Most credit cards in Singapore are unsecured. However, some people cannot meet the minimum requirements of credit cards that don’t require collateral. Fortunately, secured credit cards provide an excellent way for individuals to build their credit history and can also be a stepping stone to accessing unsecured credit cards.
If you are new in Singapore, you do not have a local credit history, and you are on a fixed and low income, secured credit cards can help you start building your financial base. It is important to note that a secured credit card will only work for you, depending on your financial goals and personal situations.
This article will dive deeply into secured credit cards so you can learn how to choose the best credit card and how they work.
What Is Secured Credit Card?
Secured credit cards require holders to have collateral on the cards, often made in the form of a fixed deposit. They are designed for people with bad credit and are used to help individuals build their credit history. The financial institutions can use the fixed deposit to offset the debt if an individual defaults, which is why it is considered ‘secured’ from the banks’ point of view. The credit limit on secured credit cards is often determined by the fixed deposit you put down in your application.
Key Features of a Secured Credit Card
- Offers a credit limit equal to the fixed deposit.
- Interest rates are lower than the usual unsecured credit cards and may apply to any balance you have not paid by the statement’s due date.
- Cash transactions such as withdrawing money from an ATM incur interest charges.
- It is used for credit tracking, where card agencies can learn about your repayment history.
Pros and Cons
Like any other credit card, a secured credit card has perks and limitations. Knowing the good and the not-so-good about the card can help you decide if it’s the right card for you.
- Enjoy interest-free days – on all the purchases made on the card if you pay your balance in full by the due date.
- Perfect for those with a bad credit score – it is an excellent alternative if you have bad credit.
- Can help boost credit score – used to help improve your credit history and credit score, granted that the borrower will pay his/her monthly bills on time.
- Limited credit – your credit is limited to the amount of money you deposit.
- Chances of high interest – while there is an interest-free period, make sure to only spend what you can repay to avoid unnecessary fees and interest.
- Annual fees – a secured card typically has annual fees, so look carefully if the extra features of the card is enough to justify the annual fee.
- Risk on your deposit – There is the risk of losing your deposit if you do not make the repayments on or before the statement’s due date.
Why Secured Credit Cards Is the Best Option for Some People?
Secured credit cards are ideal for people who do not qualify for conventional unsecured credit cards. Here are the people who benefit from a secured credit card.
Individuals Who Lack a Credit History
If you have no other form of credit in your name, you do not have a credit history to prove that you can pay back the banks. Banks cannot issue you a credit card without proving your creditworthiness. Applying for a secured credit card is the first step to building your credit history.
Individuals New to Singapore
Banks look at your credit history to prove your creditworthiness. However, your credit history cannot be transferred from one country to another. If you have recently moved to Singapore, you will need to build your credit history from the ground up, even if you have an exceptional credit history from your country homes.
Individuals with Bad Credit
The bank will not approve your unsecured credit cards if you have a bad credit score. You will therefore need to apply for a secured credit card to help you build a good credit history.
Individuals Without an Income (too young, too old)
Retirees, students, and unemployed individuals have no income to meet the requirement of an unsecured credit card. Students in Singapore can apply for a secured credit card, but they usually have a credit limit of S$500 with minimal benefits compared to typical credit cards.
Individuals Who Do Not Meet the Minimum Income Requirement
Working individuals who earn less than S$30,000 yearly and those who earn more than S$30,000 yearly but less than the income requirement for accredit cards.
Best Secured Credit Cards in Singapore
Major banks in Singapore offer the option of having one or more of their conventional credit card as secured cards but only if the customers meet the eligibility requirements. Here is a look at some of the best picks secured card providers in the market. Different secured credit card options have different perks and a designed to suit a wide range of customers.
|Rewards||Cashback Offers||Minimum Spend Per Month|
DBS Altitude Secured Credit Card
|Miles||S$1= 1.2 miles||No minimum spend|
HSBC Secured Revolution Card
|Points and air miles|| S$ = 10x on online spend
S$ = 1x point on another spend
|No minimum spend|
|UOB Lady’s Card||Miles||S$5 = up to 10X Uni S||
No minimum Spend
|POSB Everyday Card||Cash rebate||Up to S$80 per month||
|CIMB Visa Signature Secured||Cash rebates||10% cashback||
1. DBS Altitude Secured Credit Card: Best for People Who Want A Card That Does Not Expire
You can apply for a range of regular credit cards in DBS to be offered in a secured form. The card will have the same benefits, features, and fees as their unsecured versions. The only difference is you will be required to place a fixed deposit, and your credit limit will not go beyond the deposit you have held.
Eligibility: To be eligible for a secured credit card from DBS, you be 21 and 70 years old and hold a deposit of at least S$10,000. All applications for a secured credit card must be made in a branch, meaning you cannot set up online.
