Raising a dog or a pet isn’t exactly a low-cost affair. To really give your dog the best she deserves, you’ll often find yourself getting new food and treats, buying toys, bringing her to dog cafes, or taking her to the vet.
As so much of these expenses are recurring, I found myself wondering how I can get more value out of it. The only way is, of course, to cleverly use my credit cards to get as much cashback and as many miles as possible out of those expenses.
Most banks in Singapore haven’t focused their marketing on pet owners, so it’s up to us to think about which credit cards work best for our pet expenses.
For Latte’s supplements, toys, and other necessities, Sarah and I like to use online pet stores as they offer lower prices and convenience. Now that we have started our own online pet store, Shop Vanillapup, we get Latte’s necessities directly from our suppliers.
Regardless of which online store you prefer, these are the credit cards to use:
- DBS Woman’s World MasterCard – You can earn 4 miles per dollar (mpd) and the minimum spend is $5 as points are awarded in blocks of $5. You’ll need a minimum income of S$80,000 or you could try your luck if you are an existing DBS cardholder. There’s a spending cap of S$2,000 per month for the bonus miles.
- Citi Rewards Card – 4 miles per dollar or 10X Rewards on online spends. 10X Rewards are capped at 10,000 points per statement month, or S$1,000 spend on eligible purchases. You can easily get this credit card with an annual income of S$30,000.
- CIMB Visa Signature – 10% cashback on online spends, S$800 minimum spend per month, $30,000 minimum income. There’s a cap of S$20 cashback per category, up to a total of S$100 per statement month. Other categories for 10% cashback include beauty & wellness, grocery and physical pet shops and vet services (more on this below).
- HSBC Revolution Card – 2 miles per dollar (mpd), no minimum spend, S$30,000 minimum income. There’s no cap on the points you can earn.
Grooming / pet shops / vet / insurance
Other cashback cards (like the Citi Cash Back Card) that specify a high cashback for certain categories will only give you 0.25-0.5% cashback on spends that fall out of those categories. The following cards will give you at least 1.5% cashback.
- Standard Chartered Unlimited Cashback Card or American Express True Cashback Card – 1.5% cashback on all expenses, S$30,000 minimum income. There’s no cap or minimum spend.
- HSBC Advance Card – 2.5% cashback if your expenses are more than S$2,000 in the month, and 1.5% cashback otherwise, $30,000 minimum income. There’s a cap of S$70 cashback per month.
- Specifically for pet shops and vet services, the CIMB Visa Signature Card will give you 10% cashback on these spends starting from 5 June 2019. That catch – spend a minimum of S$800 a month using your card, and there is a cashback cap of S$20 a month. Still pretty decent if you ask me!
If you’re like me and you prefer to accumulate miles, these are the miles credit cards I use for vets, insurance and other non-online spends :
- UOB Preferred Platinum Visa – 4 mpd, capped at S$1,000 per month, no minimum spend but points are awarded in $5 blocks. The requirement is that you have to use PayWave or other forms of contactless payments.
- UOB PRVI Miles – 1.4 mpd, S$30k minimum income. There’s no cap but points are awarded in blocks of $5. So, if you buy a toy for S$4.90, you will not get any points.
- Citi PremierMiles Visa Card or DBS Altitude Card – 1.2 mpd, no cap and minimum spend, S$30,000 minimum income. DBS consolidates the points from all your DBS cards, which is good.
Go Jek, Comfort Taxis, and Grab
We don’t have a car and have to rely on taxis to bring Latte around. Grab used to be our go-to app until drivers started to reject booking unless you used GrabPet.
We typically use the credit cards mentioned in the online spends section to book a ride via mobile apps. But there are a few other options too.
- Citi Cash Back Card – 8% cashback on Grab, minimum spend of S$888 per month, S$30,000 minimum income. There’s a cap of $25 cashback per month for the Grab transactions.
- UOB YOLO Card – 8% cashback on Grab during weekends and 3% during the weekdays. Minimum spend of S$600 per month, and S$30,000 minimum income required. Cashback caps at S$60 per month.
Too many cards and too hard to remember this?
Most of our friends find it hard to remember which credit card to use for what spending or they prefer not to hold too many credit cards. But as long as you remember to pay your bills in full on time, and make use of banking apps to easily check your credit card balance, it’s not that difficult.
The amount of money you could save or the number of miles you could earn in a year far outweighs the hassle of managing multiple cards.