Best credit cards for overseas use (2018)

Best credit cards for overseas use (2018)

Getting ready for your long awaited holiday? We can sense your excitement from over here.

Call us a mind-reader, but we can also guess that you are now thinking of how much money you should bring along for your trip. Personally, we would recommend between $50 to $100 worth of Singapore dollars per day.

It's true that it's more prudent to use cash for your overseas trip and dodge the uncertainty of extra charges due to currency exchanges on your credit card.

But don't forget, this daily cash is meant as a backup for places that do not accept credit cards. When it comes to big ticket purchases, would you be willing to carry a wad of cash and with it the risk of misplacing it?

In such instances, it’s safer to use your credit card instead of cash.  On top of that, credit cards also come with additional bonuses such as amplified cashback or miles accumulation for overseas spend.

Before you set off for your holilday, here are some credit cards that will reward your handsomely when you use them on your trip.

Card

Savings

Things to note

UOB PRVI Miles World Mastercard

  • 1.4 miles per $1 spent locally
     
  • 2.4 miles per $1 spent overseas
     
  • 6 miles per $1 spent on selected airlines and hotel bookings via Agoda, Expedia, and UOB Travel Planners
     
  • Complimentary travel insurance
  • Annual fee waived for first year
     
  • No rewards cap

Standard Chartered Unlimited Cashback Credit Card

  • 1.5% cashback on all shopping spend worldwide
     
  • Up to 3% cashback on foreign currency spending, for first three months after card approval
  • Annual fee waived for first two years
     
  • No cashback cap
     
  • No minimum spend required for cashback

American Express Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Ascend

  • 1.2 bonus miles per $1 spent locally
     
  • 2 miles per $1 spent overseas, in June and December
     
  • Airport lounge access and complimentary travel insurance
  • New-to-bank applicants receive $50 cashback for applying online
     
  • $7 off with a minimum spend of $15 on Shopee, for new users
     
  • Annual fee waived for first two years. Annual fee is also waived with a minimum spend of $10,000

BOC Family Card

  • 10% cashback on all dining spend worldwide
     
  • 5% cashback for online shopping and selected merchants
     
  • 0.3% cashback for other spending
  • Low currency conversion fee of just 2.5%
     
  • Annual fee waived for first year
     
  • Cashback cap of $100 per month ($30 for dining, $30 for online purchases, $40 for groceries and other retail purchases)
     
  • Minimum spend of $700 per month, otherwise cashback falls to 0.3%

Citi PremierMiles Visa Card

  • 1.2 Citi miles per $1 spent locally
     
  • 2 Citi miles per $1 spent overseas
     
  • Up to 10 Citi miles per $1 spent on selected booking agents
     
  • Up to 10,000 Citi miles when you renew and pay the annual fee
  • Annual fee waived for first year
     
  • No rewards cap

UOB PRVI Miles World Mastercard

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  • 2.4 miles per $1 spent overseas
  • 6 miles per $1 spent on selected airlines and hotel bookings via Agoda, Expedia, and UOB Travel Planners
  • Annual fee waived for first year

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UOB PRVI Miles World Mastercard

The UOB PRVI Miles card is a solid choice for travellers as you get 2.4 bonus miles per dollar spent abroad (as opposed to 1.4 miles per dollar spent locally).

On top of that, you get 6 bonus miles per dollar spent on selected airline and hotel bookings, via Agoda, Expedia, and UOB Travel Planners. Book a one week stay at $200 a night, and you already get 8,400 miles – that’s on top of the bonus miles you’ll get while shopping on vacation.

Up till 30th June this year, new-to-bank customers will get $80 instant cashback if they spend $600 within 30 days of activating their card.

Good for

  • Frequent fliers
  • People who like to book their own trips without an agent

Standard Chartered Unlimited Cashback Credit Card

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  • Up to 3% cashback on foreign currency spending, for first three months after card approval
  • No cashback cap
  • No minimum spend required for cashback

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Standard Chartered Unlimited Cashback Credit Card

This is a good multipurpose cashback card because the 1.5% rebate is universal. It doesn’t matter what you spend on or where you spend. This is definitely an ideal card for someone who hates sorting through multiple cards to find the right one.

