The CIMB Visa Signature Card often comes up as a free, no-frills card and a great starter option for those just entering the workforce.
And to be fair, it used to be one of the best entry-level cards.
But a few years back, CIMB probably realised they were giving too much away for free, so they revised the T&Cs and split the cashback categories between this and the (now unavailable) CIMB Platinum Mastercard.
That being the case, is this card still worth a look? Let’s find out today by digging into:
|Minimum Age||21 for principal card; 18 for supplementary card|
|Income Requirement||At least S$30,000 for Singaporeans and PRs. Alternatively, submit a minimum Fixed Deposit Collateral of S$10,000.|
Standard stock as far as requirements go.
The only thing of note here is that CIMB doesn’t accept foreigners for credit card applications. Maybank or Citibank may be a better bet if you fall in this category (Maybank’s credit card promotions are also often open to foreigners).
Fees and Charges
|Effective Interest Rate||25.9% p.a.|
|Late Payment Charges||S$100|
|Minimum Monthly Payment||3% of the outstanding balance or S$50, whichever is higher, plus any outstanding overdue amounts from previous statements|
|Foreign Currency Transaction Fee||3%|
|Cash Advance Fee||6% (minimum charge of S$15)|
|Cash Advance Interest Rate||28% p.a.|
Combined with the card’s high cashback rates, the lack of annual fees for both principal and supplementary cards make the CIMB Visa Signature a compelling offer. Still, nothing so good ever comes for free, so it does make us wonder what downsides this card has to balance it out.
Cashback, Discounts, and Other Benefits
|Cashback||10% cashback on local and overseas:|
1. Online shopping
3. Beauty & Wellness
4. Pet Shops & Veterinary Services
0.2% base cashback if minimum spend is not met or for spending beyond the caps
|Minimum Spend||S$800 monthly|
|Monthly Cashback Cap||S$100 per statement month and up to S$20 per category|
High Cashback on Groceries and Online Shopping
First off, that 10% rebate on groceries and online shopping is excellent. Only the UOB One Card can compare, and the latter has a S$2,000 minimum spend to get the 10% rate.
But given the cashback cap of S$20 per category, you’ll max out your grocery and online shopping cashback with just S$200 spend for each. That leaves you having to spend S$400 elsewhere to hit the minimum spend.
…But Hitting Minimum Spend May Be Difficult
Ah, here’s a big downside: one look at the other cashback categories and you’ll realise that an S$800 minimum spend is a bit of a challenge.
Beauty & Wellness might still be doable. Pharmacies and cosmetic stores fall under that, and it’s common for people to spend on makeup and supplements every month.
But pet stores? Cruises? Most of us don’t go on a cruise every month, and even those with pets try to limit their monthly expenses in that area. That means you might find yourself spending past the cashback caps on the first two categories just to hit minimum spend.
Then again, this card is free, so you could always get the card and choose not to use it during the months you don’t think you can hit S$800.
In case you’re wondering if you can hit the minimum spend without having to spend on things like pet toys or cruises, CIMB also excludes certain transactions from counting toward the requirement:
- Any payments done via any SAM network
- Any payments made to CardUp, iPaymy, Mileslife, SmoovPay and YouTrip
- Any top-ups to payment service providers (including but not limited to GrabPay, Singtel Dash, beePay, Lazada top-ups)
- Any payments to online trading platforms and brokerages
- Cryptocurrency transactions
Who Would Benefit From This Card?
- Consumers who want a free, no-frills card
- Young adults or singles who want a starter card for groceries and online shopping
- Pet owners and those who regularly transact at pharmacies, personal care facilities, cosmetic stores (excluding department stores), hairdressers, massage parlours, and spas
On the other hand, this card may not be a good fit for you if:
- You have no pets, nor do you go on cruises or buy beauty products/services.
- You cannot bear the idea of spending past cashback caps to hit the minimum spend