The 6 Best Travel Money Cards for Singapore
Singapore isn’t a cheap destination. But using a travel money card can help cut the costs of your well earned break. Spend and withdraw conveniently, and pick from a great selection of travel money cards covering travel debit cards, prepaid travel cards and travel credit cards. All of these card types have their own features and fees - but where they’re similar is in that they have been optimised for travel use, which means you can often get great rates, low fees, and extra perks when you’re spending in Singapore.
Read on for all you need to know, including a closer look at travel money card types, some great options to consider, and the sorts of fees you need to think about when you choose.
Wise – good value debit card for Singapore
Before we get into details about different travel money card options, let’s start with the Wise card as a good all-round option that allows you to hold and spend Singapore dollars, as well as a diverse range of other world currencies.
Wise accounts can hold and exchange 40+ currencies, and you can get a linked Wise card for a one time delivery fee.
You can either top up your account in ringgit and switch to Singapore dollars before you travel, or you can let the card automatically switch currencies as required. As soon as you order your physical Wise card, you can also create a Wise virtual card, which means there’s no need to wait to spend - just add your virtual card to a wallet like Apple Pay and you’re good to go.
Wise uses the mid-market exchange rate for currency conversion, with low transparent fees from 0.43%. You can also get MYR and SGD bank account details, as well as local account details for up to 8 other currencies, to receive convenient payments to your Wise account.
Here are some of the advantages and disadvantages of using the Wise travel money debit card, to help you decide if it's suitable for you.
|Pros of using the Wise card in Singapore
|Cons of using the Wise card in Singapore
✅ Hold and exchange 40+ currencies including SGD and a selection of other world currencies
✅ No fee to spend any currency you hold, low conversion fees from 0.43%
✅ Mid market exchange rate on all currency conversion
✅ Some fee free ATM withdrawals every month
✅ No ongoing fees and no interest to pay
❌ 13.7 MYR delivery fee
❌ No option to earn points or rewards
What is a travel money card?
A travel money card can be used for payments online and in stores, and for cash withdrawals, just like your regular bank card can be. However, with a travel money card you’ll find the features and fees have been optimised for international use. That might mean you get a better exchange rate compared to using your normal card overseas, or that you run into fewer fees. Some travel cards also have options to earn cashback and rewards when you use your card internationally.
6 travel money cards for Singapore compared
We’ll look at each of these card options in a little more detail in just a moment, but let’s start with an overview of how 6 top travel money cards for Singapore line up side by side:
|Card delivery fee
|Fees for spending
|Singapore ATM fee
|13.7 MYR order fee
|Free to spend any currency you hold, currency conversion from 0.43%
|Some free withdrawals every month based, low fees after that
|20 MYR order fee
|1% foreign transaction fee
|10 MYR card order fee; 10 MYR annual fee; 20 MYR deposit which is refunded when you close the card
Free to spend currencies you hold
1.75% fee to spend an unsupported currency
|Up to 10 MYR, depending on the ATM you pick
|25 MYR joining fee
|1% foreign transaction fee
|Up to 10 MYR, depending on the ATM you pick
|1% foreign transaction fee
|15% - 18% depending on usage
|Cash advance fee of 5%, minimum 15 MYR fee + 18% interest charge
|Not applicable (annual fee of 550 MYR applies after Year 1)
|2.25% foreign transaction fee
|15% - 18% depending on usage
|Cash advance fee of 5%, minimum 18 MYR fee + 18% interest charge
As you can see, the features of different travel money cards can vary pretty widely. In general travel debit cards can be convenient and often fairly cheap to use, while travel credit cards can offer some nice perks like cashback or rewards - but do mean you might run into interest and late payment charges, depending on how you choose to pay.
Travel debit cards often let you top up a linked account online or through an app, so you can set your budget and can’t spend more than you intend. Travel credit cards on the other hand let you spend to your card limit, and then repay the amount over a few months if you’d prefer to. Which is best for you will come down to how you like to manage your money - we’ll dive into a few more details about each card type, next.
What are different types of travel cards?
Broadly speaking, Malaysian customers are able to select a travel money card from either a regular bank or a specialist provider, which may be a travel debit card, travel prepaid card or a travel credit card. We’ll walk through what each travel money card type is, and pick out a couple of good card options, so you can compare and choose.
