Prior to 28 September 2015, the Citibank DIVIDEND Card was one that was held by many Singaporeans (drivers especially). With the new changes that have taken place earlier this week, is it still worthwhile to hold on to this card? Here are some things you should know (some of which are in the fine print) before you decide:
1. Minimum Spend of S$888 Per Month
Before you look at the exciting features of the card that they put in front of your face, you need to know that you will have to spend at least S$888 per month in order to take advantage of the impressive cash back rates. Simple.
2. 8 % Cash Back on Petrol, Grocery and Dining - Really?
All retail spend will qualify for 0.25% cash back (which is pathetic but) but an additional 7.75% cash back will apply for Petrol, Grocery and Dining spend (making it a total of 8% cash back). 8% off dining is impressive - even for someone who is obsessed about collecting miles from credit card spend. Obviously, there's a catch (or multiple catches). Firstly, in order to get 8% back on bonus categories, you will have to spend S$888 in that month (as mentioned previously).
Secondly, each of these three categories have a maximum cash back cap of DIV$25 per month. Since this DIV$25 is applicable only to the 7.75% component of the bonus spend (since there is no limit on the 0.25% component), this effectively means that you should only spend up to S$333.34 (rounded-up) one EACH category to take full advantage of the DIV$25 rebate. Since 0.25% cash back is extremely unattractive, it will only make sense if you benefit from the 8% effective cash back and therefore, in order for this card to be considered attractive you should be spending on ALL THREE categories - if you do not own a vehicle or have the need to pay for petrol then this card is most probably not for you. To fully exploit this card, you should be spending S$296 on EACH of the THREE categories to make up S$888 spend (or S$333.34 on each of the categories for DIV$75 cash back) in order to get 8% back in DIV$.
3. Cash Back Redemption
Cash back is automatically credited into your statement in multiples of S$10 AFTER meeting the S$50 requirement. In the perfect scenario above where you spend S$333.34 across each of the THREE categories, you will be awarded approximately DIV$75 in cash back. Since the cash back is credited in multiples of S$10, you will only see S$70 on your statement (but don't worry, the remaining DIV$5 will be carried over to the next statement). In the event where you have only accumulated less than S$50 in DIV$ for the month (in which case, you should not be using this card), the DIV$ will be carried over until the minimum S$50 redemption requirement is met.
If you are thinking about getting this card because you want 8% off dining, you are probably better off with the ANZ Optimum World MasterCard (5% on category of choice) or the OCBC 365 Credit Card (up to 6% on dining). If you are confident on spending S$333.34 on TWO out of THREE of the bonus categories, you will still have to make up at least S$221.32 in the ordinary retail spend (which gives you only 0.25% cash back) - this is still quite a lucrative situation and here's the analysis:
Spending only on Two out of Three Categories
Dining (Spend | Total Rebate):
S$333.34 | S$25.83
Grocery (Spend | Total Rebate):
S$333.34 | S$25.83
Retail (Spend | Total Rebate):
S$221.32 | S$0.55
S$52.22 (approximately 5.88%)
You can still effectively get up to 5.88% in rebates even if you max out on just TWO of THREE bonus categories (doesn't matter if it is Dining and Grocery OR Dining and Petrol OR Grocery and Petrol). The Citibank DIVIDEND Card is still a pretty decent card in spite of all the changes if you can hit S$888 spend each month easily.