SAF eMart Shopping Guide – Best Things to Buy With Your NS Credits

Alevin Chan

Alevin Chan

Last updated 08 December, 2021

Not sure what to do with that pile of credits you’ve banked up over the years? How about revisiting your National Service days with these top 10 buys from the SAF eMart. 

As you’re probably aware, the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) consists of young male Singaporeans conscripted to serve under the National Service scheme (plus females who serve voluntarily), backed up by a large cadre of reserve forces. 

The latter, aka “reservists”, live civilian lives, but they have to undergo annual fitness tests and attend training call-ups that can last anywhere from days to weeks. This means they need to continue to be properly equipped, long after they have completed their training.     

Now, supplying such a large and diverse force and making sure they are well equipped at all times is no easy task. Afterall, it’s difficult to muster a convincing fighting force when half of them can’t even fit into their uniforms anymore. 

So how does the SAF do it? Through online shopping, of course. 

Using the SAF eMart system, NSmen are allocated credits on a periodic basis (most commonly, once a year), which they can use to buy needed supplies and replace worn out uniforms, boots and other necessary gear. 

They can choose to do so via the SAF eMart online shop, or pay a visit to any of the eMart outlets located throughout Singapore. 

Now, SAF items are known more for utility and function, but that doesn't mean there aren’t any gems to be found. On the contrary, many NSmen have grown to love some of the standard-issue items they first encountered during their National Service days. 

And even better, if you have enough credit saved up, you can get these items for free.

How many credits do eligible NS personnel receive? 

Active NSmen and support personnel are periodically provided with eMart credits so they can purchase the items they need on their own. 

This arrangement allows the SAF to solve the logistical challenge of kitting out every NSman in a timely manner while minimising wastage. 

Refer to the table below for a guide to how many credits you will receive. 


Category Credits
Active combat vocations 260 credits per year
Active non-combat vocations 170 credits per year
Active permanent PES E NSF 120 credits per year
Active NSmen 113 credits every 2 years or 226 credits every 4 years
Active SAFVC Volunteers 50 credits after each year of service


Category Credits
Active combat vocations 260 credits per year
Active non-combat vocations 200 credits per year
Active permanent PES E NSF 120 credits per year
Active NSmen 115 credits every 2 years or 230 credits every 4 years
Active SAFVC Volunteers 50 credits after each year of service
Active combat vocations 260 credits per year


Category Credits
Group A 210 credits per year
Group B 230 credits per year
Group C 270 credits per year
Group D 300 credits per year
Active NSmen 115 credits every 2 years or 230 credits every 4 years
Active SAFVC Volunteers 50 credits after each year of service

What if I have insufficient credits? 

If you run out of credits during your shopping spree, fret not. 

You can simply pay for the difference using your credit or debit card (VISA or Mastercard only) and DBS PayLah! when shopping online.

Not all credit cards are created equal. If it comes down to using your credit card to get more items from the SAF eMart, make sure you use the right one that suits your needs.

If you don’t have the right one yet, we’ve got you covered with a handy credit card comparison, and some benefits to go along with your application.

You may also pay cash if you’re buying your items in-store. 

When making payment, your eMart credits will be deducted first (including delivery charges), with any remaining balance settled up using any of the above methods.

We know you surely have your favourites, but here’s our pick of the 10 best things to buy at the SAF eMart.  

10 best things to buy at SAF eMart

Item Cost
Formal dress shoes (Army No. 3 shoes)  S$46.02
Green towel S$5.40
New Balance running shoes S$42.71
Running shorts (Admin shorts) S$4.55
Insect repellent S$2.12
Thermometer S$1.62
Swimming trunks S$3.53
Ear plugs S$1.68
Tri-fold toiletry pouch S$7.90
Army green singlet S$4.35

Formal dress shoes (Army No.3 shoes): S$46.02

Here’s a pair of quietly stylish dress shoes you can wear at the office or for formal occasions. These shoes are part of regulation wear for admin duties (aka No. 3 in SAF-speak) or non-combat personnel. 

Green towel: S$5.40

We don’t know what sorcery they employed to make these the most comfortable, absorbent, long-lasting cotton towels you’ll ever use, but if thousands of NS boys swear by it, you know you won’t go wrong. 

New Balance running shoes: S$42.71

Instead of wasting time and money trying on pair after pair of running shoes in a bid to find the perfect fit, take a shortcut by buying a pair of these first. 

