ICBC UnionPay Dual Currency Credit Card: No-Fee Payments in SGD and RMB

Maximize Cashback in Singapore and Mainland China
ICBC Unionpay Dual Currency Platinum Card
ICBC Unionpay Dual Currency Platinum Card

ICBC UnionPay Dual Currency Credit Card: No-Fee Payments in SGD and RMB

Maximize Cashback in Singapore and Mainland China

4.0/5.0

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Pros

  • Frequent travelers to Mainland China
  • People who spend at least S$1,100 per month

Cons

  • Low spenders or those on a fixed budget
  • Infrequent travelers or those who don't travel to China
ICBC Unionpay Dual Currency Platinum Card
ICBC Unionpay Dual Currency Platinum Card

ICBC UnionPay Dual Currency Credit Card is ideal for moderate spenders with monthly budgets between S$1,100 and S$1,500. Frequent travelers to Mainland China can also benefit from the waived RMB/SGD exchange rate charges. For those who want to take advantage of the card's benefits, you should spend at least S$500 per month to earn 0.5% cashback for 3 consecutive months, and any additional spend will earn a max cashback of 8%. Monthly cashback is capped at S$50, S$60 and S$80 for each consecutive month.

ProsCons
  • Up to 8% cashback on purchases above S$500
  • No fee transactions in RMB in Mainland China
  • 3% or RMB 9.00 (whichever is higher) cash advance rate
  • Cashback capped
  • Max cashback only applicable after 3 months of min S$500 spend
Promotion: No promotion currently being offered
Card Overview
Pros:
  • Up to 8% cashback on purchases above S$500
  • No fee transactions in RMB in Mainland China
  • 3% cash advance rate or RMB 9.00 (whichever is higher)
  • Promotion:
Cons:
  • Cashback capped
  • Max cashback only applicable after 3 months of min S$500 spend

What Makes the ICBC UnionPay Dual Currency Credit Card Stand Out?

What makes the ICBC UnionPay Dual Currency Credit Card so unique is that it offers up to 8% cashback on qualifying purchases. Specifically, this card earns a cashback rate of 0.5% on qualifying spend below S$500 and up to 8% of qualifying spend on the amount above S500. The way in which the cashback works, however, is slightly more complicated than most other credit cards.

In order to reach the 8% cashback rate, you actually need to spend above S$500 for 3 consecutive months, earning cashback of 2% in the first month, 5% in the second and 8% in the third. This is defined as the qualifying quarter, and the following quarter the calculation resets.

To clarify, the spend amount of S$500 will earn cashback of 0.5%, or S$2.5, and any amount above S$500 will earn cashback of 2% in the first month, 5% in the second and 8% in the third. If you spend S$800 in the third month, your cashback will be ( [S$5000.5%]+[S$3008%]) S$26.50. For more details, please refer to the table below:

MonthCashback rate <S$500Cashback rate >S$500Month's Max Cashback
Month 10.5%2%S$50
Month 20.5%5%S$60
Month 30.5%8%S$80

Spend required to reach the cashback cap

MonthSpend to reach the capMonth's Max Cashback
Month 1S$1,094S$50
Month 2S$1,219S$60
Month 3S$1,469S$80

Key takeaway: You can only reach 8% cashback once per quarter, and it can only be the 3rd consecutive month of the quarter, given that each month you must spend at least S$500 on qualifying transactions.

Another great feature of this card is that for all transactions made in Mainland China, you have the option of paying in RMB and SGD, and all currency exchange fees will be waived on RMB transactions. In addition, at 3% or RMB 9.00 (whichever is higher), this card charges one of the lowest cash advance fees in Singapore, with the average being 6% or S$15 (whichever is higher).

If you apply for the ICBC UnionPay Dual Currency Credit Cardby December 31, 2020 you will also receive 6 DragonPass points. The points can be used for up to 6 free VIP airport lounge or 12 free VIP railway lounge visits.

Cashback Program Details and Exclusions

For ICBC UnionPay Dual Currency supplementary cardholders, your qualifying transactions will be calculated as a qualifying cashback transaction for the principal credit card cardmember. When calculating cashback, all qualifying transactions will be rounded to the nearest dollar, and credited once per calendar month within 30 business days from the end of each month.

