How to apply for Credit cards for foreigners in Singapore

As a foreigner in Singapore, one might wonder if he or she should continue using their overseas credit card or get a local credit card in Singapore. Are foreigners eligible for a credit card in Singapore? Well, most credit cards in Singapore are also available for foreigners with a slight twist in their eligibility or document requirements. Let’s have a detailed look at the credit cards for foreigners in Singapore.

Can foreigners apply for a credit card in Singapore?

Well, certainly, foreigners can get credit cards in Singapore. However, there are MAS or Monetary Authority of Singapore’s rules and regulations in place. Certain banks also have further conditions such as residency pass validity or type etc which may or may not qualify foreigners for certain credit cards.

What are the requirements for foreigners to apply for a credit card in Singapore?

For foreigners in Singapore, the minimum income requirement is slightly higher compared to Singaporeans or Singapore permanent residents. Age is also a qualifying factor and also impacts the minimum income requirement as defined by Monetary Authority of Singapore. Let us look at the factors that matter for credit card application for foreigners in Singapore.


Most banks in Singapore offer credit cards to foreigners who are at least 21 years or older as the main cardholder.

Some bank may offer credit cards for 18 years and old, but those would be student credit cards. Example: BOC’s F1rst credit cards for students.

The age requirement may also change for certain premium credit cards in Singapore.

Minimum Income Requirement.

As per MAS regulations, a person under 55 years old needs to fulfil the below minimum income requirements.

  • Annual income of S$30,000 ( Applicable to Singaporeans or PRs) OR
  • Total net personal assets of at least S$ 2 million OR
  • Total net financial assets of at least S$ 1 million.

However, for a foreigner- the banks require a higher minimum income. Most banks in Singapore require foreigners to have a minimum annual income of $S40,000. Some banks may opt for a minimum annual income of S$45,000 to S$60,000.

For individuals above the age of 55, MAS guidelines suggest financial institutions issue credit cards if the below criteria for minimum income is met.

  • Annual income (not necessarily employment and may include other sources such as rental income) of at least S$15,000 OR
  • Total net personal assets worth of minimum S$750,000
  • A guarantor whose minimum income is S$30,000.

For a foreigner above the age of 55, financial institutions may have further minimum income requirements.

Documents required for foreigners to get a credit card in Singapore.

The below documents are required by most financial institutions for issuing a credit card to foreigners in Singapore. Institutions may also ask for further proofs if required.

  • Identity document: The identity document usually involves your valid foreign-issued passport copy. Singpass based MyInfo approvals may also be accepted by some institutions.
  • Address Proof: Utility bills, Phone bills or Bank statements can be used to prove your local address where the credit card statement may be sent.
  • Pass: Employment pass, S Pass, Work permit is required to prove your legal status in Singapore. Certain banks may require the pass to be valid for at least 6 months before your card is issued. An In-Principal Approval (IPA) document may be required in some cases. Also, certain credit cards are available for Employment Pass holders only.
  • Income proof: Payslips, or financial asset documents that can prove your minimum income requirement eligibility is needed.

What is the credit card limit for foreigners in Singapore?

MAS has guidelines to assign credit limits based on minimum income requirements. Banks or financial institutions may further have their discretions on setting up the credit limits.

The regulated credit limits for a person aged up to 55 is as below.

  • 2 months’ income credit limit for an annual income of S$30,000
  • 4 month’s income credit limit for an annual income of S$30,000 to S$120,000
  • No regulated credit limit for an annual income of S$120,000 or more or if personal assets of S$2 mil or financial assets of S$1 mil.

The credit card limit can be increased gradually if your income increases. You can contact your bank to update your income and thus increase the limit. IRAS Tax assessment or a letter from the company stating your new updated income would are required for foreigners.

What are the major types of credit cards in Singapore?

The major types of credit cards common in SG are VISA and MasterCard. American Express is also a popular credit card type in Singapore. Each of these cards are further offered with various types of benefits. Read our detailed article on types of credit cards and credit card rewards in Singapore.

