Max value: Finding the best credit card to reward your lifestyle
If you’ve read our previous post about better ways to conquer financial stability, you’ll know that credit cards should never be used as an alternative for cash that you don’t have on hand. The only other reason why we should even have credit cards, other than to build a strong credit history, is to take advantage of the extra rewards we get with every swipe.
But among all of the banks and card products offered in Hong Kong, what criteria can we use to narrow down our selection? Before, we might have gone with whatever card that was offered at our usual bank, simplifying our effort to keep track of transactions, payments and balances among the accounts. But since the development of personal finance apps like gini, money management across different institutions have been streamlined into one neat summary on our phones.
Now, we can choose the card that best suits our spending lifestyle rather than our management limitations. So if you’re a shopper, a foodie or a traveler, there’s a rewards program out there for you to give you more of what you want. We’ve put together a list of popular credit cards that have perks and extras that will add more value to each of your hard-earned dollars in exchange for your electronic payment transactions.
Rewarding your brand loyalty
If you’re an avid shopper at any of these stores, you can use the money spent with these cards to earn rewards that will help fund your next purchase from your favorite brand.
Receive special discounts and event invitations to Harvey Nichols stores in Hong Kong.
Receive a $200 MUJI voucher as a welcome gift and earn $5 MUJI dollars with every HK$100 spent with the card at MUJI stores.
For online shoppers, the Citibank Clear Card offers up to 2% cash rebate.
Bank of China i-card offers 10x Gift Points for all online transactions.
When you shop at SOGO with this card, you can get 5% cashback for your purchases. Welcome offers also include SOGO gift certificates and a free meal at designated SOGO restaurants during your birthday month.
Get special savings and 2% cashback when you shop at I.T, as well as 1.2% cashback when you spend anywhere else.
If you spend a lot of time shopping in Causeway Bay, use this card at Midtown to receive an HK150 cash voucher upon a net single transaction of HK500 or more. You can also get free facials and beauty vouchers from Lane Crawford upon spending HK8000 in the store in a day.
Get 5% off your SaSa purchases when you use this card and enjoy SaSa VIP membership plus SaSa gift certificate welcome rewards upon successful card application.
Rewarding your appetite
If most of your money is spent on food or groceries, these cards are for you.
Enjoy up to 10% off on purchases at city’super, LOG-ON and cookedDeli and receive city’super vouchers when you hit spending milestones with this credit card.
Mastercard holders can get a lot of dining discounts around the world. With this credit card, you can enjoy up to 20% off at many restaurants around Hong Kong, including award-winning restaurants at some of the city’s best hotels.
If you’re more likely to eat at KFC rather than a Michelin-star restaurant, there’s actually a card for that too. Get 5% off on your fried chicken orders and enjoy 10% off for delivery or birthday celebrations while you’re at it. This card also gives you free chicken on your birthday!
For your coffee fix, this credit card allows you to upgrade any drink to a larger size at Starbucks. The other buy-1-get-1-free buffet perks are great too, but first, coffee.
Rewarding your wanderlust
A lot of people worry about saving up enough money to fund their travels, but if you spend money the right way, you can actually end up traveling for free.
The Asia Miles program makes it so easy to accumulate points and turn them into trips. Both of these cards can help you accelerate your point earnings to exchange them for travel rewards. As a bonus, purchases made at Cathay Pacific with the Amex card gets you even more miles while Standard Chartered offers HKD1 = 1 Asia Mile upon spending at partner restaurants on Mondays.
Citibank has its own mileage rewards program that you can earn by using this card. Redeem flights, hotels and car rentals through PremierMiles and enjoy a free roundtrip ticket from Hong Kong to Taipei as a welcome gift. Instant free travels!
Travel with luxury and enjoy all that The Peninsulas have to offer worldwide. In addition to savings on its restaurants and spas, you can also enjoy exclusive rates and room upgrades on your bookings.
If you spend a lot of time traveling locally around Hong Kong, you might as well get rewarded for your extensive Octopus use. This credit card doubles as your Octopus and gets you 15% off on KMB and LWB bus fares. You also earn $1 Octopus Cash for every HK$200 spent.
Most of these credit cards have their own rewards programs to collect points in addition to the extra perks that come with a specific card product. Take advantage of these rewards to save money; you can even apply for more than one and use each card according to its benefits. You can easily manage your spending with gini across all your accounts and keep yourself in check as you compare your savings balance with your credit card balances. Download the app now before you apply for a new card and get your money managed for maximum value.