Which is the Best Credit Card for Fresh Graduates?

As you enter the working world, many of your peers will start obtaining their first credit card, often providing you with conflicting views on which card is the best. A credit card is a stepping stone, a symbol of your new financial independence and a great way to receive perks and benefits your debit card does not offer. 

As such, we’ve rounded up the top 5 credit cards for fresh graduates right here so that you can choose for yourself and optimise your savings! However, do note that you have to be at least 21 years of age to apply and have a minimum annual income of S$30,000. 

Card  Rewards/ Cash Back/ Air Miles  Monthly Cap 
  • 8% Cash Back for weekend dining & entertainment card transactions
  • 3% Cash Back for weekday dining & entertainment, online fashion & travel card transactions
  • 0.3% Cash Back on all other transactions 
  • S$80 monthly cap with minimum S$600 spent (0.3% cashback awarded if expenditure is less than the minimum)
  • Annual Fee: S$192.60 waived for the first year
  • Welcome Offer: S$150 cash credit  
American Express Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Credit Card 
  • Local Spend: S$1 = 1.1 Miles
  • Overseas Spend: S$1 = 2 Miles
  • Grab & Uber Rides: S$1 = 3.1 Miles 
  • Receive 5,000 bonus miles for your first spend and 7,500 bonus miles when you spend $3,000 in your first three months
  • Annual Fee: S$177 waived in the first year 
Standard Chartered Unlimited Cashback Credit Card 
  • 1.5% Cash Back 
  • Unlimited Cash Back with no min. Spend
  • Annual Fee: S$192.60 waived in the first two years 
Citi Rewards Card     
  • Amazon: 20 points or 8 miles for every S$1 spent
  • Retail: 10 Rewards points or 4 miles for every S$1 spent online or at physical stores
  • Others: 1 reward point or 0.4 miles on every S$1 spent 
  • 20,000 Citi Dollars 10X Rewards capped at 10,000 per month
  • Annual Fee: S$192.60 waived in the first year 
HSBC Advance Credit Card 
  • 2.5% Cash Back
  • Additional 1% Cash Back for HSBC Advance Banking Customers  
  • Cash Back capped at S$125 with no min. Spend
  • Annual Fee: S$193 waived for the first year
  • If you’re an HSBC Advance banking customer, this card is completely free 

 1. For the All-Rounder: UOB YOLO Card 

The UOB YOLO card is great for those who like to dine out, watch movies, shop online and/or take Grab. Featuring an 8% cash back on weekend dining & entertainment and 3% cash back for weekdays, this card is best suited for the younger generation who mostly spend on food, going out and having fun. However, the cash back is capped at S$80 monthly with a minimum spend of S$600. Nonetheless, signing up for this credit card will also give you a waiver on your first-year annual fee of S$192.60 as well as a welcome offer of S$150 cash credit. 

Beyond cash back, the card also offers a wide range of promotions such as 1-for-1 weekend movie tickets and up to 10% rebate at Cathay Cineplexes. The card also provides up to 28% discount at major fashion outlets and up to 18% off at online travel agencies such as Expedia and Agoda. Given that the minimum spend is lower than most credit cards out there and the cash back cap is slightly higher, this card is great for the fresh graduate who wishes to enjoy a fun-filled life! 

If you are interested to apply, click here.  


2. For the Frequent Flyer: American Express Singapore Airlines Krisflyer Credit Card

If you are into travelling or your job requires you to travel extensively, the American Express Singapore Airlines Krisflyer Credit Card is the one for you. Every time you spend, you get to earn air miles redeemable on any flight. This is especially useful for those who frequently travel with SIA and would like to avoid the hassle of converting credit card points to miles. Spending locally will earn you 1.1 miles per SGD spent while spending abroad will give you almost double of that at 2 miles per SGD. Additionally, earn more with those Grab rides you always take to the airports by obtaining 3.1 miles per dollar spent on Uber and Grab. 

One good tip would be to apply for this card just before any big-ticket purchases so as to maximize the sign-up bonus offered. This will bring you one step closer to redeeming that big trip you have been dreaming of! Additionally, regular travelers can feel assured in applying for this card as they also offer a waiver on your first-year annual fee. 

If you are interested to apply, click here


3. For those with Big Ticket Expenses: Standard Chartered Unlimited Cashback Credit Card

The Standard Chartered Unlimited Cashback Credit Card offers the most attractive cash back deal of unlimited cash back and no minimum spending. From buying furniture for your new home to finally getting your hands on that new branded bag you have been eyeing, this card is best used for big ticket items so that you can maximize the cash back received without having to worry about bursting the cap. 

Unlike most credit cards, this card also offers a two-year waiver on annual fees, making this a great card for fresh graduates who prefer lower commitments. Those who apply for this card will also enjoy discount privileges for dining, shopping and travel.  

If you are interested to apply, click here


4. For the Shopaholics: Citi Rewards Card

With the Citibank Rewards Card, you will be able to earn points or miles while spending on a wide variety of categories. The card offers 20 points or 8 miles for every S$1 spent on Amazon, 10 points or 4 miles for every S$1 spent on physical or online retail and 1 point or 0.4 miles on every S$1 spent on anything else. However, the points accumulated is capped at 120,000 per year. Nonetheless, those who apply for this card will be able to enjoy a waiver on their first-year annual fee. The card also offers exclusive promotions from Agoda, Emirates, Zalora and Airbnb. 

On the other hand, if you drive a lot, you may wish to consider Citibank’s Cash Back Card instead as it earns you a 20.88% discount at Esso and Shell stations. This card also offers an 8% cash back capped at S$25 per category (Grab, Dining, Grocery and Petrol Spending) with a minimum spending of S$888, making it perfect for those who spend evenly and consistently. 

If you are interested to apply, click here


5. For the Sporadic Card User: HSBC Advance Credit Card

If you are none of the above or you just wish to sign up for a credit card more for security reasons, then your first credit card should be the HSBC Advance Credit Card. This is the best card to get if you are not planning to use your card frequently as it still gives you 2.5% cash back on your purchases when you do spend on it. The benefit of this card is that there is no minimum monthly expenditure required and the cash back is capped generously at S$125. 

To further sweeten up the deal, you will have a first-year waiver on annual fees and if you are an HSBC Advance Banking customer, this card will be completely free for you! As an Advance Banking customer, you will also be entitled an additional 1% cash back. The card also offers attractive dining and travel promotions for those looking to land a good deal. For instance, it offers up to 10% off when you book hotels with Expedia. 

If you are interested to apply, click here


Wanna get the most cashback and rewards with your credit cards without research? Our Cashback Calculator recommends which card to use for your purchases. Check it out!


Some Tips from Us

Always remember to read through the terms of conditions before submitting your credit card applications. Pay close attention to the fine print which discusses fees and charges you may not aware of. Beyond a card’s extensive offerings, it is crucial to find the card that best suits your lifestyle and is convenient for you so that you will be able to maximize what the card offers. 


Maximize your Savings with CardsPal 

In addition to credit card benefits like cash back, points and miles, your credit card also typically offers deals and discounts at different restaurants and shops where you can enjoy savings upfront. CardsPal is the one stop app where we show you the best deals in town just for you, so you never miss a deal again. Get to know us here. Download the app on the App Store or Google Play Store now and get the latest deals, tailored according to the cards you own. 

If you are interested to find out which bank you should deposit your first pay check into so as to maximise returns, do check out our other post here!

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