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Amex True Cashback vs Standard Chartered Unlimited

Amex True Cashback vs Standard Chartered Unlimited

Last updated on June 17th, 2021

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There are quite a few cashback cards available in Singapore.

When you look at both the Amex True Cashback and Standard Chartered Unlimited cards, they have the same amount of cashback!

Is there any difference between these 2 cards, and which one should you choose?

Here’s what you need to know:

The difference between Amex True Cashback and Standard Chartered Unlimited

Both cards have exactly the same cashback at 1.5%, without any minimum spend or limits. However, the Amex True Cashback may be less accepted compared to Standard Chartered Unlimited, which is a Mastercard.

Here is an in-depth comparison between these 2 cards:

Cashback reward

Both cards offer you 1.5% cashback on any eligible transactions that you make.

However, there are some transactions that you will not be able to receive any cashback from.

This includes:

Amex True CashbackStandard Chartered Unlimited
Cash advancesCash advances
Express CashCredit Card Funds Transfer
Finance chargesMonthly instalment of EasyPay transactions
Purchase and top-up charges
for EZ-Link Cards
Top-ups to EZ-Link,
FlashPay or PayPal
Charges at merchants or establishments
that are excluded by American Express 
Transactions with certain
Merchant Category Codes

Standard Chartered’s cashback terms are much more comprehensive compared to Amex’s. It’s very clear which transactions that you won’t receive cashback from your Standard Chartered card!

However, it may be a bit harder to tell which transactions do not qualify for Amex.

However, there is one major major advantage that the Amex True Cashback card has. You are able to top up mobile wallets like GrabPay, and still receive the 1.5% cashback!

One thing to note is if you top up your GrabPay wallet with a credit card, you are unable to transfer those funds to your bank account.

No minimum spend and no cap on cashback

There is no minimum spend required to earn the cashback on either card. Even if you make a $50 transaction with the card, you will still get the cashback reward!

Moreover, there is no cap in the amount of cashback you can earn. This is in contrast to the Standard Chartered Spree card, which has a cap at $60.

With no minimum spend and no cap, these cards are very flexible! Both of them can be used when you have maxed out the better rewards on other cards.

Both of these cards have exactly the same cashback reward. As such, it does not really matter which card you choose based on this criteria.

Cashback credit

The Amex True Cashback card is unique where you are able to earn your cashback in the same month’s statement. This allows you to immediately use your cashback to offset your bills!

However for Standard Chartered, your cashback will only be credited in the following month’s statement.

This makes the cashback rewards that you earn with Amex slightly more tangible!

Payment Network

The True Cashback card is under the Amex network. Meanwhile the Unlimited card is under Mastercard’s network. This does have slight differences in terms of the cards usability.

Mastercard is more widely accepted

Mastercard is one of the major card issuers in Singapore, along with Visa. As such, they will be more widely accepted, compared to Amex!

In most shops that accept contactless payments, you should be able to use your Unlimited card to make your payment.

Amex may not be available for certain merchants

Amex is a payment network that is not as widely accepted in Singapore. However, it has been trying to expand its presence here.

Although this list is not exhaustive, it does show you some of the merchants that accept Amex cards.

Most established merchants should allow you to use your Amex card.

However, there may be smaller shops that may not allow you to use your card. In this case, you will not be able to make payments with your Amex card!

Moreover, there are certain merchants which only accept Visa or Mastercard.

For example, you can only use a Mastercard or Visa to top up your MCO Visa Card.

Another example is that you are unable to use your Amex card for SimplyGo. This means that you can’t earn cashback on your public transport fees using the Amex True Cashback card!

Eligibility

Both cards have the same eligibility criteria before you can apply for either card:

ConditionDefinition
Age21-65 years
Minimum Annual IncomeResidents and PR ($30k)
Foreigners with Employment Passes ($60k)

If you want to apply for a supplementary card, you will need to at least be 18 years old.

This criteria is the standard for most credit cards in Singapore.

Other rewards

Besides the cashback reward, here are some other offers you can get with both cards:

Standard Chartered has The Good Life privileges

Standard Chartered has its rewards program that allows you to earn rewards in these certain categories:

  1. Dining
  2. Retail
  3. Online
  4. Petrol

Standard Chartered has partnered with Caltex to give you promotions on your petrol.

