Dining credit cards

Dining out is a favourite leisure activity for many Singaporeans. But it can be expensive, unless you have the right credit card. Choose a credit card which gives you access to not only exclusive privileges (such as reserved or preferred seating) but also to cashback, discounts or extra air miles on dining spend.

By   |   Verified by Kwok Zhong Li   |   Updated 19th August 2020

Comparing dining credit cards

Citi Lazada Credit Card

On Citi's website

Citi Lazada Credit Card

Cashback

N/A

Cashback cap

N/A

Minimum spend

N/A

Sign up bonus

S150 Lazada Vouchers

Highlights

  • Earn 10X Reward Points, thereafter (Terms and Conditions apply).
  • Earn 5X Reward Points on your Dining, Travel, Entertainment and Commute (Terms and Conditions apply).
  • Enjoy shipping rebate when you spend a min. of S$50 per transaction at Lazada.
  • Indulge convenience on your transactions with the Citi Mobile® App.
  • Feel secure with this card's complimentary travel insurance.

Finty Rewards

More info
  • $10 cash upon getting your card, even for existing Citi cardholders

Bank promo

  • Get S$150 Lazada Vouchers when you spend S$1,200 or the equivalent.
American Express Platinum Credit Card

On American Express' website

Apply by 30 November, 2020.

American Express Platinum Credit Card

Cashback

N/A

Cashback cap

N/A

Minimum spend

N/A

Sign up bonus

25,000 points

Highlights

  • Enjoy Love Dining @ Restaurants privileges which offers up to 50% savings on food orders at a handpicked selection of popular restaurants.
  • Love Dining @ Hotels offers you exceptional year-round privileges and savings of up to 50% on food bills for unlimited visits at selected 5 star hotels around Singapore.
  • Enjoy a complimentary drink with purchase of at least one item from the merchant’s menu at over a dozen fashionable bars in Singapore.

Finty Rewards

More info
  • $10 Finty Rewards to be redeemed within 3 months after applying through Finty

Bank promo

  • Apply and receive S$150 Lazada vouchers upon Card approval and payment of annual fees.Spend S$5,000 within first 3 months of Card approval and receive a 24" Samsung FHD LED Monitor, and a j5 HD Webcam.
HSBC Advance Credit Card

On HSBC's website

HSBC Advance Credit Card

Cashback

3.50% on any spend

Cashback cap

$125.00 on any spend

Minimum spend

$2,000.00 per month

Sign up bonus

$150.00 and more

Highlights

  • Up to 3.5% cashback on spending worldwide, no min spend
  • Yes please to exclusive retail, dining, entertainment, travel, and hotel privileges

Finty Rewards

More info
  • $10 cash upon getting your card, even for existing HSBC cardholders

Bank promo

  • New Cardholders: Samsonite T5 68cm Spinner Luggage worth $560 or $150 cash back.
  • Existing Cardholders: $30 cash back.
OCBC 365 Credit Card

On OCBC's website

OCBC 365 Credit Card

Cashback

Up to 6.00% on dining spend

Cashback cap

$80.00 on any spend

Minimum spend

$800.00 per month

Sign up bonus

N/A

Highlights

  • 6% cashback on dining and online food delivery.
  • 3% cashback on groceries, travel, land transport, utilities and online travel.
  • Save up to 22.1% at Caltex and 20.2% at Esso on petrol, as well as 5% cashback at all other petrol stations
  • All other purchases still get you 0.3% rebate
  • Up to $500,000 travel insurance coverage and up to $400 coverage for baggage loss

Finty Rewards

More info
  • $10 cash upon getting your card, even for existing OCBC cardholders

Bank promo

  • Earn cashback 7 days a week, 365 days a year, everywhere.
Citi Prestige Credit Card

On Citi's website

Citi Prestige Credit Card

Cashback

N/A

Cashback cap

N/A

Minimum spend

N/A

Sign up bonus

62,500 points and more

Highlights

  • Earn 5 ThankYou points (2 miles) per $1 overseas spend and 3.25 ThankYou points (1.3 miles) per $1 local spend
  • No cap on ThankYou points and miles won't expire on you
  • A concierge team to support your lifestyle at home and abroad
  • Complimentary 4th night stay
  • Earn miles or ThankYou points when you pay your tax, rent, condominium management fee, school fee or electricity bill with Citi PayAll on the Citi Mobile® App

Finty Rewards

More info
  • $10 cash upon getting your card, even for existing Citi cardholders

Bank promo

  • Choose to receive either 62,500 Citi ThankYou points (25,000 miles) or a Gadget Welcome Gift (terms and conditions apply).
OCBC Frank Credit Card

On OCBC's website

OCBC Frank Credit Card

Cashback

Up to 6.00% on any foreign currency spend

Cashback cap

Up to $25.00

Minimum spend

$600.00 per month

Sign up bonus

N/A

Highlights

  • 6% cashback for online purchases on your favourite sites and apps such as Grab, Lazada, ASOS, Spotify and Netflix.
  • 6% cashback for contactless mobile payments and foreign currency spending made in-store.

