Monthly Archives: April 2011

Passage of time

I suspect this picture, taken outside a toilet at The Cathay, was once meant to portray a decked-out techie. Today, however… A PSP, laptop, iPod classic and (what seems to be a non-smart)phone, really? Too uncool to be true.

Wonder what our gadgets will be like in another 5 years’ time?


Das (Credit Card) Experiment – Results

And the results are in! I was too lazy to research the exact breakdown of the charges, but it seems that all in all, the American Express is the best card for USD purchases and the (Standard Chartered) MasterCard is the card of choice for GBP purchases. That said, the differences really don’t add up to much – less than 1% – so perhaps the choice of card should be influenced more by the associated perks than the actual exchange rate.

Another takeaway is that the final SGD charge seems to be about 3-4% above the mid-market exchange rate, which would be relatively useful for budgeting purposes in the future.


S$12.4991 (14 Apr 2011 mid-market exchange rates, from
S$12.90 (Citibank Visa)
S$12.99 (Standard Chartered MasterCard)
S$12.88 (American Express)


S$20.3965 (14 Apr 2011 mid-market exchange rates, from
S$21.03 (Citibank Visa)
S$20.86 (Standard Chartered MasterCard)
S$21.01 (American Express)

Das (Credit Card) Experiment

The internet has truly helped to flatten the world – and online shopping is, if nothing else, an excellent testament to this. I’ve made quite a few international transactions over the last few months (mostly on Amazon), but I’ve got no clue which credit card is actually optimal for such transactions (since each bank and card imposes a different fee on international charges).

I’ve tried some Googling, but haven’t been able to find comprehensive information on this query, so I’ve decided to do a little experiment to determine which credit card to use for future transactions. This is a very unscientific study, involving my three primary credit cards (Standard Chartered’s Manhattan Platinum, Citibank’s PremierMiles, and the American Express Platinum).

Essentially, I’m planning to make charges of US$10 and £10 to each card to determine which incurs the lowest cost in SGD, and thus decide which credit card to use for international transactions in the future. It may not matter much for small transactions like these, but I imagine that if I’ll be spending hundreds of dollars overseas over the next few years, the potential savings might be relatively substantial!

I guess the reason I’m posting this first is to check if anyone already knows the answer to this question. Or is there a reference chart somewhere with all the banks’ and cards’ neatly laid out for referencing? Anyone?