Premium Credit Cards: Which Gives High Income Earners The Best Value?

Denise Bay

Denise Bay

Last updated 02 September, 2021

Every spending situation is unique. SingSaver assembles the 'Best For' list, so you can decide what’s best for you.


Premium credit cards come with premium price tags and perks. But are they worth your hard-earned money? 

 

Premium credit cards are fancy: they come with perks, benefits and all the bells and whistles that regular credit cards don’t offer. Designed specifically for the affluent amongst us who make at least S$120,000 annually, it is no surprise that these premium credit cards also come with hefty annual fees.

While premium credit cards are exclusive by nature and offer a slew of money-saving lifestyle, travel and dining perks all year round, are they really worth your money? Find out as we break down what each premium credit card below has to offer.   

Comparison: credit cards for high income earners

Credit Card Annual Fee Exclusive Perks
Citi Prestige Card S$540 -Unlimited complimentary access to Priority Pass airport lounges
-Eight complimentary one-way airport limousine transfers
-Free one-night hotel stay when you book a minimum consecutive four-night stay
-Expiry-free rewards
-Exclusive relationship bonus on ThankYou Points earned
-Golfing privileges
-Pay tax, insurance, rent, education expenses, electricity bills and more to earn extra rewards
-Citi Prestige Concierge
-25,000 bonus miles for membership renewal
OCBC Voyage Card  S$488 or S$3,210 -Unlimited airport lounge access
-Flexible flight redemption without black-out dates
-Expiry-free rewards
-Voyage Concierge
-e-Commerce purchase protection
-Healthcare perks
-15,000 or 150,000 membership renewal bonus miles
Standard Chartered Visa Infinite Card S$588.50 -Up to six free airport lounge access per Priority Pass lounge programme year
-Pay taxes to earn extra rewards
-Expiry-free rewards
-SCB Visa Infinite Concierge
-Up to S$1m complimentary travel insurance coverage
-e-Commerce purchase protection
HSBC Visa Infinite Credit Card S$488 (HSBC Premier customers); otherwise S$650 -Up to USD$2m complimentary travel insurance coverage
-Unlimited airport lounge access
-HSBC Visa Infinite Concierge
-1-for-1 offers via Entertainer with HSBC
-Golfing privileges
-e-Commerce purchase protection

Ready to level up? Find out how you can make your money work harder and smarter for you. Enjoy your own dedicated relationship manager and privileged access to a whole suite of preferential rates with Priority Banking. Compare your options.


Best credit cards for affluent high income earners

#1 Citi Prestige Card 

Citi Prestige Card lets you earn unlimited 1.3mpd locally and 2mpd on overseas spend. Miles are earned in the form of flexible Citi ThankYou points that do not expire. They can be exchanged for frequent flyer miles, hotel stays, cash rebates and more. 

A travel-oriented premium credit card through and through, cardmembers and one travel companion enjoy unlimited access to over 1,300 Priority Pass lounges worldwide. 

Cardmembers also enjoy a free night stay when they book a minimum consecutive four-night stay at any hotel or resort via Citi Prestige Concierge. That’s in addition to all the other travel, lifestyle and dining perks Citi Prestige Card offers. 

  • Annual fee: S$540 with 25,000 miles
  • Min. income requirement: S$120,000

Who is it best for: Citi banking customers with Citigold/Citigold Private Client relationship can get up to 30% additional ThankYou Points, depending on their spending and depth of relationship with the bank. Frequent travellers will benefit from the Citi Prestige Card, too. 

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SingSaver's Exclusive Offer: Receive the following rewards when you sign up for a Citi Credit Card:

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Citi PremierMiles Card: Receive a Dyson Supersonic (worth S$699) or an Apple iPad 9th Gen (worth S$508.30) or 15,600 KrisFlyer Miles or S$350 eCapitaVoucher or S$300 Cash upon activating and spending a minimum of S$500 within 30 days of card approval. Valid until 6 June 2024. T&Cs apply.

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Other Citi Credit Cards: Receive a Dyson Supersonic (worth S$699) or Apple iPad 9th Gen 10.2 Wifi 64GB (worth S$508.30) or Sony Portable Theatre System HT-AX7 (worth S$759) or S$350 eCapitaVoucher or S$300 cash via PayNow upon activating and spending a minimum of S$500 within 30 days of card approval. Valid until 6 June 2024. T&Cs apply.

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Plus, upgrade your rewards when you top up S$999 for an Apple MacBook Air 13” (M3 chip) 256GB (worth S$1,599) or an Apple iPhone 15 Pro 128GB (worth S$1,664.25). Alternatively, top up S$1,488 for a Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra Titanium Gray 12+512GB 5G (worth S$2,128). Valid till 2 June 2024. T&Cs apply.

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SingSaver Exclusive Offer: Get an Apple iPhone 15 Plus 256GB (worth S$1623.85) or S$1,200 Cash when you successfully apply for a Citigold account and make a S$250,000 deposit within 3 months of account opening and maintain these funds until gift fulfilment. Also, apply through SingSaver and enjoy 3.0% p.a. on a 6-month SGD Time Deposit. Valid till 2 June 2024. T&Cs apply.