1. Travel debit cards
2. Travel prepaid cards
3. Travel credit cards
1. Travel Debit Cards for Singapore
Travel debit cards are usually offered by specialist providers, with linked digital accounts you can use to hold and convert a currency balance. While different cards have their own features, travel debit cards can usually be topped up easily online and through an app, with the option to see your balance and get transaction notifications through your phone too. That makes it easier to keep on top of your money, no matter where in the world you are.
Travel debit card Option 1: Wise
There’s no fee to open a Wise account, and just a small delivery fee for your Wise card, with no minimum balance and no monthly charge. You just pay low Wise fees from 0.43% when you convert currencies, and transparent ATM fees when you exhaust the monthly free transactions available with your account.
No fee to open a Wise account, no minimum balance requirement
- 13.7 MYR one time fee to get your Wise card
Physical and virtual cards available
2 withdrawals, to 1,000 MYR value per month for free, then 5 MYR + 1.75%
Hold SGD and 40+ other currencies, convert between them with the mid-market rate
Get local account details to receive MYR, SGD and 8 other currencies conveniently
Read our full Wise card review to learn more.
Travel debit card Option 2: BigPay
BigPay is a popular e-wallet and card available to residents in Singapore and Malaysia. You can get your card for a one time fee, and also access a virtual card for online and mobile payments. You won’t be able to hold foreign currencies in your account, but your MYR balance is switched to the currency you need when you’re abroad using the network exchange rate and a low foreign transaction fee of around 1%.
Popular e-wallet with lots of other features like bill payment and remittance
No annual fee and no credit check
Virtual card available as well as physical card
Relatively low foreign transaction fee of up to 1% depending on payment type
Earn AirAsia points when you spend
Pros and cons of using debit travel cards in Singapore
|Pros of using debit travel cards in Singapore
|Cons of using debit travel cards in Singapore
✅ No possibility to run up interest costs or late payment fees
✅ Hold and exchange currencies in advance or at the time of spending
✅ Accounts can be topped up, viewed and managed digitally
✅ Safe to use, as accounts aren’t linked to your main Malaysian bank account
✅ Travel debit cards are issued on popular global payment networks
❌ Transaction and currency conversion fees may apply
❌ Cash back and rewards may not be available
How much does a travel debit card cost
There’s usually an issuance fee to pay to get your travel card, which may cover the physical card or the delivery for example. In most cases, this is a one off charge which can work out to be fairly good value if you use your card on an ongoing basis.
How to choose the best travel debit card for Singapore?
There’s no single best travel debit card for Singapore - it really all depends on your personal preferences and how you expect to transact. If you travel a lot you may prefer to get an account with mid-market currency exchange and a large selection of supported currencies as well as SGD and MYR, like Wise. On the other hand, BigPay is a popular local e-wallet and card, which has a fairly low 1% foreign transaction fee and other perks like help with budgeting and analysing your spending.
Is there a spending limit with a travel debit card in Singapore?
Different providers set their own limits for card use. Limits may apply daily, weekly or monthly, and can apply to different types of transactions. You might find you have a limit to the amount of ATM withdrawals you can make per day, for example, or the value of contactless payments - these limits are set for security and can sometimes be managed and changed in the provider’s app.
The costs of making ATM withdrawals does vary a lot based on the card you pick. Some - like Bigpay - have a flat fee, while others like Wise have a set limit for fee free withdrawals with low fees based on the withdrawal amount after that.
2. Prepaid Travel Cards for Singapore
With a prepaid travel card you’ll need to order a card and add funds, to pay merchants and make cash withdrawals. Prepaid travel cards are usually issued on large global networks - and can therefore be used pretty widely. Terms, conditions, features and fees do vary quite a bit, so compare a few before you pick
Prepaid travel card option 1: Enrich Money
The Enrich Money is issued by Malaysian Airlines in conjunction with Merchantrade, and allows you to top up conveniently in advance of spending globally. There are free top up options, and some which come with a fee - and once you have a balance in ringgit you can exchange it to the currency you need, from the selection of 20 supported currencies. You’ll earn rewards as you spend which you can convert to balance to spend with no foreign transaction fee to spend in supported currencies when you’re abroad.
Hold and spend 20 popular global and regional currencies
Visa network for easy spending and withdrawals
Manage your card in an app for ease and earn rewards you can convert to cash back
1.75% fee to spend an unsupported currency
Annual and card issuance fees apply, as well as a refundable deposit
Prepaid travel card option 2: Aeon Prepaid Mastercard
The Aeon Prepaid Mastercard can be used at home and abroad anywhere you see the Mastercard logo. You can top up in a variety of ways, including using cash at an Aeon location - fees may apply depending on the method you use to load funds. Once you have money on your card, you can also get extra benefits when you shop with Aeon partner merchants, and free ATM withdrawals at Aeon ATMs.
