Wondering which card is better for overseas use - Trust card vs YouTrip? We compared the fees and exchange rates and also included an alternative option Wise
The Bank of China Family Card is a credit card with bonus cashback rewards for day to day family purchases. And while that sounds enticing, the bonus cashback only kicks in once you have spent at least S$ 800 on the card per billing cycle. And the cashback is capped at S$ 25 per category per cycle. Read on to get a deeper look into the Bank of China Family Card and what it can offer cardholders.
But if you are looking for a cheaper way to spend money overseas with your family but without minimums, the Wise borderless account can be your one-stop solution.
|Table of contents
The Bank of China Family Card is a traditional credit card through and through. How it works is that once you are approved you are given a credit line you can spend against. Bank of China will then send you a bill after every billing cycle and if you aren’t able to pay back the full amount, you will be charged an interest rate. It is a Visa card so you can use the card at home or wherever Visa is accepted globally.
But one of the larger drawbacks of this card can be its fees. Take a look below at how much it may cost you to use the Bank of China Family card. And if you are looking for a cheaper way to travel and spend money abroad with your family, look no further than Wise’s multi-currency account.
|Bank of China Family Card¹
|Wise borderless card
|S$ 203.30 (waived the 1st year)
|Annual interest rate
|Overseas exchange rate
|Set by Visa
|Mid-market exchange rate
|Late payment fee
|Min. S$ 100 or 5% per month of the minimum payment amount
|Minimum monthly repayment
|3% of the outstanding balance + any additional charges
|Foreign currency transaction fee
|Cash advance transaction fee
|S$ 20 or 6% of the amount withdrawn
|Free cash withdrawals up to S $350 per month
The eligibility for the Bank of China Family Card is quite straightforward. You must be at least 21 years old, and there is no max age for principal applicants. Supplementary applicants have a minimum age of 18 years old. If you are a Singapore citizen or PR the annual income requirement is S$ 30,000, but for Foreigners, it is higher at S$ 60,000.²
It isn’t clear whether you are able to apply online for the Family Card, but you can download an application and you can also apply in person at a local bank branch.
The Bank of China Family Card can be used like a normal credit card for all your purchases at home and abroad. While one can argue there aren’t as many perks and privileges as other credit cards out there, this credit card does provide a cashback on qualifying purchases.
For all retail purchases, cardholders get a .3% cashback with this card. But as the name suggests, the Bank of China Family Card rewards spending on day to day family purchases. These are purchases at grocery stores, buying household items, public transport, movies, hospital bills and dining out. And this goes for dining overseas as well.
But if you spend above S$ 800 on the Bank of China Family credit card in each billing cycle, you will get a higher cashback amount. Here is a sample breakdown of the cashback amounts if you spend S$ 800 or more on the card per month.
|Dining (overseas and domestically)
|Family Club Merchants (pharmacies like Watsons etc.)
|Public transportation in Singapore
|Supermarket, online and hospitals
But an important point to remember is that each of these cashback categories has a cap, roughly around S$ 25, per billing cycle. So that means that even if you use your card to spend S$ 800 to get the cashback rewards, you can only get max S$ 25 back per category.³
The Bank of China Family Card offers additional cashback for dining purchases when overseas, but does it do enough to offset the fees? If you were to charge your dinner while on holiday to the Bank of China Family Card, you will have a foreign transaction fee of 3% straightaway. So even if you do meet the S$ 800 minimum spend on the card, your cashback is really around 7% on qualifying dining transactions.
Then how the card works is that any foreign currency transaction is first converted into USD by Visa, and then from USD to Singapore dollars. With all these conversions the exchange rate becomes vital, and Visa actually charges you an exchange rate that is slightly weaker than the mid-market exchange rate.
The mid-market exchange rate is the one that banks use themselves and is listed on Google. By charging you their own rate, Visa and Bank of China is able to take a hidden profit from your purchase. So your family dinner can actually cost you more than you think.
Get your Wise borderless card - a multi-currency account that is on average 7 times cheaper than banks
Why spend more for minimums and fees to just get a bit of cash back? Instead, with the Wise borderless account, you can spend around the world with just one low conversion fee. You can load up on 40+ global currencies from one account, and spend locally as you travel with your family. You also get free cash withdrawals at ATMs around the world up to S$ 350 per month. Plus on every currency transaction and exchange, you always get the transparent and bank-to-bank mid-market exchange rate. That’s how Wise is on average 7x cheaper than banks like Bank of China.
Wise also makes it easier for you to shop globally for you and your family when you’re home. With only the small currency conversion fee of between .35%-1%, you can shop on global online platforms like Alibaba, Amazon, Qoo10, and Grab. Plus TransfeWise’s award-winning app will send you magic notifications every time you shop. Instead of spending more on purchases, keep more of your cash in your wallet with Wise
Sources used for this article:
This publication is provided for general information purposes and does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from Wise Payments Limited or its subsidiaries and its affiliates, and it is not intended as a substitute for obtaining advice from a financial advisor or any other professional.
We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether expressed or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.
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