Best Student Credit Cards in Singapore (2020)

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We study the best credit card picks to help you save on what you might already be spending on in your student life.

Read this: students are eligible for credit cards too! Sure, most of your expenses will be on food, fashion, entertainment, transportation and telco bills. But why shouldn’t students be able to reap benefits and savings on those expenditures? 

Some banks in Singapore have credit cards specially tailored to students. Unlike regular credit cards, student credit cards have no minimum income requirement, low annual fees and a low credit limit (usually $500). To successfully apply for one, you’ll be required to be an enrolled student, or an NSF waiting to enter a tertiary institution. There are a handful of pocket-friendly cards that are available for those who decide to enter the workforce straight away  (for example, SCB Manhattan), but they’re the exception rather than the rule. 

Here is a summary of the best credit cards for students in 2020.

Best for overall cashback: Maybank eVibes Card
Best for dining: Citibank Clear Card
Best for unlimited cashback: CIMB AWSM
Best for disciplined spending: SCB Manhattan $500 Card
Best for entertainment: DBS Live Fresh Student Card

Best credit card for students in Singapore
Best forBest Student Credit Cards Benefits
Overall cashbackMaybank eVibes Card 1% cashback on all spend
Dining Citibank Clear CardCiti Rewards points to offset purchases
Unlimited cashbackCIMB AWSMNo annual fee, 1% cashback
Disciplined spendingSCB MANHATTAN $500 Card 0.25% cashback
EntertainmentDBS Live Fresh Student CardUp to 5% cashback

Best for overall cashback: Maybank eVibes

The Maybank eVibes Card gets top marks among tertiary students and NSFs between 18 and 30 years of age. 

Its biggest draw is the 1% rebate on everything you buy, without any minimum spend requirements. You’ll also get deals and discounts on all the best parts of a student’s life: travel, dining, entertainment and online shopping. 

Other fringe benefits students enjoy are discounts on Agoda bookings and the tap-and-go convenience of Samsung Pay. The typical annual fee is replaced by a $5 quarterly service fee that can be waived as long as you use the card at least once every three months.

Best for dining: Citibank Clear Card

If you’re spending your lectures daydreaming about what to chow down on after, the Citibank Clear Card might be right for you. 

Students earn 1X Rewards points for every $1 spent, which can be redeemed to pay or offset any purchase. The Citibank Clear Card gives you access to Citibank’s signature World Privileges program, where you get to enjoy exclusive dining offers at selected restaurants. Outside of the World Privileges, you’ll also find seasonal promotions on online shopping, e-commerce and food deliveries. 

There’s no minimum spend requirement and no cap on your Rewards points earnings per month. 

The downside of this card is that several key spending categories are excluded from earning rewards. Bill payments and school fees on educational institutions and daily transport are not eligible to earn points. 

Best for unlimited cashback: CIMB AWSM

A great cashback option for students trying to save as they spend is the CIMB AWSM Card. 

Short for ‘Awesome’, CIMB AWSM cardholders earn an unlimited 1% cash rebate on dining, entertainment, online shopping and ‘all things’ telco, with no minimum spend required. You read that right—there’s no limit on how much cashback you can earn! But before you go unhinged on the card to chalk up as much cashback as possible, you might want to read about how it affects your credit score if you have trouble paying your bills.

This being a CIMB credit card, one standout feature to know about is that it comes without annual fee for life. Students can also access CIMB Deals & Discounts on travel, dining and regional promotions across Singapore, Indonesia, and Malaysia.

The downside for this card is that groceries, petrol and offline retail spend will not earn rebates. If you prefer a card which earns you a flat 1% cashback rate across all spend, check out an alternative like Maybank eVibes Card.

Best for disciplined spending: Standard Chartered MANHATTAN $500 

If you don’t think you can trust yourself with a credit card, but need it to enjoy savings or pre-empt emergencies, getting the Standard Chartered’s MANHATTAN $500 card should be a textbook move. 

As stated so explicitly in the name, your monthly spending will strictly be capped to $500—you can almost be sure you won’t fall into a rabbit hole of overspending. Cardholders earn a fuss-free 0.25% cashback on all spends and is great for students and low income working adults. It comes with a modest annual fee of $32.10, which can be waived for 1 year. 

While it’s a great card to earn cashback across everything you spend, the 0.25% cashback rate is, frankly, rather low. As a comparison, the CIMB AWSM card earns 1% cashback for dining, entertainment, online shopping and telco spend.  which is the lowest among all the student credit cards.

Best for entertainment: DBS Live Fresh Student Card

Ask any student on her best ‘mugging’ companions and you’ll hear replies around Spotify, Netflix and fast food. Coincidentally (or not), the DBS Live Fresh Student Card grants a high 5% cashback on music and TV streaming services, McDonald’s, Starbucks and Golden Village, all without minimum monthly spend. 

All other spends outside of the aforementioned qualifying merchants get you 0.3%, including your daily commute via SimplyGo. The latter is a great touch of convenience as you won’t have to contend with snaking queues at EZ-Link top-up machines. The precious time saved could really be channeled into watching the next Netflix episode preparing for that mid-term quiz.

Note that despite the high cashback rate compared to other cards, there is a slight catch: the maximum cashback you can earn is capped at $15 for the qualifying merchants and $20 for all other spends.

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