From 1 September 2021, CIMB will be harmonizing the benefits of the CIMB Platinum Mastercard and CIMB World Mastercard, effectively making them a single product.
Unfortunately, this will bring about a major nerf in the form of reduced cashback, new minimum spending requirements, and new rewards exclusion categories- in particular GrabPay top-ups.
Revised earn structure
I’m not really concerned about the changes CIMB is making to eligible cashback categories, seeing as how I’d never use a cashback card for any of these transactions anyway. But for the sake of completeness, we’ll take a quick glance at the revised CIMB Platinum Mastercard and CIMB World Mastercard benefits below:
|Till 31 Aug 21||From 1 Sep 21|
|Cashback on Eligible Categories||2%, with no min. spend||
|Cashback on Other Spend||1.5%, with no min. spend||1%, with min. spend S$500|
As you can see, the conditions are getting much more restrictive come 1 September 2021, with lower cashback rates and new minimum spend requirements. In a market where banks are getting more liberal with their cashback offerings (see: UOB Absolute Cashback Card), CIMB is headed in the wrong direction.
You can read the revised T&Cs (plus definition of eligible categories) in this document.
New rewards exclusion categories
Here’s the part I really care about. From 1 September 2021, CIMB will also be introducing new rewards exclusion categories, as highlighted in red below:
|💳 CIMB Rewards Exclusion List
(w.e.f 1 Sept 2021)
I have no idea why they decided to stick Mileslife on the list, seeing as how it went out of business two years ago, but the addition of CardUp/ipaymy isn’t really a big deal seeing as how CIMB cards would never be the right options anyway.
What is a big deal is the addition of prepaid wallets like GrabPay, Singtel Dash, ShopeePay and Lazada to the list. It means there’s one less card on the market for such transactions, although thankfully alternatives still exist.
There are still a handful of credit cards that offer rewards for GrabPay top-ups, either as part of their regular T&Cs or as part of a special promotion.
|💳 Cards for GrabPay Top-Ups|
|AMEX SIA Business Card
|6.8 mpd||Until 30 Sep and capped at S$1K (registration required). 1.8 mpd otherwise|
|AMEX True Cashback Card
|1.5% cashback||No cap|
||From 1 Aug to 30 Sep, min. S$1K max. S$20K per month
|OCBC Premier Visa Infinite
|UOB Absolute Cashback Card
|1.7% cashback||No cap|
Last call for easy sign-up gifts
|CIMB World Mastercard
I suppose the corollary of all this is a confirmation that until 31 August 2021, GrabPay top-ups will earn 1.5% cashback with the CIMB World Mastercard, and count towards sign-up bonuses.
That’s great for anyone who doesn’t already have a CIMB credit card. Today (31 July) is the last day of SingSaver’s sign-up offer for new-to-bank CIMB customers, who will get S$120 cash or a pair of Jabra Elite 75t headphones when they spend S$500 per month in the first two months of approval.
|⚠️ CIMB defines “new-to-bank” as customers who do not currently hold a principal CIMB credit card, and have not done so in the past 12 months.|
For example, a new CIMB World Mastercard cardholder who gets approved on 31 July 2021 will need to spend S$500 during each of these two periods:
- First 30 days: 1-30 Aug 2021
- Next 30 days: 31 Aug to 30 Sep 2021
The first 30 days aren’t an issue, since GrabPay top-ups will still count towards eligible spending and topping up S$500 would earn you S$7.50 cashback (1.5%) straight away.
For the next 30 days you’ll need to spend on something else, unless you’re lucky enough to get approved on 31 July (does CIMB do instant card approvals?) and can squeeze in S$500 of GrabPay top-ups on 31 August before the new restrictions kick in.
Your total return for S$1,000 of spend would be:
- S$15 cashback from CIMB (or S$12.50 if your second 30 day period falls from 1 Sep)
- S$120 cash/Jabra Elite 75t headphones from SingSaver
That’s not too bad, all things considered. Be sure to follow the instructions in this post carefully in order to get your gift.
Most miles chasers won’t really care about the cashback revisions that CIMB is making to its Platinum and World Mastercard cards, but they’ll definitely want to take note of the new rewards exclusions. Cashback cards, after all, are still useful in situations when you can’t earn miles.
I’m sticking to the AMEX SIA Business Card for my GrabPay top-ups (1.8 mpd), but if you don’t qualify for that card, the OCBC Premier Banking Visa Infinite (1.2 mpd) or UOB Absolute Cashback Card (1.7% cashback) would be the next best options.