Compare the best credit cards

Whether you are a foodie, globetrotter, or shopaholic, just having the right credit cards in your wallet can unlock savings and benefits for a fuller life and pocket. Compare the best credit cards with cashback, rewards, and lifestyle perks.

By   |   Verified by Kwok Zhong Li   |   Updated 8 Feb 2024

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Comparing credit cards

American Express Singapore Airlines Business Credit Card

On website

FeaturedApply by 28 February 2024

American Express Singapore Airlines Business Credit Card

Cashback

N/A

Cashback cap

N/A

Minimum spend

N/A

Sign up bonus

57,200 points

Highlights

  • Enjoy a welcome offer of your choice and travel rewards worth over S$1,200: Earn up to 68,000 HighFlyer points or a Samsonite luggage, a complimentary Accor Plus membership worth S$418 offering a free night’s stay every year, and up to 20,000 HighFlyer points worth S$190 when you spend with the Singapore Airlines Group. Terms and Conditions apply.
  • Earn up to 8.5 HighFlyer points per S$1 spent on eligible Singapore Airlines Group flights.
  • Earn 1.8 HighFlyer points per S$1 spent on all other eligible spend.

Pros

  • Earn generous welcome offers.
  • Enjoy Priority Pass membership with two complimentary visits per year for you and a guest.
  • Fast-track to KrisFlyer Elite Gold status with S$15,000 spent with the Singapore Airlines Group within the first 12 months.
  • Offers 51 interest-free days.
  • Flexible payment with Pay Small.

Cons

  • The annual fee of S$301.79 p.a (inclusive of 8% GST).
HSBC Advance Credit Card

On website

HSBC Advance Credit Card

Cashback

3.50% on any spend

Cashback cap

$70.00 on any spend

Minimum spend

N/A

Sign up bonus

Get a S$150 cashback or a Samsonite ZELTUS 69cm Spinner Exp with built-in scale when you apply now. Terms and Conditions Apply.

Highlights

  • Get up to 3.5% Base Cashback on local and overseas spend (Terms and Conditions apply).
  • Get an additional 1% Bonus Cashback with HSBC Everyday+ Rewards Programme.
  • 1-year annual credit card fee waiver.

Pros

  • Earn up to 3.5% cashback when you meet the criteria.
  • No minimum spend is required.
  • Split your purchases into installments at 0% interest over 3 to 24 months.
  • Comes with complimentary travel insurance.
  • Enjoy shopping, dining, and travel deals.

Cons

  • The annual fee reverts to S$194.40 p.a. after the initial year (waived if you spend S$12,500 per year).
  • The ongoing interest rate of 26.90% p.a.
HSBC Visa Platinum Credit Card

On website

HSBC Visa Platinum Credit Card

Cashback

Up to 5.00% on dining spend

Cashback cap

$1000.00 on dining spend

Minimum spend

S$600.00 per month, every quarter

Sign up bonus

Get a S$150 cashback or a Samsonite ZELTUS 69cm Spinner Exp with built-in scale when you apply now. Terms and Conditions Apply.

Highlights

  • 5% cash rebate on dining, groceries and fuel.
  • 1 reward point per dollar spent.
  • 2-year annual credit card fee waiver.

Pros

  • Earn up to 5% cashback.
  • Additional 17% instant discount when you fuel up at Caltex or Shell.
  • No annual fee for the first 2 years.
  • Enjoy Visa Platinum credit card privileges.

Cons

  • Cashback is capped at $1,000 per year.
HSBC Revolution Credit Card

On website

HSBC Revolution Credit Card

Cashback

N/A

Cashback cap

N/A

Minimum spend

N/A

Sign up bonus

Get a S$150 cashback or a Samsonite ZELTUS 69cm Spinner Exp with built-in scale when you apply now. Terms and Conditions Apply.

Highlights

  • Up to 10X Reward points on online purchases and contactless payments (equivalent to 4 miles per S$1 spend).
  • 1X Reward point per S$1 spend on other purchases.
  • No minimum spend is required.
  • $0 annual credit card fee.

Pros

  • Earn 10x rewards points on online and contactless spending.
  • Get an additional 1% Bonus Cashback with HSBC Everyday Global Account
  • S$0 p.a. annual fee.
  • Includes travel insurance coverage against flight inconvenience and personal accidents.
  • Get instant discounts of up to 14% off at Shell stations and 16% off petrol at Caltex stations.

Cons

  • There is a 10,000 monthly cap on rewards points earned (online and contactless spending only).
OCBC 365 Credit Card

On website

OCBC 365 Credit Card

Cashback

Up to 6.00% on petrol spend

Cashback cap

$160.00 on any spend

Minimum spend

S$800.00 per month

Sign up bonus

N/A

Highlights

  • Earn 6% cashback on fuel spend and 5% on local and overseas dining.
  • 3% cashback on groceries, travel, land transport, utilities, streaming, and pharmacy.
  • Receive six S$6 vouchers from each of Caltex and Esso and save up to S$72.

Pros

  • The annual fee is waived for the 1st 2 years.
  • Generous cashback rates.
  • Multiple cashback categories to choose from.
  • Get a complimentary appetizer at Din Tai Fung when you pay using your Card.

