How time flies… it’s been almost 3 years since I updated this article. There have been lots of changes so look at the table carefully and check out the individual credit cards for the T&Cs as well as perks as they do change more often these days as compared to the past.
For a start, this article is mainly for those people who are planning to travel overseas or use their cards on overseas websites to enjoy the special perks that some cards bring (mainly bonus miles for foreign currencies). If you are looking for credit cards to use for your upcoming trip, you may check out “The best credit cards to use and book your overseas trip” V1 and Version 2.
As you may see below, the list has expanded to include more cards. I will highlight the special cards that each bank has:
The AMEX SQ KF Credit Card is the basic card and the Ascend card is the more “atas” one which costs more in terms of annual fees as well better perks. AMEX has tried to model themselves on Citibank’s Premiermiles & DBS Altitude by providing different accrual rates for local and foreign currency spending. However, the bonus miles for overseas spend are only in Jun & Dec, which limits the usage of the cards. Also, in terms of local spend, Citibank Premiermiles offers 1.3 miles and UOB PRVI Miles offers 1.4 miles per $1, which are far higher earning rates.
Bank of China
Even though this card promises 3x rewards for overseas spend, the earn rate is still pathetic compared to the rest in this table. Not to mention no additional perks for this card.
This is one of the few cards that offer bonus cash rebate for overseas spend, but even at 2%, it is still miserable. What’s more, there is a minimum spend of $2000 required per month before you get the 2% rebate.
Citibank has one of the best range of cards, and definitely comprehensive enough for this post. One favourite activity when people go overseas is shopping, so the Citibank Rewards VISA or Mastercard will provide 4 miles/$1 when you spend at shops dealing with shoes, bags, clothes or even departmental stores. Online shopping websites are also included for those who do not have time to travel overseas! Do note there is a cap of 120k Citi$ (or 48k miles) per card per year, so get both the Mastercard and Visa to double your miles!
If the things you buy do not fit into another of the above categories, then use the Citibank Premiermiles Card to get 2 miles per $1 on foreign currency transactions. The Prestige Card offers the same earn rate, and actually more if you are a longstanding Citibank or Citigold member. However, do note that the annual fees are pretty steep for this card.
DBS Altitude has the same earn rate as Citibank Premiermiles, and likewise, the miles in both programmes do not expire. The DBS Visa card is the best shopback card if you want rebates for shopping on clothes, bags, shoes, watches, jewellery and departmental stores. However, do note there is a minimum spending of $700/month and a cap of $70 per month.
The HSBC Visa Infinite card may be out of reach for most people. It earns 2 miles per $1 for overseas spend, which is comparable to most cards featured in the table. However, if you love miles, you get 35k miles (not 30k as stated in the table) if you pay the annual fee, as well as enjoy some jerks that are unique to the visa infinite programme.
This card earns 2 miles per $1 on overseas transactions, like other similar cards above.
The OCBC Titanium World MasterCard is pretty pathetic in terms of earn rate, and it is one of the few that still offers JetQuay access (with an expiry date) – this is actually a World Mastercard promotion (see link here). The new OCBC Titanium Rewards World MasterCard offers 4 miles per $1 for shopping – which is obviously mirroring the Citibank Rewards Card, hence an alternative if you have already maxed out your points on your Citibank cards!
The Standard Chartered Visa Infinite card offers the 2nd highest rate of earn for overseas spend at 3 miles per $1. However, there is a need to spend $2000 per statement cycle, if not it will be down to 1 mile per $1. It offers 35k miles when you pay the annual fee of $588.50 and also gives you 10% rebate when you take rides on Uber! Not to mention the free use of Fullerton pool + gym as well as the free Crystal Jade Jadeite membership!
The UOB Unionpay is like the BoC card – not worth mentioning. The UOB Visa Signature offers 20 miles/$5 (=4 miles/$1) for overseas spend (which is the highest rate for any overseas spending) but there is a need to spend $1000 per statement period. The UOB PRVI Miles offers 2.4 miles per $1 for overseas spend, which is the highest in the market! The UOB PRVI Miles World Mastercard has also free JetQuay usage (with a companion), see T&C here.