Citibank SMRTt Card Review

Citibank SMRT Card Review 2021: The Best Card for Low-Spending Consumers

Low-spending consumers will love the commuting perks that Citibank SMRT Card offers. Aside from transportation benefits, Citibank’s card gives you so much more for online and grocery shopping. But, if you’re a big spender, we highly recommend that you steer away. We lay everything about this card down in this review.

 

Key Features

  • Huge cashback of 0.3-5% on grocery shopping, online wallet, and EZ-Link top-ups
  • Get a 0.3-5% cashback on Grab, Gojek, and other ride-sharing and food delivery services
  • Big refueling discounts of 14% from Ezzo and Shell
  • The best card for MRT commuters
  • Perfect for budget-conscious families and young professionals

 

Cash Rebate, Perks, and Rewards

Let’s look at the rebates you can get from using your Citibank SMRT Card.

Monthly Statement Retail Purchases Less than S $500 S $500 or More
Groceries 0.3% 5%
Online Spend 0.3% 5%
Taxis and Transportation 0.3% 5%
EZ-Reload Auto Top-up 0.3% 5%
All Other Spend None 0.3%

 

Pros

  • Perfect for daily MRT commuters who frequently reload their EZ accounts
  • An essential card for frequent shoppers of Lazada, NTUC, and EZbuy
  • Useful for vehicle owners who refill gas from Ezzo and Caltex
  • Helpful rebates for young professionals
  • Perfect for budget-conscious young families that regularly buy groceries

Cons

  • S $500 minimum spending for higher cashbacks can be steep for some customers
  • Big spenders and bulk buyers can get much more cashbacks from other cards
  • SMRT$ or SMRT points might be limiting as a rebate system for some customers

 

How Citibank SMRT Card Compare to Other Cards

Credit Card Minimum Income Requirement Annual Interest Rate Cashback Minimum Monthly Spending Rewards
Citi SMRT Card S $30,000 (S $42,000 for foreigners) 26.90% 1.6%-5% None
  • Huge cashback of 0.3-5% on grocery shopping, online wallet, and EZ-Link top-ups
  • Get a 0.3-5% cashback on Grab, Gojek, and other ride-sharing and food delivery services
  • Big refueling discounts of 14% from Ezzo and Shell
  • The best card for MRT commuters
  • Perfect for budget-conscious families and young professionals
Citi Cash Back + Mastercard S $30,000 (S $42,000 for foreigners) 26.90% 1.6%-5% None
  • Unlimited cashbacks without cap
  • Waived first year annual interest rate
  • Cashback earned doesn’t expire
  • Pay With Points and SMS-claimable cash rebate
American Express True Cashback Card S $30,000 (S $60,000 for foreigners) 26.90% 3.0% None
  • Unlimited cashback without cap
  • 22-Day interest-free period
  • 3% Cashback for the first six months. Spending cap of S $5,000
  • 1.5% cashback on any purchases after the first six months with no caps.
Standard Chartered Unlimited Cashback Credit Card S $30,000 (S $60,000 for foreigners) 26.90% 1.5% None
  • First two years annual fees waived
  • Unlimited cashback and caps
  • 1.5% cashback on all purchases with no caps
  • 22.61% Caltex Fuel Savings
CIMB World Mastercard S $30,000 (Singaporeans and PRs only) 25.90% 2% None
  • 2% cashback on wine and dining, online food delivery, movies, and digital media subscriptions, taxi and transportation, and luxury goods spending
  • Unlimited Cash Rebate Caps
  • S $1,000 complimentary insurance
  • Mastercard Airport Experiences Perk that makes 1,000 airport lounges accessible
  • 50% discount for entering Green Courses in Asia
  • LIfetime zero annual fees
  • Up to 4 supplementary cards with waived fees
  • 1,000+ regional deals with 50% discounts
UOB One Card S $30,000 (S $80,000 for foreigners) 25.90% 10%  S $2,000 monthly
  • Up to 10% rebate at Dairy Farm Group merchants (Cold Storage, Giant, 7-Eleven, Guardian, and more)
  • Up to 10% rebate on Grab, SP utility bills, and UOB Travel spend
  • Up to 5% cash rebate on all retail spend for spending such as home furnishings, electronics & bill payment
  • Up to 24% savings on fuel purchases at SPC and 20.8% at Shell Stations
  • First-year annual fee waived

 

From this chart, it’s clear that the Citibank SMRT card is much more useful for low-income professionals and young families because it can provide excellent cashback in the future. However, big spenders, frequent flyers, and loyal shoppers of specific merchants (such as Dairy Farm Group loyal customers) can get higher cashback beyond what the Citibank SMRT card can offer.

 

What We Think of Citibank SMRT Card

Citi SMRT card is an excellent instrument for young professionals starting at their job or new parents trying to figure out their starting goals with their family.

Young professionals are frequent commuters, and they often use their EZ accounts to pay for the MRT. It’s possible that an average Singaporean entry-level professional can spend about $500 combining transportation and their grocery spending. SMRT Card holders can also enjoy a waived annual fee for the first year, making the payment lighter. 

Singapore’s budding families rely heavily on proper budgeting, from basic necessities to full-fledged spending. The pandemic in 2020’s effects is still active in 2021, making online shopping and door-to-door groceries a great and convenient avenue for most young Singaporean families. It’s easy to see how these families can quickly increase their online purchases and reach the S $500 minimum for the 3% rebate, including their other offline and online transactions that will contribute 1.6% cashback without the cap.