Cons

  • Min annual income of $30,000 for citizens/PRs or $45,000 for foreigners
  • After 2 years, the annual fee reverts to $194.40 for the principal card and $97.20 for the supplementary card.
  • If you spend less than $800 each month, you get a reduced rate of 0.25% rebate on all your spending
  • Earn rate is capped at $160 per month.
OCBC Great Eastern Cashflo Credit Card

On website

OCBC Great Eastern Cashflo Credit Card

Cashback

1.20% on any spend

Cashback cap

$100.00 on any spend

Minimum spend

S$1,000.00 per month

Sign up bonus

N/A

Highlights

  • 0% installments with rebates.
  • Earn 0.3% cashback if your monthly bill is less than S$1,000 and 1.2% cashback if your monthly bill is equal or greater than S$1,000. Capped at S$100 a month.
  • Automatically splits your payments across 3 months for transactions between S$100 to S$1,000 or across 6 months for transactions equal to or greater than S$1,000.

Pros

  • Split your bills into 3, 6, or 12-month installments.
  • Earn up to 1.2% cashback.
  • No annual fee for the first 2 years.

Cons

  • The annual fee is waived for the 1st 2 years, but you will be charged $162 for the principal card and $81 for the supplementary card after.
  • Cashback is capped at $100 each month

OCBC Titanium Rewards Credit Card (Blue)

On website

OCBC Titanium Rewards Credit Card (Blue)

Cashback

N/A

Cashback cap

N/A

Minimum spend

N/A

Sign up bonus

N/A

Highlights

  • Earn 10x rewards (equivalent to 4 miles per S$1 spent) on eligible retail purchases – both online and in-store
  • Earn 1x rewards on all other eligible purchases.
  • Additional 2% cash rebate when you spend at BEST Denki.

Pros

  • The waived annual fee for the first 2 years.
  • Redeem points as miles, vouchers, or cash to offset purchases via Stack.
  • Earn up to 7.65% a year on your savings when you use the OCBC Titanium Rewards Credit Card

Cons

  • Min annual income of $30,000 for citizens/PRs or $45,000 for foreigners
  • The annual fee is waived for the 1st 2 years, but you will be charged $194.40 for the principal card and $97.40 for the supplementary card after.
OCBC Frank Credit Card

On website

OCBC Frank Credit Card

Cashback

Up to 8.00% on any foreign currency spend

Cashback cap

Up to $25.00

Minimum spend

S$800.00 per month

Sign up bonus

N/A

Highlights

  • Get up to 10% cashback. Earn 8% in cashback on foreign currency transactions and online/contactless mobile transactions in SGD, plus earn an additional 2% when you shop at selected green merchants.
  • Earn up to S$100 in monthly cashback when you spend at least S$800 a month.
  • Earn 0.3% cashback on other eligible spending.

Pros

  • Earn 8% cashback on purchases made in foreign currency, both online and in stores.
  • Earn 8% cashback on online purchases made in SGD and contactless mobile transactions.
  • Earn an additional 2% cashback on green merchants like SimplyGo, BlueSG, Scoop Wholefoods, and more.
  • The annual fee is waived for the first 2 years

Cons

  • Cashback is capped at S$100 a month.
  • After the first 2 years, you will be charged an annual fee of S$194.40 for the principal card and S$97.20 for the additional card.
OCBC Titanium Rewards Credit Card (Pink)

On website

OCBC Titanium Rewards Credit Card (Pink)

Cashback

N/A

Cashback cap

N/A

Minimum spend

N/A

Sign up bonus

N/A

Highlights

  • Earn 10x rewards (equivalent to 4 miles per S$1 spent) on eligible retail purchases – both online and in-store.
  • Earn 1x rewards on all other eligible purchases.
  • Additional 2% cash rebate when you spend at BEST Denki.

Pros

  • Earn up to 10 points per $1 spent.
  • The annual fee is waived for the first 2 years.
  • Comes with e-Commerce Protection,
  • Redeem points as miles, vouchers, or cash to offset purchases via Stack.

Cons

  • The annual fee is waived for the 1st 2 years, but you will be charged S$194.40 for the principal card and S$97.20 for the supplementary card after.
OCBC Arts Credit Card

On website

OCBC Arts Credit Card

Cashback

N/A

Cashback cap

N/A

Minimum spend

N/A

Sign up bonus

N/A

Highlights

  • Priority booking for shows by Singapore Dance Theatre, Singapore Lyric Opera, and T.H.E Dance Company.
  • Earn 15 OCBC$ per S$5 spent on SISTIC purchases
  • Redeem points as show tickets or invites, miles, vouchers, or cash to offset purchases on the spot

Pros

  • Earn accelerated OCBC$ on SISTIC purchases.
  • Redeem rewards via OCBC Rewards Catalogue.
  • No annual fee for the first 2 years when you meet the spend criteria.

Cons

  • The annual fee of S$162.00 for the primary card and S$81.00 for the supplementary card.
OCBC Platinum Credit Card

On website

OCBC Platinum Credit Card

Cashback

N/A

Cashback cap

N/A

Minimum spend

N/A

Sign up bonus

N/A

Highlights

  • Earn 5 OCBC$ for every S$5 spent
  • Enjoy discounts and special deals for travel, dining, health, wellness, and recreational activities with the family.
  • Redeem rewards via OCBC Rewards Catalogue.

Pros

  • Earn 5 OCBC$ for every S$5 spent.
  • Waived annual fee for the first 2 years if you meet the spending criteria.
  • Redeem points as miles, as nifty vouchers for petrol, shopping, or dining, or as cash to offset purchases on the spot

Cons

  • The annual fee of S$162.00 p.a.
American Express Platinum Credit Card

Apply by 28 February 2024

American Express Platinum Credit Card

Cashback

N/A

Cashback cap

N/A

Minimum spend

N/A

Sign up bonus

Receive S$200 Statement Credits with annual fee payment and when you spend at least S$3,000 within the first 3 months of card approval. Applicable if you are new to American Express.

