13 best credit cards with no annual fee (2022)

13 best credit cards with no annual fee (2022)
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Every year, you call that number on the back of your credit card, fumble with the answering machine’s 1,000 options and then finally after lots of hair-pulling frustration get to speak to a real human being in order to request a credit card annual fee waiver.

Rinse and repeat for ALL your cards. Otherwise, cancel your credit card.

Sick of the hassle, you start browsing “no annual fee credit card” articles. However, most articles lead you to credit cards with two or three year annual fee waivers. Umm… that’s not exactly a “no annual fee credit card”.

When times are bad, banks may tighten their belts and start charging users annual fee despite good banking relationships and prompt and full payments. (See the recent POSB Everyday Card annual fee waiver rejection saga that unfolded on Hardwarezone here.)

If you don’t want to be at the mercy of the banks’ whims and fancies, here is a list of the real, true blue credit cards with no annual fees – for life.

1. Credit card with no annual fees

There are few credit cards in Singapore with straight up no annual fees. CIMB is best known for their no annual fee credit cards.

Otherwise, your next best option includes digital bank credit cards such as Trust credit card, and digital provider credit cards such as Revolut, GrabPay cards etc.

You’ll also find an assortment of debt consolidation or credit line credit cards with no annual fees such as the Citi Double Cash, Citi Diamond Preferred etc. The majority of these cards don’t come with attractive rewards, miles, or cashback programmes. We will skip those unless they have some kind of benefits for you.

Of course, the trusty old debit cards charge no annual fees as well.

No Annual Fee Credit Cards Annual Fee Minimum Spend
CIMB World Mastercard $0 $500 (for base 1 per cent cashback)
CIMB Visa Signature $0
CIMB Visa Infinite $0 $2,000 (for bonus 2 per cent cashback)
Standard Chartered Smart Credit Card $0
DBS Treasures Black Elite Card (for DBS Treasures clients) $0
DBS SAFRA Card (for SAFRA members) $0
HSBC Revolution Card $0
HSBC Premier Mastercard $0 $600 (for 5 per cent cash rebates)
UOB Professionals Platinum Card (for profession associations) $0
OCBC Premier Visa Infinite (for OCBC Premier Banking) $0
GrabPay Mastercard $0 $1,000 (to get deposit for physical card back)
Trust Credit Card (Visa) $0 $450

2. CIMB no annual fee credit cards

There are four CIMB credit cards in Singapore with no annual fees. They are namely:

  • CIMB World Mastercard
  • CIMB Visa Signature
  • CIMB Visa Infinite
  • CIMB AWSM Card

CIMB World Mastercard is a pretty basic and entry-level cashback credit card suitable for everyday use.

The amount of cashback you get depends on how much you spend:

  • Spend $500, get 1 per cent unlimited cashback (base rate)
  • Spend $1,000, get 2 per cent unlimited cashback (Four bonus categories only

Bonus 2 per cent cashback is offered on wine, dine, online food delivery, movies, digital entertainment, taxi, automobile, and luxury goods – kind of a weird mix of categories, actually.

This CIMB World Mastercard replaces the well-loved CIMB Platinum MasterCard (ceased May 31, 21) which offered 10 per cent cashback (capped at $100 a month and $20 per category) with $800/month minimum spend.

Annual fee is free for life, which saves you from having to call them up and beg them to waive annual fees!

CIMB Visa Signature

CIMB Visa Signature offers a very generous 10 per cent cashback (capped at $100 a month and $20 per category) on beauty and wellness, online shopping, groceries, pet shops, vet services and cruises. Almost anyone can benefit from the grocery and online shopping cashback, and if you often go to spas or have a pet, the card becomes even more attractive.

The main drawback is that the minimum spending requirement of $800 is quite high.

On the bright side, the card charges no annual fees indefinitely, so it is truly free to use.

The CIMB Visa Infinite card requires you to have an annual income of $120,000. CIMB AWSM Card, on the other hand, is an entry-level credit card with annual income of $18,000 onwards (under 35 years old).

3. Standard Chartered Smart Credit Card

Standard Chartered Smart card is marketed as a cashback card. However, it actually is a rewards credit card with 1.6 points per $1 spend. You will then need to redeem the points for cashback via the rewards redemption portal.

4. DBS no annual fee credit card

There are two DBS credit cards with no annual fees:

  • DBS Treasures Black Elite Card (for DBS Treasures clients)
  • DBS SAFRA Card (for SAFRA members)

The DBS Treasures Black Elite card has no annual fees for DBS Treasures clients. The card’s benefits are not explicitly stated online, but its a reward points card essentially that allows you to earn DBS points. It reportedly allows you to earn up to 3.2 miles per $1 spend.

Otherwise, the DBS SAFRA card charges no annual fee – as long as you are a SAFRA member.

ALSO READ: Your guide to credit card applications in Singapore

5. HSBC no annual fee credit card

You may not know this, but the HSBC Revolution credit card best known for its 10X reward points no longer charges annual fees! You can earn the 10X bonus points from travel, departmental and retail stores, supermarts, dining, food delivery, transportation, and membership clubs.

HSBC Premier Mastercard gives you 5 per cent cash rebate (capped at $150) on dining, groceries, petrol, transport when you spend a minimum of $600 per month.

6. UOB no annual fee credit card

There’s only one card in the entire UOB credit card universe that doesn’t charge annual fees… the UOB Professionals Platinum Card.

It’s largely unheard of, but the UOB Professionals Platinum Card is reserved for members of professional associations such as:

  • Alumni Association
  • Institute of Singapore Chartered Accountants (ISCA)
  • Law Society of Singapore
  • Singapore Medical Association (SMA)
  • The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA)
  • The Institution of Engineers, Singapore (IES)

You get dining discounts, fuel discount, and UOB$ cashback at selected merchants and retail outlets.

7. OCBC no annual fee credit card

As with the DBS Treasures Black Elite credit card, the OCBC Premier Visa Infinite is an exclusive credit card for OCBC Premier Banking customers and doesn’t charge its members annual fees.

Benefits include 16 OCBC$ reward points per $5, and 28 OCBC$ reward points per $5 foreign currency spend

ALSO READ: Should you own a credit card in Singapore?

8. Grab Pay Card – Mastercard

If none of the above bank-issued credit cards tickled your fancy, you’ll find no annual fee cards with digital finance and bank providers such as the GrabPay Card. While you don’t get the conventional dining, shopping, or travel benefits like you would with usual credit cards, you get to earn Grab Reward points.

9. Trust Credit Card

Founded in collaboration by Standard Chartered Bank and NTUC, the new Trust credit card doesn’t charge you any annual fees. Key benefits currently includes a $25 Fairprice voucher upon sign-up and first transaction.

Otherwise, it’s been quite confusing to use so far. You get:

  • 0.5 per cent base cashback on Fairprice groceries
  • 0.22 per cent cashback on Visa spend
  • 7.5 per cent on Fairprice groceries (min. spend $450 outside of Fairprice) capped at 5,500 Linkpoints
  • 7 per cent on Fairprice groceries (min. spend three months) capped at 7,500 Linkpoints
  • Cheap deal coupons at partner merchants, e.g. $1.99 Mushroom Swiss Burger from certain Burger King outlets (must check T&Cs)
  • Stamp cards: Visit Heavenly Wang three times to get a free drink on your fourth visit

This article was first published in MoneySmart.

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