No annual fee and no minimum income requirement
Spend anywhere Mastercard is accepted
Relatively low 1% foreign transaction fee
Get discounts and rewards with partner merchants
Safe and convenient to use
Pros and cons of using prepaid travel cards in Singapore
|Pros of using prepaid travel cards in Singapore
|Cons of using prepaid travel cards in Singapore
✅Manage your account online or with an app, to add more money or pay off your bill
✅Accounts with no monthly fees are available
✅Foreign transaction fees may be waived
✅ATM withdrawals supported globally
✅Some accounts have extras like options to earn reward points
❌Prepaid travel cards may not be accepted in certain scenarios, like when hiring a car
❌Transaction fees apply to most accounts
How much does a prepaid card cost?
The costs of prepaid travel cards can vary quite a lot. There can also be a few fees to consider - the Enrich card for example, has an issuance fee, an annual fee and a returnable deposit that you’ll need to pay upfront. Double check the terms of the card you prefer so you know what to expect.
How to choose the best travel prepaid card for Singapore?
The best travel prepaid card for Singapore for you will depend entirely on your personal preference and what’s important to you. Enrich Money may be the natural choice if you use Malaysian Airlines a lot and want to hold a multi-currency balance for spending while earning rewards. The Aeon prepaid card is also a good bet with great global acceptance and no fees to make local ATM withdrawals when you’re in an Aeon location.
Prepaid travel card spending limit
Different prepaid travel cards set their own limits for spending and withdrawals, which can vary between currencies. You’ll need to check your card’s terms and conditions carefully to make sure you pick a provider which suits your needs.
ATM withdrawals with prepaid cards
Prepaid travel cards may charge a fee when you make an out of network or international ATM withdrawal. It’s common to find there are some options for fee free local withdrawals in Malaysia, but costs of about 10 MYR are often added when you’re overseas.
3. Travel Credit Cards for Singapore
Travel credit cards are similar to any other credit card, but with more international features, such as low or no foreign transaction fees or extra options to earn rewards when you’re abroad. In general, travel credit cards are safe and convenient but can be more expensive compared to using a debit card option. Before you select the right card for you it’s important to check the fees, rates, eligibility rules and interest rates which apply, so you can make sure it’s a good fit for you.
Travel credit card option 1: RHB Visa Signature
The RHB Signature credit card lets you earn cash back on spending, with a tiered system which rewards more the more you spend. Local spending can attract up to 6% cash back, while you’ll also get up to 2% cash back when you’re spending in Singapore. There’s no annual fee to pay with this card, and a relatively low 1% foreign transaction fee, which may make it an attractive pick for your next trip overseas.
Up to 2% cash back on foreign currency spending
80,000 MYR minimum annual income required
Free lounge access 5x per year, and discounts on additional lounge visits
Complimentary travel insurance
Variable interest rates which apply if you don’t pay off your bill in full
Travel credit card option 2: Maybank Visa Signature
The Maybank Visa Signature card is a premium card which has an annual fee of 550 MYR, but which offers 5x rewards on overseas spending, and lots of perks to make your trips abroad that bit easier. You’ll get access to fast track immigration clearance at airports, and can use the Visa concierge service for extra help when you need it - just bear in mind that the foreign transaction fee can be up to 2.25% which is on the higher side.
Annual fee waived in year one, then 550 MYR annually
5x Treats points for overseas spending, plus rewards when you spend at home
70,000 MYR to 100,000 MYR minimum income required
Airport speed pass to give you fast track immigration clearance in hundreds of airports
Travel insurance coverage and concierge services available
Pros and cons of using credit cards in Singapore
|Pros of using credit cards in Singapore
|Cons of using credit cards in Singapore
✅Spread the cost of your travel over several months
✅Check eligibility for a card online with no impact on your credit score
✅You may pay no foreign transaction fee
✅Network exchange rates usually apply, which are usually pretty fair
❌Interest charged if you don’t repay in full every month
❌Eligibility rules apply
How much does a travel credit card cost
The fees for your travel credit card can include several different charges - an annual fee, interest costs and penalties if you don’t pay on time for example. You can find some travel credit cards with no annual fee, but others which have more premium benefits are likely to have high fees so read the terms and conditions carefully before you choose.