Highlights

  • Receive S$200 eCapitaVouchers with annual fee payment and when you spend at least S$1,000 within the first 3 months of card approval. Applicable if you are new to American Express.
  • Receive S$100 eCapitaVouchers with annual fee payment and when you spend at least S$1,000 within the first 3 months of card approval. Applicable if you are an existing card member.
  • Enjoy up to 50% savings at select 5-star hotels and restaurants with Love Dining by Platinum.
  • Enjoy Platinum Lifestyle benefits including deals and discounts at spas, golf, and bars, and the membership Rewards Catalogue.

Pros

  • Receive up to S$200 Statement Credits when you meet the criteria.
  • Get up to 50% savings at 5-star hotels, spa vouchers and discounts, and complimentary green fees at premier golf and country clubs in Singapore and overseas with Platinum Lifestyle.
  • The first 2 Supplementary Cards fees are permanently waived.
  • Redeem points at the Membership Rewards Catalogue or pay with points to downsize your card bills.

Cons

  • Minimum income requirement of $80,000 p.a.
  • The annual fee is $324 p.a. (inclusive of 8% GST).
American Express Platinum Charge Card

Apply by 28 February 2024

American Express Platinum Charge Card

Cashback

N/A

Cashback cap

N/A

Minimum spend

N/A

Sign up bonus

Receive up to 135,000 Membership Rewards points. Terms and Conditions apply.

Highlights

  • Receive up to 135,000 Membership Rewards points. Get a welcome offer of 87,500 Membership Rewards points with a minimum spending of S$6,000 within the first 2 months of Card approval, receive 40,000 Membership Rewards points upon Annual Fee payment, and 7,500 Membership Rewards points based on the S$6,000 spent. Terms and Conditions apply.
  • Receive up to S$2,247 credits in a calendar year to spend across a selection of travel and premium lifestyle brands.
  • Enjoy unlimited complimentary access to over 1,400 airport lounges around the world.

Pros

  • Receive up to 135,000 Membership Reward points when you meet the criteria.
  • Get complimentary upgrades for global hotels and lifestyle loyalty programs
  • Receive complimentary upgrades to Hotel Loyalty Programmes.
  • Earn 5 Amex Points for every S$1.60 spent with Singapore Airlines, SilkAir, and Scoot.
  • Earn 2 Amex points for every S$1.60 spent on another qualified spending.

Cons

  • The annual fee is S$1,728 p.a. (inclusive of 8% GST)
American Express Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Ascend Credit Card

Cashback

N/A

Cashback cap

N/A

Minimum spend

N/A

Sign up bonus

Receive up to 34,000 KrisFlyer miles when you meet the criteria. Terms and Conditions apply.

Highlights

  • Receive up to 34,000 KrisFlyer miles points. Get 5,000 KrisFlyer miles for the very first charge on card, receive a welcome offer of 25,400 KrisFlyer miles points upon annual fee payment and a minimum spend of S$3,000 within the first 3 months of card approval, and 3,600 KrisFlyer miles based on the S$3,000 spent. Terms and Conditions apply.
  • Get a complimentary one-night stay at Hilton Properties in the Asia Pacific and 4 complimentary lounge access passes each year with exclusive Hertz privileges worldwide.
  • Accelerated upgrade to KrisFlyer Elite Gold Membership with a minimum spend of $15,000 on singaporeair.com within the first 12 months of card approval. This comes with an additional 20kg baggage allowance and other priority privileges.

Pros

  • Enjoy an accelerated upgrade to KrisFlyer Elite Gold membership with a minimum spend of $15,000 on SIA within 12 months of getting your card.
  • Enjoy Double KrisFlyer Miles Accrual Voucher (capped at 5,000 bonus KrisFlyer Miles) with min. spend of S$15,000 on Singapore Airlines from 1 July 2023 to 30 June 2024.
  • On top of 1.2 KrisFlyer Miles per 1$ on local spend, you can earn KrisFlyer Miles at accelerated rates when spending overseas, for transactions with Grab, Singapore Airlines, and KrisShop.
  • Includes travel inconvenience and travel accident benefits.
  • Annual supplementary card fee is waived in the first year.

Cons

  • Min annual income of $50,000 for citizens/PRs and $60,000 for foreigners.
  • The annual fee is $340.20 (inclusive of 8% GST)
  • Free travel insurance only when your air ticket is charged to your card.
  • Supplementary cards have a fee of $81 p.a. second year onwards.
  • Late payment fee is $100.

American Express Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Credit Card

American Express Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Credit Card

Cashback

N/A

Cashback cap

N/A

Minimum spend

N/A

Sign up bonus

Get a welcome offer of 5,000 KrisFlyer miles the very first time you charge to your Card. Terms and Conditions apply.

Highlights

  • First-year fee waiver for main cardholder and supplementary card.
  • Welcome offer of 5,000 KrisFlyer miles. Earn up to 3.1 KrisFlyer miles per $1 spent.
  • Get $150 cashback for use on your next purchase on singaporeair.com when you spend $12,000 on eligible purchases with your Card from 1 July 2023 to 30 June 2024.
  • Get 500 Bonus KrisFlyer miles on paying the first telco recurring bill.

Pros

  • First year fee waiver
  • Earn 3.1 miles per $1 spend on Grab rides, up to $200 each month.
  • All other purchases earn you 1.1 miles per $1 spend.
  • All miles are auto-credited to your KrisFlyer account, sparing you the hassle.

