Why It Is Time to Ditch Your ANZ Optimum World MasterCard

The ANZ Optimum World MasterCard is the only cashback card I have in my wallet. Since I do enjoy dining (and staying) at hotels quite a bit, the card has been a little bit of a godsend since it allows you to earn 5% back in cashback if you pick Dining & Leisure as your preferred category. Most of you should know that using your Citibank Rewards Card or UOB Preferred Platinum Visa will not earn you 4 miles per dollar because hotels are generally excluded from bonus spending. One year in with the ANZ Optimum World MasterCard, it's time to finally say goodbye.

 ANZ Optimum World MasterCard | Photo Credit: ANZ 

ANZ Optimum World MasterCard | Photo Credit: ANZ 

Unsuccessful Fee Waiver

While I have no issues paying for the annual fees of credit cards that give bonus miles (in fact, I actually look forward to paying for them as I value miles a lot more), I cannot justify paying the annual fee of a card that does not give any benefits. While the ANZ Optimum World MasterCard was not a bad card to keep in the wallet, it had one perk (and one perk only) - 5% rebate on your bonus category of choice. Therefore, when I was asked to pay the annual fee of S$180, I decided that it was time to cancel this card - read on for the quick breakdown on the math.

 You have to spend S$3,600 a year to break-even on the Annual Fee (S$180)

You have to spend S$3,600 a year to break-even on the Annual Fee (S$180)

Break-even Point: Spend S$3,600 to Cover Annual Fee

Assuming you ONLY use the ANZ Optimum World MasterCard for your preferred category only - remember you also earn rebates in S$2 intervals up to S$30 cashback (S$600 spend) per transaction - you will have to spend a total of S$3,600 in order for you to break-even. If you factor in the way rebates are rounded down, this number is going to be higher but just for illustration, you will have to spend on average, S$300 a month to earn S$180 in rebates over the period of one year. Unless you do spend a significant amount on this card, the S$3,600 could be put to better use - assuming these transactions are online, you can easily earn 14,400 miles (instead of trying to break-even) if you were to charge it to the DBS Woman's World MasterCard - more than enough for a return flight to Bali on Singapore Airlines! 

 Fly Business Class instead of Getting Cashback (which you have to spend anyway)

Fly Business Class instead of Getting Cashback (which you have to spend anyway)

Focus on Miles Instead

Now that the Imagine Card is going to decommissioned soon, it will be difficult to get 4 miles per dollar on dining. Sure, there is still the UOB Preferred Platinum American Express Card but firstly, you can no longer apply for this card and secondly, restaurants within hotels have a hotel MCC and therefore will not count towards the bonus accrual rate. The HSBC Advance Visa Platinum excludes dining within hotels too. So yes, it seems rather bleak but honestly, I am confident that something else will pop up soon - maybe a FEVO + DBS Woman's World MasterCard combo? Answer this, do you really want S$30 cashback each month when you can enjoy a free flight instead? 

 ANZ Optimum World MasterCard | Photo Credit: ANZ 

ANZ Optimum World MasterCard | Photo Credit: ANZ 

Forgot About Your Preferred Category? Get 1% (instead of 5%) Back

You are required to elect your preferred category before the end of every quarter in order to enjoy 5% off in that category for the upcoming quarter. If you forget, you will be earning just 1% cashback for all your spend - that's right ANZ wants you to trip up. While I understand that the category selection may be great if you want to switch around from quarter to quarter but there is absolutely no reason for them to nullify your elected category every quarter.

Final Thoughts

The ANZ Optimum World MasterCard is not a bad card for people who refuse to accept that miles are indeed the new cashbacks. Honestly, earning miles and then redeeming them for flights in premium cabins is not difficult - there is a learning curve but it makes huge economical sense (not to mention how satisfying it really is too!). Find me a credit card that gives me > 35% cashback and we'll talk. For the rest of us, forget this card - there are absolutely no perks that you can't get with the ANZ Travel Visa Signature Card. Focus on the end game and stop taking the easy way out.