Credit Cards

The Best Student Credit Cards in Singapore 2018

best student credit card Singapore 2018

Clara Lim

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If you’re a student, you’re probably feeling broke all the time, but even without a regular income you can still get a credit card. Unlike regular credit cards, student credit cards have no minimum income requirement, low annual fees and a low credit limit (the maximum amount you can charge to your card, usually $500).

Here’s a list of student credit cards in Singapore and what benefits (if any) they have:

 

Best student credit cards in Singapore 2018

Credit card Benefits
DBS Live Fresh Student Card Free entry to Zouk & other nightlife privileges. 0.3% cashback on online & contactless payment
Citibank Clear Card 10% cashback at Starbucks and 5% at Subway with min. spend $10
Maybank eVibes Card 1% cashback. Sign up gift of Adidas watch
CIMB AWSM Card 1% cashback on dining, entertainment, online shopping, telco bills
Standard Chartered Manhattan $500 Card 0.25% cashback
BOC Qoo10 Platinum Mastercard 3% to 10% Qmoney rebates with min. spend $200

 

DBS student credit card – DBS Live Fresh Student Card

DBS Live Fresh Visa Student Card

DBS Live Fresh Visa Student Card


Card Benefits

    • 0.3% cashback on online shopping and contactless payments
    • Contactless payments: Visa payWave, Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, Android Pay
    • Enjoy 5-year annual fee waiver

    The DBS Live Fresh Student Card is one of the most attractive student credit cards out there, mainly because it gives you free entry to Zouk – plus discounts on drinks and the chance to win tickets to ZoukOut.

    However, it is the most restrictive student card – it’s only for students of the 6 local universities and 5 polytechnics. Its cashback benefit (0.3% on online shopping & contactless payment) is also pretty damn measly.

    DBS Live Fresh Student Card
    Annual fee & waiver $128.40 (waived for 5 years)
    Credit limit $500
    Eligibility 18 to 27 years old, Singapore citizen or PR
    Eligible schools NUS, NTU, SMU, SUTD, SUSS, SIT, Nanyang Polytechnic, Ngee Ann Polytechnic, Temasek Polytechnic, Singapore Polytechnic or Republic Polytechnic
    Minimum income None

     

    Citibank student credit card – Citibank Clear Card

    The Citibank Clear Card is a pretty good card for coffee addicts – you get 10% rebate at Starbucks with minimum $10 spend. You also get 5% rebate at Subway with the same minimum spend.

    The Citi Clear Card has less strict requirements compared to the other credit cards. It has the widest range of schools eligible, including business schools like INSEAD and SP Jain. So if you’re a non-local student or studying outside of the major schools in Singapore, this is a card you can apply for.

    Citibank Clear Card
    Annual fee & waiver $29.96 (waived for 1 year)
    Credit limit
    Eligibility 18 years old & above
    Eligible schools NTU, NUS, SMU, SIM, SUTD, SIT, SUSS, University of Chicago Booth School of Business, DigiPen, ESSEC, GIST-TUM Asia, INSEAD, S P Jain, Tisch, UNLV, Nanyang Polytechnic, Ngee Ann Polytechnic, Republic Polytechnic, Singapore Polytechnic, Temasek Polytechnic, LASALLE-SIA, NAFA, EDHEC-Risk Institute and Sorbonne-Assas International Law School
    Minimum income None

     

    Maybank student credit card – Maybank eVibes Card

    The Maybank eVibes Card is another student credit card to consider for local students and NSFs waiting to start school. It gives you a decent 1% cashback on all spending, plus there’s a current sign-up gift of an Adidas watch.

    This credit card has a quarterly fee of $5, but new sign-ups get it waived for 2 years. Subsequently, it’s easy to waive – just charge anything to your card every quarter.

