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CIMB Visa Signature Credit Card – MoneySmart Review 2021

·8-min read
cimb visa signature
cimb visa signature

Once upon a time the CIMB Visa Signature was my favourite cashback credit card, but since the revision of the terms and conditions in June 2019, I cancelled my card.

The card has been around forever, but it rose in popularity in November 2018 when it was revised to offer a whopping 10% cash back on key categories dining, groceries and online shopping. That was very impressive and comprehensive for one card, which explains why everyone (myself included) was raving about it.

However, to everyone’s disappointment, the “perfect cashback card” was taken away months later. Effective 5 June 2019, the CIMB Visa Signature credit card only offers 10% cashback on the following categories: Beauty & wellness, online shopping, groceries, pet shops & veterinary service and cruises.

CIMB has maintained the market-high cashback rate of 10%, but removed the most important (well, to me, anyway) category of dining and entertainment. They also introduced caveats like an $800 minimum spend requirement and a $20 cashback cap on each category, which we’ll get into later.

Here’s our take on the revamped CIMB Visa Signature credit card.

CIMB Visa Signature credit card terms & conditions

CIMB Visa Signature credit card

Annual fee & waiver

Supplementary annual fee

Interest free period

23 days

Annual interest rate


Late payment fee


Minimum monthly repayment

3% or $50, whichever is higher

Foreign currency transaction fee


Cash advance transaction fee

6% (minimum charge of $15)

Overlimit fee

Minimum income

$30,000 (Singaporean) / $15,000 (Singaporeans above age 55)

Card association


Wireless payment

Visa PayWave

CIMB logo
CIMB logo

MoneySmart Exclusive

CIMB Visa Signature

Cash Back on Beauty & Wellness, Online Shopping, Groceries


Min. spend per month


Cash Back Cap


MoneySmart Exclusive:

Get a Bosch Food Processor MultiTalent 3 800 W (Worth $269) or $130 Cash via PayNow when you apply and spend on your card!

Valid until 30 Sep 2021

Apply Now

More Details

Key Features

  • 10%* Cashback on Beauty & Wellness, Online Shopping, Groceries and more

  • Complimentary Travel Insurance up to S$500,000

  • Visa Signature Concierge

  • No annual fees for life

  • Apply for up to 4 supplementary cards and have annual fees waived for all supplementary cards

  • Access to over 1,000 regional deals with discounts up to 50%

See all card details

How the CIMB Visa Signature credit card works

As mentioned above, the CIMB Visa Signature credit card is a cashback card. Each time you swipe your plastic, you earn cash rebates that are deducted from your next month’s balance. Cashback is earned and credited on a monthly basis.

Here are the new bonus cashback categories (effective 5 Jun 2019):

Spending category

CIMB Visa Signature credit card cash back

Beauty and wellness

10% (capped $20)

Online spend

10% (capped $20)


10% (capped $20)

Pet shops and veterinary services

10% (capped $20)


10% (capped $20)

This is actually the card’s 2nd revision in 2018 to 2019. Previously, the CIMB Visa Signature credit card only offered 10% cashback on dining and online transactions in foreign currencies, which wasn’t that useful.

Then, effective 23 Nov 2018, CIMB extended the bonus rebates to include groceries and online shopping, instantly elevating it to gold status in the cashback league.

Those glory days were short-lived though: CIMB announced that effective 5 Jun 2019, they will change their terms & conditions again. And this time, it’s not for the better.

They basically replaced dining & entertainment – the biggest, most important spending category – with ridiculously niche expenses like beauty & wellness, pet shops & veterinary services and… cruises.

In addition to the above, CIMB also increased the minimum spend criteria from $600 to $800, and lowered the split cashback cap from $50 to $20 per category (total cashback cap $100). That means you can only earn cashback on the first $200 of each category, which is very stingy for categories like groceries and online shopping.

If you want to shop online in foreign currency, it may also be worthy to note that the transaction fees are on the high side. CIMB used to charge just 1%, but as of Jan 2019, it’s now 2%.

The only good thing about this card is that it’s one of the rare few cards with no annual fees – so you’ll never need to “press 1 for annual fee waivers”.

Who should use the CIMB Visa Signature credit card

With its latest list of benefits, the CIMB Visa Signature credit card seems like it would only be good for a very specific type of shopper: don’t be fooled by the seemingly high 10% cashback and generous $100 cashback cap – most people will not be able to get much out of this card.

