Compare the Best Credit Cards in Singapore 2019

Updated July 2019

Looking for the best credit cards in Singapore? Compare and find your ideal card with MoneySmart’s easy-to-use credit card comparison tool.

Popular Credit Cards

Get S$200 or 30k Points

Citi Rewards Card

S$1= 10X Points

on Online Spend*

S$1= 10X Points

on Shopping Spend

S$1 = 1 Point

on All Other Spend

MoneySmart Exclusive: Get S$200 vouchers OR 30,000 Citi ThankYouSM Points! Applies to new to bank customers. Claim Here.Valid till 31 Jul 2019.

S$1= 10X Points

on Online Spend*

S$1= 10X Points

on Shopping Spend

S$1 = 1 Point

on All Other Spend

MoneySmart Exclusive: Get S$200 vouchers OR 30,000 Citi ThankYouSM Points! Applies to new to bank customers. Claim Here.Valid till 31 Jul 2019.

Key Features

  • *New* 10X Rewards on all online purchases (excludes travel-related transactions). Bank's T&Cs apply
  • 10X Rewards on all shopping spend on Shoes + Bags + Clothes at Online, Retail or Department stores, locally and overseas. Bank's T&Cs apply
  • 10X Rewards capped at 10,000 Points per statement month
  • 10X Rewards = 4 Miles
  • S$1 spent = 1 Rewards point (All other spend). No minimum spend required, no cap
  • Enjoy discounts of up to 50% at Foodpanda, Lazada, Zalora, Reebonz, and more
  • *Bank's T&Cs apply

Annual Interest Rate and Fees

Annual Interest Rate26.90%
Principle Annual Fee$193
Supplementary Annual Fee$96.30
Fee WaiverAvailable
Minimum Monthly Repayment1% or S$50, whichever is higher
Interest Free Period25 days

Minimum Income Requirements

Singaporean$30,000
Foreigner$42,000

Other

Card AssociationMasterCard, Visa
Wireless PaymentMaster PayPass, Visa payWave, Samsung Pay, Citi Pay

Get up to 23,000 KrisFlyer miles

American Express Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Credit Card

S$1 = 1.1 Miles

Local Spend

S$1 = 2 Miles

Overseas Spend

S$1 = 3.1 Miles

Grab rides

MoneySmart Exclusive: Get up to 23,000 KrisFlyer miles! Fulfilled by American Express.Valid till 31 Aug 2019.
  • Get 3.1 KrisFlyer miles per S$1 spent on Daily Essentials

S$1 = 1.1 Miles

Local Spend

S$1 = 2 Miles

Overseas Spend

S$1 = 3.1 Miles

Grab rides

MoneySmart Exclusive: Get up to 23,000 KrisFlyer miles! Fulfilled by American Express.Valid till 31 Aug 2019.

Key Features

  • Enjoy up to 23,000 KrisFlyer miles when you apply via MoneySmart for your new American Express KrisFlyer Credit Card
  • S$1 = 1.1 KrisFlyer miles (Local)
  • S$1 = 2 KrisFlyer miles (Overseas) during June and December
  • S$1 = 3.1 KrisFlyer miles for Grab rides, capped at S$200 per month
  • Receive 5,000 KrisFlyer miles upon first spend on card
  • First Year Fee Waiver
  • Eligible with Apple Pay, Google Pay, Samsung Pay

Annual Interest Rate and Fees

Annual Interest Rate25.90%
Principle Annual Fee$177
Supplementary Annual Fee53.5
Fee WaiverAvailable
Minimum Monthly Repayment3% or $50, whichever is higher
Interest Free Period22 days

Minimum Income Requirements

Singaporean$30,000
Foreigner$60,000

Other

Card AssociationAmerican Express
Wireless PaymentApple Pay, Samsung Pay, Google Pay

Get S$80 Cash

American Express True Cashback Card

1.5%

Cash Back on All Spend

Unlimited

Cash Back Cap

S$0

Min. Spend per month

MoneySmart Exclusive: Get S$80 Cash! Applies to New-to-Bank customers. Claim Here.Valid till 31 Jul 2019.

1.5%

Cash Back on All Spend

Unlimited

Cash Back Cap

S$0

Min. Spend per month

MoneySmart Exclusive: Get S$80 Cash! Applies to New-to-Bank customers. Claim Here.Valid till 31 Jul 2019.