    Maybank eVibes Card
    Annual fee & waiver $5 quarterly (waived for 2 year)
    Credit limit $500
    Eligibility 18 to 30 years old, Singapore citizen or PR
    Eligible schools NUS, NTU, SUSS, SMU, NP, SP, NYP, TP, RP, NAFA, LASALLE, NIE, SUTD & SIT (or NSF)
    Minimum income None

     

    CIMB student credit card – CIMB AWSM Card

    The brand new CIMB AWSM (“Awesome”) Card is Malaysian bank CIMB’s entry into the student credit card space. It’s open to students and NSFs with no income, and working adults with a minimum income of $18,000.

    It doesn’t quite live up to its name though, as it offers just 1% cashback on dining, entertainment, online shopping and telco bills. Meh.

    CIMB AWSM Card
    Annual fee & waiver None
    Credit limit $500
    Eligibility 18 to 29 years old, Singapore citizen or PR
    Eligible schools Any (or NSF)
    Minimum income None for students or NSFs. $18,000 p.a. for working adults

     

    Standard Chartered student credit card – Standard Chartered Manhattan $500 Card

    Another no-frills student card, the Standard Chartered Manhattan $500 Card’s key benefit is 0.25% cashback on all spend, the lowest among all the student credit cards.

    Also, it’s only open to students of 5 schools in Singapore. But if you qualify for this card, you also qualify for one of the better credit cards on this list – so skip this one unless you have no choice.

    This card is also open to working adults earning $18,000 a year, so this might be one to consider if you’re not studying but aren’t earning enough for other credit cards.

    Standard Chartered Manhattan $500 Card
    Annual fee & waiver $32.10 (waived for 1 year)
    Credit limit $500
    Eligibility 18 to 32 years old, Singapore citizen or PR
    Eligible schools NTU, NUS, SMU, SIM and University of Chicago Graduate School of Business, Asia Campus
    Minimum income None for students. $18,000 p.a. for working adults

     

    BOC student credit card – BOC Qoo10 Platinum Mastercard

    If you’re an avid online shopper, you might have come across the BOC Qoo10 Platinum Mastercard, which dishes out rebates in Qmoney (i.e. Qoo10 credit) as long as you hit the minimum spending requirement of $200.

    The rebates are attractive – 10% on public transport, 3% on Grab/taxis, online spending and dining – until you realise the money is just locked up your Qoo10 account.

    BOC Qoo10 Platinum Mastercard
    Annual fee & waiver $30 (waived for 1 year)
    Credit limit $500
    Eligibility 18 years old & above
    Eligible schools Any
    Minimum income None for students. $18,000 p.a. for working adults

     

    Why would you need a student credit card?

    Even though students don’t usually spend a lot of money, having a card just makes life easier. Some of the benefits of credit and debit cards include:

    • You can make online purchases without asking your parents
    • You can use mobile apps that make your life better (and cheaper), e.g. bike-sharing apps
    • You don’t have to worry about running out of cash, since merchants like McDonald’s and Starbucks accept cards

    You might be wondering if you actually need a credit card if you already have a debit card.

    In terms of usage, they’re actually pretty interchangeable. Most places that accept Visa or Mastercard don’t care if you use a debit card or credit card.

    The difference is in how they work. Debit cards deduct funds directly from your account. You never have to worry about paying bills, but you need to make sure your bank account has enough funds for your spending.

    On the other hand, credit cards let you borrow money from a bank, which you need to return at the end of the month. Otherwise, you will have to pay interest and extra fees ON TOP of the original amount you owe. Basically, using a credit card is like borrowing from an extremely polite loan shark.

    But, with a credit card, you can make purchases even when you don’t have the actual cash in your bank account. And if you’re ever unlucky enough to get scammed (touch wood) it’s easier to block the transaction with a credit card – whereas if you use a debit card, say bye-bye to your funds.

    Apart from debit cards and student credit cards, you can also consider getting a supplementary credit card (supp card) which is linked to one of your parents’ credit cards, or even a prepaid credit card like the FEVO card.

    Do/did you use a student credit card? Which one? Tell us why in the comments!

     

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    Clara Lim

    I used to be MoneyDumb. I hung out at H&M every day and thought that a $50 lunch set was a good deal. These days, I spend my time researching the crap out of life and trying to maximise utility on micro-decisions. I'm not sure if that's an improvement.