Credit Cards

Best Credit Cards for Overseas And Foreign Currency Spending 2018

overseas foreign currency spending credit card singapore

Joanne Poh

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So you’ve been saving up your annual leave and spending every hour searching for cheap air tickets online. And now, it’s time to embark on well-deserved overseas holiday. But before you blow the rest of your cash on your trip, make sure you are using a credit card that rewards you handsomely for overseas and foreign currency spending. After all, you don’t want your trip of a lifetime to literally be the only trip you can afford to take in your life.

Can you use your credit card for overseas payments in foreign currency and still enjoy benefits?

Chances are, you already have some go-to credit cards for certain types of spending such as dining, entertainment and shopping.

The catch is, these cards’ cashback, air miles and rewards might not be applicable to foreign currency spending.

If you read your credit card’s benefits terms and conditions, you should be able to figure out whether the benefits are applicable to overseas spending, too. Read the clauses governing the type of spending you’re interested in (eg. cashback for dining). They should indicate whether the benefits are applicable to local and/or overseas spending.

Not sure where to find the document? Google [credit card name] + [terms and conditions]. If you still can’t figure it out, give your bank a call.

Credit cards that reward you for overseas and foreign currency spending

Here are some of our top picks.

Credit card

Cashback / air miles / rewards for overseas and foreign currency spending

Things to note

Cashback cards

UOB YOLO Credit Card

8% on weekend overseas dining, entertainment and Grab rides

3% on weekday overseas dining, entertainment and Grab rides

Min. spend $600

Cashback cap $60

Citi Cash Back Card

8% cashback on dining, Grab, groceries and petrol worldwide

Min. spend $888

Cashback capped at 25% in each category (dining, Grab, groceries, petrol)

OCBC 365 Credit Card

3% on overseas dining worldwide

Min. spend $600

Cashback cap $80

UOB One Card

$50 (up to 3.33%) / $100 (up to 3.33%)  / $300 (up to 5%) (quarterly flat payout)

Min. spend $500 / $1,000 / $2,000 x 3 months in a quarter

Cashback cap $50 / $100 / $300

POSB Everyday Card

5% on overseas spend

Cashback valid till 31 Jul 2018 unless otherwise stated.

Min. spend of $1,000 and must register through DBS Lifestyle App to qualify for 5% overseas spend cashback.

Cashback capped at $50 on overseas spend.

HSBC Advance Credit Card

3.5% / 2.5% / 1.5%

Min. spend $2,000 and must be an HSBC Advance customer, otherwise cashback is only 2.5% (for HSBC Advance customers) or 1.5% (for non-HSBC Advance customers)

Cashback cap $125

Maybank Platinum Visa Card

$30 (up to 3.33%) / $100 (up to 3.33%) rebate on local spend (quarter flat payout)

Min. spend $300 every month in a quarter to receive $30 rebate

Min. spend $1,000 every month in a quarter to receive $100 rebate

Standard Chartered Unlimited Cashback Credit Card

3% on foreign currency spend for 1st 3 months of card membership

1.5% on everything else

American Express True Cashback Card

3% cashback on up to $5,000 spend in first 6 months of card membership

1.5% thereafter

Maybank FC Barcelona Visa Signature Card

1.6%

Air miles cards

UOB PRVI Miles

$1 = 2.4 miles for overseas spend

$1 = 6 miles (Agoda, Expedia, UOB Travel)

10,000 welcome miles for new UOB cardmembers with $6,000 spend in 3 months (expires 31 Jul 2018)

Citi PremierMiles

$1 = 2 miles for overseas spend

$1 = 7 miles (Agoda)

$1 = 10 miles (Kaligo)

10,000 miles when you renew and pay annual fee of $192.60

American Express KrisFlyer Ascend

$1 = 2 miles for overseas spend in Jun & Dec

7,000 welcome miles upon first spend (expires 30 Jun 2018)

13,000 miles with $5,000 spend OR 19,000 miles with $10,000 spend in 3 months

American Express KrisFlyer

$1 = 2 miles for overseas spend in Jun & Dec

7,000 welcome miles upon first spend + 6,000 miles with $2,000 spend in 3 months (expires 30 Jun 2018)

Maybank Horizon

$1 = 2 miles for overseas spend and flights

Min. spend $300/month

Best all-purpose cashback credit card for overseas spending: POSB Everyday Card

This offer expires 31 Jul 2018 and POSB has not released any information about whether it will be extended. But in the meantime, the 5% cashback on overseas spending across all categories is one of the most generous.

The main inconvenience is that you must download the DBS Lifestyle app and be one of the first 10,000 to register for the promotion.

You must also spend at least $1,000 in a calendar month to qualify for the 5% cashback. If you are travelling in a group and don’t think you can meet the minimum spending amount, pay for the other people in the group and get them to reimburse you in SGD later. However, just remember that the cashback cap of $50 means that you will not be rewarded for any overseas spending after the first $1,000.

Scenario

You are headed to Tokyo for a week-long holiday. You pay 500 SGD for your hotel using your POSB Everyday Card at the end of your stay. You also spend 500 SGD on food and 200 SGD on shopping, bringing your total spending to 1,200 SGD.

