We all love a good unlimited cashback card – who wants to bother tracking all those spending categories and caps, anyway?
It’s even better when the card gives you rebates on categories you normally wouldn’t get anything on.
The Standard Chartered Unlimited Cashback Card once used to be the cream of the crop. But now that there are more unlimited cashback cards in the market, is that still the case?
Today, we’ll be reviewing the card and giving our verdict based on:
|Residential Status||Singaporean Citizens, PRs, and Foreigners with valid visas|
|Age||21 – 65 years old|
|Income||S$30,000 and above for Singapore Citizens and PRs; S$60,000 and above for Foreigners|
With only a S$30,000 income requirement, a fresh graduate that has just entered the workforce with a monthly salary of S$2,500 would be eligible to apply.
This is on par with options like the UOB Absolute Cashback Card.
No documents are required for existing Standard Chartered cardholders, making the application process a breeze as an existing customer.
Fees and Charges
|Annual Fees||S$192.60 including GST (waived for the first two years)|
|Effective Interest Rate||26.9%|
|Late Payment Charges||S$100|
|Minimum Monthly Payment||1% or S$50, whichever is higher|
|Cash Advance Fee||6% per transaction (minimum S$15 fee)|
|Cash Advance Interest Rate||29.9% per annum|
|Foreign Transaction Fee||3.5%|
The fees for this card are standard compared with the rest of the market.
However, the 3.5% foreign transaction fees are a little higher than other cards such as the UOB EVOL (3.25%), the HSBC Advance (2.8%), and the AMEX True Cashback card (2.95%).
There’s no automatic annual fee waiver after the first 2 years, but it’s easy to apply for one via the Standard Chartered mobile app or a phone call to customer support.
Cashback, Discounts, and Other Perks
|Cashback||1.5% cashback on all spending. No minimum spending required and no cashback cap.|
Notable exclusions: Recurring bill payments, insurance premiums, tax payments, any payments related to betting, and any top-ups to prepaid cards/accounts (such as EZ-Link)
The unlimited 1.5% cashback on almost everything with no minimum spend requirement is the main benefit of this card.
But the card used to be better: prior to 15 Jan 2021, it had an automatic EZ-Reload function so you never needed to worry about topping up your public transport card. It also give you 1.5% cashback on the automatic top-ups, so you’d earn a tiny bit back.
Since then though, Standard Chartered no longer offers the EZ-Reload functionality…and doesn’t give you cashback for your EZ-Link top-ups. You also can’t get the 1.5% cashback on things like insurance premiums and tax payments, although StanChart offers another way to earn on those. (More on that in the Pros section.)
Other than the unlimited cashback, consumers are also entitled to various offers and discounts throughout Asia. These can be found on The Good Life Privileges page, which is regularly updated with the latest promotions associated with the card.
Even if you’ll no longer earn cashback for EZ-Link top-ups, you can still manually top up this card and use it for public transport. It’s also compatible with mobile payment platforms like Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, and Google Pay.
2. Earn Cashback/Rewards on Typically-Excluded Categories
The unlimited 1.5% cashback may not apply to categories like taxes, but you can still earn cashback with SC EasyBill. Eligible categories include:
- Individual or property tax payments
- Education-related payments
- Insurance premiums
- Rental payments
You’ll need to pay a 1.9% non-refundable processing fee for each transaction, so be sure the returns are worth it before you submit a transaction for processing. (You can check out the fees payable as well as the rewards you’ll get when you apply for SC EasyBill via the online banking portal.
Note that only one-time payments (like property taxes) are eligible, and you might be asked to provide supporting documents proving that a transaction falls under one of the eligible categories.
3. Doubles Up with Unlimited$aver
If you already bank with Standard Chartered, you can link an Unlimited$aver account to the Unlimited Cashback Card for extra rebates. This is only worth considering if you have over S$100k in the Unlimited$aver account though!
1. No Boosted Rates
As a no-brainer unlimited 1.5% cashback card, there aren’t any distinct cashback categories. While this makes it easy to use, it also means that no specific categories get boosted rates.
Take the POSB Everyday Card for example: you get 10% cash rebates on dining, groceries, online shopping, and food delivery. You won’t see those rates with the Standard Chartered Unlimited Cashback Card.
2. Cashback Does Not Apply To Certain Spending Categories
Categories such as recurring payments aren’t eligible for cashback, so you won’t get any rebates from your Starhub or utility bills. In contrast, cards like the Maybank Family & Friends and the UOB One offer cashback on telcos.
How Does the SC Unlimited Cashback Card Stack Up?
Apart from the Standard Chartered Unlimited Cashback card, there are a few other unlimited cashback cards that also don’t have minimum spending requirements:
- AMEX True Cashback Card
- Maybank FC Barcelona Visa Signature Card
- UOB Absolute Cashback Card
- Citi Cash Back+ Mastercard
We’ll compare how the cashback benefits stack up against the abovementioned options:
|Credit Card||Base Cashback||Notable Exclusions||Annual Fees|
|SC Unlimited Cashback Card||1.5%||$192.60 (waived for 2 years)|
|AMEX True Cashback Card||1.5%||S$171.20 (waived for 1 year)|
|Maybank FC Barcelona Visa Signature Card||1.6%||S$120 (waived for 2 years)|
|Citi Cash Back+ Mastercard||1.6%||S$192.60 (waived for 1 year)|
|UOB Absolute Cashback Card||1.7%||S$192.60 (waived for 1 year)|
From the table above, the UOB Absolute Cashback Card seems to be the most flexible while granting consumers the highest unlimited cashback rates. It’s even more attractive with its current welcome bonus of S$250 Grab vouchers for new-to-UOB Credit Cardmembers.
The downside is that it’s an AMEX card, which isn’t as widely accepted compared to Mastercard or VISA. You’ll probably come across smaller local establishments that don’t accept American Express.
The same goes for the AMEX True Cashback Card despite its generous welcome bonus of 3% cashback for the first 6 months (or up to a S$5,000 cap).
The Citi Cash Back+ Mastercard also currently comes with an attractive sign-up bonus of $300 cashback with a S$3,000 spend within the first 2 months. The exclusions are similar to those of the SC Unlimited Cashback Card, but the Citi Cash Back+ offers a slightly higher cashback rate.
Lastly, the Maybank FC Barcelona Visa Signature Card retains its attractiveness with its 1.6% cashback rate and low annual fees. In addition, consumers stand a chance to win a trip for 2 to catch FC Barcelona live every football season.
Whom This Card is Best For
The Standard Chartered Unlimited Cashback Card used to be the best option in the market. Now though, it’s been outshined by the competition except for a few rare instances.
All in all, we’d say the card is best for:
- Existing Standard Chartered customers who can pair a well-funded Unlimited$aver account with the card
- Those expecting a big EasyBill-eligible payment coming up (e.g. a university tuition bill)