Finty Rewards

More info
  • $10 cash upon getting your card, even for existing OCBC cardholders
HSBC Visa Platinum Credit Card

On HSBC's website

HSBC Visa Platinum Credit Card

Cashback

Up to 5.00% on dining spend

Cashback cap

N/A

Minimum spend

N/A

Sign up bonus

N/A

Highlights

  • 5% rebate local grocers and on your recurring TV, internet, and mobile bills
  • Save 20.2% at Caltex and 18.30% at Shell on petrol
  • 2% rebate at local restaurants
  • Earn 1 point per $1 spend for rewards on top of cash rebate

Finty Rewards

More info
  • $10 cash upon getting your card, even for existing HSBC cardholders

Bank promo

  • Samsonite T5 68cm Spinner Luggage worth $560 or $150 cashback ($30 cashback for existing HSBC cardholders)
HSBC Revolution Credit Card

On HSBC's website

HSBC Revolution Credit Card

Cashback

N/A

Cashback cap

N/A

Minimum spend

N/A

Sign up bonus

N/A

Highlights

  • Earn 5 points per $1 spend on online shopping, local dining, and local entertainment
  • All other purchases still earn you 1 point per $1 spend
  • Enough points can get you cash, items, or vouchers for dining, shopping, or travel

Finty Rewards

More info
  • $10 cash upon getting your card, even for existing HSBC cardholders

Bank promo

  • Samsonite T5 68cm Spinner Luggage worth $560 or $150 cashback ($30 cashback for existing HSBC cardholders)
Citibank SMRT Card

On Citi's website

Citibank SMRT Card

Cashback

Up to 14.00% on petrol spend

Cashback cap

N/A

Minimum spend

N/A

Sign up bonus

$120.00

Highlights

  • Up to 5% rebate at selected groceries.
  • Up to 5% rebate on fast food, movies and coffee.
  • Up to 3% rebate on online shopping.
  • Up to 2% rebate on your EZ-Reload with no convenience fee.
  • Rebates are redeemed as vouchers or offset your next purchase 

Finty Rewards

More info
  • $10 cash upon getting your card, even for existing Citi cardholders

Bank promo

  • Enjoy waived annual fee for the first 2 years of your card. Plus, receive S$120 cashback when you spend S$1,200 in the first 3 months!

Overview

If you eat out frequently, it’s best to pay with a credit card that will maximise your rewards and get you other benefits as well. But selecting a dining credit card from the many that are available can be confusing.

When you’re zeroing in on a credit card, don’t be taken in by first impressions. It's quite common to get a benefit like an annual fee waiver. Additionally, many cards give you points without requiring you to meet a minimum spend threshold.

But fee waivers and minimum spend requirements aren't the only factors you should consider. Dig a little deeper. A seemingly generous rewards points structure may be available only for purchases made at specific restaurants that you don’t usually frequent. Similarly, a high rebate at certain restaurants could be limited to weekdays.

So, how do you select the best credit card for dining?

Firstly, check if the credit card charges an annual fee. As we mentioned a fee waiver is a fairly standard benefit in this category. So, when you're choosing a dining credit card, you shouldn't pay an annual fee unless there's an excellent reason to do so.

Here are some other features you should take into consideration when selecting a card:

  • Cashback or points?. Does the card provide cashback, rewards points, or air miles on dining spends? Which one suits you best?
  • Points structure. If points are offered, check the rewards points structure and determine how easy it is to redeem points.
  • Home deliveries. Find out if getting food delivered to your home also entitles you to cashback or rewards points. 
  • Fast Food rebate. Is there a rebate or points for fast food spends?
  • Minimum spend. Ascertain if there’s a minimum spend involved to earn points or cashback.

Consider your own specific needs

When choosing between different dining credit cards, pay attention to your specific requirements. Would you like to keep your annual fee to the minimum? Or are the cashback or rewards points and other perks your primary consideration?

Remember that a dining credit card may also offer benefits that aren't linked to eating out. Here’s what some of the best dining credit cards can offer in addition to perks like cash back on dining, free à la carte items, and discounts on food bills:

  • Cashback on signing up for the card
  • Discounts on petrol purchases
  • Free travel insurance and coverage for baggage loss
  • Air miles instead of cash back

So, if these extras are important to you, be sure to consider them when choosing between different dining credit cards.

