Time To Ditch Your EZ-Link Card: Best Credit Cards for MRT/Bus Rides 2021
I remember owning my first EZ-link card.
(It was something like that, just 50% less cute.)
As a kid unaware of the world of credit cards, holding this card felt so powerful.
I remember being so fascinated by the fact that I was able to pay for my McDonald’s meal with it.
Nowadays, we seem to have a thousand and one ways to pay for our public transport.
With so many ways to choose from, I decided to look for the method that can maximise my public transport spending.
When I was using my trusty EZ-link card, I was always happily redeeming curry puffs from my EZ-link app.
I’ve since switched to credit cards as my go-to card to keep my wallet lean and to also reap some credit card benefits.
Disclaimer: The various credit cards all come with their respective terms and conditions. So please read through them before deciding which credit card to get!
TL;DR: Best Credit Cards To Use As Your EZ-Link Card 2021
|Credit Card||Reward||Things to Note|
|Best For Cashback|
|Citi SMRT Card||Less than $300 monthly spend: 1.7%|
Monthly spend of $300 or more: 2%
|2% SMRT$ for transactions of more than $30
1% SMRT$ for
transactions of $30 or less
|DBS Live Fresh Card||5% cashback for SimplyGo||Min. monthly spend
Cashback capped at $20 for Visa Contactless
Spend (includes SimplyGo)
|Maybank Family & Friends Card||5% or 8% cashback||Min. monthly spend
$500 (5%) or $800 (8%)
|OCBC Frank Card||6% cashback||Min. monthly spend
Cashback capped at $25 per category
|UOB One Card||3.33% cashback|
|Min. monthly spend
$500 or $1,000 (3.33%), $2,000 (5%)
|Best For Miles|
|DBS Altitude Visa Signature Card||1.2 miles per $1||Miles awarded as DBS points
Min. spend of $1.67 required to qualify for 1 DBS point
|Maybank Horizon Visa Signature Card||3.2 miles per $1||Min. monthly spend
|UOB KrisFlyer Credit Card||3 miles per $1|
or 1.2 miles per $1 (if conditions not met)
|With min $500 spend on Singapore Airlines and related transactions per year|
|UOB Lady’s Card/ Solitaire Card||4 miles per $1||$120,000 min. income requirement for Solitaire|
|UOB PRVI Miles||1.4 miles per $1||-|
Ways To Pay for Your MRT or Bus Rides
Besides the regular good ol’ EZ-link top ups that we have been doing at the General Ticketing Machines, we now have two other payment methods for our public transport – EZ-Reload and SimplyGo.
Credit cards would offer card benefits for public transport rides that are billed via EZ-Reload or SimplyGo.
|EZ-Link||EZ Reload||Simply Go|
|What Is It?||The usual EZ-Link card used on buses and MRTs||Using an EZ Link card, but this service allows you to automatically top up your EZ Link card when there is insufficient balance.||A service where you can link your debit/credit card with the SimplyGo app, and pay for your transport with your credit/debit card.
You can earn credit card rewards such as cashbacks and miles along the way.
|Cost|| EZ-Link card: $5 Non-refundable deposit per card|
EZ-Link charm: Varies
|Rewards||1 point per 10 cents spent via EZ-Link.||Varies, depending on what it is linked to.||Varies, depending on credit or debit card used.|
Best Credit Cards to use for your MRT or Bus Rides
Best Cashback Credit Cards
Citi SMRT Card
The Citi SMRT Card offers up to 2% cashback for EZ-Reload transactions, depending on the transaction sum and monthly card spend.
|Citi SMRT Card|
|Monthly Spend||Less than $300||1.7%|
|$300 and more||2%|
|EZ-Reload Transactions||$30 or less||1% SMRT$|
|More than $30||2% SMRT$|
This card also offers up to 5% savings on groceries, 5% savings on fast food, movies and coffee, making it a great lifestyle card to own.
DBS Live Fresh Card
The DBS Live Fresh Card offers an attractive 5% cashback for online and Visa contactless spend, which includes SimplyGo transactions.
It can also be paired with the DBS Multiplier Account to earn higher interest rates!
Do note that this card has a minimum spend of $600, and cashback is capped at $20 per category.
This includes the Visa contactless spend category, which is where your cashback will be from your public transport rides.
Maybank Family & Friends Card
Depending on your monthly spend, the Maybank Family & Friends card offers up to 8% cashback for your bus or MRT rides.
This is one of the best cards to use for your transport as this 8% cashback rate applies to petrol and ride-hailing services as well.
It also includes groceries spend, fast food and food delivery, as well as online TV streaming services.
Do note that this only applies if your minimum monthly spend is at least $800.
Otherwise, it’ll be 5% cashback for spending of $500 and above.
OCBC Frank Card
The OCBC Frank Card is another popular card that offers 6% cashback for transport spend.
Since its previous revision, its minimum monthly spend has been adjusted to $600 and its cashback cap to $75 per month.
Public transport spend would fall under the mobile contactless payments category, which has a $25 monthly cashback cap.
UOB One Card
It offers up to 5% cashback depending on the monthly spend.
This card is also perfect for those who love to take their Grab rides since there is an additional 5% cashback on Grab.
The UOB One account has a couple of different categories to hit for different interest rates, so in case you’re confused, we’ve broken it down for you as well!
Best for Miles
DBS Altitude Visa Signature Card
The DBS Altitude Visa Signature Card is one of the few cards that allow you to earn miles for SimplyGo transactions.
A fuss-free card to own, this card earns 1.2 miles per $1 spent.
The miles are awarded as DBS points, and a minimum spend of $1.67 is required to qualify for 1 DBS point.
It’s a good entry-level card for general spending for anyone into collecting miles!
Maybank Horizon Visa Signature Card
The Maybank Horizon Visa Signature Card offers up to 3.2 miles per $1 spend, making it one of the best cards to use for your public transport.
Cardholders can also get to enjoy these rates for any restaurant dining in Singapore, at petrol stations as well as Grab and taxi rides for selected taxi service providers.
Do note that there is a minimum monthly spend of $300 for this card.
UOB KrisFlyer Credit Card
The UOB KrisFlyer credit card offers up to 3 miles per $1 spend.
However, this is with a minimum of $500 spend on Singapore Airlines and related transactions per year.
Which might be a little difficult to hit given how we are still unable to fly overseas for the time being.
Otherwise, this card earns 1.2 miles per $1 spend.
UOB Lady’s Card/ UOB Solitaire Card
The UOB Solitaire Card offers the same rates but has a $120,000 minimum income requirement.
This is a good card to consider for the ladies who are looking to own a card with benefits catered to females, such as having customisable categories to earn upsized rewards.
UOB PRVI Miles
There was a period of time where the UOB PRVI Miles Card offered a promotional rate of 4.4 miles per $1 spend.
While the promotion has ended, this card still offers 1.4 miles per $1 spend on your SimplyGo rides, making it still a good card to use for public transport.
Do note that this is only valid for UOB PRVI Miles Mastercard and Visa card, and does not apply to American Express cards.
How To Fully Skip Physical Cards: Link It To Your E-Wallet
If you’re someone who would want to flatten your wallet even further, you can consider linking these cards to your e-wallets instead!
Some popular e-wallets (or rather online payment systems) would include Apple Pay and Google Pay.
One can simply use their mobile phone or even smartwatch to tap in and out seamlessly on public transport now!
What a convenient world we live in today.
And if you’re now getting confused by the range of credit cards that are available, why not hop over to SeedlyReviews to help you with your process?