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Student Credit Card

Considering the financial requirements and certain unique spending habits of students, several banks offer credit cards that are tailored for them. There are several advantages to using a student credit card, ranging from low annual fees and ease of use, to an option to build up your credit score. These cards usually have a low credit limit of about S$500 and do not have any minimum income requirements.

Card Name Recommended for
Standard Chartered MANHATTAN $500 Card All retail spends
Citi Clear Card Dining
BOC Qoo10 Platinum Mastercard Commute via public transport
BOC F1RST Card All retail spends
DBS Live Fresh Student Card Online shopping and contactless payments
Maybank eVibes Card All retail spends

Standard Chartered MANHATTAN $500 Card - 0.25% Cashback on All Spends

As a student, you have to encounter a range of expenses on a daily basis. The MANHATTAN $500 Card offers cashback on all spends. You’ll also enjoy a credit limit of S$500. Cashback earned will be reflected on the monthly card statement. You won’t, however, be awarded cashback on credit card payments, bill payments, and certain other spends.

Card Highlights:
  • Get cashback of 0.25% on all retail spends.
  • Enjoy card fee waiver for the first year. You’ll have to pay S$32.10 as annual fee from the second year onwards.
Annual Fee Retail Purchases Rates Cash Advance Rates Late Payment Penalties
S$32.10 25.9% p.a. 28% p.a. Fee: S$80 Penal Interest Rate: 28% p.a.
Student Credit Cards

BOC F1RST Card - Save up to 0.5% on Monthly Bill

Turn everyday into a special occasion by using your BOC F1RST Card. It offers a cash rebate on all retail spends. For the simplification of the total monthly cash rebate calculation, your total monthly spend will be considered correct to two decimal places. All local and foreign retail spends and bill payments charged to your card, will be considered as qualifying spends under this cash rebate programme.

Card Highlights:
  • Get a cash rebate of up to 0.5% on your monthly bill, subject to a maximum of S$500 spend.
  • Enjoy a 2-year annual fee waiver on this card. You’ll, however, be charged S$150 from the third year onwards.
  • You can apply for this card, irrespective of your nationality.
Annual Fee Retail Purchases Rates Cash Advance Rates Late Payment Penalties
S$190 25.88% p.a. 28% p.a. Penal Interest Rate: 5% per month

Maybank eVibes Card - 1% Cash Rebate on All Eligible Spends

If you’re a current tertiary student or an NSF man who has been accepted at NTU, NUS, SMU, SUSS, SP, NP, TP, NYP, NAFA, RP, NIE, NASALLE, SIT, or SUTD, you can make the eVibes Card your all-weather friend. You can get more value per dollar per spend category because you’ll get 1% cash rebate on everything you purchase.

Card Highlights:
  • There is no minimum spend requirement for earning cash rebates.
  • Rebates earned, will automatically be used for offsetting your future card bills.
  • Enjoy a quarterly service fee waiver by charging your card at least once every three months.
Annual Fee Retail Purchases Rates Cash Advance Rates Late Payment Penalties
None 24% p.a. 24% p.a. S$50 or 5% of the monthly bill amount
Student Credit Cards

Citi Clear Card - Up to 10% Citi Rebate at Participating Stores

Apply for this card and enjoy special dining deals and offers when you dine at top restaurants in the city. You’re eligible if you have been accepted into any of these institutions: NUS, NTU, SIM, SMU, SIT, SUTD, SUSS, DigiPen, INSEAD, University of Chicago Booth School of Business, S P Jain, GIST-TUM Asia, ESSEC, Ngee Ann Polytechnic, Singapore Polytechnic, Tisch, Nanyang Polytechnic, UNLV, Sorbonne-Assas International Law School, EDHEC-Risk Institute, Temasek Polytechnic, NAFA, and LASALLE-SIA.

Card Highlights:
  • Enjoy up to 10% Citi Rebate at more than 300 outlets including Starbucks with a minimum spend of S$10. Conditions may apply.
  • Enjoy 5% Citi Rebate at Subway with a minimum spend of S$10. Conditions may apply.
  • Get 1 Citi Dollar for every S$1 charged to your card. A validity of 1 year would apply on them from the date of issue.
Annual Fee Retail Purchases Rates Cash Advance Rates Late Payment Penalties
S$29.96 228% p.a. 28% p.a. Fee: S$40
Student Credit Cards

DBS Live Fresh Student Card - 0.3% Cashback on Online Purchases

Why do you need to cut down on shopping when you can cut down on expenses with the right card? The DBS Live Fresh Card is a great option for frequent shoppers such as yourself. You can earn cashback on all online spends such as food delivery, shopping, flight and hotel bookings when you use this card. Apply for this card if you are an undergrad student from NTU, SMU, SUTD, SUSS, NUS, Singapore Polytechnic, SIT, Nanyang Polytechnic, Republic Polytechnic, Temasek Polytechnic, or Ngee Ann Polytechnic.

