Compare the Best Credit Cards for Overseas Spending 2022

Find the latest credit cards have the lowest foreign transaction fees and the best rewards for overseas spending. Read More
We found 32 Credit Cards for you!
Sponsored
CIMB logo
MoneySmart Exclusive
Cash Back on Cruises
Up to 10%
Min. spend per month
S$800
Foreign Transaction Fee
2%

Apply and spend S$988 to receive a free Apple AirPods Pro 2nd Generation (worth S$359) or $250 Cash via PayNow or $300 eCapitaVouchers. T&Cs apply.

Valid until 31 Dec 2022 - See more details below
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American Express logo
MoneySmart Exclusive
Convenience & Perks for Frequent Flyers
Foreign Currency Overseas Spending in June & December
S$1 = 2 Miles
Min. Spend per month
S$0
Foreign Transaction Fee
2.95%
Get up to 27,000 worth of KrisFlyer Miles (worth a return trip to Phuket via Singapore Airlines) from Amex when you apply. Min. spends of S$1,000 within first month of card approval and payable annual fee required. T&Cs Apply.
Valid until 31 Dec 2022 - See more details below
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American Express logo
MoneySmart Exclusive
Convenience & Perks for Frequent Flyers
Overseas Spending Rewards
S$1 = 2 Miles
Min. Spend per month
S$0
Foreign Transaction Fee
2.95%
Get up to 17,000 worth of KrisFlyer Miles (worth a return trip to Bali via Singapore Airlines) from Amex when you apply. Min. spends of S$1,000 within first month of Card Approval required. T&Cs Apply.
Valid until 31 Dec 2022 - See more details below
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UOB logo
Earn Miles on Everyday Spending
on Singapore Airlines, SilkAir, Scoot and KrisShop
S$1 = 3 Miles
Min spend per annum on Singapore Airlines Group
S$500
Foreign Currency Transaction Fee
3.25%
Apply Now
DBS logo
Miles or Cashback – you decide
Overseas Spend
S$1 = 2.2 miles or 2.2% cashback
Min. Spend per month
S$0
Foreign Transaction Fee
3.25%
Read More
Standard Chartered logo
MoneySmart Exclusive
Overseas Spending Rewards
S$1 = 10X Points
Min. Spend per month
S$0
Foreign Transaction Fee
3.50%

Apply and spend S$250 to get an Apple AirPods Gen 3 (worth S$269) or Nintendo Switch Lite (worth S$279) or S$250 Cash via PayNow. T&Cs apply.

Valid until 04 Dec 2022 - See more details below
Apply Now
HSBC logo
Online Promo
Earn up to 3.5% Cashback
Cash Back
1.5%
Bonus Cash Back
3.5%
Min. Spend
S$0
Online Promo:
Receive SGD200 cashback for new HSBC cardmembers. Existing HSBC cardmembers receive $50 cashback. Min. spends of S$500 upon card approval required. T&Cs apply.

Supplementary Card Promo:
Get up to S$150 cash back (S$30 per supplementary card, up to maximum of 5 cards).
Valid until 31 Dec 2022 - See more details below
Apply Now
Maybank logo
Overseas Spending Rewards
S$1 = 2 Miles
Min. Spend per month
S$300
Foreign Transaction Fee
2.50%
Apply Now
HSBC logo
Overseas Spending Rewards
S$1 = 2.25 Miles
Min. Spend per month
S$0
Foreign Transaction Fee
2.80%
Apply Now
UOB logo
High Miles Earn Rate
Overseas Spending Rewards
S$1 = 2.4 Miles
Min. Spend per month
S$0
Foreign Transaction Fee
3.25%
Apply Now
OCBC logo
High Spend on Dining
Overseas Spending Rewards
6% Cashback
Min. Spend per month
S$800
Foreign Transaction Fee
3%
Read More
DBS logo
Online Promo
Earn Miles That Never Expire
Overseas Spending Rewards
S$1 = 2 Miles
Min. Spend per month
S$0
Foreign Transaction Fee
2.50%
Online Promo:
Welcome Gift: Get S$150 Cashback when you apply with promo code 150CASH and make the min. spend of S$800 within 60 days of card approval. T&Cs apply.
Valid until 31 Jan 2023 - See more details below
Apply Now
Citibank logo
MoneySmart Exclusive
Overseas Spending Rewards
S$1 = 2 Miles
Min. Spend per month
S$0
Foreign Transaction Fee
3.25%

