Best Credit Cards for First-Timer in Singapore

Top 8 Credit Card Offers in Singapore for a First-Timer

Are you thinking of applying for a credit card for the first time? Think of all the promising perks as a credit cardholder – the convenience, ability to use additional cash, and more. The thought of it seems exciting, right?

Then again, having zero credit history is a challenging obstacle – and one that you must work your way around. The consolation is that with determination and persistence (to show you’re a responsible individual), you’ll be looking at a successful card application pretty soon.

The table below features a line-up of credit cards that you might want to check out.

Credit CardBest for…
Amex Platinum Credit CardRewards
SC Unlimited Cashback Credit CardCashback
Maybank Family and Friends Card (with another Maybank Card)Free luggage
Citi VISA PremierMiles Credit CardTravel/air miles
DBS Esso Credit CardPetrol
HSBC Revolution Credit CardEntertainment
ANZ Optimum World MasterCardShopping
OCBC 365 CardDining

1: American Express Platinum Credit Card

Best credit card for: Rewards

As a first-timer, you’d have a grand time if your first-ever credit card came with a warm welcome. Do you think so, too?

The American Express Platinum Credit Card allows you to choose from two options of rewards.

Option 1

  • Annual fee waiver (for the first year)
  • Armet Samsonite Spinner Luggage (Expandable)

Option 2

  • Full fee offer
  • H5 B&O Play
  • Sigma Samsonite 76cm Luggage
  • 32” Philips Slim LED

Other credit card offers:

  • SGD $1.60 = 2 Points
  • SGD $1.60 = 10 Points under Platinum Extra partner establishments
  • Up to 50% discount under Love Dining Programme
  • Avail of special deals under American Express Selects
  • Up to 50% discount under Platinum Wellness
  • Enjoy discounted movie tickets under Platinum Entertainment
  • Complimentary access to Boingo hotspots (Wi-Fi) worldwide

2: Standard Chartered Unlimited Cashback Credit Card

Best credit card for: Cashback

Isn’t the sound of a credit card with unlimited cashback good? For first-timers, it must be!

The Unlimited Cashback Credit Card offered by Standard Chartered is a top contender as the best card for cashback because it offers UNLIMITED cashback. 1.5% cashback privilege is yours to enjoy with no cap. There’s no minimum spend, too!

Other credit card offers:

  • Complimentary parking under TANGS (Sundays to Mondays)
  • 0 admin fee under SMRT taxis
  • 10% discount at Harry’s (total bill)
  • Privileges under The Good Life
  • Annual fee waiver (for the first two years)

3: Maybank Family and Friends Card (with another Maybank Card)

Best credit card for: Free luggage

Did you know that you can receive an extravagant luggage set as welcome bonus when you apply (and get approved) for a Maybank Family and Friends Card along with your choice from all Maybank Cards?

Yes, a four-wheel 76cm trolley case and two-piece 70 cm Delsey Belfort Set is yours! The freebies are worth SGD $798!

Other credit card offers:

  • Maybank perks (seasonal special offers for visits to family attractions, theme parks, dining, travel, and more)
  • Additional welcome bonus of SGD $80
  • 0.3% cashback on all items
  • Up to 8% cashback (with minimum spend of SGD $1,000 for every calendar month)
  • Up to 8% cashback on taxi rides under SMRT, Premier Taxi, Grab Taxi, TransCab, and CityCab
  • 5% cashback (with minimum spend of SGD $500 for every month)
  • Annual fee waiver (for the first three years)

4: Citi VISA PremierMiles Credit Card

Best credit card for: Travel/air miles

With a Citi VISA PremierMiles Credit Card, if you spend any amount within the first three months of card ownership, you’ll get a reward of 15,000 Citi Miles. If you spend SGD $10,000 within the same period, an additional 15,000 Citi Miles is headed your way. And, if you spend SGD $10,000 on local items, you’ll get 12,000 Citi Miles.

New Citi PayAll feature: Earn miles/reward points (depending on card type) when you pay your tax, rent, condominium management fee, school fee or electricity bill with Citi PayAll on the Citi Mobile® App.

Other credit card offers:

  • 10,000 Citi Miles as bonus upon annual card renewal
  • SGD $1 = 10 Citi Miles (for travel bookings online)
  • SGD $1 = 6 Citi Miles
  • SGD $1 = 1.2 Citi Miles (for local spend)
  • SGD $1 = 2 Citi Miles (for overseas spend)

5: DBS Esso Credit Card

Best credit card for: Petrol

As a DBS Esso Credit Card holder, you’re a superstar at Esso stations! You get petrol savings of up to 19.5% at Esso stations island-wide – no limit, no minimum spend. You get 17% onsite discounts and up to 2.5% Smiles Points.

Other credit card offers:

  • SGD $5 = 1 DBS Reward Point
  • Up to 10% discount at The Chop House and Miam Miam
  • Up to 50% discount at participating Dining merchants island-wide
  • 15% discount at Raffles Singapore (total bill)

6: HSBC Revolution Credit Card

Best credit card for: Entertainment

5x rewards under Entertainment are up for grabs with the HSBC Revolution Credit Card. For every SGD $1 that you spend at entertainment merchants, you’ll get 5 Reward Points. If you visit family KTVs, clubs, bars, and local pubs, you’ll enjoy the big rewards!

Other credit card offers:

  • SGD $1 = 5 Reward Points (on online shopping and dining)
  • SGD $1 = 1 Reward Point on all purchases
  • Rebates and discounts under HSBC Vacations
  • 14% onsite discount at Caltex and Shell stations
  • Golden Village movie privileges
  • Up to SGD $180 cashback as welcome offer
  • 0 rewards cap

7: ANZ Optimum World MasterCard

Best credit card for: Shopping

You’ll get 5% cashback on Shopping with the ANZ Optimum World MasterCard. This includes online stores and fashion boutiques!

Other credit card offers:

  • 5% cash rebate on category choice; categories include grocery, dining, and travel
  • 1% unlimited cash rebates on all purchases
  • World MasterCard privileges

8: OCBC 365 Card

Best credit card for: Dining

If you dine out a lot – whether at local or overseas restaurants, the OCBC 365 Card’s cashback promos for dining are best for you. As a first-time credit card holder who dines out regularly, you’d love the idea of getting cashback.

On weekdays, for local and overseas dining, 3% cashback is yours. On weekends, you’ll receive 6% cashback on restaurants island-wide!

Other credit card offers:

  • 0.3% cashback on ALL spending
  • 3% cashback on TELCO bills, local supermarkets, and online purchases
  • 5% cashback on petrol purchases
  • Up to 18.3% discounts at petrol stations
  • 3% cashback on medical spending – under Child Development Account
  • Complimentary travel insurance (up to SGD $800 coverage)

Final Thoughts on Applying for a Credit Card as a Beginner

Applying for a credit card for the first time should be an exciting experience – and it should be a memorable one, too.

Credit card companies are just watching their backs – just like you are watching yours. It’s only reasonable of them to be stern during the initial process.

So, are you excited to have a credit card? As a beginner, the credit card application process can be intimidating, but as the classic saying goes, “there’s always going to be a first time.” Why not let that first time be NOW?

Do you want to share your thoughts regarding the subject? Kindly leave a comment below.


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