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Most major banks in Singapore let you apply for a credit card when you are a foreigner with a valid work pass. This guide let you compare credit card options side-by-side and find out what you need to do to successfully apply for a credit card when you’re living in Singapore.
If you’re currently living in Singapore or moving to Singapore soon, here are a few questions you should ask yourself:
You can use the following list as a guide to the general conditions you should meet before applying for a Singapore credit card as a foreigner.
It’s important to remember that eligibility requirements depend on the issuer and the credit card you apply for. But being prepared with all of these details will help you speed up the application process. Before you apply, we encourage you to learn more about how credit cards work in Singapore.
Credit card issuers may consider individuals with no permanent ties to Singapore as a risk for any type of credit product. So, make sure you consider the following when choosing a bank and credit card to apply for:
The credit card application requirements that you must meet as a foreigner differ between different banks and providers. So, it’s a good idea to discuss your individual circumstances with your chosen provider before you apply for a card. Taking this step will give you the most accurate information possible and increase your chances of approval for your chosen card.
Credit card issuers in Singapore only consider your credit history in this country. This means if you have an excellent credit rating overseas (or a bad credit rating) or in your home country, it won’t impact on your application for a credit card in Singapore.
However, as a foreigner, you may not have many details on your Singapore credit file, so it’s important to make sure all the additional information you provide is as accurate as possible to help improve your chances of approval.
Please note that rejected applications will have a negative impact on your account, so it’s wise to discuss your options or work on improving your score before you apply for a new card.
If you’re moving to a new country, regardless of whether it’s permanently or temporarily, you’ll most likely face the dilemma of whether you should keep or cancel your existing credit accounts. Before making a decision, there are some important factors you should consider:
When you’re looking at getting a credit card for foreigners in Singapore, remember that the application requirements and eligibility could be different from what’s listed for permanent residents and Singaporeans. Make sure you compare cards based on their features and fees so that you can find one that suits your budget and needs while you’re living in Singapore.
Why does the remaining time on my visa/ work pass make a difference with a credit card application?
Banks look at the length of time remaining on the visa to ensure that you will be in Singapore long enough to repay any debt accrued on the credit card.
Can I transfer credit debt from my cards back home to the one issued to me in Singapore?
No. Balance transfer offers are only valid on balances held by another Singapore financial institution.
What happens if I default on my credit card and leave the country?
Collections proceedings will begin against you and will remain in place if you ever decide to return to Singapore.
Will an unpaid credit card debt affect my application for permanent residency?
It depends on the circumstances. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs Singapore might be able to provide you with more information about your previous credit history in Singapore in relation to your application. Remember that credit card debt will also affect any applications of enquiries for other credit products that you make in the future.
What’s the best credit card for foreigners in Singapore?
In truth, there’s no one ‘best’ credit card on the market. After all, everyone has different circumstances and what they can get out of a card will depend on how they manage their budget and spending. If you’re in the lower-income bracket, you might want to compare credit cards that offer no annual fees. One example would be the HSBC Advance Credit Card, which also gives you up to 3.5% cashback on all purchases with no minimum spend requirement.Back to top
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