An example of multiple benefits

Let's see how these add-on privileges work:

Consider the OCBC 365 Credit Card. At the time of writing this, it offers a generous rebate of 6% on local and overseas dining. The rebate is even available for online food delivery. But that's not all – using the card has other rewards as well. You can save up to 23% on your petrol spends. And there's even free travel insurance.

If you are deciding between different dining credit cards, you should also keep your eyes open for the promotions that card issuers offer to new customers, such a bonus points/miles or free gifts.

Credit card dining promotions can be very rewarding if you use them correctly

Among the credit cards in the market, which should you choose for eating out? When you're deciding, it's a good idea to compare the privileges and discounts that different credit cards offer. There could be big discounts on food orders at selected restaurants or bonus rewards points for meeting a minimum spend target within a specified period.

Some dining credit cards even offer cash back on dining spends and payments made for fast food. Another great credit card dining promotion involves providing cardholders with benefits such as reserved or preferred seating.

There are several other attractive types of bank promos. For example, some cards might provide new cardholders with a choice between thousands of rewards points or a welcome gift, such as a tablet or a premium hairdryer.

Take a minute to understand what qualifies as dining spend

There's a critical issue regarding cashback on dining spends that you need to be aware of. The card issuer may exclude specific merchants from its approved list of places where you can earn cashback on dining spends.

For example, a card may disallow cashback on dining spends at the Crystal Jade Group of Restaurants, Swensen's, and Jack's Place Steak House & Restaurants, among other merchants.

There’s another point you need to verify. If you regularly use online food delivery services, it would be a good idea to check if cashback on dining spends is available for this category.

Double dip to maximise your benefits

Want to get more out of your dining credit card? Try double dipping. That's the practice of gaining additional benefits on top of the regular cashback or rewards points you're entitled to.

For example, a restaurant may be offering an upfront discount or 1-for-1 deal for paying with a particular bank's credit card. So if you keep your eyes open for a promotion involving your bank, you can double dip with a discount from the restaurant plus the cashback or points from the bank.

Learn about dining credit cards

Find out how dining credit card promotions save you money whether eating out or getting food delivery.

  • Pros & cons

  • Tips

  • FAQs

All your spends may not be included for calculating cashback

This could come as a surprise, but the terms and conditions of the dining card could contain a clause that allows the amount for alcohol in your bill to be excluded when calculating your cashback. So, it's best to check this point when you're comparing cards.

Availability of supplementary cards

Most issuers offer free supplementary cards for family members. The number of additional cards you're allowed could be as high as five, and they will help you accumulate cashback or points.

Dining cards carry additional benefits

The primary advantage of a dining credit card can be the generous cashback on your dining bill. This can be for a sum equal to 10% of your bill. But the benefits aren't restricted to the cashback you can earn on eating out or ordering food. Many dining credit cards also provide points for:

  • Travel and entertainment
  • Grocery shopping
  • Purchase of petrol

You could also be entitled to complimentary travel and baggage insurance as well as an additional free night's stay at your hotel when you're on holiday.

Generous sign-up incentives

Some cards offer thousands of air miles or high-value gifts to new cardmembers. These can range from electronic gadgets to luggage. At times, the card issuer may provide additional cashback or air miles if an initial spend target is achieved within a specified period.

Get rewarded for what you enjoy doing

Singaporeans love dining out. And when they pay with a credit card that rewards dining, they get double the enjoyment.

High eligibility requirements

This can be a disadvantage with some dining credit cards. After carrying out extensive research, you may find a card that ticks all the boxes, only to discover that you don't meet the minimum income required to apply.

Special treatment at your favourite restaurant

Your dining credit card could make you a special guest. Card issuers often tie up with restaurants to offer cardholders privileges like confirmed reservations or first preference for your chosen table.

The restaurant you frequent may not be on the card's approved list

This could be a real dampener. Imagine a situation where you select a card that has a generous rewards program. It also meets all your other criteria. But you subsequently discover that your favourite restaurant isn't on its approved list.

You may need to call the restaurant before you visit

Bear in mind that the restaurant at which you plan to use your card may not be aware of the specific benefits that you're entitled to. So, it's advisable to call and check with them first. Do remember to do this especially if you're expecting an immediate discount on your bill.

Check that your favourite restaurant is on the list

Don't make the mistake of finding out that the place you eat at most often is either not on the list of places where your new dining card earns rewards, or, worse still, is specifically excluded. Just make sure you read the small print.

Choose the card type that suits your lifestyle

It may seem like stating the obvious, but make sure that you don't get carried away by the apparent incentives of a dining credit card when the way you spend your time and money may be better suited by an air miles, or petrol, or shopping credit card. You can, of course, decide to have several cards to use on different occasions, but if you're aiming to maximise your rewards by concentrating on one card, make sure it's the right one.