Cons

  • Min annual income of $30,000 for citizens/PRs and $45,000 for foreigners.
  • Annual fee waived the 1st year, but $176.55 for principal card and $54 for each supplementary card thereafter.
  • Free travel insurance only when your air ticket is charged to your card.

American Express True Cashback Credit Card

Cashback

1.50% on any domestic spend

Cashback cap

N/A

Minimum spend

N/A

Sign up bonus

Earn 3% cashback on up to S$5,000 eligible purchases within the first 6 months.

Highlights

  • Enjoy a welcome bonus of 3% cashback on up to $5,000 eligible purchases within the first 6 months.
  • Earn 1.5% cashback on all eligible purchases in the same month without a minimum spend or earning cap.
  • Annual fee waived in the first year, reverting to $172.80 p.a.
  • Save on wedding packages and get curated American Express True Cashback Card Offers on retail, travel, dining and entertainment.

Pros

  • Bonus 3% cashback offer.
  • Enjoy additional savings on wedding packages and services with participating partners.
  • First 2 supplementary cards are free.
  • Includes travel inconvenience and travel accident insurance.
  • Fraud protection.

Cons

  • The minimum annual income of $30,000 for citizens/PRs or $45,000 for foreigners.
  • The principal card is free for the 1st year but costs $172.80 per year after.
  • A late payment charge of $100 if you don't pay the minimum monthly payment — higher of 3% or $50 — in full.
  • No balance transfer offer.
Citi PremierMiles Card

Citi PremierMiles Card

Cashback

N/A

Cashback cap

N/A

Minimum spend

N/A

Sign up bonus

Get 30,000 bonus Citi ThankYou Points when you apply, get approved, and spend S$800 or more in the first 2 months. Terms and Conditions apply.

Highlights

  • Earn 2 Citi Miles per S$1 on foreign currency spend and 1.2 Citi Miles per S$1 on local spend. Renewal bonus of 10,000 Citi Miles on your card anniversary.
  • Access to over 1,000 airport lounges with Priority Pass membership.
  • Up to $$1 million travel insurance coverage is awesome.

Pros

  • No expiry on miles earned.
  • Redeem miles at over 60 airlines and 8,000 hotels.
  • Convert 1,200 miles to a $10 rebate.
  • Supplementary card is complimentary.

Cons

  • Annual fee of $194.40 p.a. for the principal card.
  • Priority Pass membership is free for the principal cardholder only, expect to apply for it, and is limited to 2 free lounge visits each year.
  • Free travel insurance only when your air ticket is charged to your card.
Citi SMRT Credit Card

Citi SMRT Credit Card

Cashback

Up to 5.00% on grocery spend

Cashback cap

$600.00 on any spend

Minimum spend

S$500.00 per month

Sign up bonus

Get S$300 cash back when you apply and spend with a Citi SMRT Card. Terms and Conditions apply.

Highlights

  • Get up to 5% cashback on selected grocery stores, online purchases, and & public transport rides.
  • Get a 0.3% cashback on all other eligible transactions.
  • Redeem SMRT$ for cash rebate or shopping vouchers

Pros

  • The annual fee for the first 2 years is waived. S$194.40 thereafter.
  • Get deals and discounts with Citi World Privileges.
  • Convert big transactions into installments with Citi PayLite.

Cons

  • There is a required S$500 spend to earn the 5% cashback on select categories.
  • S$600 cap on SMRT$ rebates per year.
Citi Rewards Credit Card

Citi Rewards Credit Card

Cashback

N/A

Cashback cap

N/A

Minimum spend

N/A

Sign up bonus

Get 40,000 bonus Citi ThankYou Points when you apply, get approved, and spend S$800 or more in the first 2 months. Terms and Conditions apply.

Highlights

  • Earn 10X Reward on online purchases and shopping purchases.
  • Earn 10X Reward on rides with Grab, Gojek, and more.
  • Earn 10X Reward on online food delivery.
  • Earn 10X Reward on online groceries.

Pros

  • All other purchases still earn you a 1X Reward.
  • The first-year annual fee is waived.
  • Enjoy complimentary travel insurance when you use your card to purchase an airline ticket.
  • Get deals and discounts with Citi World Privileges.

Cons

  • Annual fee is waived for the 1st year, but $194.40 for the principal card and $97.20 for the supplementary card after.
  • There is a 3.25% foreign conversion fee.
  • Sign-up promo is only applicable to new Citi cardholders.
  • A rewards cap applies.
Citi Prestige Credit Card

Citi Prestige Credit Card

Cashback

N/A

Cashback cap

N/A

Minimum spend

N/A

Sign up bonus

Get 177,500 bonus Citi ThankYou Points when you apply, get approved, and spend S$1,000 or more in the first 2 months. Terms and Conditions apply.

Highlights

  • Earn 5 ThankYou points (2 miles) per $1 overseas spend and 3.25 ThankYou points (1.3 miles) per $1 local spend.
  • Get a complimentary 4th-night stay at any hotel or resort.
  • Enjoy six complimentary golf games in Singapore, China, Indonesia, and Malaysia.
  • A concierge team to support your lifestyle at home and abroad

Pros

  • Earn 2 miles per $1 overseas spend and 1.3 miles per $1 local spend, miles won't expire on you.
  • No cap on ThankYou points.
  • Access to over 1,000 airport lounges with Priority Pass membership.
  • Up to $1 million travel insurance coverage is awesome.
  • Travel like a boss! Complimentary one-way Airport Limousine transfers to or from Changi International Airport.
  • Fly and stay with no blackout dates all year round.

