GoBear is now part of Finder

Finder is committed to editorial independence. While we receive compensation when you click links to partners, they do not influence our content.

Best student debit cards

Breeze through day-to-day transactions with debit cards designed to match the fast-paced lifestyle of young adults.

Without full-time employment and credit rating, the eligibility criteria posed by credit cards tend to be out of reach for most students.

But this does not mean students will have no access to attractive card promotions and perks, since debit cards these days offer almost as wide a range of benefits and some are even designed with the student’s lifestyle in mind.

Read on to find out more about debit cards in Singapore that suit the student’s everyday needs.

What is a debit card?

Debit cards are linked to your bank account and work on the same network payment processors as credit cards, either Visa or Mastercard. So they are accepted wherever credit cards are.

When you charge a purchase to your debit card on Visa or Mastercard, the funds are automatically deducted from your bank account. This means that the transaction will be rejected if your account does not have sufficient funds. Do note that the process for fund deduction from your bank account might take a few days.

Most debit cards in Singapore comes with multiple functions as ATM cards, EZ-Link cards, cash cards and more, making them a great all-in-one card for your wallet.

What’s the difference between credit and debit cards?

The main difference between a credit card and a debit card is that a credit card lets you borrow now and pay later for goods and services. A debit card only lets you make purchases with the money available in your bank account, which will be debited during the transaction.

Both cards can be used as a convenient way to meet day-to-day spending or for bigger purchases. Keep in mind that, with a credit card, you’re borrowing money and so you’ll be charged interest on what you owe – unless clear your balance in full each month.

Compare between credit and debit cards

Are there any debit cards specially designed for students?

Although there aren’t any debit cards tailored for students at the time of writing (23 May 2021), some banks in Singapore offer student credit cards that don’t require any credit check and comes with a monthly credit limit.

Check out our guide for the best student credit cards in Singapore.

Compare a range of student debit cards in Singapore

Name Product Annual Fee Minimum Income Minimum Age Requirement Mobile payments
YouTrip
S$0
S$0
N/A
Apple Pay, Google Pay

Use promo code FINDER5 to earn $5 on signup.

A prepaid Mastercard with no monthly fees, contactless payment features and fee-free transactions in over 150 currencies. NOTE: Promo code valid for new signups and Singapore residents only.
Revolut Metal
S$0
S$0
N/A
Apple Pay, Google Pay

Get 20% cashback on all eligible public transport expenses in Singapore when you pay with Revolut. Valid until 31 December 2021.

An exclusive premium contactless card that allows for unlimited currency exchanges, a free Lounge Pass, and 1% cashback on expenses.
Revolut Premium
S$0
S$0
N/A
Apple Pay, Google Pay

Get 20% cashback on all eligible public transport expenses in Singapore when you pay with Revolut. Valid until 31 December 2021.

On top of standard Revolut perks, this debit card comes with unlimited spending and free overseas ATM withdrawals, up to $700 per month.
Wise Multicurrency Account
S$0
S$0
N/A
Apple Pay, Google Pay
Wise (formerly TransferWise) is an international account for over 50 currencies, with instant, super-cheap money transfer, a card to spend in any currency, bank details to get paid in 30 different countries and multi-currency direct debits.
Revolut Standard
S$0
S$0
N/A
Apple Pay, Google Pay

Get 20% cashback on all eligible public transport expenses in Singapore when you pay with Revolut. Valid until 31 December 2021.

Enjoy no monthly fees, competitive currency conversion rates, and spend in over 150 currencies with Revolut’s Standard card.
loading

Compare up to 4 providers

What are the benefits that come with debit cards

Debit cards are popular among students since they typically have yet to establish their credit history, making credit cards out of reach. In addition, students can also enjoy other benefits offered by debit cards, including:

  • Fast and easy application. Applying for debit cards doesn’t require any credit check (unlike credit cards) as you’re using your own money.
  • Protection against overspending. You can only spend your money that is in your bank account, so you won’t run the risk of racking up a huge debt.
  • Contactless payments. Most debit cards have secure chip technology and utilise NFC so you shop faster by tapping and go for your purchases under $100.
  • Widely accepted. Works similar to a credit card as you have access to most Visa and Mastercard merchants, locations and ATMs.
  • Secure. Debit cards are generally protected with a PIN and Zero Liability Protection.

Best debit cards for students in Singapore

Although there is no single best debit card on the market, you can definitely find one that’s best suited to your individual needs.

For example, those who are residing on campus may find debit cards with savings or rebates on groceries and public transport to be especially beneficial. So if you’re looking to apply for your first debit card, or switch up from your existing one, make sure to consider your lifestyle and spending habits alongside the card’s features.

