• Credit Card Eligibility

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    Credit Card Eligibility

    Credit cards are the most popular means of payment for people around the globe. Gone are the days when people would only make payments for the products or services they purchased through cash. Today, people prefer making payments with the help of credit cards as they offer them with a wide range of rewards. Many financial institutions around the world offer different types of credit cards and these cards are designed in such a manner that they are able to cater to the needs of all kinds of customers. Visa, MasterCard and American Express are the top financial companies that power credit cards offered by banks around the world. If you would like to apply for a new credit card, you will first need to understand if you are eligible to apply for a card.

    Overview of Credit Card Eligibility

    The banking and financial institutions that issue credit cards have laid down different eligibility criteria for the cards that they offer and the eligibility criteria can differ from one card to the other. For example, the card issuers can have a certain income requirement for their regular cards and have a higher income requirement for their premier cards such as gold, platinum etc. Moreover, as an applicant you have to understand that the card issuer bank might offer you with a special card if you hold certain products with them such as privilege banking account, fixed deposits and recurring deposits, investments etc.

    Credit Card Eligibility Criteria

    1. Annual income - This is perhaps the most important criteria that you will need to fulfill when applying for a credit card. Based on your annual income, the banks can assess their risk of lending and evaluate if they should offer you with a credit card. If your annual income is low, they are most likely going to reject your application as they will feel that you may not be able to pay your credit card bills on time. In Singapore, you will need to have an annual income of SGD 20,000 and above to apply for a credit card with most of the banks.
    2. Number of years employed – The banks prefer providing credit cards to those applicants who have been employed for a longer period of time and preferably with the same employer. Such applicants are regarded as very stable and since they have a steady income and they are regarded as a lower credit risk. You should make sure that you have been employed for a reasonable amount of time so that the banks will be more likely to approve your card application. If you are someone with no work experience, you can opt for a card that is offered to students or people with no employment history.
    3. Age – In most cases, the banks do not offer credit cards to minors and offer them only to applicants who are aged 21 and above. However, there are a few banks that offer some of their cards to people aged 18 and above, especially students. A credit card comes with a lot of responsibility and also certain legal liabilities. Hence, minors are not offered with credit cards and even the monetary authorities do not allow the banks and financial institutions to offer credit cards to minors. If you are under the age of 21 and would like to apply for the student credit card in Singapore, you will need to submit documents about your educational qualification.

    Factors affecting Credit Card Eligibility

    There are many factors that will affect the eligibility for credit cards and some of these factors are given below.

    Prior relationship with the bank – If you have a savings account, salary account, deposit or any other asset with the bank, you are more likely to get a credit card from them. The bank can trust you as a customer and can rely on you to make the payments on time. You will be regarded as a low risk and they will be happy to process and approve your application in no time. Even if you have any prior loans with the bank, they might be willing to offer you with a card if you have been up to date with your loan payments and have always made the payments on time.

    Overall debts – If you have a lot of existing debts in the form of personal loans, education loans, mortgages etc., it is more likely that the banks will not offer you with a credit card. People who have a lot of pre-existing debts may not be able to afford making payments for their cards as they are more likely to spend a lot of money every month, for making payments for their existing loans, credit cards, mortgages etc. You will first need to reduce your pay off your existing debts before you decide to apply for a credit card.

    Work permit – Foreigners working in Singapore need to have valid work permit with a validity period of minimum 1 year. Foreign contract workers who reside in the Lion City for short time are not eligible for credit cards. If you are a foreigner who is living in Singapore for a short period of time and do not have any valid work permits, you will not be able to apply for a credit card with any of the banks. The banks need to understand that you will remain in the country for a while so that they can be assured that you will be paying off your card balances.

    Credit score – Last but not the least, your credit score will also decide if a bank or financial institution will offer you with a credit card. The credit score is calculated by the credit bureau based on factors such as existing debts, frequency of payments made, overall payment history and so on. If you have a higher credit score, it is more likely that your credit card application will be approved by the bank. On the other hand, if you have a very low credit score, there is a high possibility that your application will be rejected by the banks.

    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 According to Banks

    POSB Credit Cards Eligibility

    • You should be aged 21 or above.
    • You should have an annual income of SGD 30,000 or above if you are a citizen of Singapore.
    • You should have an annual income of SGD 45,000 or above if you are a foreigner working in Singapore.

    Bank of China Credit Cards Eligibility

    • You should be aged 21 or above.
    • You should have an annual income of SGD 30,000 or above if you are a citizen of Singapore.
    • You should have an annual income of SGD 60,000 or above if you are a foreigner working in Singapore.

