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    Credit Card Eligibility

    Credit cards are an important source of credit in any economy nowadays. And Singapore is no stranger to the charms of this ready credit facility. Old or young, student or salaried professional, everyone wants a credit card to use for day-to-day expenses and enjoy its many benefits.

    Credit Card Eligibility

    However, desire doesn’t always result in fulfillment. Banks have strict eligibility criteria for granting credit cards to its customers. And not all make the cut. Before applying for a credit card, one must be well aware of all the conditions one has to meet to be eligible for a particular credit card.

    Credit Card Eligibility Criteria

    Banks mostly depend on 3 different criteria to decide eligibility for a credit card:

    • Age of the applicant - Banks have a minimum and a maximum age of applying for a credit card. This is usually placed to ensure that the applicants are earning members of the society, capable of paying off their debts. Most banks in Singapore have the minimum age requirement of 21 years for the principal cardholder.
    • Annual Income of the applicant - The minimum annual income threshold is also set to ensure that individuals are capable of paying the bills. The The Monetary Authority of Singapore delineates the minimum income required to apply for a credit card. Currently the limit is set at S$30,000 p.a., but this limit varies from bank to bank and card to card.
    • Residential Status - Most banks have different income criteria for permanent residents/citizens of Singapore and foreigners. Usually foreigners have to adhere to a much higher income limit in order to be eligible to get a credit card in Singapore. Some banks just don’t offer credit cards to foreigners altogether.

    Factors Affecting Credit Card Eligibility

    • Type of Occupation - Whether the applicant is salaried, self-employed, student or a business-owner can substantially affect the decision to approve a credit card. Banks prefer salaried individuals, or those with a proven source of income. Some cards have a greater income limit for self-employed. There are also specific cards available for students with no income limit, and for business-owners with a set annual turnover.
    • Existing relationship with Bank - Banks tend to favour giving credit cards to individuals they already know or have a relationship with. This helps them avoid defaulters. Future applicants should try and build up a relationship with the bank in question for increase the chance of credit card approval. Some banks also offer credit card on the basis of a minimum value of fixed deposit opened with the bank.
    • Credit Score and CBS Report - The Credit Bureau Singapore or the CBS generates credit score and report for anyone who has ever held a credit card or taken a loan. Having a good credit reports reflects positively on an applicant’s creditworthiness, and helps banks make the decision in their favour.
    • Number of credit cards already owned - Banks might be hesitant to give another credit card to an individual who already holds quite a few. Having an unusually high number of credit cards is a warning signal to the bank that the individual is too credit hungry.
    • Existing loans and overdrafts - It’s not just the credit cards, an applicant’s existing loans and overdrafts are also taken into account when calculating his/her credit limit. If the combined amount of credit borrowed by an individual exceeds 24 times of their annual income, the credit card application is automatically rejected.
    • Employment Pass/Work Permit (if a foreigner) - If a foreigner applies for a credit card in Singapore, it is absolutely essential that he/she should produce a valid Employment Pass that guarantees that they are eligible to work and earn in Singapore. Some banks also specifies the type of Employment Pass (P1, P2, Q) required to be eligible for a card.
    • Proper Documentation - This is perhaps the most important point influencing eligibility besides the 3 criteria mentioned above. All the documents submitted by the applicant has to be authentic and verify the information provided to the bank. Any hint of discrepancy in the papers can result in the application being rejected without consideration. Different banks have different document requirements. However, identification proof, address proof and income proof broadly summarises the requirements. Applicants should make sure that all their documents are ready and in order before applying for a credit card.

    What you might not know about Eligibility for Credit Cards in Singapore!

    Every credit card comes with its own set of unique features and benefits and it is only fair that every credit card comes with its own set of eligibility criteria. While the minimum income required of some credit cards might be S$30,000, some credit cards have an eligibility criteria that does not require any minimum income. There are certain things that one might not know about eligibility criteria of credit cards. Let us look into some of the most interesting facts about eligibility criteria of credit cards.

    • The bank does not decide the minimum annual income requirement for a credit card!

      Many Singaporeans believe that the minimum annual income requirement for credit cards is set by the bank while that is far from the truth. The Monetary Authority of Singapore decides the figure for the minimum income, especially for individuals who are below the age of 55 years. The minimum annual income for credit cards in most of the banks is S$30,000. In order to fulfil this criteria the applicant has to be earning a minimum of S$2,500 every month.

    • You can always get more credit!

