Standard Chartered has 2 different cashback cards: Spree and Unlimited.
How are they different and which one should you choose?
Here’s what you need to know:
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The difference between Standard Chartered Unlimited and Spree
Both the Standard Chartered Unlimited and Spree cards are cashback credit cards. They mainly differ in terms of the cashback that you receive, as well as the cashback limit.
Here is an in-depth comparison between these 2 cards:
Cashback and limits
Both of these cards have the same kind of rewards, which is cashback.
For every eligible transaction that you make, you will receive a percentage of it at the end of the month!
However, how their cashback benefits work is slightly different:
Standard Chartered Unlimited has a flat 1.5% cashback
For any eligible transaction you make with the Standard Chartered Unlimited card, you will earn a flat 1.5% rate.
There is no minimum spend required to start receiving the cashback. So long as you make any eligible transaction, you will be able to receive the cashback!
This is also similar to the Standard Chartered JumpStart debit card.
Moreover, there is no limit to the cashback that you can earn! You will continue to earn cashback with every eligible transaction you make.
Standard Chartered Spree has different tiers of cashback
In contrast, the Standard Chartered Spree card has different tiers of cashback, rather than a flat rate:
|Type of Transaction||CashBack|
|Eligible Foreign Currency Online Transactions||3%|
|Eligible Local Currency Online Transactions, |
contactless and mobile payments
|Eligible Local Currency Transactions||1%|
Here are the definitions of the different transactions:
|Foreign Currency Online Transactions||Online transactions charged in a foreign currency|
|vPost Transactions||Eligible transactions on vPost with the merchant description “PAYPAL *VPOST” , |
“VPOST SHIPPING”, “VPOST SHIPPING SERVICE
|Local Currency Online Transactions, contactless and mobile payments||Online transactions charged in SGD|
Transactions made with mobile wallets
|Eligible Local Currency Transactions||Any other eligible transactions that |
do not fall in the other categories
The reason why vPost transactions has such high cashback is because Singpost is a partner of the Spree card.
You are able to add your Spree card to any mobile wallets to earn the 2% cashback as well! This includes:
It may not be worth spending in foreign currency to get that 3% cashback
When you are using foreign currency for online transactions, don’t forget to take note of the FX fees you’ll incur!
According to this document by Standard Chartered, you will be charged a 3.5% foreign currency fee.
Moreover if you choose the Dynamic Currency Conversion, you will still incur a 1% fee!
To get the 3% cashback, you are charged with a 3.5% fee. As such, it is not recommended that you should spend in a foreign currency, just to get the cashback!
If you spend a lot of money in foreign currencies, you may want to consider a multi-currency card instead, such as:
Spree’s cashback is capped at $60 monthly
The cashback you earn from Standard Chartered Spree is capped at $60.
Assuming you only earn the 2% cashback, the maximum you can spend each month with the card is $3,000!
This is because majority of the transactions that you make will fall in the 2% tier.
If you are wondering how contactless payments like Visa payWave differ from NETS, you can check out my comparison of these payment methods.
Both have similar transactions that are not eligible for cashback
Both cards are Standard Chartered cashback cards. As such, there are certain transactions that do not qualify as a cashback transaction.
Some examples include:
- Cash advances
- Credit Card Funds Transfer
- Monthly instalment of EasyPay transactions
- Top-ups to EZ-Link, FlashPay or PayPal
- Transactions with certain Merchant Category Codes
Both cards have the same eligibility criteria before you can apply for either card:
|Minimum Annual Income||Residents 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.
Besides the cashback reward, here are some other offers you can get with both cards:
You are able to receive extra rewards when you pay your bills, including:
- Rental Payments
- Insurance Premium Payments
- Latest tax payable to the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS)
- Education Institution Payments
You are able to convert your bill payments into instalment plans which are 3-12 months long with this feature.
However, you’ll need to pay a fee to convert your bill payment to an instalment! This usually costs around 5% of your entire bill.
