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Getting a student card could be a convenient way to independently manage your finances and help you learn how to budget well.
Use this guide to learn how to compare the different types of student credit cards available, rebates and rewards on offer and other important card features.
What’s unique about a student credit card is that there’s no minimum income requirement and you generally only need to be 18 or older – rather than 21 – to apply. Those under 21 may still be required to have their parent or guardian consent to their application and guarantee any payment of outstanding balances.
While the annual fee on student credit cards is usually low (or fee-free), banks offset the risk of default by placing a low credit limit on the card, which is usually S$500.
With a student credit card, you’ll have the flexibility to pay for expenses even when you don’t have cash available immediately. You’ll also receive rewards and rebates tailored for young people, such as discounted or free entry to clubs popular with university students and other dining and entertainment discounts. Some cards allow you to accumulate reward points and enjoy cashback benefits too.
Otherwise, student credit cards function in the same way as a regular credit card.
The best student credit card for you depends on what you want from the card, your spending habits and how responsibly you handle your credit limit.
Consider the following factors before deciding:
If you’re unsure whether a student credit card is right for you, consider the following pros and cons:
If you meet these application criteria, you can go ahead to fill out the online form. You’ll need to provide some personal details, including:
Once you have filled out the online application, you will arrive at the last page where you can review all the information you have filled in before you hit “submit”. You should reach a screen that informs you that your form has been submitted. The processing for card approval can take anywhere within a week to 2 weeks.
Once it is approved, you will receive the card in your mailbox and you’ll need to activate it before you can start using it.Back to top
Before applying for a student credit card, you should consider what other options are available to you.
With a prepaid card, you can preload money onto it. This will not attract interest fees since it is not considered credit and you won’t fall into debt. With this card, you could gain the flexibility and convenience you’re looking for, as it will be accepted just like any Visa or Mastercard.
As long as you’re at least 18, you can request to become a supplementary cardholder on your parents’ credit card account. Your credit card will be linked to their account, meaning they will remain legally responsible for all expenses incurred on your 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 that to a debit card. This may be a more affordable option as withdrawing from a savings account 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.
A student credit card could help you learn how to manage your finances and build a good credit standing while enjoying rebates and perks targeted at students. Plus, you could free up some helpful cash flow while you study. However, keep in mind that other financing options may suit you better. If you’re ready to find the best student credit card, start comparing your options now.
If I’m in my last year of study, should I wait until I graduate to choose a card so that I’ll have more card options?
You should check the specific eligibility requirements of each credit card to see what you need in order to qualify. Most standard credit cards will have minimum annual income requirements of at least S$18,000, and you’ll need to be at least 21 to apply. If you want a credit card as soon as possible, you could consider applying for a student credit card first and then moving on to a regular credit card once you meet the criteria after graduating.
Do I need to be at least 18 years to apply for a student card?
Yes. You must be 18 or older to apply for a student card. You don’t have to be over 21 to qualify; however, it’s best to check the specific eligibility requirements of your chosen card before you apply. For more information, check out our guide to credit card age requirements in Singapore.
Will my student credit card be cancelled once I graduate?
You’ll have to specify when you expect to complete your educational course in the application form. However, banks are keen to retain your business and will usually follow up after the expiry of your student card to offer you other cards from their range of products.
Will I be able to keep my student credit card if I change schools?
Each bank specifies the institutions at which you’ve got to be enrolled in to qualify for their student credit cards. While they do not actively monitor your enrolment, it may be an offence to mislead them if you transfer to a school that is not on their approved list.
Can I raise the limit of my student credit card?
No. Banks are particularly careful with student credit limits because most applicants have no prior experience in managing their own finances. It’s probably a better option to speak to family and friends about help with any major purchases you want to make
Can I get a student credit card with bad credit?
Having bad credit will often prevent you from being accepted for a credit card. That said, it may be worth looking into your options with secured credit cards. These types of card are tailored to those with bad credit, and they are used to help build-up credit history. Find out more about how this type of card works.
Do I need a job for a credit card?
Not necessarily, as there’s no minimum income requirement for most student credit cards. It’s also possible to get a credit card when you’re not earning by becoming a supplementary cardholder of another person close to you.
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