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Credit Card Minimum Payments

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

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 $50, whichever is higher
Earn up to 10X Reward points or 4 miles per $1 spent on qualifying purchases.
$0 annual fee
New cardholders will be awarded with $200 cashback upon $500 minimum spend and up to $150 cashback when you apply for supplementary cards. Existing HSBC credit cardholders are eligible to receive $50 cashback. T&Cs apply. Ends 31 July 2022.
HSBC Visa Platinum Credit Card
HSBC Visa Platinum Credit Card
3% of outstanding balance or $50, whichever is higher
Earn 1 Reward point for every $1 on all spend.
$0 annual fee for the first 2 years and $192.60 thereafter
New cardholders will be awarded with $200 cashback upon $500 minimum spend and up to $150 cashback when you apply for supplementary cards. Existing HSBC credit cardholders are eligible to receive $50 cashback. T&Cs apply. Ends 31 July 2022.
HSBC Advance Credit Card
HSBC Advance Credit Card
3% of outstanding balance or $50, whichever is higher
Receive up to $200 cashback when minimum spend requirements are met.
$0 annual fee for the first 1 year (permanently waived for HSBC Advance banking customers) and $192.60 thereafter
New cardholders will be awarded with $200 cashback upon $500 minimum spend and up to $150 cashback when you apply for supplementary cards. Existing HSBC credit cardholders are eligible to receive $50 cashback. T&Cs apply. Ends 31 July 2022.
American Express Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Ascend Credit Card
American Express Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Ascend Credit Card
3% of outstanding balance or $50, whichever is higher
For every $1 spent, earn 1.2 KrisFlyer miles on local purchases, 2 KrisFlyer miles on overseas spend in June and December, Singapore Airlines and KrisShop and 3.2 KrisFlyer miles on Grab.
$337.05 annual fee
Get a complimentary one-night stay at Hilton Singapore Orchard (worth up to $418++) upon annual fee payment, an additional one-night stay at Hilton Singapore Orchard (worth up to $418++) when you spend $3,000 within the first three months. Valid until 30 June 2022. Also, earn 3,600 KrisFlyer miles based on the $3,000 spend above (based on 1.2 KrisFlyer miles per $1 spent locally). T&Cs apply.
American Express Platinum Credit Card
American Express Platinum Credit Card
3% of outstanding balance or $50, whichever is higher
Up to 50% off your food bill for unlimited visits at hotels around Singapore
$321 annual fee
Get a complimentary 1-night stay at Conrad Centennial Singapore (worth up to $300+) with a minimum spend of $3,000 in your first 2 months of card membership, and an additional $100 worth of CapitaVouchers upon annual fee payment. Also, receive 3,750 Membership Rewards points from your base earn rate for the $3,000 spent. T&Cs apply. Valid until 30 June 2022.
American Express True Cashback Card
American Express True Cashback Card
3% of outstanding balance or $50, whichever is higher
Enjoy 1.5% cashback on all purchases with no minimum spend or cap. Plus receive up to $80 CapitaVouchers when a minimum spend of $250 is made in the first month.
$0 annual fee for the first 1 year and $171.20 thereafter
Apply today and get a 3% Cashback bonus when you spend $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 $50, whichever is higher
For every $1 spent, earn 1.1 KrisFlyer miles on all eligible purchases, 2 KrisFlyer miles in foreign currency spent overseas during June & December and 3.1 KrisFlyer miles on eligible Grab Singapore transactions.
$0 annual fee for the first 1 year and $176.55 thereafter
Get up to 5,000 KrisFlyer miles with a minimum spend of $1,000 in the first 2 months and an additional complimentary one-night stay at Hilton Singapore Orchard (worth up to $418++) if you are new to American Express. Valid until 30 June 2022. Also, receive 1,100 KrisFlyer miles based on the $1,000 spending above (based on 1.1 KrisFlyer miles per $1 spent locally). T&Cs apply.
Citi Cash Back+ Credit Card
Citi Cash Back+ Credit Card
1% or $50, whichever is higher
Get up to 14% fuel discounts at Esso and Shell and 1.6% cash back on eligible retail purchases.