      It is always possible for one to get more credit even though it might not be from the same credit card. There might be cases where you might not be eligible to get the credit you need from one credit card. This in no way means that you cannot get more credit, it just means that you are not eligible for more credit on that particular credit card. One can apply for a new credit card if they need more credit.

    • Your credit limit depends mostly on your income!

      What many might not be aware of is that one’s credit limit is limited to 4 times their monthly income. That is the maximum credit one can get from a bank on their credit card regardless of how many credit cards they own from that bank. While the banks cannot extend your more credit than 4 times your monthly income, they can definitely lower your credit limit if they wish to do so. Your repayment history and your credit score are some of the factors upon which the bank decides your credit limit.

    • There is a borrowing limit for everyone!

      Regardless of how many credit cards one owns and how consistent they are at making repayments, there is a restriction on the amount of unsecured credit a bank or financial institution can extend to the borrower. As of now, the limit is set at 24 times one’s monthly salary.

    Credit Card Eligibility Criteria for different banks in Singapore

    Although some of the eligibility criteria is similar across most banks, Singaporean banks have the right to lay down different criterias. The eligibility criteria for credit card of some banks are:

    HSBC Bank Credit Card:

    • Applicants must be at least 21 years of age.
    • Must have an annual income of at least S$30,000 p.a. if Singapore resident/citizen.
    • Must have an annual income of at least S$40,000 p.a. if self-employed or foreigner.
    • Supplementary cardholders must at least 18 years of age.

    American Express Credit Card:

    • Applicants must be at least 21 years of age.
    • Must have an annual income of at least S$30,000 p.a. if Singapore resident/citizen.
    • Must have an annual income of at least S$60,000 p.a. if foreigner.

    Bank of China Credit Card:

    • Applicants must be at least 21 years of age.
    • Must have an annual income of at least S$30,000 p.a. if Singapore resident/citizen.
    • Must have an annual income of at least S$60,000 p.a. if foreigner.
    • Supplementary cardholders must at least 18 years of age.
    • BOC First Card is also available for students 18 years and above with no minimum income required.
    • Students can be singapore citizens, permanent residents or foreigners residing in Singapore.

    Citibank Credit Card:

    • Applicants must be at least 21 years of age.
    • Must have an annual income of at least S$30,000 p.a. if Singapore resident/citizen.
    • Must have an annual income of at least S$42,000 p.a. if foreigner.
    • Premium cards can have an income threshold of S$30,000 and S$60,000 for residents/citizens and foreigners respectively.
    • For Business Cards,
      • A company needs to be operational for a minimum of 1 year.
      • Majority shareholding has to be held by a Singapore citizen or a permanent resident.
    • For Supplementary cards,
      • Cardholders must at least 18 years of age.
      • Must be one of the following relationship with the principal cardholder: Parents, Spouse, Children (stepchildren and adopted children included), Grandparents, Daughter-in-law/Son-in-law, Parents-in-law, Siblings (step-siblings included), Nieces/Nephews, Grandparents-in-law, Fiance/Fiancee.
    • For Student Cards,
      • Must be at least 18 years of age.
      • Those under 21 years must have their parent/guardian's written consent and guarantee of payment for outstanding balances.
      • Must belong to one of the following institutions: NUS, NTU, SMU, SUTD, SIM, SIT, DigiPen, GIST-TUM Asia, ESSEC, INSEAD, Tisch, S P Jain, Nanyang Polytechnic, UNLV, Ngee Ann Polytechnic, Singapore Polytechnic, Republic Polytechnic, NAFA, LASALLE-SIA, Temasek Polytechnic, University of Chicago Booth School of Business.

    DBS/POSB Bank Credit Card:

    • Applicants must be at least 21 years of age.
    • Must have an annual income of at least S$30,000 p.a. if Singapore resident/citizen.
    • Must have an annual income of at least S$45,000 p.a. if a foreigner.

    Maybank Credit Card:

    • Applicants must be at least 21 years of age.
    • Must have an annual income of at least S$30,000 p.a. if Singapore resident/citizen.
    • Must have an annual income of at least S$45,000 p.a. if Malaysian Citizen employed for at least 1 year in Singapore.
    • Must have an annual income of at least S$60,000 p.a. if foreigner employed for at least 1 year in Singapore.
    • For Invite-only cards, must have an annual income of at least S$150,000 p.a.

