The Best Starter Credit Cards in Singapore: Different Cards For Different Needs
Finally decided on getting a credit card? Then choose from this list of the best credit cards in Singapore, expertly curated by our friends from BankBazaar.
If you are new to the world of credit, then the decision of getting yourself a credit card can be a daunting one. However, there can be many advantages to using a credit card, if you use it responsibly.
For one, you can build your credit score, and consequently open doors to more sources of money. Moreover, credit cards reward your spending in the form of cashback, cash rebate, air miles, or reward points (which you can then redeem for travel, retail, dining, and entertainment vouchers). And this is just the beginning. All credit cards come with a bevvy of promotional offers — from discounts on eating out to complimentary concierge services.
Knowing how to use your card so that you can maximise your earnings will help you make successful inroads into the world of credit.
So to begin your credit journey, what are some of the best starter credit cards in Singapore?
1. American Express True Cashback Card
According to a survey on credit card usage commissioned by BankBazaar.sg, cashback is the most important credit card benefit for Singaporeans. It’s no surprise then that cashback cards are one of the most popular type of credit cards. The American Express True Cashback Card is a great entry card into the world of cashback. Here’s why:
- You get 1.5% cashback on all purchases.
- There is no minimum spend requirement.
- There is no cap on the cashback amount that you can earn.
- You get access to American Express Selects and Global Dining Program.
- You can also get emergency overseas assistance with American Express Global Assist.
If you apply today and spend S$5,000 within the first 6 months of your card approval, you can earn 3% cashback on the amount. So, effectively, within the first 6 months, you end up earning S$150 as cashback.
2. HSBC Revolution Card
The HSBC card offers you only 5x reward points. However, you can earn these points in a number of categories which include dining, entertainment, and online purchases.
Here’s the breakdown:
- 5x points on local dining transactions.
- 5x points on online purchases which include purchasing movie and concert tickets, hotel bookings, taxi bookings, insurance premium payments, and online shopping.
- 5x points on entertainment transactions made at local clubs, pubs, bars, and family KTVs.
- 1x reward points on all other eligible transactions.
You can convert your points to air miles as well, with the miles per dollar rate being 0.4 miles for 1 reward point. This is the same miles earning rate on the Citi Rewards Card. However, apart from there being more categories on which you can earn 5x points, the reward points you earn on your Revolution Credit Card are valid for 3 years, unlike the Citi Rewards Card which has a 1-year validity.
3. Citi PremierMiles Visa Card
This isn’t your conventional starter credit card, yes. But if you are looking for an entry-level miles card, then this is the one to go for. And not just for its features, but because, unlike many other cards that offer you air miles, the miles you earn on the Citi PremierMiles Card never expire. So, even if your plan is to take a vacation to an exotic location in 7 years’ time, you can collect enough miles to fund your holiday for next to nothing. You also get:
- 2 Citi Miles for every S$1 spent in foreign currencies.
- 1.2 Citi Miles for every S$1 spent locally.
- Up to 7 Citi Miles for every S$1 spent on Agoda until 31 December 2018.
- 10 Citi Miles per S$1 spent on Kaligo until 31 December 2018.
- 10,000 bonus Citi Miles when you renew your card.
The bonus miles helps you earn air miles at an accelerated rate, getting you that much closer to your next holiday!
4. DBS Live Fresh Card
If you spend most of your time online, then this is a great card to start with. Sure, you need to spend a minimum of S$600 each month to earn cashback, but that really isn’t too much for internet shoppers! Here’s what you can expect to earn if you use this card:
- 5% cashback on online shopping and Visa payWave purchases. This is split into 4.7% cashback for eligible transactions and 0.3% for all other purchases.
- 0.3% cashback on online shopping and Visa payWave purchases if you are not able to meet the monthly minimum spend criteria.
The card also offers a host of exclusive deals on entertainment, dining, travel and lifestyle.
Wondering which one you should go for?
It would be easy if someone could just tell you which the best credit card is. But like with most things, credit cards don’t follow a one-size-fits-all framework. A good rule of thumb, though, is to pick a card that provides the highest rewards for the category on which you send the most.
So, if you shop online often, then get a card that rewards your online spends more than it does other expenses. Also, keep in mind if there is a minimum spend requirement you may have to meet, as well as the cap on the rewards. For instance, if the monthly spend requirement is S$600 and the cashback is 10% capped at S$60 per month, spending S$650 will still only give you S$60.
A good way around this is to use a combination of cards. So, a card that rewards dining can be used for eating out, while another can be used for grocery shopping. In fact, if you have two cards that reward dining, you could use the first one until you maximise the reward it offers and then move onto the second card. This way you still earn the maximum points while not having to cut back on your lifestyle.
So, keep these points in mind before applying for a credit card – you don’t want to have to hold onto a card you don’t really want.
BankBazaar.sg is a leading online marketplace in Singapore that helps consumers compare and apply for a credit card, personal loan, home loan, car loan and insurance.
We hope this article on the best starter credit cards in Singapore was helpful!
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