Best Credit Cards for Expats in Singapore 2018

Credit cards in Singapore tend to have higher annual income requirement for foreigners than for residents. Use our list below to find the best credit cards for expatriates and foreigners depending on your special needs and income level.

Table of Contents

Best Cashback Card for Affluent Expats: HSBC Advance Credit Card

Consider this if you are a wealthy expat who either makes S$3,500 per month has S$30,000 of cash savings or has a home loan with HSBC

Annual Income Requirement S$30,000
Foreigner Income Requirement S$40,000

Given that expats tend to make higher income than others, HSBC Advance Credit Card is one of the best cashback cards they can get. First, HSBC waives this card's annual fee completely for those who can qualify for HSBC's Advance status, which requires either S$30,000 of cash savings or S$3,500 of monthly salary (or S$200,000 of home loan with HSBC). Advance customers can also enjoy a flat rate cashback of up to 3.5% with a very high monthly rebate cap of S$125 (vs. S$50-70 for most other cards). Therefore, this card tends to yield the best result for most expats who are making at least S$42,000 per year.

Highlights

  • Annual fee: S$192.6, waived for Advance Customers
  • Rebate: Up to 3.5% of cash rebate for HSBC Advance Customers (1.5% for non-Advance customers)
  • 16% discount on petrol at Shell and Caltex
  • Welcome Bonus: A Samsonite Astra 55cm luggage (worth S$350) or S$100 cash back for new customers (S$50 for existing customers)
  • Promotion: Save up to S$10,000 with 1,000 Entertainer 1-for-1 deals
  • Read Our Full Review

Best Unlimited Cashback for Overseas Spending: American Express True Cashback Card

Consider this if you spend more than S$5,000 monthly and want American Express's services

Annual Income Requirement S$30,000
Foreigner Income Requirement S$60,000

American Express True Cashback Card is another great cashback card for high-earning expats in Singapore because its cashback is unlimited. Not only that, its 1.5% rebate on everything applies to your spending in both Singapore and overseas. Combining this with its relatively low 2.5% of foreign transaction fee (similar cards charge more), this card can work well for expats who either travel often or go back to their home country occasionally. Also, Amex boosts your cashback to 3% during the first 6 months. Not only that, this could be a particularly valuable card for you if you value Amex's world-renown services like American Express Selects, Global Dining Program, 24-hr customer care and Global Assistance. One downside of the card is that its annual fee is waived for 1 year, compared to 2 years or longer for its competitor.

Highlights

  • Annual fee: S$171.2, waived for the 1st year
  • 1.5% cashback on everything
  • Foreign exchange transaction fee: 2.5%
  • No cap on cashback or monthly spend requirement
  • Promotion: 3% cashback rewards rate boost for the first 6 months for up to S$5,000 of spend
  • Bonus: Get 1 chance for every S$50 spend on your card in each monthly draw to win 2 business class tickets to 12 destinations in the world (varies by month)
  • Read Our Full Review

Highest Unlimited Cashback Rewards: Maybank FC Barcelona Visa Signature Card

Consider this if you spend at least S$5,000 per month and want a no annual fee card

Annual Income Requirement S$30,000
Foreigner Income Requirement S$45,000 for Malaysians; S$60,000 for Others

Maybank's FC Barcelona Visa Signature Card is an excellent choice for expats who want to earn unlimited rebates at the highest rate: its cashback is available at a rate of 1.6%, which is higher than 1.5% provided by its competing products. Not only that, this card's annual fee (S$120) is waived for simply charging S$10,000 on the card annually, while other cards tend to charge a relatively high fee of around S$180. While it doesn't come with a petrol discount, we think this card works perfectly well for those who are looking for the convenience of a unlimited cashback without the high cost.

