Credit cards for expats

Expats living and working in Singapore can choose from most of the same credit cards available to citizens and permanent residents. You may have to jump through a few more hoops when applying, but you’ll appreciate the local rewards and benefits of a credit card issued in Singapore. Compare your options here.

By   |   Verified by Kwok Zhong Li   |   Updated 8 Mar 2023

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Comparing credit cards for expats

Citi PremierMiles Card

Citi PremierMiles Card

Minimum income

$30,000.00 for permanent residents

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.

Annual fee

$194.40 p.a. ongoing


  • 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.


  • 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.


  • 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.

Learn about credit cards for expats

Helpful tips for expats and foreigners living in Singapore to get more credit card benefits.

  • FAQs

Are there specific credit cards for expats and foreigners in Singapore?

There are no credit cards intended exclusively for expats, but there are plenty of credit cards with features that expats will appreciate, such as air miles, complimentary travel insurance, hotel upgrades and golfing privileges.

As an expat, how should I compare the credit cards on offer?

Take a look at your typical spending pattern (perhaps by looking at past statements from a credit or debit card you already have) and choose one that is going to offer the best rewards for the lowest cost based on the way you spend your money. If you travel overseas a lot, you might want to choose a card that lets you earn air miles and offers free travel insurance and airport lounge access. Those who enjoy wining and dining should be able to extract lots of benefit from a card giving higher rewards for restaurant spending while offering discounts at local eateries. The key is to try to match your spending pattern and lifestyle with the benefits offered, and then choose the lowest cost card from among the most suitable options.

Can an expat foreigner apply for a credit card in Singapore?

Certainly. There are no rules or restrictions preventing expats from applying for a Singapore credit card.

I already have a credit card issued in my home country. Why can’t I just use that in Singapore?

There’s nothing to prevent you using your overseas credit card in Singapore, since all of the major credit card brands are now accepted worldwide. But you should seriously consider getting a Singaporean credit card in order to avoid possible foreign currency transaction fees (a surcharge on each transaction, usually more than 3% of the transaction value), exchange rate uncertainty, and perhaps complicated arrangements for paying off your foreign credit card balance each month. Having a Singaporean credit card is much easier.

Also consider that a foreign credit card is not going to offer you the same local benefits – such as restaurant, shopping or petrol discounts and cashback – as a card issued in Singapore. And having a Singaporean credit card may help if you need to enter into other financial contracts like a mobile phone plan or personal loan.

I don’t have any credit history in Singapore. Can I still apply for a credit card?

Although you may not have any substantial credit history with financial institutions in Singapore, you may still be able to prove your creditworthiness via non-traditional sources such as your housing rental payment record, utility bill payment record or payment for insurance premiums not automatically deducted from your salary. It may mean that you will be offered a lower credit limit than you would ideally like to begin with, but by maintaining regular monthly repayments on your credit card account you should quickly be able to build up a credit history and then apply for a higher credit limit.

Is it difficult for an expat to be approved for a credit card in Singapore?

Not particularly, although not all banks offer credit cards to expats, and the eligibility requirements are often higher for expats than they are for Singaporeans. You will need to supply documents for proof of identity, residential address and income, just as Singaporeans or permanent residents do. The only difference is that the minimum income requirement may be higher for foreigners than for locals, and your proof of identity will be a certified copy of the personal details page in your foreign passport. You will also need to supply a a copy of your Employment Pass (P1, P2 or Q1, with at least one or possibly two years’ remaining validity), Personalised Employment Pass, EntrePass or Student Pass.

What are typical interest rates on credit cards in Singapore?

Typical Singapore credit card interest rates – for balances not fully repaid by the monthly due date – fall into the range 15%-28% p.a. At the higher end, the rate may be well in excess of the interest rate you are accustomed to in your own country, so bear this in mind when planning your credit card spending and repayments. It’s also possible that credit card issuers may impose a higher interest rate on foreigners simply because they are considered a more risky proposition than locals.

What is the minimum income an expat must have in order to be approved for a credit card in Singapore?

You will need a regular income of at least $40,000-$45,000 p.a. (possibly higher for premium cards). This is higher than the $30,000 p.a. income usually required for locals.

What other eligibility requirements and documents, bedsides income, do expats need to meet when applying for a credit card in Singapore?

You must be at least 21 years old (or 18 for a student credit card with parental consent), and you will need to supply:

  • A certified copy of the personal details page of your foreign passport
  • A copy of your visa/Employment Pass/Personalised Employment Pass/EntrePass/Student Pass.
  • Written verification of your employment in Singapore
  • Proof that you have opened a bank account in Singapore
  • Proof of your residential address, such as a copy of a utility bill showing your name and address, or any other official document showing your name and address (e.g. bank credit card statement, rental agreement)
  • Possibly, details of your regular monthly expenses (especially if you don’t have much information in your credit history file)

Why do some banks specify that expats must have a certain number of years remaining on their visa/Employment Pass before they can be approved for a credit card?

It’s because the bank needs to know that you plan to (and are able to) remain in Singapore long enough to repay any debt you may incur.