Did you ever go through the process of applying for a credit card just to back out at the last moment thinking about the annual fees?
The good news is that there are credit cards which have annual fee waivers, which means that you only have to start paying the fees either from the second or the third year onwards. Then again, there are cards which are free for life. Such no-fee credit cards, however, require you to meet certain spend criteria or other criteria.
Let’s look at the credit cards which are free for life or offer waivers on their annual fees.
Best Credit Cards Without Annual Fee
HSBC Advance Credit Card: Best for earning cashback on all spends
HSBC Advance Credit Card comes with a perpetual annual fee waiver for its Advance customers. Not only this, even the supplementary cards are free if you are an Advance customer. Also, this card comes with a cashback of 3.5% on all purchases if you are an Advance customer and spend S$2,000 and above. With this credit card, you can also get a 14% discount on fuel and up to 6% rebates at Shell. Non-Advance customers will earn up to 2.5% cashback with a cap of S$70 per month.
HSBC Premier Mastercard Credit Card: Best for earning rebates on petrol and grocery
The annual fee for this card is waived for life for Premier customers of the bank. Other than this, this card gives 5% cash rebate on mobile, cable TV, and internet bill payments. You can earn up to 6% rebates on petrol at Caltex along with up to 16% discount. Spend at any local food and beverage outlet and enjoy a cash rebate of 2%. For any purchase you make, you will get 1 Rewards point to the dollar. You must know that to earn the above cash rebates, you have to spend a minimum amount of S$800 per month for 3 months.
UOB Professionals Platinum Card: Best for members of various associations
The annual fee is waived perpetually for the principal card and the first supplementary card. This credit card will be issued by the bank only if you belong to any of the associations, which include Alumni Association, Institute of Singapore Chartered Accountants (ISCA), Law Society of Singapore, Singapore Medical Association (SMA), and The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA). You can enjoy special dining privileges at The Fullerton Hotel Singapore, Din Tai Fung, Goodwood Park Hotel, Muthu’s Curry, Timbre, and Si Chuan Dou Hua Restaurant. The UNI$ you earn can be converted into air miles like Asia Miles or KrisFlyer miles. You can use these miles to redeem your next flight ticket. You can also save up to 20.8% at Shell and 24% at SPC.
SAFRA DBS Card: Best for SAFRA members
If you are a SAFRA member, you will get this card for free. The cardholder will get access to six SAFRA clubs in Singapore, where facilities like swimming pools, gyms, tennis courts, and entertainment features can also be used. If you spend a minimum of S$500 in a month on contactless Mastercard and online transactions, you will earn 3% rebates. All other spends related to retail transactions will earn you a rebate of 0.3%. These cash rebates will be issued in the form of SAFRA$, where S$1 is equal to SAFRA$1. In a month, you can accumulate only up to S$50 in cash rebates.
DBS NUSS Card: Best for NUSS members
DBS NUSS Card, the all-in-one card, comes without any annual fee as long as you remain an NUSS member. Also, earn 2 DBS Rewards Points with every S$5 spent at any NUSS F&B outlets. For all other transactions, earn 1 DBS Reward Point for each S$5 charged to the card. These reward points can be redeemed for KrisFlyer miles, Asia Miles, and AirAsia BIG Points for a conversion fee of S$26.75 per redemption. However, the conversion fee for BIG Points does not apply till 31 December 2018.
CIMB Visa Signature: Best for overseas spend
With CIMB Visa Signature Card, you can also enjoy a 10% cash rebate on dine and wine transactions. All you overseas transactions in foreign currency will earn you a cash rebate of 10%. Apart from this, you will also earn an unlimited cash rebate of 0.2% on all other retail spends. Additionally, this card comes with complimentary travel insurance of up to S$500,000. Moreover, you can enjoy the Visa Signature Concierge service to help you with your travel planning. Most CIMB credit cards come the with annual fee waived for life.
NTUC Plus! Visa Credit Card: Best for NTUC Plus! members
NTUC Plus! Visa Credit Card is designed in a way to help families save. This card not only offers discounts on fuel, groceries, telco bills, and other purchases, but also lets you save money by not charging you an annual fee. However, you must remain an NTUC member to enjoy this feature. You will even get your first 3 supplementary cards for free for your family. With this credit card, you will earn up to 12% off at Unity, FairPrice, and Warehouse Club if you spend at least S$400 on transactions outside these brands. This means you will get 2 LinkPoints from FP, 8.5 LinkPoints from OCBC, and 1.5 LinkPoints if you credit your salary into NTUC-OCBC Starter Account. You will also earn 8% discount (up to 6 LinkPoints) on FP Online if you spend S$400 outside of FP.
Best Credit Cards with Annual Fee Waivers
Below is the list of some of the credit cards which offer annual fee waivers:
OCBC 365 Credit Card
Get a fee waiver for 2 years. Enjoy a cashback of 3% on weekday dining in Singapore (From 1 October 2018, all dining spends in Singapore including online food orders will get 6% cashback all through the week). Receive 6% cashback on local dining on weekends. Enjoy cashback of up to 23% and 5% on fuel purchases at Caltex and other fuel stations, respectively. Spend a minimum of S$600 in a month (S$800 from 1 October 2018) to earn the cashback, or else earn 0.3% on all expenses.
OCBC FRANK Credit Card
Enjoy an annual fee waiver for 2 years. Get a rebate of 6% on online purchases like clothes, gadgets, flight tickets, hotel bookings, and movie tickets. Receive up to 5% cash rebate on entertainment-related transactions between Fridays and Sundays at clubs, bars, and select cafes, among others. Enjoy a rebate of 3% on your first 2 NETS FlashPay ATUs. Spend at least S$400 offline in a month to earn the rebates, capped at S$60 per month.
Maybank eVibes Credit Card
Enjoy a 2-year annual fee waiver. Charge at least once to this card every 3 months and get a waiver on the quarterly service fee of S$5. Receive a cash rebate of 1% on all purchases. Spend on your card within a month of card approval date and get a stylish wrist watch from Adidas worth S$120. This is limited to the first 500 applicants whose applications are successfully approved.
Get a 2-year annual fee waiver. Earn 5 Reward Points or 2 air miles with every dollar spent on local dining, online, and local entertainment-related transactions. All other transactions will earn you 1 Reward Point for each S$1 spent. There is no requirement for a minimum spend. Redeem these air miles for KrisFlyer or Asia Miles.
DBS Altitude Visa Signature Card
Receive an annual fee waiver for 1 year. The subsequent annual fee is S$192.60. Earn up to 3 air miles for every S$1 spent on online hotel and flight transactions. Receive 2 air miles to the dollar on purchases in foreign currency. Get 1.2 air miles for every dollar spent on local purchases. The miles are issued in the form of DBS Points, which can be redeemed for KrisFlyer miles, Asia Miles, and Air Asia BIG Points.
HSBC Visa Platinum Credit Card
The annual fee of S$192.60 is waived for the first 2 years. Spend at least S$12,500 in a year and get the fee waived subsequently. Enjoy a cash rebate of 5% on certain recurring bills like mobile, internet, and cable TV bills. Get up to 5% rebate on fuel along with 16% discount at Caltex and Shell stations. Receive up to 5% rebate on groceries.
Credit cards without any annual fees are a blessing since you only pay when you use the card and for what you purchase. Can you imagine owning a card and paying a fee for not using it? Even if you do not use the cards mentioned above on a daily basis, you will at least know that you can get out of a financial emergency with a simple wave or swipe.
This article was written by BankBazaar.sg.
BankBazaar.sg is a leading online marketplace in Singapore that helps consumers compare and apply for financial products such as credit cards and personal loans.