Here are our top picks:

Debit cardPerks
  • Up to 3% Cashback
    when you spend on the following:
    • Online food delivery: Up to 3% Cashback
    • Local transport: Up to 3% Cashback
    • Local Visa Contactless: Up to 1% cashback
    • Foreign currency: Up to 2% cashback
  • Up to 10% cashback on online food delivery and local transport for new cardholders who apply online by 30 June 2021.
  • To be eligible for cashback, you’ll need to spend at least S$500 on Visa and keep your cash withdrawals to S$400 and below in the same month.
  • No foreign exchange fee on international purchases when you link this card to your DBS Multi-Currency Account (MCA)
  • Up to 60 stylish designs available
  • No annual fee
  • Unlimited 1% cashback at selected merchants (requires a minimum spend of S$400 at these merchants):
    • Fast food: McDonald’s, Subway, Burger King
    • Convenient stores: Cheers, 7-11
    • Online stores: Zalora, Lazada, iHerb, Fairprice Online
    • Transport : Grab, Comfort, CityCab, TADA, Go-Jek
  • No FX transaction fees
  • Comes with a FRANK account:
    • Earn up to 0.2% interest on your balance a year
    • No initial deposit is required and there are no monthly fees if you are below 26 years old
    • Money Insights feature offers a deeper insight to your spending patterns and habits
  • Up to 3% rebates:
    • Dairy Farm Singapore merchants. Up to 3% rebate when you shop at 7-Eleven, Cold Storage, Giant, Guardian, Jasons and Marketplace.
    • Grab transactions. Up to 1% rebate.
  • Monthly rebates for both Dairy Farm Singapore and Grab capped at S$20.
  • To be eligible for rebates, you’ll need to meet a minimum monthly spend of $500 on your UOB One Debit Card.
  • Annual fee: $18 p.a. (3-year annual fee waiver. For subsequent years, the annual fee is waivable with a minimum of 12 transactions per year)
  • Enjoy S$0 fees when you transact in 10 currencies for your retail purchase, online shopping and cash withdrawal
  • Earn up to 0.75% p.a. bonus interest on your SGD savings when you open a new HSBC Everyday Global Account before 31 May 2021
  • Unlimited 1% cash rebate when you shop with selected merchants, including:
    • Fast food: Macdonald’s, Subway, Burger King
    • Convenient stores: Cheers, 7-11
    • Online stores: Zalora, Lazada, iHerb, Fairprice Online
    • Transport : Grab, Comfort, CityCab, TADA, Go-Jek
  • To be eligible, you’ll need to spend a minimum of $400 per month.
  • Exclusive deals and discounts at partner merchants across various spending categories.
    • 4% rebate at Cold Storage, Market Place, Jasons, Giant and Guardian (online and in-stores)
    • Up to 3% cashback on online spend (Available for the first 20,000 customers, from 1 March to 30 June 2021)
    • 1% cashback at Takashimaya Department Store
    • 1-for-1 deals on the 10th day of every month
    • Free PAssion membership (worth $12)
    • Up to 10% cashback (capped at $50 per month) for the first 2 months on Dining and participating Dairy Farm Group (DFG) stores when you apply online by 30 June 2021. Requires a minimum spend of $500 per month from card approval date to qualify.

    Note: Information provided is accurate at the time of writing (22 May 2021)

    Digital alternative: Prepaid cards

    Besides the debit card options offered by local banks, you can also consider digital alternatives such as:

    Digital bankPerks
    Revolut
    • Domestic or overseas fund transfers, spend analytics and money management tools
    • Ability to spend in 150+ currencies at interbank exchange rates
    • Exchange in 28 fiat currencies — Up to S$9,000 per month
    • Revolut offers three account tiers:
      • Standard. Benefit from a free physical prepaid Revolut card and a wide range of finance management features without any monthly account fees.
      • Premium. At S$9.99/month, Revolut Premium comes with a free physical prepaid Revolut card, disposable virtual cards, fee-free overseas ATM withdrawals (up to $700 per month), complimentary travel insurance and more.
      • Metal. At S$19.99/month, Revolut Metal tier comes with an exclusive metal contactless card, fee-free overseas ATM withdrawals (up to up to $1,050 per month), unlimited $0 cost border transfers and more. Account holders can also enjoy 1% cashback on all international and domestic spend.
    YouTrip
    • Free physical card, no monthly fees and requires no minimum balance
    • Spend in 150 supported currencies at Mastercard’s wholesale exchange rate
    • Pay for online transactions without any zero currency conversion fees
    • Doubles up as an EZ-Link card
    • Hold and exchange up to 10 different currencies
    • View your balance, track transactions and deactivate or replace your card from the YouTrip app anytime
    • Keep track of your transactions with instant notifications.
    • Time-limited monthly rewards with #YouTripPerks.
    • Convenient fund reload with PayNow or any Singapore credit/debit card
    Wise
    • Prepaid Wise debit card is available at a one-off S$10 fee
    • Use your card in 200 countries, with your money being converted into the local currency using the real exchange rate
    • Hold and convert 50+ currencies in your account
    • Spend in Singapore and abroad using Apple Pay and Google Pay
    • Low-cost foreign transfers to over 70 countries
    • Freeze and unfreeze your card if it’s lost or stolen, receive spending notifications and access PIN reminders

    Note: Information provided is accurate at the time of writing (22 May 2021)
    Digital banks

    How do I compare debit cards for students?

