Get FREE Loan Quotes From Loan Advisor’s Top Reviewed Licensed Money Lenders in Singapore!     Click here

Get Free Quotes from the Best Licensed Moneylenders!  Click here

6 Best Credit Cards in Singapore for Beginners (2022)

best credit card singapore
Table of Contents

From the ease of purchasing high ticket items to easy access to emergency funds, owning a credit card in Singapore has plenty of advantages. The ability to buy now and pay later is also one of its most attractive features. But with great power comes great responsibility.

For instance, missing a payment can lead to hefty interest charges and late payment fees. That said, a credit card must be used with caution. When used wisely, you will be able to enjoy the best credit card deals and rewards they offer.

But with so many credit cards in Singapore to choose from, which one should you get? Read on to learn more about the pros and cons of credit cards and the 6 best credit cards in Singapore.

Credit Cards 101

What Is a Credit Card?

A credit card is a rectangular piece of plastic or metal that you can use to pay for items and services by swiping, tapping, or inserting your card into a card reader.

A credit card allows you to borrow funds up to the credit limit set for your card. You can use it to pay for goods and services that accept cards for payment. The amount you charge to your card is referred to as your outstanding balance – this is what you owe the bank.

You will need to pay your outstanding balance in full, make a partial payment, or pay only the minimum sum. However, you will incur interest charges on the balance if you don’t pay it in full by the billing date or over time.

How Does It Work?

With a credit card, you can buy now and pay when the bill is due. If you miss the monthly repayment, you will be charged a hefty interest rate. Here are some of the key features you need to know about:

  • Annual Fee: This is considered a membership fee that you have to pay to keep using your credit card. Some credit cards in Singapore have a first-year annual fee waiver available.
  • Monthly Statement: You will receive a monthly statement issued by your credit card provider. This statement will include details of your credit card spending for the month.
  • Payment Due Date: Pay attention to the payment due date stated in your monthly statement. This is the date when you need to make payment to avoid incurring interest and late charges.
  • Minimum Sum of Payments: This means the minimum amount you can pay on the due date. However, the rest of your outstanding balance will be charged with interest.
  • Foreign Currency Spend: Overseas transactions or online shopping in another currency will be converted to Singapore dollars in your statement. The foreign exchange rates will vary from day to day and from bank to bank.

What Are the Kinds of Credit Cards Available?

There are different types of credit cards in the market. Here are the 3 main types of credit cards available in Singapore.

  • Miles Credit Card: With this type of credit card, you will be rewarded with miles for every dollar spent. Depending on the card, you may also earn bonus miles for certain purchases
  • Cashback Credit Card: This type of card allows you to earn cash from purchases. The cash will be credited into your card which you can use to offset future spending
  • Rewards Credit Card: This is the most flexible type of credit card. It allows you to choose the rewards you want – points, miles, or cashback, when you redeem your accumulated points.

Credit Cards vs. Debit Cards

3d-render-credit-vs-debit

Credit cards and debit cards may look the same: both have 16-digit numbers, expiration dates, as well as magnetic strips and EMV chips. Additionally, both cards allow cashless transactions both offline and online. 

So what makes them different? Read the full article on which card you should be using, Debit Cards vs Credit Cards

One of the key differences is that debit cards draw funds from your bank account. Credit cards, on the other hand, allow you to borrow money from the credit card provider up to a certain limit.

Here are a few more differences:

  Credit Cards Debit Cards
How they function You borrow funds from the credit card provider and pay them back at a set due date Funds are directly subtracted from your bank account
Fees and Charges Annual fee, interest rates, late fees, foreign transaction fees, and more No fees
Benefits Depending on the type of credit card you have, you can earn miles, cashback, or rewards points

 

Pay now, buy later

 

Helps build your credit score when used properly

No interest rates on purchases

 

Pay in real-time

 

You can get a debit card without a credit score.

