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Are you still buying air-tickets or holiday packages with cash these days? Why not charge it to your Credit Card? Here’s how you might just get great savings. 

1. Find a Card With Complimentary Travel Insurance

This is usually reserved for prestigious credit cards and the qualifying annual income is over $80,000. However, from some research, we have found quite a few other cards that offer similar benefits but require only an annual salary of only $30,000 to qualify. Some examples include Citibank Cash Back , OCBC 365 and Maybank Visa Platinum.

Not only do you save on travel insurance, if you’re not required to pay an annual fee – it’s basically free coverage for you. However, do note that the coverage under the credit card’s travel insurance plan is usually limited in scale. For more protection, look out for additional insurance plans using our unbiased travel insurance comparison tool.

2. Reward Yourself for Overseas Spending but Beware of Conversion Fees

Some cards earn you extra miles or cashback rewards when you spend with your credit card overseas. One of the reasons Credit Cards have these perks is to stimulate your foreign spending, which gives an extra commission to the merchant through the conversion of foreign currency to Singapore dollars. So even when you get extra miles or cashback rewards you will be paying an extra fee of around 1.5% for converting the currencies.

3. Don’t Withdraw Money with Your Credit Card from a Foreign ATM

Both Debit and Credit Cards have withdrawal fees in foreign countries that are between 2% and 5% of the amount that you withdraw. This does not often include the currency conversion costs. Withdrawing money from your Credit Card is like a cash advance. You’ll be required to pay a Cash Advance fee ($15 or 6% of the transacted amount) and the Cash Advance interest – calculated daily until full repayment. Seriously, do not treat your Credit Card like your ATM card.

Also, we need to remind you that by changing your money at a foreign money exchange, you will have some currency conversion costs too.

Be more aware of how and where you get your foreign currency and you can easily save money. That means more money to spend on things that you actually enjoy.

By getting the best card for overseas or travel spending, you are in fact saving for your next trip or on your way to earn a generous rebate on your overseas spend that might even offset the extra conversion fees charged by your bank. So you might ask: how does getting the right Credit Card for travel help me save money?

To illustrate, let’s say you book a trip to Bali during a long weekend and you’re using the Citibank Visa Rewards card.

Spending

Use your tip to save money

Costs

You save

Travel insurance

Basic insurance is included when you buy your flight tickets with credit card (see full terms and conditions)

 $25

$25

Flight tickets and hotel

Buy package at Expedia and get 5% cash back

(read full terms and conditions)

$1000

$50

Overseas shopping

Shop for shoes, bags and clothes and get 10X rewards points  (3600 Citi dollars à S$10)

$360

$10

Pocket money (local currency)

Exchange your money at money exchange instead of withdrawing with credit or debit card at foreign ATM

$615

$15

TOTAL

 

$2000

$100


If your spending pattern differs, you might want to check out our unbiased Credit Card comparison tool for credit cards to get the card that best suits your spending, and also lets you compare the extra perks such as travel insurance, lounge access or even golf privileges.

More tips on overseas Credit Card spending.