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Which Should You Choose for 2018: Cashback or Miles?

profileKenneth Lou

The smarter options to pay

If you were already going to spend on a monthly basis, why not get rewarded for it as well? Most of you who are reading this would most likely be planning your 2018 strategy and reviewing your current cards to see if they are up-to-date. This is the article to help you simplify this decision-making process!

A word of warning: We do not recommend you to get credit cards if you are unable to pay your bills in full, or have the tendency to overspend. Consider a DEBIT card instead!

Credit card fees are ridiculously high at over 24% per annum. And if uncontrolled, you can fall into this trap where your debt may snowball.

Defining the two terms:

  • Cashback: You get a % of total spend in terms of $ cash rebates into your credit card account
  • Miles: You get Miles based on your spending. It gets credited to your card account and subsequently your frequent flier membership thereafter (eg. Krisflyer miles) to be redeemed for flight tickets

P.S: Read until the end to find out how to get $10 Cashback (from ShopBack) and 2,000 bonus miles (from MilesLife)

What are the different occasions to spend?

Largely, for any normal person, there will be either of these 3 types of occasions and frequencies to spend, which we will detail further a simple strategy at the end.

Daily spending

  • F&B at cafes, restaurants
  • Online or offline shopping
  • Entertainment, Bills etc.

Big Occasions

  • Wedding (especially important for couples to plan ahead)
  • Honeymoon or Holidays

Would like to congratulate our community members (CZM and KPO) who have made it by successfully planning their Miles strategy for their wedding and beyond to fly SQ Suites for their honeymoon! Very cool 🙂

Big ticket purchases

  • Home Furniture and Renovation
  • Car, home maintenance

Which should I adopt? Cashback vs Miles vs Both

And with anything in life, there are bound to be strong advocates on either side. In this case, we have two famous Singaporean bloggers respectively which we will feature later.

A) CashBack Camp

Easy to understand the dollar value cashback (SGD$)Often with minimum spend
Cashback can be used for multiple thingsMost cards are capped at $100 to $120+
Direct back into your credit card accountUncapped cards only offer around 1.5% for large purchases

Biggest advocate: SG Budget Babe

  • Biggest Cashback Girl advocate in Singapore by far. Similarly, she has a huge following who believes in her cashback motto and aims to really drive down the various ways to maximise cashback.
  • She is best known for her strategy to maximise her cashback on wedding purchases.
  • Here are the Best Cashback Credit Cards for working adults

B) Miles Camp

The theoretical value of a mile is higher than cashbackThe value of the mile changes over time
Often uncapped meaning no max amount of milesMiles can only be used for travel related stuff (eg plane tickets)
Often less hoops to jump through and bonus signups often are very lucrativeMiles can expire (usually 3-4 years)

Biggest Advocate: The MileLion

SeedlyTV EP02: Travel Hacks with Milelion

  • Biggest Miles fan and long-time advocate in Singapore by far. He has a huge following who often follows his blog and believes strongly that you should start spending your first working day on miles.
  • He is best known for breaking down every single miles card and sharing it with his faithful readers accordingly in a very eccentric yet fun tone!
  • Here are the Best Miles Credit Cards for working adults

C) Both (Miles + Cashback) Camp

Learn how to stack your rebates (below)By diversifying it may take you longer to reach your Miles goal
Most often, it is not an 'either or' but a 'and'Need to spend time to figure out these additional solutions with different products

Biggest Advocates: ShopBack, MilesLife and CardUp

The reason why I quote these companies is that the founders and teams of these companies really strongly believe that you can adopt a more balanced and ‘bonus stacking approach’ to your spending.

P.S In the event, you were wondering if we are paid to do this – No we are not. Making it very clear here because we are really trying to find the best community deals for our community and readers. So we went to get deals from them respectively for our readers! Whatever they would have paid for commissions, we told them to give it back directly to you. 

Here are some clear, easy to understand examples:

  • With ShopBack, if you buy a TV from Lazada, you get a % cashback on your ShopBack account while using your normal credit card to get either cash back or miles
  • With MilesLife, if you eat at a restaurant you can get a $1 = 2 or 3 miles deal on that purchase that will be credited directly to your Krisflyer account. While using your normal credit card to get either cash back or miles
  • With CardUp, if you pay your monthly recurring bill using their service, you get to earn additional CardUp rewards on top of your normal credit card ways to get either cash back or miles
  • Read real user reviews on cash back and miles card here.
About Kenneth Lou
Co-founder of Seedly. Passionate about helping people make smarter financial decisions.
You can contribute your thoughts like Kenneth Lou here.

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