The $20-per-category split cap is what makes earning the cashback so tricky. In order to maximise your rebates, you must “swee swee” spend $200 in all 5 niche categories. But the average Singaporean doesn’t blow that much on things like grooming products and cruises every month, right?

If you only manage to max out your rebates for more “normal” categories like online shopping and groceries, you will only earn $40, which is disappointing. And without dining and entertainment as a bonus category, the $800 min. spend criteria will be hard for most entry level cardholders to hit.

I suspect that this card is meant to be used together with the CIMB Platinum MasterCard. When you combine the two, the bonus cashback categories cover almost everything imaginable – including dining, entertainment, groceries, petrol and online spending.

But you’ll still need to spend minimum $1,600 monthly ($800 on each card), and each category is still capped at $20 cash back ($200 spend).

That being said, you will want to sign up for this card with the CIMB FastSaver Savings Account – one of the best savings account in the market with no minimum balance required – to increase its competitive 0.3% p.a. to 1% p.a.

Alternatives to the CIMB Visa Signature credit card

Citi Cash Back Card – The Citi Cash Back Card is popular with those who need petrol discounts and rebates. The cashback is slightly lower, but the bonus categories are much more attractive (dining, groceries and petrol) so it’s easier to chalk up rebates. The minimum spend requirement is the same, at $800, and the split cap is at $80 across all categories.

Citibank logo
Citibank logo

MoneySmart Exclusive

Cashback on Dining, Groceries & Grab

Citi Cash Back Card

Cash Back on Dining, Groceries & Petrol

Up to 8%

Cash Back Cap per category, per month


From Shell & Esso

Up to 20.88% savings

MoneySmart Exclusive:

Apply & Spend $500 to get EXTRA $88 CASH in addition to an Apple iPad Wi-Fi 64GB (worth $499) or the ErgoTune Chair (worth $399) or $350 Cash. Only with Citi Cash Back & Citi Cash Back+ Credit Cards. T&Cs apply.

Valid until 29 Sep 2021

Apply Now

More Details

Key Features

  • 6% cashback on dining, 8% cashback on groceries, petrol and 0.25% cash back for other retail purchases

  • Cash back is capped at S$80/month with min. spend of S$800/month

  • Up to 20.88% savings at Esso and Shell, and 8% cash back at other petrol stations

  • For retail spend less than S$800, 0.25% cash back is awarded for all categories of spend, no cap on cash back earned

See all card details

UOB One – This card is preferable if you want to spend freely in every and any category, because there are no specified bonus cashback categories. Basically you just need to spend at least $500/$1,000/ $2,000 or 3 consecutive months to earn $50/$100/$300 cashback. That roughly equates to 3.33% to 5% in savings.

UOB logo
UOB logo

Online Promo

UOB One Card

Rebate on Shopee, Dairy Farm Group, Grab, SP and more

Up to 10%

Rebate Cap per quarter


Min. Spend per month


Online Promo:

Receive S$300 Cash Credit for NTB Customers and S$150 Cash Credit for NTC Customers for 1st 100 Customers to make a min spend of $1.5K for each NTB and NTC within 30 days of card approval. T&Cs Apply

Valid until 30 Sep 2021

Apply Now

More Details

Key Features

  • Up to 10% rebate at Dairy Farm Group merchants (Cold Storage, Giant, 7-Eleven, Guardian and more)

  • Up to 10% rebate on Grab, SP utilities bills and UOB Travel spend

  • Up to 5% cash rebate on all retail spend for spend such as home furnishings, electronics & bill payment

  • Up to 24% savings on fuel purchases at SPC and 20.8% at Shell Stations

  • 1 year annual fee waiver of S$192.60 (First year annual fee waiver)

See all card details

BOC Family Card – Although the BOC Family Card only offers 3% cashback for groceries and online shopping, it gives you a neat 10% cashback on dining and movies. The minimum spend is the same, but the split cap is $25 per category.

Bank of China logo
Bank of China logo

Bank of China Family Card

10% cash rebate on Everyday Dining (Restaurants & Fast Food), Movies


Cash Rebate on Family Club Merchants


Cash Rebate on Supermarkets, Online Purchases, Hospital Bills


Read More

More Details

Key Features

  • 10% cash rebate on Everyday Dining (Restaurants & Fast Food), Movies

  • Up to 5% cash rebate on Supermarkets, Online Purchases, Family Club Merchants (Chien Chi Tow, Harvey Norman, Eu Yan Sang, Watsons, Unity Pharmacy & more), Hospital bills and many more!

See all card details

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