Cons

  • The high annual fee of S$540 p.a.
  • A minimum income of S$120,000 a year is required to be eligible for this card.
  • Free travel insurance only when your air ticket is charged to your card.
Citi Lazada Credit Card

Citi Lazada Credit Card

Cashback

N/A

Cashback cap

N/A

Minimum spend

N/A

Sign up bonus

N/A

Highlights

  • Earn 10X reward points when you shop on Lazada Singapore. Terms and Conditions apply.
  • Earn 5X reward points on your dining, travel, entertainment, and commute transactions.
  • Enjoy a shipping rebate when you spend a minimum of S$50 per transaction at Lazada.

Pros

  • Get exclusive Lazada offers.
  • You can use your points to pay for any purchase.
  • Enjoy discounts locally and in 95 other countries.
  • Feel secure with this card's complimentary travel insurance.

Cons

  • Points earning is capped at 9,000 Reward Points per statement month.
  • Shipping rebate is capped at 4 shipping rebates per month.

Not sure how credit cards work or if you should get one? Read on for more details on what they are, how they work, what types of card exist, and tips to get the most out of them.

What is a credit card and how do they work?

Physically, a credit card is a piece of plastic about the same size as a business card, embossed with the cardholder’s name and containing an embedded security chip and a magnetic stripe, either of which may be used to verify electronically that the card is valid, identify the cardholder’s account details and complete payment for a purchase.

Financially , a credit card is issued to a customer by a financial institution. This gives the customer access to a revolving line of credit which he or she can use to make payments for goods and services, up to an agreed credit limit. The customer is not usually required to pay for the goods and services until a specified payment due date each month, which is usually a set number of days after the end of the monthly billing cycle. In most cases no interest will be charged on the amount of these purchases, unless the customer fails to pay off the total purchases balance on the due date. In the event of this failure to clear the balance, any remaining amount will attract interest charges at a rate very much in excess of normal bank lending rates.

Credit cards vs charge cards

Although charge cards are similar to credit cards in some ways – especially in giving an agreed number of days each month during which no repayment of the purchases balance is required and no interest is charged – a charge card is not a revolving line of credit.

A charge card account has no option to leave a part of the balance unpaid at the end of the month, and have interest charged on the balance. A charge card's balance must be cleared in full and on time every month, and failure to do so could incur large penalty fees.

The trade-off for the lack of a revolving line of credit is that there is no fixed credit limit, a situation which delivers greater spending flexibility. However, 'no credit limit' does not mean 'unlimited credit'. The card issuer will have a figure in mind, based on your income and an assessment of your ability to repay the balance, and a sudden increase in major purchases beyond your means could result in the charge card issuer putting a temporary hold on your credit.

Charge cards also typically have more extensive complimentary benefits than most credit cards, accompanied as a result by higher annual fees.

American Express are the most prominent issuer of charge cards in Singapore.

Credit card vs. debit cards

You use a debit card to make purchases with your own money. The amount of your purchase is deducted from the balance in the bank account linked to your card, and if you don’t have enough money in the account the transaction will be declined.

You use a credit card to make a purchase with money you are borrowing from the card issuer, as part of an agreed line of credit. When the monthly payment due date arrives, you either make a payment into your credit card account to clear the total balance, thus avoiding interest charges, or leave part of the balance in the account and incur high interest charges.

Credit cards vs. prepaid cards

A prepaid card is similar in some ways to a debit card, in that you are spending your own money – not a bank's money – when making purchases.

However, unlike a debit card, a prepaid card is not linked to a bank account. Instead, you load cash onto the prepaid card in advance to create a positive balance, and the balance reduces as you use the card to make purchases.

You cannot spend more than the amount pre-loaded onto the card, but it may be possible to keep topping up the balance by loading more cash onto the same card.

Common credit card features

Credit cards often have other features, besides being a convenient means of payment with access to a revolving line of credit.

The credit card market is very competitive, and in order to make their cards attractive to a wide variety of consumers, banks tend to offer a range of cards. The range may start with a basic card with no extra features and a low or even no annual fee. Further up the range, cards with more features will have a higher annual fee.

A card's features may include some or all of:

Credit card alternatives

Since everyone's financial situation is unique, what alternatives are available will depend on what you want to do.

  • If you just want to have access to funds for a rainy day, then a line of credit is worth considering.
  • If you want to fund a large one-off purchase and you don't care about earning points or cashback, then a personal loan is an option.
  • And if you would like to pay off your credit cards, then you should consider a debt consolidation plan to get your finances under control.
  • Consider a buy now pay later service if you don't trust yourself to repay the balance in a set period of time.
  • However, if you really do get cashback rebates and air miles on everyday spending, then there really isn't an alternative to using a credit card.

Learn about credit cards

Get helpful tips and answers to your questions about credit cards from our experts.

  • FAQs

  • Glossary

  • Pros & cons

  • Tips

Are credit cards free?

Some cards have the potential to be free if used carefully. For example, if a credit card has no annual fee, and you never miss paying off your total purchases balance on or before the due date (and therefore never incur interest charges and late payment fees) and never make overseas purchases while online or while travelling (and therefore never incur foreign transaction fees), then you could operate your credit card account free of charge.

But most cards do have an annual fee, and many cardholders do fail to pay off their balance on time, resulting in interest charges and late payment fees. In addition to the fees they charge to merchants for processing your purchase transactions, fees and interest charges are some of the ways in which banks make a profit from credit cards.

So how much will a credit card cost me in terms of the annual fee?

