Looking for the best USD accounts in Singapore? Read more here about what USD accounts can you open in Singapore
Having a debit card can make day to day life easier. Pay for goods and services quickly, tap in and out of public transport, and shop online without hassle - and because it’s a debit card not a credit card, you’ll always know you’re spending only money you already hold in the account.
Debit cards can certainly be cheaper than credit cards. But that doesn’t mean they’re free - it is still important to look at the fees and charges before you pick the perfect debit card for you.
This guide covers the best debit cards we found in Singapore. Before we dig deeper, here's a breakdown of some most important features for different cards we researched:
|Maintenance fee||Digital card||Mobile payments||ATM fees||Foreign transaction fee|
|Wise Card||No fee||Available||Available||2 withdrawals a month, to 350 SGD fee free. 1.75% after that||No fee|
|SAFRA DBS Debit Card||No fee as long as you remain a SAFRA member||Not available||Available||Free in network withdrawals Out of network withdrawal fees of up to 7 SGD may apply¹||Up to 3.25%²|
|DBS Visa Debit Card||No fee||Not available||Available||Free in network withdrawals Out of network withdrawal fees of up to 7 SGD may apply||Up to 3.25%, depending on the linked account|
|PAssion POSB Debit Card||PAssion fee of 12 SGD/5 years is waived as long as you hold the debit card||Not available||Available||Free in network withdrawalsOut of network withdrawal fees of up to 7 SGD may apply³||Up to 3.25%, depending on the linked account⁴|
|OCBC Debit Card||No fee||Not available||Available||Free to use OCBC ATMs Overseas fee of 3% - from 5 SGD to 20 SGD⁵||Up to 3.25%, depending on the linked account|
|OCBC FRANK Debit Card||Fall below fee may apply once you reach 26 years old||Available||Available||Free to use OCBC ATMs Overseas fee of 3% - may apply from 5 SGD to 20 SGD||Up to 3.25%, depending on the linked account|
|HSBC Debit Card||No fee||Not available||Available||Free to use HSBC ATMs Out of network fees may apply, depending on the linked account||Charges may apply, based on the linked account|
|UOB Debit Card||18.17 SGD||Not available||Available||5 SGD out of network fee⁶ Foreign transaction fees may also apply||3.25%|
|Citibank Debit Card||Accounts may have service fees of 15 SGD/month - check terms and conditions for more information||Not available||Available||No fee for in network and partner bank withdrawals. Foreign transaction fees may apply||2.5%|
*Correct as time of research - 07/02/2023
If you’re getting a new debit card, you have a few decisions to make. While different cards - and accounts - will suit different customers, there are a few key considerations to think about. Here are some pointers:
- Choose a card which is on a widely accepted network, such as Visa or Mastercard, for ease of use
- Pay attention to the foreign transaction fees added if the card is used abroad or for online shopping with international retailers
- Look at fees for ATM use - at home and abroad
- Check if you need to pay an annual charge for the card, and what happens if you need a replacement
- Make sure the online banking options which are connected to the card and account are user friendly
- Consider whether you need travel protection
- If you’re choosing a card because of a promotion or offer, read the small print carefully to ensure you’re eligible
Let’s dive right into our roundup of the best debit cards in Singapore - we’ll walk through some top options and look at each in more detail, next.
The Wise multi-currency account and Wise Card can make it a lot cheaper to transact internationally compared to using your normal bank.
Top up your account in the currency of your choice, switch to the currency you need online or in the Wise app - or let the card’s auto-convert feature do it for you. Either way, you’ll be able to spend with no sneaky foreign transaction charges, and you’ll always get the real mid-market exchange rate, with low, transparent transaction fees.
You don’t need to worry about holding any minimum balance in your Wise account - signing up is free and there’s no monthly fee either. Just a one time 10 SGD charge to get your physical card - and you can get started spending right away with handy digital cards for mobile and online payments.
If you’re an existing SAFRA member, and already bank with DBS or POSB, the SAFRA DBS Debit Card⁷ might mean you can earn cash back and access a broad range of privileges including exclusive access to 6 SAFRA clubhouses around the island. Cash back varies depending on where you’re spending - but can be up to 2% on key items like grocery shopping and public transport.
DBS customers with multi-currency accounts may be interested in linking the DBS Visa Debit Card⁸ to their account, to spend currencies they hold without foreign transaction fees. There’s no annual card fee - although you may run into maintenance, currency conversion and transaction fees on your linked account, depending on which you select.
Why carry both a PAssion Card and a bank issued debit card, when you can combine both in one - and have the PAssion membership fee waived, too. If you have an eligible account with POSB or DBS you’ll be able to apply for the PAssion POSB Debit Card⁹ and get cashback and offers as you spend.
The OCBC Debit Card¹⁰, which is offered in place of the OCBC Yes Debit Card for new customers, has unlimited 1% cash back on a range of spending categories, and free ATM withdrawals within the OCBC network. Another great perk is the option to make cardless withdrawals through the OCBC app - meaning you don’t need to carry your card around with you even when you need cash.
OCBC FRANK¹¹ can be a great option for students looking for a card and account for day to day spending, with the possibility to earn interest and cash back, as well as getting a personalised card from over 60 different designs. There’s no monthly fee to pay until you’re 26, and even after that you can waive the charge by holding a minimum balance in your linked OCBC account.
HSBC customers can link a debit card to their preferred HSBC account, to spend and make withdrawals, and access handy mobile payments¹². There’s no ATM fee if you stick with HSBC ATMs, including for international withdrawals.
The UOB One Debit Card¹³ is described as Singapore’s most generous cash back on daily spending, with 10% rebates on a pretty wide range of merchants and spend types from Oct 2022 to 30 June 2023 (otherwise up to 3%). You also have free ATM withdrawals at UOB ATMs in Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand. But there is an annual fee of 18.17 SGD.
Depending on which Citibank account you hold, the Citibank Debit Card¹⁴ could offer a simple way to spend at home and abroad. You may even be able to access multiple currencies to make international spending easier, as well as contactless and mobile spending, and a range of Citibank privileges extended to card holders.
Debit cards are also a great way for entrepreneurs and business owners to make it easier and more convenient to make payments. If you’re interested in finding the right business debit card for your needs, check out this full guide to the best business debit card in Singapore.
Using a debit card can be a good way to make daily spending simple - particularly if you pick a card with great features and low fees. As usually, the best debit card available in Singapore for you will depend on your specific needs.
Check out the selection offered here to decide which presents the best possible value, convenience and benefits for you - and remember to take a good look at the Wise multi-currency account and Wise Card if you love to travel and spend internationally. With no foreign transaction fees and currency conversion which uses the Google exchange rate, you could stand to save a lot of money compared to traditional bank cards.
- DBS ATM fees
- DBS foreign transaction fees
- POSB card fees
- POSB Foreign transaction fees
- OCBC pricing guide
- UOB Debit Card fees
- SAFRA DBS Debit Card
- DBS Visa Debit Card
- PAssion POSB Debit Card
- OCBC Debit Card
- OCBC FRANK Debit Card
- HSBC Debit Card
- UOB One Debit Card
- Citibank Debit Card
Sources checked on 07/02/2023
This publication is provided for general information purposes only and is not intended to cover every aspect of the topics with which it deals. It is not intended to amount to advice on which you should rely. You must obtain professional or specialist advice before taking, or refraining from, any action on the basis of the content in this publication. The information in this publication does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from Wise Payments Limited or its affiliates. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether express or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.
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