Dash – Cashback king till 30 Sep 2019

Well, I’ve only recently signed up with Dash, the payment platform by Singtel, mostly out of curiosity. I’ve noticed their ads at Food Republic food courts for the longest time, but never felt any urge to give them a try. I did so recently, just to check if they offered any good deals.

What do you know, they are running a promotion that is actually pretty good, valid till 30 Sep 2019. 5% cashback on Qoo10 and Lazada (capped at $2.50, on top of the usual 1% Shopback cashback), as well as for purchases of groceries at Fairprice and Sheng Siong, among the rest, with no minimum spend requirement. You may shop at each of these merchants once a day and receive the 5% cashback, and it is credited into your Dash account by the very next day, which means the money is practically available for use by your next transaction.

By the way, from 12-15 Jul 2019, there is an additional 10% off with promo code plus 5% cashback on Lazada.

If you’re wondering what Dash is about, it’s like a prepaid credit card account. You get a virtual Visa credit card number every time you need one for a transaction. I didn’t keep track, but you’re probably assigned a new virtual credit card number every time. This is unlike the Youtrip card where you get a permanent Mastercard credit card number. For foreign currency transactions, i think Dash does not offer a better deal than Youtrip though. There is an ongoing 5% cashback deal (max S$5) for overseas spending valid till 30 Sep 2019 as well, might work out better than Youtrip.

No better time to sign up with Dash than now (get up to $3 cashback when you make your 1st transaction)!

2019 Cashback Credit Card Strategy

It’s been a long time since i did a check on the ins-and-outs of the world of cashback credit cards. Things have changed tremendously. For the longest time (more than a year), i’ve been relying on the OCBC 365 Credit Card, but they put a stop to the benefit i needed the most from the card and i probably have to kiss it goodbye.

Nevermind if the minimum spending was raised from $600 to $800, the 3% cashback for online transactions (unless it is travel related) was removed. There’s no way i can hit the minimum spending of $800 if i can’t accumulate online purchases towards the $800. So, what’s next?

There are two cards that look like suitable candidates for replacement: OCBC FRANK and Standard Chartered Unlimited.

Continue reading 2019 Cashback Credit Card Strategy

Shopback $1000 milestone

It happened so quietly that i almost forgot to blog about it. Well, it took a while (which means i’m not spending so much which is a good thing), but i’ve reached the S$1000 withdrawn cashback milestone! Thank you Shopback! I’m glad Shopback is going strong, and we can continue to reap the benefits of cashback. My cashback mostly come from booking.com, Agoda, Taobao, Qoo10, Fave, iHerb and occasionally eBay. Sign up if you haven’t and get $5 credit, because why not?

Shopback $750 milestone

I have just collected the cashback for my Hokkaido trip hotel stays, and this propels me past $750 in total cashback earned!

If you haven’t been earning cashback for your online purchases, now is a good time to get started. Why wait? –> Sign up link <–

Shopback $500 milestone

It’s been almost two years since I have used Shopback and I am happy to announce that I have just crossed the S$500 milestone!

Most of the cashback were accumulated from hotel bookings. Yes, I travel a lot, but most of us do travel every now and then and there’s no reason why anyone should miss out on rebates for hotel bookings. Hotel stays don’t normally come cheap, and the 6% you earn in cashback is very significant.

Earning cashback through Shopback is one of the few things that defy the saying “if it’s too good to be true, it probably is”. All it takes is a few clicks to get back a little of what you paid for online purchases.

If you haven’t signed up, you really should do it now! Free money, people.

The end of ANZ Optimum Credit Card is in sight

Received the mailer as pictured above today. ANZ Retail business taken over by DBS, and that would include the Credit Card business. It can only mean one thing – all ANZ Credit Cards will go.

As the saying goes, all good things come to an end. Also, if it looks too good to be true, it probably is. You could say the 5% cashback without minimum spend and practically without cap was a dream. I am quite sure DBS will clamp down on this money losing business.

For those of us holding the ANZ Optimum card, we could probably continue to enjoy the benefits until June or so. Next best Credit Card? Well i guess, for me it will be UOB Visa Signature for overseas and foreign currency spend, and possibly OCBC 365, which gives cashback for a very wide range of spending categories. Once ANZ is no more, i will probably have to get this card.

