Travel credit cards for overseas spending

Prepare for your next adventure with a credit card designed for travel, with features including waived fees and complimentary insurance.

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When you’re travelling overseas, unexpected costs such as foreign currency conversion fees, ATM withdrawal fees or emergency card replacement can quickly eat into your spending money. While many credit cards (and many debit cards) charge some or all of these fees, there is also a range of options that waive these costs. Some credit cards go one step further and offer complimentary extras, such as travel insurance, to help you save even more when you go away.

Here we will compare the travel credit cards available in the market to help you determine which is the right option for your next overseas trip.

What features do I need when choosing a travel credit card?

Some of the features you can expect from a travel credit card include:

  • Worldwide acceptance. The majority of Singapore credit cards are issued by Visa, Mastercard or American Express, which are all widely accepted internationally.
  • No or low currency conversion fees. While most credit cards charge 2-3% on currency conversion, many travel credit cards offer no fees for transactions made overseas or online with an international retailer.
  • Complimentary travel insurance. A wide range of credit cards offers complimentary travel insurance, that can save you money and give you peace of mind when you travel overseas. Usually, you’ll need to pay for your flights or other travel costs using the card to activate the cover, so make sure you check what’s required for any card you choose.
  • Emergency card replacement. If your card is lost, stolen or damaged when you’re travelling overseas, you may need to request an emergency card replacement. This sometimes attracts additional fees, so look for a travel card that waives these costs if that’s something you want to avoid.
  • ATM withdrawals and balance check. Many travel credit cards offer free ATM withdrawals and balance checks to help you save on fees. But keep in mind that using a credit card to withdraw cash overseas will still attract a cash advance fee worth around 3% of the transaction. You’ll also be charged interest at the cash advance rate from the time the transaction is made.

What else should I consider when using a travel credit card?

Keeping these details in mind can help you avoid extra charges and hassles when you’re using a credit card overseas.

  • Beware of the dynamic currency conversion. Some overseas businesses and ATMs may give you the option of paying in the local currency or in Singapore dollars. If you choose Singapore dollars, the transaction will be processed using dynamic currency conversion (or DCC), which is typically more expensive than paying in the local currency. So when you’re given the choice, opt to pay in the local currency instead.
  • Check what fees and charges may apply. As well as foreign transaction fees and ATM fees, make sure you consider the cash advance fee, cash advance interest rate and the purchase interest rate.
  • Let your bank know you’re going overseas. To help protect your account from fraud while you’re away, contact your bank and let them know your travel plans. Otherwise, you may find that your card is blocked and you no longer have access to your funds while overseas.
  • Check for any restrictions. Some credit card companies have financial sanctions for certain geographic regions. Others may have limits for daily withdrawals or transactions. Make sure you check with your bank before you go overseas to make sure you’ll be able to use your card when you want to.
  • Make a copy of your card’s emergency contact details. Store your credit card’s emergency contact details in your wallet, on your phone and anywhere else secure in the case of an emergency. This information is usually on the back of your card, as well as on your bank or provider’s website. If anything happens while you’re away, make sure you contact your provider as soon as possible so they can help you sort things out.

