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    Credit Card: Latest Credit Cards Offers & Deals Singapore

    It is a small plastic card issued by a bank that allows the holder to purchase goods or services on credit. It is equipped with either a magnetic stripe or a chip and pin that holds a code that is readable by a POS (Point of Sales) machine. The latest addition is the contactless credit card. The first universal credit card--one that could be used at a variety of stores and businesses--was introduced by Diners Club, Inc., in 1950. With time, it has grown to be an important component of e-commerce across the globe. The key players in a credit card transaction process:

    • Cardholder
    • The merchant
    • Acquiring Bank or the merchant's bank
    • Credit card network
    • Issuing bank or the credit card issuer

    The entire cycle — from the time you swipe your card through the card reader until a receipt is produced — takes place within two to three seconds.

    The process:

    • The cardholder pays the merchant for a purchase with a credit card.
    • The merchant sends the credit card details to the acquirer.
    • The acquirer forwards the credit card details to the credit card network.
    • The credit card network requests payment authorization from the issuing bank.
    • The issuing bank verifies the card information it received from the credit card network.
    • If funds are available, the issuing bank sends an approval code to the merchant via the credit card network and the acquirer.
    • The merchant's payment terminal collects all approved transactions in a batch.
    • The merchant issues a sales receipt to the customer to complete the sale.

    In Singapore, on an average, an individual has four credit cards. It is important to maintain a good credit score in order to get loans or similar financial assistance from the banks. Your credit history will play a very important role in the application process. Before approving your application, the bank will check your credit history with the credit bureaus to determine your credit worthiness. If they find that you have defaulted on payments in the past, they are most likely to reject your application. On the other hand, they are more likely to accept your credit card application if your credit history shows that you are very prompt in making payments.

    Features and Benefits of Credit Cards:

    The following are some of the important features of credit cards:

    • Credit Limit: It is the amount the cardholder is allowed to spend on a single credit card. It is determined by the issuing bank after considering factors like income of the cardholder or their association with a brand or a premium club.
    • Balance transfer: So suppose you have a card that has some outstanding balance and the bank is charging you an interest rate on the same. You can transfer this outstanding balance to another credit card that has the balance transfer feature. The advantage of doing this is that you will be charged a low interest rate on the transferred amount. However, the low interest rate only applies to the transferred balance. The transactions you make on the card that you have transferred your outstanding amount to will have the regular interest rate.
    • Instalment plans: Credit cards let you pay for certain purchases in instalments. So, the merchant you shopped at should have an instalment plan in agreement with the credit card that you are using. In Singapore, you are needed to pay a minimum transaction amount to be able to get an instalment plan.
    • Reward points: These are points that the cardholder earn on spending a certain amount on their credit cards. These points accumulate and exchange for special offers and gifts from a catalogue from the bank.
    • Purchase Protection: Also known as damage protection, this feature in a credit card insures goods against theft or accidental damage for a limited period of time. Depending on the credit card you choose, the coverage amount and the duration of the protection will vary. There is a cap on the amount you can claim and a cap on the number of claims you can make in a year.
    • Insurance: This is a complimentary benefit but is not as comprehensive as standalone policies. In case of travel insurance, you can make a claim only if you are paying the full cost of the air ticket using your credit card.
      • Medical insurance facility on a credit card works only if your credit card account is in good standing.
      • Travel insurance: You get coverage in case of accidental death, disability and inconvenience like loss or delay of luggage, flight delays or cancellations.
      • Fraud protection: So, in case of loss or theft of credit card, you will not be liable for the transactions made only after you report the theft or loss. In Singapore, there is limited liability. That means prior to notification of your credit card loss to the bank, the cap for card liability due to unauthorized charges will be S$100 maximum provided that you have not defaulted, acted fraudulently, or failed to inform the bank immediately after knowing that your credit card has been lost, stolen, or compromised.
    • Safer option of cash: At a time when everybody prefers to go cashless, credit cards has proven to be a great advantage. They are easier to carry and safer to use.

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    Credit Card Fees & Charges:

    • Annual fee: It is the fee that you are charged that allows for enjoying the perks of the credit card. The annual fee on the principal cards is always higher than the one on the supplementary cards. On an average, in Singapore, the cardholders get an annual fee waiver for the first year. Post one year, the cardholder has to pay an annual fee of around S$150 to 200, depending on the card they choose.
    • Interest rate: Interest rate is the amount charged by the bank as a service charge on the money you borrowed. This interest rate is applied to credit card balance only if you fail to pay the whole amount by the due date or by the end of the grace period. So, if your credit card bill is S$1,200, and you pay S$1,000 before due date, then you will have to pay interest rate only on S$200, until you make the next payment.
    • Minimum Payment: The minimum payment is the lowest amount of money that you are required to pay on your credit card statement each month. In Singapore, most banks need you to pay S$50, or 1% to 3% of your principal, whichever is higher.
    • Cash advance fee: This refers to the fee charged on cash withdrawn using the credit card. For cash withdrawals, interest is charged on the withdrawal amount from the time of withdrawal till the amount is paid in full.
    • Foreign transaction fee: This refer to the charges applicable for using the credit card abroad. These charges vary from card to card.
    • Late Payment Fine: As the name suggests, it the late fee that the cardholder is charged for making a minimum payment on a credit card after the due date. In Singapore, the average late payment fine charged is$S80.
    • Over Limit Fee: An over-limit fee is a fee charged when your balance goes over your credit limit.
    • Card replacement fee: It is the fee charged by the bank to give you a new card in case of loss or theft of credit card.
    • Check returned fee: This is the charge that a credit card company charges a customer if he or she attempts to pay a credit card bill with a cheque that bounces due to insufficient funds or closure of account or cheque cancellation.

    How to calculate credit card interest rate?

    The interest rate charged on your credit card is calculated using a simple formula which is:

    Interest calculated=x number of days/365

    Types of Credit Cards:

    Following are the various types of credit cards:

    Cashback Credit Cards:

    These cards give you a certain amount of cashback on the purchases you make using this card. You can use a cashback credit card to buy groceries, petrol, etc. The following are a few examples of cashback credit cards:

    • Citi cash back credit card: This card offers 20% cashback on every purchase that you make.
    • American Express True cash back credit card: This card offers 3% cashback for the initial 6 months and a credit limit of up to S$5000.
    • OCBC 365 credit card: This card offers 3% cashback on dining on weekdays and at overseas

    Airmiles Credit cards:

    These credit cards are the ones that offer you air miles and have tie-ups with specific airlines. The following are a few examples of airmiles credit cards:

    • Citi PremierMiles Visa Card: You can earn upto 42,000 Citi miles on this card.  
    • Standard Chartered Visa Infinite Credit Card: You can use this card to earn up to 86,000 miles. You can also get six complimentary visits to the airport lounges using this card.
    • HSBC Visa Infinite Credit Card: You can earn upto 35,000 air miles. You can also get a complimentary worldwide travel insurance coverage up to US$2,000,000.

    Rewards Credit Cards:

    Rewards cards give you reward points that you can accumulate and redeem for attractive discounts or even cashback. The following are some of the examples of reward credit cards:

    • HSBC Revolution Credit Card: This rewards card gives 5X rewards points on purchases made online, fine dining, and transactions made at various entertainment counters.
    • Citi Rewards Card: You can get 20X rewards for every S$1 that you spend on online purchase of clothes, bags, shoes, and retail.
    • American Express Platinum Credit Card: You can earn 5X membership points on shopping at Lee Hwa Jewellery, Watches of Switzerland, and TungLok Signatures.

    Petrol Credit Cards

    These best petrol credit cards help you to earn rewards, cashbacks and rebates on the purchase of petrol.

    • DBS Esso Cards: You can save up to S$120 on petrol using this card.
    • OCBC Plus! Visa Credit Card: You can save up to 18.5% on fuels at any Esso station across Singapore.
    • UOB Preferred Platinum Visa Card: Get a discount of up to 20% on fuel purchases made using this card at SPC Stations.

    Student Credit Cards

    Student credit cards let you enjoy rebates and rewards at major fashion stores across the world. This card doesn't need any minimum income requirement. Following are a few example of student credit cards:

    • Citi Clear Card: You can use this card to get a discount worth up to 10% at more than 700 retail outlets like Starbucks, Cold Storage, and Burger King.
    • DBS Live Fresh Visa Student Card: Students can enjoy annual fee-waiver for 5 years.  
    • Standard Chartered Manhattan Credit Card: You can get a cashback of 0.25% on every purchase that you make at retail outlets.

    Groceries Credit Card

    These cards give you a cash rebate of up to 8% or a chance to earn extra reward points when you purchase grocery. Following are a few examples of grocery cards in Singapore:

    • Citibank SMRT Card: You can get up to 5% off at Giant, Fairprice, and Sheng Siong on using this card.
    • Citi Cash Back Card: On a total minimum spend of S$888 per month and per statement, you can get a cashback of S$25 in each category like dining, grocery, and petrol.
    • UOB One Card: You can use this card to get up to 33.33% cash rebate on every expenditure you make in every quarter.

    Dining Credit Cards

    Dining cards give you amazing dining privileges and discounts. You can get rebates or rewards that you can accumulated to back a good dining offer. Following are a few examples of dining cards in Singapore:

    • American Express Platinum Credit Card: Get a discount worth 15%, 35%, and 50% while dining at restaurants across Singapore using this card.
    • Citi Cash Back Card: You can get a cash back worth 8% on dining anywhere across the globe using the Citi Cash Back Card.
    • UOB Yolo Credit card: You can grab dining deals at more than 3,200 eateries and restaurants across Singapore using this card.