 

Pros and Cons of Credit Cards

Pros:

  • Convenience: You can use your credit card locally and overseas – both online and offline.
  • Financing large expenses: Credit cards allow you to purchase big-ticket items and have the option to pay for them over time.
  • Rewards: Depending on the type of credit card you have, you can get miles, cashback, or rewards points. Additionally, there are credit cards that offer discounts on fuel and other perks, such as airport lounge access and luxury travel.
  • Emergency fund: You can use your credit card as an emergency fund to keep you afloat during tough times. For instance, you can use it during a medical emergency or unexpected events.
  • Building credit score: If you use your credit card wisely, you can use it to boost your credit score. A credit score is an essential factor when taking out a loan, renting an apartment, or getting a job.
  • Protection: Credit cards have fraud protection. Plus, most credit cards also offer buyer protection in case of non-delivery or damaged goods.

Cons:

  • Interest charges: Credit cards come with high interest charges. However, if you can pay your full outstanding balance on or before the due date, you can avoid paying interest charges altogether.
  • Late fees: Aside from interest charges, you will also incur late fees if you fail to pay your outstanding balance by the due date. Late fees usually cost around S$40.
  • The temptation to overspend: It’s so easy to get carried away when it comes to using your credit card. If you’re not careful, your debt will pile up.
  • Negatively affect credit score: Credit cards can help build your credit score. However, it can also negatively affect it if you are not consistent in paying off your balances. High balances, late payments, and frequent applications can damage your score.

6 Best Credit Cards in Singapore

Credit card payment, buy and sell products

1. Citi CashBack+ Mastercard

Citi CashBack+ Mastercard is perfect for high-spenders who want to maximize their rewards without having to worry about caps and restrictions. With this credit card, you can earn unlimited 1.6% cashback on every purchase all year round. Best of all, it has no minimum spend requirement.

Whether you use it for online shopping or lifestyle categories, you can earn cash rebates. Cashback earned will show up on your bank statement for easy tracking.

Best For All local and overseas spend
Payment Network Mastercard
Annual Fee S$192.60 – first-year waiver available
Eligibility 21 years and above

Minimum of S$30,000 annual income (Singaporean/PR)

Minimum of S$42,000 annual income (Foreigner)

 

Website https://www.citibank.com.sg/gcb/credit_cards/cashback-plus-card.htm

 

Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • Enjoy 4.5% cash back on up to S$50,000 spent in the first 3 months. This promo is valid until March 2022.
  • Receive 1.6% cash back on all eligible purchases.
  • No minimum spend requirement.
  • Unlimited cash back – no caps!
  • Instantly redeem your cash rebates on-the-go

Cons:

  • You will need to pay an annual fee after the first year.
  • Best for high-spenders. Low to average spending will not yield maximum rewards.
  • No cash rebate bonus for category spending.

Charges and Fees

Annual Fee S$192.60 (waived on the first year)
Annual Interest Rate 26.90%
Late Payment Fees S$100
Foreign Currency Transaction Fee 3.25%
Cash Advance Transaction Fee 6% or S$15, whichever is higher
Overlimit Fee S$40

 

2. American Express Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Credit Card

Looking for a fast and easy way to earn KrisFlyer miles? Get the American Express Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer credit card which rewards you with miles for almost all of your everyday spending.

With this card, you can earn up to 2 KrisFlyer miles for every S$1 spent on overseas and foreign currency transactions. On top of that, you can also earn up to 3.1 miles on eligible Grab Singapore transactions.

Best For All foreign and overseas spend to earn miles fast
Payment Network Mastercard
Annual Fee S$176.55– first-year waiver available
Eligibility 21 years and above

Minimum of S$30,000 annual income (Singaporean/PR)

Minimum of S$60,000 annual income (Foreigner)

 

Website https://www.americanexpress.com/sg/credit-cards/singapore-airlines-krisflyer-credit-card/

 

Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • Earn 5,000 KrisFlyer miles for the first transaction you charge to your credit card. This is applicable for first-time American Express Singapore Airlines credit card applicants only.
  • Welcome offer of up to 13,300 KrisFlyer miles with a minimum spend of S$3,000 in your first 3 months.
  • Earn miles every time you use your card. Earn 1.1 Krisflyer miles per one dollar spent locally and earn up to 2 miles per S$1 for foreign currency and overseas spend in June and December.
  • Earn higher miles rewards when you use Grab Singapore.
  • Miles are automatically credited. No need to redeem rewards for miles.
  • Complimentary travel insurance.

