Best No-Fee Credit Cards In Singapore

Best No-Fee Credit Cards In Singapore

For an island with a population of only 5.7 million, there are certainly a lot of credit cards in circulation. According to the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), Singaporeans collectively owned a total of 7,662,808 credit cards as of January 2018.

If you happen to be a card-owning Singaporean, you’re probably always looking out for ways to get the best of your credit card. If so, owning or transitioning to a no-fee credit card can be a great way for you to maximise benefits while minimising costs. Some credit cards in Singapore have no annual fees at all, while others offer waived annual fees if you hit their minimum yearly spending. We’ve pulled out the best of these cards for you:

Best general cashback card (for big spenders)

HSBC Advance Credit Card

HSBC Advance Credit Card

Up to 3.5% cashback on retail purchases.

Up to 16% instant discount at Shell and Caltex stations

HSBC Advance Credit Card has one of the best cashback rates, with up to 3.5% on retail purchases. It’s a great card if you happen to be a big spender, as you can claim up to S$125 cashback a month. Just one drawback – to enjoy the card’s best perks, you’ll need to be a HSBC Advance banking customer. If you don’t qualify for HSBC Advance, you’ll get reduced cashback rates, and a lower cashback cap. In addition, its annual fee of S$192.60 is only waived if you spend a minimum of S$12,500 in a year or if you are an Advance banking customer.

To check if you qualify for HSBC Advance, click here for the full set of eligibility criteria.

If do not qualify for Advance banking, you’ll enjoy these rates:

Spend per monthCashbackMonthly cashback capAnnual fee
Above S$2,0002.5%S$70S$192.60, waived first year, subsequent year waived with minimum yearly spend of S$12,500
S$2,000 and below1.5%

If you qualify for Advance banking, you’ll enjoy these rates:

Spend per monthCashbackMonthly cashback capAnnual fee
Above S$2,0003.5%S$125-
S$2,000 and below2.5%
Feature highlights:

  • Up to 3.5% cashback on retail purchases
  • High cashback cap (S$125 a month)
  • Up to 16% instant discount at Shell and Caltex stations
  • Sign up bonus: American Tourister Caravan 70cm TSA luggage or S$100 cashback

 

Best general cashback card (for moderate spenders)

OCBC 365 Credit Card

OCBC 365 Credit Card

Up to 6% cashback on spending.

Up to 23% fuel savings at Caltex, and 5% cashback on fuel spend at all other petrol service stations

If you don’t qualify for HSBC Advance, a great alternative cashback card is OCBC 365 Credit Card. If you spend a minimum of S$600 a month, the card offers pretty generous cashback rates across a range of categories. If you spend less than S$600, you’ll still get 0.3% cashback:

CategoriesBelow S$600 monthly spendingS$600 and above monthly spending
Dining0.3%6% (weekend)

3% (weekday)
Online shopping3%
Petrol5%
Grocery3%
Recurring telco bills3%
Other expenses0.3%
Monthly cashback capS$80

To enjoy the annual fee waiver of S$192.60, you’ll need to spend a minimum of S$10,000 a year.

Feature highlights:

  • Up to 6% cashback on spending
  • Up to 23% fuel savings at Caltex, and 5% cashback on fuel spend at all other petrol service stations
  • Complimentary travel insurance of up to $200,000

 

Best general cashback card (for low spenders)

Maybank Platinum Visa Card

Maybank Platinum Visa Card

Up to 3.33% cashback on local spend.

0.3% cashback on overseas spend

Don’t spend much, but still keen on a cashback card? You’ll want to check out Maybank Platinum Visa Card. While this card does charge a S$20 quarterly service fee, you’d only need to charge your card once every 3 months to get the fee waived. The card offers up to 3.33% cash rebates on local spend and 0.3% on overseas spend. You won’t have to hit astronomically high minimum spend amounts to get those rates, either. The amount of cash rebates you can get depends on which spending tier you fall into:

TierMinimum monthly spend in the quarterMaximum cash rebate awarded
JulyAugustSeptember
1S$300S$300S$300S$30
2S$1000S$1000S$1000S$100

While its cash rebate cap may seem paltry compared to HSBC Advance Credit Card (S$100 per quarter versus S$125 per month), its minimum spend requirements are much lower, making it a great alternative for those with smaller budgets.

Feature highlights:

  • Up to 3.33% cashback on local spend
  • 3% cashback on overseas spend
  • Low interest rate of 15%
  • Up to 25% discounts on food bill with foodpanda

 

Best credit card for daily essentials

HSBC Premier MasterCard Credit Card

HSBC Premier MasterCard Credit Card

Up to 5% cash rebates on groceries and recurring bill payments.

