Compare credit cards for low-income earners in Hong Kong and find a card that suits your financial situation.
There is a range of credit cards in Hong Kong that have minimum income requirements of HK$40,000 to HK$80,000 per year. These cards provide people in lower income brackets with access to credit, and in some cases also keep fees and annual charges to a minimum. Here, we outline the different features available and key factors to consider so you can choose a credit card that suits your income and needs.
What are the features and benefits of a low-income credit card?
- Lower minimum income requirements. As the name suggests, low-income credit cards usually have lower minimum income requirements starting at HK$40,000 p.a. If your annual income fits within the HK$40,000 to HK$80,000 bracket, you may be eligible for one of these cards.
- Competitive annual fee. Low-income credit cards usually come with lower annual fees than more premium cards, with some starting at just HK$180. You might even be able to find a low-income card that waives the annual fee for the first year.
- Interest-free days. Most low-income cards offer interest-free days on purchases, although the number of days (such as up to 58 days) varies from card to card. To take advantage of these interest-free days, you have to pay your account’s closing balance completely every month.
- Added benefits. Although such cards keep the annual fees low, most do offer some extras, such as reward programmes, cash back, welcome gifts and shopping discounts.
- Build your credit score. If you have a low-income credit card, you could use the card to build up a healthy credit rating if you pay off your debt in full each statement period. A higher credit rating will improve your chances of approval when you apply for other loans in the future.
What should I consider when comparing for a low-income credit card?
There are a number of factors that it is important to bear in mind when applying for a low-income credit card. Here’s what you need to know:
- Minimum income requirements. Not all cards have the same minimum income requirements. While some allow applications from individuals who earn HK$40,000 p.a., others increase this requirement to HK$60,000 or even HK$80,000. Make sure that you have all of the necessary documents to prove your annual income before you apply.
- Earnings. If you don’t meet the minimum income requirement of any given credit card, you still have options. For instance, you could apply for a joint account and add your spouse’s income to your income as the total household earning. If this is not an option, start by opening a bank account and try to increase your work hours for a few months so you can meet minimum income requirements.
- Credit history. If you have a poor credit history, work on repairing your credit score before applying for a credit card. You can consider getting a temporary part-time job to increase your monthly income. Making sure you provide all the required information in your application also increases your chances of approval. If you’re not eligible to apply for a credit card, you might want to consider a prepaid card which offers some of the same payment flexibility as a credit card but without the need to borrow money.
- Affordability. Before you apply for the card, make sure you’ve checked that you can afford it. If you end up borrowing more than you can repay and build up debt, this will be expensive and have a negative impact on your credit rating. Read the card’s terms and conditions to make sure you understand all of the costs before applying.
Frequently asked questions about low-income credit cards