How to Apply For a Credit Card in Singapore

Eliana Tan

Eliana Tan

Last updated 17 April, 2024

Ready to embark your credit card journey? From expert advice to insider tips, we have the credit card application guide for you!

Ready to start your credit card application? Whether you're a newbie eager to snag your first credit card in Singapore or a seasoned pro looking for the next best deal, this guide is your ultimate companion!

From the thrill of online applications to the nitty-gritty of eligibility criteria and the art of responsible card usage, we've got you covered! Here are some expert tips on how to apply for a credit card in Singapore.

 

Table of contents




Credit card application 101: How to apply for a credit card (online and offline)

Step 1: Research and compare credit cards (using SingSaver!)

  • Start your credit card journey by diving into the sea of options! (Here’s the ultimate guide to finding the perfect fit for your lifestyle, spending habits, and financial goals.)

Step 2: Navigate the bank’s website OR visit a bank branch

  • Sign up online through the official website offering your chosen credit card or trustworthy affiliate sites like SingSaver OR apply at a bank branch in person.
  • Complete the application form with your personal and financial details, as well as the required documents.
  • Requirements differ from provider to provider, but the most basic supporting documents typically include:
    • Copy of your NRIC/FIN, Employment Pass/Work Permit, or Passport
    • Income documents (e.g. latest computerised payslip, Income Tax Notice of Assessment, CPF Contribution History statements, certificate of employment)
  • For online applications, prepare yourself for the verification process (which could be done via SMS or phone call).

Step 3: Wait for your credit card

  • Sit back, relax, and wait for the bank to work its magic!
  • Once approved, your credit line will be opened and your brand new credit card will be delivered to you OR you can collect it in person at the bank.

Step 4: Activate your credit card

  • The credit card activation process also differs from provider to provider, but it can typically be done via ATM, SMS, phone call, or the bank’s official website or mobile app.
  • Now, enjoy racking up points, perks, and privileges on your new credit card!


Credit card requirements: eligibility, fees & charges

Eligibility

  • Age requirement: At least 21 years old
  • Income requirement: At least S$30,000 to S$50,000 annually (may differ for premium credit cards)
  • Credit history: A good credit history is often necessary for approval of credit card application (i.e. credit score, existing debts, repayment behaviour)

Fees & charges

Card fee and charge
What it is
Annual fee
The membership fee for credit card ownership; differs from card to card 
 
Most entry-level credit cards bear a S$196.20 annual fee (with a first-year waiver)
Late payment charge
The amount imposed on an overdue credit card bill payment
Minimum monthly payment
The least amount due each monthly billing cycle
Overlimit fee
The amount imposed when you exceed your credit card's monthly credit limit
Interest on purchases
The interest imposed on any unpaid amount (including late payment charges) until the outstanding balance is fully paid off
Interest on cash advances
The interest imposed on the cash advance amount withdrawn until the outstanding balance is fully paid off
Foreign currency transaction fee
The fee imposed upon converting foreign currency into local SGD during a transaction
Usually 2.25% from credit card issuer + 1% from Visa/Mastercard/AMEX
Dynamic currency conversion fee
The 1% fee imposed on foreign transactions paid in local SGD in situ, instead of the foreign currency



How do I choose a credit card?

If you’re feeling overwhelmed with choice, fret not! Here are some key factors you can take into consideration when choosing the right credit card for you.

Spending habits, lifestyle, and rewards

Take a moment to reflect on your spending habits: Do you find yourself indulging in shopping splurges often? How frequently do you jet off on adventures? And what's your usual grocery bill like?

By pondering these questions, you'll gain valuable insights into which perks and privileges align perfectly with your lifestyle. Whether you're about racking up air miles, cashing in on cashback, or revelling in rewards, these considerations are key.

So, when it comes to choosing your credit card, opt for one that dishes out generous rewards tailor-made to elevate your spending game!

 

Welcome offers and sign-up bonuses

When selecting the perfect credit card in Singapore, don't overlook the allure of sign-up bonuses and welcome gifts. These perks can add instant value to your card experience, whether through cashback, miles, or exciting rewards.

