You know what I like better than shopping? Shopping on credit. Because I hate window shopping. I see the latest Sony whatsit or iThing, and without a credit card all I can do is leave drool marks all over the storefront. Then a grossed out security guard pummels me with a long stick, and drives me out the mall. Happens to everyone right?
1. HSBC Revolution Credit Card
The HSBC Revolution Credit Card combines shopping benefits with an over-excited name. This piece of plastic radiates an enthusiasm…to buy. It nabs discounts at some 1,800 outlets in Singapore, and 19,000 worldwide. If we listed all the shopping discounts, we’d go blind from screen glare before we finished. Notable ones include:
- Mayer - 10 percent off regular priced items
- iPro Evolution - 10 percent off regular priced items. 15 percent if you spend above $150 on a single receipt
- Crabtree & Evelyn - 10 percent off regular priced items in participating outlets
- LVER - 10 percent off regular priced items
At Crabtree & Evelyn, the card’s 10 percent discount seemed to apply at most outlets. While the card description says it applies at “participating outlets”, every one we could call acknowledged the discount. Overall, the most impressive thing about this card is its recognition. The discounts seem to apply at every second or third store you walk into, especially if you’re shopping along Orchard Road.
2. Metro-UOB Platinum Card
The Metro-UOB Platinum Card is for loyal Metro patrons. If you aren’t one yet, drop by sometime. Odds are, the product range will convert you. And if you’re already hanging out at Metro, you may have heard of a Metro card. The Metro-UOB Platinum card is similar, except it doubles as a credit card. Benefits of this card include:
- 10 percent off regular priced purchases at Metro (i.e. nothing that’s already on discount).
- On your birthday month, the discount goes up to 20 percent.
- Additional 5 percent rebate on all Metro purchases, in the form of Metro$.
Metro$ can be exchanged for Metro vouchers.
A downside to this card is the annual fee of $180; and there’s no waiver for this.
IKEA Friends Visa Card
Like Metro, IKEA has their own card. Apparently, IKEA is like the Apple of the furniture world or something; people who shop there tend to not shop elsewhere. If you’re one of their them, you can’t do without the IKEA Friends Visa Card. Of course, it also works as a regular credit card outside of IKEA.
Benefits at IKEA include:
- Free drinks and meal discounts at the IKEA restaurant.
For purchases outside of IKEA, the interest rate is 24.96 percent.
If you’re going to buy IKEA products on credit, make sure you use this card. The low interest rates can halve or remove the interest altogether. It may seem narrow, but this card makes the list anyway; because with it you can furnish whole rooms at absurdly low costs.
Picture furnishing your whole living room, every last chair and cabinet. And then paying for it interest free, for one to three years. If that doesn’t put dollar signs in the eyes…someone’s bad at math.
You can also use it as a regular card, and get the rewards from OCBC. But that’s not recommended, since the interest outside of IKEA is higher than most other cards.
Before getting any of the cards here, you should still compare alternatives. Visit SmartCredit.sg, a free-to-use website that lets you compare credit cards in Singapore. From the main page, select “cashback” under the categories tab. SmartCredit will display the three cards above, along with some other options.
Drag and drop the different cards into the comparison panel, and SmartCredit will make one-to-one comparisons for you. Once you’ve made your choice, you can also apply for the credit card directly from the site.
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