I’m talking about rebates, NOT discounts. You know how credit card companies always advertise their discounts in prominent positions using human sized banner posters? Well, they don’t do the same for rebates.
Credit card rebates are those rewards that you can accumulate and later redeem. Some credit cards allow redemption only at specific partner merchants while others return the rebates by offsetting the credit card bill directly.
Credit card rebates are in general a very worthwhile system for consumers, sometimes offering rebates of up to 5%. The problem is keeping track of which credit card gives rebate at which merchant since they do not advertise it. The only way to find out is to visit their website. However, there is one exception that is the POSB Everyday Card. They have huge signs telling everyone that they give 5% rebates at Carrefour and 3% rebates at Watsons. It’s really more an exception than the norm.
So, after crawling the credit card website for the list of participating merchants, I decided to consolidate and list down some of the frequently visited ones. These will be discussed in categories.
- Citibank SMRT Card offers 4.7% rebates at Giant, Cold Storage, Market Place, Carrefour, selected NTUC and Singapore MEIDI-YA Supermarket. And Shop n Save (Updated 24 March 2010). And Sheng Siong (Updated 28 March 2011).
- POSB Everyday Card offers 5% rebates at Carrefour.
- Maybank Friends & Family Card offers 5% rebates at Cold Storage and NTUC.
- Note: NTUC refers to those outlets that accept credit card payments.
- Note 2: We don’t have any cards to give rebates for Shop n Save (Update 24 March 2010: We have confirmed Citibank SMRT Card gives the same 4.7% rebates for Shop n Save) and Sheng Siong. Maybe they don’t have any tie-ups with banks? Do they even accept credit cards? I know Shop n Save definitely do; not too sure about Sheng Siong.
- Citibank SMRT Card offers 4.7% rebates at Starbucks, Coffee Bean, Coffee Club, Dome Cafe, Gloria Jean and tcc.
- Note: That takes care of all our coffee needs. :D
- Maybank Friends & Family Card offers 5% rebates at Bird Park, Night Safari and Zoo.
- Note: That covers the most popular animal attractions in Singapore, truly a family oriented card.
- POSB Everyday Card offers 3% rebates at Watsons.
- Maybank Friends & Family Card offers 5% rebates at Popular, Cathay Cineplex, GNC, Unity and Guardian. Toys “R” Us and Yamaha Music (Updated 28 Nov 2010).
- Note: That covers our alternative grocery suppliers and pharmaceutical needs.
Of course there are many more merchants where you can earn rebates but I’m just listing down some of the ones we frequent.
Don’t belittle the seemingly small 5% rebate. It means $5 (a hearty breakfast for 2 at the hawker centre) for every $100 worth of groceries (bread, shampoo, toilet paper, etc). Every bit of savings goes a long way.
Addon: Let me add one important point which I forgot to write earlier. A major reason why credit card rebates is important is that it can be stacked on top of other discounts. Normally, store promotions will have a clause stating that promotions and discounts cannot be combined. But we can circumvent this clause by earning additional rebates using credit cards. For example, Carrefour may have a 5% storewide discount. After enjoying the storewide discount, you can get another further 5% rebates just by paying using POSB Everyday Card. This is becos one discount is given by Carrefour while the other discount is given by POSB; they are separate entities. So now you see why everyone should know their credit card rebates.