My body is a perpetual, three way race: my gut, jowls, and cheeks are all competing to see which sag to the ground first. It’s not entirely my fault: in addition to producing Asia’s top Jabba the Hutt cosplayers, Singapore is a food paradise. With more restaurants here than there are guns in Texas, you can’t walk three steps without cramming the ole’ pie hole. But if we are gonna get fat, our wallets may as well match the digits on the weigh scale. With some help from SmartCredit.sg, here are Singapore’s best diet-killers:
1. Citi Clear Card
The Citi Clear Card is meant for tertiary level students and young adults. This easy-to-get card combines a rewards scheme with dining benefits. Along with its low credit limit, it’s an ideal “first time” credit card. Also, special promotions for this card are frequent; look forward to discounted events, like concerts or movie premiers. Benefits include:
- Easy to qualify
- No annual fee
- Low credit limit
- Wide range of dining discounts
- Decent rewards scheme
The Citi Clear Card has no income requirements for students. For young adults, you just need an annual income of $30,000.
Most of the card’s discounts are related to dining. Because not enough students skip afternoon lectures, there’s a great deal at Outback Steakhouse: This card gets you a whopping 25% off between 2.30pm – 5.30pm. Also check out discounts at places like Boon Tong Kee and Pizza Hut; the whole range of unhealthy (read: awesome) student dining is represented.
The rewards scheme is the Citi Rewards Programme. The catalogue is an eclectic mix, ranging from frequent flier miles to movie tickets. Or if you haven’t put on enough weight, there’s more one-for-one dining offers.
Get this card if you frequent a lot of mid-range restaurants (the $25 per head category). It’s also the safest card for chronic spendthrifts; with a tight credit limit, you won’t overspend.
2. Standard Chartered Platinum Credit Card
The Standard Charted Platinum Credit Card is actually made of plastic. Once I’d overcome that initial disappointment, it’s actually quite decent. The card is meant to cover both shopping and dining, but it’s heavily skewed toward the latter. A simple rewards programme, concierge service, and a 3 year fee waiver get this card on our dining list. Benefits include:
- 24 Hour concierge service
- Wide range of dining discounts
- Good rewards programme
This card comes with access to a 24 hour global concierge service. Give your details, and they can even help to book tables. It’s a useful service, especially when you’ve forgotten Valentine’s, Mother’s Day, your Anniversary, etc.
Dining wise, this card tends is good for more upmarket eateries. You can still find places like Quiznos and Cafe Cartel in the occasional promotion, but this card seems less inclined toward casual dining. Deals are good, with a lot of 10 – 15% discounts. Most have no strings attached (i.e. valid all day, and not subject to menu choices).
The rewards programme has a lot of easy to earn bonuses, from frequent flier miles to movie tickets. If you charge more than $1000 a month to this card, you get double points; that makes it an attractive choice if you just have one card.
Get this if you intend to put all your expenses on the one card; your reward points will go up faster. And also, you want this if “proper” dining is your scene.
3. DBS Black American Express Card
The DBS Black American Express Card is the premier card on this list. It’s the hard to qualify for, but it gets you the biggest discounts. The rewards scheme is the best amongst the cards listed here; bonus points rack up fast. Like the Standard Chartered card, most of the restaurants featured are in the higher-end category. Also, there’s some emphasis on wine and spirits. Benefits include:
- Large direct discounts on dining
- Good benefits when shopping for alcohol
- Some merit as an entertainment card
This card is the hardest on the list to get. It requires an annual income of $48,000, so it’s not for everybody. Credit limits are atypically low for foreigners; $15,000, compared to 4 x the monthly salary for locals.
This card has ongoing promotions at restaurants like Bishamon and Barnacles. Expect one-for-one dining, special set meals, and steep discounts of up to 25%. Many of these are conditional (e.g. a certain amount must be spent, or the meal must be bought at specific times), but price differences with the card are significant.
There are limited shopping benefits, but mainly for alcohol. You get 10% wines at Cold Storage and Jason’s. Also, entertainment benefits are focused on drink: 20% off house pours at St. James, for example, or one-for-one drinks at TAB.
Get this card if you want a combined dining / entertainment tool. It’s also good if you’re using the card to buy drinks, or at the more ritzy restaurants.
Do you have a credit card for dining? Comment and let us know about it!
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