Best Credit Card for Expats

Best Credit Cards for Expats in Singapore

Top 7 Credit Cards that Expats in Singapore Will Love

Living a new life – from your native country to Singapore – can be exciting. Singapore, after all, is a land filled with promise. There, you can find top-rated shopping malls, hotels, restaurants, gardens, buildings, communities, and basically, entertainment centres of sorts. There, you can begin welcoming a happy-go-lucky life and let new experiences shape you for the better.

Then again, starting anew in Singapore may not be as effortless as you think – especially when it comes to your financial obligations. You would have to mind the cost of living. Particularly, you would have bills to pay, savings, and daily expenses to worry about.

This means, if you’re used to splurging, you may have to kick the habit out of your life. Unless, you don’t have a problem with debts and also a bad credit history, that is.

On top of that, a solution is to apply for a credit card specially for expats. Because it comes with great perks, using such a credit card can lessen your financial load a bit.

Here are 7 credit cards for expats.

Credit Card Best for…
DBS Altitude (AmEx & VISA) Global butler service
ANZ VISA Travel Signature DragonPass lounge access
UOB Miles AmEx PRVI Platinum FREE 20,000 miles
AmEx True Cashback Cashback
SC Manhattan Low credit line
HSBC VISA Platinum Petrol
SingPost Platinum VISA Online shopping

1. DBS Altitude (American Express & VISA)

Highlight: Global butler service

The DBS Altitude credit card (available as American Express or VISA) is a brilliant card for expats because of the plethora of DBS services. And of which is the global butler service!

This means that as a DBS Altitude credit cardholder, you get a personal butler. If you need assistance of sorts, the butler can come to your rescue anytime you want.

Additional info:

  • Global recognition (as VISA-branded card)
  • Dining privileges under American Express Selects
  • 1-year annual fee waiver (SGD $192.60 per year)
  • 10,000 bonus miles upon payment of annual fee
  • Complimentary travel insurance (SGD $1,000,000 coverage)

2. ANZ VISA Travel Signature

Highlight: Complimentary DragonPass lounge access

If you’re an expat who travels regularly, the ANZ VISA Travel Signature card is a brilliant choice. With this card, you get 2 complimentary DragonPass lounge access. There are more than 800 DragonPass lounges worldwide, by the way.

Additional info:

  • 2,000 bonus miles as welcome bonus (minimum spend of SGD $500)
  • Flexible travel rewards programme
  • Exclusive deals with ANZ Spot Privilege (includes deals on fashion, dining, entertainment, and travel)
  • VISA Signature Privileges
  • 1-year annual fee waiver (SGD $200 per year)
  • 10,000 bonus miles upon payment of annual fee
  • Complimentary travel insurance (SGD $1,000,000 coverage)
  • Complimentary purchase protection (SGD $5,000 coverage)

3. UOB Miles American Express PRVI Platinum

Highlight: FREE 20,000 miles

You get free 20,000 miles once you’re a UOB Miles American Express PRVI Platinum credit cardholder. The freebie isn’t just a 1-time offer, but a yearly one. As it follows when you renew your credit card annually, you’re granted the generous amount of free miles.

Additional info:

  • Unlimited mileage earnings
  • Emergency assistance
  • Travel concierge service
  • Opportunity to join “Small Luxury Hotels of the World”
  • SGD $45 cashback on airport limousine service
  • 1-year annual fee waiver (SGD $256.80 per year)
  • Complimentary travel insurance (SGD $1,000,000 coverage)

4. American Express True Cashback

Highlight: Cashback

You’re a winner with the American Express True Cashback credit card. As the name suggests, cashback is yours as a cardholder – 3% cashback on all items, to be exact. Regardless of your preferred item (or service), you can get the cashback you need.

Additional info:

  • Dining privileges under American Express Selects
  • Exclusive deals
  • 1-year annual fee waiver (SGD $171.20 per year)

5. Standard Chartered Manhattan

Highlight: Low credit line

A factor that makes the Standard Chartered Manhattan a great, great card for expats is its low credit line. This means, it’s not relatively challenging to get approved for this even if you have bad credit history.

If you’ve suffered bankruptcy, or caused irrevocable damage to your credit profile, getting approval for other cards would be nearly impossible. With SC Manhattan credit card, however, bad credit isn’t an issue, at all.

Additional info:

  • 3% cashback (SGD $800 maximum per year)
  • 20% cashback on Uber fares
  • Complimentary Membership Starwood Preferred Gold
  • 1-year annual fee waiver (SGD $180 per year)

6. HSBC VISA Platinum

Highlight: Petrol

The HSBC VISA Platinum credit card allows you to be a rock star when you’re travelling via your car. This is due to the huge deals on petrol that you can receive as a cardholder. Apart from the 16% discount that you can get, you can also get 5% cashback – at Shell and Caltex stations island-wide.

Additional info:

  • SGD $160 cashback as bonus gift
  • Discounts on health and beauty, shopping, restaurant dining, and travel (under the card’s Home and Away programme)
  • 5% cashback on telco bills and groceries
  • 2% cashback at restaurants
  • 2-year annual fee waiver (SGD $180 per year)

7. SingPost Platinum VISA

Highlight: Online shopping

Expats who are avid online shoppers will adore the SingPost Platinum VISA. If you’re one of them, you will do, too. As an online shopper, you can get as much as 7% cashback on online purchases!

Additional info:

  • SGD $138 cashback as bonus
  • 2% cashback at select supermarkets (including Giant, Cold Storage, and NTUC Fairprice)
  • 0.25% cashback at participating merchants (including Pizza Hut)
  • 24-hour concierge
  • 2-year annual fee waiver (SGD $192.60 per year)

Bottom Line

Overall, these credit cards are the top contenders for expats in Singapore. If you want to have less difficult times as you live abroad, getting one of these credit cards may be of big help. Just choose one that best fits your lifestyle, make sure you keep up with the requirements, and go from there.

Let your experience of living abroad be a memorable one – one that you would want to narrate and one that will make you look forward for more. Especially if it’s your first experience in the island, you would want a positive experience, indeed!

Having one of these credit cards may not totally guarantee that your life in Singapore will be great, but it surely will take off a load. Look at it as a chance to live right. If you’re given something helpful, you wouldn’t want to turn your back on it, right?

Want to see more credit cards appropriate for you? See our list of the Best Credit Cards in Singapore to evaluate the most suitable card to apply.

For relevant concerns, don’t hesitate to leave a comment (or two) below.

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