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Credit Card Minimum Payments

Find out how a minimum payment is calculated and when you need to pay.

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On every credit card statement, you’ll see both the closing balance and a “minimum payment” amount. While the closing balance is everything you owe, the minimum repayment indicates the amount you need to pay off before the due date in order to keep your account in good standing.

Paying only the minimum repayment each month may help you avoid a late payment penalty, but this approach can cost you money in the long run. Let’s take a look.

What is a credit card minimum payment?

A credit card minimum payment is as its name suggests – a minimum payment you must make towards your credit card balance each month. Essentially, it’s the least you must pay to avoid a late charge or fee.

Your bank or provider will work out the minimum sum based on your overall account debt and your card’s interest rate. When your credit card issuer sends you a bill every month, it’ll display your balance due (including all the purchases you’ve made within the month) and the minimum amount that needs to be paid for the month.

The minimum payment rate varies from lender to lender, but it’s typically 1–3% of your closing balance, with a minimum dollar charge of around S$20 to S$50.

How are credit card repayments calculated?

There are two basic forms of interest, simple and compound, and credit cards accrue compound interest. There are also two parts to a credit card balance, the principal balance and the interest charges. Simple interest is charged as a fixed percentage on only the principal balance, so as you pay it down, regardless of how much you pay, you will pay less interest in the subsequent period. This assumes you are not making any new purchases to add to the principal balance.

Compound interest is charged as a fixed percentage on both the principal balance and the existing interest charges, so as you pay it down, if you’re paying too little, you can end up paying more interest in the subsequent period. This is why it is important to pay off as much of your statement balance before its due date as possible, to avoid paying interest on interest. Our guide explains more about how interest rates work.

How much will my minimum repayment be if I spend S$1,000 each month?

Let’s assume you have a credit limit of S$5,000. If you charge S$1,000 to your card, your minimum payment due would be S$50 instead of 3% ($30). However, if you charge S$2,000 to your card, you’ll need to repay at least S$60 (3%).

What’s the minimum repayment sum for Singapore credit cards?

In Singapore, most banks set their minimum repayment sum at 3% of the outstanding amount or S$50, whichever is higher. The minimum repayment rate will be stated in the card’s terms and conditions, so make sure to look it up before applying for any credit card.

Here are the minimum monthly repayment requirements of some popular credit card issuers in Singapore:

Card IssuerMinimum payment formula (Including any fees and amount that is overdue and/or exceeds your credit limit)>Minimum dollar charge payment
American Express3% of the closing balance or S$50, whichever is higher$50
DBS/POSB2.5%-3% of the closing balance or S$50, whichever is higher$50
OCBC3% of the closing balance or S$50, whichever is higher$50
HSBC3% of the closing balance or S$50, whichever is higher$50
UOB3% of the closing balance or S$50, whichever is higher$50
CIMB3% of the closing balance or S$50, whichever is higher$50
Maybank3% of the closing balance or S$20, whichever is higher$20
Citibank1% of the closing balance or S$50 whichever is higher$50
Standard Chartered1% of the closing balance or S$50, whichever is higher$50

Work out how long it could take to pay down credit card debt

Use the calculator below to determine how long it will take you to pay off your debt based on how much you’re currently paying and how much you’d need to pay each month to meet your financial goal.

* Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this calculator, the results should be used as an indication only. They are neither an offer nor a pre-approval for a credit card.

What happens if you just make the minimum credit card repayment?

Take the example above. If you only repay S$50 each month, the remaining balance of S$950 will begin to incur compounding interest. Keep on charging S$1,000 to your card every month while only making S$50 repayment, you’ll find yourself exceeding your credit limit in five months.

Making only the minimum repayment each month is a highly dangerous practice that you should avoid at all costs. Here are the series of negative consequences that you could face if you only make the minimum credit card repayment each month:

  • Incurs exorbitant compounding interest. Paying only the minimum monthly requirement on your credit card bill could potentially cost you hundreds or thousands of dollars in compounding interest.
  • Long term debt. Leaving your outstanding debts unpaid, along with incurred interest, can cause you to carry a balance for several years.
  • Negatively impact your credit score. Continually carrying your outstanding balance over carries the potential risk of maxing out your credit limit and increasing your overall credit utilisation, which can negatively impact your credit score.

So instead of merely paying the minimum amount due, always strive to either pay off the complete outstanding amount or try to clear as much of the debt each month to decrease the value of the compounded interest rate.

What can I do if I’m struggling to make my repayments?

If you’re struggling to settle your credit card debt due to compounding interest or unforeseen challenges in life, contact your bank and inform them of your situation as soon as possible. There are instances where your bank can help you work out a payment alternative or restructure your total debt. You may also consider contacting debt management organisations such as Credit Counseling Singapore to help manage your debt better.