They are chosen to provide appropriate comfort and protection for the majority of men and women serving National Service (you’ve never run that much in your entire life - nor will you ever, unless you go on to compete in Ironman events or marathons) so they should work reasonably well for you too. 

Even if they don’t - hey, it’s free, or at most S$50 and change.

Black cotton shorts (Admin shorts): S$4.55 

A pair of all-purpose shorts that are oh-so-comfy (especially after a few wears), suitable for quick grocery runs around the neighbourhood, household chores, or simply lounging around the house.  

Insect repellent: S$2.12

The SAF insect repellent is created to fend off battle-hardened mosquitoes that lurk in the forested training grounds of Mandai and Brunei. Recommended if you’re tired of weak, mass-market formulas that do nothing but mildly annoy mosquitoes and other insects out for your blood.

Thermometer: S$1.62

Nothing fancy here, just a basic thermometer that works. Handy to keep around the house for impromptu temperature checks, as is fashionable these days. 

Swimming trunks: S$3.53

These aren’t your daddy’s Speedos (thank goodness). 

They’re sensible, utilitarian swimming trunks that do the job they were meant to - provide a suitable amount of modesty as you lounge around your condo’s swimming pool (in happier, pre-COVID-19 days), without drawing any unnecessary attention.

Ear plugs: S$1.68

Field-tested to provide ear protection against the deafening roar of live-fire bullets, these ear plugs are a great way to safeguard your ears at your next EDM rave in Bangkok (whenever that will be).

Tri-fold toiletry pouch: S$7.90

Neatly pack and transport your personal toiletries for your next staycation with this handy tri-fold toiletry pouch. It’s waterproof for easy care, and contains several compartments for easy organisation. 

When it’s time to check-out, simply fold and snap shut to secure all your belongings. Easy breezy.   

Army green singlet: S$4.35

A life-saver in Singapore’s humid tropical climate, the signature Army singlet provides comfort and utility in one. 

The lightweight, breathable material stands up to all-day wear, making it a great choice whether you’re sheltering from the heat at home, or out for a quick run to the mama shop.

Does eMart offer home delivery? 

Yes, you may opt for home delivery at S$12.50 per trip. Each delivery will take around three working days to complete, longer if you require additional services like sewing or embroidery. 

Can I opt for self-collection for my SAF eMart purchase?

eMart outlets

Yes, you may opt to self-collect your order from any SAF eMart outlets located throughout Singapore. 

We recommend going to one of the three publicly-accessible eMarts (see below) instead of one located in a military camp, in case you do not have the required clearance to enter the camp.


Another option for self-collection is to make use of the eLocker service. You can store your items in these lockers until you pick them up. 

Note that you have a maximum of three days upon notification to collect your items, or they will be sent back. You’ll need a smartphone or tablet with data connectivity to pick up your purchase, as you will need to scan a QR code.

Here are the locations of the eLockers.

Army (located outside camp)Maju Camp
Bedok Camp
Selarang Cam
Stagmont Camp
Pasir Ris Camp
Hendon Camp
Army (located inside camp)Mandai Hill Camp
Kranji Camp 2
RSAF (located outside base)Paya Lebar Airbase
Tengah Airbase
RSN (located inside base)Changi Naval Base


Besides online, where else can I buy SAF eMart items?

You can choose to purchase your kit from any SAF eMart located around Singapore. Do note that some of these outlets are situated inside military bases, which are only accessible to authorised personnel, such as active NSmen. Some army camps also require a certain level of clearance before you are allowed entry.

However, there are also three publicly-accessible SAF eMarts you can visit to buy your items without having to clear security and all that fuss.

Here are the details.

eMart outlet Address and tel Opening hours
Chevrons eMart Address: 48 Boon Lay Way, Singapore 609961
Tel: 6862 5600
Daily: 10.30am to 8.30pm
SAFRA Mt Faber  Address: 2 Telok Blangah Way, Singapore 098803
Tel: 6272 1269
Daily: 10.30am to 8.30pm
SAFRA Punggol Lifestyle Mart Address: 9 Sentul Cres, Singapore 828654
Tel: 6243 6505
Daily: 10.30am to 8.30pm

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An ex-Financial Planner with a curiosity about what makes people tick, Alevin’s mission is to help readers understand the psychology of money. He’s also on an ongoing quest to optimise happiness and enjoyment in his life.


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