Best Singapore Cards for Foreign Currency & Overseas spending in 2024

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Best Cards for Foreign Currency & Overseas spending

Choosing the best cards for your foreign currency/overseas spending depends a lot on what matters most to you: Convenience or Value (or somewhere in between).

It also depends on how much tracking/monitoring you care about doing. Cards with min./max. monthly spending, annual fees and Miles/Points expiries require more effort on your part.

Related: Keeping track of your credit cards

These are the best cards for foreign currency and overseas spending:

CardsEarn
Rate
Forex
Fees
Min.
Spend
Max.
Spend
Key
Conditions

Amaze
linked to
Citi Rewards
4 MPD$1,000/
statement
month
Non-travel only
(no flights/hotels)
T&C

Amaze
linked to
OCBC Titanium
Rewards
4 MPD$12,000/
year
Shopping only
(no travel/dining/
groceries)
T&C

Amaze
linked to
Citi Prestige
1.3 MPDT&C

Amaze
linked to
Citi
PremierMiles
1.2 MPDT&C

Amaze
linked to
UOB PRVI MC
1.4 MPDT&C

HSBC
Revolution
4 MPD2.8%$1,000/
calendar
month
Contactless &
Online only
(travel, dining,
shopping,
groceries etc.)
T&C

DBS Woman’s
World
4 MPD3.25%$2,000/
calendar
month
Online only
T&C

UOB Visa
Signature
4 MPD3.25%$1,000/
statement
month
$2,000/
statement
month
T&C

YouTrip
$5,000/
day,
$10,000/
month,
$30,000/
year
YouTrip’s T&C

Revolut
$5,000/
day,
$10,000/
month,
$30,000/
year
1% fee on
weekends/PH
Revolut’s T&C

Trust Link
$35 referral code:
V1WB7T8A
0.22%
cashback
T&C

Wise
T&C

BigPay
$10 referral code:
ZRWISHTAFI
T&C

What is Amaze?

The Instarem Amaze card is easily the best card in Singapore right now because of its innovative feature that converts all offline transactions online while also allowing cardholders to avoid credit card foreign transaction fees that typically exceed 3%.

This card does not have the best foreign currency exchange rates (more on this later) but the 1% cashback (sort of) makes up for it.

The Amaze card is a must-have!

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Other factors to consider

Expiry of Miles/Points

Miles/Points from Singapore cards have expiry terms ranging from 1 year (DBS Woman’s World) to no expiry at all (Citi PremierMiles).

Depending on how fast you earn and redeem your miles/points, this factor should be considered.

Related: When do Miles and Points from Singapore credit cards expire?

Transfer partners

Even if you are loyal to just 1 or 2 Frequent Flyer Programs (FFPs), flexibility is nice to have.

As shown in the table below, miles/points from certain banks can be transferred to more FFPs.

Related: Singapore bank transfer partners of credit card Miles and Points

Singapore Bank transfer partners of credit card Miles and Points (pinch to zoom)

$5 blocks

Credit cards from certain banks like DBS and UOB only award miles/points in $5 blocks. This means that you will not earn any miles/points for spending under $5 and any portion of the spending that does not add up to $5.

For example, when spending $19.99 on these cards, you will only earn miles/points on $15.

Annual fee

Other than debit cards and HSBC Revolution, all cards mentioned above have annual fees. However, they can usually be waived upon request.

In my opinion, none of the above cards (except Citi Prestige) are worth their annual fees. I recommend transferring out the miles/points and cancelling the card, if an annual fee waiver is not granted.

Related: Keeping track of your credit cards

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You are technically “buying” miles when there is a CC fee

Credit card Forex fees from certain cards lead you to spending more than other fee-free cards. Hence, you are technically paying for the Miles that come with it.

Here’s a quick comparison to show the differences in Cost per Mile:

CardForeign currency
spending
(charged in SGD)
Miles/
Cashback
Nett
Spending
Cost per
Mile

YouTrip
S$100S$100

Amaze
linked to
Citi Rewards
S$101
(incl. spread)
404 miles
(4 MPD)
+
S$1
(1%
pointsback)
S$100FREE

Amaze
linked to
Citi Prestige
S$101
(incl. spread)
131 miles
(1.3 MPD)
+
S$1
(1%
pointsback)
S$100FREE

Amaze
linked to
Citi
PremierMiles
S$101
(incl. spread)

121 miles
(1.2 MPD)
+
S$1
(1%
pointsback)
S$100FREE

Amaze
linked to
UOB PRVI MC
S$101
(incl. spread)
140 miles
(1.4 MPD)
+
S$1
(1%
pointsback)
S$100FREE

UOB Visa
Signature
S$103.50
(incl. fee)
400 miles
(4 MPD)
S$103.500.9 cents
(S$3.50 for
400 miles)

As shown above, pairing the Amaze card with Citi Rewards card gives you the opportunity to “buy” miles for just 0.4 cents! If you are accumulating miles for future travels (like me), this is easily the best option for foreign currency/overseas spending (up to S$1,000/month).

The Costs per Mile for the next best options are around the same. I prefer pairing my Amaze card to Citi Prestige card, for spendings above S$1,000/month, because of the following reasons:

  1. Because of its flexibility, I value Citi Miles more than those from other banks
  2. Citi Miles do not expire
  3. No $5 blocks
  4. No min./max. monthly spending requirement
  5. No specific spending categories (e.g. Contactless/Shopping only)

FAQ: What card would I pick if I do not meet Citi Prestige’s min. income requirement of $120k/annum? Answer: I would pick Amaze+Citi PremierMiles for the same exact reasons above.

Best Currency Conversion Rates from Singapore Cards

There are many factors that affect the difference in conversion rates of every card.

This includes:

  1. Economic/Political news
  2. Lagging Mastercard vs Spot Rates when there are drastic movements in the foreign exchange market
  3. Foreign currency “spread” by Instarem Amaze cards
  4. Currency-specific fees (e.g. 1% Revolut fee for Thai Baht)

I did a simple test by topping up my MYR 30 to my Shopee Malaysia account with each of the following cards.

Transactions were done at 4pm SGT on a Friday and were all completed within 10 minutes, to minimize currency fluctuations.

CardAmount charged in SGDDifference
Spot Rate8.95
(1 SGD = 3.352 MYR)
Mastercard
Rate
9.03
(1 SGD = 3.324 MYR)
+0.89%
Wise8.95
(1 SGD = 3.352 MYR)
0%
Revolut8.98
(1 SGD = 3.343 MYR)
+0.34%
(+1% on
weekends)
Trust9.00
(1 SGD = 3.330 MYR)
+0.56%
YouTrip9.03
(1 SGD = 3.322 MYR)
+0.89%
BigPay9.03
(1 SGD = 3.321 MYR)
+0.89%
Amaze9.12
(1 SGD = 3.290 MYR)
+1.02%
Grab
(2% fee)
9.22
(1 SGD = 3.254 MYR)
+3.02%
HSBC
(2.8% fee)
9.28
(1 SGD = 3.233 MYR)
+3.69%
AMEX
(2.95% fee)
9.29
(1 SGD = 3.229 MYR)
+3.79%
DBS
UOB
OCBC
Citibank
(3.25% fee)
9.32
(1 SGD = 3.219 MYR)
+4.13%

Bottom line

The Foreign Currency and Overseas spending category is a little complicated and there is no one-card-fits-all solution because of multiple Value vs Convenience combinations available.

I hope that this article made your decision a lot easier to pick your battles!

Got a question? Ask away in Suitesmile Chat.

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