Compare rewards credit cards

Name Product Welcome Offer Reward Annual Fee
HSBC Advance Credit Card
Samsonite Astra T5 68cm Spinner Luggage with built-in scale (worth S$560) or S$150 cashback with minimum spend of S$800 in qualifying transactions from card approval to the end of the following month. Receive an additional S$20 worth of grab rides when you apply online with MyInfo via SingPass. T&Cs apply. Ends 31 March 2020.
Up to 3.5% cashback on all purchases with no minimum spend
S$0 annual fee for 1 year (permanently waived for HSBC Advance banking customers) - S$192.60 thereafter
Get free Samsonite T5 68cm Spinner luggage with built-in scale worth S$560 or S$150 cash back when you spend S$800 in qualifying transactions from card approval to the end of the following month. Receive an additional S$20 worth of grab rides when you apply online with MyInfo via SingPass. T&Cs apply. Ends 31 March 2020.
Standard Chartered Unlimited Cashback Credit Card
Get S$80 cashback with activation of card within 30 days upon approval. T&Cs apply. Ends 31 March 2020.
1.5% cashback on all spend with no cap and no minimum spend
S$0 annual fee for 2 years - S$192.60 thereafter
Get S$80 cashback with activation of card within 30 days upon approval. Existing cardholders will receive S$20. Ends 31 March 2020.
HSBC Visa Platinum Card
Samsonite T5 68cm Spinner Luggage with built-in scale (worth S$560) or S$150 cashback with minimum spend of S$800 in qualifying transactions from card approval to the end of the following month. Receive an additional S$20 worth of grab rides when you apply online with MyInfo via SingPass. T&Cs apply. Ends 31 March 2020.
5% cash rebate on groceries, fuel and dining
S$0 annual fee for 2 years - S$192.60 thereafter
Get free Samsonite T5 68cm Spinner luggage with built-in scale worth S$560 or S$150 cash back when you spend S$800 in qualifying transactions from card approval to the end of the following month. Receive an additional S$20 worth of grab rides when you apply online with MyInfo via SingPass. T&Cs apply. Ends 31 March 2020.
Citi Cash Back Card
S$120 cash back when you apply & spend S$1,200 in the first 3 months upon card approval. Terms and conditions apply. Ends 31 January 2021.
Earn up to 8% cash back on dining, groceries and petrol worldwide.
S$0 annual fee for 1 year - S$192.60 thereafter
Get a welcome gift of S$120 cash back when you spend S$1,200 in the first 3 months. Ends 31 January 2021.
Standard Chartered Rewards+ Credit Card
Get S$80 cashback with activation of card within 30 days upon approval. Existing cardholders will receive S$20. Ends 30 Sep 2019.
Up to 10X rewards points for every S$1 spent in foreign currency on overseas retail, dining and travel
S$0 annual fee for 2 years - S$192.60 thereafter
Get S$80 cashback with activation of the card within 30 days upon approval. Existing cardholders will receive S$20. Ends 31 March 2020.
HSBC Revolution Credit Card
Samsonite T5 68cm Spinner Astra 55cm Luggage with built-in scale (worth S$560) or S$150 cashback with minimum spend of S$800 in qualifying transactions from card approval to the end of the following month. Receive an additional S$20 worth of grab rides when you apply online with MyInfo via SingPass. T&C's apply. Ends 31 March 2020.
Up to 5X Rewards points (2 miles per S$1 spent) on online, dining and entertainment purchases
S$0 annual fee for 2 years - S$160.50 thereafter
Get free Samsonite T5 68cm Spinner luggage worth S$560. Simply make S$800 in qualifying transactions in the first month of your account. Ends 31 March 2020.
Citibank SMRT Card
S$120 savings when you apply & spend S$1,200 in the first 3 months upon card approval. Terms and conditions apply. Ends 31 January 2021.
Up to 5% savings on groceries, fast food, movies, and coffee; up to 3% savings on online shopping.
S$0 annual fee for 2 years - S$192.60 thereafter
Receive a welcome gift of S$120 cash back when you spend S$1,200 in the first 3 months. Ends 31 January 2021.
Citi Rewards Credit Card
Get up to 30,000 Citi ThankYou Points with minimum spend of S$3,000 in the first three months. Ends 31 March 2020.
10X Rewards on your shopping spend (local and overseas) and online purchases (except mobile wallet and travel-related transactions), plus 1X Rewards Points on all other spend, no cap or minimum spend required
S$0 annual fee for 1 year - S$192.60 thereafter
Receive 30,000 Citi Thank You points when you spend S$3,000 in the first 3 months. Ends 31 March 2020.
Standard Chartered NUS Alumni Platinum Credit Card
Get S$80 cashback with activation of card within 30 day upon approval. Existing cardholders will receive S$20. Ends 31 March 2020.
Earn 1 Rewards point for every S$1 charged to your card
