Best Student Credit Cards 2019

Having a credit card is an important step to building a credit score while preparing to enter adulthood. There are several credit cards in Singapore specially designed for students, often with S$500 of monthly credit limit. These cards have no income requirement and provide great ways to save money while building a credit score.

Best Credit Cards for Students
Best OverallMB eVibesUnlimited 1% flat cashback for students & NSFs
Runner-UpCIMB AWSM1% rebate on dining, entertainment, online & telco
Dining DiscountsCiti Clear1 Pt (0.4 miles) per S$1, rebates with Dunkin’, Starbucks & more
Cashback on GrabSC Manhattan S$5000.25% cashback, up to 15% rebate on Grab
EZ-Link + Promos DBS Live Fresh0.3% cashback + EZ-Link, nightlife privileges

Best Overall Rebate Credit Card for Students: Maybank eVibes Card

Consider this if you want to maximise cashback on everyday spending

Annual Income Requirement N/A
Foreigner Income Requirement N/A
Promotions:
  • Receive Adidas wristwatch (worth S$120) on 1st charge, during 1st month

With Maybank eVibes Card, students can earn up to 4x the rewards offered by competitors. In fact, cardholders earn a market-leading 1% rebate on all of their spend–there are no merchant or category restrictions, making it incredibly easy to maximise cashback. Maybank eVIbes Card also has no minimum spend requirement to earn at this rate, and the S$5.0 quarterly fee (S$20.0/year) is waived simply with card use. Essentially, earning is easy and maintenance-free.

To top it off, students have access to Maybank’s TREATS Programme, which offers everything from S$1 meals coupons to discounted amusement park tickets. If you’re a student or NSF, there’s simply no better credit card than Maybank eVibes Card.

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  • Annual fee: S$20.0, waived with card use at least 1x/3mo
  • 1% unlimited rebate on all spend, no minimum requirement
  • S$500 credit limit
  • Access to Maybank TREATS discounts
  • Annual fee: S$20.0, waived with card use at least 1x/3mo
  • 1% unlimited rebate on all spend, no minimum requirement
  • S$500 credit limit
  • Access to Maybank TREATS discounts

Runner-Up for Best Credit Card for Students: CIMB AWSM Card

CIMB AWSM Card
CIMB AWSM Card

Consider this if you earn S$18,000 and S$30,000 per year and are below the age of 35

Annual Income Requirement S$0.0 for Students & NSFs (age 18-29); S$18,000 for salaried employees age below 35; S$30,000 for age above 35
Foreigner Income Requirement N/A
Promotions:
  • (No current promotions)

CIMB AWSM Card is an excellent option for students, and the absolute best card for salaried employees earning less than S$30,000/year. In fact, CIMB AWSM Card is one of the only cards on the market open to salaried employees with low-incomes (who otherwise, would not qualify for typical cards requiring salaries of S$30,000+ for approval).

CIMB AWSM Card is still one of the best options for students as well. Cardholders earn a high 1% unlimited rebate on dining, entertainment, online shopping & telco–key spend categories for young adults. There’s no minimum spend requirement, and the card is free forever, making it a great way to earn stress and maintenance-free cashback. Finally, students can access CIMB Deals & Discounts, which offer travel, dining and regional promotions across Singapore, Indonesia and Malaysia.

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  • Annual fee: Free
  • Accessible to working adults earning up to S$30,000/year
  • 1% unlimited cashback on dining, entertainment, online shopping & telco
  • No minimum spend requirement
  • S$500 credit limit
  • Access to CIMB Deals & Discounts
  • Annual fee: Free
  • Accessible to working adults earning up to S$30,000/year
  • 1% unlimited cashback on dining, entertainment, online shopping & telco
  • No minimum spend requirement
  • S$500 credit limit
  • Access to CIMB Deals & Discounts

Best Student Credit Card for Dining Discounts: Citi Clear Card

Citibank Clear Card
Citibank Clear Card

Consider this if you frequently visit Starbucks and Subway

Annual Income Requirement N/A
Foreigner Income Requirement N/A
Promotions:
  • Receive S$20 cashback with S$50 spend within 1st month

Citi Clear Card is a great option for students who spend quite a bit on dining, and is the only student card that offers points/miles rather than cashback. Cardholders earn 1 point (0.4 miles) per S$1 spend, with no minimum requirements. This is roughly equal in value to 0.4% cashback–which is still a higher rate than that offered by some alternatives.

Even better, students have access to both the Gourmet Pleasures and Citi Rebate Programmes. The former offers dining privileges on everything from delivery services to high-end steakhouses, while the latter provides up to 10% rebate with merchants like Dunkin’ and Starbucks. If you’re looking for an alternative to cashback and want great discounts on food, Citi Clear Card is an excellent option for you.