    ANZ Singapore Credit Cards Eligibility

    • You should be aged 21 and above.
    • You should be a Citizen or a Permanent Resident of Singapore, OR a foreigner with valid work permits.

    DBS Credit Cards Eligibility

    • You should be aged 21 and above.
    • You should have an annual income of SGD 30,000 or above if you are a citizen of Singapore.
    • You should have an annual income of SGD 45,000 or above if you are a foreigner working in Singapore.
    • Additional eligibility conditions for some DBS Cards:
    • DBS NUS Alumni MasterCard Card - Only graduates of National University of Singapore can apply.
    • SAFRA DBS MasterCard Card - Only existing SAFRA members can apply.
    • DBS Treasures Black Elite American Express Card – Exclusively for DBS Treasures customers.

    OCBC Credit Cards Eligibility

    • You should be aged 21 and above.
    • You should be a Citizen or a Permanent Resident of Singapore, OR a foreigner with valid work permits.

    HSBC Bank Credit Cards Eligibility

    • You should be aged 21 and above.
    • You should have an annual income of SGD 30,000 or above if you are a citizen of Singapore.
    • You should have an annual income of SGD 40,000 or above if you are a foreigner working in Singapore.
    • If you do not meet the income requirement, you should an HSBC Time Deposit account with a minimum amount of SGD 10,000.

    ICBC Bank Credits Eligibility

    • You should have a minimum income of SGD 30,000 (Singaporeans and Permanent Residents of Singapore).
    • You should be aged 18 and above.

    CIMB Credit Cards Eligibility

    • You should be aged 21 and above.
    • If your annual income is less than SGD 30,000, you can apply for the CIMB Classic MasterCard Credit Card.
    • If your annual income is SGD 30,000 or more, you can apply for the CIMB Platinum MasterCard / CIMB Visa Signature Credit Card.
    • If your annual income is SGD 120,000 or more, you can apply for any of the following CIMB Credit Cards:
      • CIMB Visa Infinite Credit Card
      • CIMB World MasterCard Credit Card
      • CIMB Visa Signature Credit Card
      • CIMB Platinum MasterCard

    UOB Credit Cards Eligibility

    • You should be aged 21 and above.
    • You should be a Citizen or a Permanent Resident of Singapore.

    Citibank Credit Cards Eligibility

    • You should be in the age group of 18 – 65 years.
    • You should be a resident of Singapore.

    Standard Chartered Bank Credit Cards Eligibility

    • You should be aged 21 or above.
    • You should have an annual income of SGD 30,000 or above if you are a citizen of Singapore.
    • You should have an annual income of SGD 60,000 or above if you are a foreigner working in Singapore.

    MayBank Credit Cards Eligibility

    • You should be aged 21 or above.
    • You should have an annual income of SGD 30,000 or above if you are a citizen of Singapore.
    • You should have an annual income of SGD 45,000 or above if you are a foreigner working in Singapore.

    American Express Credit Card Eligibility

    • You should be aged 21 or above.
    • You should be a Citizen or a Permanent Resident of Singapore.

    Please note – The income requirement differs from one card to the other, even within the same bank.

    How to increase credit card eligibility?

    You can increase your eligibility for credit cards by paying off your existing debts and making sure that you always pay your bills and EMIs on time. Once your credit history is improved, you will automatically increase your chances of getting a credit card. Apart from that, you can also try to build a relationship with the bank by opening fixed deposit accounts, savings accounts etc. so that they will be more likely to offer you with a credit card.

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

    1. Can students from foreign students who study in Singapore apply for a credit card here?
    2. No, most banks only offer credit cards to citizens and permanent residents of Singapore, and to foreigners who have valid work permits and so foreign students cannot apply for credit cards here.

    3. How can I apply for a credit card in Singapore?
    4. You can browse our website, read about the available cards and select the one that suits your needs the most. After that, you can contact the bank to apply for the same and in most cases you will be able to apply for it online.

    5. Does American Express offer credit cards in Singapore?
    6. Yes, American Express offers a wide range of credit cards in Singapore.

    7. Are the eligibility criteria same for the primary and supplementary cardholders?
    8. No, the eligibility criteria are not the same for the primary cardholders and supplementary cardholders. Unlike the primary cardholders, the supplementary cardholders do not have to meet any income requirement.

    9. What is the age requirement to apply for student credit cards in Singapore?
    10. In order to apply for student credit cards, you need to be aged 18 and above.

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