Instalment credit cards

When you’re planning a major purchase or large expenditure, such as new furniture, a wedding or a holiday, you may not have enough cash to pay for it right away. But an instalment credit card will give you the option of repaying over a longer period of your choice, in smaller monthly repayments, with the possibility of extra benefits like cashback and air miles.

OCBC Cashflo Credit Card

On OCBC's website

OCBC Cashflo Credit Card

Highlights

  • Pay over 6 months with 0% interest for transaction $1,000 and above
  • Pay over 3 months with 0% interest for transaction between $100 and $1,000
  • 1% rebate if your monthly spend is above $1,000 or 0.5% rebate if it's below
  • Save up to 14% at Esso, 16% at Caltex and 20% at Sinopec on petrol

Finty Rewards

  • $10 cash upon getting your card, even for existing OCBC cardholders

Bank promo

  • $50 cash rebate
Standard Chartered Spree Credit Card

On Standard Chartered's website

Standard Chartered Spree Credit Card

Highlights

  • Up to 3% cashback on online spends, 2% cashback on all contactless and mobile payments, no min spend for cashback
  • 1-for-1 Dining offers at participating restaurants with The Good Life
  • If another website is selling your recent online purchase for cheaper, you get 50% of the price difference back

Finty Rewards

  • $30 cash upon getting your card, even for existing SC cardholders

Bank promo

  • $80 cashback, no min spend ($20 cashback for existing SC cardholders)
CIMB Visa Signature Credit Card

On CIMB's website

CIMB Visa Signature Credit Card

Highlights

  • 10% rebate on your wine and dine tabs worldwide
  • 10% rebate on your online spends in foreign currencies
  • Up to $500,000 travel insurance coverage is pretty handy
  • Principal card is free
  • Admin fee on foreign currency transactions is as good as free

Finty Rewards

  • $5 cash upon getting your card, even for existing CIMB cardholders

Bank promo

  • $120 cash credit
HSBC Advance Credit Card

On HSBC's website

HSBC Advance Credit Card

Highlights

  • Up to 3.5% cashback on spending worldwide, no min spend
  • Yes please to exclusive retail, dining, entertainment, travel, and hotel privileges

Finty Rewards

  • $10 cash upon getting your card, even for existing HSBC cardholders

Bank promo

  • Samsonite T5 68cm Spinner Luggage worth $560 or $150 cashback ($30 cashback for existing HSBC cardholders)
Standard Chartered Unlimited Cashback Credit Card

On Standard Chartered's website

Standard Chartered Unlimited Cashback Credit Card

Highlights

  • Honeymoon of 3% cashback on foreign currency spend
  • 1.5% cashback on all other spending worldwide
  • No cap in your way of more cashback and no min spend

Finty Rewards

  • $30 cash upon getting your card, even for existing SC cardholders

Bank promo

  • $80 cashback, no min spend ($20 cashback for existing SC cardholders)
Standard Chartered Rewards+ Credit Card

On Standard Chartered's website

Standard Chartered Rewards+ Credit Card

Highlights

  • Earn up to 10 points per $1 spend in foreign currency on overseas retail, dining and travel transactions
  • Up to 5 points for every $1 spend on dining transactions, and 1 point for every $1 spend on all eligible spend
  • No min spend and enough points can get you cash, miles, items, or vouchers for dining, shopping, or travel
  • Exclusive privileges, 1-for-1 Platinum Movie Suites Tickets with Cathay Cineplexes, 50% off à la carte dining at The Fullerton Hotel Singapore and The Fullerton Bay Hotel Singapore

Finty Rewards

  • $30 cash upon getting your card, even for existing SC cardholders

Bank promo

  • $80 cashback, no min spend ($20 cashback for existing SC cardholders)

Q&As about Instalment credit cards

What is an instalment credit card?

An instalment credit card is a bit like a personal loan, in that it gives you access to cash for large purchases which you can repay in monthly instalments over a longer period (e.g. 12 months). Unlike a personal loan, you don’t have to re-apply for a new loan when you’ve paid off the old one. The credit limit on your instalment credit card remains available for your use. And also unlike a personal loan, you won’t have to pay interest charges on the balance outstanding.