Key Features

  • 1.5% Cashback on any purchase you make, anytime
  • First year fee waiver and 3% Cashback for the first 6 months up to $5000 spend
  • Eligible for use with Apple Pay, Google Pay, Samsung Pay
  • Book with American Express Cards and enjoy attractive offers on hotels and flight bookings with ZUJI Singapore: 12% savings at participating hotels, 2% rebate on all flight bookings

Annual Interest Rate and Fees

Annual Interest Rate25.90%
Principle Annual Fee$171
Supplementary Annual Fee85.6
Fee WaiverAvailable
Minimum Monthly Repayment3% or S$50, whichever is higher
Interest Free Period22 days

Minimum Income Requirements

Singaporean$30,000
Foreigner$60,000

Other

Card AssociationAmerican Express
Wireless PaymentApple Pay, Samsung Pay, Google Pay
UOB YOLO Credit Card

Up to 8%

on Online, Grab, Dining and Entertainment spend

Up to S$80

Cash Back Cap per month

S$600

Min. Spend per month

Up to 8%

on Online, Grab, Dining and Entertainment spend

Up to S$80

Cash Back Cap per month

S$600

Min. Spend per month

Key Features

  • Up to 8% cash back on Online, Grab, Dining and Entertainment spend (3% weekday; 8% weekend)
  • Up to 28% off at ZALORA, Lazada and more
  • Up to 18% off at Expedia, Agoda and more
  • Free Travel Insurance Coverage when you charge your travel tickets to your card (Up to $500,000)
  • 0.3% cash back on all other spend
  • Minimum spend of S$600 per statement month for 8% and 3% cashback, otherwise 0.3% cashback earned on all spend.
  • Total cash back capped at S$80 per month, consisting of S$20 bonus cash back and S$60 base cash back

Annual Interest Rate and Fees

Annual Interest Rate25.90%
Principle Annual Fee$193
Supplementary Annual FeeN/A
Fee WaiverAvailable
Minimum Monthly Repayment3% or S$50, whichever is higher
Interest Free Period21 days

Minimum Income Requirements

Singaporean$30,000
Foreigner$40,000

Other

Card AssociationVisa
Wireless PaymentVisa payWave, Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, Android Pay, Mighty Pay
HSBC Advance Credit Card

Up to 3.5%

Cash Back on All Spend

S$125

Cash Back Cap per month

S$0

Min. Spend per month

Online Promotion: Get a Samsonite T5 Spinner (worth S$560) OR S$150 Cash Back with min. spend of $800 in first month of card approval!Valid till 31 Jul 2019.

Up to 3.5%

Cash Back on All Spend

S$125

Cash Back Cap per month

S$0

Min. Spend per month

Online Promotion: Get a Samsonite T5 Spinner (worth S$560) OR S$150 Cash Back with min. spend of $800 in first month of card approval!Valid till 31 Jul 2019.

Key Features

  • Up to 3.5% Cash Back on all purchases
  • No minimum spend required
  • Up to 75% off hotel bookings on Agoda and 10% off hotel books on Expedia
  • 1 year card annual fee waiver / Perpetual card annual fee waiver for HSBC Advance banking customers

Annual Interest Rate and Fees

Annual Interest Rate25.90%
Principle Annual Fee$193
Supplementary Annual Fee0.0
Fee WaiverAvailable
Minimum Monthly Repayment3% or S$50, whichever is higher
Interest Free Period20 days

Minimum Income Requirements

Singaporean$30,000
Foreigner$40,000

Other

Card AssociationVisa
Wireless PaymentVisa payWave, Apple Pay
UOB One Card

Up to 10%

Cash Back on Grab

S$300

Cash Back Cap per quarter

S$2000

Min. Spend per month

Up to 10%

Cash Back on Grab

S$300

Cash Back Cap per quarter

S$2000

Min. Spend per month

Key Features

  • Up to 5% cash rebate on all spend for spend above S$2,000/month per quarter (up to 3.33% cash rebate for spend of $500 or $1,000 monthly)
  • Up to 24% savings on fuel purchases at SPC and 20.8% at Shell Stations
  • Up to 10% additional SMART$ rebate with UOB SMART$ Rebate Programme at over 400 participating merchants
  • First year annual fee waiver

