With the fast-paced life we live in, everyone looks for faster and more efficient ways to get things done.
One way shopping can be more efficient is with credit cards. This way, you don’t have to rummage your wallets for cash, count the cash, and then make payment, as you can just swipe your cards.
Even though as a student you may not be spending money so often or frivolously, having a credit card can make your life easier.
One benefit, for instance, is enjoying additional discounts or perks for being a student.
As such, if you’re thinking of applying for a student credit card, you’ve come to the right place!
In this article, we’ll be looking at the best credit cards for students.
5 Best Student Credit Cards in Singapore
Get It Here
Best Overall Student Credit Card
Best Student Credit Card for Dining Benefits
Citibank Clear Card
Best Student Credit Card with Lowest Fees
CIMB AWSM Card
Best Student Credit Card for New Graduates
Standard Chartered Manhattan $500 Card
Best Student Credit Card for Highest Cashback Value or Eco-friendly Shoppers
DBS Live Fresh Student Card
Factors to Consider When Choosing a Student Credit Card
There are many conditions you need to be aware of before applying for a credit card, so you don’t find yourself in unfortunate situations such as being in debt.
Not to mention, as every credit card is designed for various types of individuals depending on their spending habits, budgets, and such, it is important to know what you require to determine the card that suits you best.
In this article, the following are a few factors that we will use to assess the best credit cards for students such as yourself:
- Annual fee of the credit card – a yearly fee for using the card (if any)
- Income requirements (if any)
- Card eligibility by age and/or school
- Credit limit – the maximum amount that can be charged to the card (if any)
- Additional perks such as discounts, cashback, rewards, etc. (if any)
Comparison of the Best Student Credit Cards in Singapore
The following table is a simple breakdown of our 5 picks for the best credit cards for students and information regarding their basic financial requirements such as annual fees and income requirements.
|Card||Annual Fee||Income Requirements|
|DBS Live Fresh Student Card||S$192.60 (first 5 years waived)||None|
|Maybank eVibes Card||No Annual Fees but has S$5 quarterly service fees (waived if the card is used once every 3 months)||An annual income of less than S$30,000|
|CIMB AWSM Card||None||An annual income of less than S$30,000|
|Standard Chartered Manhattan $500 Card||S$32.10 (first year waived)||An annual income of less than S$30,000|
|Citibank Clear Card||S$29.96 (first year waived)||None|
The next table depicts the card eligibility requirements of each of the best student credit cards by age and school.
|Card||Age Requirements||School Requirements|
|DBS Live Fresh Student Card||Singaporean or PR Student between 21 and 27 years old||Enrolled in any of the 6 local universities, 5 polytechnics, or SIM|
|Maybank eVibes Card||Singaporean or PR students or National Service Full-time (NSF) men between 18 and 30 years old||Enrolled in any of the 6 local universities, 5 polytechnics, LASALLE, NAFA, or NIE|
|CIMB AWSM Card||Singaporean or PR students between 18 and 29 years old||Enrolled in any school or is NSF|
|Standard Chartered Manhattan $500 Card||Singaporean or PR students/working adults between 18 and 32 years old||Enrolled in NTU, NUS, SMU, SIM or University of Chicago Graduate School of Business, Asia Campus|
|Citibank Clear Card||Singaporean or PR students 18 years old and above may apply||Enrolled in: any of the 6 local universities, 5 polytechnics, SIM, University of Chicago Booth School of Business, DigiPen, ESSEC, GIST-TUM Asia, INSEAD, S P Jain, Tisch, UNLV, LASALLE-SIA, NAFA, or EDHEC-Risk Institute and Sorbonne-Assas International Law School.|
Lastly, the next table is a more comprehensive breakdown of all other features of each of the best student credit cards such as credit limits, perks (such as discounts, cashback, rewards, etc.), and any other additional information.
|DBS Live Fresh Student Card||
|Maybank eVibes Card||
|CIMB AWSM Card||
|Standard Chartered Manhattan $500 Card||
|Citibank Clear Card||
Do note: all information on the student credit cards is as of 5/02/22 and are subject to changes, especially for promotions.
As there are many features and aspects to consider when deciding on a card, in this article, we’ll mainly be looking at the basic fees and perks of each student credit card.
As such, it is important for you to also do your own evaluation to determine if you can manage utility, such as late fees for instance, which are hefty amounts for some of the cards.
However, based on the information gathered, we’ve categorised the cards by groups that will benefit best from each of the student credit cards, so let’s dive into it.
1. Best Student Credit Card: Maybank eVibes
From our list of student credit cards, I’d say that the Maybank eVibes card is the best overall.
The card has no annual fees but service fees that are payable quarterly at an affordable S$5, which can also be waived if you use the card at least once every 3 months.
Additionally, it has quite a number of eligible schools and the age range for eligibility is also pretty impressive. If you’re 18 and you decide to apply for this student credit card, you’ll be able to use it for at least another 12 years!
In terms of perks, this card is also at an advantage, as it has benefits from meal coupons to discounts at amusement parks, with no minimum spend on its cashback.
Though their cashback is at a low 1%, as it is applicable to all spending, this means you can use the card for absolutely anything and be rewarded.
Not to mention, their current promotion of S$50 cashback upon spending S$150 within the first 2 months from the approval of the card, is also rather attractive.
All in all, if you’re someone who spends money on a wide array of categories and is looking to get maximum cashback and perks, all at an affordable rate, the Maybank eVibes is your card.
