Imagine never having to call to waive your credit card annual fee... ever. That’s the dream, isn’t it? Here are four ways to enjoy no annual fees for life.
Most credit cards in Singapore come with no annual fee for only the first year or two of usage. After all, the providers want to make it easy and appealing for you to switch to their credit cards.
But once that ‘free trial’ ends, you might get charged with a hefty annual fee (typically S$180 + GST). Once you recover from the shock of seeing that S$192.60 line item on your credit card bill, you can usually call in and ask the credit card company to waive it. However, there is a chance your request will get denied.
If you can’t get your annual fee waived, then you can simply cancel your credit card to avoid paying the fee. But that leaves you short of your favourite credit card, and you’ll probably need to update your billing arrangements.
In short, credit card annual fees can be waived, but the process can be quite bothersome. If you really don’t enjoy all this administrative hassle, opt for these four types of credit cards that let you enjoy no annual fee.
#1 Credit cards with no annual fees
Malaysian bank CIMB’s credit cards don’t get a lot of hype. But we like that CIMB charges no annual fees, ever, on all of its credit cards. All three CIMB credit cards that you can compare here are free for life, no strings attached.
Depending on your lifestyle and spending habits, the right CIMB credit card will go a long way in helping you stretch your money. Just so you know, all three CIMB credit cards have minimum spend requirements in place.
If none of the CIMB credit cards appeal to you, perhaps the Standard Chartered Smart Credit Card might? You can also consider getting a debit card. Most (but not all!) debit cards in Singapore also have no annual fees for life.
#2 Credit cards with automatic fee waivers
Another way to get a near-perpetual annual fee waiver on your credit card is to pick one with an automatic fee waiver function.
DBS/POSB, OCBC, UOB and Maybank all offer automatic fee waivers once you hit their stipulated minimum annual spend. So as long as you spend this amount every year, you’ll never have to call and ask for a fee waiver.
The minimum spend varies from card to card, and not all credit cards are eligible. Below, we’ve compiled the credit cards with the lowest thresholds for automatic annual fee waivers.
|Credit card||Annual fee||Minimum spend for auto fee waiver|
|Maybank Platinum Visa Card||S$20 per quarter||N/A, just spend every 3 months|
|Singtel-UOB Card||S$192.60||N/A, just charge your Singtel bill|
|OCBC Plus! Visa Credit Card||S$107||S$2,500|
|Maybank Manchester United Visa Platinum Card||S$80||S$3,600|
|OCBC Great Eastern Cashflo Credit Card||S$160.50||S$5,000|
|Other OCBC credit cards||Varies||S$10,000 (for select OCBC cards)|
|Maybank FC Barcelona Credit Card||S$120||S$10,000|
|DBS Woman’s MasterCard||S$160.50||S$15,000|
|DBS Woman's World MasterCard||S$192.60||S$25,000|
For low spenders, we would recommend either the Maybank Platinum Visa Card or the OCBC Plus! Visa Credit Card.
The Maybank Platinum Visa Card charges a quarterly fee instead of an annual one. But to get it waived, you just need to charge something to the card every quarter. That’s it. There’s no minimum amount.
Welcome Gift: Receive a Samsonite Harts 68/25 Spinner (worth S$500) when you apply for both a credit card & a CreditAble account and make a min. spend of S$300 per month for 2 consecutive months. Valid for the first 4,500 applicants. The remaining applicants will score S$100 cashback instead. T&Cs apply.
Another option is the OCBC Plus! Visa Credit Card. Your annual fee is waived as long as you spend S$2,500 a year (about S$208 a month on average). It also gives you discounts at NTUC FairPrice, so it’s not a bad card for a low-maintenance Singaporean.
If you are consistently spending at least S$1,000 a month on assorted bills and household expenses, you may want to opt for the UOB One Card as it’ll give you a S$100 rebate every quarter. In addition, your annual fee is automatically waived since you hit the minimum annual spend of S$12,000.
Welcome Gift: Receive up to 44,800 miles when you apply and fulfill the respective min. spend requirements. T&Cs apply.
3. Free credit cards based on memberships
If you happen to be a member of NTUC or SAFRA, you’re already eligible for a no-annual-fee credit card. These organisations have co-branded credit cards with perpetual annual fee waivers as long as the cardholder remains a paying member.
The SAFRA DBS Credit Card is a relatively fuss-free credit card. Just spend at least S$500 a month to get 3% cash rebates on your online spending and contactless payments. SAFRA membership is open to NSFs/NSmen, and fees range from S$60 (2 years) to S$303.75 (10 years).
Another no-fee credit card you may already qualify for is the NTUC Plus! Visa Credit Card, which lets you save at NTUC FairPrice and Esso outlets. If you’re not yet a member, you can sign up for NTUC membership anytime. It costs S$117 per year and comes with union benefits.
4. Free credit cards for priority banking customers
Finally, you can get a perpetual annual fee waiver if you are a priority banking customer with Maybank or DBS. The corresponding credit card’s annual fee will be waived perpetually, as long as you remain a member of the programme.
|Credit card||Priority banking programme||How to qualify|
|Maybank Privilege Horizon Visa Signature Card||Maybank Privilege||Deposit or invest at least S$50,000|
|DBS Treasures Black Elite Card||DBS Treasures||Deposit or invest at least S$350,000|
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Find the right no-annual-fee credit card for you
Turns out there is a whole variety of credit card options out there for those who dread performing the yearly fee waiver ritual. We’ve hand-picked some of the very best ones above.
Want to see what other credit cards you might be missing out on? Go ahead and peruse the best credit cards in Singapore on SingSaver. Make sure you use the Annual Fee Waiver toggle to filter only the free ones!
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