Apply and Spend $500 to get S$350 Cash via PayNow OR a NEW Apple Watch SE (worth S$379) OR BOSE QuietComfort Earbuds II (worth S$379). T&Cs apply.

Valid until 08 Dec 2022 - See more details below
Apply Now
DBS logo
Online Promo
Earn Miles That Never Expire
Overseas Spending Rewards
S$1 = 1.2 Miles
Min. Spend per month
S$0
Foreign Transaction Fee
2.50%
Online Promo:
Welcome Gift: Get S$150 Cashback when you apply with promo code 150CASH and make the min. spend of S$800 within 60 days of card approval. T&Cs apply.
Valid until 31 Jan 2023 - See more details below
Apply Now
OCBC logo
Earn Miles That Don't Expire
on Overseas spend
S$1 = 2.1 Miles
Min. spend per month
S$0
Foreign Transaction Fee
3%
Read More
UOB logo
Overseas Spending Rewards
S$1 = 2.4 Miles
Min. Spend per month
S$0
Foreign Transaction Fee
3.25%
Apply Now
UOB logo
Overseas Spending Rewards
S$1 = 2.4 Miles
Min. Spend per month
S$0
Foreign Transaction Fee
3.25%
Apply Now
Standard Chartered logo
Frequent Travellers
on Overseas Spend
S$1 = 2 Miles
Min. spend per month
S$0
Foreign Transaction Fee
3.5%
Apply Now
Bank of China logo
Overseas Spending Rewards
S$1 = 2 Miles
Min. Spend per month
S$0
Foreign Transaction Fee
3%
Read More
Bank of China logo
Overseas Dining Spending
10% Cashback
Min. Spend per month
S$800
Foreign Transaction Fee
3%
Read More

Disclaimer: At MoneySmart.sg, we strive to keep our information accurate and up to date. This information may be different than what you see when you visit a financial institution, service provider or specific product’s site. All financial products and services are presented without warranty. Additionally, this site may be compensated through third party advertisers. However, the results of our comparison tools which are not marked as sponsored are always based on objective analysis first.

Best Credit Card for Overseas Spending

Frequent travellers who usually shop while on a business trip or holiday get higher rewards on overseas spending as long as they use the right credit card. Of course, not all credit cards are created equal. So some fare better than others, depending on the spending category. It’s also worth taking note that banks do charge a foreign currency transaction fee. If you are travelling overseas, read our short travel credit cards guide on the best overseas spending cards to use.

Best for High Spenders - DBS Altitude Visa Signature Card, Citi PremierMiles Card and AMEX KrisFlyer Ascend Credit Card

If you’re the type who goes all out while travelling, the DBS Altitude Visa Signature Card, Citi PremierMiles Card and OCBC 365 Card are worth considering. With the DBS Altitude Visa Signature Card, you can earn up to 5 miles per $1 spent overseas (at point of sale). What’s good about this is there’s no minimum spend per month and no cap. The $5,000 maximum spend per month only applies to any of your online flight or hotel transactions, not for your overseas spend transactions.

So if you’ve indulged in Michelin-starred restaurant experiences or a month-long European or African vacation after 1 December 2021, your accumulated miles will not go to waste, as you can take advantage of this DBS miles promotion and its “miles with no expiry” benefit. The Citi PremierMiles Card offers the similar benefit of miles with no expiry, and you can earn 2 miles for every $1 spent overseas.