Highlights

  • Annual fee: S$120, waived with S$10,000 of annual spend
  • 1.6% cashback on everything
  • 0.8 miles per S$1 spent on foreign currency transactions
  • Foreign exchange transaction fee: 2.75%
  • No cap on cashback or monthly spend requirement
  • No monthly minimum spend & Online price guarantee
  • Bonus: Chance to win a free trip for 2 to FC Barcelona Live game every season
  • Promotion: Receive a complimentary Samsonite Orfeo 69cm Spinner worth S$420 when you apply for 2 Maybank Credit Cards and CreditAble
  • Read Our Full Review

Unlimited Cashback + EZ-Link: Standard Chartered Unlimited Cashback Card

Consider this if you want unlimited amount of cash rebate and can spend more than S$5,000 per month

Annual Income Requirement S$30,000
Foreigner Income Requirement S$60,000

Standard Chartered Unlimited Cashback Card is an excellent choice for foreigners who are looking for a simple flat rate card to use. Not only does it offer a flat rate of 1.5% cash rebate on everything, its cash back is unlimited so you can earn as much rebate as you spend. The biggest appeal of flat rate cashback cards is its simplicity (i.e. no need to keep track of multiple cards with different minimum spend requirements and rewards), and Standard Chartered Unlimited Cashback further simplifies your life by doubling up as an EZ-Link card.

Highlights

  • Annual fee: S$192.6, 2 Year Waiver
  • 1.5% unlimited cash back on all your expenditure
  • Foreign exchange transaction fee: 3.5%
  • No minimum spend requirement
  • Up to 24% discount on petrol at Caltex
  • 20% cashback and more on Grab rides globally
  • EZ-Link compatible
  • Promotion: Up to S$100 in cashback for new customers (S$20 for existing customers)
  • Read Our Full Review

Cashback Rewards in Singapore and Malaysia: Maybank Family & Friends MasterCard Credit Card

Consider this if you spend a lot of time in both Singapore and Malaysia

Annual Income Requirement S$30,000
Foreigner Income Requirement S$60,000

Maybank Family & Friends MasterCard Credit Card is a superb choice for Malaysians in Singapore. For example, its cashback of 8% on petrol, transportation and groceries applies in both Signapore and Malaysia, so that you can conveniently earn savings whenever you travel across the border. Finally, Maybank Family & Friends card is extremely easy to use due to its low annual fee and minimum spend requirements.

Highlights

  • Annual fee: S$80, waived with S$12,000 of annual spend
  • 8% rebate on transportation (taxis, bus and train rides), fast food delivery (i.e. foodpanda), and other retail transactions at special merchant outlets
  • Up to 9.3% rebate on groceries including merchant discount
  • Up to 20.88% savings on petrol including merchant discount
  • Above rebates apply in both Singapore & Malaysia
  • Promotion: Receive a complimentary Samsonite Orfeo 69cm Spinner worth S$420 when you apply for 2 Maybank Credit Cards and CreditAble
  • Read Our Full Review

Best Air Miles Card for Affluent Expats: Standard Chartered Visa Infinite Card

Consider this if you travel outside of Singapore frequently

Annual Income Requirement S$150,000
Foreigner Income Requirement S$150,000

For expats in Singapore who care mostly about travel rewards, Standard Chartered Visa Infinite Card is an excellent choice. This card combines some of the highest levels of mile rewards (1.4 miles and 3 miles per S$1 spent locally & overseas, respectively), with some of the most high-end travel perks like Hilton HHonor Gold Status, discounts on Grab rides globally and discounts on golf clubs and private jets. For expats or business travelers who frequent airports around the region, Standard Chartered Visa Infinite Card can add value in both helping you save on your next flight tickets and in providing as seamless of a trip as possible.