S$0 annual fee for 2 years - S$192.60 thereafter
Get S$80 cashback with activation of card within 30 day upon approval. Existing cardholders will receive S$20. Ends 31 March 2020.
Citi PremierMiles Visa Card
All new cardholders can earn up to 37,300 Citi Miles as a welcome bonus. When you charge at least S$9,000 within the first three months from the card approval, you’ll receive at least 10,800 Citi Miles (based on 1.2 miles per S$1 spent locally) and an additional 26,500 Citi Miles if you meet the qualifying spend and after payment of the annual fee. Alternatively, you can opt for a first-year annual fee waiver and earn 10,000 Citi Miles when you spend a minimum of S$3,000 within the first three months. Terms and conditions apply and offers are subject to change from time to time at the bank’s discretion. Ends 31 March 2020.
2 Citi Miles for every S$1 spent overseas and 1.2 Citi Miles per S$1 spent locally.
S$0 annual fee for 1 year - S$192.60 thereafter
Receive 37,300 miles when you spend S$9,000 in the first 3 months and pay the annual fee. Terms and conditions apply. Ends 31 March 2020.
Standard Chartered Spree Credit Card
Get S$80 cashback with activation of card within 30 days upon approval. Existing cardholders will receive S$20. Ends 31 March 2020.
Up to S$60 cashback monthly with no minimum spend
S$0 annual fee for 2 years - S$192.60 thereafter
Get S$80 cashback with activation of card within 30 day upon approval. Existing cardholders will receive S$20. Ends 31 March 2020.
Citi Prestige Card
Receive a Welcome Gift of 62,500 ThankYouSM Points (25,000 Miles) or Gadget Welcome Gift.Ends 31 March 2020..
Earn 5 ThankYou Points (2 Miles) per S$1 overseas spend and 3.25 ThankYou Points (1.3 miles) per S$1 local spend.
S$535 annual fee
Receive a welcome gift of 62,500 Citi ThankYou Points (25,000 Miles) or Gadget Welcome Gift. Ends 31 March 2020.
American Express True Cashback Card
Receive 3% Cashback bonus and up to S$150 Cashback upon S$5,000 spend in the first six months.
1.5% cashback on all purchases with no minimum spend and no cap
S$0 annual fee for 1 year - S$171.20 thereafter
Receive 3% Cashback bonus and up to S$150 Cashback when you spend S$5,000 in the first six months.
American Express Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Credit Card
Earn 5,000 KrisFlyer bonus miles the very first time you charge to your card.
For every S$1 spent, get up to 1.1 KrisFlyer miles on all eligible purchases, 2 miles in foreign currency spent overseas (June and December) and 3.1 miles on Grab Singapore transactions (up to S$200 spend in each calendar month).
S$0 annual fee for 1 year - S$176.55 thereafter
Earn 8,000 bonus KrisFlyer miles when you spend S$5,000 in the first 3 months of card membership and additional 8,000 KrisFlyer miles with minimum spend of S$5,000 in the 4th to 6th month of membership. Ends 30 April 2020.
American Express Platinum Credit Card
Get a free Samsonite luggage (worth S$600) and 1-night stay at Swissotel The Stamford Singapore (worth S$529) when you pay the annual fee in the first statement and spend S$4,500 in the first 3 months. T&Cs apply. Ends 31 March 2020.
Up to 50% off your food bill for unlimited visits at hotels around Singapore
S$321 annual fee
Get a free Samsonite luggage (worth S$600) and 1-night stay at Swissotel The Stamford Singapore (worth S$529) when you pay the annual fee in the first statement and spend S$4,500 in the first 3 months. T&Cs apply. Ends 31 March 2020.
American Express Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Ascend Credit Card
Get 5,000 bonus KrisFlyer miles when you make your first charge to your card.
For every S$1 spent, get up to 1.2 KrisFlyer miles on all eligible purchases, 2 miles in foreign currency spent overseas (June and December) and 3.2 miles on Grab Singapore transactions (up to S$200 spend in each calendar month).
S$337.05 annual fee
Earn 16,000 KrisFlyer miles when you spend S$10,000 within the first three months and an additional 12,000 KrisFlyer miles based on 1.2 KrisFlyer miles per S$1 spent locally. Ends 30 April 2020.
American Express CapitaCard
Receive an American Tourister Hypebeat 79/29 Spinner luggage (worth S$239) upon S$3,000 minimum spend within the first 3 months of card approval. Ends 30 April 2020.
Earn 3X STAR$ when you shop at participating CapitaLand malls, 1X STAR$ on all other purchases and additional 10X STAR$ at participating outlets in CapitaLand Malls.
S$0 annual fee for 1 year - S$171.20 thereafter
Add supplementary cardholders and get S$20 worth of CapitaVouchers for each approved member (up to two cardholders). Ends 30 April 2020.
Maybank Business Platinum Mastercard
Get up to S$1 million in Travel Accident Insurance when you purchase flights or travel packages using your card.