If you have signed up and registered on the DBS Lifestyle app in time, you will receive 5% cash rebates on your overseas spending as you have satisfied the minimum spending requirements of 1,000 SGD. However, as you are entitled to a maximum cashback of $50, you will only receive $50 worth of cashback rather than $60 (5% x 1,200 SGD).

POSB Everyday Card

POSB Everyday Card


Card Benefits

    • Up to 20.1% cash rebate at SPC
    • 5% cash rebate at Sheng Siong. S$50 cash rebate cap per calendar month.
    • 3% cash rebate at Watsons, and local medical spend (dental, clinic, hospital)
    • 1% cash rebate on recurring utilities bills from SP Group and recurring StarHub mobile/digital cable/broadband bills and ins-tore purchases
    • Get 0.3% on everything else
    • No minimum spend required

    Best cashback credit card for overseas dining: Citi Cash Back Card

    If you’re a foodie who travels to stuff your face with global cuisine at world-class restaurants, the Citi Cash Back Card is handy to have around as it rewards you with a very generous 8% cashback on dining worldwide. If you’re cooking at your accommodation to save money, you can also enjoy 8% on groceries.

    The minimum spending requirement is $888. The card’s 8% rebates also extend to petrol and Grab rides, so if you’re renting a car or using the Grab app in a country where it’s available (Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam, Myanmar), make sure you use the card to pay for petrol top-ups or Grab fees.

    The main downside is that bonus cashback is capped at $25 in each category. So you won’t get the bonus cashback for amounts you spend above $312.50 SGD in each category.

    Scenario

    While on holiday in Bangkok, you spend 200 SGD on restaurant meals. You also spend 150 SGD using Grab to book taxi rides. You then decide to rent a car and take a road trip to Ayutthaya and Sukothai. Car rental costs 200 SGD and you spend an additional 100 SGD on petrol. You also spend 300 SGD on shopping at Chatuchak Market. You charge all these costs (950 SGD in total) to your Citi Cash Back Card.

    As you have fulfilled the minimum spending requirement of $888, you will receive 8% cashback on the following:

    • The 200 SGD you spent on restaurant meals
    • The 150 SGD you spent on Grab rides
    • The 100 SGD you spent on petrol

    The total cashback you will receive is $36.

    Citi Cash Back Card

    Citi Cash Back Card


    Card Benefits

    • Get S$120 Cashback
    • 8% cash back at food & beverage outlets, supermarkets, food & groceries delivery (including Deliveroo, honestbee, RedMart) and Grab rides globally (valid till 6 Apr 2018)
    • Up to 20.88% fuel savings at Esso and Shell, and 8% cash back at other petrol stations
    • Total minimum retail spend of S$888/statement month to get 8% cash back, capped at S$25 per category (Dining, Grab rides valid till 6 Apr 2018, Groceries, Petrol). For retail spend less than S$888 and/or other retail spend categories, 0.25% cash back is awarded, no cap

    Best air miles credit card for overseas spending: UOB PRVI Miles

    UOB PRVI Miles stands out for its generous miles conversion rate for overseas spending—a cool 2.4 miles for every 1 SGD spent.

    You also get a decent 6 miles for every $1 spent on online hotel and flight bookings through certain sites like Agoda and Expedia, so it’s a card you can start using even before your trip begins.

    Another pertinent point is that the minimum income requirements is an entry-level $30,000, unlike many frequent flyer credit cards which require at least $50,000. That is a very good deal for such a generous credit card.

    Scenario

    You use your UOB PRVI Miles card to book a flight on Expedia to Paris costing 1,000 SGD, as well as a week’s hotel stay on Agoda costing 800 SGD. You will receive 6 miles for every dollar spent on these online hotel and flight bookings, adding up to 10,800 miles.

    You then use your card to pay for your meals and shopping in Paris, which add up to 1,200 SGD altogether. You will receive 2.4 miles for every SGD spent in Paris, adding up to 2,880 miles.

    In total, you will receive 13,830 miles for all the above spending.

    UOB PRVI Miles Card

    UOB PRVI Miles Card


    Card Benefits

      • S$1 = 1.4 miles (Local spend); S$1 = 2.4 miles (Overseas spend)
      • S$1 = 6 miles for spends on major airlines and hotels booked through Expedia, UOB Travel, and Agoda
      • No minimum spend and no cap on earned miles
      • 20,000 loyalty miles every year with min. spend of S$50,000 in a year; Up to 8 complimentary airport transfers to Changi Airport in a year (Exclusively for UOB PRVI Miles American Express Card)
      • Complimentary travel insurance coverage of up to S$1,000,000. T&Cs apply.

      Which is your favourite credit card to use for overseas spending? Share your recommendations in the comments!

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      Joanne Poh

      In my previous life, I was a property lawyer who spent most of my time struggling to get out of bed or stuck in peak hour traffic. These days, as a freelance commercial writer, I work in bed, on the beach, in parks and at cafes, all while being really frugal. I like helping other people save money so they can stop living lives they don't like.