Highlights

  • Annual fee: S$588.6 and no waiver
  • 1.4 miles and 3 miles for every S$1 spent locally and overseas, respectively.
  • Hilton HHonor Gold status, complimentary VIP lounge access & travel insurance, discounts for golf clubs, yachts and private jets
  • 20% cashback and more on Grab rides globally
  • Promotion: Welcome bonus of 35,000 miles (or 15,000 miles and a Samsonite 28" luggage)
  • Read Our Full Review

Miles Credit Card with Flexible Miles Redemption: OCBC Voyage Card

Consider this if you want the ability to redeem your miles whenever you want, without blackout dates

Annual Income Requirement S$120,000
Foreigner Income Requirement S$120,000

Due to its flexible miles redemption program, OCBC Voyage Card works extremely well for expats that often make travel plans last minute. It is the only card we have seen that allows you to redeem miles for any flight at any time, without a long process time or blacked out dates. This feature is ideal for busy professionals who may not have much visibility into their schedule weeks in advance. Because OCBC Voyage will allow you to book your free flight last minute (as long as there is availability on the flight), OCBC Voyage helps you use the miles to go on the vacation you've been craving at moment's notice.

OCBC Voyage card also comes with great mile benefits like 1.6 miles per S$1 spent on local dining and retail, with another 2.3 miles for S$1 spent overseas. Its slick design feature special alloy material sets it apart from other "luxury" travel cards in the market. Although it has a rather high annual fee of S$488, OCBC Voyage helps offset the cost with 15,000 welcome bonus miles and an opportunity to buy 150,000 miles for S$3,210 (S$0.02 per mile), which is a great deal if you can redeem it for business class flights or better.

Highlights

  • Annual fee: S$488, no waiver
  • 1.6 mile per S$1 spent on local dining and retail spend, 2.3 miles for S$1 spent overseas
  • Flexible miles redemption program that allows you to book any flight you want at anytime
  • Unlimited VIP lounge access, complimentary travel insurance and free airport limo service
  • Min annual income: S$120,000
  • Promotion: S$50 cashback when you apply for 2 OCBC credit cards online
  • Bonus: Ability to buy 150,000 KrisFlyer Miles for S$3,210 (S$0.02 per mile)
  • Read Our Full Review

Best Air Miles Card for Golfers: Maybank World Mastercard

Consider this if you are an avid golfer who travels frequently to golf clubs worldwide

Annual Income Requirement S$80,000
Foreigner Income Requirement S$80,000

Maybank World Mastercard is easily the best credit card in Singapore for golfers. That's because it provides its cardholders complimentary green fees all year around at 79 world-class fairways in 15 different countries, by far the best deal available for golfers in the country. Not only that, it comes with mile and cash back rewards to cover a golfer's every major expenditure area: dining, petrol and travel expenses. Though this card comes with a relatively high annual fee of S$240, it's much cheaper to use than other luxury cards that come with worse golf privileges. Furthermore, Maybank World Mastercard's benefits are more than valuable enough to offset the annual fee for people who golf at least once or twice a month.

Highlights

  • Annual fee: S$240, 1 year waiver
  • 2 complimentary green fees per month at 79 world-class fairways in 15 countries
  • 10X TREATS points (or 4 miles) per S$1 spent at select retail and dining establishments
  • 19.1% savings on petrol in Singapore (including the 4 miles per S$1 spent on petrol)
  • Up to 20% savings at select SPG Hotel and Resorts restaurants
  • Complimentary VIP Access to JetQuay at Changi Airport
  • Bonus: Receive a complimentary Samsonite Orfeo 69cm Spinner worth S$420 when you apply for 2 Maybank Credit Cards and CreditAble
  • Read Our Full Review

Best Air Miles Card for Luxury Travel Perks: Citi Prestige MasterCard Credit Card

Citibank Prestige Mastercard Card

Consider this if you want special travel perks like free hotel nights and unlimited lounge access

Annual Income Requirement S$120,000
Foreigner Income Requirement S$120,000

Just as the name suggests, Citi Prestige MasterCard Card is the best luxury miles credit card with prestigious benefits. If you can stomach the S$535 of annual fee, there are plenty of reasons why you should consider getting Citi Prestige card. Citi Prestige Card works especially well for long-time banking customers of Citibank because its 1.3 miles for S$1 spent locally and 2 miles for S$1 spent overseas gets a boost of up to 30% if you are a loyal Citigold member. Other special benefits include complimentary nights at hotels, and special deals and discounts at golf courses and hotels.

