From groceries to hotel bookings, apparels to home appliances, the rise of the Internet and the proliferation of personal devices have paved the way for e-commerce being an essential part of our daily lives. With a credit or debit card on hand, almost everything and anything can be purchased at the mere click of a button.
If you shop online frequently, an online shopping debit card may be ideal for you. Learn more in this guide.
Most leading banks in Singapore offer a selection of debit cards designed for online shopping. These cards typically reward their users with cash rebates when they make an eligible purchase at a qualifying spending category or at any partner merchants. Cashback is usually a percentage of the transaction, which will be credited back into your account or used to offset your next purchase.
However, not all online shopping debit cards are created equal. The type of rewards may earn can vary vastly from card to card, so always read the card’s terms and conditions or cashback offer before applying.
Using your debit card for online purchases
If you’re paying for something online, you can typically use your debit card just like a credit card. In fact, you don’t even need to indicate that you’re using a debit card. Simply select the ‘pay with credit card’ option to proceed.
Next, you’d be prompted to provide the following details:
Select your card’s payment network provider. Indicate whether your card’s transaction will be processed by Mastercard, Visa or any other accepted payment networks. Some websites skip this step by working out the payment network automatically once you input your card number.
Input your card’s 16-digit number. This string of numbers are often on the front of the card
Enter the card’s expiration date. Usually indicated on the front of the card in MM/YY format.
Indicate the CVV/CVC security code. Short for Card Verification Value/Code, these 3-digit authorisation codes are typically printed on the signature bar, which is on the back of most cards.
Provide the billing address. This is usually your residential address that is linked to the card.
Online shopping may be convenient, but it also has some of the highest potentials for fraud and scams.
To keep your card details and money safe, ensure that:
Your computer is equipped with up-to-date security software
The website is secured with the SSL certificate and encryption technologies
You never send any payment information directly to the merchant through unsecured channels such as email or direct messaging
You keep a record of your online transactions and order confirmation
What online shopping debit cards are available in Singapore?
Here’s an overview for some of the most popular online shopping debit cards in Singapore:
Cash rebates. All contactless payments made via Visa payWave will receive Up to 3% Cashback
Requires at least S$500 spending per month on Visa and keep cash withdrawals to within S$400.
Cashback capped at S$20 per month
New cardholder benefits:
Sign up by 31 December 2020 to receive up to 10% cashback on online food delivery and local transport.
Spend at least S$500 in a month and keep your cash withdrawals are below S$400 for the same month to be eligible.
No foreign exchange fees. Link your debit card to your DBS Multi-Currency Account (MCA) and you can make same-day transfers and payments in 11 foreign currencies with no fees. Terms and conditions apply.
Contactless payments. Compatible with Apple Pay, Google Pay and Samsung Pay.
TransitLink SimplyGo. Pay for your rides on trains and buses conveniently with contactless payments.
S$6 off s-mart with S$55 min. spend (for first 220 redemptions per calendar month. Valid till 31 December 2020)
Special discount on Big Campaign Days (from 11 November till 12 December 2020)
Exclusive Shopee deals and promotions
3% rebate on Dairy Farm Singapore merchants. Includes Cold Storage, Giant, Guardian, Market Place, 7-Eleven, Jasons and Jasons Deli.
1% Grab rebates. On all Grab transactions, except Grab mobile wallet top-ups.
Exclusive perks. Enjoy dining deals and shopping discounts at participating merchants.
Free overseas ATM withdrawals. For UOB ATMs in Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand only.
Earn bonus interest. Applies to your UOB One Account balance when you fulfil certain criteria (e.g. salary crediting, S$500 card spend and 3 GIRO transactions)
TransitLink SimplyGo. Pay for your rides on trains and buses conveniently with contactless payments.
Contactless and mobile payments. Visa PayWave and Apple Pay.
At least 16 years old
$18 annual fee (waived for the first 3 years). Automatic waiver with at least 12 Visa transactions per year.
*Information correct as at 22 November 2020
What limits and fees apply with debit cards?
Minimum monthly spend. Most debit cards impose a minimum monthly spend to be eligible for rewards, so make sure to check if it does before applying.