Annual Interest Rate and Fees

Annual Interest Rate25.90%
Principle Annual Fee$193
Supplementary Annual Fee1st supplementary card free; $96.30 for subsequent cards
Fee WaiverAvailable
Minimum Monthly Repayment3% of S$50, whichever is higher
Interest Free Period21 days

Minimum Income Requirements

Singaporean$30,000
Foreigner$40,000

Other

Card AssociationVisa
Wireless PaymentVisa payWave, Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, Android Pay, Mighty Pay

Get up to 39,000 KrisFlyer miles

American Express Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Ascend Credit Card

S$1 = 1.2 Miles

Local Spend

S$1 = 2 Miles

Overseas Spend

S$1 = 3.2 Miles

Grab rides

MoneySmart Exclusive: Get up to 39,000 KrisFlyer miles! Fulfilled by American Express.Valid till 31 Aug 2019.
  • Get 3.2 KrisFlyer miles per S$1 spent on Daily Essentials

S$1 = 1.2 Miles

Local Spend

S$1 = 2 Miles

Overseas Spend

S$1 = 3.2 Miles

Grab rides

MoneySmart Exclusive: Get up to 39,000 KrisFlyer miles! Fulfilled by American Express.Valid till 31 Aug 2019.

Key Features

  • Enjoy up to 39,000 KrisFlyer miles when you apply via MoneySmart for your new American Express KrisFlyer Credit Card
  • 1.2 KrisFlyer miles = S$1 for all eligible card spend
  • 2 KrisFlyer miles = S$1 in foreign currency spent overseas on eligible purchases in June & Dec
  • 3.2 KrisFlyer miles = S$1 for Grab rides, capped at S$200 per month
  • Spend above S$15,000 on eligible purchases on singaporeair.com within first 12 months of Card approval and get upgraded to KrisFlyer Elite Gold Membership
  • Up to $1 million travel insurance coverage

Annual Interest Rate and Fees

Annual Interest Rate25.90%
Principle Annual Fee$337
Supplementary Annual Fee80.25
Fee WaiverNot Available
Minimum Monthly Repayment3% or S$50, whichever is higher
Interest Free Period22 days

Minimum Income Requirements

Singaporean$50,000
Foreigner$60,000

Other

Card AssociationAmerican Express
Wireless PaymentApple Pay, Samsung Pay, Google Pay
OCBC 365 Credit Card

6%

Cashback on Everyday Dining (Including Local, Overseas and Online Food Delivery)

S$80

Cashback Cap per month

S$800

Min. Spend per month

Online Promotion: Get Instant Approval + S$50 Cash Rebate! Applies to new to bank customers.Valid till 31 Jul 2019.

6%

Cashback on Everyday Dining (Including Local, Overseas and Online Food Delivery)

S$80

Cashback Cap per month

S$800

Min. Spend per month

Online Promotion: Get Instant Approval + S$50 Cash Rebate! Applies to new to bank customers.Valid till 31 Jul 2019.

Key Features

  • 6% cashback on everyday dining (including local, overseas and online food delivery)
  • 3% cashback on grocery, land transport, online travel, recurring telco and electricity bills
  • 0.3% cashback on everything else
  • Up to S$200,000 of complimentary travel personal accident insurance
  • 2 years fee waiver for principal card (S$192.60), subsequent years waived with min. spend of S$10,000 p.a.

Annual Interest Rate and Fees

Annual Interest Rate26.88%
Principle Annual Fee$193
Supplementary Annual FeeS$96.30
Fee WaiverAvailable
Minimum Monthly Repayment3% or S$50, whichever is higher
Interest Free Period23 days

Minimum Income Requirements

Singaporean$30,000
Foreigner$45,000

Other

Card AssociationVisa
Wireless PaymentVisa payWave, Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, Google Pay
American Express The Platinum Card®