2. Best Student Credit Card for Dining Benefits: Citibank Clear Card
For this next category, if you’re a student who spends a lot of money on eating out, then the Citibank Clear Card is the card for you.
This next card, unlike Maybank’s eVibes, has an annual fee. However, it is still affordable at S$29.96, with the first year waived.
From our picks, the Citi card is also the most lenient with their eligibility policy, with the longest list of eligible schools and an age requirement to be just over 18 years old.
Thus, if you’re a life-long learner whose age is over the limit for every other card, the Citi card is your saviour!
This card is quite impressive with its perks too, as it’s the only card that offers miles or points redemption.
What this means is that, as you use the card, you can either earn 1 point or 0.4 miles per S$1 spent, which can then be used to pay for select purchases or even redeem free flight tickets!
As for the star feature of this card, as mentioned, it is their dining benefit.
They have deals at over 1,000 eateries across Singapore, and additional access to a dining programme that offers deals for travel, lifestyle, and shopping merchants too.
So, for you foodies, this card can be your gateway to exploring the many eateries in Singapore.
Also worth noting is their generous 14% year-round savings deal available at Esso and Shell, which is useful for those who drive.
I’d say that the only downside for this card is their credit limit of S$500 which may be an issue for those who tend to spend more.
However, with their extensive dining deals and discounts for fuel, I think that this card is still a good deal that not only helps fuel your belly, but your cars at a discount too.
3. Best Student Credit Card with Lowest Fees: CIMB AWSM Card
If you are completely new to credit cards or are just looking for a straightforward and simple student credit card, then the Malaysian bank’s CIMB AWSM card is the best choice for you.
Right off, compared to the rest of our picks today, the CIMB card is the most affordable as it has zero annual fees – which means free use of the card until you’re 29 years old.
As such, with no yearly fees, this card is a great start for you to build a good credit score, which may come in handy in the future when you are applying for other credit cards, loans, etc.
This then brings us to the next point, which is the eligibility of the card. As long as you’re a Singaporean or PR student between the age of 18 and 29, and are enrolled in any school or is an NSF man, you can apply for this card.
Compared to the other cards that require enrolment in specific schools, the CIMB card’s acceptance of any school could also be an added feature for you if your school isn’t accepted by the other cards.
In terms of other specifications, this card is quite liberal with an uncapped cashback earning opportunity and no minimum spend requirement, which means stress-free utility of the card for you.
Additionally, while you may not exactly be travelling anytime soon due to Covid-19, you can still enjoy deals and discounts for travel, dining, and regional promotions across Singapore, Indonesia, and Malaysia.
The only drawback to this card is that there is no cashback for petrol, groceries, and offline retail spend, and that the 1% cashback is only for select transactions as stated in the earlier table.
However, as students typically spend their money mainly on dining, entertainment, and online shopping (especially due to Covid restrictions), this card is still a good option as a standard and entry-level student credit card.
4. Best Student Credit Card for Students Who Just Started Working and Are Earning Less Than S$30K Per Annum: Standard Chartered Manhattan $500 Card
This next card is quite similar to the characteristics of the CIMB AWSM card too, with its:
- Affordable annual fees,
- Credit limit that disciplines the spender (helps in building credit score),
- No minimum spend requirements, and
- No limit to cashback earnings
The main difference is that it has a very limited list of eligible schools but is also the only card that working adults can apply for.
Hence, if you graduate and start working, you can still use this card as long as you’re earning less than S$30,000 annually.
The credit limit can also be a great way to ensure you don’t overspend too, which is an added benefit for those in this category who might be trying to save money.
One thing to note about this card though is that despite the cashback on general spending, its rate of 0.25% may yield lesser rewards, especially given the S$500 credit limit.
All in all, while this card does not have many perks to offer, as it does not have a cap on cashback earnings and is the only card that working adults earning less than S$30K can apply for, it is still something to consider.
5. Best Student Credit Card for Best Cashback Value or Eco-friendly Shoppers: DBS Live Fresh Student Card
Lastly, if you’ve got a little more cash to spare, want the best cashback value, or you’re an eco-friendly shopper, your choice should be the DBS Live Fresh Student credit card.
This card is Singapore’s first eco-friendly credit card made from 85.5.% recycled plastic and lives up to its image as an eco-friendly credit card too, as one of its main features is its 5% cashback on sustainable spending.
In addition, the card also offers 5% cashback with other select common retailers that students frequent, such as Starbucks, Golden Village, and McDonald’s, to name a few.
This card also has no minimum spend requirement, though with a catch of cashback and credit limit capped at S$50 and S$500 per month, respectively.
Compared to the other cards, the cashback value of the DBS Live Fresh Student card is still the best and highest, but one downside is that these rates are merchant-specific.
Not to mention, as the general spend cashback rate is at a low 0.3%, your spending habits should align with the requirements of earning with the partner merchants and sustainable shopping places, if you really want to enjoy this card’s benefits.
Though the card also has the highest annual fee of S$192.60, it is waived for the first five years.
Which by the way, means you would only have to pay for the next two years (assuming you apply when you’re 21), since the eligible age range is 21 to 27 years old.
All in all, the card is still worth its fee, but you have to be ready to spend accordingly to earn your rewards.
In a nutshell, as we advise for any financial decision, always do your own research and determine what your needs and habits are first so that you can better pick the best student credit card for you.