As for the AMEX KrisFlyer Ascend Credit Card, you get 2 miles per $1 spent on foreign currency whenever you use your card. What’s more, ​​you’ll be covered with up to $1 million of complimentary travel insurance while shopping on your trip. What’s more, you do not need any minimum monthly spending to enjoy these benefits.

Best for General Spending - UOB PRVI Miles, Standard Chartered Rewards+ Credit Card and HSBC Advance Credit Card

Unlike the usual 1.4 or 2 miles per $1 spent offered by other banks, UOB PRVI Miles offers a slightly better deal – 2.4 miles per $1 spent overseas. Not bad for a permanent bonus miles feature. The downside? The UOB miles you accumulate are bound to expire within 2 years.

The Standard Chartered Rewards+ Credit Card is even more competitive. It gives you 10X Rewards Points for every $1 spent overseas, and every 1X Rewards Point can be converted to 0.29 miles. So if we do the math, you’ll get 2.9 miles for every $1 spent overseas! The annual fee can also be waived for the first 2 years, plus you’ll get free travel insurance when you go on your trips. Sounds like a pretty good deal.

If you’re looking for cashback benefits, the HSBC Advance Credit Card lets you get up to 2.5% cashback, annual fee waiver, online shopping and dining offers, and welcome gifts. There are actually 3 tiers of cashback – base 1.5%, 2.5% with S$2,000 spend, and HSBC Everyday Global Account customers get additional 1% HSBC Everyday+ Cashback. While it’s a fixed feature of the card, you must hit the $30,000 minimum salary requirement to be eligible for these benefits.

Best for Nearby Destinations - CIMB VISA Signature Card and Standard Chartered X Card

If you like taking weekend trips to nearby cities like JB, Batam or KL, you can choose between CIMB VISA Signature Card or Standard Chartered X Card for boatloads of cashback and air miles. With CIMB VISA Signature Card, a weekend family cruise trip overseas means 10% cashback, 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.

For those looking to earn lots of air miles quickly, the Standard Chartered X Card might be the perfect card for you. If you activate your X card within 30 days from the approval date, you’ll get 75,000 360° Reward Points, equivalent to 30,000 KrisFlyer Miles, within, enjoy priority airport lounge access, and redeem your points for air miles or cashback. This premium entry-level air miles credit card lets you earn 2 miles per $1 spent overseas (or 2% cashback) and 1.2 miles for local spending (or 1.2% cashback).

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How To Pick A Credit Card for Overseas Spending

There are many reasons to use your credit card overseas, many of which are too good to resist. So when it comes to choosing the most suitable credit card for your overseas spending, the benefits that come with it have to be compatible with your spending habits and lifestyle needs so that you can fully maximise the rewards, cashback and other perks that you’re entitled to. Here are a few things to look out for while you’re still deciding which card to get.

Air Miles for travelling

One of the main reasons to use your credit card for your shopping overseas is for the air miles. Certain credit cards, which are also known as air miles credit cards or frequent flyer credit cards, enable you to accumulate frequent flyer miles with purchases made on your cards, such as online shopping, travel and even transport like Grab. With these air miles, you can redeem free air tickets or get great discounts for your next airfare.

Cashback benefits

Cashback credit cards let you earn some cashback when you use your credit card to pay your bills, such as telco, medical and utilities bills, while others give you the most cashback for dining, online shopping and other stuff like petrol. There are certain credit cards which focus on giving you the best cashback benefits for overseas spending such as the UOB EVOL Credit which provides you with up to 8% cashback on weekend dining, entertainment and Grab rides for your weekend trips.

Reward Points system

Rewards credit cards are all about you collecting points and redeeming them for specific things that you like i.e. air tickets to your dream destination, dining, shopping and staycation vouchers, and even Apple gadgets, Dyson Tower Fan, wireless in-ear earphones and other popular tech merchandise.