How to choose the best travel credit card for Singapore?
Doing some research is the only way to pick the best travel credit card for Singapore for your own specific needs and preferences. Before you choose, make sure you weigh up the potential fees you’ll need to pay against the benefits and rewards you can earn to make sure it’s worthwhile, and bear in mind that you’ll run into interest charges if you don’t clear down your bill every month, too.
Which cards are accepted in Singapore?
Different cards are issued on their own card networks - and while all the cards we’ve covered in this guide are globally accepted, some networks are more popular in one country than they may be in another. Visa and Mastercard are usually a good bet for a card you want to use in Singapore - but it’s helpful to know that some other card networks like American Express and Discover are less popular.
Generally the best idea - in Singapore or anywhere else you may travel - is to have more than one means of payment with you, as a backup plan. For example you might want to take a credit card and a specialist travel money card which has been issued on a different network, plus a little cash, so that you always have options if your preferred payment method isn’t available.
Travel credit card spending limit
Your travel credit card spending limit will vary depending on the issuer’s policy. You’ll be notified of the details for your card when your application is approved.
ATM withdrawals with travel credit cards
ATM withdrawals made with a travel credit card will usually mean paying a cash advance fee of around 5% of the withdrawal value, and immediate interest. Interest is likely to be set at the top end of the range that applies to your card - often about 18%.
How much money do I need in Singapore?
Singapore isn’t a cheap destination - but as a close neighbour with some great attractions, it’s still a popular place for Malaysians to visit. The costs of your trip can vary a lot depending on what you’re up to, so set your budget carefully. Here are a few tips on pricing:
|Travel expenses in Singapore
|Getting to Singapore
|Cross via a land border, or fly - at the time of writing, the cheapest flights from KL come in under 300 MYR return
|Widely varied - from hostels to high end. Shop around to find the best options based on your budget
|Lunch in a restaurant
|3 course meal for 2 in a mid-range restaurant around 345 MYR; hawker centers are a good choice for a budget bite
|One way public transport ticket costs on average 6.5 MYR, Grab and Gojek are also available as well as taxis
Compare the costs of your trip based on your specific plans, with Numbeo.com.
Conclusion: Which travel money card is best for Singapore?
If you’ve planned travel to Singapore you might want to get a travel money card for simple SGD spending. Travel money cards have different features, and can be picked up via banks or online specialists.
You could opt for a low cost travel debit card which comes with a linked account to hold a selection of currencies - Wise account. Or you might prefer a prepaid travel money card like the Aeon Prepaid Mastercard which has some nice perks if you’re frequently in Aeon locations. Finally, another option is to get a travel credit card either to earn cashback and rewards, or to avoid foreign transaction fees.
Use this guide to start your research and pick the right option for your specific needs.
FAQs - Best travel cards for Singapore 2024
There’s no single best card to use in Singapore. Which is right for you will depend on your preferences and spending patterns. One good option is to get a multi-currency account from a provider like Wise which you can use in Singapore and on future trips, too, as you’ll be able to hold, spend and exchange SGD and MYR alongside dozens of other major currencies.
Spending with your card is convenient when travelling in Singapore, but you’ll be best off having several different payment methods just in case your first choice isn’t supported. For example, you could choose 2 different debit or credit cards, issued on different networks, and you could also get some dollars in advance so you have some cash on you for those odd times when cards aren’t available.
You can usually make cash withdrawals with a credit card in Singapore at any ATM that supports your card network. You’ll often find that a fee applies, and you may start to accumulate interest on the withdrawn amount immediately. Travel money debit cards from providers like Wise can be a lower cost option for cash withdrawals in SGD.
You can use your Malaysian card anywhere you see the card network’s logo displayed. Visa and Mastercard networks are very well supported globally, including in Singapore, making these good options to look out for when you pick your travel debit card for Singapore.
Prepaid cards from reputable providers are safe to use at home and abroad. They aren’t linked to your main bank account which can offer extra peace of mind, and may also make it easier to manage your travel budget. However, you’ll need to check the card features and fees carefully to make sure you're getting the best match for your needs.
The fees applied for travel cards can vary widely depending on the provider and the card type. With debit cards you may find ATM fees, and costs for converting currencies, although specialist providers like Wise and BigPay have linked accounts which can bring down the costs of currency conversion. Credit card fees include cash advance charges, foreign transaction fees and interest.