Are Premium Credit Cards Always Better Than Regular Ones?

In today’s world, there are a number of different types of credit cards available. They have greatly evolved from the initial days, to develop into dependable and rewarding financial tools for people all around the world. But, with so many credit cards, it can get a bit confusing about which one suits you the best. That being said, these cards can be split into two main classes which are:

  • Premium Credit Cards
  • Regular Credit Cards

What Are Premium Credit Cards?

Premium cards available in Singapore are cards that offer exclusivity and more rewards and benefits. They are generally tougher to get as you have to meet quite a few higher-than-average eligibility criteria before you can apply for them. These can be afforded only by the more elite members of society. Let’s take a look at the characteristics of premium cards that set them apart from the rest of the cards out there.

Minimum Salary Required

Usually, the minimum salary required to be eligible for this card is on the higher side. For example, the minimum income required to apply for the HSBC Visa Infinite Credit Card is S$120,000 per annum. If you do not meet the income requirements, you will not be eligible to get the card.

High Annual Fees

For all the benefits that are associated with premium cards, the important thing to remember is that it is because you pay higher annual fees than regular cards. The annual fees can even go up to hundreds of dollars every year. The annual fees for the HSBC Visa Infinite Credit Card is S$488 and can even go up to S$650. This is something a good number of people in the country cannot afford.

High Spending Limit

One of the most important advantages of having a premium card, is that you can enjoy a higher credit limit than most regular cards. Banks understand that people applying for premium credit cards have a higher than normal income, and thus can afford to spend more. But remember that no matter what card you get, you always have to repay your dues on time.

Travel Perks

Most banks in Singapore understand that people who can afford premium cards have certain expectations and are used to a premium lifestyle, even when they travel. This is why these cards provide a number of exclusive benefits that are specifically designed to match the lifestyle and travelling needs of such customers.

Being a premium cardholder can give you unparalleled travel perks. For example, the Citi Prestige Card gives you unlimited access to VIP airport lounges and a travel protection of up to S$1 million, and 8 free one-way airport rides per year.

Dining Privileges

Using a premium credit card can give you a considerable amount of offers and discounts when you eat outside. The benefits that you get by using these cards are generally higher than those of regular cards. What’s more, you get access to some of the most exclusive dining offers all over the world as well. Take, for instance, the CIMB Visa Infinite card. If you get it,  you can enjoy generous gourmet discounts at partnering restaurants globally.

Other Exclusive Benefits

There are a number of other benefits that are exclusive to premium cardholders. Some of the benefits that premium cards usually offer are:

  • Exclusive Club Memberships: By choosing to go for these exclusive cards, you can get entry into exclusive clubs, invitations to theatres, and other entertainment events.
  • Healthcare Services and Offers: There are certain cards out there which will give you adequate medical and wellness benefits. For example, the Maybank Visa Infinite Card provides special healthcare services at the Thomson Medical Group facility.
  • Golfing Benefits: You can also get more rewards and get discounts while using you premium credit card for golfing e.g. CIMB World Mastercard gives you golfing privileges at top clubs all over Asia.

Now, What About Regular Credit Cards

Regular credit cards are the most common type of cards that are available for people. You can use these cards to make purchases on a credit basis and pay back your monthly dues when your card statements arrive. These cards also offer many benefits, which you can make use of. Some of the features of regular credit cards are as follows:

Eligibility

Almost everyone with an average income in Singapore can get one of these cards. The income required for these cards are considerably lower than that required for premium cards. For instance, you can get the HSBC Premier MasterCard with an annual income of S$40,00 per annum. Most cards usually require you to earn a minimum of S$30,000 p.a. to be eligible to get them.

Lower Annual Fees

If you go for a regular credit card, you can enjoy lower annual fees than other alternatives. There are a lot of cards that waive off the annual fees for a year or a few years. In fact, there are some cards out there which perpetually waive off their annual fees.

Discount and Rebates

Even though you may not enjoy exclusive privileges like the ones you get with premium cards, you can still enjoy a number of privileges on travel, shopping, dining, and other such activities. Further, you can also take advantage of rewards programs and accumulate points, which can be further used to pay for purchases or get discounts.

Who Should Get a Premium Credit Card?

So is a premium credit card better than a regular one? Sure, it gives you a lot more exclusive privileges and rewards, but remember that it also costs a lot to not only get it, but also to keep owning it. It makes sense to get it if you earn enough to keep it and if you’re used to living the high life.

On the other hand, if you’re like any other Singaporean citizen earning a normal salary, a regular card would be best suited to your needs. Considering that it costs a lot lesser than its premium counterparts, it would be much easier to afford. And you also get to enjoy the special benefits and privileges that come along with a card like this.

So, the bottom line is this - are premium credit cards better? Not necessarily. It depends on what your earning levels are, what your lifestyle is like, and what your spending needs are. If you can maintain owning a premium card, go for it. If not, stick to a regular one. In any case, whichever card you get, make sure you use it wisely and pay back your dues on time. If not, your spending can bury you under a pile of card debt.

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