5 Best Credit Cards for High Earners
Credit cards typically offer many perks such as cash rebates, reward points programmes, frequent flyer miles and various discounts on travel, dining and hotel accommodation. Catering to a wide range of needs, there are many credit cards that are currently being offered in the market.
For the elite segment, there are also special highly-exclusive credit cards that only a select few can afford. These prestigious cards are for high net work individuals who are offered only the best of the best – think special invites to closed door events, unlimited credit, and only the best treatment wherever you go.
However, for high earners who are earning well above the average income bracket, but don’t quite make the cut for these special invite-only cards, there are still exclusive “entry-level” prestigious cards being offered. Normally, these cards require a higher-than-average minimum income requirement of S$120-S$150K per annum.
Added perks, exclusive benefits
While the user may not have top-tier, uberluxe treatment and special invites to fancy, luxe parties, there are still many exclusive and enhanced benefits that the cardholder will get to enjoy.
These cards still combine the usual basic credit card benefits and favourable miles, but they come with added perks like exclusive memberships, unlimited lounge access, 24/7 concierge services, complimentary airport transfers as well as free travel insurance.
That being said, this segment of cards do come with substantial annual fees. Though the fees aren’t as high as the more prestigious high-end credit cards, holding one of these exclusive cards will still cost the cardholder about S$500-600 a year, and the fees are non-waivable.
Here’s a summary of how the six cards stack up against each other.
HSBC Visa Infinite card
Eligibility: S$120,000 annual income, or maintain a fixed deposit of S$30,000 with HSBC
Annual Fee: S$ 650 (S$488 for HSBC Premier customers)
For an annual fee of $650, and even lesser at $488 for HSBC Premier customers, the HSBC Visa Infinite card awards an impressive 40,000 miles (previously 35,000), notably the highest miles awarded among all the cards in this list. For the miles chaser, the card also boasts a high earn rate of up to 2.25 air miles for every $1 spent.
In fact, the HSBC Visa Infinite card caters heavily for the frequent business traveller. With a wide array of complimentary services offered, the HSBC Visa Infinite card offers a seamless first-class travel experience for the user.
Cardholders will also get an exclusive Gold membership for Hilton Honors plus an expedited immigration clearance at key airports in Asia when travelling abroad. Unlimited access to 700 VIP airport lounges around the world will also be granted with the PriorityPass.
Coming with a complimentary travel insurance that covers over 20 benefits, the card puts the busy traveller’s mind at ease while abroad. Where assistance is needed, a personalised Infinite Travel & Lifestyle Concierge service is also promised wherever in the world the cardholder may be.
With every S$2,000 spent, the user also gets to enjoy a meet-and-greet at the airport, including a limousine transfer. However, this ‘red carpet’ treatment is only limited to 24 times a year.
When it comes to accommodation, the cardholder may enjoy a premium collection of benefits at a selection of the world’s fanciest properties, including brands like Peninsula, Park Hyatt and Shangri-La. As much as 10X HSBC Rewards at selected merchants with the card can be enjoyed, plus up to 50% discount dining at Marriot Tang Plaza, The Fullerton Hotel Singapore, and The Fullerton Bay Hotel, and 50 leading European restaurants island-wide.
In addition to getting VIP treatment and special access to ESPA at Resorts World, and cardholder also gets complimentary green fees, golfing insurance and many other privileges. Leading an exclusive lifestyle of luxury with an ease of mind while travelling is certainly attainable with the HSBC Visa Infinite card.
AMEX Platinum Reserve Card
Eligibility: S$120,000 annual income
Annual Fee: S$ 535
The AMEX Platinum Reserve could be another card to aim for if one hits the qualifying income of 120K. While the card doesn’t award miles with the annual fee payment of S$535, if the cardholder spends $5000 within the first 6 months of card approval, 50,000 membership reward points will be awarded.
In addition, the cardholder gets to look forward to a luxurious two-night stay at more than 20 participating Frasers Hospitality properties worldwide, complimentary every year.