Consolidate your credit card debts with a 0% interest balance transfer facility

Another option you can consider to organise and pay down your credit card debts is by consolidating them with a 0% interest balance transfers facility. This means you can repay your debt without paying any interest for a promotional period (usually between 6 to 12 months) before the revert interest rate applies to your debt.

Bottom line

The best way to avoid incurring hefty interest charges is to always pay the entire amount, or as much as you can, before the statement due date. You should also be aware that apart from the credit card interest charges, there are various other fees such as annual fees, late payment charges, foreign currency transactions fees etc. These fees can also easily add up and balloon your overall credit card debt.

Frequently asked questions

Should I use a credit card payment calculator?

It’s up to you, but a credit card payment calculator can help you determine how long it will take you and how much it will cost you to repay your current credit card debt. If you’re struggling to repay your debt or need to create a budget plan to pay down your credit card, you could find a credit card payment calculator useful.

What happens if I fail to make even the minimum monthly payment before the due date?

You will usually be charged a late payment fee. Missing the minimum monthly payment will also leave a negative mark on your credit file, which could impact your likelihood of receiving approval for other loans in the future. If you fail to pay the minimum amount, your debt will also continue to grow with interest (making it potentially even more difficult to pay off in the future).

Where can I find out how much my minimum repayment is?

Your minimum repayment amount will be included in your monthly credit card statement. However, you can also see the card reviews on Finder Singapore or read your card’s terms and conditions to confirm how the exact minimum repayment amount is computed.

Will I still be charged interest if I make the minimum repayment?

Yes, interest charges will still apply to the outstanding balance that you’ve yet to pay off. So if your minimum repayment is 3%, you’ll incur interest on the remaining 97% of your balance.

Is there anything I can do to reduce the interest charged on my debt?

Yes, here are a few options you can consider depending on your circumstances:

  • If you have existing credit card debt. You may wish to move it to a new balance transfer facility that offers an introductory low or 0% interest rate.
  • If you often carry a balance. Switching to a card with a low ongoing interest rate could help you save on interest charges when compared to cards with higher interest rates. But it would still be ideal to pay more than the minimum and avoid carrying a balance whenever possible.
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Compare credit cards by type

