Student credit cards are gaining popularity in recent years. They provide flexibility in spending, are convenient, and also allow you to have a record of all of your purchases. Getting a student credit card is also one step ahead of gaining financial independence where you learn how to manage your own finances.
Most students use their credit cards for food, transportation, telco bills, entertainment, and fashion. With the expenditures, students get to reap the benefits that come with credit cards!
If you are still unsure on which credit card to sign up for, I’m covering some of the best student credit cards in Singapore for 2021 in this article!
What Are Student Credit Cards?
Student credit cards are an ideal option for students to cover their expenses without a stable income stream. A plus point of these cards is that they don’t require the credit history of the applicants.
They have low annual fees as well as a low credit limit. Depending on the bank, most credit limit is at $500.
Whether you are a part-time or full-time student, you can get these cards issued from any preferred Singapore bank. Student credit cards in Singapore are a lifesaver.
Compared to regular credit cards, student credit cards also have more benefits and rewards in the form of rebates and discounts when you spend at selected merchants!
Be Careful of Credit Card Debts
Before we move on, you need to know that credit cards come with huge responsibility, it is advisable that you apply for one only if you have a job or regular pocket money.
When you spend using your student credit card, you are given a loan by the bank to pay for your expenses. Like all credit cards, student credit cards have a due date by which you have to return the money to the bank. You will need to learn to keep track of your expenses and be very disciplined with how you spend.
As much as they are convenient and beneficial, it is vital that you do not incur debts at a young age. Banks take strict action against defaulters and failure to pay your credit card debt could lead to legal action as well.
Let’s look at some of the best options that the students in Singapore have in case they want to apply for a student credit card:
1) DBS FRESH STUDENT CARD
|Credit Card||DBS Fresh Student Card|
|Best for:||An ideal option if you travel frequently|
|Benefits:||The card can be used when you travel by bus.
Offers 5% cashback if you spend up to 15 SGD a month on DBS partners.
|Requirements (age, citizenship):||21-27 years students are eligible
Singapore citizens or Permanent Residents, and eligible university students only can apply for the DBS card
|Eligible schools:||National University of Singapore (NUS)
Nanyang Technological University (NTU)
Nanyang Polytechnic (NYP)
Ngee Ann Polytechnic (NP)
Republic Polytechnic (RP)
Singapore Institute of Management (SIM)
Singapore Management University (SMU)
Singapore Polytechnic (SP)
Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD)
Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT)
Singapore University of Social Sciences (SUSS)
Temasek Polytechnic (TP)
|Credit limit:||500 SGD|
|Annual fee:||192.60 SGD waived for 5 years|
|Reviews:||“Singapore’s go-to bank DBS must want to change up their mundane, everyday image — just look at the snazzy DBS Live Fresh Card. The cashback credit card got a huge makeover, thanks to sneaker artist Mr. SBTG two years ago, to appeal to the millennial crowd. I’d say it worked because I’ve never really had any sort of impression of DBS and POSB credit.” - Money Smart Review 2020.
If you’re a frequent traveler who doesn’t want to switch between credit cards, this card allows you to ship overseas as well (with a fee of 3.5% on each transaction). You can use this card if you travel by bus or MRT. You only need to tap your card while entering the bus, and you can even link it with your existing EZ link.
Besides the credit limit, the card offers you a waiver of 192.6 SGD annual fees for the initial five years. The additional benefits to this card include cashback up to 50 SGD if you shop at the suggested outlets.
With all these facilities, here’s a little catch. If by any chance, you are unable to clear your credit within one month, you will be penalized with a 100 SGD surcharge. Hence, if you are planning to acquire this card, make sure to clear your dues on time.
Another plus point of DBS is that it is made out of recycled plastic for environmental purposes. The DBS Fresh Student Card also supports other brands that work towards being ecologically responsible.
If you are a Singaporean/PR university student between 21-27 years old, try getting your hands on this credit card. It will give you a credit limit of 500SGD for a month.
2) MAYBANK EVIBES CARD
Credit Card MayBank Evibes Card
Best for: Individuals looking for maximum cashback on all spending
Benefits: Offers maximum cashback of 1% on all spending.
Requirements (age, citizenship): Individuals aged 18-30 can apply.
Singapore citizens or Singapore permanent Permanent Residents are eligible to apply for the card.
Eligible schools: LASALLE
SIT (or NSF)
Credit limit: 500 SGD
Annual fee: 20 SGD, waived for using the card once every 3 months.
Reviews: “Best credit card for students, along with a sweet 1% cashback for ALL spending on this card. This would be a good entry-level credit card for any students out there.” - Guan Xian Lee (A University Student in Singapore).
