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