Elite membership and special access are part of the package, awarding a complimentary The Far Card Classic membership (worth 425 nett), which includes up to 50% savings at Fairmont Singapore, Swissotel The Stamford Singapore, Siwssotel Merchant Court.
Accomodation privileges and special room rates at local hotels such as Amara Sanctuary Resort Sentosa, Hotel Fort Canning and The Quincy Hotel can also be enjoyed, including savings of up to 50% on dining in popular restaurants and 5 star hotels around Singapore and around the world. To top that, the cardholders also gets to enjoy exclusive privileges and invitations to Michelin starred guest chef dinners.
When the sun sets and the buzz of nightlife begins, the cardholder would get special access to the exclusive Tower Club which overlooks the beautiful landscape of Singapore Central Business District. 1-for-1 and complimentary drinks at 1-Altitude, Horse’s Mouth Bar, The Mad Men Attic Bar and another nightspots are also included.
A bit of luxe pampering and relaxation is certainly not excluded – card membership would entitle one to receive many special spa priviliges, ranging from vouchers and special treatment packages, to enjoying up to 40% off a la carte spa services at Adeva Spa, RN Spa, Spa Rael and The Ultimate.
For the golfing enthusiasts and country club goers, the cardholder will get to enjoy complimentary green fees and many other exclusive benefits at 40 of the region’s premier golf and country clubs. Just like the HSBC Visa Infinite card, a personal 24/7 concierge service is also available to all cardholders of the AMEX Platinum Reserve card.
OCBC Voyage Card
Eligibility: S$120,000 annual income
Annual Fee: S$ 488
When it comes to accumulation of miles, the OCBC Voyage Card stands out from the rest. Unlike other credit cards that award miles in the form of KrisFlyer or Asia miles for incurring retail and dining spend, the OCBC Voyage card offers a special programme that awards miles in the form of VOYAGE Miles.
The VOYAGE Credit Card Programme is an inter alia programme that offers VOYAGE Miles as rewards, which can be used for redemption of airline tickets and hotel bookings. VOYAGE Miles is a unique miles currency that is exclusive to the card only, and can only be accrued only through the Voyage card. The miles do not expire, and the cardholder may redeem them for flights on any airline, anytime, with no black-out dates.
It is no surprise that the card is perhaps best suited for the frequent traveller, offering perks such as complimentary Plaza Premium Lounge visits to over 80 VIP airport lounges around the world, a waiver of KrisFlyer miles redemption fee ($25), as well as complimentary airport limousine transfer services that can be redeemed with every spend of S$3000 on the card each month (limited to 2 transfers per month).
On top of providing an exclusive “VOYAGE Exchange” service – a 24/7 personal concierge that assists to cater to the traveller’s needs, a complimentary travel insurance with a coverage of up to S$1.5 million is also provided when the cardholder charges air tickets to the OCBC Voyage Card.
For accommodation, the card provides a 10% fully flexible rate for Premier Club room at Orchard Hotel Singapore which includes daily breakfast and full club benefits. Exclusive privileges at Millenium & Resorts worldwide are also granted for the Voyage cardholder.
Other notable perks would include 19% off at Caltex (with no minimum spending required), and 15% off dining at Swissotel The Stamford and Grissini Singapore. On top of getting VOYAGE card privileges, having a VISA Infinite card at hand also allows the cardholder to enjoy the many benefits that comes with using VISA Infinite. These basically include privileged access to golf clubs, travel benefits, shopping and dining experiences, special upgrades, package deals and many more.
Standard Chartered Visa Infinite Card
Eligibility: S$150,000 annual income
Annual Fee: S$ 588.50
The Standard Chartered Visa Infinite card may carry a higher annual income compared to the other cards on the list, but it also offers an impressive array of enhanced benefits for the qualified cardholder. Upon payment of the S$ 588.50 annual fee, a welcome gift of 35,000 miles will be awarded.
Ease and comfort when travelling are not discounted too. With a full fare charged to the credit card, the cardholder would receive a travel insurance coverage of up to S$1 million. A complimentary Priority Pass would also be provided which would allow the cardholder access to over 850 airport lounges worldwide.