Taobao is back on Shopback

For two months probably, Taobao went missing on Shopback. Apparently, they were revamping the mechanism for tracking Taobao purchases through Shopback.

Previously, you had to search for the item you wanted to purchase through the search bar in Shopback’s Taobao page. With the new approach that was just introduced, effective 8 Mar 2017, you can shop on Taobao through Shopback as you would any other merchants on Shopback, i.e. just click “Shop Now” and get redirected to the merchant site. Except, you also need to submit your Taobao order ID using a special form on Shopback. Continue reading Taobao is back on Shopback

Visit to Shopback office

I was invited to visit Shopback’s office today. Anyway, let me clarify that this is not a paid advertisement, although i did get a free lunch on them.

I was surprised to find the office housed inside the premise of NUS Enterprise, a start-up incubation space. I was told quite a few of the company founders were from NUS, so in a sense, NUS is giving them a helping hand. It’s easy to justify such an arrangement (the word “subsidy” comes to mind), given that they are already a success story. Everyone needs a success story, right?

NUS Enterprise
NUS Enterprise

The company is already more than 80-strong, and I think they have a sure footing in this business. They went headlong into the market when few people understood the business model. I can imagine it would have been damn hard work negotiating with the merchants, so Shopback really deserves a pat on the back for the windfall they’re raking in right now.

One corner of the congested working space in Shopback office
Congested working space in Shopback office (everyone is in a presentation session)

In case you don’t know what Shopback is about, i have a very short writeup here. In essence, you’re rewarded for brand loyalty and accepting marketing content. Just about every business is giving cashback now, because consumers love the feeling of getting a “kickback”. Consumers are, themselves, the ones paying for it anyway.

If you haven’t signed up with Shopback, now is a good time to do so. You will certainly save some money (or possibly spend more money).

Many thanks to Ying Ying from Shopback for hosting me!

Save serious money on hotel bookings

I have just received S$166.16 in cashback for the hotel bookings of my recent trip, no kidding! Here’s how i did it.

Earn cashback through ShopbackSimple as that. Hotel booking websites take an average of 15% in commission from the hotel/accommodation provider for every booking done through their websites. Yes, that’s an awful lot of money! They’re willing to give you back 6% of that commission, so you better grab it! You can get this cashback if you do your hotel bookings through cashback websites, like Shopback.

Continue reading Save serious money on hotel bookings

Why i still use Ebates

There are 3 categories of spending for which Ebates works for me: eBay, US merchants and car rental. For everything else, there is Shopback.

Ebates rewards up to 5% for purchases on eBay, which is fantastic. In comparison, Shopback offers only 1% cash back for eBay purchases. The email notification pictured above tells me i have earned US$4.05 for a US$135 purchase, which works out to be a 3% cash back.

You may be wondering what is worth buying on eBay. Let me tell you – beauty product samples. Guys, don’t back away and think this does not apply to you. You have no idea how much money you may be saving when your spouse buys the sample instead of the full retail product. Even when you buy the full retail products on eBay, you’ll be saving lots compared to buying from the local store. What i do is to find those eBay sellers who have collected a large quantity of samples, where, often the total quantity is more or less the same as the retail product, but at a fraction of the price. Sometimes, you can find sellers with overstock items at less than wholesale prices (for the lower cost products only of course).

For other US branded goods, it is also great to use Ebates for cash back. There’s no stopping you from grabbing Black Friday deals, or clearance sales that happen every now and then, and earning cash back at the same time when you’re already getting a good deal. Shipping is easy, and relatively cheap (don’t use the shipping service offered on the merchant sites, they’re rip-off!).

Finally, there is car rental, for which i doubt Shopback will ever bother to offer cash back, because the demand is probably too little compared to the demand for car rental in the US. For my upcoming trip to Korea, i have two car rental arrangements with Sixt, and i’m earning cash back for the rentals, so the cash back actually works for worldwide car rentals. As you can imagine, car rentals easily cost hundreds of dollars each time, so the cash back, even at just a few percent, is very significant. Don’t lose out on such savings. Sign up for Ebates and get the cash back.

And as i have said before, for everything else, there is Shopback!