Credit Limit Singapore - What It's Based On & How to Increase It (2024)

Are you spending close to your credit card limit and wondering how you can get a credit limit increase? How is the credit limit even determined in the first place? Take charge of your credit limit with the following information.

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How Is Your Credit Limit Calculated in Singapore?

The credit limit on your credit card (or any unsecured credit facility such as a credit line) is determined by the bank issuing it, but ultimately, it is governed by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS). So whatever credit limit the bank gives you, it has to comply with MAS guidelines. Depending on your age, your total credit limit (across all credit cards) must be within the following boundaries.

Up to 55 Years Old

Your credit limit is determined by your annual income (can be non-employment income, e.g. rental income). If your annual income is S$30,000 or below, your credit limit is capped at 2X your monthly income. If you earn S$30,000 to S$120,000 a year, your credit limit is up to 4X your monthly income. There is no regulation on your credit limit if you earn S$120,000 or more a year.

Above 55 Years Old

Income requirements are lower for those above 55, but you need have at least S$750,000 to S$2m in net personal assets (e.g. property, shares). Your credit limit is based on your annual income as well. For those earning up to S$15,000, your credit limit is up to S$2,500 only. If earning S$15,000 to S$30,000, your credit limit is 2X your monthly income. Only if you are earning S$30,000 to S$120,000, will you get 4X your monthly income as the credit limit.

Summary of MAS Credit Limits in Singapore (2024)

Annual IncomeCredit Limit (≤55 Years Old)Credit Limit (>55 Years Old)
≤S$15,000N/A (not eligible)S$2,500
S$15,000 to S$30,000(Min. S$30,000) 2X monthly income2X monthly income
S$30,000 to S$120,0004X monthly income4X monthly income
>S$120,000No regulatory limitNo regulatory limit

Why Is Your Credit Limit Lower Than the MAS Amount?

You might have done your calculations and realised that your credit card credit limit actually falls short of the MAS guideline. For example, if you earn S$3,000 a month, you would expect your credit limit to be S$12,000 - but it's actually S$10,000 instead. This is perfectly normal. The MAS guideline is an upper limit, not a minimum. Credit card providers can offer you any credit limit below the MAS guideline; in fact, they may offer a lower amount after analysing your credit history, existing debt, employment circumstances and so on. Consumers are also not obliged to take the highest possible credit limit, and can choose a lower credit limit if they want to avoid overspending.

Are Your Parents To Blame for Your Poor Money Habits?

4 Best Credit Cards for Credit Limit Increase (2024)

MoneySmart Exclusive
1.5% UNLIMITED CASHBACK
MoneySmart Exclusive
1.5% UNLIMITED CASHBACK

Standard Chartered Simply Cash Credit Card

Cash Back on Eligible spend
Up to 1.5%
Min. Spend per month
S$0
Cash Back Cap per month
Unlimited

Earn 4,250 SmartPoints or up to S$350 Cash via PayNow when you apply and spend a min. of S$1,000 in eligible transactions within 60 days from card approval date! T&Cs apply.
 
Use 4,250 SmartPoints to fully redeem a product from our Rewards Store. If the product costs more, redeem with your points and top up the rest by purchasing additional SmartPoints e.g. get an Apple 10.9-inch iPad Wi‑Fi 64GB (10th Generation) at only S$189 on top of your earned SmartPoints.

Valid until 30 Jun 2024

Standard Chartered Simply Cash Credit Card is a simple, no-frills card with 1.5% rebate on all spending and a first year annual fee waiver.

Likewise, you can claim exclusive rewards when you sign up via MoneySmart as a new-to-StanChart customer.

MoneySmart Exclusive
Unlimited Cashback
MoneySmart Exclusive
Unlimited Cashback

American Express True Cashback Card

on up to $5,000 spend in the first 6 months for new Card Members.
3.0% Cashback
all subsequent eligible purchases
1.5% Cashback
Cash Back Cap
Unlimited

Get S$130 Cash via PayNow when you apply for an American Express True Cashback Card and spend a min. of S$500 in Qualifying Spends within the first month of card approval! T&Cs apply.

Valid until 30 Jun 2024

The Amex True Cashback Card is another credit card with the same value proposition: 1.5% cashback on all spending, no minimum, no cap.

The main advantage this credit card has is that it offers a bumped-up 3% cashback for the first 6 months, up to S$5,000 spend. However, bear in mind that fewer merchants accept Amex compared to Visa and Mastercard.

