Is CIMB World Mastercard the Right Choice for You?

Shania Wong
PROMO: Receive S$280 cash via PayNow
Apply Now
on CIMB's website

CIMB World Mastercard

Apply Now
on CIMB's website
If you occasionally splurge on luxury items, this no-annual-fee card is one you may want to keep around. Otherwise, we think this card has a confused design at best: it tries to appeal to those who spend on luxury goods and fine dining, but it offers limited benefits beyond the 2% cashback.


  • No annual fees and cashback cap
  • Special benefits for golfers
  • Compatible with Samsung and Google Pay
  • Useful for cashback on big ticket items


  • Doesn’t reward everyday spending
  • Requires a minimum spend to unlock 2% unlimited cashback
  • Limited luxury spender benefits
  • Lounge access is not free

Current Promotion

Receive S$280 cash via PayNow with a minimum spend of S$988 on eligible goods and services within 60-day period following card approval. (Valid until 30 April 2024) Click to apply.

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

Age21 and above for principal cardholders; 18 and above for supplementary cardholders
Annual IncomeS$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

Annual FeesNone
Effective Interest Rate25.9% p.a.
Late Payment ChargesS$100
Minimum Monthly Payment3% or $50, whichever is higher
Overlimit FeeS$50 or 5% of the excess amount, whichever is higher
Cash Advance Fee6% of the amount withdrawn (minimum charge of S$15)
Cash Advance Interest Rate28% p.a.
Foreign Currency Transaction Fee3%

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 CardForeign Currency Transaction FeesCashback EarnedNet Amount
AMEX True Cashback S$44.25S$22.50S$1,500 + ($44.25 – S$22.50) = S$1,521.75
CIMB World MastercardS$45.00S$30S$1,500 + ($45 – S$30) = S$1,515
UOB Absolute CashbackS$48.75S$25.50S$1,500 + ($48.75 – S$25.50) = S$1,523.25

Cashback and Other Benefits

  • Unlimited 2% cashback on the following categories with minimum S$1,000 monthly spend:
    • Wine & Dine and Online Food Delivery
    • Movies & Digital Entertainment
    • Taxis & Automobiles
    • Luxury Goods
  • Unlimited 1% cashback on all other spending with S$500 minimum spend
Other Benefits
  • Up to 50% off green fees at golf courses across Southeast Asia
  • Access to selected airport lounges via LoungeKey
  • Exclusive CIMB deals and discounts at merchants in Singapore, Malaysia, and Indonesia

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.

Lounge Access 

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.

Golf Privileges

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 CardBase Cashback RatesCashback CriteriaNotable ExclusionsAnnual Fees
CIMB World Mastercard0 – 2%Minimum spend of S$500 for 1% cashback; S$1,000 for 2% cashback on specific categories
  • Card and e-wallet top-ups
  • Institutional and service payments
  • Payment done via AXS
SC Simply Cash Credit Card1.5%None
  • Recurring payments
  • Insurance premiums
  • Card and e-wallet top-ups
S$194.40 (waived for 2 years)
American Express True Cashback Card1.5% None
  • Instalment plans
S$172.80 (waived for 1 year)
Citi Cash Back+ Mastercard1.6%None
  • Bill payments
  • School fees
  • Institutional payments
  • Card and e-wallet top-ups
S$194.40 (waived for 1 year)
UOB Absolute Cashback Card1.7% None
  • Bank Fees
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.