S$1.60 = 20 Points

for first S$16,000 spent at participating Platinum EXTRA Partners

Exclusive Access

to the Tower Club, Pall Mall London, and more

1 Point = 0.625 Miles

Rewards to Miles Conversion for Singapore Airlines and more

S$1.60 = 20 Points

for first S$16,000 spent at participating Platinum EXTRA Partners

Exclusive Access

to the Tower Club, Pall Mall London, and more

1 Point = 0.625 Miles

Rewards to Miles Conversion for Singapore Airlines and more

Key Features

  • Exclusive access to Platinum Vibes at Marina at Keppel Bay, Tower Club, Pall Mall London, among others
  • Enjoy an annual 2D/1N stay in the St. Regis or W Hotel Singapore as a Membership anniversary gift
  • Up to 50% savings at selected hotels and restaurants such as Marriott, St. Regis, Lawry’s, and TWG among others
  • Receive S$800 Travel Credits annually (S$400 Air Travel Credit + S$400 Lodging Credit) by booking through The Platinum Concierge
  • Earn 20 Membership points per S$1.60 spent at Platinum EXTRA partners, capped at S$16,000 spent

Annual Interest Rate and Fees

Annual Interest RateN/A
Principle Annual Fee$1,712
Supplementary Annual Fee$160.50 (First 2 Supplementary Cards fee permanently waived)
Fee WaiverNot Available
Minimum Monthly RepaymentN/A
Interest Free PeriodN/A

Minimum Income Requirements

Singaporean$200,000
Foreigner$200,000

Other

Card AssociationAmerican Express
Wireless PaymentN/A
Standard Chartered Spree Credit Card

3%

Cash Back on Online Spends in Foreign Currency

S$60

Cash Back Cap per month

S$0

Min. Spend per month

Online Promotion: Get up to S$80 cashback + Instant Digital Card Approval!Valid till 31 Jul 2019.

3%

Cash Back on Online Spends in Foreign Currency

S$60

Cash Back Cap per month

S$0

Min. Spend per month

Online Promotion: Get up to S$80 cashback + Instant Digital Card Approval!Valid till 31 Jul 2019.

Key Features

  • New-To-Bank customers: Get up to S$80 Cashback when you apply for SCB Rewards
  • Existing customers: Get up to S$20 Cashback when you apply for SCB Rewards
  • No minimum spend and up to S$60 cashback/month
  • 3% cashback on all online spends in foreign currency and vPost spends
  • 2% cashback on all online spends in local currency, contactless and mobile payments
  • 1% cashback on all other retail transactions

Annual Interest Rate and Fees

Annual Interest Rate26.90%
Principle Annual Fee$193
Supplementary Annual Fee0.0
Fee WaiverAvailable
Minimum Monthly Repayment1% or S$50, whichever is higher
Interest Free Period

Minimum Income Requirements

Singaporean$30,000
Foreigner$60,000

Other

Card AssociationVisa
Wireless PaymentVisa payWave, Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, Google Pay
American Express CapitaCard

S$1 = 10X STAR$

at participating Merchants at CapitaLand Malls

S$1 = 5 STAR$

on All Other Spend

S$50 CapitaVoucher

converted from 50,000 STAR$

S$1 = 10X STAR$

at participating Merchants at CapitaLand Malls

S$1 = 5 STAR$

on All Other Spend

S$50 CapitaVoucher

converted from 50,000 STAR$

Key Features

  • Earn 3X STAR$ at CapitaLand Malls
  • 3-hour complimentary parking across 15 CapitaLand Malls with min spend of S$1,200 per month
  • First year fee waiver
  • Eligible for use with Apple Pay, Google Pay, Samsung Pay

Annual Interest Rate and Fees

Annual Interest Rate25.90%
Principle Annual Fee$171
Supplementary Annual Fee85.6
Fee WaiverAvailable
Minimum Monthly Repayment3% or $50, whichever is higher
Interest Free Period22 days

Minimum Income Requirements

Singaporean$30,000
Foreigner$60,000

Other

Card AssociationAmerican Express
Wireless PaymentApple Pay, Samsung Pay, Google Pay
Standard Chartered Visa Infinite Credit Card

