Best Secured Credit Cards for Bad Credit in Singapore (2020)

If you have a poor credit score, you probably find it very hard to get your credit card application approved. This is because banks don't want to take on the risk of lending you money, even if you have already repaid your old debts and are on the right financial track now. However, those with a bad credit rating can still apply for a secured credit card in Singapore. Here's how they work and some recommendations.

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Can You Really Get A Credit Card If You Have Bad Credit?

If you have a bad credit rating, you may get rejected when you apply for a regular credit card, because the bank does not want to take on the risk of default. However, you can opt to apply for a secured credit card instead. Here's how they work.

  • How Do Secured Credit Cards Work?

    Some banks allow you to get a credit card by parking at least S$10,000 with the bank. The bank then treats your money as collateral. This does mean you also need to have at least S$10,000 in cash on hand to apply for one! Typically, you will need to fill in a secured credit card application form and open a fixed deposit account with the bank.

  • What is The Credit Limit on a Secured Credit Card?

    For regular credit cards, the credit limit is about 4X your monthly income. With secured credit cards, however, the credit limit is usually about 80% to 100% of the fixed deposit collateral. So if you put down a S$10,000 fixed deposit, your credit limit may range from S$8,000 to S$10,000.

  • Do Secured Credit Cards Come with Benefits?

    Yes, secured credit cards offer the same benefits as regular credit cards, such as miles, rewards points or cashback. Choose one that fits your spending needs. Provided you always repay your bills in full and on time, getting a secured credit card is also a good way to build up your credit score and improve your credit rating.

UOB PRVI Miles Card

  • Local Spend

  • Overseas Spend

  • Selected Online Hotel and Flight bookings

UOB is one of the most prominent credit card issuers in Singapore that offer secured credit cards. Most of their credit cards are eligible; you will find the option to get the credit card with a fixed deposit collateral of S$10,000 under the income requirements section.

MoneySmart recommends the UOB PRVI Miles Card for those with bad credit ratings. It has no minimum spending requirements and no cap, making it easy to use without the temptation to overspend.

This credit card also lets you earn miles at a higher-than-average earn rate, which is a plus. The bumped-up overseas spending earn rate is particularly useful for those who need to charge business expenses abroad.

If you are not keen on miles, you can choose to convert them to shopping vouchers if you wish.

UOB Lady's Card

  • on One Category

  • on All Other Spend

  • Rewards to Miles Conversion

If you qualify for it (i.e. if you are a woman) another UOB credit card worth considering is the UOB Lady's Card. You can apply for this card with a fixed deposit collateral of S$10,000.

Like the UOB PRVI Miles Card, there is no minimum spending requirement. There is, however, a cap of S$1,000 a month, which is not a problem for regular day-to-day personal spending.

What's great about this credit card is that you can choose your favourite spending category, in which you'll get 10X rewards points when you spend. These include useful day-to-day categories like Fashion (includes online marketplaces like Qoo10 and Lazada), Family (supermarkets and parenting stores) and Dining.

DBS Altitude Card

  • Local Spend

  • Overseas Spend

  • Bus, MRT and Taxi rides

Like UOB, DBS/POSB also allows applicants to sign up for a secured credit card with a minimum S$10,000 placed in a fixed deposit account as collateral. To apply for a secured credit card, you have to go down to a POSB/DBS branch in person. It is open to applicants aged 21 to 70 years old.

One of the best credit cards DBS has for such applicants is the simple, straightforward DBS Altitude Visa Signature Card. It has no minimum spend and no cap, and lets you earn miles on practically everything.

While the miles earn rate is lower than that of the UOB PRVI Miles Card, the DBS Altitude Card's miles do not expire, so there is less pressure for you to redeem them in a hurry. You can also choose to redeem shopping/dining vouchers or cash back if you prefer.

POSB Everyday Card

  • Cash Rebates for everyday essentials

  • Min. Spend per month

If you want a simple cashback credit card that does not require you to jump through hoops or hit a minimum spending requirement, you can consider the POSB Everyday Card. You can apply for this over the counter at a DBS/POSB branch and open a fixed deposit account of at least S$10,000 at the same time.

It's one of the few lifestyle cashback cards in Singapore with no minimum spend to hit. You can get 5% rebate at Sheng Siong, 3% at Watsons and 1% on electricity bills.

HSBC Advance Credit Card

  • Cash Back on All Spend

  • Cash Back Cap per month

  • Min. Spend per month

HSBC is yet another bank that allows you to apply for a secured credit card. To do so, you will need to open a fixed deposit account with HSBC and put in at least S$10,000 as collateral.

HSBC has a couple of no-minimum-spend credit cards, which are great if you do not want to feel pressured into overspending. For cashback, you can opt for the HSBC Advance Credit Card, which gives you a straight 1.5% cash back with no minimum spend.

There is a tiered cashback system, meaning you get a bumped-up cashback rate if you (a) spend more than S$2,000 a month and/or (b) become an HSBC Advance customer. However, neither of these are a requirement for getting this card.

HSBC Revolution Card

  • on Online, Dining and Entertainment

  • on All Other Spend

  • Rewards to Miles Conversion for Selected Airline Partners

If you prefer collecting rewards points/miles to cashback, you can opt for the HSBC Revolution Credit Card, which is as easy to use as the HSBC Advance Card. It, too, has no minimum spending requirements.

The HSBC Revolution Credit Card gives you 5X rewards points on much of the typical Singaporean's day-to-day spending, such as online spending, dining and entertainment (e.g. movies). There is also no cap on the points earned.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I still apply for credit card with bad credit?

Having a bad credit score or credit rating really hurts your chances of getting a credit card. But as long as you still have at least S$10,000 in cash, you can still apply for a secured credit card with the above banks. Of course, you won't really be getting "credit", since you need to put the cash in upfront. But a secured credit card can still be useful if you are, say, spending overseas (it is less risky than carrying around a wad of cash) or buying items online.

How do I increase my credit limit for a secured credit card?

The minimum deposit for a secured credit card in Singapore is S$10,000, and the credit limit is usually either this amount or a bit less. If that proves to be too small an amount for your needs, you can usually get your bank to increase it as long as you put more money into the fixed deposit account.

What if I need the money in the fixed deposit account urgently?

Note that once you put money into the fixed deposit account for your secured credit card, you will not be able to withdraw it unless you cancel your card! The bank will then release the money, but it can take up to 30 days (or more) to process this. So do make sure that you have a large enough emergency fund before you park the S$10,000 for a secured credit card.

Are there alternatives to a secured credit card?

If you have a poor credit rating and insufficient funds to get a secured credit card, you can opt for a debit card, or a prepaid credit card such as the Fevo Mastercard or GrabPay Card. In all cases, you will need to have cash on hand before you can spend it. However, a secured credit card is better for building your credit rating, so if you want to improve your credit score in the long run, consider switching to one when you have saved up the S$10,000.