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Save money: Frank Card, Signature Card & Dividend Card.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

My sister brings my niece to buy textbooks and other school supplies every year. It is a ritual and some of us will remember doing the same when we were school children.

One of the places that we would visit was Popular Bookshop. Over the years, they have established themselves as the most sought after school textbooks supplier in Singapore.

This is probably one reason why they have managed to survive in an industry which is so plagued by online competition that names like MPH went the way of the Dodo.

Well, I was talking to my sister about buying some Popular Bookshop vouchers online because I am able to get a 6% rebate for all online shopping with my new and funky looking OCBC Frank Card (which I got because of the OCBC 360 account). Buying $300 worth of vouchers would mean saving $18.

Click to enlarge.

My sister could then use these vouchers to buy school textbooks and other school supplies for my niece end of this year. She could also use her Popular Bookshop membership to get discounts, where allowed, before paying with these vouchers. Then, we would be getting a discount on top of a discount. Sounds good? I might buy the vouchers next month.

Then, recently, I received advice from UOB saying that I have reward points (known as UNI$) expiring next month. The thing I thought of doing right away was to exchange them for CapitaMalls vouchers simply because there are so many CapitaMalls around. So, there is always a good chance of being able to use the vouchers. There are Popular Bookshops in CapitaMalls too.

However, since Popular Bookshop have vouchers of their own, I decided to check if I could exchange UNI$ for Popular Bookshop vouchers instead. What did I find?

Wow! That is a big difference! I am glad I checked.

There is a catch with these "free" Popular Bookshop vouchers. They cannot be used with membership discounts and they cannot be used for the purchase of school textbooks. However, we can still use them for the purchase of stationery.

So, still a great deal being able to get 25% more in value for the same amount of UNI$ used. So, if you are a parent with school going kids and if you are a UOB credit card holder, you might want to take note of this.

Having said this, if your UOB card is a VISA Signature card and if you have accumulated UNI$ 4,000, there is an even better deal! What is it?

You could get a S$ 100 cash rebate (which translates to S$20 for every UNI$ 800)! This is much better than the rate for getting a S$20 voucher from Popular Bookshop or CapitaMalls.


However, this is probably the last time I am getting any reward from my UOB Signature card as my credit card of choice now is the OCBC Frank card. I still use my Citibank Dividend card for the purchase of petrol because of the 5% cash rebate (for fuel purchases of above $50 per visit) but not much else.

Save some money if we have to spend some money? Yes, I like this.

Related posts:
1. Getting value out of everything.
2. OCBC 360 and CIMB Star Saver.
3. 7 ways AK saves money.


pf said...

Did u get the ocbc ntuc card and 365 card as well?

AK71 said...

Hi pf,

Nope, the Frank Card is enough for me. :)

E H said...

I still prefer Citibank Dividend card for its cashback programme. Uni$ only serves to shoehorn you into their stable of merchants which eventually curbs flexibility and your freedom of choices.

But then again, different people different strokes.

Cheapo Nana said...

Why not consider the OCBC 365 card as well? It gives you 6% on weekend dining, 5% on petrol and 3% on online spending. I think it's a pretty holistic card. The only thing is you need to have a minimum spending of $600 per month.


Capricon said...

For petrol, can consider dbs esso card. 17% off! not the best deal as compare to spc but occasional additional discount. In addition,
- Get similes points for esso petrol.
- No expiry of points.
- use the points to redeem petrol. And note, you get the 17% discount then the redemption..
- dbs card points

AK71 said...

Hi E H,

I like the Dividend Card too and have been using it for years for petrol purchases mostly (5% cash back). Dining, groceries and visits to the pharmacies, sometimes (2% cash back). Catch: each purchase must be at least $50.

For many years, the only other card I had was the UOB Signature Card. This is a free card for me and I use it at places that give discounts to UOB cardholders or if there is some promotion like 2x points or some such.

AK71 said...

Hi Nana,

The OCBC 365 is good for people who dine out a lot in restaurants, I feel. I don't.

5% cash back on petrol, I have my Dividend Card.

3% cash back for online spending loses out to the 6% cash back I get from Frank Card.

So, all compared, the Frank Card works better for me because of the 6% cash back from NETS Flashpay auto top ups (ATUs) and online shopping. For all other spending, Frank Card gives 0.5% cash back.

Frank Card's total minimum spending to get the 6% cash rebate (for ATUs and online shopping) is lower than the OCBC 365 too. Needs only $500 a month.

I really dislike having to call the banks to waive the credit card subscription fees yearly. With the Frank Card, if I were to spend $500 a month, the fee is automatically waived. :)

AK71 said...

Hi Capricon,

I go to ESSO to buy petrol too. I think the Citibank Dividend card gets a pretty good deal:

14% in kiosk discount
5% cash rebate
(min. $50 per purchase)
ESSO Smiles points

I don't know how many DBS Card points you get but I think it could amount to a 0.3% rebate if it is similar to the DBS Capita Card. Just guessing. ;p

Capricon said...

Hmmm ... Better deal with citi dividend card then, 1.3% to be exact. 😝.
Do you get annual fee waiver ? My experience with them many years ago is that citi reluctant to waive. ( when they are still one of the richest bank) 😄

AK71 said...

Hi Capricon,

I have had the Citibank Dividend Card for about 10 years. Fees waived every year, for both my principal card and the sup card for my mom. She buys petrol at ESSO too and this helps me to accumulate cash rebates faster. ;p

FoodieFC said...

I even compiled an excel sheet of some of the rewards that I am interested in. Then dividing the value of the reward by the UNI$ so that I know which is most value for money. hee

OCBC called me recently on the 365 card. The rebates sound good. And I told the person over the line to send me the card. But when I got home, I checked and found out that a minimum spending of $600 per month (which was not conveyed to me). I was not too happy and called to abort the card from being sent to me. Reason being, I don't always spend $600 per month (for now). ..

capping my monthly spending is better than any rebates. =D

AK71 said...

Hi FoodieFC,

You are a prudent one. :)

However, if there is significant savings to be had, I might spend now to lock in the savings. This is why I chose the Frank Card for the 6% cash rebate with NETS Flashpay ATUs and online purchases. There are so many things we can pay in advance to lock in that 6% such as season parking, utilities and telcos. :)

Lizardo said...

Sounds like a nifty card. Any annual charges?

I'm getting quite a bit of rebates with my UOB and Citibank cards as well:

AK71 said...

Hi Lizardo,

Fee for the Frank Card? $30+ a year but if we spend $500 a month, the fee is waived automatically. So, I think of it as a free card. ;)

Lr said...

Hi ak is it possible to pay for starhub and sp services using frank card online purchase?

AK71 said...

Hi Lr,

I simply go to an iNETS kiosk and pay using the NETS Flashpay option. We can make regular visits (i.e. at every 3 days intervals) and if we overpay, it is kept as a credit. :)

I don't know if paying the bills you mentioned on the internet will qualify for 6% rebate or not.

List of iNETS kiosk locations:
iNETS Kiosks

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