S$1 = 1.4 Miles

Local Spend

S$1 = 3 Miles

Overseas Spend

35,000 Miles

Welcome Gift

S$1 = 1.4 Miles

Local Spend

S$1 = 3 Miles

Overseas Spend

35,000 Miles

Welcome Gift

Key Features

  • Get instant Digital Card + Approval when you apply via MyInfo
  • Get S$20 Cashback when you apply for SCB Visa Infinite Card via MyInfo and get instant card approval, and spend minimum S$1 within 3 days from approval date
  • Get 35,000 Miles and receive instant digital card approval with MyInfo when you apply for SCB Visa Infinite Credit Card via MoneySmart
  • $1 = 1.4 miles (Local)
  • $1 = 3 miles (Overseas)
  • Complimentary visits to the airport lounges under the Priority Pass Lounge program
  • Complimentary Travel Accident Insurance coverage of up to S$1,000,000

Annual Interest Rate and Fees

Annual Interest Rate26.90%
Principle Annual Fee$589
Supplementary Annual Fee0.0
Fee WaiverNot Available
Minimum Monthly Repayment1% of S$50, whichever is higher
Interest Free Period22 days

Minimum Income Requirements

Singaporean$150,000
Foreigner$150,000

Other

Card AssociationVisa
Wireless PaymentVisa payWave
HSBC Revolution Credit Card

S$1= 5X Points

on Online, Dining and Entertainment

S$1= 1X Point

on All Other Spend

1 Point = 0.4 Miles

Rewards to Miles Conversion for Selected Airline Partners

Online Promotion: Get a Samsonite T5 Spinner (worth S$560) OR S$150 Cash Back with min. spend of $800 in first month of card approval!Valid till 31 Jul 2019.

S$1= 5X Points

on Online, Dining and Entertainment

S$1= 1X Point

on All Other Spend

1 Point = 0.4 Miles

Rewards to Miles Conversion for Selected Airline Partners

Online Promotion: Get a Samsonite T5 Spinner (worth S$560) OR S$150 Cash Back with min. spend of $800 in first month of card approval!Valid till 31 Jul 2019.

Key Features

  • 5X Rewards points (or 2 air miles) per $1 spent on Online, Local Dining and Entertainment transactions
  • $1 = 1 Reward point. No minimum spend and earn as many Rewards points as you like
  • Access over 1,000 1-for-1 deals through ENTERTAINER with HSBC at just S$5
  • 2 year annual fee waiver

Annual Interest Rate and Fees

Annual Interest Rate25.90%
Principle Annual Fee$150
Supplementary Annual Fee0.0
Fee WaiverAvailable
Minimum Monthly Repayment3% or S$50, whichever is higher
Interest Free Period20 days

Minimum Income Requirements

Singaporean$30,000
Foreigner$40,000

Other

Card AssociationVisa
Wireless PaymentVisa payWave, Apple Pay
UOB PRVI Miles Card

S$1 = 1.4 Miles

Local Spend

S$1 = 2.4 Miles

Overseas Spend

S$1 = 10 Miles

Selected Online Hotel and Flight bookings

  • Get S$150 cash credit
  • Enjoy up to 3 miles for every S$1 spent on Grab

S$1 = 1.4 Miles

Local Spend

S$1 = 2.4 Miles

Overseas Spend

S$1 = 10 Miles

Selected Online Hotel and Flight bookings

Key Features

  • $1 = 6 miles for spends on major airlines and hotels booked through Expedia, UOB Travel, and Agoda
  • $1 = 1.4 miles (Local spend)
  • $1 = 2.4 miles (Overseas spend)
  • No minimum spend and no cap on earned miles

Annual Interest Rate and Fees

Annual Interest Rate25.90%
Principle Annual Fee$257
Supplementary Annual Fee128.4
Fee Waiver1 year fee waiver, free first 2 supplementary cards
Minimum Monthly Repayment3% or S$50, whichever is higher
Interest Free Period21 days

Minimum Income Requirements

Singaporean$30,000
Foreigner$40,000

Other

Card AssociationMasterCard, Visa, American Express
Wireless PaymentMasterCard PayPass, Visa payWave, Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, Android Pay, Mighty Pay
American Express Platinum Credit Card

