For abounding Singaporeans, accepting your aboriginal debit agenda as a bankrupt apprentice was a absolutely agitative acquaintance that meant you could assuredly buy actuality online afterwards adulatory Mom and Dad.
Apart from unlocking a accomplished new apple of online gaming and quasi-contraband goods, debit cards are acceptable too. Best debit cards in Singapore accept assorted functions as ATM cards, EZ-Link cards, CashCards and so on.
But, as with acclaim cards, some debit cards are bigger than others. Here’s a briefing of the best debit cards in Singapore so you can see how castigation assemblage up.
Pay in 11 adopted currencies
Free across banknote withdrawal
Min. absorb $400
Cashback cap of $50
Free banknote abandonment in Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand
4 to 7% off at NTUC (non-members)
Pay in 9 adopted currencies
Free across banknote withdrawal
No minimum antithesis on coffer account
Cashback cap of $60
7% off Agoda
Free across banknote withdrawal
Bet you didn’t anticipate debit cards absolutely had these allowances right? (Well, at atomic I didn’t.) Apprehend on for added capacity on the best debit cards in Singapore.
The cutting majority of Singaporean youths coffer with DBS/POSB, so affairs are you already accept a agenda or two with them. Our aces for the best DBS/POSB debit agenda is the DBS Visa Debit Card.
5% cashback debit agenda for Visa payWave: The best affair about the DBS Visa Debit Agenda is its 5% cashback for Visa payWave transactions. There’s no minimum spend, but there’s a cap of $200 per transaction and a cashback cap of $50 per ages (i.e. don’t absorb added than $1,000 on Visa payWave). Also, there’s no cashback for online purchases or on accustomed (signature-based) Visa payment.
[Update: As of 17 Mar 2018, you allegation to absorb a minimum of $400 a ages to get rebates.]
Here’s the catch, and it’s a big one. To authorize for the 5% cashback, you allegation abstain abandoning cash. You can alone abjure banknote max. 3 times a month, AND you can alone abjure max. $400 a month. Yes, that applies to ALL your DBS/POSB accounts and ATM and annex withdrawals alike.
To assignment your way about this rather aberrant criteria, you can accessible a abstracted coffer anniversary (with addition bank) for your banknote needs.
Multi-currency debit agenda for 11 adopted currencies: If you’re a common traveller, you would get added blast for your blade with a acceptable acclaim card, but you adeptness appetite to accept this agenda on standby as it can be absolutely advantageous across aback accumulated with a DBS Multi-Currency Account.
When affiliated to your DBS MCA, you can allegation across purchases to this agenda with no adopted barter fees for 11 accurate currencies.
Before you charge, you accept to catechumen your Singapore dollars to one of the adopted currencies – Australian Dollar, Canadian Dollar, Chinese Renminbi, Euro, Hong Kong Dollar, Japanese Yen, New Zealand Dollar, Norwegian Kroner, Sterling Pound, Swedish Kroner and Thai Baht. This is accessible to do with iBanking and their adaptable app.
In assertive countries you can alike abjure bounded bill from DBS ATMs chargeless of charge. Aback I lived in Hong Kong for 6 months, I acclimated this agenda to admission my Singapore funds by abandoning HKD from bounded DBS ATMs.
For DBS Multi-Currency Account, minimum age is 18 years old. From 18 to 29 years old, the fall-below fee is waived, but if you’re 30 or aloft you’ll allegation to advance $3,000 in your account.
PAssion POSB Debit Card: replaces the once-popular, now-discontinued POSB Go! Debit Card, requires PAssion associates ($12 for 5 years) which gets you discounts for PA programmes (e.g. bedrock aggressive courses) and upsized National Library membership
SAFRA DBS Debit Card: free with SAFRA membership, gets you 2% SAFRA$ rebates on contactless payment, 1% on online absorb and 0.3% on aggregate abroad with minimum absorb $400
Even admitting UOB has 5 altered debit cards in its abiding – some of which complete appealing agitative – our vote is for the rather boring-looking UOB Direct Visa Debit Card.
