Best Credit Cards For Travel & Overseas Spending 2022

Before you go on your vacations or business trips, there are some things you’ll probably have in mind to bring along, and your go-to travel credit cards are definitely one of the best things that you’ll need.

If you’re just starting to look around for better travel credit cards, you may find MoneySmart's credit card page helpful for you to compare different credit cards in terms of free flights, hotel stays, dining rewards, cashback, lowest fees, frequent flyer programme benefits, and more. This guide includes the best travel credit cards you can get in Singapore, plus some useful tips on how to maximise them so you can pick a suitable card for your travel needs.

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Best Credit Cards For Overseas Spending

Best ForCredit CardBenefits
DiningStandard Chartered Rewards+ Credit Card

10 Rewards Points per $1 spent overseas

2.9 miles for every $1 spent overseas

*No minimum spend required

ShoppingCiti Rewards Card

10 Rewards Points per $1 spent overseas and/or locally on online transactions

4 miles for every $1 spent online (excluding travel-related purchases) overseas and/or locally

*No minimum spend required

Business travelAmerican Express Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Credit Card

2 miles for every $1 spent on foreign currency spending

1.1 miles for every $1 spent locally, 3.1 miles for every $1 spent on Grab locally (up to $200 per month)

Family tripsHSBC Visa Platinum Credit Card

5% cashback on dining

1 Rewards point per $1 spent locally or overseas

HotelsUOB PRVI Miles Card

2.4 miles per $1 spent overseas

1.4 miles per $1 spend locally

6 miles per $1 spent on Agoda, Expedia and UOB Travel

CruisesCIMB Visa Signature

Up to 10% cashback on cruises

CashbackCitibank Cash Back+ Card

1.6% cashback on all purchases overseas and locally (no cap on cashback earned)

*No minimum spend required

Air milesDBS Altitude Visa Signature Card

5 miles for every $1 spent on online flight and hotel transactions

5 miles for every $1 spent overseas (at point of sale)

2 miles for online spending and 1.2 miles for every $1 spent locally

*No minimum spend required

Lowest foreign transactions feesStandard Chartered Rewards+ Credit Card

10 Rewards Points per $1 spent overseas

2.9 miles for every $1 spent overseas

*No minimum spend required

How To Maximise Your Travel Credit Cards

Tip #1: Get cards that offer travel perks fast

Depending on your spending habits, if you’re one who prefers air miles or rewards points for you to convert to air miles or other travel-related discount vouchers, picking an air miles card that offers you a generous amount of air miles for signing up is the fastest way to get the best benefits out of your card.

Travel credit cards which offer higher bonus air miles include Citi PremierMiles, DBS Altitude Card, and Amex KrisFlyer Ascend which gives you up to 45,000 miles, 38,000 miles and 21,000 miles respectively, each with a different minimum spend requirement.

Tip #2: Use a combination of credit cards for different travel benefits

Different cards offer different advantages, i.e. some will offer you bonus air miles upon your annual fee payment like Standard Chartered Visa Infinite X Card (30,000 miles upon annual fee payment), while others offer attractive cashback that is great for cruise vacations and family spending overseas or reward points to redeem shopping vouchers.

In order to maximise your credit card rewards, cashback or air miles, tap on multiple credit cards with each card specialising in a particular spending type or card feature that best suits your travel needs.

Tip #3: Picking cards with flexible rewards

Flexible rewards points programs give you a wider range of options such as redeeming points for a variety of gift cards, cash back and even airfares, hotels, cruises and car rentals.

Depending on the type of rewards points program and credit card you get, this can be a reasonable option to get more rewards from your credit cards. Usually these flexible rewards points programs are more beneficial for those who fly often for business trips and value the international business class cabins on flights or stay in budget and/or luxury hotel suites overseas.

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3 Need-To-Knows About Cards For Overseas Spending:

Using your air miles credit card or cashback credit card or rewards points credit card to convert your points to air miles also means that you’ll have to pay for certain fees in exchange for all these benefits. Here are a few things to consider as you leverage on the rewards from your travel credit card for overseas spending.



  • Choose flexible rewards whenever possible

Flexible rewards points like those offered by Standard Chartered Rewards+ Credit Card, OCBC 90°N Card and UOB PRVI Miles American Express Card are transferable to a variety of different airline and hotel loyalty programs while others which are more brand-specific like American Express Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Ascend Credit Card and KrisFlyer UOB Credit Card only gives you the option to redeem them for a specific airline, which is Singapore Airlines in this case.