Card Highlights:
  • Get 0.3% cashback on online spends.
  • Get 0.3% cashback on all Visa payWave purchases.
  • Enjoy a credit limit of S$500 with this card.
Annual Fee Retail Purchases Rates Cash Advance Rates Late Payment Penalties
S$128.40 25.90% p.a. 28% p.a. Fee: S$80 Penal Interest Rate: 28.9%
Student Credit Cards

BOC Qoo10 Platinum Mastercard Credit Card - Up to 10% Savings on Bus Rides

Save big on your daily MRT and bus rides in Singapore by using the Qoo10 Platinum Mastercard. You can earn a cash rebate of 10% on this spend category when you charge at least S$200 per month to your card. You can also earn cash rebates of up to 3% on other forms of public transport such as Grab and local taxis.

Card Highlights:
  • Earn up to S$348 annually through cash rebates on eligible card spends.
  • A monthly cap of S$30 exists on cash rebate earnings.
  • This card also offers cash rebates of up to 3% on entertainment, dining, overseas and online spends.
Annual Fee Retail Purchases Rates Cash Advance Rates Late Payment Penalties
S$30 28.88% p.a. 28.88% p.a. 5% of the outstanding balance

[Disclaimer: The “best cards”, recommended under every category, are free from any bias towards or against any particular brand or card issuer.]

Reward Programmes

Card Name Reward Type Rewards Earned Minimum Spend Criteria Cap on earnings Validity of the points earned
DBS Live Fresh Student Card Cashback 0.3% on all retail expenses None S$60 NA
DBS NUSS Card Reward Points
  • 1 point per S$5 spent locally
  • 2 points per S$5 spent at NUSS F&B stores
None None One Year
Citibank Clear Card Cash rebate
  • Up to 10% Citi Rebates
  • Petrol savings of up to 14% at Esso and Shell
  • Exclusive dining perks through the Citibank Gourmet Pleasures programme
None None NA
Standard Chartered MANHATTAN $500 Card Cashback 0.25% on retail purchases None None NA
Maybank eVibes Card Cashback 1% cash rebate on all spend None None NA
BOC F1RST Card Cash rebate 0.5% on the total monthly bill None S$2.50 per billing cycle NA

Who Should Use It?

Student credit cards are a great way to save money on expenses during your university and college years. This could range from purchases made on essential items required for your student life to payments for leisure activities such as dining out. Apart from the convenience, using a student card is also a great way to learn the nuances of financial management while staying within the safety net of a low credit limit. More importantly, the card is a great way to start building up your credit score.

How to Use

Before purchasing a card, do a thorough analysis of your expenses and spending habits. Examine what purchases you make regularly and where you make them. While benefits from most student cards include cash back or rebate on all expenses, certain cards provide rewards for transactions made at specific outlets. For instance, if you are a person who tends to make frequent purchases at Starbucks or Subway, the Citibank Clear Card would be worth considering. Most banks frequently roll out promotional offers that may cater to your various requirements. A close look at these would also help you make the most of your card. Some cards like the DBS NUSS even offer privileges such as access to VIP lounges at Changi Airport, and health club facilities.

Consider This

Most probably this could be the first credit card you own and hence you may not be too familiar with nuances of the whole system. However, before you decide which card to get, it is important to understand how a credit card functions, the different terms associated with them, their significance to you and the bank. First of all, know how much you can afford to spend. Your credit card may have a low credit ceiling but that doesn’t mean you would have enough cash on hand to pay the bill at the end of the month. Make sure you are spending within your means. Staying within your credit limit is also a good practice to boost your credit score. Another factor to consider is cash advances. While this option may appear attractive when you are running out of liquid cash or in case of an emergency, the fees charged while making cash advances could add up to a significantly high amount if not monitored properly. Last, but not the least, know how long a grace period your bank provides you to pay up your bills. While the best practice is to settle the bill when it is generated, having a clear idea of the interest-free period would give you some flexibility in managing your finances.