S$1.60 = 10 Points

at participating Platinum EXTRA Partners

S$1.60 = 2X Points

on All Other Spend

1 Point = 0.55 Miles

Rewards to Miles Conversion

S$1.60 = 10 Points

at participating Platinum EXTRA Partners

S$1.60 = 2X Points

on All Other Spend

1 Point = 0.55 Miles

Rewards to Miles Conversion

Key Features

  • Love Dining @ Restaurants: 50%, 35%, 15% savings when dining with 1 friend, 2 friends, and alone respectively
  • Enjoy savings at artfully curated restaurants and Singapore's finest hotels with Love Dining
  • Love Dining @ Hotels: Discounts applicable for groups up to 19 pax at Raffles Hotel Singapore, Shangri-La Hotel Singapore, The St. Regis and more
  • With Love Dining @ Hotels, receive a complimentary The Far Card Classic Membership entitling special savings for unlimited visits at choice of 10 restaurants at Singapore's finest hotels
  • Charge S$4,500 to your card at Platinum EXTRA Partners to earn enough points for an Economy Class return ticket to Bali
  • Eligible for use with Apple Pay, Google Pay, Samsung Pay

Annual Interest Rate and Fees

Annual Interest Rate25.90%
Principle Annual Fee$321
Supplementary Annual Fee160.5
Fee WaiverNot Available
Minimum Monthly Repayment3% or S$50, whichever is higher
Interest Free Period22 days

Minimum Income Requirements

Singaporean$50,000
Foreigner$60,000

Other

Card AssociationAmerican Express
Wireless PaymentApple Pay, Samsung Pay, Google Pay
Show more cards

Best Credit Card in Singapore 2019

Best ForCredit CardReward Type
Savings on dining, grocery and grab spendingsCiti Cash Back CardCashback
Earning bonus miles that do not expireCiti PremierMiles Visa CardMiles
Convenience and perks for frequent flyersAmerican Express Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Credit CardMiles
Unlimited cashback with Ez-link capabilitiesStandard Chartered Unlimited Cashback Credit CardCashback
Card and Savings Account BundleUOB One CardCashback
Highest cashback on any contactless paymentDBS Live Fresh CardCashback
Newlyweds and married couplesHSBC Advance Credit CardCashback
High Net-worth IndividualsAmerican Express The Platinum Card®Reward Points
Dining and EntertainmentUOB YOLO Credit CardCashback
Business TravelerStandard Chartered Visa Infinite Credit CardMiles

Compare Credit Cards for Everyday Use

When comparing the best credit cards for rewards, it is often a good choice to combine multiple credit cards each specializing in a particular spending type or card feature that best suits your lifestyle. Avoid paring Miles credit cards with Cashback credit cards since these reward types are incompatible. Points credit cards, on the other hand, are more flexible as they can be used to either get cash rebates on specific merchants or convert points into miles to redeem free flight tickets.

Air Miles

Miles Credit Cards

  1. Citi PremierMiles Visa Card: Use for online hotel and flight bookings
  2. UOB PRVI Miles Card: Use for general local spend
  3. Standard Chartered Visa Infinite Credit Card: Use for spending in foreign currency

Cashback

Cashback Credit Cards

  1. Citi Cash Back Card: Use for grocery shopping worldwide
  2. UOB One Card: Use for pumping petrol at SPC and Shell
  3. OCBC 365 Credit Card: Use for spending on everyday dining

Reward Points

Reward Points Credit Cards

  1. Citi Rewards Card: Use for retail shopping to earn extra miles
  2. American Express CapitaCard: Use for shopping at CapitaLand Malls to earn cash rebates
  3. DBS Woman's World Card: Use for free gym memberships

Which Credit Card is the Best in Singapore?

With so many credit cards in Singapore to choose from, it can be difficult to narrow down the best credit cards to suit your lifestyle. Unfortunately, there’s no single best credit card in Singapore. You’ll have to choose the best one for you. Here’s how:

Find a card that fits your spending habits

Think about your current lifestyle and spending habits. What are the things you spend the most money on? For example, if you’re a real foodie and love checking out new restaurants around town, then it makes sense to get a card with rewards points for dining out and useful perks like 1-for-1 buffet promotions.

Plan how to use your credit card benefits

Credit cards come with a whole bunch of benefits, so think about which benefits you actually want to use. Do you want to collect air miles and fund your upcoming travels? Or accumulate points for shopping vouchers? Or would you rather enjoy cash rebates? This is a deeply personal matter - only you can decide how you prefer to be rewarded.

