Bank of China Zaobao Credit Card: All you need to know

Aman Saxena

Avid Zaobao readers may be interested in the Bank of China (BOC)’s Zaobao Credit Card. With no currency exchange fees on RMB transactions, exclusive access privileges and cashback on newspaper subscriptions, it could look like a good option for you.

But before you sign up, read on to look a bit deeper at what the card offers and minimum spending requirements. If you are looking to save real money when you travel for holidays or business, take a look at Wise’s multi-currency card. With free cash withdrawals, a transparent exchange rate and no minimum spending, Wise borderless can be your go-to global account.

Table of contents

How does the Bank of China Zaobao Credit Card work?

The BOC Zaobao Credit Card is essentially a traditional credit card with additional perks if you meet a spending minimum, which is explained later in this article. Once you are approved, you are provided a line of credit that you can spend against. It is a UnionPay card and is accepted wherever UnionPay is. Then after every statement cycle, you will receive a bill with how much you owe. If you can’t pay back the full amount, you will get an interest rate on the outstanding balance.

Fees and charges

The interest rate and fees are really what you should keep your eye on with this card. Check out the table below for the major fees. You’ll see how it compares to Wise’s cheaper and easier multi-currency borderless card.

Bank of China Zaobao Credit Card¹Wise borderless card
Annual feeS$ 203.30 (waived for 2 years)None
Annual interest rate28.8%None
Overseas exchange rateSet by UnionPayMid-market exchange rate
Late payment feeS$ 100, or 5% of the unpaid amount, whichever is higherNone
Minimum monthly repayment3% of the outstanding balanceNone
Foreign currency transaction fee3%None
Cash advance transaction fee6% of the amount withdrawn with a min. of S$ 20None
Overlimit feeS$ 40None

Who is eligible for Bank of China Zaobao Credit Card?

Eligibility for the BOC Zaobao Credit Card is pretty straightforward. You need to be at least 21 years old, and as a Singapore citizen or PR, you need to make a minimum income of S$ 30,000 annually. That bumps up to S$ 60,000 if you are a foreigner.²

You can easily apply online through the Bank of China site using MyInfo. If you aren’t signed up for MyInfo, you can head to your nearest Bank of China branch. You can also reach out by SMS by messaging “BOCCARD mbank [your name]” to 79777.³

What can I do with the Bank of China Zaobao Credit Card?

Everything you normally do with a credit card, you can do with the BOC Zaobao Credit Card. Just make sure you are using it where UnionPay is accepted. But to really get the perks of the card, you have to make sure you make the spending minimums. Let’s take a closer look at how the perks work.

Bank of China Zaobao Credit Card rebates

To take advantage of any cash rebates with the BOC Zaobao Credit Card, you first have to spend a minimum of S$ 600 per month on the card. If you hit the minimum spend then you can get cash rebates on certain transactions like:

Rebate up toTransactions
23.5%Petrol Transactions, Zaobao & SPH newspaper subscriptions
10%Zaobao & SPH newspaper subscriptions
3%MCST Fees
5%Qualifying dining & department stores

If you spend S$ 2000 on your card, you get an extra bonus cash rebate of 1% on all spend. But the cash rebates are capped. You can only get back S$ 60 total per month.⁴

Bank of China Zaobao Credit Card concierge

If you need reservations, gifts, assistance or airport transfers, you can reach out to the 24-hour concierge service available through this card. You just have to call 6336 4506, and wherever you are in the world they can help. ⁵

Bank of China Zaobao Credit Card Reward Points

When you sign up for this card, you can also join the BOC Reward Programme. The BOC Zaobao Credit Card lets you get 2x the BOC Reward Points for S $1 you spend overseas. This however doesn’t apply for any RMB transactions. For any local purchases, you get 1x BOC Reward points. You can use these points to redeem for gifts, vouchers, and rebates. ⁶

Bank of China Zaobao Credit Card access privileges

One of the main benefits of being affiliated with Zaobao is that you get access to events by the SPH Chinese Media Group (CMG). This includes ticketing and access privileges to talks, workshops, sessions, fairs, and performances.⁷

Overseas spend with Bank of China Zaobao Credit Card

If you are looking to spend overseas with your BOC Zaobao Credit Card, you will want to keep an eye on the fees. There are two main fees that come with spending in non-Singapore dollar currencies, first is the foreign transaction fee of 3% and the second is the hidden fee in the exchange rate.

One perk of the BOC Zaobao Credit Card is that any transactions that are posted in RMB are waived from the foreign transaction fee. But all other currencies will be hit with the 3% fee.

But that doesn’t mean RMB transactions don’t get hit with the hidden exchange rate. The exchange rate is set by the bank and credit card company to be weaker than the transparent mid-market exchange rate you see on Google. By giving you a weaker rate, they are able to take a slice off of every transaction and give you a hidden fee on all overseas spend. Why pay more for transactions when you don’t have to?

Get your Wise borderless card - a multi-currency account that is on average 7 times cheaper than banks

The Wise multi-currency card is as smart as you when it comes to saving money. By using smart technology, Wise is able to make your global transactions easier, clearer and cheaper. With only one conversion fee between .35-1%, you won’t be paying annual fees, foreign transaction fees, or hidden fees. Plus, no minimum spending required here.

Not just for RMB transactions, but for European holidays, hop overs to Thailand or trips to Malaysia, Wise won’t charge you a foreign transaction fee. And only the same exchange rate you see on Google. With one low currency conversion fee, you can shop for cheaper even on global sites like Alibaba, Amazon, and Qoo10. So instead of getting rebates or perks for certain countries, Wise makes sure you keep more of your money in your wallet wherever you are in the world.

Sources used for this article:

  1. Fees & Charges
  2. Eligibility
  3. Applying
  4. Rebates
  5. Concierge
  6. Reward Points
  7. Access Privileges

This publication is provided for general information purposes only and is not intended to cover every aspect of the topics with which it deals. It is not intended to amount to advice on which you should rely. You must obtain professional or specialist advice before taking, or refraining from, any action on the basis of the content in this publication. The information in this publication does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from Wise Payments Limited or its affiliates. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether express or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.

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