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  • Annual fee: S$29.96, 1-year waiver
  • 1 Pt (0.4 miles) per S$1 spend, no minimum requirement
  • S$500 credit limit
  • Access to Gourmet Pleasures & Citi Rebate programmes
  • Up to 14% fuel savings with Esso, Shell
  • Annual fee: S$29.96, 1-year waiver
  • 1 Pt (0.4 miles) per S$1 spend, no minimum requirement
  • S$500 credit limit
  • Access to Gourmet Pleasures & Citi Rebate programmes
  • Up to 14% fuel savings with Esso, Shell

Best Card for Cashback on Grab: Standard Chartered Manhattan S$500 Card

Standard Chartered Manhattan $500 Card
Standard Chartered Manhattan $500 Card

Consider this if you often spend on Grab rides

Annual Income Requirement N/A
Foreigner Income Requirement N/A
Promotions:
  • 15% cashback on Grab after S$900 spend (up to S$30/month)

Standard Chartered Manhattan S$500 Card offers straightforward cashback and is best fit for low-income working adults earning less than S$30,000/year. Cardholders earn 0.25% flat rebate, which is lower than some alternatives, so students might prefer another card. However, working adults earning at least S$18,000/year have fewer options overall, but can qualify for this card.

SC Manhattan S$500 Card does have a few benefits. There is no minimum spend requirement and no cap on earnings. In addition, the S$32.1 annual fee is waived 1 year. Finally, cardholders have access to SC’s Grab promotion, which offers 15% cashback on rides (up to S$30/month), but there is a S$900 minimum spend requirement which may be difficult for students and low income earners to reach.

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  • Annual fee: S$32.1, 1-year waiver
  • Accessible to working adults earning up to S$18,000/year
  • 0.25% unlimited rebate on all spend, no minimum requirement
  • S$500 credit limit
  • Annual fee: S$32.1, 1-year waiver
  • Accessible to working adults earning up to S$18,000/year
  • 0.25% unlimited rebate on all spend, no minimum requirement
  • S$500 credit limit

Best Student Card for EZ-Link & Promotions: DBS Live Fresh Student Card

DBS Live Fresh Student Card
DBS Live Fresh Student Card

Consider this if you want an all-in-one card with EZ-link compatibility

Annual Income Requirement N/A
Foreigner Income Requirement N/A
Promotions:
  • S$10 off Deliveroo order when you spend S$150 within 30 days of getting the card
  • Exclusive Zouk nightlife privileges

DBS Live Fresh Student Card is the best all-in-one student card because of its convenient EZ-Link functionality. Cardholders earn 0.3% flat cashback with no minimum spend requirement, up to S$20/month. While this amount may seem low, cardholders are unlikely to feel limited due to the lower rewards rate (which slows earning). However, this rate is still higher than some alternatives.

Other benefits include access to frequent promotions and prizes specifically tailored to young adults. From ‘lucky draws’ for free trips to exclusive nightlife privileges, cardholders enjoy a series of rotating perks unavailable with competitors. Finally, while there’s a S$128.4 fee, it’s waived for 5-years, after which most students will likely transition to a mainstream card anyways.

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  • Annual fee: S$128.4, 5-year waiver
  • 0.3% rebate on all spend, up to S$20/month
  • No minimum spend requirement
  • S$500 credit limit
  • Annual fee: S$128.4, 5-year waiver
  • 0.3% rebate on all spend, up to S$20/month
  • No minimum spend requirement
  • S$500 credit limit

Summary of Best Credit Cards for Students 2019

Below, we've prepared a summary of our picks for the best credit cards for students in 2019.

CardBest for...Annual Fee
Maybank eVibesHighest Flat Rebate for StudentsS$20.0 (waiver)
CIMB AWSMRebates for Social & Online SpendS$0.0
Citi ClearDining Discounts for StudentsS$29.96
SC Manhattan S$500Grab Cashback for StudentsS$32.16
DBS Live Fresh StudentEZ-Link + YA PromosS$128.4
CardBest for...Annual Fee
Maybank eVibesHighest Flat Rebate for StudentsS$20.0 (waiver)
CIMB AWSMRebates for Social & Online SpendS$0.0
Citi ClearDining Discounts for StudentsS$29.96
SC Manhattan S$500Grab Cashback for StudentsS$32.16
DBS Live Fresh StudentEZ-Link + YA PromosS$128.4

Alternatives

Another means of getting a credit card when you are not earning an income is to simply get a supplementary card from someone who trusts you, like your parents. However, the main cardholder will then be liable for any late payments or unpaid debts from the supplementary cardholder. But getting a credit card as a student can be a great aid to you financially, and also give you a taste of managing your own finances. They also come with great perks like rebates and ability to start building a credit score to help accelerate your financial adulthood.

Carrie Arndt

Carrie is a Senior Analyst at ValueChampion, specialising in credit cards in Singapore. She previously led consumer studies worldwide as a Senior Research Executive at MMR Research.

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