What's your typical monthly expenses like? Ever since I became a Dad, my monthly expenses revolve mainly around three items - petrol, groceries and dining - and there is simply no way getting away from them. Petrol expenses form a sizeable portion due to the nature of my job while weekly grocery shopping is a given since I have to feed a family of five.
Speaking of feeding, have you seen the monstrous appetites that my monkies have? Ale still eats like a mouse sometimes but man, the time has come for the 2 boys to each polish one adult serving of food every time we dine out - and even then, it may not be enough! They definitely eat more than the wifey these days so yes, dining out is no longer as economical as I hope for it to be.
Which explains why I am always on the lookout for great deals and savings... especially when it comes to credit cards. Given the numerous choices (and gimmicks) that various credit cards offer these days, I still prefer cash back rewards to other credit card perks such as frequent flyer miles when it comes to charging my expenses to a credit card. For the simple reason that the cash back I receive is translated to tangible savings each month!
But with quite a number of credit cards on the market offering cash back, which one does one pick? The important factor in determining which cash back credit card is the best, is how much cash is received per dollar spent. And with the newly revamped Citibank DIVIDEND Card, I think I found the answer.
To keep things simple, the Citibank DIVIDEND Card gives me the best cash back in town, based on the earned rate of 8% cash back offered across the categories of Petrol, Groceries and Dining!
Motorists get enjoy 8% cash back at all petrol stations but if you are a regular patron of Esso and/or Shell, you will get savings of up to 20.88% and 20.8% respectively if you factor in the various card discounts! That's a saving of up to $104.40 for a $500 monthly petrol bill!
Grocery shopping and Dining out will earn you 8% cash back and this applies to ALL supermarkets and grocery stores and ALL restaurants, cafes, food and beverage outlets. Not just in Singapore mind you, but WORLDWIDE. So next time, I can even earn cash back when I do my grocery shopping in a Coles Supermarket in Australia!
For all other retail spending, like LEGO sets, you can earn a 0.25% cash back. Oh, and did I mention that the spending INCLUDES online shopping as well? The wifey will be very pleased then.
Here is a comparison of the new cash back structure versus the old one:
The previous cash back for other spending used to be 0.5% as opposed to the current 0.25%. But considering that there is a huge cash back increase to 8% for petrol, groceries and dining spend, the deduction of 0.25% is pretty negligible. For a monthly spend of $1,000, I may earn $2.50 less in cash back but all I have to do is to spend just $42 on dining (increase of 6% cash back) to make up the difference!
And once $50 or more cash back has been accumulated, it will be automatically credited to your statement in multiples of $10. And while the old proposition's cash back has a 1-year expiry date, the new proposition's cash back will never expire.
One important thing to note: ALL retail spending (including online) will be eligible for the 0.25% cash back regardless of spending amount. But in order to enjoy the additional cash back of 7.75% (to make up 8% in total) for petrol, groceries and dining, one has to accumulate a total retail spend of $888 or more (not limited to any particular spend category) in a statement month.
I did a rough estimate of my monthly spending in the various categories at Citibank's online calculator and was surprised that it was actually pretty easy to hit that spending amount. Which my monkies had a huge part to play, I'm sure!
So for my estimated total monthly spend of $1,600, I get to earn a cash back amount of $77.25, my base cash back of 0.25% continues to earn whilst the bonus cash back of 7.75% is capped at $25 cash back per category per month. All in all, that's more than $900 each year - more than enough for an all-expense paid 3D2N road trip to Melaka! Something that will no doubt thrill the monkies... okay okay, me too.
Want to find out more? Click HERE to visit Citibank DIVIDEND Card's website!