Cons:

  • You’ll need to pay an annual fee of S$176.55.
  • No bonus Krisflyer miles for category spending.

Charges and Fees

Annual Fee S$176.55 (waived on the first year)
Annual Interest Rate 26.90%
Late Payment Fees S$90
Foreign Currency Transaction Fee 2.95%
Cash Advance Transaction Fee 5%
Overlimit Fee N/A

 

3. Standard Chartered Unlimited Cashback Credit Card

The Standard Chartered Unlimited Cashback Credit Card is an all-rounded card, perfect for individuals looking for a fuss-free cash back credit card. It’s also an excellent card for commuters who want to maximize rewards.

With Standard Chartered Unlimited Cashback credit card, you can earn a 1.5% cashback on all your spending. No minimum spend and no cashback cap! Plus, you’ll enjoy additional benefits such as Caltex petrol, dining, and shopping promotions.

Best For Every day spend and fuel savings
Payment Network Mastercard
Annual Fee S$192.60– first two years waiver available
Eligibility 21-65 years old

Minimum of S$30,000 annual income (Singaporean/PR)

Minimum of S$60,000 annual income (Foreigner)

 

Website https://www.sc.com/sg/credit-cards/unlimited-cashback-credit-card/

 

Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • A straightforward way to earn cashback. You can earn 1.5% cashback on all of your credit card spendings.
  • Sign-up offer of S$280 cashback and a 6-month Disney+ subscription when you activate and spend within 30 days upon credit card approval.
  • No minimum monthly spend requirement
  • No cap on cashback earned
  • Annual fee is waived for the first two years
  • Up to 21.3% petrol savings at Caltex stations.

Cons:

  • No boosted cashback rewards in specific categories
  •  No travel perks

Charges and Fees

Annual Fee S$192.60 (waived for the first two years)
Annual Interest Rate 26.90%
Late Payment Fees S$100
Foreign Currency Transaction Fee 3.25%
Cash Advance Transaction Fee 6%
Overlimit Fee S$40

 

4. HSBC Revolution Credit Card

HSBC Revolution Card allows card members to earn high rewards for online spend, dining, and entertainment transactions. Best of all, this credit card has no annual fee! With this credit card, social spenders who shop online can earn up to 10X rewards points (equals to 4 miles) per dollar dining and online spend. All other expenses will earn approximately 1X reward points per S$1 spent.

Best For Social spenders with high local dining and online spend
Payment Network Visa
Annual Fee S$0
Eligibility 21 years and above

Minimum of S$30,000 annual income (Singaporean/PR)

Minimum of S$40,000 annual income (Foreigner)

Website https://www.hsbc.com.sg/credit-cards/products/revolution/

 

Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • Welcome offer of up to S$200 cashback when you spend on your card – S$50 cashback for one qualifying transaction and S$120 cashback upon S$500 minimum spend.
  • High rewards points of up to 10X points (equals 4 miles) per dollar spent for online shopping, local dining, and entertainment expenses.
  • No minimum monthly spend requirement
  • No annual fee
  • Petrol savings of up to 16% off at Caltex stations or 14% off at Shell stations

Cons:

  • Lacks rewards for overseas and foreign currency spending.
  • Not an attractive credit card for diversified spenders and frequent travelers

Charges and Fees

Annual Fee S$0
Annual Interest Rate 25.90%
Late Payment Fees S$55
Foreign Currency Transaction Fee 1.80%
Cash Advance Transaction Fee 6%
Overlimit Fee S$40

 

5. Citi PremierMiles Card

Frequent travelers will love the Citi PremierMiles Card with its high miles rewards, priority lounge access in airports, travel insurance, and more. This air miles card allows cardholders to earn 1.2 miles per S$1 local spend and 2 miles overseas spend. These miles can be redeemed with over 60 airlines and 8,000 hotels.

