Every year you call that number on the back of your credit card, fumble through the 1,000 answering machine options, and then finally, after much frustration, you get to speak to a real human being to request a waiver of the annual credit card. .
Rinse and repeat for ALL your cards. Otherwise, cancel your credit card.
Sick of the hassle, you start browsing through “no annual fee credit card” articles. However, most items lead you to credit cards with a two or three year annual fee waiver. Umm…it’s not exactly a “no annual fee credit card”.
When times are tough, banks may tighten their belts and start charging users annual fees despite good banking relationships and prompt, full payments. (See the recent POSB Everyday Card annual fee waiver rejection saga that unfolded on Hardwarezone here.)
If you don’t want to be at the mercy of the whims and whims of banks, here is a list of true blue credit cards with no annual fee – for life.
1. Credit card with no annual fee
There are few credit cards in Singapore with no annual fee. CIMB is best known for its no annual fee credit cards.
Otherwise, your next best option includes digital bank credit cards such as the Trust credit card and digital provider credit cards such as Revolut, GrabPay cards, etc.
You will also find an assortment of debt consolidation or line of credit cards with no annual fee, such as Citi Double Cash, Citi Diamond Preferred, etc. The majority of these cards don’t come with attractive rewards, miles, or cashback programs. We will ignore them unless they have benefits for you.
Of course, old trusty debit cards don’t charge an annual fee either.
|Credit cards with no annual fee||Annual fees||Minimum spend|
|CIMB World Mastercard||$0||$500 (for 1% base cash back)|
|Visa CIMB Signature||$0||–|
|CIMB Visa Infinite||$0||$2,000 (for a 2% cash back bonus)|
|AWSM CIMB Card||$0||–|
|Standard charter chip credit card||$0||–|
|DBS Treasures Black Elite Card (for DBS Treasures customers)||$0||–|
|DBS SAFRA card (for SAFRA members)||$0||–|
|HSBC Revolution Card||$0||–|
|HSBC Premier Mastercard||$0||$600 (for 5% cashback)|
|UOB Professionals Platinum Card (for professional associations)||$0||–|
|OCBC Premier Visa Infinite (for OCBC Premier Banking)||$0||–|
|GrabPay Mastercard||$0||$1,000 (to obtain a deposit for reimbursement of the physical card)|
|Trust credit card (Visa)||$0||$450|
2. CIMB credit cards with no annual fee
There are four CIMB credit cards in Singapore with no annual fee. These are namely:
- CIMB World Mastercard
- Visa CIMB Signature
- CIMB Visa Infinite
- AWSM CIMB Card
CIMB World Mastercard is a fairly basic, entry-level cashback credit card suitable for everyday use.
The amount of cashback you get depends on your spending:
- Spend $500, get 1% unlimited cashback (base rate)
- Spend $1,000, get 2% unlimited cashback (four bonus categories only
A 2% cash back bonus is offered on wine, restaurants, online food delivery, movies, digital entertainment, taxis, automobiles and luxury goods – kind of a weird mix of categories , actually.
This CIMB World Mastercard replaces the beloved CIMB Platinum MasterCard (terminated May 31, 21) which offered 10% cash back (capped at $100 per month and $20 per category) with a minimum spend of $800/month .
Annual dues are free for life, so you don’t have to call them and beg them to waive annual dues!
Visa CIMB Signature
CIMB Visa Signature offers a very generous 10% cash back (capped at $100 per month and $20 per category) on beauty and wellness, online shopping, groceries, pet stores, veterinary services and cruises. Almost anyone can benefit from cash back from groceries and online shopping, and if you go to spas often or have a pet, the card becomes even more attractive.
The main downside is that the minimum spend requirement of $800 is quite high.
On the bright side, the card doesn’t charge any annual fees indefinitely, so it’s really free.
The CIMB Visa Infinite card requires you to have an annual income of $120,000. The CIMB AWSM card, on the other hand, is an entry-level credit card with an annual income of $18,000 and above (under 35).
3. Standard charter chip credit card
The Standard Chartered smart card is marketed as a cashback card. However, it is actually a credit card with 1.6 points per dollar spent. You will then need to redeem the points for cashback through the rewards redemption portal.
4. DBS credit card with no annual fee
There are two DBS credit cards with no annual fee:
- DBS Treasures Black Elite Card (for DBS Treasures customers)
- DBS SAFRA card (for SAFRA members)
The DBS Treasures Black Elite card has no annual fee for DBS Treasures customers. The card’s benefits aren’t explicitly stated online, but it’s basically a rewards points card that lets you earn DBS points. It would apparently earn you up to 3.2 miles per dollar spent.
Otherwise, the DBS SAFRA card does not charge any annual fees – as long as you are a SAFRA member.
ALSO READ: Your guide to credit card applications in Singapore
5. HSBC credit card with no annual fee
You might not know it, but the HSBC Revolution credit card best known for its 10X reward points no longer charges an annual fee! You can earn the 10X bonus points in travel, department and retail stores, supermarkets, restaurants, food delivery, transport and membership clubs.
The HSBC Premier Mastercard gives you 5% cash back (capped at $150) on meals, groceries, gas and transportation when you spend at least $600 per month.
6. UOB credit card with no annual fee
There’s only one card in the entire UOB credit card universe that doesn’t charge an annual fee…the UOB Professionals Platinum Card.
It’s largely unknown, but the UOB Professionals Platinum Card is restricted to members of professional associations such as:
- Alumni Association
- Singapore Institute of Chartered Accountants (ISCA)
- Singapore Bar
- Singapore Medical Association (SMA)
- The Association of Chartered Chartered Accountants (ACCA)
- The Institution of Engineers, Singapore (IES)
You get restaurant discounts, fuel discounts, and UOB$ cash back at select merchants and outlets.
7. OCBC credit card with no annual fee
As with the DBS Treasures Black Elite credit card, the OCBC Premier Visa Infinite is an exclusive credit card for OCBC Premier Banking customers and does not charge an annual fee to its members.
Benefits include 16 OCBC$ reward points per $5 and 28 OCBC$ reward points per $5 spent in foreign currency
READ ALSO: Do you need a credit card in Singapore?
8. Take a payment card – Mastercard
If none of the credit cards issued by the banks above appealed to you, you will find cards with no annual fee with digital finance services and banking providers such as the GrabPay card. Although you don’t get the conventional dining, shopping, or travel benefits like you would with regular credit cards, you do earn Grab Reward points.
9. Trusted credit card
Founded in collaboration by Standard Chartered Bank and NTUC, the new Trust credit card charges you no annual fee. Key benefits currently include a $25 Fairprice voucher upon registration and first transaction.
Otherwise, it’s been pretty confusing to use so far. You obtain:
- 0.5% Base Cash Back on Fairprice Groceries
- 0.22% cash back on Visa spend
- 7.5% on Fairprice groceries ($450 minimum spend outside of Fairprice) capped at 5,500 connect points
- 7% on Fairprice groceries (minimum three-month spend) capped at 7,500 connection points
- Cheap coupons at partner merchants, eg $1.99 Mushroom Swiss Burger from select Burger King outlets (must check T&Cs)
- Stamp Cards: Visit Heavenly Wang three times to get a free drink on your fourth visit
This article was first published in MoneySmart.