The cashback awarded will be in SGD and must be used within 12 months from the credit date, otherwise it will expire. Cashback can be used in Singapore or any other country on purchases in Singapore dollars.

Overseas transactions will be converted to Singapore dollars at the foreign exchange rate determined by ICBC for cashback calculation. RMB/SGD currency exchange fees will be waived on any transaction in Mainland China. Cashback is not transferable or exchangeable for credits or other gifts.

Cashback Not Available On...

There are certain transactions which are not part of the qualifying transactions and do not qualify for cashback.

  • Cash advances, fees and charges
  • Annual fees, interest and late payment fees
  • Insurance payments
  • Any securities payments
  • Real estate related transactions
  • Any tax payments

ICBC UnionPay Dual Currency Credit Card's Features and Benefits

ICBC Global Travel Mastercard Credit Card
ICBC Global Travel Mastercard Credit Card
Card Overview
  • Annual Fee:
  • S$150, waived for three years
  • S$75 for supplementary card
  • Annual Income Requirement:
  • S$30,000 for Singapore citizens
  • S$48,000 for foreigners
Card Details:
  • Up to 8% cashback on purchases
  • RMB/SGD currency exchange fees waived in China
  • 3% cash advance rate

How Does ICBC UnionPay Dual Currency Credit Card Compare to Other Options?

In order to help you understand the ICBC UnionPay Dual Currency Credit Card's value in the context of your other choices, we've provided a head-to-head analysis comparing it to several other popular credit cards below.

ICBC UnionPay Dual Currency Credit Card v. OCBC Frank Card

OCBC FRANK Credit Card
OCBC FRANK Credit Card
Consider this if you make frequent purchases online and via mobile apps
  • Pros
    • 6% rebate on online, mobile contactless, and FX spend
    • Fee waiver with S$10,000 annual spend
    • Cons
      • 0.3% rebate on general purchases
      • Annual fee after 2 years
      • Capped cashback at S$75

      OCBC Frank Credit Card is a great option if your spending is limited to online purchases, mobile contactless spend and FX transactions, all of which offer 6% cashback. To qualify for these rates, you need to spend at least S$600 per month. If your spend doesn't fall within these three categories, or if you spend less than S$600, you will earn only 0.3% cashback.

      ICBC UnionPay Credit Card is a much better option if you don't want to be limited to those three spend categories, if your spending is more varied and you would like to earn cashback regardless of where you make your purchases. If your spend drops to below S$500, your cashback will still be 0.5% as opposed to 0.3% with OCBC Frank Card.

      ICBC UnionPay Dual Currency Credit Card v. Citibank SMRT Card

      Citibank SMRT Card
      Citibank SMRT Card
      Consider this if you're on a budget looking to save on everyday purchases
      • Pros
        • Good rewards rates for modest budgets
        • SMRT$ rewards on EZ-Reload transactions
        • Cons
          • Not suitable for higher budgets
          • Lacks travel and overseas rewards

          Citibank SMRT Credit Card is a good option for young professionals on a budget looking to save on everyday purchases. With no minimum spend you can earn 5% rebate on groceries, fast food and movies, and 3% on online shopping. The downside is that your cash rebate is capped at S$50 per month, meaning you should spend S$1,000 on groceries, fast food and movies to earn this amount.

          While Citibank SMRT Credit Card offers high rates on lower spend, ICBC UnionPay Credit Card offers a higher monthly cashback cap, of S$80 to be precise. In addition, it does not limit your ability to earn cashback based on categories with varied percentage savings. If you're looking for more flexibility when it comes to cashback, and if your spending is slightly higher than S$1,000 per month then you should consider ICBC UnionPay Credit Card.

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          Zoryana Melesh

          Zoryana is a Senior Research Analyst at ValueChampion, who focuses on evaluating credit cards, savings and fixed deposits in Singapore. She holds a BA in Political Science and an MPA in International Finance and Economic Policy, both from Columbia University. Prior to joining ValueChampion, Zoryana worked in treasury management consulting.

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