So every time you use your credit card locally or overseas, you’ll get to collect points, which usually can be converted to air miles or vouchers and trendy gadgets. The more you spend, the more points you get, and the more attractive the redemption item is going to be.

Annual fees

Annual fees are usually charged by most credit cards and it’s kind of like for the convenience of you enjoying using the card to make your purchases. Of course, there are administrative costs, which are also included as part of the annual fees, for maintaining your credit card account.

Many banks do offer a waiver of your annual fee when you make a request through phone calls or email.

Dynamic currency conversion fees

Dynamic currency conversion fees or DCCs in short, make up that extra percentage of your monthly credit card bill when you use it to pay for something you bought overseas.

If you choose to have the convenience of being able to see how much you’re paying in Singapore dollars just for that particular product or service you get on your overseas vacation or business trip, instead of just paying in overseas currency, you’re actually wasting precious money that you can spend on something else, or simply save it for rainy days.

Foreign transaction fees

These foreign transaction fees are very much “hidden” most of the time as many banks do not list them upfront unless it’s part of a promotion that they charge lower fees than the standard market rate.

Sometimes, the dynamic currency conversion fees are included in the foreign transaction fee too, if you’ve chosen to pay in SGD for your overseas purchases. So picking cards that offer waivers or discounts for these foreign transaction fees do matter if you mind paying for these fees.

Foreign Currency Credit Card Charges By Banks

Foreign currency charges, which are also known as foreign transaction fees (which we briefly talked about above), are not that noticeable and there’s not that much hype about it unlike the great cashback benefits or attractive air miles and reward points promotions.

This means that it’ll take you a little more effort to spot them in the terms and conditions of your credit card documents or your credit card bills. 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 finally, the third component which is the dynamic currency conversion fee (only if you pay in SGD instead of overseas currency).

Tips To Lower Overseas Credit Card Fees

Tip #1 Make payments in overseas currency when abroad

Dynamic currency conversion fees will be jacking up your credit card bills if you choose to pay in SGD for shopping or on other purchases overseas. Paying in SGD may also cause you to lose your potential cashback, rewards or miles for foreign currency spending if that particular credit card you own offers any of such benefits. So be sure to let the cashier know that you wish to make your payments in overseas currency just in case they assume that you would like to pay in SGD.

Tip #2 Compare waivers or discounts on foreign transaction fees

Foreign transaction fees are charged by the bank which you got your credit card from, and these fees are for the transactions you made overseas or through an online merchant based overseas. It includes the dynamic currency conversion fee which was mentioned above, plus an administrative fee on the foreign transaction amount charged by the bank. Such fees usually range from 2.5% to 3.5%, depending on which bank you picked.

Some credit card issuing banks offer waivers and better discounts on such fees, so choosing certain credit cards with such benefits can help you save some money on your monthly credit card bills.

Tip #3 Use a multi-currency account or mobile wallet

By using a multi-currency account or mobile wallet, you can convert your currency without having to pay dynamic currency conversion fees. For a multi-currency account, you’ll be able to exchange SGD with the currencies that you want when the exchange rates are favourable, deposit that money into your account and use your debit card for overseas purchases. This will enable you to escape currency conversion and foreign exchange fees altogether.

Using a mobile wallet gives you similar benefits, just that you don’t have to open a multi-currency bank account. Multi-currency travel cards like YouTrip, TransferWise, Revolut and InstaReM lets you convert currency on the go with a mobile wallet, without paying for any currency exchange fees.

Tip #4 Link your cashback credit card with Instarem Amaze Card

This tip only works for Mastercard-issued cashback credit cards and once you link them (only up to 5 cards) with the Instarem Amaze Card, all of your transactions will have the Amaze affix, which is based in Singapore. With this Instarem Amaze Card, you’ll be able to combine your current cashback rewards with the Amaze card’s 1% cashback reward.