What makes it stand out for overseas use – at least up till 30th June this year – is the extra cashback on foreign currency spending. Your rebates rise to 3% when transacting in a foreign currency, for the first three months after the card is approved.

Up till 31st July 2018, new-to-bank customers will also receive $120 instant cashback by activating the card within 30 days of approval.

Good for

  • People who don’t like to have multiple cards jamming up their wallet
  • People who are going abroad in the immediate future (next three months), but aren’t frequent travellers otherwise

American Express Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Ascend

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  • 2 miles per $1 spent overseas, in June and December
  • Airport lounge access and complimentary travel insurance
  • Annual fee waived for first two years. Annual fee is also waived with a minimum spend of $10,000.

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American Express Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Ascend

This credit card gives you 2 KrisFlyer miles per dollar spent abroad, so long as you do the spending in June and December. Given that those are the most likely months you'll be travelling with the family, that shouldn’t be too much of a restriction for most users.

On top of the usual reward, you get a complimentary one-night stay at over 110 Hilton hotels in Asia Pacific every year, great for those long weekend trips. You also get access to select airport lounges, and complimentary travel insurance.

Up till 30th June 2018, new-to-bank applicants can also get up to 38,000 KrisFlyer miles, by charging up to $10,000 to the card.

Another notable feature of this card is the low foreign currency transaction fee – it’s just 2.5%, instead of the usual 2.8% to 3%. This becomes significant if you're purchasing a big ticket item in the thousand dollar range.

Good for

  • People who travel in June and December
  • People who make multiple, smaller transactions while abroad (due to the lower foreign exchange charges). Note that this often happens when you try to go completely cashless.

BOC Family Card

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  • 10% cashback on all dining spend worldwide
  • Low currency conversion fee of just 2.5%
  • Annual fee waived for first year

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BOC Family Card

Not all of us travel to shop! We know there are some real foodies out there. If you travel just to try out a world-famous restaurant or sample exotic cultural dishes, then get the BOC Family Card.

This has the highest cashback for dining at 10% – and it applies anywhere in the world. Just remember that the cashback is capped at $100 per month though and it's split between dining, online shopping and other retail purchases, so do switch cards once you’ve hit the limit.

You need to spend at least $700 per month to get the full cashback, but that’s probably not difficult if you’re dining in style.

Good for

  • Travelling foodies
  • People who don’t mind swapping cards once they’ve hit the cashback cap

Citi PremierMiles Visa Card

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  • 2 Citi miles per $1 spent overseas
  • Up to 10 Citi miles per $1 spent on selected booking agents
  • No rewards cap

APPLY NOW

Citi PremierMiles Visa Card

First, let's explain the concept of Citi miles. The benefit behind Citi miles is that you can redeem the miles with most frequenty flyer programs, including KrisFlyer, Asia Miles and many more, with 1 Citi mile equivalent to 1 mile. On top of that, Citi miles can be used to redeem points from hotel loyalty programs such as IHG Rewards Club and Hilton HHonors.

While this card gives you 2 Citi miles to the dollar for overseas spending instead of 2.4 as offered by the UOB PRVI Miles World Mastercard, its amplified boost with hotel or flight bookings far outshines the competition with up to 10 Citi miles per dollar spent.

You also get 10,000 Citi miles once a year when you renew the card and pay the annual fee.

Up till 30th June 2018, new-to-bank customers will also get $120 instant cashback per month, for six consecutive months after the card is approved. This requires a minimum spend of $200 a month.

Good for

  • New-to-bank customers as $120 cashback per month is a solid deal
  • You intend to hold on to the card for a while, as you get 10,000 bonus miles per year. $200 a month is not a difficult amount to reach.