Most banks or financial institutions offer all of these three types of credit cards in Singapore.

However, Singapore is very fast to adopt technology and cashless payment methods are in rampant use here. You might also want to check our guide to cashless payment methods in Singapore to understand the various payment methods you can use along with your credit card.

What kind of credit cards should a foreigner in Singapore choose?

Credit cards offer various benefits in form of points or cash backs and they might be of varied interests to foreigners in Singapore.

Below are our tips on which ones you as a foreigner should opt for.

The key idea is to match the credit card benefits with your lifestyle or life’s demands.

  • Airmiles: If you travel in and around Singapore a lot, having air miles cards might be beneficial. Other benefits would include travel insurances and or airport lounge access etc.
  • Cashback: Opt for these cards, if you would prefer cashback from your spending. Most cards usually offer cashback on new sign-ups.
  • Dining: Some cards offer deals with local eateries and run regular promotions. Opt for Dining promotion cards, if your lifestyle involves dining outside a lot.
  • Entertainment: Cards may also tie-up with cinema halls, theatres etc. Opt for these cards if you are spend visit the cinemas a lot, or appreciate the art and theatre industry.
  • Grocery: Some cards provide excellent benefits on everyday purchases. For example, POSB’s Everyday card.
  • Overseas Spending: Some cards may also have extra benefits such as savings on international currency spends etc. Opt for these cards if you foresee a lot of overseas travel and spends.
  • Petrol: Fuel cards are good options if you drive in Singapore. Financial institutions have tied up with Shell, SPC etc to offer points for fuels.
  • Shopping & Rewards: If you are someone who enjoys shopping, look for cards that offer rewards or points for using your cards to shop online or offline. For online shopping, we do recommend using virtual credit cards for extra safety. Check pre paid or virtual credit cards available in Singapore.

Does a foreigner need credit history to get a credit card in Singapore?

Credit cards issued in Singapore are based on MAS regulations. As such – as someone who meets the minimum income requirements and residency status in Singapore, overseas credit history may not be mandatory. Proving your creditworthiness using various documents is an accepted method for banks or financial institutions in Singapore.

Wrapping up

Foreigner expats resided in Singapore can opt for close to most credit cards offered to a local citizen or PRs but with slightly extra rigid requirements.

Do shop around and research to decide on the best credit card for your local use.

Suggested Credit cards for foreigners in Singapore.

Below are few of our suggestions on best credit cards for foreigners.


  1. Citi Rewards Card
    • Good for online spends and shopping.
    • S$1 = 10x points for online shopping
    • S$1 = 10x points for shopping
    • S$1 = 1x points for other spends

Apply for Citibank Rewards credit card.

  1. Citi PremierMiles Card
    • Good for miles.
    • S$1 = 1.2miles points for local spend
    • S$1 = 2miles for foreign currency spend
    • S$1 = 10miles for selected hotels and flights

Apply for Citibank PremierMiles credit card.

DBS Credit cards for foreigners

  1. DBS Woman’s world card
  • Not exclusively for woman- available for both men and woman for min income of S$80,000 ++
  • S$5 = 10x points for online shopping
  • S$5 = 1x points for other spends
  • S$1 = 2 miles for miles conversion

Apply for DBS Woman’s world credit card.

  1. DBS Altitude card
  • Best for travel in and around Asia
  • S$1 = 1.2miles points for local spend
  • S$1 = 2miles for foreign currency spend
  • S$1 = 4miles for Bus, MRT and Cab rides

Apply for DBS Altitude credit card.

HSBC Credit cards for foreigners

  1. HSBC Revolution Credit card
  • S$1 = 5x points for online shopping
  • S$1 = 1x points for other spends
  • S$1 = 0.4miles for miles conversion for selected airlines

Apply for HSBC Revolution credit card.

American Express Credit cards for foreigners

  1. American Express Platinum Credit card
  • Up to 50% discount at selected restaurants and hotels.
  • One for one drinks at selected rooftop bars and clubs

Apply for American Express Platinum credit card.

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