Wondering which card is better for overseas use - Trust card vs YouTrip? We compared the fees and exchange rates and also included an alternative option Wise
The well-known bank, Standard Chartered, has the Spree Credit Card for those who like to shop online and in person. With incentives like cashback for retail purchases, it is easy to find the card appealing.
But beneath the cashback is not only a low monthly cap on how much you can get but also lots of fees. Even for overseas transactions. Read on to look at what you really might be paying for this credit card.
|If you want a global card that lets you spend overseas and locally with fees that are on average 7x lower than the banks, take a look at Wise’s multi-currency borderless card
|Table of contents
The Standard Chartered Spree Credit Card essentially operates as a normal credit card. Once you apply and are approved you will be given a credit line by the bank. Standard Chartered has set the maximum credit limit as up to 4x your monthly salary.¹
Next, you can use the card to spend online and offline wherever Visa is accepted. And with certain transactions, you can get cashback perks which will be covered later in the article. But after each statement cycle, you will receive a bill with the amount to pay back. You can then pay off the full amount, the minimum monthly repayment or another amount. Anything that isn’t paid off in full will be hit with an interest rate.
But the charges to you don’t stop there. Here is a quick breakdown of the fees that you will also be signing up for. Compared to the Wise multi-currency borderless card which lets you shop globally for on average cheaper than the banks, you’ll see that this credit card can end up being expensive.
|Standard Chartered Spree Credit Card²
|Wise borderless card
|S$ 192.60 (waived for first 2 years)
|Annual interest rate
|Overseas exchange rate
|Set by Visa
|The transparent mid-market exchange rate
|Late payment fee
|Minimum monthly repayment
|1% of principal plus interest, plus fees, charges or amounts over the credit limit, with a minimum of S$ 50
|Foreign currency transaction fee
|Cash advance transaction fee
|6%, with a minimum charge of S$ 15
To apply for the Standard Chartered Spree Credit Card, you first must be between the ages of 21-65 years old. Next, you must meet the minimum annual income requirements. For Singapore citizens and PRs, it is S$ 30,000.
For Foreigners holding an employment pass, the annual income required is S$ 60,000. And the employment pass must be a P1, P2 or Q type Singapore Employment pass. If you hold a Q type, it must also be valid for at least the next 12 months.
You can apply directly online or at a nearby Standard Chartered bank branch. In all cases to apply, you will need to submit a copy of your NRIC or Passport, and proof of income. In some situations, you may be able to get instant approval when you submit the application online.3
The Standard Chartered Spree Credit Card can be used for all your purchases big and small. And anywhere in the world where Visa is accepted. But there are additional incentives to use the card online for retail shopping purchases at home or abroad. You also can get additional discounts at other stores, like shipping or storage. Let’s breakdown the perks of the card.
The biggest sell of this credit card is its cashback rewards, with no minimum spending required. You get 2% cashback on all online spending you do in Singapore dollars, and 3% cashback on foreign currency spending online. You can also get 3% cashback on vPost spending too. Any other retail spend gets 1% cashback.
But the max you could ever get cashback is S$ 60 per month. No matter how much you spend. So while the no minimum spending is nice, the maximum you can get sure doesn’t offset some of the fees associated with this card.4
The other perk you get with this card are discounts at selected stores. You get 15% off storage units at Lock+Store. At Vpost, you get 25% off shipping fees for standard air shipments to Singapore with the correct promo code. And Smartpac and Singapore post give you 5% and 10% off respectively for specific transactions. In all cases, terms and conditions do apply.
The Standard Chartered Spree Credit Card can leave the cardholder confused. While you do get cashback for foreign currency spending online, you also get hit with a larger fee. And that 3.25% transaction fee goes for any foreign currency spending you do, on holiday or business travel too. If you match the fee with the 3% cashback only on online transactions abroad, you realize that it isn’t as overseas friendly as it seems.
On top of that, every foreign currency transaction is first converted into US dollars and then US dollars to Singapore dollars to post on your account. That means it gets hit with an exchange rate twice. And Visa has purposefully set their exchange rate lower than the transparent mid-market exchange rate that the banks use themselves, to take a cut off of every conversion. And their cut becomes your fee. So your foreign currency transaction ends up being more expensive than you think. Isn’t it time to get a card that makes overseas spending easier and cheaper?
Get your Wise borderless card - a multi-currency account that is on average 7 times cheaper than banks
The Wise borderless account is a multi-currency account that lets you hold 40+ currencies in just one account. And it is free to sign up and without any annual fees, making it cheaper than the banks on average. Plus you can use the award-winning app with magic push notifications to keep track of your spending.
Whether you shop online or in-person as you travel, you will always get the mid-market exchange rate. That’s the same rate you see on Google. All you’ll have to pay is one clear and transparent conversion fee of between .35-1%. That goes for online shopping on sites like Amazon, Alibaba, and Qoo10. So instead of paying for fees and waiting for cashback that is ultimately capped, get the Wise borderless card and save real money in your wallet.
Sources used for this article:
This publication is provided for general information purposes and does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from Wise Payments Limited or its subsidiaries and its affiliates, and it is not intended as a substitute for obtaining advice from a financial advisor or any other professional.
We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether expressed or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.
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