    OCBC Bank Credit Card:

    • Applicants must be at least 21 years of age.
    • Must have an annual income of at least S$30,000 p.a. if Singapore resident/citizen.
    • Must have an annual income of at least S$45,000 p.a. if foreigner.

    Standard Chartered Bank Credit Card:

    • Applicants must be at least 21 years of age.
    • Must have an annual income of at least S$30,000 p.a. if Singapore resident/citizen.
    • Must have an annual income of at least S$60,000 p.a. if foreigner.
    • Foreigners must have a P1, P2 or Q Employment Passes with a minimum validity of 1 year remaining on the pass.

    UOB Bank Credit Card:

    • Applicants must be at least 21 years of age.
    • Must have an annual income of at least S$30,000 p.a. if Singapore resident/citizen.
    • Foreigners must have an annual income of at least S$40,000 p.a. or have a Fixed Deposit of at least S$10,000 value at the UOB Bank as collateral.
    • For UOB PRVI Miles American Express Card,
      • Must have an annual income of at least $80,000 p.a. or a Fixed Deposit with UOB of at least S$30,000.
      • Can be a Singapore citizen, permanent resident or a foreigner.

    CIMB Bank Credit Card:

    • Applicants must be at least 21 years of age.
    • Supplementary cardholders must at least 18 years of age.
    • Must be a permanent resident or a citizen of Singapore.
    • For credit cards CIMB Visa Signature and CIMB Platinum MasterCard
      • Must have an annual income of at least S$30,000 p.a. if aged between 21 years and 55 years.
      • Must have an annual income of at least S$15,000 p.a. if aged 55 years or more.
      • Those who can’t meet the income criteria should have Fixed Deposit with CIMB of at least S$10,000 as collateral.
    • For credit cards CIMB World MasterCard and CIMB Visa Infinite.
      • Must have an annual income of at least S$120,000 p.a.
      • Those who can’t meet the income criteria should have Fixed Deposit with CIMB of at least S$50,000 as collateral.

    ICBC Bank Credit Card:

    • Applicants must be at least 21 years of age.
    • Must have an annual income of at least S$30,000 p.a.
    • Can be a Singapore permanent resident/citizen of Singapore or a foreigner.
    • Supplementary cardholders must at least 18 years of age.
    • For ICBC Koipy Dual Currency Gold Credit Card,
      • Must be more than 21 years old.
      • Must be a student of NTU, NUS or SMU.

    How to improve my credit card eligibility?

    • Paying bills and monthly loan payments on time.
    • Don’t overdraw credit limit.
    • Not too many credit cards.
    • Apply only for cards eligible for.
    • Get higher income jobs.
    • Create additional financial assets like fixed deposits.
    • Maintaining liquidity in banks applying to.
    • Provide authentic information backed up by proper documents.

    FAQs

    1. How can I get an invite-only credit card?
    2. Ans. Invite-only cards, as the name suggests, can only be got when the bank invites you to get the card. But if you meet the eligibility criteria, you can always register your interest with the bank. Also, you should become a customer at the bank which offers the card.

    3. Do student credit cards have separate eligibility criteria?
    4. Ans. Some student credit cards do have separate eligibility criteria like specific institutions from which students can apply from. Most banks just offer credit card to students who are above 18 years in age.

    5. Are retired individuals eligible for credit cards in Singapore?
    6. Ans. Yes, retired individuals are also eligible for credit cards in Singapore provided they can prove they meet the annual income criteria. Some banks, however, have a maximum age for applying for credit cards and won’t entertain request from senior citizens.

      Senior citizens can always become a supplementary cardholder with the help of their family members to circumnavigate income criteria.

    7. Which cards in Singapore has the lowest income requirement?
    8. Ans. As minimum income requirement is not set by the banks, all credit cards in Singapore have a minimum income requirement of S$30,000. Only student credit cards are allowed to have a lower income requirement (zero income) than that. CIMB Bank also offers some cards to those 55 years and above at half the minimum income requirement.

    9. What is the maximum number of credit cards an individual can have in Singapore?
    10. Ans. The maximum number of credit cards a person can have in Singapore depends on his/her income, and the credit limit on each card held, and the total credit borrowed in loans. A person in Singapore is not allowed to have a credit line of more than 24 times their annual monthly income.

    11. Are corporate credit cards issued to companies or individuals?
    12. Ans. Corporate/Business cards are usually issued to individuals owning the business. So for these type of cards both the company and the individual has to meet separate eligibility criteria.

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