With the Standard Chartered Visa Infinite Credit Card, one can enjoy a lifestyle full of indulgences. Every cardholder will have a Hilton Honors Gold status membership and would be able to enjoy the benefits of Raffles Hotels & Resorts Rewards. An array of exclusive hotel and resort privileges from the Visa Luxury Hotel Collection also await the cardholder. This means that one can make the most of upgrades and VIP rates at hotel brands like Mandarin Oriental, Park Hyatt, Aman Resorts and Six Senses Resorts.
The card even comes with a special app – known as The Good Life® app, cardholders will get to enjoy premium privileges from dining, travel, fashion and electronics right at the fingertips. To name a few, notable benefits include Exclusive Gold Glass Infinite Experience Package rates, Hertz Car Rental Privileges plus a complimentary complimentary Hertz Gold Plus Rewards membership, cash rebates on Uber rides, 15% off à la carte spa treatments at Auriga spa at Capella Singapore and The Ritz-Carlton Spa as well as up to 15% dining privileges at Ritz-Carlton Millenia Singapore.
Leading a lifestyle of luxury is no stranger to the holder of the Standard Chartered Visa Infinite card, who also will get to enjoy a complimentary 4-hour private yacht experience plus special rates from S$800 to hire a luxury yacht in Sentosa. Main cardholders also enjoy complimentary green fees all year round at Sentosa Golf Club, Singapore and 30% off green at participating golf clubs in Asia Pacific region, plus many other golf privileges.
A personalised concierge service also available 24/7 to fulfill the cardholder’s needs, including flight, restaurant and hotel reservations. With the inexhaustible travel, shopping, golf and lifestyle offers the Standard Chartered Visa Infinite Credit Card is the way to enjoy the best things in life.
Citibank Prestige Card
Eligibility: S$120,000 annual income
Annual Fee: S$ 535
Upon payment of the annual fee, cardholders of the Citibank Prestige card are given the option to receive a welcome gift of 25,000 miles, or a tablet with $498. Subsequent annual fee payment (fees are non-waivable) will also earn the cardholder 25,000 miles (or 62 500 Citi Dollars).
Among the biggest perks that the card offers would be its unmatched travel privileges. For every dollar of local spending, 1.3 miles will be awarded, while overseas spending will earn the cardholder 2 miles. The miles, awarded in Citi Dollars, also do not have an expiry date hence allowing the cardholder to accumulate points without worry. In addition, the Citi Prestige card offers a unique rate of 10 miles per dollar spend on Kaligo.com.
Other exclusive travel privileges for the cardholder include a free travel insurance as well as an unlimited access to over 800 airport lounges worldwide with the complimentary PriorityPass. Apart from the generous lounge access benefit, the card also has the lowest spend requirement for airport limousine transfer services, allowing up to 4 trips with just S$1500 spent in a quarter. The cardholder will also get to enjoy special Expedia travel deals plus a complimentary night at hotel and resorts with every 4-night booking made through the Citi Prestige concierge service.
The Citi Prestige cardmember will get to enjoy an impressive range of dining privileges, such as getting up to 20% off total bill at selected restaurants in Marina Bay Sands, 15% off a 10-course Chef’s Tasting Menu as well as at Zafferano, a special rate of $100+ for an exclusive 6 course meal by top chefs at $100Gourmet as well as many others under “Citibank Gourmet Pleasure” catalogue of benefits.
On top of a complimentary subscription to luxury publications by SPH magazines, exclusive packages at The Golfing Lab and UFIT Singapore also await the cardholder, along with special privileges and sale deals at IN GOOD COMPANY, Club21 (plus a free styling consultaion), Kim Robinson as well as many other shopping outlets.
Additionally, and most notably, Citibank greatly values their relationship with their customers, and awards bonus Citi Dollars on the annual spend on the credit card, depending on how long the cardholder has been banking with Citibank. From unmatched travel privileges to access to exclusive events and privileges, the Citi Prestige card is definitely one of the better cards to have in one’s wallet.
For comparison, here’s a table summary:
Regardless of how much one earns, there are still plenty of credit cards to choose from. If you would like to find a credit card that would best fit your needs, click on the articles below.