Welcome AMEX true cashback card

Jes 8 Comments

Last year, I also cleaned up my finances for the New Year. This year is no exception and it's a good habit to get rid of unwanted things every year.

Due to recent changes to the FRANK card where they require minimum spending of $400 for offline transaction, I cancelled it this year. I only started using it in 2014 so I am sad that I have to cut away the nice jelly bean card. There is no point keeping it since I will not be using it any more. Obviously I still have my OCBC 365 card so as to accumulate interests for my OCBC 360 account.

Last year I cancelled my Citibank Dividends card. This year I cancelled my Standard Chartered Manhattan card. It used to be a good card for big purchases where you can get 5% rebates for a $2000 to $5000 bill. It's the go-to-card for renovation, weddings, medical bills, insurance and furniture.

Not so any more. Nowadays, you can only get a maximum of 3% for spending $3000 to $6000.

I don't spend that much and honestly 3% is not that attractive. Comparing it to AMEX true cashback card where you can get 3% rebates for the first 6 months for up to $5000 and 1.5% subsequently, I would rather take AMEX any time for the no minimum spending limit.

Even for my travelling, I am switching from Citibank Premier Miles to AMEX true cashback card. Citibank Premier Miles card has been my travelling card for many years but I have just too many miles. Cash beats miles/rewards any time. One bad point about using AMEX is that not all merchants accept it. Thus, I might still need to keep the Premier Miles card as a back up.

You can also take ANZ Optimum World credit card where you can choose 5% rebates from one of these categories: Dining, Travel, Shopping and Groceries. 1% for everything else. The troublesome part is that you will have to choose your category by 25th of each calendar quarter. If they ever do away with this, I will be the first to apply for it.

You can see how flexible I am to changing cards just to optimize benefits. It's the only way to gain more and cumulative cash back really do add up to something substantial.

For now, I am sticking to OCBC 365 and welcoming AMEX true cashback card to my purse. 2 cards are definitely sufficient.


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  1. have u roughly calculated the return rate of citibank miles before? is it better than 1.5% of amex?

    1. Hi Steven,

      I have blogged about Premiermiles benefits before (http://simplyjesme.blogspot.sg/2014/11/ocbc-frank-vs-citibank-premiermiles.html)

      The good point you have made is that Citi miles can be converted to cash rebates at a rate of 1000 miles to $10. Which means
      $1 = 1.2 citi miles for local spending = 1.2% cash rebates
      $1 = 2 citi miles for overseas spending = 2% cash rebates

      Thus, it is more worthwhile than AMEX for overseas but not local spending. One point to note is you need to hit at least 1000 miles to redeem. Thank you for the good question :)

  2. What is amex DCC and forex charges for using in foreign currencies? Higher than 3%?

    1. Hi Fooz,

      I searched online and found many stating that Amex has no DCC but you may like to call them to confirm.

      For forex charges, this Amex True cashback card charges 2.5% (https://www.americanexpress.com/sg/content/pdf/cashback-card-member-agreement.pdf), same as the Citibank Premiermiles Visa card (https://www.citibank.com.sg/global_docs/pdf/cc/cc_pm_tnc.pdf). Different credit cards and merchants (visa/mastercard/amex) have different forex charges so you are wise to look into that! Thanks for reading :)

  3. Probably good for the first 6 months use overseas only. But barely breakeven, since it's 2.5%.

    What else would you rccmd for oversees spending in foreign currencies?

    1. Hi Fooz,

      The best miles for overseas spending stands at 2.4 miles per dollar with UOB Prvi and DBS Treasure Amex. Unfortunately, both are for high income earners, you can consider if you can qualify for it.

      Below that, Citi Premiermile and DBS Altitude give 2 miles per dollar. They sometimes have promotions to increase the number of miles.

      Alternatively if you can hit the minimum spending every month, UOB One card will be worth while with the highest cash back at 5%.

      This is what I know, if you have better recommendations, do share with me :)

  4. Did some research, but annual fee for Amex is very hard to waive. So you have to spend more than 11k on this card every year just to break even after paying the fee.


    1. Hi there,

      Good point that you mentioned here! Honestly, I have not tried waiving it because I just applied for this card. But I think I would cancel the card if I cannot waive it and just continue using my OCBC 365 card :)