 

How to Apply for Citibank SMRT Card

Eligibility

  • At least 18 years of age during application
  • Employed or self-employed with a minimum income of S $30,000 (S $42,000 for foreigners) annually

Requirements

  • Salaried employee
  • A copy of your NRIC/passport
  • Latest original computerized payslip or Tax Notice of Assessment or last 12 months’ CPF statements
  • Self-employed
  • A copy of your NRIC/passport
  • Last 2 years’ Income Tax Notice of Assessment
  • Last 3 months’ bank statements
  • For Foreigners
  • A copy of your passport and work permit (with minimum 6 months validity)
  • A copy of utility/telephone bill or bank statement with your name and address
  • Income Tax Notice of Assessment and latest original computerized payslip

Fees

Here are the fees you’ll incur with your Citi SMRT card:

  • Annual fee and waiver: S $192.60 (waived for the first two years)
  • Supplementary annual fee: S $96.30 (waived for the first two years)
  • Interest-free period: 25 days
  • Late payment fee: S $100
  • Minimum monthly repayment: 1% or S $50, whichever is higher
  • Foreign currency transaction fee: 3.25%
  • Cash advance transaction fee: 6% or S $15, whichever is higher
  • Overlimit fee: S $40

 

Shopping online using credit cards

 

The Answering The Most-Asked Questions About Citibank SMRT Card

1. What is Merchant Category Code?

A merchant category code (MCC) is a three-digit number assigned to a type of business. The MCC is used by retailers and financial institutions worldwide to identify the company they are doing business with so they can charge them the appropriate fees. For example, a merchant category code of 5405 indicates a purchase of a prepaid phone card.

Codes for every financial institution can vary depending on their accounting style.

 

2. Do I get more cash rebates if I spend S $1,000 on groceries?

Yes, you can.

Citi SMRT card provides you with a 5% cashback on grocery spending above S $500 without caps. Therefore, you can get S $50 for every S $1,000 you spend on your groceries. Without caps, you can receive a higher cashback of S $500 for spending S $10,000 on groceries.

 

3. Do I get rewards for dining and flights?

Unfortunately, the Citibank SMRT card isn’t ideal for big-ticket purchases because of its low-income-oriented bonuses. Therefore, you can still get bonuses for dining and flights at an uncapped 1.6%, but we highly recommend using other cards much more eligible to spend with for dinner and flights, such as CIMB World Mastercard.

CIMB World Mastercard can provide you with 2% cashback on dining and flights. Plus, you can get the same rebate rating using for online shopping and digital media subscriptions, such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and more.

 

4. Will we get higher rebates for shopping at specific merchants?

Citi SMRT provides you general rebates for specific categories. If you spend S $500 and above on groceries, transportation, and others, you can get uncapped 5% rebates for all of them. However, Citi SMRT doesn’t specify any huge discounts for using preferred merchants.

On the other hand, Citi SMRT is useful because you can use it in all grocery stores that you prefer. If you’re a frequent commuter, every EZ link auto-top up that goes beyond S $500 gives you a huge 5% rebate.

 

5. How do you find the most compatible credit cards for your needs?

Finding the best credit card for your needs depends on the following factors:

  • Cashback Rates

We’ve focused on the cashback benefits of the Citibank SMRT card in this review. Credit cards are convenient because you can buy something and pay for it later on installment. With cashback benefits, you can shop and get huge returns on your big spending in the future.

Every card has its respective cashback benefits that you can use to your advantage. To maximize them, you’ll need to understand your frequent spending categories. For example, frequently flying for work makes the CIMB World Mastercard a much better choice than the Citi SMRT card because of the higher rebates you can receive from the latter.

  • Preferred Merchants

Your lifestyle helps you find the spending categories you frequently use.

For example, a young Singaporean family just starting out budgeting for the present and future might favor the Citi SMRT as this rewards more on groceries, daily necessities, and public transport. Their eligible spend for the family gives them high rebates.

They might even have higher discounts by using preferred merchants. For example, some cards favor Dairy Farm grocery chains. Some even provide higher rebates for NTUC shops. With this in mind, you can find the best cards by finding the products, services, and merchants to help you save cash.

  • Minimum Spending

Credit cards have minimum spending rates that customers must before they can receive any rebates. For example, Citi SMRT cards require you to spend S $500 and up before receiving a 5% rebate. Alternatively, you can get a 1.6% rebate for any spending below this threshold.

Premium cards have higher minimum spending requirements. For example, the UOB One card requires you to spend S $2,000 before you can get any rebates. With this in mind, keep your prospect card’s minimum spending requirements and your frequent spending habits in mind before finalizing your decision.

  • Annual Fees

Lastly, most cards have annual fees. Citi SMRT waives its fees for the first year. Some other credit cards waive their fees for the first two years.

If you’re a big spender or long-time card user, some credit card companies allow you to waive your fees for life. But, to achieve this, banks might require you to meet certain minimum monthly spending that can be way enormously high. Consider your needs and capability before signing up for one.

 

6. Do Cashback Credit Card Rates Change?

All established credit cards will never change their cashback rates and terms. In the future, banks may choose to retire them and update their terms and conditions, which may include the credit card cashback rate changes.

However, cashback rate changes may or may never happen soon, so we highly recommend that you compare credit card cashback and interest rates and fees before applying for a card.

 

Our Key Takeaways:

  • The Citi SMRT is a great card for low-spending consumers, such as budding families and young professionals.
  • You can get 1.6% or 5% cashback on groceries, online spending, taxi and transportation, and EZ reload top-up using the Citi SMRT card.
  • S $500 minimum amount for the 5% cashback can be too steep for some low-income credit card users.

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