If you're entitled to special privileges, call ahead

If paying with your dining credit card is going to give you some special entitlements, such as reserved seating or upfront discounts, it can be a good idea to call the venue ahead of time to make sure they are informed about what you're expecting.

Use all the benefits, not just dining benefits

Remember that some cards which call themselves dining cards also offer cashback, discounts and other privileges on spending in more than one category. So don't miss out on any travel, shopping, entertainment or petrol cashback and discounts that may come with your dining card.

Are there credit cards which give cashback on dining, to the exclusion of other benefits?

No. Dining, or Dining & Leisure, is likely to be just one of the spending categories you can choose from. Other categories may include groceries, petrol, travel, entertainment and shopping, and it may be possible to select more than one cashback category.

Are there other types of dining benefit cards, other than cashback cards?

Yes. Rather than offering a cashback, some dining cards offer air miles at a higher rate on dining purchases. You could also receive other benefits, such as complimentary travel insurance and airport lounge access, with a card that focuses on a combination of air miles, dining and travel.

At which kind of eateries can I earn benefits with a dining credit card?

Most dining cashback cards reward dining at all restaurants, cafés, bars and fast food delivery services, worldwide. A few may focus on fast food and coffee outlets only.

Restaurants located within hotels may be excluded with some cards. But other cards specifically select restaurants located within a single hotel (e.g. Singapore Marriott Tang Plaza) for particularly high discounts.

How much does it cost to have a dining card?

A cashback dining card is likely to have an annual fee in the region of $160 to $195, although some cards have no fee and others give a fee waiver for up to two years.

An air miles card with boosted miles on dining expenditure could cost as little as $180 or as much as $488, depending on the quantity and type of any additional benefits attached.

As always, the cost of the card needs to be weighed against the value of the benefits and rewards, and other possible fees (such as foreign currency transaction fees) and interest charges need to be taken into account.

How often will the cashback be credited to my account?

Typically, each quarter’s cashback is credited in the second month of the following quarter.

Is there a minimum spend in order to earn a cashback?

Some cards do not allocate any cashback on individual purchases below $10. Many cards will have a minimum amount to be spent each month in order to qualify for the rebate (e.g. $600 for each month in the quarter). Occasionally, the terms will stipulate that there must be a minimum number of transactions of a certain size each month, such as at least six transactions of no less than $30 each.

Is there any limit to the amount I can earn as cashback?

A few cards have no limit on the amount of cashback you can accumulate in a single month, quarter or year. Many cards do limit your earnings however, to $60 per month, for example. After this cap is reached, the rebate percentage may drop significantly (e.g. to 0.25%) or disappear altogether.

What are typical cashback or discount percentages on dining?

A typical cashback would fall between 5% and 10% for dining in restaurants and cafés, and up to 14% for online fast food delivery services. You may get a higher rebate for weekend dining.

It’s possible to receive an on-the-spot discount of between 20% and 50% at selected dining establishments (although the higher rate is more likely to apply only at more expensive upmarket restaurants).

While it is tempting simply to choose the card offering the highest percentage rebate, you need to consider other factors, such as the annual fee, any minimum spending conditions and whether there is a cap on the amount of rebate you can earn.

What kind of non-dining benefits can I expect in addition to cashback?

As well as cashback on dining and other spending, you may receive one or more of the following benefits:

  • Petrol discounts
  • A sign-up or first purchase gift of cash or merchandise
  • Free Grab rides
  • Air miles or rewards points
  • One or two years annual fee waiver

What other dining benefits can I expect in addition to cashback?

Some dining cards include free membership of exclusive dining discount and privilege programs like Palate, Love Dining, The Far Card, and Citi Gourmet Pleasures. Other possibilities are invitations to special gourmet events with accompanying discounts, or 1-for-1 specials on meals and drinks.

Who should consider a dining credit card?

If eating out is a big part of your way of life, you need to consider one of the credit cards listed on this page, either as your main card, or as an adjunct card that you remember to bring out when paying your restaurant bill in order to extract the best advantages.

You don’t need to be a regular user of upmarket restaurants in order to benefit. There are cards available to suit users of fast food services, or those who like to grab a coffee on their way to work.

Frequent diners and big spenders will need to look for a card with a high rebate cap, or no cap at all on the amount of cashback they can earn in a month or year.

Will I get a cashback or discount on dining in Singapore only?

The cashback usually applies wherever in the world you choose to dine. However, onsite discounts may be limited to restaurants in Singapore only, or to particular restaurant chains globally.