YouTrip vs Credit card - Which helps you save the most when travelling?

Hannes Ausmees

Planning a trip abroad? Maybe you’re wondering how best to arrange your travel money to get good exchange rates, convenient spending and low overall costs. Spending overseas with a card is pretty safe and easy - but choosing the right card for your specific needs can be a bit overwhelming. Should you go for a multi-currency e-wallet and card like YouTrip1, or choose a credit card from a major bank?

If you’re debating between YouTrip vs a credit card, this guide can help you pick. We’ll walk through the pros and cons of each - and also touch on another option - Wise. Wise offers a multi-currency debit card that supports 40+ currencies and can be used for spending with the mid-market exchange rate in 150+ countries. More on that later.

foreign-transaction-fee-wise

Is YouTrip a credit card?

Let’s start with the obvious question - what is YouTrip exactly?

Firstly, YouTrip is not a credit card. YouTrip is a multi-currency e-wallet you can download onto your phone, to hold 10 currencies. Once you have your app installed and an account registered, you can order a YouTrip debit card, which offers an easy way to spend the balance you add to your e-wallet. Tap and pay with your physical YouTrip card, add the card to Apple Pay for mobile transactions, spend online, and make ATM withdrawals - just as you might with any other payment card.

YouTrip vs credit card - pros and cons

Here’s a quick round up of some of the key pros and cons of using YouTrip vs a credit card - we’ll walk through the most important points in more detail in a moment.

YouTripCredit cards
Pros
  • No credit check or annual fee to pay
  • Spend in person and online conveniently
  • No interest charges
  • Hold 10 major currencies
  • Get some fee free ATM withdrawals every month
  • Issued by major banks and card networks
  • Spread the costs of spending over several months
  • Can act as a payment guarantee, when renting a card for example
  • Options to earn rewards, points, airmiles and cash back are often available
Cons
  • You’ll need to add a balance before you can spend
  • Transaction fees apply
  • Options to earn rewards or get discounts are limited
  • Fees and interest apply
  • ATM charges are high
  • Credit checks and eligibility requirements apply

As you can see, there are both pros and cons of using YouTrip vs a credit card. Ultimately which is best for you might just depend on your personal preferences. Read on for more about where each card type excels - and a quick look at another alternative multi-currency card for low cost global spending, Wise.

In the market for a credit card? Learn more about the best credit cards in Singapore here.

YouTrip vs credit card - eligibility

One major difference between YouTrip vs a credit card is in the eligibility requirements to get a card in the first place.

Credit cards are issued by banks and card networks based on your creditworthiness and ability to pay your bills. That means that to be eligible to apply for a credit card you’ll need to meet certain minimum salary requirements, have a set credit score, or leave a large deposit with the bank.

YouTrip, on the other hand, is a debit card - which means there’s no earning requirement to apply. All you’ll need to do is get verified using your ID documents, and then add money to your account to start spending.

YouTrip vs credit card - fees

You’ll be able to use either a YouTrip card or a credit card for spending here in Singapore, and also overseas. It’s useful to know, though, that you can’t use your YouTrip card for ATM withdrawals in Singapore.

As you may expect, there are some fees connected to card usage, both with a YouTrip card and with a credit card. Credit card fees can vary pretty widely, so shopping around is important. If you’re planning a trip abroad, it’s worth picking a credit card designed for overseas spending which may well come with low or no foreign transaction fees, and ways to earn extra rewards when you spend in a foreign currency. If you’re mainly going to use your card locally, picking one with good cash back earning options may be a good idea instead.

To help you build a picture of where a YouTrip card may work better vs a credit card, let’s look at some typical fees. As we’ve mentioned, credit cards all set their own fees, so you’ll need to double check the costs for the card you prefer before you get started.

ServiceYouTrip fee²Credit card fee
Card orderFirst card is free, 10 SGD for replacement cardsAnnual fees may apply
Card spendingFree to spend a currency you holdNo fee for spending in SGD
ATM withdrawals400 SGD/month fee free withdrawals, 2% fee applies after that³Cash advance fees and immediate interest apply
Foreign transaction feeNo foreign transaction feeSome travel cards have no foreign transaction fees. Where fees apply, costs can be up to 3%
Interest and penalty feesNot applicableVariable interest rates apply if you do not repay your monthly bill in full. Penalty charges may apply if you’re late to repay
Balance refund fee10 SGD⁴Not applicable

Debit vs credit card ATM withdrawal costs

One major debit card vs credit card difference to know about is in ATM withdrawal costs. When you make a cash withdrawal using a debit card, your withdrawal is immediately debited from the linked account. With a credit card, you’re given the cash as an advance payment, and need to repay the money later. In both cases, fees may apply. However, the way the charges work can be very different.

