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.
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.
Save money with the following cards if you often travel to Singapore:
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.
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.
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
Get a credit card without foreign transaction fees. That way, you’ll save up to 3% on all purchases made abroad.
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.
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.
Get your bank’s phone number. Resolve any issues with your card with a phone call.
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.
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.
Singapore is a credit card friendly country. Visa, Mastercard and American Express are widely accepted, but it’s wise to carry cash as well.
Jeremy is finder's Global Head of Publishing & Editorial. Jeremy has been with finder since the very beginning and is part of the founding team working closely with Fred and Frank to build finder.com into the comparison network it is today.
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