SG Budget Babe
Asked on 06 Dec 2019
For example, what do you do for your telco and utility bills? Are you really a "miles-or-nothing" person, or do you take more of a hybrid "miles+cashback" approach? It doesn't mean that you can't get miles, but the rates are not worth much.
I think most of the cards out there will not give you miles or cashback for bills. At least I'm sire for OCBC and standard chartered as i called in and asked before. You just have to get the card that serve what you need for your other expenses.
Its easier this way. Good transactions (like big purchases or overseas spends etc) that can earn miles = shift to miles
Everything else = shift to cashback.
Easier on mental thinking, habits and more relaxed.
more relax = happy life!
I'm more of a pure miles only person. Due to my low expenditure in general, a pure cashback card will likely not be worth the trouble for me, unless it's one with no caps.
I'd focus instead on ensuring that I buy for the sake of buying, not for the sake of earning miles or cashback. This has led to me being very cautious about what I spend on in general. I was on a cashback card when I started, but once you've flown J, you will always want to fly it again. Hence the switch to miles.
I am more of a cashback person, and I only have my miles card for standby if my cashback card hits the limit (I am using HSBC Advance, there is a monthly cap on cashback). I find it very troublesome to use different cards for different categories, makes it hard to track, especially during bill payments. Rather have a 1 card to do everything, even though the cashback might not be as fantastic, but the convenience is worth it for me!
I'm a cashback+miles person, leaning more towards cashback because I don't spend as much. For recurring items (telco, utilities), I link them to my UOB One (primary card) so that I don't need actually spend so much every month just to hit the minimum $500 spending. Any spending in excess to my primary card, I will re-assess whether it should be charged to a cashback card or a miles card, depending on the value of the excess spending and which perks would bring more value to me.
I'm more of a cashback person. Because like what you mentioned, I often feel that my miles are not earning at a fantastic rate, I only have about 20k miles earned, which can't get me on an economy, much less business class (more meaningful to utilise it in exchange for biz class).
Cashback is almost immediate, so I don't need to plan anything at all, e.g. transfer of miles to KF or other airline partners, and then use them up within X number of years those kind of conditions.
I do compare the cashback rewards vs the miles rewards for different categories of spend and then evaluate which is better option, So i would say i am a "Miles+Cashback"
I will adopt the "hybrid" method.
large spending definitely = miles card
small spending = cashback
its easier to diversify than to focus on one
For those transactions that doesn't earn proper miles, then they won't be able to earn cashback too (usually blocked by the bank and set in a category where no rewards are earned)
so kinda doesn't matter where you put.. its either no cashback or very little miles (or no mileS)
We choose miles because it bring better value.
If cashback give more value than miles, take the cashback. You can always use the extra value from the cashback to buy miles...
To me, the easier way, is to go miles-or-nothing unless there’s a promotion using certain cards to get immediate 10% (min).
Let me give you an example: I was shopping on Takashimaya over the weekend. There was 10% rebate if I use Takashimaya card or if I spend $300 on a MasterCard, I will get $30 vouchers. In situations like this, I would opt for cashback as it’s immediate and fulfils my min 10%.
It could be wise(r) to stick to a preferred one, instead of dipping your toes into so many rewards and diluting the miles/cashback in that process. Miles is essentially a long game and by doing a hybrid approach, it could even lengthen the game which hopefully does not discourage you in the long run.
Most cashback cards with better cashback rates also do have a set minimum spending to them. You could potentially miss the minimum spending, if say for one you split your transactions to 50% miles 50% cashback. And thus losing out even more on the potential cashback/miles should you have stuck to one option.
What do you mean by transactions that do not earn miles at a meaningful rate? As far as I’m aware, transactions such as insurance, payment to Govt agencies that do not earn miles, will not earn cash back with a cash back card.
remember that most cashback cards require minimum spending to earn any “meaningful“ cashback. Otherwise the rebate can be as pathetic as 0.1%.
Even a generic miles card such as uob prvi will be able to generate at least 1.4mpd for spending from the first dollar. If you are serious about miles hacking, it really should be a “miles and more miles“. There is no such thing as “miles or nothing” :)