CIMB Visa Signature Card
Ever since November 2018, the CIMB Visa Signature Card has ruled
supreme over the other cash back credit cards with its unrivaled
10% cashback for local and overseas Dining,
spend and Groceries
and in the process providing valuable cashback for pretty much most
of the major expenses of a modern family.
That will be a distant memory, never to return as from 5 June 2019
onwards, CIMB has finally have had enough of burning cash through
the CIMB Visa
Signature Card and CIMB
Platinum MasterCard and has tightened the requirements for 10%
cashback for both cards. They have probably hit their target milestones
for number of cardholders and is unlikely to restore the generous
requirements for cashback in the near future.
So, what are the Changes?
The new requirements have 5 categories that will get awarded with
10% cash back (namely online shopping, groceries, beauty and wellness,
pets shop and veterinary service and cruise) instead of 3 categories
(online spend, groceries and dining). Dining as a cash back category
has been shifted to CIMB
Platinum MasterCard instead and in place of that are 3 not so
useful categories (yes, I am referring to beauty and wellness, pets
shop and veterinary service and cruise spend). Minimum spend requirements
has been hiked to $800 from $600 a month while per category cap
has been lowered drastically from $50 to $20.
Impact of the Changes
The lowering of each category cashback cap to $20 means that it
is almost impossible for a cardholder to receive 10% cashback on
all his or her spending on the card regularly. This is due to the
fact that one will hit the maximum category cashback cap with a
mere spend of $200 for that category. To add insult to injury, they
quietly narrowed the category from "online spending" to
"online shopping" which only include shopping sites instead
of all online spending. They also remove dining as a spending category
and added beauty and wellness, pets shop and veterinary service
and cruise spend as spending categories that qualify for 10% cash
back. Nobody goes on a cruise every month and even if one were to
go, it will easily cost more than $200.
Simply put, CIMB is tightening the requirements for 10% cash back
to make it more difficult for cardholders to earn cash back. This
is a common "Bait-and-Switch" tactic often employed by
banks to bait customers into signing up for some benefits only to
take away the benefits when they have fulfilled their target quota
for signups. It might be somewhat unethical but it is perfectly
within their rights to change the requirements or even alter the
cashback percentage at little or no advance notice.
Earn 0.2% base cashback with minimum $1 spend for all transactions.
There is no cap for base cashback. Base cashback will be credited
to the cardholder within the same statement month. Earn 9.8% bonus
cashback online shopping, groceries, beauty and wellness, pets shop
and veterinary service and cruise. Bonus cashback will be credited
in the following statement month after monthly spending requirement
of $800 has been met. Each category cashback is capped at $20 per
statement month and total cashback is capped at $100. Monthly spend
is calculated on a statement basis (Refer to your credit card statement
date for the start date).
Are there any Perks left?
The card was the Best
Cash Back Credit Card in Singapore for the first half of 2019
and rightly so with its superior 10% cash back for 3 frequent spend
New cardholders can receive a free return flight to 1 of the 16
choice destinations across Asia with minimum $600 spend for each
of the first 3 statement months from Card approval date. Destinations
include Bangkok, Brunei, Denpasar, Hanoi, Ho chi minh city,Hong
Kong , Jakarta, Krabi,Kuala Lumpur, Mactan Cebu, Manila, Penang,
Phnom Penh, Phuket, Surabaya, Taipei. According to promotional materials,
the free flight may refer to standard economy class on full-fledged
flight or budget economy class on budget airlines but we suspect
it will most probably be the later and the full-fledged flight ticket
option is there just in case there is no availability on budget
airlines. Qualified cardholders will be given opportunity to choose
three possible destinations and three possible travel dates and
CIMB will offer one of the selected destination and date as the
gift. We suspect most qualified cardholders will choose Taiwan and
Hong Kong but end up with the other third destination of their choice
as Taiwan and Hong Kong flights cost more on paper. The ambiguity
of the promotion with regards to destination and $600 minimum spend
for 3 months make the promotion not as attractive as it could have
What is left of its remaining perks are pretty insignificant if
you compare them to the other Cash
Back Credit Cards in the market. It has unlimited 0.2% base
cashback (minimum $1 spend) for all transactions and complimentary
basic travel accident insurance coverage of up to $500,000 for you
and your family when you book your flights using the CIMB
Visa Signature Card. We say basic travel insurance because only
the principal cardholder will have coverage for baggage loss or
delays, flight delays and trip cancellation. In any case, both perks
are nothing to shout about and definitely not worthy to entice you
to sign up for the card.
What should I do if I am an existing cardholder?
There is no harm in keeping the CIMB
Visa Signature Card due to its lifetime free membership perk
(which also applies for all CIMB
credit cards). However, CIMB
credit cards have few tie-ups with merchants for discounts which
means you will be better off chalking this card into your drawer
then carrying it about in your wallet if you decide to keep the
Alternatively, you can also stand up and be counted to vote against
such "Bait-and-switch" tactics by cancelling the card.
However, do note that the Bank reserve the rights to reverse any
signup gift or credit that you have previously received when signing
up for the credit card if you cancel the credit card less than 12
months after the end of the signup promotional period.