AMEX True Cashback Review: Now The Best Unlimited Cashback Card?

Shania Wong
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on American Express's website

American Express True Cashback Card

Apply Now
on American Express's website
Lower-than-average annual fees and two free supplementary cards make the AMEX True Cashback Card an attractive offer. It may be worthwhile for families that see high spending on typically excluded categories.


  • No minimum spending
  • Almost no spending exclusions
  • Lower-than-average fees
  • Compatible with mobile contactless payments


  • Not as widely accepted as Mastercard or Visa
  • More suitable for larger spenders
  • Not the highest unlimited cashback rate in the market
  • 3% bonus cashback only up to S$5,000 or the first 6 months

Current Promotion

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Unlimited cashback cards offer rebates even past the caps offered by regular cashback cards – and without having to track all your expenses by category.

But it’s a pain when the same cards have a long list of exclusions.

That’s why cards like the AMEX True Cashback Card are popular. Large bills like those from healthcare, education, and tax authorities will still earn you cashback.

Still, with only a 1.5% unlimited cashback rate, this card doesn’t seem to offer as much as alternatives like the UOB Absolute Cashback Card.

Is there more to it? And does the welcome bonus of 3% cashback make this card better?

Today, we’ll review the American Express True Cashback Card and give our verdict based on: 

Eligibility Requirements

Age21 and above for principal cardholders; 18 and above for supplementary cardholders
IncomeS$30,000 and above for Singapore Citizens and Permanent Residents; S$45,000 and above for expatriates

Nothing in particular to note about these requirements. You’ll find them typical of entry-level cards. 

Unfortunately, if you don’t meet these requirements, you don’t have the option to use fixed deposits as collateral.

Fees and Charges

Annual Fees
  • S$171.20 inclusive of GST (waived for the first year)
  • First 2 supplementary cards are free for life (S$85.60 inclusive of GST for each subsequent card)
Effective Interest Rate26.90% 
Interest-Free Period22 days from statement date if bills are paid in full
Late Payment ChargesS$90 (S$100 with effect from 17 Oct 2022) 
Minimum Monthly PaymentS$50 or 3%, whichever is higher
Overlimit FeeN/A
Cash Advance Transaction Fee5%
Cash Advance Interest Rate26.90% compounded daily
Foreign Currency Transaction Fee2.95%

Lower Annual Fees

First thing to note: the AMEX True Cashback Card has lower annual fees than most other entry-level cards.

As with most other cards, you’ll get a fee waiver for the first year. Subsequent fee waivers will require a call to customer support or a request via their in-app chat. Whether or not you’ll get the fee waiver will depend on the frequency of use and overall expenditure on the card.

Lower Foreign Transaction Fees

If you’re using the card for foreign expenses, the lower transaction fees here make a difference. Let’s use S$1,000 worth of shopping on Taobao as an example. The AMEX True Cashback Card would charge you 2.95% (S$29.50) for a purchase you made in China Yuan, whereas the UOB Absolute Cashback Card would charge you 3.25% (S$32.50) on your purchase.

If we then factor in the cashback (1.5% for AMEX True Cashback and 1.7% for UOB Absolute Cashback), the net amount you’re paying is cheaper with the AMEX True Cashback Card. (This difference grows even larger if the expense qualifies for the 3% welcome bonus cashback rate.)

Credit CardForeign Currency Transaction FeesCashback EarnedNet Amount
AMEX True CashbackS$29.50S$15S$1,000 + ($29.50 – S$15) = S$1,014.50
UOB Absolute CashbackS$32.50S$17S$1,000 + ($32.50 – S$17) = S$1,015.50

Cashback, Discounts, and Other Perks

  • 1.5% unlimited cashback with no minimum spend
Other Benefits
  • Welcome bonus of 3% cashback for the first 6 months or first S$5,000 in eligible spending
  • AMEX privileges and exclusive discounts with specific merchants e.g. Sheraton, Sofitel, Steigen
  • Existing cardmembers get reward points, KrisFlyer miles, or STAR$ for each successful referral

Convenient & Easy to Use 

This card is popular due to its convenience. Whether you’re paying your insurance premiums, planning a wedding, or paying for your child’s university fees, you can be assured of cashback.

AMEX is also known for its world-class customer service. As part of that, users gain access to Global Assist Programs and Fraud Protection.

3% Cashback Welcome Bonus

While this welcome bonus is still available, it arguably makes the AMEX True Cashback Card the best in the market. This is true even when comparing the card to the UOB Absolute Cashback Card, which boasts the “highest limitless cashback rate in Singapore.”

You’d have to spend over S$38,000 in a year to get more cashback on the UOB Absolute Cashback Card versus the AMEX True Cashback Card. Anything under, and the AMEX True Cashback gives you more.

The UOB Absolute Cashback Card does have a welcome bonus itself, but only for the first 100 new-to-UOB cardmembers (and let’s be realistic – you’re probably not going to get it).

Cons of the American Express True Cashback Card

1. It’s An AMEX Card

Visa and Mastercards generally don’t have a problem with acceptance and usage. Most brick-and-mortar retailers who accept credit cards will accept both. However, you might encounter issues with the AMEX True Cashback Card at smaller, independent shops.

Pro Tip: If you’re worried about merchants not accepting AMEX, you can always top up your GrabPay wallet using this card. Since the GrabPay Card is a prepaid Mastercard, you’ll get the 1.5% cashback on top of one of the most widely-accepted credit card associations.

Read also: GrabPay Card Review 2023: Is It Worth Getting?

2. Instalment Plans Are Ineligible for Cashback

You’ll have to pay for your purchases in full if you want the 1.5% cashback.

3. Past the First Year, the Cashback Isn’t the Best

Since this card’s offering hinges heavily on the welcome bonus, it’s not as good past the first year. But because it has lower annual fees, you may still want to consider it as long as you charge below about S$12,000 a year to the card.

Whom This Card is Best For 

This card is best for people with immediate expenses (next 6 months) amounting to at least S$5,000 or more to capitalise on the bonus 3% cashback once you obtain the card. 

Some of these expenses may include: 

  • Home renovations 
  • Wedding banquets
  • Honeymoon trips
  • Medical bills
  • Buying a car, etc.

This card is NOT a good fit for you if:

  • Your average monthly spending ranges between S$500 to S$3,000 – or above S$12,000. Regular cashback cards or higher unlimited cashback options like the UOB Absolute Cashback Card would be better for you.
  • You’re a frequent traveller seeking unlimited rewards. Unlimited cashback cards targeting travel (like the CIMB Visa Infinite Card) may be better.