Anywhere from $0 for a basic card with few or no benefits (other than a line of credit and payment convenience) to $800 or more for a premium card with air miles or rewards points and heaps of high-end lifestyle benefits and privileges. The vast majority of credit cards fall somewhere in the middle of these two extremes, and $192.60 is a typical fee.

Many credit cards do feature an automatic annual fee waiver for the first one or two years. Some cards waive the annual fee when a target spending amount has been reached in the previous year.

Do all credit cards earn air miles or rewards points?

No. Some may have other benefits instead, such as discounts or cashback on specific types of spending (e.g. petrol, groceries).

What are credit card foreign transaction fees?

Most banks charge a fee for credit card purchases you make from overseas merchants, when you are travelling or when you are shopping online. This is a fee of between 2.5% and 3.5% of the purchase price when converted to SGD. You will pay this fee whenever the merchant’s transaction processing centre is located outside Singapore, even though you may have made the payment in SGD (e.g. when shopping online) and were unaware that you were making a foreign transaction.

A small number of credit cards offer a waiver of foreign transaction fees as one of the card’s benefits.

What is a credit card minimum repayment?

Although we recommend that you try to repay your balance in full and on time every month, to avoid paying interest charges, paying the balance in full is not compulsory. But it is compulsory to make a least a minimum repayment each month, on or before the payment due date (to avoid a late payment fee). For most cards the minimum monthly repayment will be either $50 or 3% of the outstanding balance, whichever is greater.

How will making only minimum payments affect my credit score?

Making only the minimum payment on time each month will certainly result in large interest bills and a debt which could take many years to repay, but it will not have a direct impact on your credit score because you are neither late in your payments nor in default (which you would be if you stopped making payments altogether). So as long as you meet the required payment amount and the due date, you won't be reported to the credit bureaux. But what may be reported is the fact that your credit utilisation is high (e.g. a balance of $8,000 on a card with a $10,000 credit limit), which may be the case if you are struggling to repay significant amounts of your balance. A high credit utilisation will have a negative impact on your credit score.

How do I make a credit card repayment?

The easiest way to make a repayment is by making a funds transfer to your credit card account using internet banking.

Other payment methods include:

  • Automated GIRO payments
  • AXS physical station, AXS e-Station, AXS m-Station mobile app
  • Over the counter at the bank
  • The old-fashioned way — a cheque in the mail (but post it well ahead of the payment due date)

What happens if I miss a payment?

Missing a payment has several consequences. First of all, you're likely to be hit with a late payment fee, This fee may be in the range $20-$60, but could be as high as $100, even if your outstanding bill is relatively modest. Secondly, you may find that your card provider lifts your already high interest rate to a penalty APR. Finally, your bank may report your late payment to a credit bureau, with a resulting downward impact on your credit score. So make sure you always meet at least the minimum payment, and do it on time.

What kind of credit card should I choose?

Compare all the options right here at Finty: air miles, cashback, dining, entertainment, grocery, instalment, overseas spending, petrol, rewards points and shopping credit cards.

Take a look at the statement for your existing credit card, debit card or bank account to see where most of your money goes. Then pick out the cards with the best rewards, in terms of miles, points, cashback or discount, for your two or three largest spending categories. Narrow down your choice by comparing the cost (annual fee) and other benefits that come with these selected cards, until you find the card that is the best fit for you.

Is there a minimum age for credit card applicants?

Yes. In Singapore you must be at least 21 to apply for a card as the primary account holder in most cases, although some banks do issue student credit cards to applicants aged 18-20. Supplementary cardholders must normally be at least 18 years old.

What level of income do I need before applying for a credit card?

For most cards you’ll need a minimum annual income of $30,000 if you’re a citizen of Singapore. Income requirements may be higher for permanent residents or foreigners. Premium and elite cards, loaded with benefits and privileges, will have much higher income requirements for all applicants.

What income proof do I need to apply for a credit card?

In order to prove that you have the required minimum income you'll typically need to supply the following documents:

  • For salaried Singaporeans and permanent residents, a copy of your latest annual CPF statement , or your last three months' computerised payslips, or your latest Notice of Assessment plus latest computerised payslip
  • For self-employed or commission-based Singaporeans and permanent residents, your last two years' Notice of Assessment
  • For foreigners temporarily resident in Singapore, your last three months' computerised payslips, or your latest Notice of Assessment plus latest computerised payslip , or a letter from your employer certifying your employment and salary

What other documentation will I need when applying for a credit card?

You’ll need to prove your identity (photocopy of NRIC or passport) and residential address (e.g. copy of utility bill).

Will I need a good credit score before I can apply for a credit card?

Having a good credit score will obviously improve your application’s chances of success, and will also affect the size of the credit limit you are given. But don’t worry if you don’t have a credit history — in this case the bank will concentrate on your income, or ask you for collateral (such as a fixed deposit bank account) as security, when deciding whether to issue you with a card.

How can I apply for a credit card?

When you have finished comparing cards and have selected the one that’s best for you, just click the green ‘Application’ button on the left of the card’s listing here at Finty. It will take you straight to the card issuer’s web page for the card, so that you can complete your application online.

Do I need to apply for a credit card using MyInfo?

No, it's not obligatory, but you will certainly find it easier and quicker to complete your online credit card application using MyInfo, and it's likely to speed up the approval process as well since it removes the need to verify some of the information you supply.

What are the easiest credit cards to get approved for?