    Business Credit Cards:

    These credit cards help you to keep a track of your business transactions and puts the expenses incurred by you in one single account.Business credit cards give you access to airport lounge privileges and travel insurance. Following are a few examples of business cards in Singapore:

    • Maybank Credit Cards: You can get 1X treat points for every S$1 you send on this card. You can also earn 2X treat points on transactions made overseas.
    • DBS Credit Cards: You can bag attractive discounts on travel and air tickets to places around the world.
    • UOB Credit Cards: You can get attractive discounts on your purchases and enjoy an interest-free tenure of 51 days.

    Co-Branded Credit cards:

    These cardholders of this card get merchandise discounts or reward points when they buy goods or services from the co-branding merchant. They can also use a co-branded card at any other retailer that accepts cards from the issuing bank or the card network. Following are the examples of co-branded credit cards in Singapore:

    • American Express Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Ascend Credit Card: For every S$1 that you spend on this card, you will earn 2 KrisFlyers. You can gather these airmiles and use them to purchase air tickets.
    • DBS Altitude Visa Signature Card: You can earn as many as 6 miles for every S$1 that you spend on this card.
    • UOB PRVI Miles Visa Card: You can earn as many as 6 miles for every S$1 you spend on this card booking tickets with major airlines and rooms with major hotels.

    Premium Credit Cards

    These credit cards are not only prestigious but they are available only by invite. These cards open a world of privileges and facilities for the cardholder. There is no credit limit on these cards but the annual income required to avail this card is pretty high. Following are the examples of premium credit cards in Singapore:

    • American Express Centurion Black Card: This card gets you privileges like first class flight upgrades, access to the VIP lounge of more than 600 airports across the globe, 24*7 personal concierge service, personal travel agent, and a personal shopper.
    • DBS Insignia Visa Infinite Card: You get 100,000 airmiles as a joining benefit.
    • UOB Reserve Card: You can use this card to enjoy privileges like discounts, complimentary meals, luxurious amenities, and late check-ins and check-outs.

    Balance Transfer Credit Cards:

    These cards can be used to transfer your outstanding payment. The advantage of doing this is that you will be charged a low interest rate on the transferred amount. However, the low interest rate only applies to the transferred balance. The transactions you make on the card that you have transferred your outstanding amount to will have the regular interest rate. Following are some of the examples of balance transfer credit cards:

    Supplementary credit cards:

    These cards can be used by the family members of the principal cardholder. These are add-on cards and the expenses made on them are billed to the primary cardholder. Following are some examples of supplementary credit cards:

    • UOB PRVI Miles Platinum American Express Supplementary Credit Card: This card comes with a bunch of privileges and facilities like rebates and rewards.
    • DBS Supplementary Credit cards: You can enjoy the same privileges as the principal cardholder.
    • UOB Supplementary Credit Card: No annual fees for the first supplementary card. The cardholder can choose the credit limit.

    How to find the Best Credit Cards for you?

    Here are a few tips that will help you to find the best credit cards:

    • You have to chalk out what you need a credit card for. For example, if you are a frequent traveler, then you might want to choose a card that gives helps you to accumulate air miles. For example, The SAFRA DBS Credit Card is a good Travel Credit Card.
    • If you are looking for a card that you can use for various purposes then there is the POSB Everyday Card that can be used for rebates on petrol, retail purchases, overseas spending, and dining.
    • It is advisable to check the annual fees of the credit card before signing up for it. If you are not a frequent user, then you should go for a credit card that has no annual fee.
    • You should always consider your monthly income and saving goals before settling for a credit card. Get a credit card only if you are confident that you will be able to pay the annual fee on time. Otherwise, you will end up paying a hefty interest.
    • Do an in-depth comparison after shortlisting some credit cards chosen according to your financial needs.

    Eligibility criteria for Applying for a Credit Card in Singapore:

    • In Singapore, the applicant of the principal card should be at least 21 years of age and the applicant of the supplementary card should be 18 years of age. The minimum income required is S$40,000. The applicant should be a Singaporean or a permanent resident of Singapore.
    • Foreigners residing in Singapore can also apply for a credit card in Singapore. The applicant should be above 21 years of age. They should have a valid passport and an employment certificate that would show their work experience. They should earn at least S$40,000 per annum.

    How to apply for a Credit Card in Singapore?

    You can apply for credit card in the following ways:

    • By visiting the nearest branch of the bank. You can fill the form and submit it over the counter at the bank itself.
    • Most of the banks offer the facility of applying for a credit card online. So, you can fill the application form online, attach the relevant documents and submit them together.
    • You can also call the bank and let their representative to get back to you regarding the same.  