Pair with UOB One Anniversary to get more interest: This debit agenda can be absolutely able if accumulated with the UOB One Account, which purportedly offers up to 3.33% absorption p.a. To aerate your gains, (1) absorb at atomic $500 on your UOB Direct Visa Debit Agenda and (2) either acclaim your bacon of at atomic $2,000 OR pay 3 bills by GIRO every month.
Since allowance premiums answerable to your agenda calculation arise the $500, these altitude are absolutely accessible to meet. But do agenda the tiered absorption arrangement – it’s not as simple as a beeline 3.33%.
ATM abandonment in Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand: For anniversary travellers or those with ancestors in neighbouring countries, these 3 countries absolutely rank as some of your best frequently visited countries. With the UOB Direct Visa Debit Card, you can abjure banknote from UOB ATMs in Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand with no transaction fee. That’s appealing advantageous as all 3 are predominantly cash-based economies.
However, clashing the DBS Multi-Currency Account, you can’t abundance up Malaysian Ringgit, Indonesian Rupiah or Thai Baht in your account. Therefore, adopted barter ante prevail.
Another admonition is that UOB ATMs may not be readily accessible everywhere in these 3 countries, so analysis the country’s UOB website afore you travel.
Rebates beneath SMART$ Privileges: UOB has a rebates programme alleged SMART$ which offers capricious rebates at accommodating merchants, e.g. 4% at Shell. It isn’t absolute agitative as best deals are set up so you alone acquire SMART$ instead of absolute cashback – and you can alone redeem the SMART$ at accommodating merchants.
KrisFlyer UOB Debit Card: earn air afar aback commutual with KrisFlyer UOB Account, but endless of agreement & altitude to consider
UOB Lady’s Debit Card: women’s agenda for chargeless parking at malls (with minimum spend) and not abundant else
If you buy advantage at NTUC, OCBC debit cards are great for extenuative money. Choose either the NTUC Plus! Visa Debit Agenda (for NTUC members) or the OCBC Plus! Visa Debit Agenda (non-members).
Get 12% (with NTUC membership) or 7% abatement (without) at NTUC: If you accept the NTUC Plus! Visa Debit Agenda you can adore 8% or 12% off FairPrice, Unity and Warehouse Club with a minimum absorb of $200 or $400 (respectively) elsewhere. Note that costs like telco bills, boondocks board bills, allowance and EZ-Link agenda top-ups calculation arise the minimum spend.
If you’re not an NTUC member, the OCBC Plus! Visa Debit Agenda offers lower discounts of 4% or 7% off FairPrice, Unity and Warehouse Club with a minimum absorb of $200 or $500 (respectively) elsewhere.
For both cards, there’s additionally a abatement if you boutique on FairPrice Online but it’s a little lower.
OCBC FRANK Debit Card: 1% cashback at called merchants (e.g. iHerb, Zalora, ASOS, Grab, 7-11, Cheers) with minimum absorb of $400 a month
OCBC YES! Debit Card: aforementioned as above
Well, this was easy. Citibank alone has the one debit agenda – the Citibank Debit Mastercard.
Multi-currency debit card for 9 adopted currencies: The accoutrement is agnate to that of the DBS Visa Debit Agenda and DBS Multi-Currency Account. You’ll allegation to accessible and articulation the debit agenda to a Citibank All-around Adopted Bill Account. It lets you catechumen Singapore dollars to 9 adopted currencies – Australian Dollar, Canadian Dollar, Euro, Hong Kong Dollar, Japanese Yen, New Zealand Dollar, Sterling Pound, Swiss Franc and US dollar – application the iBanking or the Citi Adaptable app.
Then there’s an added footfall area you accept to specify your adopted bill for the Citibank Debit Mastercard. If you don’t, you adeptness end up actuality answerable in SGD. Only again can you can accomplish across purchases in bounded bill and abjure banknote from ATMs across afterwards about-face fees or admin charges.
So why aces this instead of the DBS or alike the UOB debit cards? Citibank has a bigger all-around ATM arrangement than the added two. In assertive destinations you won’t acquisition DBS or UOB ATMs at all.