Annual fees. The more features your card offers, the more likely it is it will have an annual fee. So make sure to check if the debit card you’re applying for comes with an annual fee. If so, find out if there are any fee waiver criteria.
Fall-below fee. Some banks will require that you maintain a minimum monthly balance in the account and may charge a S$2 to $5 fall below fee if you’re unable to do so.
Other fees. Read the fine print to see if you are subject to any other transactional fees, such as overseas ATM withdrawal fees.
How do I compare online shopping debit cards?
In order to take full advantage of your debit card, make sure to compare the following features before applying:
Rewards. Many debit cards offer rewards such as rebates and cashback for your purchases. For example, you may gain 1% cashback when you make an eligible purchase online. However, the maximum cashback you can earn may be capped at a certain amount per month. So make sure to read the card’s terms and conditions before applying.
Promotions. Select a card that offers rewards or rebates for categories that suit your spending habits.
Supported currencies. Some cards allow you to hold multiple foreign currencies, which is advantageous if you’re a frequent traveller or avid online shopper. Check to ensure that the currencies you deal with most are available and if any conversion fees apply.
Payment options. Most debit cards are equipped with contactless technology and compatible with Apple Pay, Google Pay and Samsung Pay. Check if the card comes with any of these features for fast and hassle-free payments.
Currency conversion charges. In addition to the exchange rate differences, the bank could also be charging you each time you convert your money to another currency.
Fees. Unexpected fees can add up, so be sure to scrutinise the card’s fee table before choosing the card.
Daily limits.Find out if the debit card comes with any spending limits (i.e. $1,000, $2,000, $3,000 per day).
Am I eligible for an online shopping debit card?
Debit cards have different eligibility criteria you will need to meet in order to apply. These can include:
Be of a certain age (generally 16 years and above)
Have a savings/chequing account with the bank
You’ll typically need to bring the following with you:
Identification. For Singaporeans and permanent residents, make sure to bring along your NRIC. For foreigners, you’ll need to bring your passport as well as your Employment Pass (EP), S-Pass or Student Pass.
Proof of residential address. Your latest utility bill, account statement or letter from any government bodies.
Do note that the documentation and eligibility information we’ve provided is only meant as a general guide. Before proceeding to open a current account at your chosen bank, make sure to check their eligibility criteria and know what are the exact documents required.
Frequently asked questions
When you’ve successfully applied for a debit card, you’ll receive your card and PIN in two separate mailers. When you’ve received your debit card, the instructions for card activation will be included in the mailer. Usually, you’ll be able to activate it conveniently through SMS/mobile banking, internet banking or at any ATMs.
To access the ATM with your debit card, you’ll need the PIN in the second mailer. Make sure to change your PIN and dispose of the mail after that.
If you suspect that your debit card has been compromised (or if it has been stolen or misplaced), make sure to notify the bank immediately so that they can freeze the card. They will then issue a new one as a replacement.
Most online payment checkouts are secured by 3DS (3-D Secure), an added layer of security which will require the cardholder to enter a One-Time Password (OTP). The OTP is typically be sent to you via SMS or email. Simply enter the code to complete your payment.
Some banks in Singapore, such as DBS/POSB has the option to send a push notification for users to complete the authentication via the bank’s mobile banking app instead of an SMS OTP.
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.
How likely would you be to recommend finder to a friend or colleague?
Very UnlikelyExtremely Likely
Thank you for your feedback.
Our goal is to create the best possible product, and your thoughts, ideas and suggestions play a major role in helping us identify opportunities to improve.
finder.com is an independent comparison platform and information service that aims to provide you with the tools you need to make better decisions. While we are independent, the offers that appear on this site are from companies from which finder.com receives compensation. We may receive compensation from our partners for placement of their products or services. We may also receive compensation if you click on certain links posted on our site. While compensation arrangements may affect the order, position or placement of product information, it doesn't influence our assessment of those products. Please don't interpret the order in which products appear on our Site as any endorsement or recommendation from us. finder.com compares a wide range of products, providers and services but we don't provide information on all available products, providers or services. Please appreciate that there may be other options available to you than the products, providers or services covered by our service.