  • Waiver of annual fees or foreign transaction fees or other conversion fees

It’s good to know which cards offer what types of fee waivers so that it’s more worthwhile to use it to gain cashback and other perks. Cards like UOB PRVI VISA Miles Card and DBS Altitude Visa Signature Card offer 1 year of fee waiver, while cards like Maybank World Mastercard will have your conversion fee waived for each conversion of points to frequent flyer miles. Others like American Express Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Ascend Credit Card do not offer any annual fee waivers.


  • Split spending over multiple cards

By using platforms like CardUp to split your overseas spending, it can actually help you to maximise your benefits so that you can gain reward points, cash rebates and air miles at the same time while using all of your cards.

Best Credit Cards For Overseas Spending

This card is great if you travel often and spend overseas as it gives you priority pass lounge access in airports, travel insurance, online booking promotions and even miles that do not expire. The miles earn rate for this card is 2 miles for every $1 spent on foreign currency spending and 1.2 miles for every $1 spent locally.

Moreover, with Citi PayAll, you can earn and accumulate Citi air miles, Citi ThankYou PointsSM or Cash Back quickly when you use your Citi PremierMiles card to pay for your big-ticket bills such as rent, insurance premiums, education expenses, taxes, utilities and more.

This card is even more competitive than the OCBC 90°N Card as it offers you 2.25 miles for every $1 spent abroad. You’ll also be covered by a complimentary travel insurance of up to US$2,000,000 (annual value worth S$988), complimentary green fees and worldwide golfers' insurance of up to $500,000.
Standard Chartered Rewards+ Credit Card is another card that is ideal for online shopping and overseas spending, rewarding you with 10X Rewards Points for every $1 spent overseas, and every 1X Rewards Point can be converted to 0.29 miles. This means you’ll get 2.9 miles for every $1 spent overseas, plus there’s an option for annual fee waiver in the first 2 years, and complimentary travel medical insurance of up to $500,000.
For travellers who love family cruise vacations, the CIMB VISA Signature card provides you up to 10% cashback when you spend on cruise trips, as well as complimentary travel insurance coverage of up to $500,000 for you and your family. There’s also the Visa Signature Concierge that gives you and your family access to premium travel services for reservations, booking of tickets for entertainment and dining.

3 Need-To-Knows About Cards For Air Miles:

With so many types of credit cards out there offering air miles, you may wonder which card suits you the most. To get started, you’ll need to know a few things about air miles credit cards before getting one.



  • Avoid air miles cards with high fees

Paying off the balance of your account every month can get rather expensive for some air miles credit cards, because the high interest charges will cost more than the value of any miles you could earn.


  • Go for cards with lower foreign transaction fees

For those who plan to pay in SGD instead of overseas currencies, it’ll be better to use credit cards offered by banks like CIMB and Standard Chartered that charge some of the lowest foreign transaction fees in Singapore.


  • Compare miles earn rates & bonus air miles

Highest mile per dollar spend ratio, most bonus air miles and air miles with no expiry are some of the factors to look out for when choosing your air miles cards. Some cards offer higher miles per dollar spend ratio so you don’t have to spend as much to get more air miles, while some banks offer generous welcome bonus air miles upon signing up for certain air miles credit cards which gives you a lot of air miles in a short amount of time without having you to spend a minimum amount over time to get more air miles. Other cards offer earned miles that don’t expire, which comes in handy in uncertain situations like the COVID-19 pandemic that made travel plans a challenge at times.

Best Air Miles Credit Cards

With no minimum spend required, this card by DBS has a pretty high mile per dollar spend ratio as you’ll earn 6 miles for every $1 spent on flight bookings (on Expedia) and 2 miles for every $1 spent overseas in foreign currency. What’s more, you’ll enjoy accelerated earn rates when you book your travels with DBS’ exclusive travel partners.
The American Express Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Ascend Credit Card comes with a comprehensive complimentary travel insurance coverage of up to $1 million while letting you earn 2 miles for every $1 spent abroad (in June and December), so if you’re planning for vacations or business trips in the middle of this year or during the end of the year, you’ll be able to take advantage of their air miles promotion.
For loyal Singapore Airlines, SilkAir and Scoot frequent flyers, this card has a miles earn rate of 3 KrisFlyer miles for every $1 spent on KrisShop or flight bookings with any of the three airlines. This includes spending on dining, food delivery, online shopping and travel products related to Singapore Airlines Group. If you spend on other things, you can earn 1.2 KrisFlyer miles for every $1 spent.
UOB’s PRVI Miles card is known for one of the highest mile per dollar spend ratio that gives you 2.4 miles per $1 spent overseas on dining, shopping (including online) and accommodation. The benefits of having this card include no minimum spend required, no cap on earned miles and complimentary travel insurance coverage of up to $500,000.

