Santa Claus comes around just once a year. In the meantime, there are Credit Cards.
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    Student Credit Card vs Regular Credit Card

    Credit Card Application

    Whether you are about to enroll at a university in the coming season or are already in one, a student card is a convenient tool to meet your spending requirements and start building and maintaining a good credit score. But before you purchase one, there are a few factors to consider.

    Why Choose Student Credit Card Over Regular Card?

    There are several advantages to choosing student cards over their regular counterparts. First of all, they usually come with no requirements on annual income. They have a low credit ceiling, allowing you to keep your spending habits in check.

    Moreover, most student cards have low annual fees or, at times, no fee requirements. As students often live on a lower budget compared to working professionals, this low cost should work in their favour. Most banks also provide several benefits geared towards the spending habits of students. For instance, with some student cards, you can earn discounts at fast-food outlets and cafes, which may be places that students frequent.

    Top Student Cards in the Singapore

    Here are some of the best cards in Singapore aimed at students:

    Features

    Features of a credit card differ by their type. Those that a student card offers are often designed after considering the requirements that college and university students have. Here is a brief list:

    • Annual Fee: In order to keep your card active you have to pay your bank an annual fee. An advantage of student cards is that their annual fee is often quite low compared to regular cards. For instance, Citi charges S$29.96 on its Clear Card, which is way below the fees for its other cards. Cards like Maybank eVibes have no annual fee.
    • Interest Rates: Most banks have standard interest rates for all their credit cards but in some cases, the rates for a student card may differ from the rest. On the Citibank Clear Card, the interest rate is 28% p.a. for retail transactions and cash advances. This is different from the rates of 26% p.a. and 26.9% p.a. charged on retail and cash advance transactions on regular cards.
    • Income Requirement: Credit cards are often issued after considering your annual income. The higher you earn, the better your chances of getting a card with good benefits. For student cards, though, there is usually no monthly income requirement.
    • Credit Limit: Most students may not have huge expenses. Cards meant for them often have a low credit ceiling compared to their regular counterparts. Student cards in Singapore usually have a credit limit of S$500.

    Benefits

    Similar to regular cards, benefits on student credit cards come in the form of reward points, rebates, cashback, etc. The difference is the rate at which these are provided and the kind of payments that are eligible for them.

    Many cards provide a flat cashback or rebate for all transactions charged to it. Apart from this, there may be special rebates at certain outlets. For instance, the Citibank Clear Card offers 10% and 5% Citi Rebate on transactions made at Starbucks and Subway respectively.

    Credit Card Support

    Banks often offer round-the-clock support to credit card owners online and offline. Regardless of whether you require help with enquiries such as the status of your card application or immediate support in the unfortunate event of your card getting lost or stolen, you will be able to contact the bank.

    DBS, for instance, provides an online facility where you will be able to block or unblock a credit card using its PIN. Other banks may offer similar facilities.

    Requirements & Eligibility

    To be eligible for a student card you may have to be a Singapore citizen or Permanent Resident aged 18 or above and enrolled in one of the several educational institutions in the country. In some cases, there is an upper age limit as well.

    If you are not 21 years old yet, you may have to get the consent of your parent or guardian for the application. There is usually no minimum income requirement to be eligible for a student card.

    Upgrade Your Student Credit Card to Regular Credit Card

    Some banks allow you to upgrade your student card once you begin earning a certain amount. This could allow you to get a higher credit limit and more benefits. However, note that some of the privileges you may have received as a student cardholder, such as low annual fees, may not be applicable to you once you upgrade to a different card.

    Student Credit Cards vs Regular Credit Cards to Build Credit Score

    Most students may not be eligible for regular cards as they come with a minimum income criterion. Student cards provide you a great option to start building your credit score while still in college or university and are yet to start earning. The low credit ceiling of these cards will allow you to keep your expenses in check.

    However, do note that some student cards may have higher interest rates than regular cards and failure to settle up bills on time may attract heavy debt that could hurt your credit score.

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