Being a foreigner in another country can sometimes make you feel like an alien on another planet. You’re faced with a number of challenges to overcome in order to settle down and get acquainted. If you’re lucky, you’ll fit right in. But your financial capacity to survive makes all the difference. Banks in Singapore offer a variety of services to foreigners to make them more comfortable and help them enhance their functionality during their stay.
If you are a foreigner looking for a credit card in Singapore, we have devised a list of banks that offer cards. Foreigners are generally required to be earning more than citizens to be eligible for a credit card. If you aren’t earning a fat salary there are still some options on the low-end cards for you. There are a two main problems you can encounter while getting a credit card:
If you don’t earn enough, you also have the option of opening a fixed deposit with the bank to avail of a credit card. A lot of times banks don’t issue credit cards to foreigners who hold an S Pass and don’t cite a reason for it either. If you hold an S pass, you might find it more difficult to get a credit card as the annual income requirements might be more. Your income level will also determine your credit limit. HSBC, OCBC, UOB, DBS/POSB and Citibank are a good option for those who are not earning as high as the other banks require.
To apply for a HSBC credit card, you should be earning a minimum annual income of S$40,000. If you don’t meet the income requirements you can apply for a secured credit card by making a deposit of S$10,000 with the bank. This deposit will be held as long as the card is valid.
Your employment pass needs to have at least one year's validity at the time of application. HSBC needs a photocopy of the front and back of your passport. You also need to produce your last 3 months' computerised payslips or the latest Notice of Assessment.
HSBC is one of the few banks who offer credit cards to foreigners with such a low income bar. It also has a plethora of cards and benefits that you will enjoy.
Citibank has cards available to foreigners that come with alluring benefits. Citi Paragon WORLD MasterCard, M1 Platinum Visa Card, Citibank DIVIDEND Card, Citibank SMRT Card are some of these cards.
The annual income requirement is S$42,000.
To apply for an OCBC credit card, you should be earning at least S$45,000.
Apart from the regular documents required, you can also show a Work Permit or Student Pass.
Foreigners who would like to apply for a DBS Credit Card should be working and residing in Singapore. DBS requires a minimum income of S$45,000 per annum. DBS also reserves rights to determine eligibility on a case-to-case basis. At its own discretion, it will take calls on whether you are eligible or not.
Your employment pass needs to be valid for at least 9 months.
UOB has a host of cards to cater a variety of customers. Foreigners have three income brackets in which they can apply for cards that are suitable to their needs. If you do not meet the income requirements, you can also open a fixed deposit as collateral and avail of a UOB credit card.
For a minimum income of S$80,000 or Fixed Deposit collateral of S$50,000, you can avail of these cards.
With a minimum income of S$50,000 or Fixed Deposit collateral of S$20,000 you can get the UOB Visa Signature Card.
If you’re earning at least S$40,000 or can provide a Fixed Deposit collateral of minimum S$10,000 with UOB, there are around 11 other cards you can apply for including specialized cards for ladies only, professionals, Singtel and Metro users.
Maybank offers credit cards to foreigners who are earning S$60,000 p.a. or more. They require you to have at least 6 months validity on your employment pass. You need to produce utility bills or bank statement for residential proof. You also need a company letter proving your employment of at least one year.
American Express has set the income bar at S$60,000 p.a. for expatriates. You should be able to provide a clear copy of your photo ID and income documents.
You need to be earning a minimum of S$60,000 p.a. Standard Chartered accepts employment pass holders of P1, P2 or Q type Singapore. Q Pass holders need to have a at least one year validity remaining on their passes.
Almost all the credit cards offered by Bank of China are available to foreigners if you’re earning S$60,000.
ANZ offers limited choice of credit cards. You can apply for the ANZ Travel Visa Signature Card if you are between the ages of 21 and 65 and earn at least S$90,000 p.a. If you are earning at least S$60,000 p.a., an ANZ Platinum Card and the ANZ Switch Platinum Card are available.
If you’re earning a plump salary, more often than not, credit cards will be offered to you on a silver plate. But for those who find it difficult to fulfill the requirements, credit cards can be out of reach. And these plastic cards come in handy for a number of things these days. A debit card could be your only option, but before you give up, do your research online, compare cards and speak with different banks. People have had difficulties in the past, but have managed to secure a credit card with good credit history, and stable income and employment proof.