2017 was the first year that Heartland Boy officially stopped receiving angbaos. This meant that he can no longer rely on red packets to grow his annual savings. However, Heartland Boy received greetings and well-wishes from the recipients in exchange. To be able to see the smiles on the children’s faces reminded him that he has now matured into a full-fledged adult with more responsibilities. Now that Chinese New Year is over, Heartland Boy decided to console himself by recounting the total cashback that he has received in 2016. A majority of his cash back in 2016 came from expenditure on transport, dining, holidays. These categories typically make up a bulk of his annual expenses.
1.Cashback From Holidays!
Last year, Heartland Boy wrote an article on how to save on hotel accommodation. One of the methods he recommended was to select a hotel from booking.com, zuji, hotels.com etc through Shopback. Shopback is a cashback website that allows members to earn cashback online with each purchase made. Heartland Boy employed this tactic to great effect last year and managed to earn $119 of cashback from Shopback in a single trip.
This $119 was transferred to his bank account once they turned “redeemable” after 60 days. It was an entirely hassle-free process. Readers of Heartland Boy would be pleased to learn that they can sign up using this referral link
to earn an instant $5 cashback. Using Heartland Boy’s referral code, you also get to enjoy another $5 when you make your first purchase! That is a free $10! Users can also earn cashback when they make purchases on Shopback’s app on their mobile phones!
2.Cashback From Transport
When Heartland Boy travels from Jakarta to Singapore to meet Heartland Girl, he purchases his plane tickets with the ANZ Optimum World MasterCard. He earns 5% cashback from the Category of “Travel”. Purchase of airline tickets qualifies under this core category of his. This cashback comes in the form of Optimum$, which is essentially as good as cash. In 2016, he has accrued a total of 621 Optimum$ and this had been redeemed to offset his monthly credit bills.
To commute from his in-laws’ place to the airport, Heartland Boy relies on Uber. Again, he books his Uber trips via the Shopback app since Uber is a participating merchant. Every trip earns him a cashback of $0.2 and he has accumulated a total of $8 Shopback credits simply by ordering his Uber via Shopback. Heartland Boy recently discovered that he could earn 20% cashback on worldwide Uber Rides if he pays with the Standard Chartered Unlimited Cashback Credit Card. The ANZ Optimum World MasterCard and Standard Chartered Unlimited Cashback Credit Card are 2 of the best cash back credit cards in Singapore.
To get around Singapore, Heartland Boy takes the public transport as much as possible. His Citibank SMRT Credit Card doubles up as an EZ-link Card. This credit card has the added feature of auto-reloading whenever the EZ-link dips below zero dollar. Every auto-reload entitles the cardholder to earn 2% SMRT$. In addition, the Citibank SMRT Credit Card also allows one to earn cashback on groceries. SMRT$ can be accumulated to redeem for participating merchant vouchers. In 2016, Heartland Boy managed to redeem a $10 voucher from Giant with his SMRT$. The amount is rather small, but understandable since Heartland Boy’s time in Singapore is rather limited in a calendar year.
3.Cashback From Dining Out
When he is not out eating at his favourite hawker stall, Heartland Boy relies on Eatigo. Eatigo is a restaurant booking service that is available online as well as on mobile applications. It offers discounts ranging from 10% to 50% during off-peak hours in order to help restaurants fill tables that would otherwise have been empty. Not only did Heartland Boy enjoy significant discounts off his final bills, he also managed to earn $30 worth of bonus CapitaMall vouchers by participating in some promotions from time to time during 2016. Heartland Boy earns a small referral fee if you sign up using this promo code “eati784g”
To pay for his dining bills, Heartland Boy utilizes the OCBC 365 Credit Card. He gets 6% cashback when he dines on weekends and 3% on weekdays. In total, Heartland Boy received approximately $235 worth of rebates from OCBC 365 Credit Card in 2016.
4.Cashback From Hobby
Surprisingly, Heartland Boy managed to find a way to get paid for his hobby- investing, as well. InvestingNote is an online platform that allows investors to exchange ideas with other investors around the world. By participating in social investing, Heartland Boy managed to accumulate sufficient reward points to redeem $35 Capitamall vouchers in 2016. If you ever sign up on InvestingNote, you may follow Heartland Boy here.
Total Cashback Received in 2016
Amazingly, a total of $1,058 cash and cash in-kind were paid out to Heartland Boy in 2016! Other notable mentions were utilizing loyalty points with the respective telcos to offset monthly bills. In retrospect, this was a really fun exercise recounting the amount of cashback received in 2016. It only takes a combination of savvy use of credit cards, knowledge of some consumer friendly start-ups and some very minor tweaks to consumer behavior to earn these cashback! Kindly share with Heartland Boy your tips on how you earn your cashback![Related article: For fuss-free cashback, you may try the Standard Chartered Unlimited Cashback Credit Card where there is no requirement for minimum spend and no cap on the amount of cashback that you can earn!]