At SingSaver, we've got you covered with irresistible sign-up bonuses and welcome gifts from top banks. From bonus cashback to extra air miles, our exclusive deals help you to reap rewards from day one itself!


Annual fees and charges

When hunting for the perfect credit card in Singapore, don't overlook the fine print – especially when it comes to annual fees and charges. Take a close look at what you'll be paying annually, along with any extra fees like foreign transaction charges or late payment penalties. 

Ask yourself: do the perks and rewards stack up against these costs? Doing this ensures that your card not only suits your lifestyle but also makes financial sense in the long run.



How do I use my credit card responsibly?

With great power comes great responsibility… And with a great credit card comes some great SingSaver tips on how to utilise it wisely!

Spend within your means

While the thrill of a new credit card can be exhilarating, let’s not get carried away as we’re swiping away. Before your next swipe, it is important to practise mindful spending

Whether you prioritise saving prudently or spending freely, make sure to track your expenses to ensure you have the means and ability to pay off your monthly credit card bill. Another insider tip is to try to maintain a 30% utilisation ratio each month to keep your bills affordable and stress-free!

Pay your monthly bill fully and punctually 

To master responsible credit card usage, always prioritise paying your bill in full and on time. By settling your balance promptly, you avoid the trap of accumulating interest, which can quickly snowball into significant debt. If paying in full isn't feasible, aim to at least cover the minimum payment to prevent interest from piling up.

For those prone to forgetting due dates, automate your payments with GIRO for peace of mind. This ensures you never miss a beat and sidestep late fees. By staying on top of your payments, you're not just managing your credit card wisely – you're taking control of your financial future.

Utilise your rewards

To optimise your credit card spending, don't miss out on maximising your rewards. However, remember to also keep an eye out for minimum spending requirements and expiry dates tied to your rewards, and keep track of your points. Stay alert for bank promotions to get the most out of your benefits!



How to apply for a credit card on SingSaver?

Step 1: Navigate the SingSaver website 

  • Sign up online through SingSaver!
  • Complete the application form with your personal and financial details, as well as the required documents.
  • Requirements differ from provider to provider, but the most basic supporting documents typically include:
    • Copy of your NRIC/FIN, Employment Pass/Work Permit, or Passport
    • Income documents (e.g. latest computerised payslip, Income Tax Notice of Assessment, CPF Contribution History statements, certificate of employment)
  • Prepare yourself for the verification process (which could be done via SMS or phone call).

Step 2: Wait for your credit card

  • Sit back, relax, and wait for the bank to work its magic!
  • Once approved, your credit line will be opened and your brand new credit card will be delivered to you.

Step 3: Activate your credit card

  • The credit card activation process also differs from provider to provider, but it can typically be done via ATM, SMS, phone call, or the bank’s official website or mobile app.
  • Now, enjoy racking up points, perks, and privileges on your new credit card!

Step 4: Seize the SingSaver Rewards Redemption Form

  • Keep an eye on your inbox for your exclusive Reward Redemption Form.
  • Fill it out and send it in within 14 days of applying for the product to qualify for
    exciting promotions.

Step 5: Claim Your SingSaver Rewards

  • After we've checked and processed your reward (this could take up to 120 days), watch out for an email with all the details you need to redeem your prize.
  • Don't miss out – make sure to grab your reward within one month of the start date!


Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

How long does an application take?

A: The full duration needed to get a credit card depends on how long you take to complete the initial application and how long the bank takes to review and process the approval. Online applications typically require 15 to 30 minutes to complete, while offline applications take slightly longer due to in-person submissions. The banks’ processing duration will differ based on internal procedures but should typically take a few business days.

How to check credit card application status?

A: Visit the bank's website or mobile app and navigate the credit cards section. Look for the option to check application status and provide your application reference number or other required details. Alternatively, you could also contact the bank's customer service hotline. (Remember to allow a few business days for processing before checking your status!)


Looking for the best credit cards to complement your spending patterns and expenditure in 2024? Check out our Ultimate Credit Card Guide that covers all things credit cards in Singapore – from choosing between a cashback, miles, or rewards credit card to planning your credit card strategy.

 

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