Say you are a frequent traveller to Malaysia. Your credit card usage is as high in Ringgit as it is in Singapore dollar. However, spending in Malaysia is costlier for you because of the foreign currency fee charged by credit cards. So if there was a card that allowed you to transact in Singapore dollar and Malaysian Ringgit without any extra fees, wouldn’t that be a joy?
Unfortunately, there are no dual currency credit cards for Ringgit, but there are some credit cards that offer special privileges to spending in US dollar (USD) and Chinese Renminbi (RMB). Let us look at each card in detail.
Foreign transaction benefits: ICBC Visa Dual Credit Card does not charge you administrative fees on US dollar transactions done outside and inside Singapore. Payments made in other currencies will continue to attract a fee of 2.5% of the transaction amount, which includes ICBC charges and Visa charges.
Rewards: You get 3 reward points for each Singapore dollar or equivalent paid through the card. These can be accumulated and redeemed for interesting deals such as a staycation or discount vouchers. You are also eligible for yearly card promotions offered by ICBC.
Other features: You don’t have to pay annual fees on this card and 1 supplementary card for 3 years. Annual fee on the primary card is S$150 and for supplementary card is S$75.
Foreign transaction benefits: ICBC UnionPay Dual Currency Credit Card waives off foreign currency charges for RMB transactions in Singapore and overseas. If you pay in another currency, it will attract a fee of 1.5% of the paid amount, which includes ICBC charges and UnionPay charges.
Rewards: You get 3 reward points for every S$1 or equivalent spent on the card. These can be accrued and redeemed for deals and discount vouchers. You are also eligible for yearly card promotions offered by ICBC.
Other features: Annual fees for the principal card and 1 supplementary card is waived for 3 years. The fee applicable thereafter is S$30 for Classic, S$120 for Gold and S$150 for Platinum cards. For supplementary card it is S$15 for Classic, S$30 for Gold and S$75 for Platinum. You can also use this card freely anywhere in China due to its RMB flexibility and UnionPay access.
Foreign transaction benefits: BOC Dual Currency Diamond credit cardholders do not have to pay foreign currency fees for RMB payments made in Singapore and abroad. A charge of 2.5% is levied if payment is made in any other currency.
Rewards: You are eligible to earn 2 Bonus Points for every S$1 spent on overseas expenses in currencies other than RMB.
Foreign transaction expenses are higher because of the administrative fee associated with currency conversions, and taking this out of the equation helps you swipe your plastic without worrying about excessive charges. If you are a frequent traveller to China, you may want to consider either the BOC Dual Currency Diamond Card or the ICBC UnionPay Dual Currency Card, and if you regularly travel to countries where US dollar is accepted, the ICBC Visa Dual Currency Card is a great choice.