What Is A Credit Card?

A credit card is a debt instrument with a pre-determined limit (also known as credit limit) that gives the cardholder access to cash equivalent to the price of a particular transaction. The cardholder is technically borrowing money from the issuing bank thus incurring interest charges. However, interest will only be charged on outstanding amount on a monthly basis.

Things to Note Before Applying

With so many options in the market, choosing the right one can be a tedious endeavour ending in confusion. Here's a checklist to note before signing on the dotted line for your credit card application!

  • Evaluate what you want from a credit card: Different cards have different features, it can range from rebates, reward points, savings on petrol, groceries etc.
  • Distinction between an ‘annual fee waived’ and a ‘no annual fee’ card:
    -Annual fee waived:- Bank offers to waive annual fee if cardholder fulfil any conditions determined
    -No annual fee:- No annual fee is attached to the card, usually comes with a higher interest rate
  • Annual income requirement: For citizens and permanent residents, the typical minimum total annual income requirement is S$30,000; usually doubled (i.e. S$60,000) for foreigners
  • Age Requirement: An applicant must also be 21 years old and above to qualify.

Different Credit Cards Features in Singapore

In Singapore, these are the major features of credit cards you can consider:

  • Cashback credit cards: These cards rebate you in cash every time you use your card to make a payment at designated outlets.
  • Reward points: These cards give you reward points every time you charge your card. Reward points are redeemable for gifts, vouchers and other goods as indicated in the issuer’s reward catalogue.
  • Travel credit cards: These cards give you mile points for selected purchases. Mile points are redeemable for travel-related privileges, such as air tickets and seats upgrades with participating airlines.
  • Groceries credit cards: These cards offers cashbacks up to 8% when you charge your card on groceries at supermarkets, globally.
  • Petrol credit cards: These cards offers petrol-related benefits, such as cash rebates or extra reward points on fuel or even discounts on spending at petrol kiosks.
  • Shopping credit cards: Earn cashbacks or reward points with exclusive privilege when you swipe your card for shopping from popular shopping outlets globally.
  • Dining credit cards: Enjoy every meal with friends and family at any restaurants globally and earn exclusive privileges and benefits when you charge it on your card.
  • Entertainment credit cards: These cards offer special privileges like complimentary entries and free drinks to Singapore’s best clubs and bars, great deals on cinemas and generous golfing privileges.

Interest Rates of Credit Cards In Singapore

For retail spending (i.e. regular purchases), interest rate imposed falls between 15% to 28% per annum while cash advances will incur interests with minimum amount of S$15 or up to 6% of the amount withdrawn unless otherwise stated.

These cards give you mile points for selected purchases. Mile points are redeemable for travel-related privileges, such as air tickets and seats upgrades with participating airlines.

The rate at which interest is charged is dependent on the timing of repayment, a lower rate will be charged the earlier the repayment is made. All late payments will charged with a tiered late payment penalty, thereby increasing your total outstanding balance.

Minimum Monthly Repayment

Credit card grants a cardholder the freedom to repay his or her debts by instalment. However, it is not to be confused with not having to make monthly repayments at all, as there is usually a minimum monthly repayment requirement that must be adhered to lest incurring a late payment penalty.

Cardholders are usually required to pay the higher of S$50 or 3% of the outstanding balance every month. This minimum payment must be made within a time frame or a late payment penalty will be charged on the outstanding balance

What Are The Credit Limits?

The Monetary Authority of Singapore has fixed a maximum credit limit of a sum equivalent to two times of months income for individuals with annual income of less than S$30,000. Individuals with annual income of more than S$30,000 on the other hand, can be granted a maximum credit limit of up to four times of their monthly income.

Balance Transfer Facility

Balance transfer allows you to transfer the outstanding balance from one credit card to another that is issued by a different bank. The main benefit of facility is the lower or zero interest rate offered for a period of 6 to 12 months.

Cash Advance Facility

Cash advance facility allows you to withdraw cash from an ATM or over the counter at a bank up to a pre-determined limit (usually up to credit limit) with a fee typically ranging from 3% to 6%. Interest on cash advance will be charged on a daily basis beginning from the date of withdrawal up to the date of full repayment. If full repayment is made after your billing date, the interest on the outstanding balance is charged from the statement date up to the date of full repayment.

List of Banks Providing Credit Cards in Singapore


ANZ credit cards are for everyone, ranging from travel to cashback card. Cardholders can also selected a preferred category to earn up to 5% cash rebates. Cardholders are also able to enjoy discounts and privileges at ANZ Spot across Asia Pacific and also enjoy cards with free annual fee for life. ANZ welcomes all new cardholders with generous offers such as cash credit and air miles, at the same time offering promotions from time to time.

American Express

American Express has been long heralded as a premier credit card brand, providing 24/7 personalised services at home and abroad. Every American Express credit card has something exclusive to offer, they come with generous welcome gifts, offer and benefits like Krisflyer miles up to 2X for every S$1 spent and 10X for every S$1.60 spent for the special memberships.

Bank of China

Bank of China provides you with a variety of MasterCard, Platinum, Travel and Family cards that suit everyone’s needs. Annual fee and waiver vary with the type of card and individual eligibility. Start swiping to enjoy cash rebates up to 6%.


CIMB offers an all-inclusive range of credit cards with a variety of privileges and benefits to aim to create a balanced lifestyle for its cardholders. CIMB also has an attractive annual fee waiver scheme, which would fit you based on your lifestyle and budget.


Citibank is known for providing great cards with exciting benefits. Enjoy cashback up to 8% for petrol, dining and groceries shopping, globally. Citibank is all about maximizing consumer’s needs, so now cardholders may also enjoy rewards points up to 10x for every S$1 or earn 4 miles on every S$1 spent.


DBS provides you with a variety of Visa, Platinum, Mastercard and American Express cards that suit everyone's needs. DBS also offers Takashimaya and NUS credit cards to shopping lovers and students. Enjoy benefits like cashbacks, reward points or air miles.


Enjoy rewards points up to 10X for every dollar spent or cashbacks up to 6% for every dollar spent with HSBC. With special privileges on local and overseas spending, HSBC allows cardholders to enjoy deals and discounts with HSBC Smart Privileges.


ICBC provides Visa and UnionPay credit cards, which has the widest acceptance in Mainland China. An ICBC card also comes with great rewards points and discounts with an annual fee waiver plan.


Maybank cards are tailored to meet the demands of your unique lifestyle. Enjoy interest rate as low as 15% per annum with benefits like 10 Treats points or 4 miles for every dollar spent or cashbacks up to 3.33% on local spendings.


OCBC offers a number of different credit cards to maximize every consumer needs. OCBC provides the first and only auto installment card and credit cards with free annual fee for life. Enjoy great privileges like rewards, cashbacks or bonus discounts that is specially tailored on your spending pattern.


POSB strives to fit everyone with all the useful features in its credit card, bundled them with promotions and cashback to maximize every spending value for its customers. POSB allows you to use your credit card as an all-in-one card.

Standard Chartered

Standard Chartered offers a selection of credit cards tailored for your daily spending. Earn amazing cashbacks up to 10% for all spending and rewards points up to 2X for every dollar spent on health and insurance commitments.


UOB offers cash rebates with no minimum cap. From Visa to JCB, UOB cards are perfect for avid travellers regardless of where you are travelling. UOB serves its customers better by offering cards from different groups from ladies to professionals.

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