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.

Masthead Image

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 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.

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.

Can You Get a Credit Limit Increase With Another Credit Card Provider?

Yes, you can. The MAS credit limit regulations are imposed on financial institutions, not on individual consumers. Let's say you earn S$3,000 a month. If you sign up for DBS credit cards, DBS will offer you a credit limit of S$12,000 across all your cards, no matter how many you sign up for. This is the maximum you can borrow from DBS. But if you sign up for a new credit card provider, say Citibank, Citi will give you another S$12,000 credit limit across all Citi cards. And so on. However, we would caution against opening multiple credit card accounts for the sake of increasing your credit limit, especially if you have trouble managing your debt. Failing to pay all your bills in full in on time can damage your credit score.

3 Best Credit Cards for Credit Limit Increase (2021)

Redeem your Cash Back Instantly on-the-go with Pay with Points or for Cash Rebate via SMS
Redeem your Cash Back Instantly on-the-go with Pay with Points or for Cash Rebate via SMS

Citi Cash Back+ Mastercard®

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

Apply and spend $200 to get: $300 Cash OR Beats Studio Buds RED + $100 Cash (worth $319)

OR

Apply and spend $500 to get MORE:  $350 Cash OR the NEW 10.2-inch Apple iPad Wi-Fi 64GB (worth $499) OR Beats Studio Buds RED + $100 Cash (worth $319)!

Valid until 19 Oct 2021

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

Apply and spend $200 to get: $200 Cash OR Samsung Galaxy A7 Tab Lite Wi-Fi (worth $228)

OR

Apply and spend $300 to get MORE: $250 Cash OR a Ergotune Ergonomic Classic Chair (worth $399) OR Samsung Galaxy A7 Tab Lite Wi-Fi (worth $228)!

Valid until 31 Oct 2021

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.

Welcome Offer (min spend of S$5,000 in 6months)
3.0% Cashback
Cash Back Cap
Unlimited
Min. Spend per month
S$0

Get a Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 Lite (worth $228) or $160 cash via PayNow when you apply and spend on your card!

Valid until 31 Oct 2021

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.