Name Product Minimum Monthly Repayment Reward Annual Fee
HSBC Revolution Credit Card
HSBC Revolution Credit Card
3% of outstanding balance or S$50, whichever is higher
Earn up to 10X Reward points or 4 miles per S$1 spent on qualifying purchases.
S$0 annual fee
New cardholders can choose from a Samsonite Prestige 69cm Spinner Exp luggage worth S$670 or S$150 cashback. Minimum spend of S$800 within the qualifying spend period is required. T&Cs apply. Ends 31 Aug 2020.
UOB PRVI Miles American Express Card
UOB PRVI Miles American Express Card
3% of current balance or S$50, whichever is higher, plus any overdue amounts
Earn 1.4 miles for every S$1 spent locally with no minimum spend or cap.
S$0 annual fee for the first 1 year and S$256.80 thereafter
Enjoy up to 20,000 bonus miles if you charge S$50,000 to your card in a year. Apply today and enjoy free transfers to Changi Airport.
HSBC Visa Platinum Credit Card
HSBC Visa Platinum Credit Card
3% of outstanding balance or S$50, whichever is higher
Earn 1 Reward point for every $1 on all spend.
S$0 annual fee for the first 2 years and S$192.60 thereafter
New cardholders can receive a Samsonite Prestige 69cm Spinner Exp suitcase (worth S$670) or S$150 cashback, if a minimum of S$800 is spent using the card in the qualifying spend period. T&Cs apply. Ends 31 Aug 2020.
KrisFlyer UOB Credit Card
KrisFlyer UOB Credit Card
3% of current balance or S$50, whichever is higher, plus any overdue amounts
Earn 3 KrisFlyer miles per S$1 when you spend with Singapore Airlines, Scoot, SilkAir or KrisShop and 1.2 KrisFlyer miles per S$1 on all other spend.
S$0 annual fee for the first 1 year and S$192.60 thereafter
New cardholders can receive up to 10,000 KrisFlyer miles when applying and spending a minimum of S$1,500 within 30 days card approval. Ends 31 August 2020. Existing UOB cardmembers get 3,000 KrisFlyer miles after the first transaction of S$5 minimum. T&Cs apply.
UOB Yolo Card
UOB Yolo Card
3% of current balance or S$50, whichever is higher, plus any overdue amounts
Enjoy a wide variety of discounts and cashback rebates on dining, entertainment, online shopping and travel.
S$0 annual fee for the first 1 year and S$192.60 thereafter
Apply today and get up to S$230 in bonus cash credits. T&Cs apply.
UOB Lady's Card
UOB Lady's Card
3% of current balance or S$50, whichever is higher, plus any overdue amounts
Earn 10X UNI$ (or 20 miles) per S$5 spent on a chosen spending category with no min. spend required, and 1X UNI$ (or 2 miles) on other purchases.
S$0 annual fee for the first 1 year and S$192.60 thereafter
Apply today and get S$150 in bonus cash credits. T&Cs apply.Ends 31 August 2020.
HSBC Advance Credit Card
HSBC Advance Credit Card
3% of outstanding balance or S$50, whichever is higher
Choose between a sign-up gift of a Samsonite Prestige 69cm Spinner Exp luggage or S$150 cashback when minimum spend requirements are met.
S$0 annual fee for the first 1 year (permanently waived for HSBC Advance banking customers) and S$192.60 thereafter
New cardholders can choose between a Samsonite Prestige 69cm Spinner Exp luggage worth S$670 or S$150 cashback if minimum spend of S$800 within the qualifying spend period is made. T&Cs apply. Ends 31 Aug 2020.
UOB One Card
UOB One Card
3% of current balance or S$50, whichever is higher, plus any overdue amounts
Get S$150 cash credit when you apply. Minimum S$1,500 spend within 30 days. First 400 eligible applicants only.
S$0 annual fee for the first 1 year and S$192.60 thereafter
Apply today and get up to S$150 in bonus cash credits. T&Cs apply.
American Express Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Ascend Credit Card
American Express Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Ascend Credit Card
3% of outstanding balance or S$50, whichever is higher
Earn 1.2 KrisFlyer miles per S$1 spent on local purchases, with no cap.
S$337.05 annual fee
Get up to 56,200 KrisFlyer miles with S$16,000 minimum spend within six months. Also enjoy a complimentary stay at a Hilton hotel in Asia Pacific each year.
UOB PRVI Miles Visa Card
UOB PRVI Miles Visa Card
3% of current balance or S$50, whichever is higher, plus any overdue amounts
6 air miles for every S$1 spent through Expedia, Agoda and UOB Travel
S$0 annual fee for the first 1 year and S$256.80 thereafter
Apply today and enjoy up to S$150 in cash credits. Plus, free travel cover.
American Express Platinum Credit Card
American Express Platinum Credit Card
3% of outstanding balance or S$50, whichever is higher
Up to 50% off your food bill for unlimited visits at hotels around Singapore
S$321 annual fee
Get S$150 Lazada Vouchers and up to 43,250 Membership Rewards points with minimum spend in your first 3 months and when you successfully refer a friend. T&Cs apply.
American Express True Cashback Card
American Express True Cashback Card
3% of outstanding balance or S$50, whichever is higher
Enjoy cashback on all purchases with no minimum spend or cap. Plus receive up to S$80 CapitaVouchers when a minimum spend of S$500 is made in the first month.
S$0 annual fee for the first 1 year and S$171.20 thereafter
Apply today and get a 3% Cashback bonus when you spend S$5,000 in the first six months.
American Express Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Credit Card
American Express Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Credit Card
3% of outstanding balance or S$50, whichever is higher
Earn 1.1 KrisFlyer Miles per S$1 spent on purchases with no cap.
S$0 annual fee for the first 1 year and S$176.55 thereafter
Earn up to 29,800 KrisFlyer miles with minimum spend of S$8,000 in your first 6 months.
UOB PRVI Miles World Mastercard
UOB PRVI Miles World Mastercard
3% of current balance or S$50, whichever is higher, plus any overdue amounts
Earn 1.4 miles per S$1 spent locally and 2.4 miles per S$1 spent overseas, including online shopping.
S$0 annual fee for the first 1 year and S$256.80 thereafter
Apply today and enjoy up to S$150 in cash credits if minimum spend requirements are met.
American Express CapitaCard
American Express CapitaCard
3% of outstanding balance or S$50, whichever is higher
Earn 3X STAR$ when you shop at participating CapitaLand malls, and more
S$0 annual fee for the first 1 year and S$171.20 thereafter
Receive an American Tourister Hypebeat 79/29 Spinner luggage (worth S$239) upon S$3,000 minimum spend within the first 3 months of card approval. Ends 30 September 2020.
Citi Rewards Credit Card
Citi Rewards Credit Card
1% or S$50, whichever is the higher
Up to 10X Rewards on eligible online and retail purchases, capped at 10,000 points per statement month.1X Rewards for other retail purchases.
S$0 annual fee for the first 1 year and S$192.60 thereafter
Get 30,000 Citi Thank You points when you spend S$3,000 in the first 3 months. T&Cs apply. 30 September 2020
Citi Cash Back Card
Citi Cash Back Card
1% or S$50, whichever is higher
Get up to 20.88% fuel discounts at Esso and Shell, and 8% cashback on dining and groceries.
S$0 annual fee for the first 1 year and S$192.60 thereafter
Get a welcome gift of S$120 cash back when you spend S$1,200 in the first 3 months. T&Cs apply. Ends 31 January 2021.
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