Online Promo
Unlimited 2% Cashback
Online Promo
Unlimited 2% Cashback

CIMB World Mastercard

Unlimited Cashback on the following categories (Wine & Dine, Online Food Delivery, Movies & Digital Entertainment, Taxi & Automobile, Luxury Goods)
Up to 2%
Min. spend per month to qualify for 2% Unlimited Cashback
S$1,000
Cash Rebate cap
Unlimited
Online Promo:
Get up to S$188 Cashback when you spend a minimum of S$988 in Eligible Transactions within 60 days from card approval date. T&Cs apply.
Valid until 31 Jul 2024

CIMB World Mastercard is a no-annual fee credit card that gives you 10% cashback on all eligible categories (with a lower min. monthly spend of S$600).

MoneySmart Exclusive
FLASH DEAL | Unlimited 1.6% Cashback
MoneySmart Exclusive
FLASH DEAL | Unlimited 1.6% Cashback

Citi Cash Back+ Card

Cash Back on Eligible Spend
1.6%
Min. Spend per month
S$0
Cash Back Cap per month
Unlimited

[FLASH DEAL | FASTER GIFT FULFILMENT]
Earn 5,040 SmartPoints or S$300 Cash via PayNow, in as fast as 5 weeks from meeting the S$500 spend criteria! T&Cs apply.
 
OR get a COMPLIMENTARY GIFT UPGRADE to a ECOVACS DEEBOT T20e OMNI Robot Vacuum Cleaner (worth S$1,199) when you are the first 5 customers to submit the claim form at 2PM & 9PM daily!
 
Use 5,040 SmartPoints to fully redeem a product from our Rewards Store. If the product costs more, redeem with your points and top up the rest by purchasing additional SmartPoints e.g. get an Apple 10.9-inch iPad Wi‑Fi 64GB (10th Generation) at only S$110 on top of your earned SmartPoints.

Valid until 21 Jun 2024

Similar to the Standard Chartered Simply Cash Credit Card, Citi Cash Back+ Card is an easy-to-use cash back credit card up to 8% cash back on dining, groceries and petrol and a first year annual fee waiver.

Earn Miles That Don't Expire
Earn Miles That Don't Expire

OCBC 90°N Card

on Agoda accommodations worldwide
S$1 = Up to 7 Miles
on Foreign Currency spend
S$1 = 2.1 Miles
on Local spend
S$1 = 1.3 Miles

Unlike cards with minimum spend required, the OCBC 90°N MasterCard Get lets you enjoy cash rebates at up to 2.1% from your earned miles (in terms of Travel$) with no minimum spend needed and no caps. Additionally, an annual fee waiver is available.

Online Promo
Online Promo

DCS CASHBACK Card

on all eligible transactions
Up to 5% Cash Rebate
Airport Lounge Access and Insurance Coverage
Complimentary
Annual Principal Fee
S$196.20 (inclusive of GST)
Online Promo:
Receive a pair of GOTRIP luggage bags (worth S$500) when you apply for a minimum of any 2 eligible DCS cards and spend a minimum of $350 monthly for 2 consecutive months OR apply for an eligible DCS card and spend a minimum of S$450 monthly for 2 consecutive months. T&Cs apply.
Valid until 30 Jun 2024

A pretty generous 5% cash rebate for all eligible transactions with a minimum spending of S$400 (per month) is one of the perks you'll be entitled to when you use your DCS CASHBACK Regular Credit Card. If your monthly spending is lower at about S$150 or slightly more, you'll be eligible for a 2% cash rebate for all your transactions on your DCS CASHBACK S$500 Limit Credit Card.

How to Get a Credit Limit Increase? 3 Options to Try

Assuming that the credit limit on your favourite credit card is already at the regulatory limit, you might be wondering if there is any way to still increase your credit limit for a big purchase. Here are 3 credit limit increase methods you can try. Bear in mind that, since MAS regulations, there are, well, limits to how much of an increase you can get.

Option 1

Temporary Credit Limit Increase

Make an online request for a temporary credit card credit limit increase for travel, wedding, hospitalisation or compassionate purposes (be prepared with proof of your life circumstances!). You must pay off the bill before the credit limit increase expires, or you may get charged an overlimit fee.

Option 2

Request Credit Limit Review

To get a permanent credit limit increase, you will need to show that your income has gone up since the time you got the credit cards. You'll need to submit your latest income documents, e.g. payslips, CPF statement, or Income Tax Notice of Assessment.

Option 3

Make Advance Payment

Another way to increase your credit limit is by making advance payment on your credit card - check with your credit card provider on the procedure on this. This method makes sense if you have a have a large amount of cash but a small credit limit, and you need a temporary credit limit increase for a large purchase.

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Alternatively, Consider a Personal Loan Instead

If you need cash urgently to tide you through a rough time or an emergency, a credit limit increase may not be the best option. If you are not confident of repaying your bills on time, they may result in high-interest debt that is difficult to conquer. You may want to consider a personal loan instead, which have lower interest rates and more affordable instalment repayment plans. MoneySmart's personal loan calculator allows you to compare the different personal loan interest rates side by side.