A credit card promotion can help you get more value from a new card by giving you the chance to save on rates and fees, earn more points, get free gifts or even cash back into your account. These offers are usually only available for a limited time, so you’ll want to make a quick and informed decision based on your needs.
Read on to find out everything you need to know about credit card promotions in Singapore.
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A credit card promotion is an offer – such as bonus points, 0% interest rates, free vouchers or cash rebates – that is typically available only to new customers who apply for a specific credit card during the stated promotional period. Depending on the deal you choose, you may find the promotion is valid only if you meet certain spending requirements on your credit card.
The benefits of credit card promotions may last for a limited time. For example, any promotional interest rates or fee discounts revert to standard features after the promotional period. Bonus points you accrue, on the other hand, will last until you use them or they expire. Depending on the credit card, you may be able to take advantage of more than one of these offers at a time.
Understanding how credit card offers work and considering both the introductory offer and the ongoing card features means you can choose a card that offers you value now and in the future.
What types of credit card promotions can I get?
There are several different types of credit card promotions. Check out some of the most popular options in Singapore below:
Reward points. Many rewards credit cards include bonus points when you apply and are approved for the card. Bonus points offers are usually only available when you apply by a certain date and meet the spend criteria so may need to spend a certain amount within a specific period to collect the bonus points. Find out more about how rewards credit cards work.
Air Miles. Similar to bonus reward point promotions, many frequent flyer credit cards offer bonus points on sign up. Most cards offer KrisFlyer miles, but some also let you transfer bonus points to other programs such as Emirates Skywards, Qatar, Qantas or Asia Miles. Keep in mind, you’re usually required to spend a minimum amount within a set period to qualify for the bonus points offer.
Cashback offers. Cashback cards offer you cash back when you get a new credit card. Like bonus point promotions, you usually need to spend a specific amount of money on the card before you can enjoy the cashback offer. For example, an offer might give you S$200 cashback if you spend S$500 in the first 3 months you have the card. Some cashback offers also require you to spend the minimum amount in a specific way, such as by making contactless payments.
Free luggage. Credit cards with free luggage have become increasingly popular in Singapore. Some credit cards with free luggage promotions also offer bonus miles as part of the introductory promotion.
Gift cards. Similar to cashback deals, some credit cards offer complimentary gift cards to new customers, usually for an affiliated store or brand. To be eligible, you usually have to apply during the promotional period and may need to enter a promotional code online.
Discounted purchases. Some credit cards may offer you a discount on specific transactions. For example, a frequent flyer credit card could offer 10% off flight bookings made with the affiliated airline during the promotional period.
Reduced annual fees and interest rates
Credit cards that offer 0% interest on purchases. Purchase rate offers help you save on your spending by giving you a low or 0% interest rate during the introductory period. At the end of this period, the promotional rate reverts to a standard interest rate that applies. To get the most out of low or 0% purchase rate deals, pay off charges before the end of the introductory period.
No annual fee credit card offers. This type of promotion waives the annual fee of the credit card for a promotional period (usually the first 12 months). You usually need to apply before a specific date to enjoy a no annual fee introductory offer. After the introductory period, the standard annual fee will be applied to the account.
Credit cards offering reduced annual fees. Instead of waiving the annual fee completely, some credit cards offer a reduced annual fee for a promotional period. The reduced annual fee usually only applies for the first year, and you may be required to meet a minimum spend requirement or apply before a specific date to take advantage of the lower annual fee.
What about dining promotions?
Credit cards with dining promotions offer users discounted meals up to 50% off and 1-for-1 buffet deals at hotels and restaurants around Singapore. Dining promotions tend to be very popular in Singapore. These promotions change regularly and have relatively quick expiration dates. However, new promotions come out regularly, allowing card users to take advantage of deals at different restaurants and hotels. For more information, check out our guide to dining credit cards.
How to compare credit promotions
To compare credit card promotions, consider the promotional offer, the interest rates, the fees and charges and any rewards and extras that come with the card. Thinking about the following factors will help you find an promotion that suits your needs in the short-term and a credit card that fits your circumstances in the long-term.
The length of the introductory period. With low purchase rate or balance transfer rate offers, it’s important that you calculate how much you’ll need to pay each month to repay the entire balance before the promotional period ends. Otherwise, any remaining balance will incur the standard interest and begin to counteract your savings.
The promotional offer end date. These offers are only available for a limited time, so you will need to apply before the end date to take advantage of them. Check the terms and conditions to make sure any offers you want are still available before you apply.
The promotional interest rate. Depending on the card, the promotional offer may have a low or 0% interest rate. Usually, the lower the interest rate, the more savings you’ll make. However, you should also weigh up the promotional interest rate with the annual fee and the length of the promotional offer to determine which card offers the most savings.
The standard interest rates. If you have a card with a low or 0% purchase or balance transfer deal, the standard interest rates will apply to any balances remaining at the end of the introductory period. These rates are generally much higher than those of the promotional offer, so considering them before you apply will help you avoid any nasty surprises when the promotion ends. Interest charges. If you have to meet a minimum spend to earn bonus points or redeem your promotional offer, remember that these purchases will incur interest. This is why it’s important to ensure that the spend requirement fits within your budget. Otherwise, the interest costs could easily outweigh the value of the points or bonus offer.