What is the minimum instalment credit card transaction amount that can be split into instalment repayments?

The amount varies from card to card. Some cards allow amounts of as little as $100 to be split, while other cards have a $500 minimum.

What is the maximum repayment period for an instalment plan on an instalment credit card?

Again, repayment periods vary. But generally speaking, transactions below $1,000 can be split into up to 12 instalments, while transactions over $1,000 can be split into up to 24 instalments.

Is there a limit to the number of transactions I can split into instalment repayments on an instalment credit card?

There may be no limit to the number of purchase transactions, but there may be a limit to the number of instalment plans you can have at any one time.

For example, the card may have a limit of six instalment plans on the card at any one time. If there was only one transaction in each of these instalment plans (e.g. wedding + honeymoon + car deposit + furniture purchase + kitchen appliance purchase + computer purchase) then the maximum would be reached in six transactions.

But some instalment credit cards allow you to combine a number of transactions into one instalment plan, after the purchases have been made. There may be a limit on the number of transactions allowed in each instalment plan (e.g. a maximum of 10 transactions per plan) but this would still mean that you could have a large number of transactions being repaid in instalments.

What is an instalment credit card cash rebate?

Not all instalment credit cards offer a cash rebate, but for those that do, it’s a percentage cashback on your instalment credit card spending. Depending on which card you choose, it may be a percentage rebate on all spending (e.g. 0.5% cashback for the first $1,000 spent, 1% cashback thereafter) or on a specific type of spending (e.g. 5% cashback on online and contactless purchases). Some cards have unlimited cashback, while others have a monthly cap (e.g. $125 per month).

What other perks are available with instalment credit cards?

Some cards offer air miles (e.g. 3 miles per $1 spent). Others offer a discount on fuel purchases (e.g. 16% discount at a specific brand of petrol station) or free travel insurance, or airport lounge passes, or dining, hotel and entertainment privileges.

Will I have to pay interest on the balance outstanding on my instalment credit card?

No. instalment credit cards have a 0% p.a. interest rate (provided you always pay your instalments on time). Card issuers recover their costs and make a profit via a combination of the annual fee, transaction and payment plan processing fees and fees charged to merchants.

However, interest may be charged on overdue balances if you miss a repayment, or pay late.

How much is the annual fee for an instalment credit card?

It depends on the card. The higher the cashback or other attached benefits, the higher the annual fee will be.

Annual fees start at $0 (yes, a free card) and rise to around $600. Cards with lower annual fees often waive the fee for the first one or two years. Other cards offer an annual fee rebate in every year where a spending target (e.g. $25,000) was reached in the previous year.

What other fees, besides the annual fee, are payable on an instalment credit card?

Most instalment credit cards have a transaction processing fee. An amount generally between 1.5% and 5% of the purchase price is added to the amount of the purchase and forms a part of your balance owed. Further processing fees may be charged for splitting large purchase amounts into repayment instalments. Longer repayment periods may attract a higher processing fee.

How does the credit limit work on an instalment credit card?

The total amount of each purchase is deducted from your available credit limit. For example, if you have a $10,000 credit limit on your instalment credit card, and you start two new instalment plans, one for $2,000 and one for $1,500, you will have only $6,500 credit still available, even though you may see only the monthly repayments, not the full purchase amount, on your credit card statement.

As you make your monthly repayments, your available credit will increase by the amount of the repayments made (unless you make further purchases).

What happens if I want to cancel my instalment plan, or change it, or repay early?

You will usually be charged a fee of $100-$150 if you want to do any of these things.

How do I set up the instalment plan on my instalment credit card?

You will typically be required to call customer service to arrange interest-free instalment payments on large purchases, either before you make the purchase or immediately afterwards. You may also need to complete an application form. A few cards offer an automatic trigger that splits large individual purchases into instalments repayable over 3-6 months, so you don’t need to make any special arrangements.

Our partners

Partner - American Express
Partner - Citi
Partner - HSBC
Partner - Maybank
Partner - OCBC
Partner - Standard Chartered