The right credit card can earn you substantial rewards and savings. Here, we shortlist the best credit cards designed to support the lifestyles of young working adults in Singapore.
If you’ve just taken your first steps into the working world, chances are that you’ll be on the lookout for a suitable credit card. Now that you’re able to meet the minimum income requirements of credit card issuers, a range of options will open itself up to you.
However, as you’ll find from a casual browsing of the choices, not all credit cards are created equal.
Different cards are designed to meet the needs of specific target users. When it comes to cards for young adults, common characteristics include supporting online and contactless payments through offering rebates for these payment modes, and providing value for lifestyle spending, such as on dining and entertainment.
But even among these cards, certain qualities set some apart. Some factors you’d want to look out for include: a minimum income requirement that suits your salary, the ability to earn cashback, rewards or miles for what you usually spend on, and a minimum spend (if needed to unlock rebates) that dovetails with your typical budget.
Here, we feature some of the best options on the market for young adults and professionals which, as potentially your first credit card, can start you off on the right foot.
|Credit card||Minimum annual income requirement||Rewards||Minimum spend for rewards||Annual fee|
|OCBC FRANK||S$30,000 if Singaporean or PR S$45,000 if foreigner||6% cashback for online and app payments, mobile contactless payments, foreign currency spending 0.3% cashback for other purchases||S$600/month||S$0 for first two years, S$80 from third year onwards Fee waiver for spend of S$10,000 in one year|
|HSBC Revolution Credit Card||S$30,000 if Singaporean or PR S$40,000 if self-employed or commission-based Singaporean or PR, or foreigner||10X Reward points for online, and Visa and mobile contactless payments 1X Reward point for other purchases||Nil||Nil|
|UOB EVOL Card||S$30,000 if Singaporean or PR S$80,000 if foreigner||8% cashback on online and mobile contactless payments 0.3% cashback for other purchases||S$600/month||S$192.60, waived for first year. Waived for subsequent years when 3 transactions made monthly for 12 consecutive months before charge.|
|DBS Live Fresh Card||S$30,000 if Singaporean or PR S$45,000 if foreigner||5% cashback on online and Visa contactless spend Additional 5% cashback on selected eco-eateries, retailers, transport services 0.3% cashback on other spend||S$600/month||S$192.60, waived for first year|
|POSB Everyday Card||S$30,000 if Singaporean or PR S$45,000 if foreigner||10% cash rebate on online food delivery, 8% on select online marketplaces, 3% on other dining spend Up to 3% cash rebate on recurring utility and telecommunications bills||S$800/month for certain categories||S$192.60, waived for first year|
|Citi Lazada Credit Card||S$30,000 if Singaporean or PR S$42,000 if foreigner||10X Rewards for spending on Lazada 5X Rewards for spending on lifestyle (dining, travel, entertainment, commute) Shipping rebates on Lazada||Nil||S$192.60, waived for first year|
|Citi SMRT Card||S$30,000 if Singaporean or PR S$42,000 if foreigner||5% SMRT$ rebates on public transport, taxi and private-hire rides, groceries, online shopping|
0.3% SMRT$ rebates on other spending
|S$500/month||S$192.60, waived for first two years|
|CIMB AWSM Card||For Singaporeans and PRs:S$18,000 for those below 35S$30,000 for those aged 35 and above||1% cashback on dining, entertainment, online shopping, telecommunications||Nil||Nil|
|BOC F1RST Card||For Singaporeans and PRs:S$18,000||0.5% cash rebate||Nil||S$203.30, waived for first two years|
|KrisFlyer UOB Credit Card||S$30,000 if Singaporean or PR S$80,000 if foreigner||3 miles per S$1 spend on Singapore Airlines, Scoot, KrisShop|
3 miles per S$1 spend on everyday categories (dining, transport, online shopping, travel)
1.2 miles per S$1 of other spending
|S$300 annual spend on KrisShop and Singapore Airlines group (to redeem 3 miles per S$1 spend on everyday categories)||S$192.60, waived for first year|
#1 FRANK by OCBC – for inclusive rebates
FRANK awards you 6% cashback for online and app spending, mobile contactless payments (such as Apple Pay and Google Pay), and purchases made in foreign currencies. Other purchases qualify for 0.3% cashback.
In other words, if you have subscriptions for services such as Netflix and Spotify, and spend on websites and apps such as Zalora and Netflix, you’ll earn cashback that will maximise your expenditure. While you’ll find similar offers from other cards, the cashback option that stands out for FRANK is the 6% you can earn from purchases made overseas in foreign currencies, which may be useful now that travel is returning to the table.
With S$25 cashback possible for each category of online, in-store (mobile payments or in foreign currency), and other spending, you can get cashback of up to S$75 a month – one of the higher totals available. You will have to hit a minimum spend of S$600 in a month to redeem the possible cashback.
Singapore Citizens and Permanent Residents aged 21 and above, with a minimum annual income of S$30,000, can apply for this card. As far as minimum income requirements go, this is around the norm.
Currently FRANK is offering 2% cashback (capped at S$30) when you charge two consecutive months of insurance payments to the card, from 1 March 2022 to 30 April 2022.
#2 c – for no minimum spend
The Revolution Credit Card gives you up to 10X Reward points for online payments, including shopping, ordering food delivery or making travel bookings. You can also get 10X Reward points for contactless payments made through Visa or mobile. That equates to 4 miles or 2.5% cashback for every dollar spent.
You’ll be getting rewards for similar categories as FRANK, but at a lower rebate rate. However, you won’t have to hit a minimum spend per month, unlike FRANK. The absence of an annual card fee is also a bonus.