Most Unique Feature: The best part about DBS secured card system is that the deposit placed on a fixed term continues to accrue interest. If you are a foreigner, you can use foreign currency as a security deposit, but you must also hold a value of more than $S10,000.
2. HSBC Secured Revolution Card: Best Card with No Minimum Spend
HSBC is another major bank in Singapore that allows you to apply for secured credit cards.
Eligibility: You will first need to apply for a fixed deposit account and deposit at least S$10,000 as the security deposit. The bank offers a range of no-minimum-spend credit cards that are great and reduce the pressure of overspending.
Most Unique Feature: The HSBC secured revolution card offers you ten times reward points on your day-to-day spending in Singapore, including dining, online spending, and entertainment such as movies. The best part is there is no cap on the points earned.
3. UOB Lady’s Card: Best Card for Ladies
Second on the list is the UOB Lady’s Card.
Eligibility: As the name suggests, you must be a woman to qualify for the UOB Lady’s Card. You will need a fixed deposit collateral of S$10,000 to apply for the card. Additionally, it does not have a minimum spending requirement but a cap of S$1,000 a month, which might be fine since the card is perfect for daily spending.
Most Unique Feature: The best part about the UOB Lady’s card is you can choose your favorite spending category, and you will get 10X rewards on your spending. These categories include helpful day-to-day categories such as fashion, dining, and family.
4. POSB Everyday Card: Best Card for Everyday Spending
The POSB Everyday Card is an excellent secured credit card if you are looking for a credit card that won’t make you jump through hoops to hit the minimum spending requirements.
Eligibility: You can apply for the card over the counter at any DBS or POSB branch and open a fixed deposit account with S$10,000.
Most Unique Feature: POSB Everyday Card is one of the few lifestyle credit cards in Singapore with no minimum spend to hit. Additionally, this card offers a 3% rebate at Watsons, 5%rebate at Sheng Siong, and 1% on electricity bills, and the points earned do not expire.
5. CIMB Visa Signature Secured: Best Card for People on a Fixed Budget
The CIMB Visa Signature will earn you 10% cash back on various categories and offer special perks.
Eligibility: CIMB also offers a wide variety of secured credit cards, but all require a hefty security deposit of S$50,000.
Most Unique Feature: The card does not charge an annual fee, making it an excellent option for people on a fixed budget or a lower income.
Is Getting A Secured Credit Card Worth It?
Secured credit cards are best when building your credit history since a cash deposit backs them. Because of their cash deposits, secured credit cards tend to have fewer approval requirements making them more accessible to borrowers. However, secured credit cards have higher interest rates and fees for the application process. But you can quickly get over the charges by paying the credit borrowed on time.
It is important to note that your repayment behaviors may appear on your credit reports. It is, therefore, essential to be confident enough to know you can repay the credit when applying for a secured credit card.
See Also: How to Pay Credit Card Bills
Other Things You Need To Know
1. How Fast Can You Get Approval for a Secured Credit Card?
You must visit your local bank or call them to apply for a secured card. After that, you will deposit your collateral to a fixed deposit account. The process may take some time and is different in different banks. It is, however, a seamless process for customers applying for the card from their regular bank. It will take a little longer if you’re a new customer.
2. Can A Bank Turn Me Down for A Secured Credit Card?
Every bank has its specific eligibility requirements. The bank can turn you down if you do not meet their requirements. If they all decline your application, you can opt for a prepaid credit card that works almost the same.
3. How Do I Improve My Credit Limit with a Secured Credit Card?
Your bank will set a credit limit and will likely cap it at the amount of your security deposit held by the banks. In most cases, you will not be able to raise the amount, but if you need to increase the limit, you will need to take to your bank to understand the process involved.
4. Can I Apply for A Secured Card with A Poor Credit History?
Banks often decline an application for an unsecured credit card if you have no credit history or have a poor credit score. That is why you are better off applying for a secured credit card to get the card that suits your need. Talk to your bank and learn the different types of credit cards available so that you can choose the best credit card option to suit your needs.
5. What Happens If I Need to Withdraw the Security Deposit?
You must close your secured credit card to withdraw your deposit and settle the outstanding balance. The payments might take a few days to process, which can delay the time you get your deposit.
Getting a secured credit card is a way to improve your credit history or credit score. But like with any other credit card, you’ll still hurt your credit score if you don’t pay on time. Paying regularly will help you boost your creditworthiness. And with secured credit cards, you can enjoy interest-free days with your purchases when you pay your monthly statement in full.
- Secured credit cards will help you rebuild your bad credit history.
- These cards require you to place a fixed deposit as collateral.
- Secured credit cards are ideal for students, retirees, and low-income earners.
- There is the risk of losing your deposit if you do not make the repayments on or before the statement’s due date.
- If you have recently moved to Singapore, you will need to build your credit history from the ground up, even if you have an exceptional credit history from your country homes.
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