    Documents Required to Apply Credit Card?

    Following are the documents that an applicant would need to submit in order to get a credit card:

    • Photocopies of the National Registration Identity (NRIC) Card
    • For Salaried Employees:
      • A copy of your eCPF statement, computerized payslip of the last three months, or the latest Notice of Assessment.
    • For self-employed applicants:
      • Photocopy of notice of assessment in the last years

    Credit Card Payment Modes

    You can pay your credit card bill in the following ways:

    • You can pay it online using the bank’s website.
    • You can visit the nearest branch of the bank and pay it over-the-counter.
    • You can download the GIRO form and the payment will be deducted from your bank savings account within two business days.
    • You can use phone banking to pay your credit card bills.
    • You can use the nearest AXS/SAM Machines to pay your credit card bill.
    • You can also use the bank’s ATM to pay your credit card bill.
    • You can pay your credit card bill through cheques also.

    Loan on Credit Cards:

    You can withdraw a certain sum of money using a credit card but you will have to pay an interest on the same that will be calculated on a daily basis.  

    Balance Transfers on Credit Cards:

    So suppose you have a card that has some outstanding balance and the bank is charging you an interest rate on the same. You can transfer this outstanding balance to another credit card that has the balance transfer feature. The advantage of doing this is that you will be charged a low interest rate on the transferred amount. However, the low interest rate only applies to the transferred balance. The transactions you make on the card that you have transferred your outstanding amount to will have the regular interest rate.

    How to Cancel a Credit Card?

    In order to cancel a credit card, you need to follow these steps:

    • First you might want to cancel a card that charges you a high annual fee.
    • You can cancel a credit card online by visiting the bank's official website.
    • You can send a letter to the bank requesting them to close your credit card.
    • Before cancelling a particular credit card, make sure that you have paid all the outstanding amount on it. When you try to cancel a credit card without paying the outstanding amount, the bank charges you a high interest and fee.

    What are Credit Card Promotions?

    These are certain perks and privileges that are offered to the cardholder from the issuing bank.

    For example:

    • Joining Benefits: A few benefits that you are offered while getting the credit card. For example, The ANZ Optimum World MasterCard gives you S$100 cashback and an OTO-E-Foot massager worth S$398.
    • Renewal benefits: You get a bunch of points or rewards once you pay your annual fee again. Citi PremierMiles gives you bonus airmiles when you renew the fee.
    • Special discounts: You get special discounts on goods and services that you can avail at partner merchants. For example, a 20% discount on a boot camp at Gold’s Gym.

    Credit Card Hotline:

    The following are the credit card hotline numbers of some of the banks in Singapore:

    OCBC Credit Card Hotline: 1800-363-3333

    Citibank Credit Card Hotline:63636666

    UOB Credit Card Hotline:1800-222-2121

    DBS credit card hotline:180-111-1111

    Credit Card FAQs

    1. How can I increase the credit limit of my credit card?
    2. If you have received an SMS from your bank proposing to increase your credit card and you want to get it done, then you can just reply to the SMS or follow the instructions given in the SMS. Alternatively, you can approach the bank with the request to increase the credit limit on your card.

    3. How can I view my credit card statement?
    4. Most credit card these days provide the facility of e-statement. So, they send you your credit card statement via email. Or, you can also check your credit card statement via online banking any time you want.

    5. How often can I change the credit limit of my card?
    6. While a lot of credit cards have no cap on the number of times that you can change the credit, few of them do not allow you to change the credit limit more than twice.  

    7. How can I block or replace my card?
    8. You can block your card by calling the bank. You can also raise a request with the bank asking them to request the card. You will have to pay a certain card replacement fee for each request. This fee differs from card to card.

    9. Can anyone else go to the bank or call the customer care to change the PIN or the credit limit of my credit card?
    10. No, nobody else can make any changes on your card because the banks asks for authentication. Without your approval, no one can make any changes to your credit card. Even during online transactions, the bank will send you an OTP.

    11. Can I use my credit card for overseas transactions?
    12. Yes, you can use your credit card overseas. Some credit cards even give you rewards and points for using it overseas. You can call your bank and know more about this facility.  

    13. How can I link my mobile number with the credit card?
    14. You can register your mobile number with your credit card in the following ways:

      • By visiting the nearest ATM of the bank. You can register your mobile number through the ATM and link it with your credit card.
      • You can visit the bank’s website and register your mobile number through a small process online.
      • You can also visit the bank’s branch and ask the representative from the bank to register your mobile number with your credit card.
    15. Can I use the PIN to withdraw cash using the credit card?
    16. Yes, you can use the PIN to withdraw cash from the bank’s ATM using the credit card.

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