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 overseas spending like in US dollar (USD) and Chinese Renminbi (RMB).
Compare Best Dual Currency Cards in Singapore:
Dual currency cards are the cards that allow you to make payments in a foreign currency without any additional transaction charge. It is like carrying two currencies in one card. You can save on your foreign currency transaction charges with these cards. For instance, if you are a frequent traveller to China, you can save on the charges on your Chinese Renminbi transactions by getting a dual currency card that’s linked with both Singapore dollars and Renminbi.
The dual currency credit cards available in Singapore are given in the table below:
How to Choose the Right Dual Currency Cards?
Know your overseas card spending habits: The first step is to know where and how frequently you use your credit card for making purchases. If you frequently travel to US for your business, and also make payments using your card there, you should consider a card that has USD and SGD as the dual currencies.
Compare the administrative fees: When you use your card for making payments in a foreign currency that is not linked with your dual currency card, you will have to pay foreign transaction fee. Comparing the administrative charges of different cards will help you find the least expensive card.
Card acceptance: While there are some cards that are accepted at a wide range of merchants around the world, there are some others that don’t have enough acceptance yet. Whether it’s Visa, Mastercard, or UnionPay, make sure your card has an extensive network in the country you frequently travel to.
Check promotional offers: Look around to find out if there are any promotional offers available on the cards you are considering.
Read and understand the fine print: It might seem a bit time-consuming task, but it’s worth the effort. Make sure you read and understand all the terms and conditions of the cards you are considering.
Who Should Use Dual Currency Cards?
Individuals who frequently travel to China or countries where US dollars are accepted, and have a high usage of credit card overseas, can opt for a dual currency card. Such cards can help you save on foreign currency transaction charges, which usually range from 2.5% to 3% of the transaction amount.
How Does It Work in Singapore?
If you have ever used your credit card overseas, you might have incurred foreign currency transaction charges. A foreign transaction fee is a charge that your bank and payment network add to your bill for each transaction made overseas. This fee is for conversion of your foreign currency purchases into Singapore dollars.
How does the dual currency card help? These cards offer a smart way of saving on foreign transaction charges. So, even as your overseas purchases are billed and paid in a foreign currency, you will not have to worry about paying the additional foreign currency transaction charge. It’s like carrying two currencies in one card.
Wondering how much you can save with these cards? Depending on your card usage for overseas payments, you can save a lot every year with these cards. Let’s say your bank and your payment network charge 3% foreign currency fee. Now, if you spend S$500 in an overseas transaction, this charge will be S$15. With a dual currency card, you can save that amount.
In Singapore, there are four dual currency credit cards currently, with options to choose from USD and RMB payments along with SGD payments.
Things to Consider Before Applying for Dual Currency Cards in Singapore
- Do you really need a dual currency card? That’s the most important thing you need to consider before getting such a card. Only if you shop overseas frequently, should you think about this card. Make sure you are saving enough on foreign currency charges to cover the annual fee of the card.
- Make sure you know the administrative fee and other charges when you make payments in any other foreign currency that is not linked with the card.
- Know the dynamic currency conversion charge and the card network charge of your card and make sure that this charge is also absorbed by the bank. There are some dual currency cards that waive off the bank’s administrative fee, but you still might have to pay the dynamic currency conversion charge, or the card network charge of 0.8% to 1%.
- Make sure you know how these benefits are transferred to your account. In some cases, the foreign transaction charges incurred is debited from your account and then credited to the card account after a certain period.
- You must also consider the other benefits of the card, like rewards and travel privileges. Choose a card that not just waives off your foreign transaction fee, but also offers some rewards on your overseas shopping.