Poor credit can be a roadblock to being approved for a card, but you have options to get around it. The first step you can take towards building your credit is applying for a secured credit card.
To use a secured credit card you’ll need to put down an initial security deposit. Once you use the card and begin making timely payments your credit score should slowly tick up over time.
Secured credit cards in Singapore
A secured credit card requires collateral, which is typically in the form of a fixed deposit with the bank that issues the card you’re applying for. This way, the bank can offset any debt from the collateral in the event of default.
Most banks in Singapore do not publicise a secured credit card option. However, a lot of them do offer an arrangement when you enquire directly. The minimum amount of fixed deposit required for secured credit cards usually ranges between S$10,000 to S$50,000.
Compare secured credit cards
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Secured credit cards rundown
We’ve scoured the market looking for the very best secured credit cards that specifically have no annual fees. Among these $0 annual fee cards, we also highlight what factors make these cards attractive.
HSBC Secured Credit Cards
Our pick for best rewards
HSBC credit cards are known to offer a multitude of attractive promotions, reward earn and savings at a range of partner merchants. The cards are designed to suit a variety of lifestyles, so they have something to offer everyone. By accepting fixed deposit collaterals for secured arrangement, interested applicants who don’t meet the annual income requirement or has a salary proof can now have an alternative way of applying for a HSBC credit card.
Wide array of rewards: While rewards vary according to the specific card’s offer, expect rewards such as cash rebates, accelerated point earn rates and exclusive privileges.
Annual fee waivers. Enjoy two-year annual fee waiver for HSBC Visa Platinum/Revolution credit card. HSBC Advance Credit Card provides first-year annual fee waiver for all customers and perpetual annual fee waiver for advance banking customers. For HSBC Premier Mastercard credit card, the annual fee will be perpetually waived.
Transparency. Most banks only allow secured credit option through enquiry, but HSBC Bank publishes clear eligibility criteria for a secured collateral requirement.
Minimum deposit: Fixed deposit collateral of S$10,000.
Watch out for
Annual fees for subsequent years after the one or two years of introductory waiver.
CIMB Bank Secured Credit Cards
Our pick for low interest rate
CIMB Bank offers secured arrangement for four of its credit cards: CIMB Platinum Mastercard, CIMB Visa Signature, CIMB World Mastercard and CIMB Visa Infinite. All four of these cards offer cashback rewards, which is a percentage of money refunded on eligible purchases that will be credited into the primary cardholder’s card account every month. For a secured card, the rewards offered by these cards are stellar. Of course, you may find that having a fixed deposit with CIMB bank may post some inconveniences as it only has one branch in Singapore — but there are four excellent cards for you to choose from (if you’re eligible), making it easier to find on that suit your needs.
Cashback: Depending on which card you opt for, you can earn anything from 2% to 10% cashback on a variety of spending categories, such as dining, daily essentials, online shopping and lifestyle expenses.
Free for life. There are no annual fees for both primary and supplementary cards.
CIMB 0% i.Pay plan: Spread your transactions over flexible 6, 12 or 24 months zero-interest instalment plans.
Easy application. You may apply by completing and sending CIMB Bank’s application form via mail, or in-person.
Minimum deposit: CIMB SGD fixed deposit collateral of S$10,000 (CIMB Visa Signature/Platinum Mastercard) or S$50,000 (CIMB World Mastercard/Visa Infinite).
Watch out for
Watch out for: Comparatively fewer partner merchants.
Frequently asked questions
Yes, most bank will still provide interest on your fixed deposit if you use it as a collateral for your secured credit card.
Yes. You can use it like any other credit card, as long as you stay within your credit limit.
Many secured-card providers will check your credit. For that reason, you may be declined if your credit score is too low. If you’re declined for a secured card, consider applying with a provider that doesn’t check credit.
Zyane is an associate editor for Singapore at Finder. An experienced copywriter and content creator, Zyane enjoys writing on a wide array of subjects. When she’s not busy typing away, she’s reading and musing over a pint.
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