The easiest cards to be approved for are those with a low credit limit, such as student cards or low income cards. You'll still likely to need an annual income income of at least $18,000 and be under 35 years old to apply for this kind of card, which will usually have a credit limit of only $500 and have no air miles, reward points or other benefit s attached. However, it will provide a good way to get a toe in the credit card market, and if you use the account responsibly and build up your credit score you should be able to apply for a better card after a while.

Which is the best credit card in Singapore?

It's impossible to say which are the best credit cards Singapore has to offer, because the word 'best' will have a different meaning depending on your spending pattern and your rewards and benefits expectations. For a big spender with a high income, the best card may be the one that has the most complimentary benefits (like travel insurance and airport lounge access) and the best air miles or reward points earning rate, even though it may come with a hefty annual fee. At the other end of the spectrum, the best card for a student will probably be the cheapest (preferably with no annual fee at all) and the one that's easiest to use for contactless payments via a phone app. And there's a 'best' card for everyone in between, which you'll find by analysing your spending pattern and then choosing the card that offers the best rewards (i.e. reward points, air miles or cashback) both for the total amount you spend and where your money mostly goes (e.g. dining, groceries, online shopping, foreign currency spend) or the best complimentary benefits for your lifestyle (e.g. travel insurance, airport lounge access, fuel savings), or both.

What credit card can I get with bad credit?

A poor credit score is going to make it more difficult for you to be approved for a credit card. While you may be rejected when applying for a standard card (because the bank thinks you're too risky) you can apply for a secured card instead. This means that the bank will ask you to open a fixed-term deposit account with them, and put at least $10,000 in the account, which they will use as collateral.

Another possible alternative is to have someone else guaranteeing your card account, effectively as a loan guarantor for the amount of your credit limit on the card. The guarantor will need to have a good credit score and a reasonably good income. If you default on your card payments, the card issuer will pursue the guarantor for payment.

How long does it take for a credit card application to be approved or denied?

Processing your application can take at least five business days, possibly as many as 10 days, so allow that amount of time before expecting a result. Even if you are offered 'instant approval' or 'fast approval', such approval is only conditional on the card provider being able to check that the information you have provided is correct, which takes longer. Once your application is approved it could take between three and 10 days for the card to arrive by mail.

Will applying for a credit card affect my credit score?

Applying for a credit card, just like any other application for credit, will be recorded in your credit history and will reduce your credit score slightly and temporarily. So it's best to apply for only one – or at most two – at a time. If you apply for too many cards in a short amount of time, it will look as if you had multiple rejections and your credit score may suffer as a result.

Can I apply for more than one card at the same time?

Yes you can. If you apply for more than one card with the same bank, they will probably split your credit limit between the two cards, but you'll get a separate credit limit if you apply to a different card issuer. Just bear in mind that every application will reduce your credit score a little.

What is credit card churning?

Credit card churning is the process of repeatedly acquiring new credit cards for the purpose of earning the cards' sign-up bonuses, which may come in the form of large quantities of air miles or rewards points, large amounts of cashback or a welcome gift. If there is a target spending requirement in order to qualify for the bonus, card churners use the card until the target is reached, pocket the bonus and then stop using the card – long before the next annual fee is due to be charged. Miles and points are a great way to travel for free, hence the appeal of card churning to speed up the process.

But there are some dangers attached to churning. You might find yourself spending more than you can afford, just to meet the spending target within the short time frame allowed. And if you then don't pay off your balance in full at the end of each month, you could end up paying more in interest charges than the sign-up credit card promotions are worth. Finally, you could damage your credit score, since every application for credit that you make is reported to credit bureaux and will reduce your score.

Can I increase the credit limit?

Yes. You can contact your card issuer and ask for a review of your limit. You are more likely to succeed if your income has increased since you first applied for the card and/or you have kept your card account in good order with timely payments of the full balance each month.

APR

Annual Percentage Rate. The interest rate applied to carried-over credit card balances, or to new purchases where there is an existing balance, or to cash advances, expressed as an annual rate (although it is calculated daily and charged monthly).

Cash advance

Withdrawal of cash from a credit card account, either over-the-counter or at an ATM. 

Cashback or cash back

A cash refund or rebate on credit card purchases, calculated as a percentage of the overall purchase amount during a specified period, or as percentage of the purchase amounts in several different spending categories in a specified period. The cashback is normally delivered in the form of a credit to the cardholder’s credit card account, reducing the amount owing on the card.

Charge card

A payment card that works like a credit card in many ways, except that there is no fixed credit limit and no option to carry a balance from month to month – it must be repaid in full every month.

Collateral

Cash or another asset (such as property) pledged as security for repayment of a loan, able to be seized by the lender for the purpose of recovering losses in the event of a default.

Complimentary benefits

Benefits provided free of charge to credit card account holders. Examples include travel insurance, airport lounge access, shopping privileges and discounts and a personal concierge service. 

Concierge service

Personal lifestyle assistance, available by phone or online, for travel, dining and entertainment recommendations and bookings, party and gift planning.

CPF

The Central Provident Fund, a Singapore government agency providing a social security savings plan via compulsory contributions from both employers and employees when wage and salary payment are made.

Credit bureau

A business involved in the collection of credit data about an individual or organisation, the compilation of the data into a credit report, and the calculation of a credit score or credit rating based on the data. 

Credit limit

The maximum amount you are allowed to accumulate as debt on your card.

Credit report or Credit history file

A list of an individual or organisation’s credit-related activities, compiled by a credit bureau. The credit-related activities include debt and debt repayment history, applications for credit, debt defaults, and requests for the individual or organisation’s credit report made by credit providers. 

