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!

UOB Visa Signature test drive result

Got hold of the UOB Visa Signature card only recently and took it for test drive immediately. The requirement to earn 5% rebate is to spend a minimum of S$1000 of foreign currency equivalent within a statement period. It is stated in the terms and conditions that the regular 1X UNI$ (0.5% rebate) is reflected in the current statement period, and the remaining 9X (4.5% rebate) will only be given in the next statement period.

To be able to make a redemption, however, you need to accumulate at least S$2000 worth of foreign currency spending to earn the UNI$4000 required for redemption. This means you either spend S$2000 one-shot in a single statement period, or S$1000 each in two statement periods.

visasignature1 visasignature2

Continue reading UOB Visa Signature test drive result

Visa ♥ Shopback

Not wanting to be left out, Visa now partners with Shopback and dishes out more cashback if you go through the Visa promo page. However, they can’t actually force you to make payment with a Visa credit/debit card on the actual merchant’s site. All you have to do is to fill in the first 6 digits of a Visa credit/debit card to gain access to the extra cashback. On the other hand, MasterCard has already been running a similar deal with Qoo10 for a year or more, and they do enforce making payments with a MasterCard.

I seriously can’t figure out how such deals can make a difference to Visa or MasterCard. Does anyone decide on which credit card to use based on whether it is a Visa or MasterCard? I really doubt so. I guess it is just a general brand marketing campaign. The Qoo10 MasterCard promotion does give you very good discounts (more than 20%), almost unbelievable.

 

For one day only (1 April 2016), Visa is giving up to 20% cashback through Shopback. Redmart is one of the merchants, and i wasted no time to grab this deal. I happen to have on hand a $5 coupon code as well for answering a questionnaire from Redmart, so no better time than to utilize it than now.

redmartOrder
Redmart checkout
20% cashback as promised
20% cashback from Shopback as promised

Since i made payment with BOC Shop! card, i do get another 5% rebate. All in, i got $16.78 of discount for $49.10 worth of purchase, which is a whopping 34% discount!

There was also a 20% cashback for Groupon, and i bought a $60 dining voucher for $34.90. With the $6.98 cashback and 5% rebate from BOC Shop! card factored in, it is an overall discount of 56%, which is not bad. The 20% cashback promotion for Groupon lasts until 5 Apr 2016, so you might still have a chance to grab something worthwhile.

If you haven’t signed up with Shopback, why not?

Qoo10 ♥ Shopback

 

I never thought this would happen, but Qoo10 is now also on Shopback. All along i thought Qoo10 was doing well enough, but i guess all businesses need avenues to capture new customers. That makes life slightly more difficult for me – i need to keep track of promotions on Qoo10 that gives me discount coupons, accumulate and utilize Qpoints which are equivalent to cash, make payment using the credit card (Bank of China Shop! card) that offer rebates for online transactions, and now, i also need to initiate my shopping via Shopback. Well, if that means saving money, why not?

Update 16 Jun 2016: It must have been quite some time already that Qoo10 is no longer on Shopback.

Discounted groceries on Qoo10

Qoo10 does a lot of promotions, and the most recent one caught my attention – Super Sale coupon, whereby you get $10 off $50 and above purchase. That’s a 20% discount, which is not bad (unfortunately this promotion is already over in case you’re wondering). There is also the weekly (every Wednesday) Mastercard coupons promotion, whereby you get discounts of $1 off $2 (50%), S$2 off $5 (40%), $3 off $20 (15%), $5 off $30 (16.7%) and $10 off $100 (10%). You can combine the item discount coupons with the cart discount coupons and easily get 20% and above discounts, which is very significant.

Well, there wasn’t anything specific that i needed to buy, and after looking around for a while, i discovered that there is actually a “Groceries” category. Well, there is always a need to buy groceries right? After browsing about, i decided i could get some frozen meat from a seller called Hen Tick. I’ve been trying to source for frozen duck legs to make Sous Vide duck confit, and they are probably one of the very few suppliers in Singapore, perfect. They also have Ox tail, which we love for making Buntut Bakar. In fact, they seem to sell many items that are similar to QB Food, and they are located within the same vicinity of each other, so i can combine a visit to both places. Double perfect. Continue reading Discounted groceries on Qoo10

Last few days to enjoy $10 off $50 purchase on Redmart

Well, on new year’s day, i got a mailer from Redmart that enclosed a coupon code (HAPPY2016) giving a $5 discount. There seemed to be no other conditions attached, like minimum spending, but obviously, you’ll still want to chalk up $50 worth of purchase to avoid paying for delivery. This wasn’t as attractive as the $10 discount i used to get from them, but, oh well, $5 (10%) is still not too bad.