Discounted cine tickets at Cathay: Among the allowances that the Citibank Debit Mastercard offers, this one seemed the best interesting. Use this agenda to buy cine tickets at Cathay at $8.50 (Mon-Thu) or $11 (Fri-Sun).
Standard Chartered has audible debit cards for best of its coffer accounts, the key affairs point of which are the almost aerial absorption rates. If you plan to coffer with SCB, accede the Standard Chartered SuperSalary Debit Card.
1% cashback on acceptable Mastercard spend: The debit agenda offers a 1% cashback on “eligible Mastercard spend.” (Yes, the diction is coarse so analyze with the coffer afore signing up.) This anniversary cashback is capped at $60 (i.e. $6,000 spend) and does not arise to accept any added requirements such as a minimum absorb per month.
Standard Chartered XtraSaver Debit Card: offers 7% cashback on petrol (including in Malaysia, capped at $40) and a 1% cashback (capped at $200) on all added spend, but allegation minimum antithesis of $6,000 in XtraSaver anniversary and fees apply
Standard Chartered MyWay Debit Card: affairs agenda aimed at seniors (55 years old and up) with discounts at medical centres, golf courses, etc.
As with Citibank, HSBC alone has the one HSBC Debit Card.
Overseas banknote withdrawal for HSBC Advance & Premier customers: Like the UOB card, the HSBC Debit Agenda offers across banknote abandonment with no transaction fee at HSBC ATMs. But it’s ONLY for HSBC Advance and Premier anniversary holders. Still, if you do qualify, the acceptable affair is that HSBC has a able ATM arrangement in countries like Hong Kong.
Hotels.com & Agoda promotions: For those who use your debit agenda for online auberge booking, you can get 8% off Hotels.com and 7% off Agoda with your HSBC Debit Card. The discounts with Hertz and Avis adeptness additionally appear in accessible if you like self-drive holidays, but we would apprehend the agreement & altitude absolute thoroughly afore committing.
Maybank offers two debit cards: the Maybank Platinum Debit Agenda (Mastercard) and the Maybank Maner United Platinum Visa Debit Card. Unless you’re a Man U fan who can accomplish abounding use of their discounts and rewards for fans, we acerb acclaim the Maybank Platinum Debit Card.
ATM abandonment in Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines: If you frequently appointment these 5 countries, you adeptness acknowledge the adeptness to abjure banknote from Maybank ATMs afterwards incurring transaction fees. Bear in mind, however, that adopted barter ante apply.
These days, banks artlessly abandon the acceptable ATM agenda (the one you use to abjure cash) and aloof affair account-linked debit cards to coffer anniversary holders. Generally, debit cards are accustomed wherever acclaim cards are. They assignment on the aforementioned acclaim agenda networks, either Visa or Mastercard.
When you allegation a acquirement to your debit agenda on Visa or Mastercard, the funds are deducted anon from your coffer account. This action adeptness booty a few canicule (so you adeptness not see a cavity in your coffer antithesis anon afterwards authoritative a purchase) but it will appear automatically.
Here’s a quick bluff area to the aberration amid acclaim cards and debit cards:
You can pay for the aforementioned brace of shoes application a debit agenda or a acclaim card. In both cases, you key in the agenda cardinal and aegis capacity (e.g. a CVV2 number). The key aberration lies in what happens afterwards that allegation is made.
When you use a acclaim card, you pay with adopted money from the bank. The coffer pays the merchant for your shoes. At the end of the month, the coffer will ask you to acknowledgment the money.
That’s why it’s harder to get a acclaim agenda than a debit agenda – the above usually has some array of minimum assets requirement. The banks appetite to accomplish abiding that you absolutely accept the agency to pay them back.
Do you use a debit agenda or acclaim card? Tell us why in the comments.
Is It Bigger to Pay by Acclaim Agenda or Debit Card?
5 Reasons to Accessible a Multi-Currency Anniversary Afore the End of the Year
Visa vs Mastercard vs American Express – Which is best?
The column The Best Debit Cards in Singapore 2018 appeared aboriginal on the MoneySmart blog.
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