0% Interest Instalment Plan
If you spend more than $500 on selected merchants, you are eligible for a 0% interest instalment plan from 6-24 months.
One example of a selected merchant is the Apple store.
However, there are many terms and conditions that may apply for this benefit!
Exclusive deals (The Good Life)
Standard Chartered has exclusive deals for both credit and debit card holders under The Good Life programme.
You are able to get deals from certain merchants when you pay using your Standard Chartered card!
However, some of the deals may be only limited to either Visa or Mastercard cards.
This is something to take note since the Unlimited card is a Mastercard, while the Spree card is a Visa card!
There are also some exclusive deals for each card:
Double cashback for Unlimited card with Unlimited$aver account
If you open an Unlimited$aver account with Standard Chartered and link it to your Unlimited credit card, you can receive 3% cashback instead of 1.5%!
However, you’ll need to maintain at least $100k in this bank account!
Moreover, the interest rate is 0% which does not make this promotion really worth it!
The extra cashback is only capped at $100 too.
As such, there is quite a bit of limitations for this promotion.
Exclusive privileges for Spree card
You are able to get exclusive privileges when you shop at certain shops with your Spree card, such as:
- Lock + Store
- Singapore Post
Overall, these benefits may not really be that useful. However if you use these services frequently, they are definitely an added bonus!
Here are the charges you’ll need to pay for both cards:
|Annual Fee||$192.60 (Waived for first 2 years)|
|Free (up to 5 cards)|
|Finance Charges||Min. 26.9% p.a. effective interest rate|
|Late Payment Charges||$100 (if minimum payment |
not received by due date)
Both cards have similar fees since they are offered by Standard Chartered.
Here is a comparison between the Standard Chartered Unlimited and Spree cards:
|Cashback||1.5%||1%-3% (depending |
|Other Rewards||Double cashback with Unlimited$aver||Exclusive privileges with certain shops|
|Annual Fee Waiver||First 2 years||First 2 years|
Both of these cards are very similar. So which one should you choose?
Choose Unlimited if you spend more than $4,000 a month
If you spend more than $4,000 a month, then the Standard Chartered Unlimited card may be more suitable for you.
This is because it has no cap on the 1.5% you can earn!
With the 1.5% cashback, you will get $60 cashback when you spend $4,000. This is similar to the cap for the Spree card.
If you spend more than $4,000 a month, then the Unlimited card is more suitable for you. This card will allow you to receive more than the $60 you can get with the Spree card.
Choose Spree if you spend less than $3,000 a month
The Spree card has a higher 2% cashback for:
- Local online transactions
- Contactless payments
- Mobile wallet payments
This will most probably be the type of transactions that you’ll make most of the time.
Spree’s cashback is capped at $60. This means that you can only spend up to $3,000 each month to fully benefit from the cashback.
Once you hit the $3,000 mark, you may want to use another card to receive more benefits.
You can even use the Unlimited card to get 1.5% cashback on your spending that exceeds $3,000!
If your spending is less than $3,000, then the Spree card will be more useful due to the higher cashback rate.
Both credit cards are really attractive as they do not have a minimum spend requirement to receive the cashback.
Due to the Spree card’s cashback limit, the card that you choose depends on your spending habits:
- Unlimited card if you spend more than $4,000 a month
- Spree card if you spend less than $3,000 a month
Standard Chartered Unlimited Promotion (Apple Watch Series 3 or $250 Cash via PayNow)
If you are interested in signing up for the Standard Chartered Unlimited card, here are the rewards that you can get (either one):
- Apple Watch Series 3
- $250 cash via PayNow
However if you’re an existing Standard Chartered cardholder, you will only receive $30 via PayNow.
To qualify for this promotion, you will need to activate your card and spend a minimum of SGD$200 within 30 days of your card approval.
This promotion ends on 7 March 2021.
To find out more about this promotion, you can check out the terms and conditions on SingSaver’s website.