Credit Cards For Foreigners Working And Staying In Singapore Worth Applying For

Denise Bay

Denise Bay

Last updated 07 July, 2021

Picking the right foreigner credit card for your needs and spending habits isn’t rocket science. Here, we’ve sussed out credit cards deserving of your attention.

Whether you’re looking to settle in Singapore for good or for just a couple of years, using the right credit card can help each hard-earned dollar of yours go further. As it stands, all credit cards aren’t created equal. Some are more rewarding than others, while some require no effort at all when it comes to usage. 

Depending on what you’re looking for, there are different foreigner credit cards for different types of expats. Their income eligibility requirements vary, too. This is why it’s important that you choose the right credit card for your own spending habits and needs. Here’s the lowdown on the foreigner credit cards worth their salt.

Compare and Shop for Deals with the Best Credit Cards in Singapore

Best Foreigner Credit Cards To Add To Your Wallet  

#1 UOB Absolute Cashback Card: Best for unlimited cashback with no spend exclusions

UOB Absolute Cashback Card is the newest kid in town that offers fuss-free 1.7% cashback on literally everything and anything you spend on so long as the merchant accepts American Express credit card payments. There’s no minimum spend and no category restrictions to deal with. 

How else does the UOB Absolute Cashback Card stand out? Well, you can even earn 1.7% cashback on transactions frequently excluded from earning cashback, such as insurance premium payments, school fees, mobile or e-wallet top-ups, rental payments, utilities & telco bills, medical and hospital bills.

With a cashback rate of 1.7%, this cashback credit card is also a tad more generous than its competitors’ 1.5% and 1.6%. 

Eligibility for foreigners: Minimum annual income of S$80,000

Alternative: American Express True Cashback Card 

Welcome Gift: Receive up to 44,800 miles when you apply and fulfill the respective min. spend requirements. T&Cs apply.


#2 HSBC Revolution Credit Card: Best for online purchases and contactless payments

If you want a rewarding, easy-to-use credit card that lets you earn 10X rewards points (or 4mpd) on all your online purchases and contactless payment transactions, look no further than the HSBC Revolution Credit Card. All other types of spending will earn 1X rewards points. 

With no annual fee, no minimum spend and no cap on the number of rewards points you can earn, this rewards credit card is fantastic for the expat who enjoys shopping online, ordering food deliveries, and booking travel and activities for the family over the internet. 

Expats who like to dine out or shop in-store can take advantage of contactless payments to enjoy the generous 10X rewards points, too. That’s not all, this credit card comes with free ENTERTAINER with HSBC membership. Simply download and log in to the lifestyle app to lay your hands on a curated selection of 1-for-1 dining, lifestyle and hotel deals.

Eligibility for foreigners: Minimum annual income of S$40,000

Alternative: Citi Rewards Card 

Welcome Gift: Receive a Samsonite Prestige 69cm Spinner Exp with built-in scale (worth S$670) or S$200 cash back when you make a min. spend of S$500 by the end of the following calendar month from the card account opening date. Valid till 30 April 2023. T&Cs apply.


#3 DBS Altitude Visa Signature Card: Best for expiry-free DBS Points and bonus miles

The DBS Altitude Visa Signature Card is a wise pick for the miles chaser who prefers to take things leisurely with an all-in-one credit card. There’s no minimum spend to start racking up expiry-free DBS Points that you can redeem for air miles, cash rebates or vouchers. 

There are plenty of ways you can earn and accumulate flexible DBS Points:  

  • 3 DBS Points for every S$5 spent or 1.2mpd spent locally, including bus and train rides
  • 5 DBS Points for every S$5 spent or 2mpd spent in foreign currency
  • 7.5 DBS Points for every S$5 spent or up to 3mpd spent on online flight & hotel transactions (capped at S$5,000 per month)
  • 25 DBS Points for every S$5 spent or up to 10mpd spent on Kaligo and Expedia

Of course, there’s no limit to how many DBS Points you can earn on your local and overseas transactions, making this card a fabulous choice if you have big-ticket items to pay for. 

Additionally, you have the option of earning 5,000 bonus DBS Points (equivalent to 10,000 miles) when you pay the annual fee. 

This card offers two free Priority Pass lounge visits within each 12-month period of your membership and up to S$1 million travel accident insurance coverage when you charge your full travel fare to this card. 

Eligibility for foreigners: Minimum annual income of S$45,000 

Alternative: Citi PremierMiles Card 

Welcome Gift: Receive S$150 cashback when you key in the promo code 150CASH upon application and make a minimum spend of S$800 within 60 days of card approval. Valid till 31 March 2023. T&Cs apply.

If you're not a new DBS/POSB credit cardmember, consider these promotions instead.


#4 American Express Platinum Credit Card: Best for luxurious lifestyle and dining perks

The American Express Platinum Credit Card is the card for the expat who enjoys the finer things in life. While its S$321 annual fee is on the higher side, this American Express card’s slew of luxurious perks will pay for itself in no time. 

Besides sipping on free drinks at fancy bars, foodies will adore the ability to scoop up dining discounts of up to 50% at select restaurants peppered across the island and within some of the best luxury hotels in Singapore.