Standard annual fees. If you get a reduced or waived annual fee offer, make sure you check the standard annual fee so that you know how much you will have to pay after the first 12 months. If you only intend to use the card while the waived annual fee is in place, make sure you know when the standard annual fee will apply and close your card before then to avoid paying extra.
Other fees and charges. As well as the annual fee, the card may come with other rates and fees such as balance transfer fees, cash advance fees, foreign transaction fees and late payment costs. You can use the reviews on finder to browse a full list of rates and fees associated with a product to understand exactly how much you’ll have to pay when you use the card.
Rewards and extras
Standard rewards points. As well as the bonus points, make sure the regular rewards program (including the earn rate and how you can redeem your rewards) suits your spending behaviours and rewards goals.
Complimentary extras. Additional, ongoing perks such as international travel insurance, extended warranties and concierge services can bring more value to the card that you choose. However they can also attribute to higher annual fees, so make sure these are features you’d take advantage of before you apply.
What’s the catch?
While a credit card promotion can help you get more value from your card, there are some mistakes to avoid to ensure the card costs don’t outweigh the benefits of the offer. Here are some of the ways you can avoid common mistakes:
Read all offer terms and conditions. Credit card promotions have specific eligibility requirements you have to meet, so make sure you understand the fine print before you apply
Check spending requirements. Some cashback and bonus point offers require you to spend a minimum amount in an introductory period of a few months. It could be as little as S$100 or as much as S$10,000 depending on the card, so it’s important to check before you apply to make sure you can afford to take advantage of the offer.
Don’t waste the promotional offer time period. With a balance transfer or purchase rate offer, the promotional period (such as 12 months) will begin as soon as you apply for the card, rather than when you make the transfer or your first purchase. To avoid wasting the valuable offer, make sure you start consolidating your debt or paying off your purchases as soon as possible to take advantage of the full offer.
Look at the ongoing features of the card. While promotions can give you short-term benefits, the standard features of a credit card determine its ongoing value. Always check these features before you apply for a credit card to decide if it’s worth it for you.
Check the end date of the offer. To get a specific credit card offer, you must apply before the end of the promotional period. Regularly comparing credit cards can help you stay up-to-date with all the offers available when you’re considering a new card.
Consider if you want to use the card after the introductory period. If you decide you don’t want the card you applied for after getting an introductory offer, you could end up paying more credit card fees and adding to your debt. Make sure you consider this before you apply, choose an appropriate card, or cancel the account if you no longer want to use it.
How can I get a promotional credit card offer?
You usually have to meet specific requirements to be eligible for a promotion on a credit card. These conditions vary but typically include:
New customers. You must be a new credit card customer, with no existing credit cards issued by the company you’re applying with. For example, if you have a credit card issued by American Express, you likely won’t be eligible for Amex promotional offers.
Credit card approval. You must apply and be approved for the credit card by a certain date in order to take advantage of the promotion.
Application dates. Some promotional offers may only be available to applicants who apply and are approved by a set date.
Spend requirements. When there are bonus points offer available, often you’ll be required to meet a spend requirement by a set date to receive the points.
Before you apply for a card with an introductory offer, make sure you fully understand these terms and conditions to ensure you can get the full value from the offer.
That’s up to you to decide. The value of a credit card promotion depends on factors such as your financial situation and your spending habits. The best promotion for you may be a deal that simply adds to what is already a card that’s well suited to your lifestyle. Please note that the information on this page is general advice only and does not take into account your personal situation.
What if I apply for a credit card promotion and then decide I don’t like the card?
If you change your mind about a credit card promotion during the application process, you can cancel your application by calling the issuer. If you decide you don’t like a card after you have been approved and activated it, you can cancel it at any time, even if you have used the credit card offer. But be aware – you must repay your balance, along with any outstanding fees and charges, when you close a card.
What else should I be aware of when comparing credit card offers?
Given the wide range of credit card offers that are available in Singapore, it could be tempting to sign up to more than one card. However, this is a risky game to play for a number of reasons. Holding multiple cards exposes you to a greater risk of fraud. Additionally, any unused credit cards can hurt your credit score and, finally, more cards are harder to manage and it could be easier to miss a payment on your credit card bill.
According to data from Finder Singapore, 88% of Singaporeans manage to pay off their outstanding balances on time each month. If you’re able to clear your credit card balance in full, then you’ll typically find the pros of any cardholder perks you get will outweigh the costs attached to your plastic.
Are the offers listed on this page the current promotions available from the bank?
The banks provide us with credit card offer updates. We try to the best of our ability to keep the rates up to date – but if you’ve noticed a discrepancy, then please tell us by posting a query on the bottom of this page.
Zyane Tan is an associate editor at Finder. An experienced copywriter and content creator, Zyane enjoys writing on a wide array of subjects. When she’s not busy typing away, she’s reading and musing over a pint.
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