Combining affordability, miles that don’t expire, and plenty of perks, it’s a good entry-level air miles card.

 

Best For Frequent travelers who want to earn miles fast and enjoy travel perks
Payment Network Mastercard
Annual Fee S$192.60
Eligibility 21 years and above

Minimum of S$30,000 annual income (Singaporean/PR)

Minimum of S$40,000 annual income (Foreigner)

 

Website https://www.citibank.com.sg/credit-cards/travel/premiermiles-card/

 

Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • Welcome gift of 45,000 Citi Miles when you apply for a Citi PremierMiles Card and spend S$9,000 within 3 months from the date of card approval.
  • Easy to earn miles at a rate of 1.2 Citi Miles per S$1 local spend and 2 Citi Miles per S$1 overseas spend.
  • Citi Miles never expire so you can use them whenever you want
  • Flexible miles redemption
  • Enjoy 2 complimentary visits every year to airport lounges worldwide.
  • Complimentary travel insurance with up to S$1 million in insurance coverage.
  • Earn more miles and get huge savings through credit card promotions with travel booking sites like Agoda and Klook.

Cons

  • Lacks luxury perks
  • Not suitable for those who don’t travel often

Charges and Fees

Annual Fee S$192.60
Annual Interest Rate 26.90%
Late Payment Fees Determined by the credit card user
Foreign Currency Transaction Fee 3.25%
Cash Advance Transaction Fee 6% or S$15, whichever is higher
Overlimit Fee S$40

 

6. Citi Rewards Card

If you spend more online or on retail shopping, then the Citi Rewards Card is worth considering. This rewards card allows cardholders to earn 10X rewards points (or 4 miles) per S$1 spent on online and shopping purchases. It is also a great card for everyday purchases since you can earn 10X rewards points when you order from online grocery stores.

Best of all, you can enjoy maximum freedom when redeeming rewards. You can redeem Citi rewards points to miles, vouchers, products, or cash rebates.

Best For Online and offline shopping
Payment Network Mastercard
Annual Fee S$192.60 – first-year waiver available
Eligibility 21 years old and above

Minimum of S$30,000 annual income (Singaporean/PR)

Minimum of S$42,000 annual income (Foreigner)

Website https://www.citibank.com.sg/credit-cards/rewards/citi-rewards-card/

 

Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • Welcome gift of 30,000 Citi ThankYou points when you spend S$3,000 in the first 3 months.
  • Shop online or offline and earn 10X Rewards (or 4 miles) for every S$1 spent.
  • A lot more ways to earn rewards. For instance, you can earn another 10X Rewards (or 4 miles) for every S$1 spent on online food delivery, online grocery delivery, Grab ride, Gojek, and more.
  • Flexible points redemption.
  • Complimentary travel insurance when you use your Citi Rewards credit card for your airfare.

Cons: 

  • You will be able to maximize the rewards if you frequently shop online.
  • Does not have a lot of perks, such as airport lounge access.

Charges and Fees

Annual Fee S$192.60 (waived on the first year)
Annual Interest Rate 26.90%
Late Payment Fees S$100
Foreign Currency Transaction Fee 3.25%
Cash Advance Transaction Fee 6% or S$15, whichever is higher
Overlimit Fee S$40

 

Choosing the Best Credit Card for You

young woman use credit card

First time getting a credit card? The wide variety of choices can be overwhelming. Although there is no single best credit card in Singapore, there are ways to find the best one for you.

What will you use the credit card for? What are your spending habits? To pick the best credit card for you, you need to consider these factors.

