cards above

2. American Express Singapore Airlines Kirsflyer card

This is a new card which I got as AMEX offered the card to me in exchange for my previous AMEX true cashback card. The previous true cashback card is similar to the SCB unlimited card so I opted for a switch to this krisflyer card instead to try earning air miles.

Maybe you've heard of miles card or you have not heard of it. Initially, I was confused on how miles card work too but after some searching, I begin to understood it better. Its true when people say miles card earns better rewards as compared to cashback card. For this AMEX krisflyer card which I have, it earns 1.1 miles per $1 spend. There are also some spend which earns 3.3 miles for every $1 spend such as on Grab and Uber.

Miles can be exchanged for free air tickets as well as purchase upgrades. You can apply for this card here. You can get 5000 free bonus miles on your first spend (any amount) and first year annual fee waiver.

3. Safra DBS Credit Card

The third card I have is the Safra DBS credit card. There is 3% cashback on groceries, all online spend and also all contactless payment. The only issue here is you can only get this card if you're an existing Safra member. I applied for Safra membership during my NS days so I still have the membership until now. There is no annual fees for this card as long as you remain a Safra member which is not expensive to be one. Its just $270 for a 10 year membership but of course you have to be an NSF or NSmen in order to apply for membership.

You can apply for this card here.

Paying my credit card bills to get higher interest on my savings

After all the spending I have on my 3 credit cards, I pay all the bills in full every month using my OCBC 360 account. With the salary credit plus the 3 credit card bill payment, I can get 1.50% interest on my savings. This is what I do to get close to $100 every month on interest alone.

Bonus Card: UOB Yolo Card

There is another card which I think is good for those who frequently eats out or enjoys spending on entertainment. This card gives 16% rebate on dining and entertainment on weekends. You can also get 3% rebate on online, fashion and travel spend.

You can apply for this card here

In collaboration with Singsaver, they are also giving away one year LiveUp subscription plus 3 Free complimentary Gym classes from GuavaPass. For the gym classes, you can choose from Yoga to Kickboxing, Spinning to Dance, CrossFit to Pilates!

You might ask what's LiveUp subscription? It is actually a membership programme started by Lazada and Redmart together with other online services. You can get discounts and special deals from Lazada, Taobao, Redmart, Uber, Ubereats and the membership even included a 6 months subscription of Netflix. This promo applies to the SCB Unlimited card, AMEX True cashback card, UOB Yolo card and some other cards as well. You can check out the cards available here.

Credit cards have worked well for me so far. I will always pay my bills on time to avoid the high interest and the late payment fees. I did miss my payments once and was charged a late fee but just one call and they waived the fees for me. If we really cannot pay up, the fees are really high so it is important to control our spending if we were to use credit cards. Never spend any money which you are not able to afford. This will get you into more trouble than what you could imagine.

However, when used wisely, credit cards can be a good tool to better manage our finances.

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1 comment:

  1. I started using my credit cards to track my expenses about a year ago, and I gotta say it works wonders. Thanks for such a detailed explanation!