If you’re a student in Singapore who wants to maximize their savings, then this one’s for you. The card has an annual fee of 20 SGD that is waived off if you use the card once every three months.
People aged 18-30 years can acquire this card and avail a 1% rebate on every transaction they make. That’s reasonably higher than the other credit cards that usually offer between 0.25%-0.4% rebate.
Cash rebates are credited to the cardholder’s account monthly for every dollar earned. When an account is canceled, cashback is automatically lost and is non-transferable.
The credit limit is $500 that makes it a good choice with the minimum annual fee it offers. However, individuals need to have a yearly income of $30,000 to apply for this card.
Access to the Maybank TREATS program is another perk. DBS Fresh Student Card Cardholders may save up to 20% on eating and entertainment, as well as savings on health and wellness, online retail, travel, and more. Despite the lack of a structured rebate framework, students can take advantage of promotional discounts at several businesses.
One drawback of this card is that low-income working adults cannot apply and benefit from this card. Currently, enrolled students and NSF’s are also eligible to get this card.
3) CITIBANK CLEAR CARD
|Credit Card||CitiBank Clear Card|
|Best for:||Individuals who love to dine out|
|Benefits:||Exclusive dining deals for cardholders at over 1000 eateries all over Singapore.
No Minimum Income requirement to apply for the card
1 point for every $1 spent.
|Requirements (age, citizenship):||Applicants aged 18 and above may apply.
Singaporeans, Permanent residents, and students from eligible schools may apply for the card.
You are not an existing primary/ basic Citi Credit card / Citibank Ready Credit customer (supplementary cardmembers are eligible)
NGEE ANN Polytechnic
Sorbonne-Assas International Law School
S P Jain
University of Chicago Booth School of Business
|Credit limit:||500 SGD|
|Annual fee:||29.96 SGD waived for the first year.|
|Reviews:||“No minimum income card that's good for students allows for a $500 credit which is decent for that age and use. The Citi app is very easy to use and you can make most of the points and cash conversion easily and visibly on there. Otherwise, not many perks as it is an entry-level card.” - Morgan Awyong (A Citibank card holder)|
This card stands out amongst students because of its fantastic dining discounts at popular eateries such as Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts, and Subway. Citibank Clear offers discounts at over a thousand eateries all over Singapore.
What better can you ask for if you are a low-income student who keeps craving delicious food now and then? The Citibank Clear Card also offers a miles-earning system that gives 0.4 miles of earning for every dollar spent.
There’s no minimum income limit for getting those points on each purchase.
There is a S$29.6 charge that is waived off for students in the first year of purchase. Whenever you use the card, the points are earned in Citi Dollars, which can be redeemed in the form of cash, miles, or vouchers.
You can use these Citi dollars within one year of their accrual, convert your Citi dollars to air miles at $25 for each air mile, and use these Citi dollars until you choose to close your account. Also, the Citibank Clear card offers easy transactions to clear your bills and for various other transactions within Singapore.
4) CIMB AWSM CARD
|Credit Card||CIMB AWSM Card|
|Best for:||Students who love to travel and dine out often|
|Benefits:||1% cashback on every spending
No minimum spending requirement on cash rebate
|Requirements (age, citizenship):||Applicants aged 18 to 29 years old may apply.
Singaporeans or Singapore Permanent Residents may apply for the card.
Applicants should not be existing CIMB credit card members.
|Eligible schools:||Any (or NSF)|
|Credit limit:||500 SGD|
|Annual fee:||No annual fee for all Primary and Supplementary cardholders for life.|
|Reviews:||“Using this card to build a credit score since there are no yearly fees. Perks are not the best, but good as a starting point to learn how to manage credit cards.” -Yang Teng (CIMB credit card holder)
CIMB AWSM card is suitable for students of 18 years and above. It is ideal for individuals who prefer to spend most on food, entertainment, online shopping, and recharge their mobile credit.
The card is best for first-time cardholding students. Most young people who can manage an income of $18000 can benefit from this card since there are no annual fee charges for as long as the applicant chooses to keep the card.
CIMB ASM Cardholders can also profit from a decent cashback rate of 1% on every spending without any minimum spending requirement each month. The cashback is accrued and deposited in the user’s account monthly.
You can use the cashback until you choose to use the card. The only backlash the card bears is because it’s not a good choice for reasonable expenses such as refueling the tank and utilities or groceries. Zero annual fees still make it a convenient choice for the students over other options.
