Earlier most citizens in Singapore would pay for their expenses with cash. However, carrying a large amount of cash is risky, since it may be stolen, and inconvenient. In the last few decades, the number of merchants accepting credit and debit card payments has increased, since it is convenient for the merchant, their cash handling expenses, errors are reduced significantly. Many banks are offering credit and debit cards, and users of these cards will get discounts at specific merchants. For the convenience of the card user, advice on choosing discount cards is provided below.
Credit or debit card
Merchants are offering discounts for both credit and debit card users. However, it is observed that the discounts offered for payment using a debit card are less and fewer merchants are offering discounts for debit cards. It is also easier to get a refund for unauthorized usage of the credit card compared to a debit card since the bank account of the user is directly debited for debit card payment. So though credit cards are better for getting discounts, users should be aware that banks do not issue a credit card to everyone, they check the credit score, financial history of the person before approving the credit card application.
Before applying for a discount card, the applicant should review his or her monthly expenses, to find out which are the major expenses. Then he should try to find credit or debit cards which are offering a discount for payment of the expense with the card to save the maximum amount of money. In some cases, like fuel expenses or utility bills, airline tickets a large number of card issuers are offering a discount, while for some products or services like web hosting, there are very few or no card issuers offering a discount since very few customers use these services.
Some of the card issuers have cobranded discount cards, and the user will always get a discount when he uses the card for payment at a particular merchant. In these cases, the card issuer will specify the merchants, discount percentage,s and other promotions in the card specifications so that the card applicant can make the right choice. Additionally, there are some card issuers who will offer a discount for a specific period, especially during the peak shopping season or festive season. Usually, these discounts are mentioned on the merchant website, store, and customers are informed through mail. After considering all the discounts a discount card should be chosen.
Fees, reward points
Since the issuer, usually a bank, is making more money from credit cards, they are able to offer discount credit cards without an annual fee. However for debit cards, usually an annual fee is charged, which the applicant should consider. Credit card users are also getting reward points for using their credit cards and these reward points can be redeemed for gifts, vouchers, or other items. This makes it more rewarding to use a discount credit card, though the amount a credit card user can spend is restricted by the credit limit for the card.