Earn 1 TREATS Points per dollar spent
S$0 annual fee for 2 years - S$180 thereafter
Get up to S$1 million in Travel Accident Insurance when you purchase flights or travel packages using your card.
Maybank eVibes Card - The Student Card
Get an Adidas wristwatch worth S$120 when you use your card in the first month. Offer limited to the first 500 successful applicants.
Earn 1% cash rebate on all spend
S$0 annual fee for 2 years - S$20 thereafter
Get an Adidas wristwatch worth S$120 when you use your card in the first month. Offer limited to the first 500 successful applicants.
Maybank Platinum Visa Card
Receive an American Tourister Linex 66/24 Luggage TSA (worth S$260) when you charge to your card or withdraw from your CreditAble account with a minimum of S$300 within the first two months.
Up to 3.33% cash rebates on local spend
S$0 annual fee for 3 years - S$80 thereafter
Receive an American Tourister Linex 66/24 Luggage TSA (worth S$260) when you charge to your card or withdraw from your CreditAble account with a minimum of S$300 within the first 2 months.
Maybank Family & Friends Card
Receive an American Tourister Linex 66/24 Luggage TSA (worth S$260) when you charge to your card or withdraw from your CreditAble account with a minimum of S$300 within the first two months.
8% cash rebates on groceries, dining, transport and selected merchants with S$800 min. monthly spend
S$0 annual fee for 3 years - S$180 thereafter
Receive an American Tourister Linex 66/24 Luggage TSA (worth S$260) when you charge to your card or withdraw from your CreditAble account with a minimum of S$300 within the first 2 months.
Maybank Manchester United Platinum Visa Card
Receive an American Tourister Linex 66/24 Luggage TSA (worth S$260) when you charge to your card or withdraw from your CreditAble account with a minimum of S$300 within the first two months.
Receive a 10% discount at United Direct Online Megastore and 5 TREATS Points for every dollar spent when Manchester United wins a Premier League match.
S$0 annual fee for 2 years - S$80 thereafter
Receive an American Tourister Linex 66/24 Luggage TSA (worth S$260) when you charge to your card or withdraw from your CreditAble account with a minimum of S$300 within the first 2 months.
Maybank DUO Platinum Mastercard
Receive an American Tourister Linex 66/24 Luggage TSA (worth S$260) when you charge to your card or withdraw from your CreditAble account with a minimum of S$300 within the first two months.
5% cash rebate on petrol in Singapore and Malaysia and 1.5% cash rebate in foreign currency.
S$120 annual fee
Receive an American Tourister Linex 66/24 Luggage TSA (worth S$260) when you charge to your card or withdraw from your CreditAble account with a minimum of S$300 within the first 2 months.
Maybank FC Barcelona Visa Signature Card
Receive an American Tourister Linex 66/24 Luggage TSA (worth S$260) when you charge to your card or withdraw from your CreditAble account with a minimum of S$300 within the first two months.
1.6% unlimited cash rebate on all local spend
S$120 annual fee
Receive an American Tourister Linex 66/24 Luggage TSA (worth S$260) when you charge to your card or withdraw from your CreditAble account with a minimum of S$300 within the first 2 months.
Maybank Visa Infinite Card
Earn up to 5X TREATS Points (2 air miles) for every S$1 spent on foreign currency transactions, 3X TREATS Points (1.2 air miles) for every S$1 spent on local spend,
S$0 annual fee for 1 year - S$600 thereafter
Get up to 8 complimentary single-trip airport limousine transfers. T&Cs apply. Ends 31 Dec 2020.
Maybank Horizon Visa Signature Card
Receive an American Tourister Linex 66/24 Luggage TSA (worth S$260) when you charge to your card or withdraw from your CreditAble account with a minimum of S$300 within the first two months.
Up to 3.2 Air Miles (8X TREATS Points) for every S$1 spent on dining, transport and hotel bookings via Agoda.com/horizon
S$0 annual fee for 3 years - S$180 thereafter
Receive an American Tourister Linex 66/24 Luggage TSA (worth S$260) when you charge to your card or withdraw from your CreditAble account with a minimum of S$300 within the first 2 months.
Maybank World Mastercard
Receive an American Tourister Linex 66/24 Luggage TSA (worth S$260) when you charge to your card or withdraw from your CreditAble account with a minimum of S$300 within the first two months.
10X TREATS Points (4 air miles) on every S$1 spent at selected merchants.
S$0 annual fee for 1 year - S$240 thereafter
Receive an American Tourister Linex 66/24 Luggage TSA (worth S$260) when you charge to your card or withdraw from your CreditAble account with a minimum of S$300 within the first 2 months.

