ICBC has $200 of free money up for grabs…

I wrote about the Standard Chartered free $188 promotion that you can leverage when you sign up for a Bonus$aver account and plonk $50,000 in.

If you don’t have $50,000 lying around, there are other free money opportunities for you still. Dave on the comments informed me that there was another free money opportunity with ICBC until 30th September.

You can earn up to $200 by

  1. Applying for both the ICBC Visa & ICBC UnionPay Dual Currency Credit Cards
  2. Activating the cards to get$50 for each activated principal card, and $25 for each activated supplementary card (up to a max of 2 cards per 1 principal card)

In other words…

ICBC says they need up to 4 weeks to process applications, and for you to get the cashback you must activate your card before 30 Sept, so you might want to jump on this asap if you intend to take part.

The full T&C can be found here and FAQ here. You have 1 year to utilize the cashback. Apart from the cashback, is there anything good about this card?

Well, there is no annual fee on either card for 3 years. The ICBC Visa Dual Currency card has no conversion fee for transactions in USD. You can even settle your bill directly in USD if you’re in Singapore (I believe that means going down to a branch and physically paying in USD, the thought of which amuses me somehow).

The ICBC UnionPay Dual Currency card is a RMB/SGD which does not charge you forex fees when you transact in RMB. You can similarly settle your bill physically in RMB. UnionPay is also the most widely accepted card in China. As amazing as it sounds, I’ve been to restaurants in Shanghai that didn’t accept Mastercard or Visa.

Both cards earn you 3 rewards points per S$1 spent. It appears, oddly enough, that there is only 1 item to redeem in the entire ICBC Rewards Catalogue. Surely that can’t be?

You can also get a free economy class ticket with every Air China or China Southern Airlines business class ticket purchased, and enjoy complimentary lounge access to ICBC airport lounges in China when departing for domestic flights. A list of airport lounges can be found here (in Chinese).

In any case I wouldn’t get too fussed about the ancillary benefits given my goal is to just get $200 free cash. The online application interface only seems to allow you to apply for 1 supplementary card though, so I’m assuming you need to apply for the second one manually. Even if I only got $100 out of this promotion though, I’d still consider it good value for 10 minutes of work.

Now that I think about it, you have $50-$100 on your Visa and $50-$100 on your UnionPay card. The Visa isn’t an issue, but you might be hard pressed to find where in Singapore you can use your UnionPay card. Here is a listing of merchants in Singapore that take UnionPay.

I’ve sent in my applications already, if you want to act on this you should do so soon.

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38 thoughts on “ICBC has $200 of free money up for grabs…”

    1. I tried going by the “online” application and at the end of the process, it asks me to print out the completed form, sign it and send back with the income documents and all. Since I still have to print and sign things, I abandoned the online application and then printed out the hardcopy application form and filled that in, since I can stipulate 2 supplementary cardholders in the hardcopy form.

      1. apply for your supplementary cards at the same time too. ICBC are bloody slow. You should call them up weekly to follow up too, this will speed the process up. Its kinda worth it, $200 free credit.

  1. I just wonder if it is worthwhile to hold on to an UnionPay card. So far, I’ve seen certain countries offer special deals for UnionPay cardholders but I do not remember the extent of that. I think some of the outlet mall shopping in EU offer that?

  2. Just wondering…

    Anyone got their cards approved yet?

    I just received a letter yesterday saying my application was rejected… My credit rating is AA and i have cards from almost every bank.. Bummer..

    1. still waiting. got a call from ICBC a few days ago to confirm some data. they say they need to get the approval done in china(?)

  3. I actually applied quite some weeks ago but still have not received mine. Anyone else who applied after this article who has already received?

  4. I applied on 23 Aug, mailed out the hardcopy on 30 Aug, and received my cards today (29 Sep). Just in the nick of time! In between I sent 2 chaser emails, and ICBC did a callback both times to say they will push it along. Apparently the delay is because the application is being vetted/processed in China. I hope it comes in time for the rest who are waiting, good luck!

      1. Same here, what a waste of time on our side, and a waste of administrative effort on theirs for cards that will never be used but for the promotion.

  5. I received my cards over the past few days, called ICBC’s card hotline and the guy (Raymond) said that they now base it on application date and not activation date. So he said to wait approx 3 months for the credit to appear in my statement.

    1. ok here’s my experience. called icbc. they say as long as the card is APPROVED before 30th sept and ACTIVATED before 31st oct you will get the cashback. mine was approved 29th sept, just in time.

      1. I just called them and apparently the cashback has been given to each successful card applied. I didn’t receive any statement too but the cashback has been indicated in their system. So it’s time to go spend some free money now!

        1. just spend using that card. will check on my next statement and hope the cashback will be reflected. the lady did tell me will take within 50 days upon activation.

          1. unfortunately i timed it wrongly- as a result of which i have to pay off $50 for the first month before I can enjoy my $50 next month. cashback didnt credit in time for last month’s statement

  6. Hi

    I applied this once you posted and got approved after the promotion due date, however they just sent me a statement and credit of $150 is reflected (1 supp card). Thanks.

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