Check the Terms & Conditions

Now that you’ve got a shortlist of credit cards, it’s time to dig deeper into the details of the rewards or air miles programmes. Find out all you can about terms and conditions like expiry dates, exclusions, minimum spend, credit limit, etc. Be sure to ask a bank rep to clarify if you don’t see answers anywhere.

Visa Card vs Mastercard vs American Express

At some point in your life, you’ll probably wonder if there’s a difference between a Visa card and Mastercard (and maybe American Express). Visa, Mastercard and Amex are the 3 big global payment networks. This means they handle all the technical back-end stuff that makes it possible to pay with your credit card anywhere in the world. Visa and Mastercard are extremely widely accepted worldwide, both online and offline. Both payment networks are easy and secure to use. Visa has a slight edge in terms of acceptance, but really, you’ll be fine with either. American Express is a bit less widely accepted globally. It’s in 140 countries compared to Visa and Mastercard’s 200+. However, many people still love using Amex because they have an excellent reputation for customer care. Whichever payment network you choose, you can get a credit card from a bank like DBS or UOB. Note that American Express also issues its own credit cards, even though it’s not a bank.

Try MoneySmart’s new KrisFlyer miles calculator

Use our new KrisFlyer miles redemption calculator and find out which destinations you can travel for free on a travel class of your choice.

Annual Fees are NOT the Only Credit Card Fee!

Annual fees aren’t the only type of credit card charges you might be paying. Many of these other common fees will impact the benefits you earn, so be mindful of them and actively monitor your spend.

Foreign Transaction Fees

This is a fee imposed on overseas spending - whether it’s while you’re traveling or even when making an online purchase on a foreign website. This is usually 2.5% to 3% on top of the prevailing foreign exchange rate.

Cash Advance Fees

Some credit cards allow you to withdraw cash from ATMs, using your credit line. Be prepared to fork out up to 6% of the transaction amount, plus 2%+ daily charges on unpaid withdrawn balance.

Balance Transfer Fees

Charged when you move a balance from one card to another, usually 2% to 4% of the amount transferred.

Minimum Balance Payment for Credit Cards

Is paying the minimum balance bad?

Because credit cards are effectively short-term loans, you are meant to pay off your bills in full every month. If you make only the minimum payment each month, you may accrue huge additional costs on top of your bill due to the credit card’s interest rate (typically 24%+)!

Does paying only minimum balance affect credit score?

Yes, If you plan to apply for any kind of credit or loan (such as a housing loan or car loan) in the future, be aware that any “bad behaviour” with your credit card can come back to haunt you in the form of a bad credit score.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do credit cards work?

A credit card is basically a way to borrow money from a bank to make purchases. Unlike a bank loan, a credit card “loans” money in smaller amounts and on a short-term basis, requiring you to pay the bank back monthly (or be subject to unpleasant penalties and interest fees). The biggest payment networks are MasterCard, VISA and American Express, but do note that merchants may not accept all types.

How do I apply for a credit card?

Simply fill out an application online or at a bank branch and submit the required documents such as proof of income. After approval, the bank will inform you about how much you are allowed to borrow and mail you your new credit card. You’ll need to activate the credit card as well as sign on the back.

What’s the difference between debit cards and credit cards?

Unlike credit cards, debit cards do not involve any borrowing. They are linked to your bank account, so purchases made on your debit card are paid for by deducting straight from your funds. You must have sufficient funds on hand to use your debit card. If you have a credit card, you can borrow the money for the time being and pay it back later.

How to prevent credit card fraud?

There’s no sure-fire way to prevent credit card fraud, so unfortunately holding a credit card also means being vigilant about making sure it doesn’t end up in the wrong hands. Make use of credit card alerts, monitor your transactions closely, be wary of phishing scams and don’t make it easy for others to get hold of your credit card information.

What should I do with my credit card statement?

It might not be the most fun thing to read, but it IS super important to understand your credit card statement. So don’t throw it away without checking it. Of course, after reading the statement you will have to pay your bill – typically through online banking, though some people use ATMs, SAMs, AXS machines or go to the bank in person.

What if I only make the minimum payment on my bill?

Because credit cards are effectively short-term loans, you are meant to pay off your bills in full every month. If you make only the minimum payment each month, you may accrue huge additional costs on top of your bill due to the credit card’s interest rate (typically 24%+)