Lifestyle and Spending Habits

Choose a card that fits your lifestyle and spending habits. Think about the things you usually spend on. Do you spend more on dining, entertainment, or petrol? Are you a frequent traveler?

Understanding your spending habits will help you choose the right card with which you can maximize the rewards.

Sign-up Bonus

Most credit cards in Singapore offer special bonuses for new cardholders. However, most of these cards have specific requirements, such as hitting a minimum spend within a certain period. So consider whether you can meet the requirements to enjoy the sign-up bonus.

Take for example the Citi PremierMiles Card which offers a welcome gift of 45,000 Citi Miles. However, you need to spend S$9,000 within 3 months from the date of card approval.

If you’re considering this card, ask yourself whether you can spend this amount in this time frame. If not, then you won’t be enjoying this bonus.

Rewards

Do you want to collect air miles which you can use to redeem for plane tickets? Or do you want to accumulate points for shopping or dining vouchers? Or do you want to earn savings through cash rebates?

Credit cards in Singapore offer different types of rewards. Some offer rewards in the form of air miles, cashback, or rewards points that can be redeemed for vouchers and more. So decide how you want to be rewarded.

Annual Fee

Most credit cards in Singapore require an annual membership fee. However, some credit card providers offer annual fee waivers for the first year or the first two years. There are also credit cards that don’t charge an annual fee at all.

Take for example the Maybank Family & Friends MasterCard. This Maybank credit card offers up to 8% cash rebate on 5 preferred categories. However, you’ll need to pay a much higher annual fee of S$180.

That said, evaluate for yourself whether it’s worth paying. Take into account the perks you can take advantage of to offset the cost. It’s also a good idea to talk to your bank if there are requirements you could meet to have the annual fee waived.

Frequently Asked Questions

How To Apply for a Credit Card?

The requirements to apply for a credit card in Singapore may vary, depending on whether you are a student, employed citizen, or foreigner. Typically, you’ll need to be at least 21 years old. Plus, you’ll need to have a minimum annual salary of S$30,000 and provide proof of identification, payslips, and your most recent Tax Assessment.

Can I Apply for a Credit Card as a Student?

Students are eligible for credit cards too!

There are banks in Singapore that offer student credit cards with specially tailored benefits and fees that may suit a student’s budget. Unlike regular credit cards, student credit cards do not require a minimum income. Plus, these cards usually have low annual fees.

What if I Only Make the Minimum Payment on My Credit Card Bills?

You can choose to pay only the minimum required payment as stated on your credit card statement. However, you will be incurring interest rate charges. Plus, if you pay late, you will also incur a late fee. This can quickly snowball, causing you to face larger debt.

That said, credit cards are short-term loans. This means you need to pay off your bills in full every month if you want to avoid paying high interest.

Which Credit Card Is the Best for 2022?

There’s no single best credit card in Singapore. The best card will depend on your lifestyle and spending habits.

You can start by considering the credit cards listed above. These cards combine affordability and excellent rewards– miles, cashback, or reward points. Some of these cards do not charge an annual fee while others offer an annual fee waiver for the first two years.

Conclusion

So which credit card should you apply for? The best credit card for you will depend on your spending habits, reward preferences, and how you want to use the card. Remember, having a credit card is a huge responsibility. Make sure to practice healthy credit card spending habits to maximize the benefits.

Key Takeaways:

  • A credit card allows you to borrow funds up to the credit limit set for your card. You can use it to pay for goods and services that accept cards for payment.
  • There are different types of credit cards in the market. In Singapore, there are 3 main types of credit cards – miles cards, cashback cards, and rewards cards.
  • When choosing a credit card, consider several factors such as the annual fee, interest rates, types of rewards, and sign-up bonus.

Looking for the best credit product for your financing needs? Loan Advisor is a one-stop financial comparison site that takes the hassle out of comparing loans. They offer free, unbiased, and up-to-date information on the top loans in the market so you can make smarter financial decisions. Fill out the quick form to get started! 

Table of Contents