Credit Limit Singapore - What It's Based On & How to Increase It (2021)
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.
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 (2021)
|Annual Income||Credit Limit (≤55 Years Old)||Credit Limit (>55 Years Old)|
|≤S$15,000||N/A (not eligible)||S$2,500|
|S$15,000 to S$30,000||(Min. S$30,000) 2X monthly income||2X monthly income|
|S$30,000 to S$120,000||4X monthly income||4X monthly income|
|>S$120,000||No regulatory limit||No regulatory limit|
Why Is Your Credit Limit Lower Than the MAS Amount?
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 1Temporary 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 2Request 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 3Make 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.
Can You Get a Credit Limit Increase With Another Credit Card Provider?
3 Best Credit Cards for Credit Limit Increase (2021)
Cash Back on Eligible Spend
Min. Spend per month
Cash Back Cap
If you are not yet a Citibank customer, you can sign up for the Citi Cash Back+ Card to extend your existing credit limit. (Not to be confused with the Citi Cash Back Card.)
The Citi Cash Back+ Card is a low-maintenance credit card that gives you 1.6% rebate on your spending, with no minimum spend and no cap to keep track of. The annual fee is waived for the first year. These make it the perfect backup credit card for any purchases you may need on an ad-hoc basis.
New-to-Citibank customers can also get exclusive rewards when you apply for the card through MoneySmart.
Cash Back on eligible spend
Min. Spend per month
Cash Back Cap
Similar to the Citi Cash Back+ Card, the Standard Chartered Unlimited Cashback 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.
Cash Back on All Spend
Cash Back Cap
Min. Spend per month
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.
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.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much credit limit can I get in Singapore?
- Per MAS regulations, your credit limit is determined by your income. For most credit card users in Singapore, the maximum credit limit is 4X your monthly income. But credit card providers may offer you less, depending on your credit history and circumstances.
Will bank increase my credit limit?
- It depends on the situation. If your income has substantially increased between now and the time you got the credit card, then it's very likely that the bank will increase your credit limit upon reviewing your latest income documents. In special circumstances, e.g. in a medical emergency, banks are also willing to extend the credit limit temporarily. If you do not have a legitimate reason to ask for a credit limit increase, proceed with caution - asking for more credit for no good reason could damage your credit score.
Is it better to have higher credit limit?
- A credit limit increase can certainly be a lifeline if you are strapped for cash and need to make your essential purchases on credit for the time being. But it is not always a good thing! With a higher credit limit, your risk of overspending and getting in debt gets higher. Don't forget that having higher credit limits also means bigger bills to pay. If you are unable to pay in full and on time, it will definitely impact your credit score and make it harder to borrow in the future.