Some of the deals may only be exclusive to Visa cards. As such, you’ll need to choose those offers that are available for Mastercard!

Amex has its own rewards program too

Amex seems to have a more extensive rewards program with more attractive offers. They are broken down into 4 main categories:

  1. Dining
  2. Travel
  3. Shopping
  4. Lifestyle

Amex has chosen to partner with SPC for petrol benefits.

Amex also has additional Travel Inconvenience and Travel Accident insurance benefits. These are underwritten by Chubb Insurance Singapore Limited.

If you want to enjoy these benefits, you will have to charge your entire fare to your True Cashback card.

The promotions depends on your spending habits

Both cards do have special offers if you use their cards for certain transactions.

However, you’ll need to decide if these promotions fit into your daily spending habits. If there is a card that has more benefits that are suitable for you, you should go for that card!

One thing to note is that these promotions may change or expire at any time that the provider sees fit.

Fees

Here are the fees that you’ll need to pay for either card:

Amex True CashbackStandard Chartered Unlimited
Annual Fee$171.20
(Waived for first year)
$192.60
(Waived for first 2 years)
Annual Fee (Supplementary Card)$85.60 (first 2 cards are free)Free (up to 5 cards)
Finance ChargesMin. 26.9% p.a.
effective interest rate
Min. 26.9% p.a.
effective interest rate
Cash Advance5%6%
Late Payment Charges$90 (if minimum payment not received by due date)$100 (if minimum payment not received by due date)

The main difference between these 2 cards is that the waiver is only 1 year for the Amex card!

Besides that, most of the fees are quite similar.

Payment methods

For the Unlimited card, you can settle your bill immediately with your Standard Chartered bank account.

It is still possible to use FAST transfers from other banks if you do not have a Standard Chartered account!

For Amex cards, it is slightly more complicated. You can still can use a bank transfer to pay your bills, but you can only use accounts from:

  1. DBS / POSB
  2. OCBC
  3. UOB

You can also use GIRO or cheque to make your payments.

Verdict

Here is a comparison between the Amex True Cashback and Standard Chartered Unlimited cards:

Amex True
Cashback
Standard Chartered
Unlimited
Payment NetworkAmexMastercard
Cashback1.5%1.5%
Cashback CreditImmediateNext month
Minimum SpendNoneNone
Cashback LimitNoneNone
Other RewardsAmex Rewards
Travel Accident and
Inconvenience Benefits
The Good Life
Annual Fee$171.20$192.60
Annual Fee Waiver1 year2 years
Bill PaymentFAST (Only POSB / DBS,
OCBC or UOB)
GIRO
Cheque
Online Banking

Both of these cards are really similar, so which should you choose?

Amex has a slight advantage due to its immediate cashback credit. However, the annual fee waiver only last for 1 year.

Ultimately, it depends on your spending habits and preference.

The Amex credit card may provide better rewards through their program. However, this also depends on whether you spend at those places where they have the deals!

You may spend at places where Standard Chartered offers deals with their program as well!

As such, this is quite subjective and really depends on your spending habits.

It is possible to get both cards

Since both cards offer exactly the same rewards, it is possible for you to get both cards. This helps you to maximise the rewards that you can receive.

This is because both cards do not have a minimum spend to start earning the cashback reward!

However, this also depends on whether you are purchasing from stores that offer rewards for both Amex and Standard Chartered.

Having both cards may be advantageous when a merchant does not accept Amex for payments.

In this way, you still are able to earn the 1.5% cashback by using the Standard Chartered Unlimited card.

In the end, it may be best to just choose one card. This is because you may get rather confused with your finances if you have many cards to juggle with!

Conclusion

Both credit cards are very similar in their rewards, so it does not really matter which card you choose.

These cards can be useful for big ticket items, since there is no minimum spend required. There may be other cards out there that may give you better rewards for your daily spending too!

Here are some of the main considerations for you:

  1. The availability of the payment network (Amex vs Mastercard)
  2. The duration of the annual fee waiver
  3. The rewards that you’ll earn through Amex’s or Standard Chartered’s rewards program

👉🏻 Credit Card Deals

Are you interested in signing up for a credit card? Check out some of the deals below!

Amex True Cashback Card

amex true cashback card

Standard Chartered Unlimited

Standard Chartered Unlimited

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