Happy New Year everyone! It’s been a period of non-stop feasting and the waistline is bursting! (Yes… you know where this is going… we are talking about Singapore’s best Dining Credit Cards!) The festive period is particularly difficult what with all the limited edition flavours and versions that scream for you to try them. What was your favourite festive food item this year? For me, it’s a tie between the limited edition lattes in various cafes and the uniquely flavoured log cakes that popped up everywhere. Unfortunately or fortunately, my social life is intertwined with food. Christmas and the New Year celebrations have seen us dining with different groups of friends, eating non-stop for days!
Thankfully, I’m not alone in this! Singaporeans love eating. Yea! We are passionate about our food and will willingly travel from West to the East for a good bowl of laksa or spend hours queuing to get the latest baked cheese tarts.
Funnily, I learnt -the awkward way- how important food was as a socialising activity when I tried to diet in Junior College by eating an apple, and then later in my working years I tried to save money by bringing my own lunch.
In the former scenario, my classmates were horrified that I would skip a good western meal (only on Wednesday were there side specials) and would insist on sharing their meal with me. In the latter scenario, my colleagues did not want to leave me out of the lunchtime chats but if I went along, it meant that I would restrict their food choices to food courts and they wouldn’t be able to have meals at restaurants (no restaurant was willing to help me microwave my lunchbox). I quickly stopped dieting and tried to limit lunchbox meals to once a week. I realised to have strong camaraderie (especially in Singapore) with friends and colleagues, one needs to eat together. In Singapore, food fosters bonding and is a strong representation of love and warmth.
It would be an understatement if I said food is an important part of my life. Since I rarely shop these days (from a lack of time), food forms the bulk of my living expenses. If I were to factor in the amount of dining I spend at restaurants during lunchtime and date nights on weekday nights and weekends, it’s a good couple of hundreds. Likewise, many friends around me who love food have often talked passionately about how they spend hundreds on good food monthly, and would happily do so over spending on shopping. In a bid to recoup back some of their dining expenses, many of my friends have asked me if I am familiar with cashback credit cards for dining. I might be a miles girl, but because of these requests, I decided to do some digging regarding the best dining credit card for cash rebates.
This begs the question: which cashback credit card would I recommend for dining?
The answer really depends on your spending pattern and earning power. Here are the 3 best dining credit cards:
The best dining credit card with the most cashback- 10% cashback
For most of us (myself included), the dining credit card I would recommend would be the CIMB Visa Signature Card. This card provides 10% cashback (capped at $60 monthly) with a minimum spend of $500. The only catch? You have to have a minimum of 8 transactions of $30 or more each month to qualify for the 10% cashback. If you are someone who eats out at least twice a week, this card would be a good dining credit card for you.
The best dining credit card with no cap on your cashback
I’m not sure about you. But I hate having a cap on cashback. The CIMB card caps your cashback once you spend above $600 (since 10% cashback is capped at $60). If you earn more than $80,000 per annum and you dine out quite a fair bit, I would recommend that you get the ANZ Optimum Card. This card gives you a 5% cashback with no cap*. The only catch is that for every quarter, you have to go online and select the categories that you want the preferred 5% cashback for (the categories are dining, travel, shopping or groceries).
*The only fine-print that you should note is that there is a cap for each transaction- maximum of $30 cashback for each transaction.
The best dining credit card with the best discounts
As a Foodie, I am usually disappointed by the dining promotions offered by Credit Cards. Hands up those of you who have taken advantage of some of the 1-for-1 dining options under some credit cards promotion and found them lacking. I have excitedly turn up for such promotions only to leave feeling disappointed at the quality of food. Enters American Express Platinum Credit Card with their “Love Dining” programme which curates a list of restaurants and hotels that they offer dining promotions for. Here are some of the restaurants that I am excited about- Angelina (pastries!), TWG (afternoon tea yum), Tung Lok, Symmetry and Dancing Crab. The hotel list got me even more flustered- Shangri-la’s The Line, Raffles Hotel’s Raffles Grill, St.Regis’ Yan Ting and Brasserie Les Saveurs are some of the restaurants under the “Love Dining” programme. Check out their curated list!
So how exactly does their “Love Dining” programme work? The discount works best if you are dining with 1 other guest. The more guests you have, the lesser the discount you get.
- If you dine alone, you get 15% discount
- 1 guest- 50% discount
- 2 guests- 35% discount
- 3 guests- 25% discount
- 4- 19 guests- 20% discount
It took me a while to understand why they called it “Love Dining”. After analysing their discount mechanism, I realised they are trying to encourage dating couples to use the discounts! Sly one American Express! A good excuse to turning down that nosey family member who wants to tag along your food-cursion (do not say you learnt that excuse here)!
If you are a foodie, get two dining credit cards. You must get the American Express Platinum Credit Card just for the discounts, and based on your income, apply for either the CIMB Visa Signature Card or ANZ Optimum Card.
One last piece of advice? Remember to hit the gym regularly!
Here’s an infographic to summarise the 3 best dining credit cards!