This may be an old idea to some but I thought I will share it here for the benefit of even more people. Here’s the idea:
Pay everything by EZ Link card whenever possible if you are using Citibank SMRT credit card with auto-reload service.
The reason: Becos each time you deplete the stored value in your ez link card, it will be automatically topped-up and charged to your Citibank credit card bill. Each top up will earn you 1.7% rebates which can be redeemed as stored value in the ez link. Basically, it’s as good as cash.
The problem: First, there is an admin fee (25cents) associated with each top up. The way to maximize this is to increase the auto top up amount from the default value of $30 to $50 so as to diminish the effect of the admin fee.
Second, payment by ez link isn’t very widespread at the moment. Luckily for me, I used it frequently at my school for lunch where ez link is accepted. Assuming $2 per lunch, I would have spent ($2×22 working days=) $44 per month and earned ($44×1.7%=) $0.748. That’s 1 short MRT ride just by tapping my wallet during lunch. :P
I have not tried paying by ez link outside school as its availability is really limited. A quick glance at the ez link homepage shows that the library, community centres, and 7-11 are amongst the few places that accept such payment. Hopefully with more merchants accepting ez link payment in the future, we can further exploit this indirect credit card rebate earning method. If and when ez link can be used to pay for ERP and car park charges via the upgraded In-Car-Unit, the rebates will definitely become more significant.
The rant: Please do remember remember remember to redeem your SMRT$ as they can expire! We lost about $40 of SMRT$ last year becos we forgot to redeem it. Blame the stupid credit card bill. The expiry reminder wasn’t big and prominent enough and we totally missed it until the date had passed. !@#%$#^#$^@*&
If we consider tapping the ez link as being more convenient than handling cash and coins, then paying by ez link and earning rebates at the same time yields the best of both worlds. Try it!