This promotion runs till 29th February. I’m not sure if it applies to new customers (who only need to spend $30 to get free delivery). Redmart offers an additional $1 discount if you allow them to deliver the goods up to 2 hours earlier than the chosen slot, and i always take up this option, so that’s $6 discount. Coupled with the 10% cashback i get from Shopback, overall, i get a savings of about $10 off $50.

Actually, I should also get another 5% cashback by making payment using BOC Shop! card (applies to all online transactions), which would mean another $2 off. I guess the bank and merchants’ profits are shaved really thin every time i do this, muahaha.. but they will continue to allow me to do this because the profit margin for groceries is sky high.

Lazada repeat customer, i am

My significant other requested that i get her a hair dryer. In the past, i would have just gone to Qoo10 and do the purchase. Now, i will also check with Lazada before making a decision. Lazada uses the more conventional promo code concept, whereby you get a discount when you enter a promo code, whereas Qoo10 uses a combination of loyalty points (sometimes dished out for free), coupon and time sale/group buy concepts. Well, both require you to do a bit of research before you hit the buy button, so it’s hard to say which is better, though a promo code is overall simpler. Lazada has a slight edge over Qoo10 for offering cashback through Shopback, which allows you to get rebates every single time, and also promising you low delivery fees.

Continue reading Lazada repeat customer, i am

Shopback Payout

My second round of cashback on Shopback just became redeemable, a total of $81.61, woot! This is comprised of 2 Agoda bookings ($15 each), 2 Redmart purchases, 2 Groupon purchases and flight tickets purchased on Expedia (1% cashback).

Redeemable

Besides purchases, i also scored two bonus payouts totalling $29, which is a lot. I notice that they don’t offer such bonuses these days, only increased cashback. The customer base must be quite large already by now that they don’t need to offer this kind of incentive anymore. Oh well.

Bonus

The payout takes 7-14 working days to be credited. No problem, i can wait. It’s free money anyway. The only problem is my forgetting to do my purchases by going through Shopback, which still happens once in a long while.

Payout

If you’re still not on Shopback, what are you waiting for?

Survey of Singapore credit cards

I’ve written about the best credit cards for overseas spend (one of the more popular posts on this site) and also about credit cards that earn you the most cash rebate (it is slightly outdated already). Here’s my personal take on all the credit cards in the market. Note that corporate credit cards and cards aimed at specific demographic or special-interests or tied to specific merchants are generally excluded (e.g. high rollers, students, golfers, petrol, departmental store etc.). Cards for accumulating air miles are also excluded. Let me be honest about this – i don’t believe in accumulating air miles, since i am never insistent on sticking with any particular airline for flights. Even when you use your miles, you will still be paying taxes and levies, which can sometimes amount to as much as the price of a discounted flight ticket. Continue reading Survey of Singapore credit cards

Lazada review

Lazada is a relatively newcomer to the online retail platform business, coming at the heels of Qoo10 and other wannabes. Despite seeing promotional ads for the site umpteen times, i never felt there was a reason for me to check out their site. It was while searching for a Hand Blender that a product listing from Lazada showed up in the Google search result, that i decided to take a look.

For the particular Hand Blender, 3 relevant results representing 3 different companies selling the product came up in Lazada’s search. The prices were about the lowest offered in the market (i.e. equal or lower than what you will find in an electrical/electronics departmental store). Obviously, it is cheaper to buy it online because you can apply a few discounts:

  1. Promo codes – there were at least a few promo codes for Lazada available, which gave a minimum of $10 worth of discount. I even saw an ad at a bus stop that offered a $11 discount on Lazada.
  2. helloPay – prior to this i had never heard of helloPay. It was during checkout that i noted using helloPay offers a 15% discount. For an $8 item, a 15% discount ($12.75) is definitely better than the $11 bus ad promo code, so i decided to check out helloPay (by the way, there is supposedly a $15 discount available if you use their app to order, but i didn’t try). Apparently, helloPay works like PayPal. At present though, it seems that no other merchant, other than Lazada, accepts helloPay payments. I proceeded to sign up an account under my wife’s name, since i was going to use her credit card to make payment. Lo and Behold, i got a $5 credit for signing up. I further noted that they had a referral program whereby you earn $10 if someone you referred made a payment through helloPay. I immediately referred myself. I got a $5 credit as well. So for the $85 Hand Blender, i am paying $85 – $12.75 – $5 + $2.5 (delivery charges) = $67.25
  3. Shopback – I made the Lazada purchase by going through Shopback and received a $3.6 cashback (obviously this is not available if you order through their app).
  4. Bank of China Credit Card – 5.5% cashback on online purchases, which is about $3.7. Taking into consideration the Shopback cashback as well, what i really pay for the Hand Blender is $67.25 – $3.6 – $3.7 = $60, which is a $27 discount overall! Not forgetting, my wife received $10 in her helloPay account for the successful referral, which effectively makes it a $37 discount!

Continue reading Lazada review