Compare up to 4 providers

What other travel money options can I take with me?

Having more than one travel money option gives you more flexibility and security in case something happens when you’re away. Some other options you can consider include:

  • Debit cards. Taking your everyday debit card overseas gives you direct access to your cash, rather than a credit limit. As well as helping you avoid interest charges, this could make it easier to avoid overspending while you’re away.
  • Cash. Depending on where you’re travelling, there may be limited options for paying with a card. Even in countries where cards are commonly accepted, you may find that there are businesses that apply hefty surcharges or don’t accept your particular card, so having some foreign cash before you go away means you’ll have all your bases covered.
  • Traveller’s cheques. While traveller’s cheques used to be a popular travel money option, they are not widely accepted any more. So if you decide to order some traveller’s checks, do your research first to make sure there will be places you can cash them on your trip.

Three tips to protect your travel money when you’re overseas

Following these precautions should help ensure your trip runs smoothly:

  • Don’t carry a lot of cash. Travellers should avoid carrying a lot of cash or wearing expensive jewellery. This might attract negative attention and can lead to unpleasant experiences.
  • Safely store your cards, cash or cheques in various secure areas. Carrying all your cards and cash in a single location or wallet is not advisable. You should distribute these items among your secure belongings. It is better to carry an alternative wallet which can store excess cash and other important items. It is also better not carry the main wallet in your back pocket, but rather somewhere secure that you can see.
  • Report any emergency situations immediately. As mentioned, make sure that you have all of your necessary contact numbers on you. This should include those of your personal emergency contacts, your credit card providers and your insurance provider. This will ensure that you can get in contact with the relevant people in the chance of an emergency.

With so many different things to see and do when you go overseas, it can be easy to put off organising your money until the last minute. But taking the time to choose your travel money options before you leave can help you avoid extra costs and issues so that you can spend more time enjoying your trip.

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