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S$500 limit credit cards
Learn how S$500 limit credit cards work and find one that suits your income level, spending habits and lifestyle.
If you’re a student or earn a minimum annual income between S$18,000 and S$30,000, you may be considering getting a S$500 limit credit card. If you’re unsure how a S$500 limit card works, want to weigh up its pros and cons or learn how to compare them, we’ll help you decide whether it’s the right credit card for you.
Compare S$500 limit credit cards
How do S$500 limit credit cards work?
The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) stipulates that the minimum annual income requirement for holding a credit card is S$30,000 for individuals between 21 and 55 years old. However, several banks do offer credit cards to those who don’t meet these minimum income requirements. While specific eligibility requirements differ between banks, what they have in common is that the credit limit available is usually S$500.
A S$500 limit credit card simply means that you’re limited to “borrowing” up to S$500 in credit from the bank. You won’t be able to borrow any more on this card until you repay this balance. Typically, all student credit cards have a S$500 limit. However, even if you aren’t a student, as long as you meet the minimum income and age requirements of the specific card, you may still be able to qualify.
How to compare credit cards with S$500 limits
Before applying for a S$500 limit credit card, consider the following key factors:
- Annual fee. Consider whether you can afford to pay the annual fee as well as the criteria to waive the annual fee and whether the cost of the annual fee is offset by other card features. The annual fee for credit cards with a S$500 limit typically ranges from S$0 to S$190.
- Interest rates. If you’re unable to fully repay your balance every month, you’ll be charged a hefty interest rate. To avoid incurring these charges, consider dividing your financial burden into smaller repayments over time with a credit card that offers a 0% interest instalment plan or an interest-free purchase period from between 3 and 12 months.
- Rewards. Will you actually fully utilise the range of benefits available? Consider whether the rewards offered by a specific card suit your lifestyle and tastes – otherwise you may not reap the maximum perks of that card. Keep in mind, S$500 limit cards typically offer limited reward options.
- Additional card features. Some cards may offer welcome gifts; discounts on dining, entertainment and transport; or complimentary access to airport lounges worldwide. Consider whether these promotions are appealing to you and whether all these benefits outweigh the annual fee and any other credit card fees you’ll have to pay.
Pros and cons of a S$500 limit credit card
If you’re unsure whether a S$500 limit credit card is the right choice for you, check out the following pros and cons.
- Build a good credit history. If you’re a first-time cardholder and don’t have a prior credit score, starting with a S$500 limit credit card can help you establish a good credit standing. This will make it easier for you to gain approval for other financing in the future.
- Encourage careful borrowing. The small credit limit reduces your risk of borrowing more than you can pay back.
- High rates and fees. If you don’t fully repay your balance by the due date, you’ll be charged considerable interest as well as a late repayment fee. If you use your card to get a cash advance or to purchase something while overseas, you could also incur high foreign currency transaction and cash-advance fees.
- Limited range of rewards. While some S$500 limit cards may give you access to dedicated, bank-wide reward programs, you may still find the range of perks available quite restricted.
How to apply for a S$500 limit credit card
To apply, choose a card provider that suits you and click the green “go to site” button in our comparison table [link to table]. Once you’re on the specific landing page, follow the instructions outlined by the card provider to initiate the application process.
Here’s a quick checklist of the eligibility requirements you’ll need to meet:
- Age. Similar to other standard credit cards, you’ll need to be at least 18 years old to apply (as a primary cardholder). If you’re under 21, you’ll also need to supply a copy of your parent’s or guardian’s NRIC.
- Student ID. Depending on the bank, you’ll need to provide proof that you’re currently studying at one of the qualifying tertiary institutions.
- Residency status. Some cards are open to Singaporean citizens and permanent residents as well as foreigners. Check the individual requirements of your chosen card before applying.
- Income. If you’re a full-time student, there’s no minimum income requirement. However, if you’re studying part-time and working on the side, you’ll need to demonstrate a minimum annual income between S$18,000 and S$30,000.
- Credit history. It’s most likely you won’t have an existing credit history if you’re a student. If you’re not a student, you’ll need a good credit rating to apply.
Documents you’ll need to apply
If you meet the eligibility criteria, you can apply online. You’ll need to provide some personal details, including the following:
- Personal information. You’ll need to provide your full name, NRIC number, date of birth, residential address and contact details as well as proof of current enrolment at a qualifying tertiary institution.
- Parent or legal guardian’s details. If you’re under 21, you’ll also need to provide your parent’s or legal guardian’s details, including their name, NRIC/passport number, relationship to you, contact details and employment details.
What happens after I apply?
Once you’ve filled out the online application form, you’ll be able to review all the information you’ve provided before you click “submit”. You will then reach a screen that notifies you when your form has been submitted. Your card approval should be processed in one to two weeks’ time.
Once approved, you should receive your new card in the post. You’ll need to follow the specified activation instructions before you can start using the card.
Alternative financing options
If you’re unsure a S$500 limit card is right for you, you can consider the following options:
- Prepaid card. With a prepaid card, you can preload money onto it. This will not attract interest fees since it’s not considered credit, and you won’t fall into debt. With this card, you could gain the flexibility and convenience you’re looking for since it will be accepted just like any Visa or Mastercard.
- Debit card. If you’re looking for quick access to funds, you could consider opening a savings account to pay for any unexpected emergencies and linking the account to a debit card. This may be a more affordable option because withdrawing from a savings account typically won’t incur any interest fees, and you won’t have to worry about repaying balances by a due date. The difference between a debit card and a prepaid card is that a debit card is limited by your bank account balance, while a prepaid card is restricted by how much money you’ve preloaded onto it.
- Supplementary credit card. As long as you’re 18 or over, you can request to become a supplementary cardholder on your parents’ credit card account. This means your credit card will be linked to their account. This may be a convenient option if you’re still under 21 since your parent or guardian will remain legally responsible for all expenses incurred on your card.
A S$500 limit credit card could be suitable for you if you’re a student or low-income earner who wants convenient access to short-term funds and the opportunity to build a good credit history. However, if it’s likely you won’t be able to fully pay your balance when it’s due, you might be better off considering what other financing options are available to you. If you’re ready to find the right S$500 limit credit card for you, start comparing your options now [link to comparison table].
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