Unlimited cashback cards are meant to supplement our regular cashback cards, giving us a return for occasions when we splurge.
And splurging is what the CIMB World Mastercard seems to be designed for. For luxury goods, specifically.
While it offers one of the highest unlimited cashback rates in the market, is there a catch? What are the drawbacks or requirements?
We’ll take a closer look at the CIMB World Mastercard and give our verdict based on:
- Eligibility requirements
- Fees and charges
- Cashback, discounts, and other perks
- CIMB World Mastercard vs other unlimited cashback cards
- Whom this card is best for
|Age||21 and above for principal cardholders; 18 and above for supplementary cardholders|
|Annual Income||S$30,000 and above for Singapore Citizens and Permanent Residents|
Foreigners are not eligible for this card, it seems.
If you don’t meet the income requirements, you have the option to use fixed deposits as collateral (minimum S$10,000).
Fees and Charges
|Effective Interest Rate||25.9% p.a.|
|Late Payment Charges||S$100|
|Minimum Monthly Payment||3% or $50, whichever is higher|
|Overlimit Fee||S$50 or 5% of the excess amount, whichever is higher|
|Cash Advance Fee||6% of the amount withdrawn (minimum charge of S$15)|
|Cash Advance Interest Rate||28% p.a.|
|Foreign Currency Transaction Fee||3%|
No Annual Fees For Life
Like all CIMB cards, the CIMB World Mastercard charges no annual fee. No more having to dial in to waive your annual fees!
Lower Foreign Transaction Fees
Most credit cards charge a 3.25% foreign currency transaction fee, so the 3% here is notable. Let’s say you decide to purchase some luxury goods from Korea, totalling S$1,500 as an example.
The CIMB World Mastercard would charge you 3% (S$45) for a purchase you made in Korean Won. Comparatively, the AMEX True Cashback Card would charge you (S$44.25) and the UOB Absolute Cashback Card would charge you 3.25% (S$48.75).If we then factor in the cashback (1.5% for AMEX True Cashback, 2% for CIMB World Mastercard, and 1.7% for UOB Absolute Cashback), the net amount you’re paying is cheaper with the CIMB World Mastercard.
(That said, the AMEX True Cashback Card does have a welcome promo of 3% cashback on the first S$5,000 spent. If you’re okay with going through the hassle of applying for the card and cancelling it later to avoid the annual fee, the AMEX True Cashback is the better deal.)
|Credit Card||Foreign Currency Transaction Fees||Cashback Earned||Net Amount|
|AMEX True Cashback||S$44.25||S$22.50||S$1,500 + ($44.25 – S$22.50) = S$1,521.75|
|CIMB World Mastercard||S$45.00||S$30||S$1,500 + ($45 – S$30) = S$1,515|
|UOB Absolute Cashback||S$48.75||S$25.50||S$1,500 + ($48.75 – S$25.50) = S$1,523.25|
Cashback and Other Benefits
CIMB World Mastercard Cashback
Three of the four eligible categories are common with regular cashback cards, leaving luxury goods as the main draw for this card. What sweetens the deal is the lack of an annual fee: you can maintain the card for the occasional Chanel bag purchase and not be penalised for months you don’t use it.
We really wouldn’t recommend using the card for any other categories, unless you regularly exceed the cashback caps for those. You can easily get 6 – 10% cashback with other cards.
Then again, alcohol and eating out can cost quite a bit! You’d have to spend in excess of S$1,000 to qualify for the 2% rebate though.
Cardholders get access to over 1,000 airport lounges in 60+ airports globally. You’ll need to download the Mastercard Airport Experiences app to claim your lounge access.
But wait – it comes at a cost. To enter the lounge, you’ll need to present the credit card or digital lounge access code, then pay a fee of USD32 per person per visit. That’s a bummer for a “luxury” card, but that’s the trade-off given the lack of an annual fee.
Cardholders also get to enjoy 50% off green fees at 42 golf courses across Asia. You’ll want to make a booking way in advance as there are limited discounted green fees/golf lessons per month.
Even if you don’t get to earn cashback for EZ-Link top-ups, this card can still be used for public transport under the SimplyGo program. It’s also compatible with mobile payment platforms like Samsung Pay and Google Pay (though not Apple Pay, sadly).
Downsides to the CIMB World Mastercard
1. Lacks Rewards in Practical Categories
Cards like the UOB Absolute Cashback Card offer users 1.7% cashback on expenses such as insurance premiums and rental payments in addition to general spending.
The CIMB World Mastercard does not offer boosted rates for these more practical categories. These would fall under the 1% cashback rate, and you’ll have to spend at least S$500 to qualify for it.
2. Many Exclusions for an Unlimited Cashback Card
Besides EZ-link top-ups, expenses like insurance premiums, tax payments, and utility bills will not earn cashback and don’t count towards minimum spend requirements. Frankly, this card has far too many exclusions that would normally not exist for other unlimited cashback cards.
3. Meant for Luxury Shopping, but Lacks Perks for the Affluent
Besides the limited golfing discounts and paid airport lounge access, there really isn’t much going for this card.
How Does The CIMB World Mastercard Compare?
Here are a few of the other popular unlimited cashback card options in Singapore:
- Standard Chartered Unlimited Cashback Credit Card
- AMEX True Cashback Card
- Citi Cash Back+ Mastercard
- UOB Absolute Cashback Card
|Cashback Credit Card||Base Cashback Rates||Cashback Criteria||Notable Exclusions||Annual Fees|
|CIMB World Mastercard||0 – 2%||Minimum spend of S$500 for 1% cashback; S$1,000 for 2% cashback on specific categories||None|
|SC Simply Cash Credit Card||1.5%||None||S$194.40 (waived for 2 years)|
|American Express True Cashback Card||1.5%||None||S$172.80 (waived for 1 year)|
|Citi Cash Back+ Mastercard||1.6%||None||S$194.40 (waived for 1 year)|
|UOB Absolute Cashback Card||1.7%||None||S$194.40 (waived for 1 year)|
Overall, the UOB Absolute Cashback card is the most flexible option in eligible spending categories and cashback eligibility criteria. It also comes with a great welcome offer: new cardmembers get a bonus 10% cashback on the first S$1,000 spent and S$350 worth of Grab vouchers.
The Citi Cash Back+ is the runner-up here, offering the next best cashback rate with no minimum spend (though it has more cashback exclusions).
Whom This Card is Best For
Unlike other unlimited cashback credit cards, the CIMB World Mastercard limits the unlimited 2% cashback to only four categories.
But given that three of those four categories are commonly found with other cards (and at higher cashback rates!), this card is really only good for luxury goods spending.
The permanent annual fee waiver still makes it a reasonable card to hold on to for times you decide to splurge on luxury items (e.g. your next LV bag or coach wallet) though.
This card is NOT a good fit for you if:
- You want an unlimited cashback card for dining, automobiles, or entertainment. Splitting your expenses across regular cashback cards or unlimited cashback options like the UOB Absolute Cashback Card would yield more.
- You’re looking for an unlimited cashback card with travel perks. Unlimited cashback cards targeting travel (like the CIMB Visa Infinite Card) may be better.