Credit Cards

How to Apply for a Credit Card

Get the Best Credit Cards in Singapore

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While the process of applying for a credit card may seem confusing at first, all you really need in order to fill out your application are your NRIC and a document proving your employment or your university enrollment. Below, we explain which requirements need to be met for each type of credit card application.

Applying for a Credit Card: General Criteria

Most banks require Singapore citizens and permanent residents below the age of 35 to have a minimum annual income of S$18,000, while those between the ages of 35 and 55 must have a minimum annual income of S$30,000. Foreigners are required to have a minimum annual income between S$40,000 and S$80,000, depending on the bank.

Financial RequirementDocuments Required
Adult citizens and permanent residents under age 35S$18,000 annual incomeNRIC and proof of employment
Adult citizens and permanent residents age 35-55
  • S$30,000 OR
  • S$2 million personal assets OR
  • S$1 million total financial assets
NRIC and proof of employment
Foreign nationalsS$40,000 to S$80,000
StudentsnoneNRIC and proof of school enrollment

If you are a working adult between the ages of 35 and 55 years, and you make less than S$30,000, you can still satisfy the financial requirement if you own personal (cash, savings, certificates of deposit) or financial assets (stocks, bonds, mutual funds). Your card's credit limit will also depend on your annual salary, starting at S$5,000 for S$30,000 of annual salary. Some student credit cards do not require a salary, but their credit card limits are typically capped at S$500. Required documentation often varies depending on the type and length of your employment.

The application process typically takes no more than 10 minutes, and can be completed either via SingPass with MyInfo, via the bank's online banking platform (for existing customers) or via a manually filled online application. You will need a copy of your NRIC, latest payslip or Tax Notice of Assessment, your CPF statement, bank statements, pay slips and for some applications also a utility/telephone bill. For some applications, only a portion of these documents is required.

Depending on the platform used for the application, and whether you are already an existing customer of the bank, the approval can happen instantly or take up to 7 business days.

How to Apply for a Credit Card as a Student

Several banks offer tertiary students credit cards without having to satisfy the minimum salary requirement, which is a great opportunity to start building your credit early. Most banks have similar eligibility requirements, which are:

  • You must be a Singapore citizen or permanent resident
  • You must not have an existing credit card with the bank
  • You must be at least 21 years old (some banks make exceptions for applicants 18 years or older if they can provide their parent's NRIC for the application)
  • No minimum income requirement (and typically a S$500 spending cap)

The required documents are:

  • Copy of NRIC/Passport
  • Copy of your Student ID
  • If below 21 years old, must provide a copy of your parent's NRIC/Passport (in some cases parent's signature is also required)

While credit card applications for adults are typically filled out online and can be approved in minutes, student credit cards are often filled out online, then printed, signed and mailed by post or sent by email along with the supporting documents. The processing time can take two weeks or longer.

There are several great options currently available for students. DBS Live Fresh Student Card offers up to 5% cashback on shopping, dining and TV streaming services, for students between the ages of 21 and 27 years old. The annual fee of S$192.60 will be waived for the first 5 years.

Maybank eVibes Card offers 1% rebate on all spending, with the fees waived for the first 2 years if the card is used at least once every 3 months. The applicant's age must be between 18 and 30 years old, and the only documents you will need for your application are a copy of your NRIC and a copy of your Student ID (if below the age of 21, parent's NRIC is also required).

Citi Clear Card also offers 1% rebate for every S$1 spent and also offers shopping and dining promotions. The annual fee will be waived for the first year, and the minimum age to apply is also 18. The documents required are a copy of your NRIC and a copy of your Matriculation card, with an additional copy of your parent's NRIC if below 21 years old.

For a complete guide of best student credit cards, click here .

How to Apply for a Credit Card as a Working Adult (Singaporean/PR)

For working adults there are two categories which will dictate the outcome of your application: your age and your type of employment. Age Classification: If you are below the age of 35, the minimum salary requirement is S$18,000 to apply for a credit card. If you are 35 years old and above, the minimum salary requirement is S$30,000.

Now that you know which salary category you are in, the next step is figuring out which documents are required for the application, which depend on your type of employment.

Employment TypeRequired Documents
Full time employee (more than 2 months)Full-time employee (less than 3 months)
A copy of your NRIC/passportA copy of your NRIC/passport
Latest 3 months payslips ORA copy of Staff Pass
Latest 3 months CPF Contribution History Statement ORLatest payslips
Most recent Income Tax Assessment and 12 months' CPF contribution history

Some banks may also request a copy of your utility or telephone bill. There are typically two exceptional cases where you won't be required to provide any documentation. The first is if you already have a credit card with the bank. The second is when you're applying for your first credit card at a bank where you already have a debit card. In that case, most banks won't require any documents other than an online application so long as you also credit your salary via GIRO.

How to Apply for a Credit Card as a Self-Employed Working Adult

If you are self-employed, or if your employment is commission-based, some banks may require a higher minimum annual salary than for other employment types. The required required to apply for a credit card for this type of employment are:

  • A copy of your NRIC/passport
  • Latest Income Tax Notice Assessment

How to Apply for a Credit Card as a Working Adult (Foreigner)

Keep in mind that all the above-listed requirements only apply to Singaporeans/PRs. The minimum annual income for foreigners varies greatly from bank to bank.

BankMin Annual Income
Standard CharteredS$60,000
Bank of ChinaS$60,000

The required documents for foreigners are:

  • A copy of your passport and work permit
  • A copy of your utility/telephone bill
  • Income Tax Notice of Assessment and latest original payslip

Read More:

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Zoryana Melesh

Zoryana is a Senior Research Analyst at ValueChampion, who focuses on evaluating credit cards, savings and fixed deposits in Singapore. She holds a BA in Political Science and an MPA in International Finance and Economic Policy, both from Columbia University. Prior to joining ValueChampion, Zoryana worked in treasury management consulting.

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