Credit score or Credit rating

A numerical expression of a person’s credit history, based on the information in a credit report collected by a credit bureau. The higher the number, the better the score. Debit card: A type of electronic purchase card linked to the cardholder’s bank account, so that the cardholder can make purchases with the card by using cash already deposited in that account.

Foreign transaction fee

A fee charged by most credit cards in Singapore for a card purchase made in a foreign currency and/or with a merchant whose transaction processing centre is located outside Singapore. A typical fee would be 2.5-3.25% of the transaction amount.

Interest-free days

The days that elapse between the date of a purchase transaction and the date on which repayment must be made before interest charges are levied, where the card account is not carrying an unpaid balance from the previous month. 

Minimum spend

For a cashback card, this can be either:

  • The minimum amount to be spent or minimum number of purchase transactions to be made in a month before any cashback at all is earned

Or

  • The minimum amount to be spent in order to reach a higher spending tier with a higher cashback rebate percentage

Notice of Assessment

An annual statement provided by the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) detailing a company's or individual's chargeable income (submitted in their annual income tax return) and final tax payable amount.

Payment due date

The date on or before which credit card repayments are required to be made each month.

Prepaid card

A type of electronic payment card preloaded with cash, so that the cardholder can make purchases using the card for a value up to the amount loaded on the card.

User-friendly

A credit card is a fast and convenient way to make payments, particularly if you download a mobile banking or payment app so that you can use your phone for secure and speedy contactless payments.

Free use of someone else's money

Using a card gives you access to the bank's money for free, potentially for several weeks, as long as you pay off the total balance on or before the payment due date.

Extra benefits

Many cards come loaded with extra benefits, like air miles, reward points, cashback, discounts, sign-up bonuses, airport lounge access, travel insurance and hotel and golf privileges.

Greater security

Paying with a credit card is more secure than carrying cash, provided you take normal precautions like keeping the card in a safe place, not disclosing your PIN, and notifying the bank immediately if your card is lost or stolen.

Credit score improvement

Using a credit card in a responsible way will build up your credit score so that you can get a better deal for other financial products, such as a personal loan.

Spending tracker

For those who use their card for every possible everyday purchase and bill payment, a credit card statement is a perfect way to keep track of your expenditure for the purposes of budgeting – and for finding the next perfect card for your spending pattern when making a credit card comparison.

Temptation to spend

Having a credit card available can be a temptation for some people to spend more money than they can afford on things they don't actually need.

Long-term debt risk

Interest rates for credit cards are very high, and the minimum payments required are quite small. If you take the minimum payment option instead of repaying the full balance each month, you risk becoming trapped in long-term debt.

High annual fees

If your card has a high annual fee, it could work out to be expensive if you don't earn enough air miles or points to cover the fee, or don't use enough of the complimentary benefits.

Credit score jeopardy

While using a credit card responsibly can only improve your credit score, doing the opposite, or applying for too many cards in a short period of time, could see your credit score go down.

The best way to use your card

Ideally you should repay the balance on your card every month, on time and in full. This means that you can use the bank's money interest free for a while for your purchases, while avoiding both high interest charges of 15%-28% p.a. and late payment fees. You can use GIRO to set up an automatic monthly payment, to make sure you never forget to pay. If you can't pay off your balance in full, always pay off as much as you can afford.

You should also avoid taking cash advances, which come with high fees and start incurring interest from the moment you receive the cash. There are no interest-free days on cash advances.

Choose the card that will serve you best

When you compare credit cards, look for the one best suited to your own spending pattern, income and lifestyle:

  • If you're a regular overseas traveller, choose an air miles card.
  • When you need to consolidate your debts and get some relief from high interest charges, choose a card with a balance transfer offer.
  • If your spending pattern reveals that a large part of your income goes on dining, or online shopping, or groceries, or just local spend, opt for a points or cashback card that will reward your specific spending categories, preferably with no minimum spend.
  • When your budget is really tight, choose a card with no annual fee, even if it means no extra benefits.

Use all the benefits attached to your card

It can be easy to overlook some of the complimentary benefits your card may have, so be sure to read the small print and milk every benefit to the max. You can save money and make your life easier if your card confers airport lounge access, travel insurance, dining discounts, fuel savings, and even hotel, golf and spa privileges.

Take extra care when using your card overseas

When you leave Singapore and intend to use your card at your destination, there are some things you need to be aware of:

  • Unless you have one of the few cards with no foreign transaction fees, all your foreign currency spending will be hit with a foreign currency transaction fee, typically between 2.5% and 3.5% .
  • Some card issuers will expect you to alert them about your travel plans, so that you don't create a suspicious transaction alert when you suddenly start using your card overseas.
  • If your card comes with overseas travel insurance, plan to use it, but make sure you read the small print before you leave, to make sure it covers all your likely risks and that you have met the activation conditions (such as paying your fares with the card).
  • Dynamic Currency Conversion, if offered by an overseas merchant, should be avoided. It might seem like a good idea to be paying in SGD, but in fact you'll be getting a much worse exchange rate and you'll still have to pay those pesky foreign transaction fees because the merchant's processing centre is located outside Singapore.
  • Take note of your card's emergency contact details –by phone and online – before you depart. You may need them if your card is lost or stolen.

Avoid applying for multiple cards at the same time

While researching and comparing cards here at Finty has absolutely no impact on your credit score, actually applying for a card constitutes a 'hard' credit enquiry, and your credit score will dip slightly with each application you make. Banks will check your credit report when you apply for a card, and if they see you recently made lots of other applications they may think that you are struggling financially and therefore a greater risk.