Best Overseas Credit Cards For 2016

Its the month of June and many of you might be thinking of traveling overseas. Here is a list of the best cards to bring along for this year. For overseas credit cards, we cannot just look at the cash rebate, we have to also look at the forex charges and the individual visa/mastercard/amex charges to compare.

BOC Family Card:

Many do not know that BOC family 7.5% rebate applies to overseas dinning too(0.5% for non dinning overseas spending as well). Do note however there will be a 2.5% forex fee incurred. Which means if you spend a min of $500 and above on overseas dinning, you will get an effective 5% rebate.

CIMB Master Platinum Card:

CIMB Master Platinum is the only overseas travel rebate card that gives a 1.4% rebate on bank fees with no min spending. Which means CIMB will charge upfront 2.4%(1.4% bank fee and 1% visa/mastercard fee) and rebate the 1.4% after, which effectively mean there is only a 1% charge for forex. In addition to this, if you spend min $500 with eight $30 transactions, you will get a 10% rebate(cap at $60). Which means its best to spend $600 to get the max $60 rebate. When you are booking for a hotel at the counter overseas, you can ask the hotel staff to swipe your card 8 times(min $30 for each transaction) to ensure you get the 10% rebate. This means if you spend $600 on hotel booking overseas and did 8 transactions you will get an effective rebate of 9.2%(0.2% default cashback as well). I personally do not have this card, but will most likely apply when I am travelling.

American Express True Cash Back Card:

I have recently applied for two card, American express true cash back and DBS World Woman Mastercard(will cover this in future post). The 2.5% forex rate  charge still applies and you have to bear in mind that not many places accepts amex. There are giving 3% cash rebate for the first 6 months(cap at $5000 per month). So I believe this is still usable overseas if you recently applied as 3% - 2.5% gives you a net of ard 0.5% rebate on high cap spending(haven't include the 5-6% over spot rate charge).

UOB Visa Signature Card:
This card will be another high general spending overseas card. You earn UNI$10 for every $5 overseas spending subject to a min of $1000 spending per statement date. The cap per statement date is UNI$4000. That is equivalent to 5% cash rebate(If you convert all your UNI$ to cash rebate). If you take into account the 2.5% forex fee and the premium they charge over spot rate, the effective rebate could be around 1.5% only.

Always take note of the forex charges and the individual currency spot rate(dependent on the country you are travelling to and the card). So the best cookie cutter strategy is to bring along all 4 cards. Spend on food using BOC family, Hotels and air tickets using CIMB platinium master and general spending using UOB Signature Visa or Amex true cash back. Do take note of their min spending and cap too. Happy travelling.


  1. If you have to use the uob visa signature, use it for big amount spending rather than numerous small spending. This is because the UNI$ is awarded for each separate transaction (and not the total statement amount) and any amount in excess of multiples of 5 will not earn you any UNI$.

    1. Thanks for the heads up. I dont have uob visa signature. But will be planning to use cimb world master and amex tcb :)

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