Up to 16% instant discount at Shell and Caltex stations, on top of additional cash rebates of up to 6%

If your spending is mostly limited to daily essentials, then HSBC Premier MasterCard Credit Card is an excellent card to consider. It offers up to 5% rebate on recurring bill payments and groceries, as well as pretty big savings (up to 16% instant discount + up to 6% rebate) on petrol. Best of all, the card has a permanent annual fee waiver – no minimum annual spend required. However, to get the best rebate rates, you’ll need to hit a minimum spending of S$800 a month for all three months in a quarter:

 Min. S$400 spend/month for all 3 months in a quarterMin. S$800 spend/month for all 3 months in a quarter
Recurring mobile / cable TV / Internet bill payment5% rebate5% rebate
Groceries3% rebate5% rebate
Petrol (Shell)up to 16% instant discount + 3% rebate14% instant discount + 6% rebate
Petrol (Caltex)up to 16% instant discount + 3% rebateup to 16% instant discount + 5% rebate
Dining1% rebate2% rebate
Cash rebate cap (per quarter)S$60S$120

Feature highlights:

  • Up to 5% cash rebates on groceries and recurring bill payments
  • Up to 16% instant discount at Shell and Caltex stations, on top of additional cash rebates of up to 6%
  • Up to 2% cash rebates on local dining
  • No minimum spend required for annual fee waiver

 

Best credit card for shopping, entertainment and dining

HSBC Revolution Credit Card

HSBC Revolution Credit Card

5x Rewards on online purchases, entertainment or dining.

1x Rewards points for other purchases

HSBC Revolution Credit Card is a great card if a lot of your spending goes to shopping, entertainment or dining. You’ll get five times more Rewards points when you spend in these categories, which can then be used to claim gifts, deals or air miles. Here’s an example of how your monthly spending can help you earn Rewards points:

CategorySpendingRewards points
Online purchasesS$2005x = 1,000
Local entertainmentS$2005x = 1,000
Local diningS$5005x = 2,500
Other spendingS$5001x = 500
Total Rewards points
5,000

In the example above, spending S$1,400 across these categories will net you 5,000 Rewards points (which are equivalent to 2,000 Krisflyer Miles or Asia Miles).

While this card does have an annual fee of S$150, it will be waived if you hit the minimum yearly spend of S$12,500.

Feature highlights:

  • 5x Rewards on online purchases, entertainment or dining
  • 1x Rewards points for other purchases
  • Sign up bonus: American Tourister Caravan 70cm TSA luggage or S$100 cashback

 

Best card for air miles and travel

Maybank Horizon Platinum Visa Card

Maybank Horizon Platinum Visa Card

5x TREATS Points for every S$1 spent on air tickets, travel packages and overseas expenses.

1 TREATS Point for all other spending

For the perpetual (or aspiring) jetsetter, Maybank Horizon Platinum Visa Card is excellent for racking up air miles. Its rewards are similar to HSBC Revolution Credit Card, in that you’ll get 5 times more TREATS Points (or 2 air miles) for every dollar spent. However, this card is only worth having if you travel regularly, as you’ll only earn 5x more points when you spend on air tickets, travel packages and overseas expenses – you’ll just get 1 point for spending in other categories. Additional perks of this card include 50% off all services at The Haven by JetQuay (an airport lounge in Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 3), as well as complimentary travel insurance coverage of up to S$1,000,000 when you charge your air tickets or travel packages to the card.

The card has an annual fee of S$150 that will be waived if you hit its minimum yearly spend of S$12,000.

Feature highlights:

  • 5x TREATS Points for every S$1 spent on air tickets, travel packages and overseas expenses
  • 1 TREATS Point for all other spending
  • Complimentary travel insurance coverage of up to S$1,000,000

 

Make the most out of your no-fee card

Here’s a summary of the best no-free credit cards we’ve mentioned. Although most of these cards require a minimum spend to get an annual fee waiver, the requirements should be easy to fulfil if you charge daily expenses to your card.

CardThis card is best for…Annual feeMin. yearly spend for fee waiver
HSBC Advance Credit Cardgeneral cashback (for big spenders)S$192.60waived for Advance Banking customers or minimum yearly spend of S$12,500
OCBC 365 Credit Cardgeneral cashback (for moderate spenders)S$192.60S$10,000
Maybank Platinum Visa Cardgeneral cashback (for low spenders)S$20 quarterly service feewaived if card is charged at least once every 3 months
HSBC Premier MasterCard Credit Carddaily essentials--
HSBC Revolution Credit Cardshopping, entertainment and diningS$150S$12,500

Maybank Horizon Platinum Visa Card
air miles and travelS$150S$12,000

Here are a few tips to make the most out of your no-fee card:

  • Use a credit card that complements your spending habits. There’s no use in having a credit card that primarily rewards you for spending on say, dining, if you’re eating in every day. Examine your budget to see which categories you’re spending most on, and get a credit card that maximises cashback or cash rebates in those areas of spending.
  • Use your credit card to pay for everything. If you have enough cash to cover the bills later, using a credit card to pay for daily expenses can help you hit the minimum spend for your annual fee waiver. You’ll also accelerate the rate in which you earn air miles, cashback or other rewards.
  • Pay your credit card bills on time. Always pay your bills on time – otherwise, you’ll be saddled with late payment fees that will offset any rewards you may be getting from your credit cards.

As long as you only spend on what you can afford, following the tips above and getting the right no-fee card can be a great way to save money without paying extra.

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