YouTrip allows customers to withdraw the equivalent of 400 SGD monthly fee free, from international ATMs. After you’ve exhausted this limit, fees of 2% of the withdrawal value apply.

Credit cards usually charge a cash advance fee and immediate interest on the amount withdrawn. This can work out to be more expensive than using a debit card to get cash at an ATM. To put this in context, if you have a DBS credit card you’ll pay 8% in cash advance fees, with a minimum of 15 SGD every time you withdraw, and interest which starts to accumulate instantly5.

YouTrip vs credit card - exchange rates

If you’re looking for a card to spend overseas, exchange rates make a big difference to how far your money will go. Using a credit card overseas usually means that your bill will be converted back to SGD using the network exchange rate, with any foreign transaction fee applied. While the exchange rate used by card networks is usually pretty fair, the extra foreign transaction fee can push costs up by around 3% for every transaction.

You might find you can get lower overall costs when spending in foreign currencies with a multi-currency card like YouTrip. YouTrip lets you hold a balance in 10 major currencies6, and spend any currency you hold with no extra fee. You can add a balance in SGD and convert to the currency you need with the mid-market exchange rate7, or you can leave your money in dollars and the card will convert when you make a payment if you’d prefer.

If you want a multi-currency card for your next trip, it’s worth doing a bit of research to see which works best for your specific needs - we’ll introduce one alternative option, Wise debit card, in a moment.

YouTrip vs credit card - rewards

Credit cards can often come with some great rewards, including cash back on spending, air miles you can trade for fights, discounts and lifestyle benefits. While you’ll need to weigh up whether the costs of using a credit card are worth the extras, some credit cards do have very attractive perks - particularly if you’re spending higher amounts, and can accumulate rewards quickly.

YouTrip cards have a few discount offers when you spend with partner merchants, but the focus with YouTrip is far more on saving money when you spend, rather than earning extras. Before you choose between YouTrip vs a credit card, it’s worth researching a few card options to see whether the perks available would be useful or cost effective for you.

Should you pick YouTrip or Wise? Singapore multi-currency card comparison

As we’ve seen, You Trip offers a good alternative to credit card use, which can mean that spending in foreign currencies is cheaper. Wise is another popular multi-currency debit card which is available in Singapore, and which can also offer great benefits compared to using your credit card on your next trip.

Wise debit cards allow you to hold, exchange, send and spend 40+ currencies, and make payments in person and online, in 150+ countries. You’ll also get a flexible multi-currency account you can operate from your phone to send payments to 160+ countries and get paid conveniently in 9 currencies.

Like YouTrip, Wise has a focus on offering great value for international use. All currency exchange uses the mid-market exchange rate with low fees from 0.43% which are transparently shown so you can easily calculate the costs of your overseas spending and withdrawals.

Here’s a quick comparison of Wise vs YouTrip so you can see which might suit you better.

YouTripWise
EligibilityResidents of Singapore and Malaysia onlyAvailable globally in all but a few countries
Account maintenance feesNoneNone
Available currencies for holding and exchange1040+ currencies
Available currencies/countries for card spending150+ currencies150+ countries
ATM fees400 SGD/month fee free withdrawals, 2% fee applies after thatUp to 2 withdrawals per month, to 350 SGD in value, fee free⁸ 1.50 SGD + 1.75% after that9
Currency exchange feesNo specific fee, exchange with Mastercard ratesExchange with mid-market rates and low fees based on currency from 0.43%10
International transfer feesAvailable for 10 holding currencies with YouTrip Send - fees available in app onlySend to 160+ countries, fees based on currency - from 0.43%
Business account available?NoYes - in a broad range of countries globally

Please see Terms of Use for your region or visit Wise Fees & Pricing: Only Pay for What You Use for the most up-to-date pricing and fee information.


For many travellers, having a few ways to pay when you’re abroad is a smart plan. That means that even if your preferred payment method isn’t available for some reason, you have a back up plan. Holding a credit card issued on a major payment network, plus a multi-currency card from a specialist service like YouTrip or Wise can be a good balance between the flexibility of a credit card, and the low costs of a debit card, to make sure you can make the most of your overseas travel.

Order your Wise card today! 💳


Sources:

  1. YouTrip Singapore
  2. YouTrip fees
  3. YouTrip ATM fees
  4. YouTrip - balance refund
  5. DBS card fees
  6. YouTrip currencies
  7. YouTrip exchange rates
  8. Wise will not charge you for these withdrawals, but some additional charges may occur from independent ATM networks
  9. Pricing/fees: Please see Terms of Use for your region or visit Wise Fees & Pricing for the most up to date pricing and fee information

Sources checked on 09/10/2023


Please see terms of use and product availability for your region or visit Wise fees and pricing for the most up to date pricing and fee information.

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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