HSBC is currently offering a S$200 cashback gift when you sign up and spend at least S$500 on your card.
#3 UOB EVOL Card – for higher cashback
UOB’s EVOL Card grants you one of the highest cashback rates possible, at 8%, for online and mobile contactless payments, in comparison to similar cards for online and mobile contactless payments. It offers 0.3% cashback on other types of spending. However, there is a minimum spend of S$600 to fulfil, and cashback is capped at S$20 for each of the three categories.
Besides the cashback, you’ll get access to over 1,000 deals covering F&B, dining and more. Many of these deals encourage a sustainable lifestyle, in line with EVOL’s green commitments as UOB’s first ‘bio-sourced’ card – 82% of the card made from plant-based material.
UOB is currently offering up to S$160 cash credit when you apply for the card.
#4 DBS Live Fresh Card – for supporters of sustainable shopping
The green theme continues with the Live Fresh Card, which offers 5% cashback when you spend at eco-friendly vendors, including Labyrinth, Open Farm Community, Scoop Wholefoods and SG Bike.
This is on top of the 5% cashback you’ll get on online and Visa payWave payments, and 0.3% cashback on other spend. Cashback is capped at S$20 for online spend, S$20 for Visa contactless payments, S$15 for green purchases, and S$20 for other spending.
Live Fresh is currently running a promotion till 30 April 2022 where cardmembers will get the chance to win a limited edition road bike with a minimum spend of S$50.
#5 POSB Everyday Card – for daily needs
If you’re seeking a card that will cover your expenditure at your most-patronised merchants, the Everyday Card may be for you. You’ll get 10% cashback on food delivery platforms foodpanda, Deliveroo and WhyQ (and 3% for other dining excluding fast food), and 8% rebates on select websites such as Taobao, Shopee and RedMart, capped at S$15 per category per month. You also stand to get rebates on your recurring telecommunications and utilities bills.
Though the coverage of vendors may not be as comprehensive as that of other cards providing blanket rebates for all online shopping, the card offers cashback on a broad range of daily expenses. This may come in handy if you already frequent the included vendors. One thing to note is that the minimum total spend required to redeem cashback for dining and online shopping is S$800, which is slightly higher than other cards.
Apply with the promo code 150CASH, and spend a minimum of S$800 within the first 60 days of the card being approved, for S$150 cashback.
#6 Citi Lazada Credit Card – for Lazada shoppers
Frequent shoppers on Lazada will get their money’s worth through the Citi Lazada Credit Card, which will enable them to rack up 10X Rewards points for all spend on Lazada, and get shipping rebates for minimum transactions of S$50.
In addition, you can accrue 5X Rewards points for lifestyle expenditure, including entertainment (spanning Netflix and Spotify subscriptions as well as movie tickets), travel, dining and commuting via taxi or private hire services such as Grab and Gojek.
Under the ongoing promotion which runs till 30 April 2022, those who apply for the card and spend S$250 will receive S$250 back in Lazada and RedMart vouchers.
#7 Citi SMRT Card – for public transport commuters
Use the Citi SMRT Card to tap in and out of MRT stations and buses with the satisfaction of knowing your transactions are earning you SMRT$ rebates of 5%. These rebates can ultimately be redeemed for shopping vouchers or cashback.
Besides EZ-Link Auto Top-up and SimplyGo transactions, spending at supermarkets and online, and on taxi and private-hire rides, will also qualify you for the 5% rebates. You’ll have to spend at least S$500 per month to claim this rate (which will otherwise default to a 0.3% base rate); this is however one of the lower spending requirements in the market.
#8 CIMB AWSM – for unlimited cashback
Should the average S$30,000 minimum annual income requirement be too high given your starting pay, the CIMB AWSM credit card could come to the rescue. It lowers the minimum income requirement to S$18,000 for those below 35, though this goes back up to S$30,000 once you turn 35.
Another advantage of this card is that it grants you unlimited 1% cashback on a broad range of categories – dining, entertainment, online shopping and telecommunications – and with no minimum spend!
#9 BOC F1RST Card – for consistently lower minimum income requirement
If you’re in need of a card that continues to keep its minimum annual income requirement on the lower side, BOC’s F1RST Card is the answer. It has a perpetual requirement of S$18,000 for all adults aged 21 and above.
Though probably not the main reason why you would get this card, it does also offer a 0.5% cash rebate, subject to a maximum spend of S$500, effectively offering you a maximum rebate of S$2.50 per month.
#10 KrisFlyer UOB Credit Card – for wanderlusters
After around two years of COVID-19, heading overseas for a holiday is gradually returning as a tangible and tantalising possibility. If you’ve got travel on the brain, the KrisFlyer UOB Credit Card could help you prepare for your long-awaited trip.
You’ll earn 3 KrisFlyer miles for every S$1 spent on Singapore Airlines, Scoot and KrisShop, and 1.2 miles per S$1 of other spending. A minimum annual spend of S$300 (recently lowered from S$500) on KrisShop and the Singapore Airlines group will also earn you up to 3 miles per S$1 spent on everyday categories such as dining and online shopping.
As a young working adult, you’ll find plenty of credit cards to suit your lifestyle. However, as the rewards differ from card to card, take the time to examine the spending categories and purchasing platforms that the cards support, to ensure you get one that will provide you with the best possible value.
Credit cards can help defray your expenses if you find the right one to suit your needs. Check out SingSaver’s comprehensive comparison of the best credit cards and apply through our website for exclusive offers.
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By Cassandra Yeap-Andrean
A believer that the best things in life are free. Good deals come a close second.