Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Most Cost Effective Phone Plans and Maximising Phone Contract Subsidies

Many friends ask the question, "What is the most cost effective phone plan to take?"

I have done the calculations and SIM-only plans are always cheaper than signing a 2-year contract regardless of usage. The phone subsidies given do not offset the additional amount paid for the entire duration of the contract. You are better off going SIM-only and purchasing a phone from Carousell or a shop.

Starhub and M1 offer the cheapest SIM-only plans without a contract, depending on your usage. Singtel gives you a better deal if you commit to a 1-year contract.

The only exception to this is if you are eligible for corporate discounts and the discount is significant enough to bring down the cost to SIM-only price range. In such a situation, it is possible to get a high-end phone at a highly discounted price. If you do not need a high-end phone, I will still recommend getting the hottest phone in the market that has a low upfront cost, with the aim of offloading it on Carousell or a shop. The proceeds can be substantial, which can be used to purchase the phone of your choice with money to spare or offset your monthly bills. iPhones generally have the best return especially during the launch of a new model, or Samsung Galaxy phones if there are significant telco discounts. A few shops have buy prices online which you can use as a rough guide to calculate your return. Be quick though, buy prices drop fast as supply increases.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Best Credit Card for Big Ticket Expenditures

Many friends ask the question, "What is the best credit card for my big purchase?"

I have been following the various credit card product offerings in the market and these are my conclusions:

1. Standard Chartered Manhattan World
3% cashback if you meet $3,000 minimum spend for the statement period. Capped at $200 per quarter. Spend $6,667 in a statement period to reap the maximum benefit.

2. Standard Chartered Unlimited Card
1.5% cashback with no minimum spend and no caps.

BONUS: Standard Chartered has a $138 cash award for new to bank sign ups.

3. UOB Priv Miles Amex
This is not a direct cashback card. The earn rate is 1.4 miles per dollar spent (awarded in the form of 3.5 UNI$ per $5 spent). The effective rebate is about 3% if you value each mile at 4 cents. You also get an additional 20,000 miles if you hit $50,000 during the membership year. The UNI$ earned can be used to redeem other things like vouchers if you do not want miles, though the effective rebate would be less. Ideal for big wedding banquets where you hit $50,000 spend. The miles earned can be redeemed for a honeymoon trip.

There are other cashback and reward cards out there but I find that they are more suitable for day to day spending due to spend category restrictions and low cashback caps. I will write about them another day.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Blog Relaunched

Dear Readers,

I am relaunching the blog to share my views on various finance subjects. I have spent much time researching various topics and hopefully this sharing will benefit whoever that happens to be reading this.

There is a lot of knowledge out there available for free and this blog is created to demonstrate that you don't need to spend money to learn something. 

The remnants of the gaming blog will be retained in the archives as I find it a waste to delete it.