    When planning to apply for a student debit card, make sure to find the bank that gives you the most benefits. Be mindful that most savings accounts that are linked to your debit card usually earn minimum interest.

    • Mastercard or Visa. The two main players in the debit card space in Singapore is Mastercard or Visa. Both have a global ATM network, use the latest in chip and data encryption technology and offer purchase protection if you meet the terms and conditions
    • No monthly or ongoing fees. Find out if there are any annual card fees. Fortunately, most banks in Singapore don’t charge any annual fees for debit cards, making them a good option for students.
    • Easy accessibility. If you tend to make cash withdrawal frequently, be sure to choose one that has an extensive ATM network. Also, if you need to visit the bank in-person for certain transactions, you should also pick a bank with branches near your school or residence.
    • Mobile and internet banking. As mobile banking nowadays makes day-to-day transactions faster and more convenient, it is wiser to check the bank’s mobile app as well and make sure it works on your Android phone, tablet or iOS device.
    • Special student offers. Promotional offers like discounts at shops may also be included in some student debit cards so it’s great to take a look as to which debit card gives you the best value for advantage in terms of charges, security and incentives. Don’t forget to carefully review your cardholder agreement.
    • Contactless payment. You can shop faster using PayPass or PayWave technology, which allows you to just tap and go for purchases under $100.

      What fees to expect with student debit cards?

      Opening a savings account in Singapore is usually free, but be wary of incurring the following costs while holding a savings account:

      • Monthly fees. This is the fee that the bank may charge for running the account. Most banks offering savings accounts in Singapore do not charge such fees, but you may experience this with multi-currency or bonus interest savings accounts.
      • Currency conversion fees. If you’re looking to transact in and out of a multi-currency savings account, you might rack up currency conversion costs.
      • Fall-below fees. You may be charged a small fee when your balance dips below the account’s average daily minimum.
      • Annual fees. It’s uncommon for debit cards to come with an annual fee, but depending on the perks offered, some may charge a fee after waiving the fees for a few years.

      How to apply for a student debit card

      To apply for a debit card, you’d first need to have a savings account with the bank of your choice.

      Most Singaporeans should already have a savings account, but if you’re intending to switch over to any bank or if you’re a foreign student who just arrived in Singapore, read our guide on how to open a savings account in Singapore.

      The sign-up process may also differ across banks, with some allowing for full online-based applications and others requiring a visit to your local bank branch. Here’s a typical signup process for debit cards in Singapore:

      1. Select the debit card you wish to apply
      2. Select the account to be linked to the card
      3. Input the name to be printed on the card
      4. Confirm your contact details and address
      5. Review the information provided and submit your application

      Frequently asked questions

      More guides on Finder

      • UOB Lady’s Savings Account review

        Benefit from up to S$200,000 protection against female-related cancers and a range of health benefits when you save with the UOB Lady’s Savings Account.

      • Standard Chartered Bonus Saver Review

        Earn boosted interest rates on the first S$80,000 of your Standard Chartered Bonus$aver account balance when you engage in any one (or more) of the five eligible categories.

      • UOB Stash Account Review

        Benefit from higher interest rates as you maintain or grow your monthly balance with UOB Stash Account.

      • Instarem Amaze review

        Benefit from 1% cashback, low-cost FX payments and seamless expense management with the Instarem Amaze card.

      • YouTrip vs Revolut vs Wise in Singapore

        Learn more about YouTrip, Revolut and Wise before deciding which one of these multicurrency wallets is most suitable for you.

      • Kraken vs Coinbase

        We compare the key differences between two of the most popular cryptocurrency exchanges in terms of fees, features, customer support and more.

      • YouTrip vs Credit Card

        Both prepaid cards and credit cards give you the option to shop with ease – here’s how they compare.

      • Canvas prepaid debit card review

        With the Canvas prepaid card and app, both your kids and domestic workers can benefit from more independence over pocket money and household expenses.

      • Gemini vs Coinbase

        We compare these two large cryptocurrency exchanges to see how their fees, features and customer support stack up.

      • Binance vs Coinbase: Which is best for you?

        Binance and Coinbase are two titans of cryptocurrency – let’s see how the two stack up and find out which suits your needs.

      Ask Finder

      You are about to post a question on finder.com:

      • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
      • finder.com is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
      • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
      • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked
      Finder.com provides guides and information on a range of products and services. Because our content is not financial advice, we suggest talking with a professional before you make any decision.

      By submitting your comment or question, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms.

      Questions and responses on finder.com are not provided, paid for or otherwise endorsed by any bank or brand. These banks and brands are not responsible for ensuring that comments are answered or accurate.
      Go to site