$0 annual fee for the first 1 year and $192.60 thereafter
Receive 6% cash back (up to $240 cash back) on up to $4,000 spend in the first 2 months. T&Cs apply. Valid until 31 July 2022.
Citi Lazada Card
Citi Lazada Card
1% or $50, whichever is higher
Earn 10x rewards on eligible Lazada purchases and 5x rewards on qualifying dining, entertainment and commute purchases
$0 annual fee for the first 1 year and $192.60 thereafter
New customers can get up to $250 Lazada & RedMart vouchers upon minimum spend of $250. T&Cs apply. Ends 31 July 2022.
Citi Rewards Credit Card
Citi Rewards Credit Card
1% or $50, whichever is the higher
10X Rewards on eligible online (except travel), fashion shopping, department stores, taxi/ride hailing apps, food delivery and online groceries, capped at 9,000 points per statement month.
1X Rewards for other retail purchases.
$0 annual fee for the first 1 year and $192.60 thereafter
Get up to 30,000 Citi Thank You points when you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months. T&Cs apply. Ends 31 July 2022.
American Express CapitaCard
American Express CapitaCard
3% of outstanding balance or $50, whichever is higher
Earn up to 3% rebate (6X STAR$) at participating merchants in CapitaLand Malls in town.​ An additional 5% rebate (10X STAR$) at participating STAR$ X’tra Partners in CapitaLand Malls.​
$0 annual fee for the first 1 year and $171.20 thereafter
New members can receive 150,000 STAR$ by spending $1,500 in the first 3 months of card membership and up to 45,000 STAR$ upon $1,200 per calendar month, based on 6X STAR$ at participating merchants in CapitaLand Malls in town. T&Cs apply. Ends 30 June 2022.
Citi Cash Back Card
Citi Cash Back Card
1% or $50, whichever is higher
Get up to 20.88% fuel discounts at Esso and Shell, 6% cashback on dining and 8% cashback on groceries.
$0 annual fee for the first 1 year and $192.60 thereafter
Get a welcome gift of $300 cash back when you spend $800 in the first two months. T&Cs apply. Ends 31 July 2022.
Citi Prestige Card
Citi Prestige Card
1% or $50, whichever is higher
Deals and discounts in more than 90 countries. Also, get six complimentary golf games across Asia
$535 annual fee
Receive 100,000 ThankYou Points (40,000 Miles) when you pay the annual fee ($535) and spend $800 within two months. T&Cs apply. Valid until 31 July 2022.
Citi SMRT Card
Citi SMRT Card
The higher of $50 or 1%.
Up to 5% savings on groceries, online shopping, taxis (including private hire rides), and EZ-Link Auto Top-up/SimplyGo. Plus, 0.3% savings on all other spend
$0 annual fee for the first 2 years and $192.60 thereafter
Get a welcome gift of $120 cash back when you spend $1,200 in the first 3 months. T&Cs apply. End 31 July 2022.
Citi PremierMiles Card
Citi PremierMiles Card
1% or $50 whichever is higher
Earn 1.2 Citi Miles for every $1 spent locally and 2 Citi Miles for every $1 spent overseas.
$192.60 annual fee
New cardholders can earn 25,000 Citi Miles as a welcome bonus upon payment of the annual fee and $800 minimum spend requirement within two months from date of card approval. Alternatively, cardholders can get 5,000 Citi Miles as a welcome bonus if the $800 minimum spend requirements are met within two months from date of card approval. T&Cs apply. Ends 31 July 2022.
Aspire Corporate Card
Aspire Corporate Card
0
Enjoy exclusive perks and discounts with Aspire's extensive range of partners, redeemable at anytime
$0 annual fee
A corporate debit card for SMEs and Startups with no annual fee and low FX fees. Enjoy 1% cashback on marketing and SaaS spend. T&Cs apply.
Volopay Business Credit Card
Volopay Business Credit Card
0
N/A
$0 annual fee
Enjoy better visibility and control with customisable built-in budgets for each card, while earning up to 5% cashback on all eligible spends
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