Going to Singapore? A guide to using a credit card in Singapore
Heritage boats on the Singapore River, Singapore

Using a credit card in Singapore

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Save money on purchases and cash withdrawals abroad.

Singapore is one of the more technologically and financially advanced countries in Asia. This means credit cards such as Visa, Mastercard and American Express are widely accepted. Still, it’s always a good idea to carry some cash for smaller establishments that may not accept plastic.

Our pick for use overseas

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred named "Best Credit Card for Flexible Travel Redemption" - Kiplinger's Personal Finance, June 2018
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
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Compare cards for use in Singapore

All cards in the table below have no foreign transaction fees. This means you’ll avoid paying up to a 3% fee on every transaction made abroad.

Name Product Foreign Transaction Fee Annual Fee Purchase APR
None
$0
17.99% to 26.99% variable
Earn 75,000 Hilton Honors™ Bonus Points after you spend $1,000 in purchases on the card within your first 3 months of card membership. Rates & fees
None
$95
18.24% to 25.24% variable
Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months.
None
$0
15.24% to 26.24% variable
Build your credit with no fees: Apply if you're new to credit or have a fair to good score.
None
$0
15.24%, 19.24% or 25.24% variable
Earn unlimited 1.5% cash rewards on purchases. See Rates and Fees.
None
$450
19.24% to 26.24% variable
Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months.

Compare up to 4 providers

Save money with the following cards if you often travel to Singapore:

United Airlines and Singapore Airlines fly between the US and Singapore. Both are members of the Star Alliance, so you earn and redeem miles on both airlines with a United credit card.

On the other hand, China Eastern Airlines has some of the cheapest flights to Singapore. But you need a Delta credit card to earn and redeem miles on this airline.

Potential credit card fees in Singapore

Using your credit card in Singapore could come with two kinds of fees:

  • Foreign transaction fees. Depending on your card, you could pay up to a 3% fee on your transactions.
  • Currency conversion fees. You can incur a Dynamic Currency Conversion (DCC) if you pay a merchant in US dollars. This means the local bank will make the conversion, which comes with a poor conversion rate.

Can I incur both fees?

Yes. You should decline DCC if offered and instead pay with local currency or use a credit card without foreign transaction fees.

Which credit card issuers are accepted in Singapore?

American Express cards are likely accepted as widely as Visa and Mastercard in Singapore. Discover cards, less so. But you can still find places with the Diners Club logo where you could pay with your Discover card.

If you’re looking to make cash withdrawals, Citibank and DBS take Discover, while DBS and many smaller banks’ ATMs accept Amex cards.

Merchant acceptance
ATM acceptance
Visa
check mark iconHigh
check mark iconHigh
Mastercard
check mark iconHigh
check mark iconHigh
American Express
check mark iconHigh
check mark iconHigh
Discover
exclamation point iconMedium
exclamation point iconMedium

Should I use my credit card to get cash in Singapore

Singapore has high credit card acceptance, but you would also need cash for smaller purchases or for visiting an open-air market, for example.

ATMs are widely available across Singapore. If you use a credit card, however, you’ll incur a cash advance fee and a cash advance APR. Debit cards are more ideal for cash withdrawals abroad, as they don’t incur these fees.

Check out our travel money guide: Singapore to learn more.

Do taxis in Singapore accept credit cards?

Yes, a large number of taxis in Singapore accept credit cards. However, they also charge an additional 10% for credit card payments.

Chip-and-PIN credit cards

Chip-and-PIN cards and chip-and-signature cards are most common in Singapore. For ATM withdrawals, having a PIN works best. Ask your bank for a four-digit PIN before your travel.

Is it safe to use my credit card in Singapore?

Singapore is one of the safest countries for credit card use. However, exercising caution is wise. For example:

  • Select ATMs with care. ATMs associated with a bank are generally safer. It’s also easier to call for assistance if the machine eats your card.
  • Take two cards. A backup card could be a lifesaver should something happen to your primary one.
  • Keep your card in sight. Keep an eye on your card to prevent card misuse.

How to prepare before traveling to Singapore

  1. Get a credit card without foreign transaction fees. That way, you’ll save up to 3% on all purchases made abroad.
  2. Visa and Mastercard are universally accepted. American Express is also widely accepted in Singapore. Discover lags behind the three, but you can find places with the Diners Club logo that accept the card.
  3. Notify your bank before you travel. As a general rule, always inform your bank when traveling abroad. Otherwise, they may interpret charges made abroad as fraudulent and block your card.
  4. Get your bank’s phone number. Resolve any issues with your card with a phone call.
  5. Get a backup card. You shouldn’t rely on a single credit card, as it may get lost or be declined. Having a second card could put your mind at ease.
  6. Get some cash. Small shops and restaurants may not accept credit cards. Taxis widely accept credit cards but add a surcharge. Having cash in your pocket for incidentals would be wise.

Bottom line

Singapore is a credit card friendly country. Visa, Mastercard and American Express are widely accepted, but it’s wise to carry cash as well.

You’ll find ATMs across Singapore, but consider using a debit card. For all other purchases, a credit card without foreign transaction fees is the best option.
See more guides on using a credit card in other countries.

Frequently asked questions

Disclaimer

Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer.

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