Cashback tops in influencing card choice: Poll

A new survey found that the cashback feature when using credit cards is the "champion benefit" influencing card choice as well as the most-used feature.
A new survey found that the cashback feature when using credit cards is the "champion benefit" influencing card choice as well as the most-used feature.PHOTO: ST FILE

It was also most-used credit card feature; POSB Everyday Card ranked as most popular

Cash is king, even when it comes to using credit cards, according to a new survey. It found that the cashback feature is the "champion benefit" influencing card choice as well as the most-used feature.

"People want simplicity and immediate benefits that help them claw back a portion of expenses expended via credit card spend," said Mr Rohith Murthy, co-founder and managing director of financial comparison platform SingSaver.com.sg, which commissioned the survey.

The poll queried 785 respondents here with an almost equal split between females and males. They had an average monthly income of $5,524 and an average household aggregate monthly income of $9,615. The survey was conducted between September and November last year.

"For instance, the POSB Everyday Card offers cashback across a wide variety of spending, including medical, petrol, groceries, health and beauty, and utilities," noted Mr Murthy.

"The card also has a strong utility aspect - cardholders can use the card for their bus and MRT rides. This is a strong win as it represents baseline functionality for the everyday Singaporean."

The POSB Everyday Card took pole position, and by a wide berth, across three measured qualitative tiers. It was the most-owned card (43 per cent), most-utilised one (18 per cent) and most-desired card to apply for and own (11 per cent) in the next 12 months for respondents who did not own any credit cards.

The poll showed consumers want to see immediate remuneration without the hassle and complication of redeeming bricks-and-mortar gifts and vouchers, Mr Murthy said.

Older credit card users value the cashback benefit far more than younger Singaporeans. This can be attributed to buying decisions, household expenses and the cost of raising a family holding more weight among middle-aged people.

On the other hand, younger credit card holders belonging to the aspirational consumer cluster adopt a much more relaxed attitude to money and purchasing decisions. These customers appear to value air miles more, signalling that they have a greater focus on travel and luxury.

Premium credit card holders also highly value air miles. These card holders are likely to travel often so air miles are a way for them to save money on a high-expense category.

Premium cards refer to those requiring a minimum $100,000 in annual income.

For 2017's most favoured cards, respondents elected American Express for the best customer experience; CIMB Visa Signature for dining; Citi Prestige for premium; DBS Altitude Visa Signature for air miles; HSBC Visa Platinum for petrol; Standard Chartered Spree for shopping; Standard Chartered Unlimited for popular choice; and UOB One for cashback and groceries.

The average number of cards an individual owns is close to four, while respondents who do not own any plastic intend to apply for about two cards in the coming 12 months, according to the survey.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on January 21, 2018, with the headline 'Cashback tops in influencing card choice: Poll'. Print Edition | Subscribe