Highlights

  • Annual fee: S$535
  • Annual income requirement: S$120,000
  • 1.3 miles and 2 miles for every S$1 spent locally and overseas, respectively, with the ability to boost your reward miles by up to 30% with a banking account with Citi
  • Special benefits at Four Seasons and Ritz Carlton around the world, unlimited complimentary 4th night at any hotel
  • Unlimited Airport Lounge VIP Access
  • Complimentary travel insurance
  • Promotion: Annual bonus of up to 25,000 miles when you pay the annual fee
  • Read Our Full Review

Cashback Card with Lowest Income Requirement for Foreigners: HSBC Visa Platinum Credit Card

Consider this if you make at least S$40,000 per year

Annual Income Requirement S$30,000
Foreigner Income Requirement S$40,000

HSBC Visa Platinum Credit Card is a great choice for foreigners who make at least S$40,000 per year. Because its foreigner income requirement is very low at S$40,000 annually and its annual fee is easily waived for those who spend $12,500 annually on the card, HSBC Visa Platinum Card is quite accessible for foreigners who don't qualify for other rewards credit cards. Its cashback offer also covers some of the essential daily needs like groceries (5%), telecom bills (5%) and petrol (21%). Not only that, it can also double up as a travel card by earning you 0.4 miles for every dollar of expenditure, a nice feature especially for foreigners who could use the miles to travel.

Highlights

  • Annual fee: S$192.6, waived for 2 years, subsequently waived for an annual spend of at least S$12,500
  • 5% cashback on grocery, cable, internet and mobile bills
  • 2% cashback on dining
  • Up to 21% off on petrol at Shell and Caltex
  • Welcome Bonus: A Samsonite Astra 55cm luggage (worth S$350) or S$100 cash back for new customers (S$50 for existing customers)
  • Promotion: Save up to S$10,000 with 1,000 Entertainer 1-for-1 deals
  • Read Our Full Review

Best Cashback Rewards Card for Low Income Foreigners: Citi Cash Back Card

Consider this if you make at least S$42,000 per year

Annual Income Requirement S$30,000
Foreigner Income Requirement S$42,000

Citi Cash Back Credit Card is one of the best cashback credit cards for an average person in Singapore. It also has one of the lowest annual income requirements for foreigners at S$42,000. If you don't make as much money for the cards mentioned above, this card can be a great alternative way of earning rebates, with 8% cashback on both dining, grocery and Grab rides. For people who tend to eat out just as often as they cook at home, Citi Cash Back serves as a convenient way of saving money on all of their meals.

Highlights

  • Annual fee: S$192.6, first year waived
  • 8% cash back on grocery, dining and Grab rides
  • 20% cashback with selected merchants (rotating)
  • Up to 20.88% off on petrol at Esso & Shell
  • Relatively high cashback cap of S$100 a month
  • Promotion: S$120 cash rebate welcome gift
  • Read Our Full Review

Best No Annual Fee Cashback Card: OCBC 365 Credit Card

Consider this if you make at least S$45,000 per year

Annual Income Requirement S$30,000
Foreigner Income Requirement S$45,000

OCBC 365 Credit Card is one of the best no fee rebate cards we recommend for foreigners who make at least S$45,000 a year. In terms of benefits, OCBC 365 provides 6% rebate on dining, 22% on petrol, and 3% on groceries and monthly bill. It is also quite cheap to use because only S$10,000 of annual spend qualifies you for the annual fee waiver every year. In summary, OCBC 365 Card presents a cheap and convenient way of earning rewards on almost all the daily needs of an average person or family without skewing towards a specific category. If you can't qualify for some of the higher end cards listed at the top of this page, this card is an excellent way to save money via rebates and annual fee waiver.