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Credit Card Charges

BankTransaction Fees
CitibankUp to 3.30%
UOBUp to 3.25%
HSBCUp to 2.80%
DBS or POSBUp to 2.80%
American ExpressUp to 2.70%
Standard CharteredUp to 2.50%
MaybankUp to 2.25%
OCBCUp to 2.25%
CIMBUp to 2.00%

How to Activate Credit Card for Overseas Use

Banks enforce stringent security measures to curb unauthorised overseas credit card charges. To use your card overseas, you simply need to activate overseas use for your credit card. So if you’ll be travelling abroad, make sure that you’ve enabled this function to be able to use your credit card. You can activate your credit card for foreign travel via SMS, online banking or mobile banking. Some banks allow ATM or personal activation too. While activating your card for overseas usage, you need to set the dates when you plan to use it abroad. It will then be deactivated automatically.

Credit Card Overseas Rebate

The concept of credit card overseas rebate is simple – use your credit card overseas and earn a small percentage of the amount your paid for in return. Of course, you can’t expect banks to be generous in giving cashback on your foreign currency transactions. Usually, banks only give 2% to 8% cashback tops. Sometimes they also require you to hit the minimum spend requirement to enjoy overseas rebate.

Credit Card Foreign Transaction Fee

Foreign transaction fee often comes as a surprise to most overseas credit card users. Why? Because this fee is usually hiding in the terms and conditions section of credit card providers. So if you’re still scratching your head and wondering what this fee is all about, here’s a quick lowdown. Whenever you purchase something and make a foreign currency charge using your Singapore-issued credit card, you’ll be subject to a foreign transaction fee. Very rarely will you encounter banks that charge 0%. The usual foreign transaction fee is 2.5% to 3.25%.

Frequently Asked Questions

How to activate POSB Everyday credit card for overseas use?

There are 6 ways to enable your POSB Everyday credit card for overseas travel. You can activate it via SMS banking, virtual assistant, digibank mobile, digibank online, DBS Lifestyle app or ATM.

Can I use my credit card overseas?

Of course, you can use your credit card for foreign travel as long as you enable overseas use. Take note that if you charge a different currency, the foreign exchange rate will be a spot rate and you may incur a foreign transaction fee.

Do I need OTP when using a credit card overseas?

OTP is not needed for credit card use overseas. You’ll only be asked for an OTP while you’re activating your credit card for foreign travel.

How to check credit card foreign exchange rate and currency transaction charges?

Banks usually follow the foreign exchange rate of the credit card network (VISA, Mastercard). You can check their website for real-time currency conversion. As for the overseas transaction fee, you can check the terms and conditions section of your credit card provider.

Can all credit cards be used internationally?

This depends on which credit card network i.e. Visa, MasterCard, American Express, UnionPay, etc. your credit cards are tagged to. For cards which are tagged on Visa, Mastercard and American Express, and Discover networks, they are widely accepted globally. Certain networks like UnionPay have an extensive presence, but they are accepted by fewer merchants around the world.

Do I need OTP when using a credit card overseas?

OTP is not needed for credit card use overseas. You’ll only be asked for an OTP while you’re activating your credit card for foreign travel.

How do I check credit card foreign exchange rate and currency transaction charges?

Most banks do not state the credit card foreign exchange rates and currency transaction charges upfront, so you’ll need to check the terms and conditions of your credit card documents or your credit card bills. Many of the Help Centre and FAQs sections of the banks’ websites provide information on these charges as well.

Is there a credit card with no foreign transaction fee?

There are many credit cards which you can waive your foreign transaction fees for, 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 use debit or credit cards abroad?

It depends on your spending habits abroad. If you are going for rewards points to redeem for attractive perks such as air miles for your next airfare or dining and shopping vouchers or other tech gadgets, then using credit cards which are linked to reward programmes would be better.

On the other hand, if you just want to withdraw amounts of cash, debit cards will suffice as it relieves you of the hassle of carrying large amounts of cash with you as you travel. Moreover, some debit cards let you earn bonus interest on money you spend overseas.