There are wellness and golf privileges available, too. You’ll also enjoy 90-days return guarantee and 90-days purchase protection, along with travel accident insurance coverage, fraud protection and American Express Global AssistTM.

What about rewards on purchases? You’ll earn 2 Membership Rewards Points per S$1.60 spent, wherever that may be. That goes up to 10 Membership Rewards Points per S$1.60 spent at Platinum 10Xcelerator Partners like Laneige and The Hour Glass. Your Membership Rewards Points do not have any expiry date. 

Eligibility for foreigners: Minimum annual income of S$80,000

SingSaver's Exclusive Offer: Receive a Sony HT-S20R 5.1ch Home Cinema Soundbar (worth S$302) or S$200 cash when you make a min. spend of S$500 and annual fee payment within the first month of card approval. Valid till 28 February 2023. T&Cs apply.


#5 Citi Cash Back: Best for dining, groceries and petrol

Do most of your monthly expenses revolve around dining, groceries and petrol? If so, the Citi Cash Back could be perfect for your lifestyle. 

One of Citibank’s most popular credit cards, Citi Cash Back lets you earn 8% cashback on grocery shopping online and in-store; 8% cashback on petrol (up to 20.88% savings at Esso and Shell); and 6% on dining at restaurants, cafes and more. 

All these apply whether you’re in Singapore or back in your home country. You’ll earn unlimited 0.25% cashback on all other spend. You’ll also enjoy up to S$1 million coverage when you charge your travel tickets to the card.

The only catch is that you’ll have to meet the minimum spend requirement of S$800 per statement month in order to earn the high cashback, capped at S$80 across categories per statement month. The fact that the cashback cap isn’t split across categories is great, because it won’t matter if you tend to spend more on a specific category, say, dining. 

Eligibility for foreigners: Minimum annual income of S$42,000

Alternative: UOB EVOL Card


SingSaver Exclusive Offer: Receive a Dyson Supersonic (worth S$699) or a Nintendo Switch OLED (worth S$549) or an Apple AirPods Pro 2nd Gen + MagSafe Charger bundle (worth S$421.90) or S$350 cash via PayNow when you make a min. spend of S$500 within 30 days of card approval. Valid till 14 February 2023. T&Cs apply.

Plus, enjoy up to 2% cashback on all qualifying spend and up to S$756 worth of exciting gifts when you apply for the Citi Cash Back+ card and join Citi Plus. T&Cs apply.

#6 UOB PRVI Miles American Express Card: Best for rapid miles accumulation

Are you a big spender who’s keen on accumulating miles rapidly? Consider the UOB PRVI Miles American Express Card. You can snag the generous 20,000 loyalty miles without paying the annual fee so long as you hit the minimum spend criteria of S$50,000 per year — a feature that’s exclusive to this card. 

What about your ability to chalk up miles on everyday expenses? Fret not, the UOB PRVI Miles American Express Card is one of the more generous ones on the market: you’ll enjoy 1.4mpd on local spend (UNI$3.5 per S$5 spend) and 2.4mpd overseas spend (UNI$6 per S$5 spend), including online shopping on overseas websites. There’s no minimum spend and cap on miles earned at all times, too. 

When the time comes for you to go on that well-deserved vacation or visit family and friends back home, you can expect to earn 6mpd (UNI$15 per S$5 spend) on major airlines and hotels worldwide when you charge your Agoda, Expedia or UOB Travel purchases to the UOB PRVI Miles American Express Card. While you’re at it, remember to utilise complimentary airport transfers to Changi Airport, capped at eight trips per year! 

Eligibility for foreigners: Minimum annual income of S$80,000

Welcome Gift: Receive up to 44,800 miles when you apply and fulfill the respective min. spend requirements. T&Cs apply.



Which foreigner credit card should you pick?

Credit Card Best ForIncome Requirement
UOB Absolute Cashback CardUnlimited cashback with no spend exclusions, no minimum spendS$80,000
HSBC Revolution Credit Card Online purchases and contactless payment transactionsS$40,000
DBS Altitude Visa Signature CardExpiry-free DBS Points with no minimum spend and bonus milesS$45,000
American Express Platinum Credit CardLuxurious lifestyle and dining perks S$80,000
Citi Cash BackDining, groceries and petrol S$42,000
UOB PRVI Miles AmexRapid miles accumulationS$80,000

 The right foreigner credit card for you may very well be different from the one most suited to another expat.

For instance, an expat who enjoys living it up can benefit from the luxe lifestyle and dining perks offered by the American Express Platinum Credit Card. On the other hand, a more frugal expat who tends to only spend on essentials may prefer the Citi Cash Back Card

For those who want to earn fuss-free cashback on everything they spend on, including insurance payments and bills, you can’t go wrong with the UOB Absolute Cashback Card

Consider your own lifestyle and spending habits, annual income as well as preference for earning rewards points, miles, or cashback. It really pays to do your homework if you want to maximise each dollar of yours with a credit card.  

Read these next:
Best Premium Credit Cards In Singapore (2021)
Premium Credit Cards: Which Gives High Income Earners The Best Value?
Best Credit Cards for Paying Utility Bills in Singapore
Best Bill & Tax Payment Services That Still Earn You Rewards & Miles In Singapore
Best Dining Credit Cards In Singapore (2021)

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.