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3 Things To Look Out For In Cards For Hotel Stays And Promotions

After getting your flights and travel insurance, you'll most probably be comparing accommodation options on several hotel booking sites such as Agoda, Expedia, Booking.com. Now it’s time to think about which credit cards to use for your hotel bookings online.



  • Use cards with hotel booking portal partners

Many cards have partnerships with popular hotel booking websites like for example for Citibank PremierMiles Card or the UOB PRVI Miles Card offer online travel bookings charged in foreign currency, letting you earn as much as 7 miles per $1 spent overseas. 


  • Gain cashback benefits for hotel bookings

If you’re into cashback perks, there are only a few cards that will let you earn a decent cashback on your online spending such as the OCBC Frank Card which gives you up to 6% cashback on all travel bookings you make online.


  • Think twice about “Book now, pay later” options

While there are many hotel booking portals that offer an option for “book now, pay later”, you may be missing out on certain discounts if you decide to pay later. Keep an eye out for the available offers that you’ll be entitled to if you make full payment at the point of booking versus booking on the spot and paying at a later time.

Best Credit Cards For Hotel Stays

Although the UOB PRVI Miles Card is great for overseas spending, it also rewards you with a considerably high 6 miles per $1 spent on hotel booking portals like UOB Travel, Agoda and Expedia, with no minimum spend required and no cap. You’ll also be covered with complimentary travel insurance of up to $500,000.
The DBS Woman's World Card is a premium credit card designed for those who make at least S$80,000 p.a. Despite having a lower mile per ratio than UOB PRVI Miles Card, you can enjoy up to 10% off on Expedia (www.expedia.com.sg/dbs) and Booking.com (Booking.com/DBSDeals). DBS Woman’s World Card lets you earn 4 miles per $1 spent with no minimum spend, with a cap at $2,000 a month.
Another DBS credit card that is good for earning air miles, this DBS Altitude American Express Card provides 3 miles for every $1 spent on any hotel and flight bookings. You can earn even more miles if you book via Expedia, Kaligo and Agoda i.e. up to 6 miles for every $1 spent on flight and hotel transactions at Expedia, and up to 10 miles for every $1 spent on hotel bookings at Kaligo or Agoda.
With this card, you can earn Citi Miles which can be redeemed via CIti ThankYou Rewards and it allows you to transfer miles earned to 11 airline partners, including Singapore Airlines’ Krisflyer miles program. This Citibank PremierMiles Card also gives you up to 10 miles per $1 spent on Agoda hotel bookings, with no minimum spend and no cap, plus you can get 3 miles per $1 spent on popular ones like Expedia.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the fastest way to get air miles using a credit card?

Getting an air miles card that offers you a generous amount of air miles for signing up is the fastest way to get air miles as compared to rewards points credit cards because it takes time to accumulate points from your spending and convert those points to air miles. Travel credit cards which offer higher bonus air miles include Citi PremierMiles, DBS Altitude Card, and Amex KrisFlyer Ascend which gives you up to 45,000 miles, 38,000 miles and 21,000 miles respectively, each with a different minimum spend requirement.

Are air miles credit cards better than cashback or rewards credit cards?

Yes and no. It really depends on your spending habits. If you value cashback when you use your credit card to pay your bills, such as telco, medical and utilities bills, etc. then cashback cards may be better for you.

Air miles cards reward travel-related spending and it could be exchanged for your next airfare, while rewards cards reward general local spending e.g. shopping and dining. Rewards credit cards that are worth getting often give you high bonus points for the latter, making it possible to earn air miles more quickly – for example, $1 = 4 miles on your online shopping spending, but there are usually caps on these.

What are credit card foreign transaction fees?

Each foreign transaction fee is made of 3 parts - a fee that is charged by a credit card network i.e. Visa, MasterCard, American Express, UnionPay, etc, and another fee that is charged by your card issuer company i.e. DBS, UOB, Citibank, OCBC, etc, and the third component which is the dynamic currency conversion fee (only if you pay in SGD instead of overseas currency).

Are there waivers for credit card annual fees and foreign transaction fees?

Yes, there are many credit cards that offer free waivers for your annual fees and foreign transaction fees, but you’ll have to call in or email or log into your account with your credit card issuing bank to request for it.

Is it better to book a hotel and pay later?

Most hotel booking sites do offer a "book now, pay later" option, but the mechanics may vary from website to website, even from hotel to hotel. Some charge your credit card at a later date (but before your stay begins), while others require you to make payment to the hotel directly when you check in.

However, to take advantage of some of the above hotel booking discounts, you may be required to make payment in full at the point of booking. Check the T&Cs of the promotion to be sure.