Of all the different types of credit cards in Hong Kong, there are no guesses as to why Cashback credit cards are some of the most popular. It’s probably due to the fact that it’s deeply satisfying to be getting money back by doing absolutely nothing else except… er… spending money.
It is also a type of credit card that is relatively easy to understand in terms of how they work. Instead of earning reward points when you use the card, you get cash rebates that help to offset your bill at the end of the month. Many Hong Kongers prefer this to rewards points, as cash rebates don’t expire as fast and also don’t lure you into spending more money when you redeem rewards for vouchers. (Which make you run out wildly to spend, just so you can use the vouchers).
What do you need to know about how cashback cards work in Hong Kong?
- Understand what the cashback rate is
- ie : 2% cashback on local spending at restaurants.
- Or 1% cashback for general spending
- Find out what the maximum amount of cashback per month is
- Ie: Some cards will give you cashback on your spending but capped at a certain amount every month
- Know what is the minimum spending amount is
- This means that you have to spend a minimum amount of HKD on a card, before it starts to give you cashback rebates. Some cards might require you to collect a certain amount of rebates before you can claim them.
- Be aware that your cashback rebate is given by the bank only when you accumulate the required amount in rebates
- Ie: You may need to earn HK $xx in cashback rebates before the bank will allow you to claim it.
- Pay attention to the duration of time you have to hit the minimum spending amount
- This could look something like “Spend HK $xxx in 2 months to qualify for X% cashback rebates.
- Matching the cashback credit card you apply for to the lifestyle you have
- Ask yourself what are the things you spend frequently on every month
- Make sure you get a card that gives you good cashback rebates on those categories of things
- ie : Dining at certain restaurants
- Online shopping
- Local spending
- Overseas spending
- Hotel bookings
- Flight bookings
That said, check out MoneySmart HK’s Top Picks for cashback credit cards in Hong Kong, recommended by what you may be spending on:
Citi Cash Back Visa
DBS Eminent Visa Platinum Card
|Cashback Cap||No maximum||No maximum||No maximum|
|Minimum Spend/per cash dollar||N/A||$250/1 cashdollor||$250/1 cashdollor|
1. Best for local spend – WeWa Classic Card
When it comes to local expenditure, the WeWa Classic Card comes out on top with it’s current offer of 4% direct cashback on local transactions, dining and entertainment. While this card has no cashback cap, it’s important to note that you only accrue cashback in chunks of HK$1 rebates for every HK$250 spent.
There are other cards like the CNCBI Visa Platinum Card which advertise 5% bonus cashback, but upon further inspection of the terms and conditions, we realised that you have to spend HK$3,000 per month (which is fine) to qualify. The real problem here is that the cashback cap is HK$100.
Together with the base cashback rate of 0.55%, you get a total of HK$116.5 for HK$3,000 spent. That adds up to less than 4% in cash rebates, and if you don’t spend HK$3,000, you won’t be eligible for the bonus rate. So beware of cards that advertise a high cashback rate and make sure you are aware of the terms and conditions first.
2. Best for high expenditure – Citi Cash Back Visa Card
Apart from its good cashback rate on local dining and entertainment at 2%, and with no cashback cap, the Citi Cash Back Visa Card often provides joint-promotions for earning extra cashback with different major home appliance and furniture brands directly, unlike DBS and HSBC.
If you are planning to renovate your house and get new appliances soon, which can be quite a big sum of money, this card is a great choice.
3. Best for overseas spend – DBS Eminent Visa Platinum Card
Both cashback cards from Citibank and DBS provide a very competitive rate of 2% for all overseas spend, with no cashback cap. However, from now till 31 December 2017, DBS is having a great promotion where new customers can get up to 10% cash rebates for overseas spend for the first 2 months after card approval, with the cashback cap for new customers set at HK$600 for the bonus cash rebate. Here’s a simple illustration:
- Welcome offer: 8% cash rebate
- Up to HK$600 Cash Rebate
- New customer is required to download DBS Omni mobile application, register and activate Omni account during the Spending Period, otherwise, only a maximum of HK$500 Cash Rebate will be given
- Basic Rebate: Up to 2% Rebate (no upper limit)
Example – If a new customer accumulates a spending amount in foreign currencies equivalent to HK$7,500 during the Spending Period of the first 2 months after card approval, he/she can earn:
|Welcome Rebate||8% cash rebate (HK$600)|
|Basic Rebate||2% Rebate on Spending in Foreign Currencies (HK$150)|
|Total||10% Spending Rebate (HK$750)|
For existing customers, the same bonus rate applies but the cap for the welcome rebate of 8% is HK$200.
Know any other great ways to get cashback rebates on your spending? We would love to hear from you! For more interesting ways to understand and save money, check out MoneySmart HK’s blog.