Highlights

  • Annual fee: S$192.6, waived for 2 years and subsequently waived for annual spend of only S$10,000
  • Rebates: up to 6% on dining, 3% on online shopping, groceries and recurring monthly bills
  • Up to 22.2% on petrol

Mile Card with the Lowest Income Requirement for Foreigners: HSBC Revolution Card

Consider this if you are a young foreigner in Singapore making at least S$40,000 per year

Annual Income Requirement S$30,000
Foreigner Income Requirement S$40,000

HSBC Revolution Card is the best no-annual fee air miles credit card in Singapore for young foreigners. First, its rewards program focuses on major spending areas for a young adult: dining, entertainment and online shopping. For each of these categories, HSBC Revolution earns 2 miles per S$1. Not only that, its annual fee of S$160.5 is waived for those who maintain an annual expenditure of S$12,500 on the card. Last but not least, its annual income requirement of S$40,000 for foreigners is the lowest in the market for mile credit cards.

Highlights

  • Annual fee: S$160.5. waived for 2 years, and then waived in subsequently for annual spend of S$12,500
  • 2 miles on online spend (shopping and travel bookings), dining, and entertainment
  • 16% off on petrol at Caltex & Shell
  • Up to 10% off on travel bookings online
  • Welcome Bonus: A Samsonite Astra 55cm luggage (worth S$350) or S$100 cash back for new customers (S$50 for existing customers)
  • Promotion: Save up to S$10,000 with 1,000 Entertainer 1-for-1 deals
  • Read Our Full Review

Best No Fee Miles Card for Online Shopping & Mobile Payments: OCBC Titanium MasterCard Credit Card

Consider this if you want to earn miles on mobile payments without paying an annual fee

Annual Income Requirement S$30,000
Foreigner Income Requirement S$45,000

OCBC Titanium MasterCard Credit Card is a great miles card for young foreigners who make at least S$45,000 per year. If you shop often and use mobile payments in your daily life, this card can help you earn 4 miles per S$1 you spend your expenditures. Not only that, OCBC Titanium Card's annual income requirement for foreigners and minimum annual spending requirement for annual fee waiver are both quite low at S$45,000 and S$10,000, respectively.

Highlights

  • Annual fee: S$192.6, 2-year annual fee waiver, with subsequent years waived with annual spend of S$10,000
  • 4 mile for every S$1 on shopping (offline, online and overseas) and mobile payments (Apple Pay, Android Pay, Samsung Pay)

Best Airline Miles Credit Card: Citibank PremierMiles Visa Card

Consider this if you make at least S$50,000 per year and want mile awards and other travel perks

Annual Income Requirement S$30,000
Foreigner Income Requirement S$42,000

Citi PremierMiles Visa Card is one of our favorite travel cards for average consumers. It offers a simple to understand 1.2 miles for S$1 spent locally (2 miles per S$1 spent overseas), so that you can earn miles on every expenditure you make. Not only that, Citi PMV Card provides even more features like welcome cashback bonus, complimentary lounge access and travel insurance, and access to Citi Privileges globally. When you pay the annual fee of S$192.6, you can also receive 10,000 miles every year as you renew your card. Finally, its annual income requirement for foreigners is relatively low at S$50,000 compared to other miles credit cards.