Do You Have the Right Student Credit Card? Know More About Them

Most students in Singapore expect certain things from their student cards. Some of them include - a reasonably good credit limit, and rewards on their card spends. Your expectations are probably no different. You may be surprised to learn that when you dine out with your friends, buy a gift for someone special on a special occasion such as Valentine’s Day, or buy a gym training shoe from your favourite online store, you can actually save big if you pay for it with your card. Did you know that you could also earn value on the money you spend on your daily commute? Your card will help you stretch your dollars on almost all your spends, barring exclusions that are clearly mentioned on the bank’s website. So, even with limited purchasing power and a fixed monthly allowance, you won’t have to miss out on retail therapy when you have the right card at your disposal.

Expert Tips For Tertiary Students & Undergraduates

A student card can help you master the most basic money-saving techniques. It gives you a certain degree of independence in making your financial decisions as a student, and preparing you for the bigger financial challenges you’ll have to tackle later on in life.

Understand Your Spending Pattern and Choose a Card That Offers Rewards Primarily for Such Spends

Do you splurge more on dining or shopping? Or do you spend more on daily essentials? Depending on the answer, choose a card that offers rebates, cashback or discounts at an attractive rate for such spends. This will help you derive maximum value from every single dollar you spend. What do you do with the savings? How about investing them in a risk-free, interest-paying scheme? This way you can save, invest, and earn even more.

Meet the Minimum Spend Criterion

There are some student cards that offer rewards at an accelerated rate only if you meet the minimum spend requirement. To increase the purchasing value of your dollars, meet that criterion, even if it means charging more to your card than you had initially planned. Don’t make meaningless purchases, though. Try to use your card more on eligible spend categories instead of other payment modes, whenever possible.

Keep an Eye on the Fees and Charges

If the fees on your card are too many, they can easily cancel out the benefits you have accrued from the rewards earned. Keep track of the charges in your monthly bills. A card that offers annual fee waiver for a longer period can be extremely helpful. Always try to pay your card bills in full in order to avoid high interests and other penalties.

Don’t Default on Payments

Defaulting today can land you into a crisis tomorrow. A bad credit score can not only affect your chances of borrowing in the future but it can also impact your chances of landing a job because many employers in Singapore check credit reports of job applicants. A bad score can put you in a spot of bother. Want to have your own home or car in the future? Settle all the dues on your card, however little.

Ask for a Credit Limit Increase If You Have a Job

Do you believe that the utility of a student card ends as soon as you graduate? No. After you have landed your first job, ask for a credit limit review on your student card. Some card issuers may increase the credit limit from S$500 to a higher amount, provided you meet certain criteria. Still wondering how you may benefit from it? It can help you with your credit utilisation ratio, an important determinant of your credit score. The lower your credit utilisation ratio, the higher will be your score. A dollar saved today is a dollar you can utilise meaningfully tomorrow. You may be able to start an investment journey or add a skill to your repertoire, that can help you find a better job or improve the quality of your life. Don’t undermine the importance of savings, even if they’re relatively small, because they can add up to be substantial over the years.

Eligibility Criteria to apply Student Credit Cards

Singapore citizens and Permanent Residents are eligible to apply for all student credit cards in Singapore. Foreigners are eligible to apply for select student credit cards.

Age criterion:

  • Minimum age - 18 years old. For credit card applicants who are below 21 years old, their parent’s or legal guardian’s consent will be required on the application form.
  • Maximum age - The maximum age is subject to the bank's policies. For example some student credit cards, like the DBS Live Fresh Student Card, have a maximum age of 27 years.

Minimum income requirement:

  • Tertiary students - No minimum income requirement.
  • Employees - Minimum annual income of S$18,000 is required. In most cases, annual income should not exceed S$30,000.
  • Tertiary students must be enrolled in eligible universities to qualify to apply for a student credit card. Certain student credit cards are also applicable for NSF Men enrolled in universities.

Documents Required

  • A front and back copy of NRIC.

  • In case the applicant is below 21 years old, a front and back copy of the parent’s/legal guardian’s NRIC.
  • Student ID Card/Matriculation.
  • NSF Men should provide “Letter of Acceptance” issued by the university.
  • Documents to be submitted by employees applying for a student credit card:
  • Salaried employees - Computerised payslips, CPF Contribution History, most recent Income Tax NOA (Notice of Assessment), etc.
  • Self-employed individuals - Income Tax NOA (Notice of Assessment) for the last 2 years.
  • Commission based employees - Computerised payslips, Income Tax NOA (Notice of Assessment), CPF Contribution History, etc.
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