5) SC MANHATTAN CARD
|Credit Card||SC Manhatten Card|
|Best for:||Students with zero income
Individuals with low income.
|Benefits:||Fixed 0.25% rebate on all spending.|
|Requirements (age, citizenship):||An applicant who is between 18 to 32 years of age may apply
Singapore citizen or a permanent resident can apply
|Eligible schools:||Asia Campus
University of Chicago Graduate School of Business
|Credit limit:||500 SGD|
|Annual fee:||$32.10 waived for one year|
|Reviews:||“I use this card for big-ticket purchases. Still holding this card on standby for my next big purchase.” -CQ Goh (SC Manhattan cardholder)|
The Standard Chartered Manhattan card is one of the few cards in the market that low-income employees can use with an annual income of less than S$30,000. Also, the credit limit is a whopping 500 SGD which is a plus.
Students with no income can also apply and avail the benefits of this card. On the other hand, working adults should have a minimum payment of $18000 p.a to be eligible for the card. Cardholders receive a flat cashback of 0.25% for most purchases. Although there is a fee of $32.10, it does not apply during the first year.
The card is suitable for low-income working adults; however, its reward rate is one of the lowest. Young employees can get 4 times the cash (1% vs. 0.25%) by using the CIMB AWSM card. The 0.25 % cash rebate is fixed on all expenditures for cardholders.
You can receive the cashback in the SC Manhattan card every month in your account, and like all other cards, it gets nullified if you close the credit card.
The decision to take up a card now depends on what types of transactions you usually perform.
6) BOC QOO10 PLATINUM MASTERCARD
|Credit Card||BOC Qoo10 Platinum Mastercard|
|Best for:||Students or individuals who often use transport|
|Benefits:||10% transportation rebate on every charge
3% exclusive shopping discounts
|Requirements (age, citizenship):||Applicants of age 18 years and above may apply
Singapore citizens or permanent residents may apply
|Credit limit:||500 SGD|
|Annual fee:||$32.10 waived for the first year|
|Reviews:||“A powerful card to earn rebates for daily shopping (groceries, online) and dining (fast food, restaurants). Despite several changes in and, it is still relatively straightforward to use.” -Justin (A BOC card holder)|
While this card may not have a unique selling point compared to the rest of the cards, this card gives a transportation rebate of up to an impressive 10% that no other card on the list offers. Moreover, you can also enjoy up to 3% exclusive shopping discounts.
The cashback policy of the card is disappointing as it isn’t in the form of real money. The cashback is only transactional points that you can use for further transactions. There’s nothing like receiving rebates once you pay your bills (unlike SC Manhattan and CIMB AWSM cards).
BOC QOO10 Platinum Mastercard is a card for Singapore citizens or permanent residents. You must be at least 18 years old or above with a minimum annual income of S$18,000 to enjoy the benefits of this card.
For students, there is no minimum income requirement to apply for the card. The card has an annual fee of $32.10 with a spending limit of $500. It is created as an alternative to the BOC Q0010 Mastercard that people with a better income can afford.
Why Would You Need A Student Credit Card?
A student credit card gives students a chance to survive and fulfill their expenses. If you want to get your hands on a student credit card, you must be aware that it will give you rewards in the form of cashback and various discounts.
Another benefit that student credit cards offer is building up a student’s credit score. However, a good credit score comes when you’re disciplined enough to pay your bills on time.
If you succeed through the process, you will easily pass every banking hurdle that you could ever face in life. It will also be convenient to get house loans or personal loans with a credible credit history.
Banks have become exceptionally investigative on granting credit cards because of the increasing number of defaulters over the years.
Debit Card or Credit Card?
Debit cards are a good option for students who have a steady source of income. If you can maintain a balance between your expenditures and savings, a debit card is better.
However, with increasing prices and rising expenses, it’s nearly impossible for students to save even a penny. With so much going on in students’ lives, they are almost always on a tight budget.
For such circumstances, a credit card offers leverage for their expenses and helps them save some money (via rebates) while spending.
Students in Singapore may have different options in this regard, and in the end, it’s just their personal choice to stick with whatever student credit card would be most comfortable and easy for them.
Some give you cashback options, while others may help you through daily expenses such as food and transport. You can always perform deep comparative analysis to make a final decision. Make sure to make the most suitable one!
Furthermore, be sure to make the minimum payment specified by your bank at the end of the monthly billing cycle. Not only will this keep you in good standing with the bank but it will also save you from accruing interest on your debt.
Consequences of missing your credit card payments include having to pay penalties, damage to your credit score, closed credit account, or even a lawsuit.
We hope that this article has been helpful for you!