Highlights

  • Annual fee: S$192.6, waived 1st year
  • 1.2 miles for S$1 spent locally, 2 miles for S$1 spent overseas
  • Up to 10 miles per S$1 spent on online travel booking sites like Kaligo and Agoda
  • Complimentary travel insurance and Priority Pass Membership for free lounge access
  • Access to Citi Privileges globally
  • 14% off petrol spend at Shell & Esso
  • Promotion: S$120 cash rebate welcome gift
  • Bonus: 10,000 miles when you pay the annual fee and renew
  • Read Our Full Review

Best No Annual Fee Miles Credit Card: DBS Altitude Visa Card

Consider this if you make at least S$45,000 per year and want mile awards without paying an annual fee

Annual Income Requirement S$30,000
Foreigner Income Requirement S$45,000

DBS Altitude Card is an amazing miles credit card that's suitable for people with a budget. With it, you can earn 1.2 miles for every S$1 of local expenditure and 2 miles for every S$1 of overseas expense, which is one of the best offers available. This feature is particularly useful for those whose budget is spread out across multiple spending areas. To make this card accessible for foreigners, DBS imposes a relatively low income requirement of S$45,000 per year and also waives this card's annual fee of S$192.6 for those who spend more than S$2,000 a month (or S$25,000 per year). Hence, if you value annual fee waivers over bonus mile awards, DBS Altitude could be a great way to earn miles without the burden of paying the annual cost.

Highlights

  • Annual fee: S$192.6, waived when you spend at least S$25,000 a year
  • Option to earn 10,000 bonus miles when paying the annual fee to renew
  • 1.2 miles for S$1 of local spend and 2 miles for overseas spend
  • 3 miles for S$1 spent on online travel bookings
  • Up to 10 miles per S$1 spent on online travel booking sites like Kaligo and Expedia
  • 14% discount on petrol at Esso
  • Complimentary travel insurance: S$1mn in accident & death
  • 2 Complimentary Global Airport Lounge Access visits per year with Priority Pass Membership
  • Promotion: 1 chance to win 2 SIA suites class tickets for every S$500 spend (5x for travel bookings)
  • Read Our Full Review

Summary of Best Expat Credit Cards

Below, we've prepared a summary of our picks for the best credit cards for expats and foreigners.

Expat CardsBest For...Annual Fee
HSBC AdvanceHigh income expatsS$0.0 if Advance statusApply Now
Amex True CashbackUnlimited 1.5% rebate, SG & overseasS$171.2Apply Now
Maybank FC BarcelonaUnlimited 1.6% cashbackS$120Apply Now
SC Visa InfiniteLuxury travel rewardsS$588.5Apply Now
Citibank CashbackRebate on food & GrabS$192.6Apply Now
Maybank Platinum VisaLow Income foreignersS$0.0Apply Now
HSBC Visa PlatinumCasbach & MilesS$192.6Apply Now
Expat CardsBest For...Annual Fee
HSBC AdvanceApply NowHigh income expatsS$0.0 if Advance status
Amex True CashbackApply NowUnlimited 1.5% rebate, SG & overseasS$171.2
Maybank FC BarcelonaApply NowUnlimited 1.6% cashbackS$120
SC Visa InfiniteApply NowLuxury travel rewardsS$588.5
Citibank CashbackApply NowRebate on food & GrabS$192.6
Maybank Platinum VisaApply NowLow Income foreignersS$0.0
HSBC Visa PlatinumApply NowCasbach & MilesS$192.6

Compare the Best Credit Cards for Expats and Foreigners by Dollar Value

To help you foreigners and expats in Singapore find the best credit card, we have prepared a chart below organizing credit cards by 2-year dollar value*. We have estimated an average Singaporean's monthly expenditure patterns through research to model out likely savings from credit cards. Do note, however, that these values can vary widely depending on your unique spending habits, so you should be sure to read our reviews to assess if a card is right for you.

A graph displaying how the best credit cards for expats and low income foreigners compare to one another in terms of their rewards
Best Credit Cards in Singapore for Expats & Foreigners By Estimated 2-Year Dollar Value
Duckju Kang

Duckju is the Senior Vice President of ValuePenguin Singapore. He covers the financial services industry, consumer finance products, budgeting, and investing. He previously worked in the financial services industry, including at such hedge funds as Tiger Asia and Cadian Capital.

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