Plus, get additional welcome rewards on top of the above offer (T&Cs apply):

  • Get additional S$100 Cash Reward from Citibank when you complete an Investment Risk Profile and Fact Find
  • Get additional S$100 Cash Reward from Citibank when you hold a valid Primary Citibank Credit Card
  • Get additional S$500 Cash Reward from Citibank when you apply for a Citibank Mortgage loan with min. loan size of S$800,000 within 3 months of account opening
  • Get additional S$250 Cash Reward for every S$50K purchase of investment and/or insurance from Citibank

#2 OCBC Voyage Card 

OCBC Voyage Card lets you earn unlimited, expiry-free 1.3mpd locally and 2.2mpd spent in foreign currency. Although the miles earning rate is slightly more generous, bear in mind Voyage Miles are awarded for every S$5 spent on a per-transaction basis. This can make things a little tricky as you may potentially lose out on miles over time because of transaction amounts that aren’t an exact multiple of S$5. 

You can redeem Voyage Miles for flights on any airline anytime without blackout dates via the Voyage Concierge. Your other option is to convert them into KrisFlyer Miles. Unlike many other credit cards that charge a fee to convert credit card rewards into frequent flyer miles, OCBC Voyage offers a waiver for their customers who hold this credit card. On a side note, cardmembers are free to redeem their Voyage Miles for cash rebates if that’s what they prefer. 

The OCBC Voyage Card provides unlimited free visits to over 80 Plaza Premium lounges worldwide for ardent travellers along with other VIP travel-oriented perks. Cardmembers also have access to an array of health and wellness deals with HealthPass by OCBC. 

  • Annual fee: S$488 with 15,000 miles or S$3,210 with 150,000 miles 
  • Min. income requirement: S$120,000

Who is it best for: Frequent travellers and people looking to bag 150,000 miles with payment of the S$3,210 annual fee when signing up and renewing their Voyage Card membership. OCBC Premier Banking, Premier Private Client and Bank of Singapore customers can enjoy accelerated rewards by earning 1.6mpd locally and 2.3mpd spent in foreign currency. 

#3 Standard Chartered Visa Infinite Credit Card 

Standard Chartered Visa Infinite Credit Card lets you earn 1.4mpd locally and 3mpd on overseas spend. While generous, this applies only if a minimum eligible spend of S$2,000 is made within the statement cycle. The base earn rate of 1mpd is meagre at best. Miles are awarded in the form of 360° Rewards Points. 

This card lets you enjoy up to six free visits to Priority Pass lounges each Priority Pass membership year. You can also apply for the Income Tax Payment Facility to earn rewards when you charge your income tax to your card. 

Standard Chartered Visa Infinite Credit Card doesn’t offer bonus miles or rewards points upon card renewal. 

  • Annual fee: S$588.50 
  • Min. income requirement: S$150,000 (S$30,000 for Priority/Private Banking customers) 

Who is it best for: Standard Chartered Priority Banking clients will benefit from the S$30,000 minimum annual income requirement and perk of earning rewards on select mortgage loans, current and savings accounts, fixed deposits, and investments, as long as they spend S$500 per month on their card.

#4 HSBC Visa Infinite Credit Card 

HSBC Visa Infinite Credit Card lets you earn 1mpd locally and 2mpd on overseas spend. From the second year onwards, you may earn 1.25mpd locally and 2.25mpd on overseas spend if you charge at least S$50,000 to your card in the previous membership year. Miles are awarded in the form of HSBC Rewards Points. 

On a brighter note, you stand to enjoy unlimited complimentary access to over 1,100 airport lounges around the world along with generous, comprehensive travel insurance coverage of up to USD$2m for you and your family. There are also plenty of 1-for-1 deals available at a touch via the free ENTERTAINER with HSBC app. 

However, HSBC Visa Infinite Credit Card does not (officially) offer bonus rewards upon card renewal. Another thing to note? Your rewards expire at the end of a 37-month period.  

  • Annual fee: S$488 (HSBC Premier customers) or S$650
  • Min. income requirement: S$120,000

Who is it best for: Jetsetting HSBC Premier customers who happen to be big spenders will benefit most from the HSBC Visa Infinite Credit Card. This card offers unbeatable complimentary travel insurance coverage, along with stellar travel perks. 

Are such hefty annual fees justifiable? 

The answer can differ from person to person: it’s highly subjective. While all of the above-mentioned premium credit cards offer fantastic travel perks, those aren’t the only benefits they offer. 

To determine if it’s justifiable to pay such hefty annual fees, take a good look at your lifestyle and spending habits. It pays to do your homework: 

  • Check out the various lifestyle and dining offers that each card has to offer
  • Prioritise the offers and benefits most important to you or most likely to be utilised frequently (e.g. travel benefits, dining offers, shopping deals, golfing privileges) 
  • Consider your relationship with the bank 
  • Ascertain if generous renewal bonus is a non-negotiable

Even if you’re affluent, it doesn’t hurt to spend your money wisely, use credit cards, deals and offers to your advantage. 

Read these next
Top Credit Card Promotions And Deals On SingSaver
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Millennials, How Much Do You Know About Credit?
Credit Card Welcome Offer: A Comparison of The Best Gifts
Cashback vs Miles vs Rewards: Which Is The Best Type Of Credit Card For You?

 

While Denise has a thing for travel, K-dramas, 0% sugar bbt (with boba!), Japanese cuisine and flat white, her curious nature means all sorts of random tabs are open on her phone 24/7. She doesn’t like to pay full price for anything, too.

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