In the Shopping Mecca that is Singapore, credit cards have become a necessity (for a total population of just about 5.34 million, there are nearly 9.7 million credit and charge cards in circulation) if one were to navigate through Singapore’s retail and online lanes, bylanes, highways and superhighways that lead to a veritable cornucopia of shopping delights.

We all know that credit cards are so convenient to carry and give us purchase-now, pay-later benefits. But how many know that credit cards are loaded with benefits, perks, privileges and other features that make them such a delight? Here, we will try and explore some rather well-known and a few not so well-known benefits of credit cards:

Rewards – the rather well-known

Reward points – You get a certain number of reward points for certain spends. For example, 1 Reward Point for every S$100 spend. Reward points can be accumulated and redeemed against a range of points, against annual fees or even used in stores.

Cashback – Yet another type of reward that can be earned is cashback. Here, a portion of your spend is returned in the form of cash, as cheque or credited back to your credit card account.

Air Miles – There are credit cards that reward you by converting your spends to air miles. You can use these air miles for air ticket booking, for upgrading your ticket etc.

Discounts, offers and deals – Credit cards are usually associated with a host of discount offers and deals with a variety of merchants; these offers may keep changing. So, its important that you diligently check the communications that you receive from your credit card issuer.

Rewards – the not so well-known

The not so well-known discounts, deals and offers – Surprisingly, a number of discounts / deals / offers go unnoticed. Did you, for instance, know that many credit cards allow you to convert big-ticket purchases into easy-pay equated monthly installments?

How about complimentary limousine airport transfers or complimentary green fees at prestigious golf courses? It’s not just credit card issuers that come up with offers or deals. Credit card brands like Visa or Mastercard also keep coming up with various deals. You must explore to discover these gems hidden in your plain sight.

Supplementary cards – Did you know that the benefits associated with your credit card need not be restricted just to you? You can get supplementary cards issued and share these benefits with your family members.

Credit card statements – Credit card statements are detailed records of your purchases and charges and other amounts due from you. You can use these statements to keep a record of your spends and to help you with your financial management.

Credit score enablers – Because a credit card is a loan product, your credit card transactions become a part of your credit history and your credit score. Plan your credit card spends, keep them within your budget and pay them in full before the due date; do this and you can see a positive impact on your credit score.

Promotions – Promotions are basically of two types: Welcome gifts or sign-up bonuses for new cardholders and promotions for existing cardholders. Promotions are potentially a great way to get more from your credit card.