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Should I Apply for A Credit Card Once I’ve Started Working?

Starting your first full-time job is an exciting milestone to adulting, it often comes with newfound financial responsibilities as you start earning your first pay check. One of the first few financial decisions you may face is whether you should apply for a credit card. There are many credit card options available in the market now and before you jump into the attractive perks, it is also important to know the different types of credit cards out in the market before selecting the best one that will suit your lifestyle the most.

Finding the suitable type of credit card

     1. Cashback

Cashback credit cards offer the cardholders a percentage of their spending back in form of rebate that typically will help the offset their card’s remaining balances. This is suitable for fuss-free people who just wanted fast and direct reward. There are cashback credit cards in the market who offer higher percentage of rebates for specific categories such as groceries, dining or petrol, allowing them to tailor the rewards to their spending habits.

     2. Travel

Travel credit cards are tailored to frequent flyers. They offer very travel specific benefits like accumulating of airline miles, discounts on hotel stays, free airport lounge access and even travel insurance. This can provide significant savings for people who enjoys frequent leisure travels or even if you are flying for work purposes.

     3. Rewards

Rewards credit card is a point-rewarding program whereby you can redeem points in exchange for a variety of discounts or vouchers that the merchant bank offers. The more you spend, the more points you can accumulate in exchange of a more attractive reward. This is designed for people who does not have a specific spending pattern and simply wants to be rewarded for most of their spendings.

     4. Co-brand

Co-brand credit cards are very specific cards that are issued in partnership between the card issuer and the associated brand. If you are someone who does frequent shopping with that same brand or merchant, you will be able to enjoy even higher discounts or perks as compared to using a regular credit card out in the market. For instance, you might be offered bonus rebates or even exclusive access to certain member events.

Benefits of credit card

The world of credit cards is diverse, with each type catering to different needs and preferences. When choosing a credit card, it's crucial to consider your spending habit and financial goals. Whether you're looking for travel perks, cashback or rewards, there's likely a credit card type that suits your needs.

     1. Pay for big ticket items

One of the most obvious advantage of using a credit card is of course giving you the option to pay off big ticket items at a later time, especially when you do not have sufficient cash on hand during the point of purchase. Credit Card can serve as an emergent fund in case of unexpected emergencies, for instance when you need to pay off sudden high medical expenses, a funeral, home renovations or even your wedding expenses.

     2. Convenience

Carrying a credit card means that you do not need to carry a thick stack of cash wherever you go. They are widely accepted in most merchants whether is it for online purchases or everyday transactions at your local stores. They also offer attractive perks and discounts which might help you to save on more money, the more you spend.

     3. Financial discipline

Using credit card can help you to develop financial discipline. Ensure that you pay back your bills on time and in fill each month so you do not accumulate outstanding balances into bad debts that might make it more difficult to repay overtime. It teaches one to be prudent and budget all of your expenditures, which is a valuable financial management skill that can only be learnt through personal experiences.

     4. Building Credit History

Your credit report gives you a comprehensive overview of all the credit facilities you owe with contributing retail banks and major financial institutions in Singapore, and checking your credit report on a regular basis will give you the first line of defence in ensuring your credit records are in order. Banks and financial institution check on your credit report before approving a new loan application out to you. A positive credit history is essential when you need to apply for even bigger loans in the future eg. mortgage loan or car loan. It is also not uncommon for employers to ask for your credit report during pre-employment background check.

Lastly, be sure to follow Credit Bureau Singapore and Moneylenders Credit Bureau on Facebook and LinkedIn for more useful content and tips on how to maintain a good credit reputation. To learn more about what other services and products we provide, visit CBS website at and MLCB website at

If you are facing increasing difficulties servicing payments to your credit cards or other unsecured credit facilities, consider attending our weekly Debt Management talks (conducted both over Zoom and in-person at our office), where you will learn more about what to do, when and how to communicate with creditors, what are the common collection actions creditors can take, what are the various debt settlement options are and what is the CCS Debt Management Programme. Click here for schedule.

After attending the talk, you can submit a request for one-to-one credit counselling. Details on the counselling session and instructions on how to arrange for an appointment will be explained during the talk.

Published 17 November 2023.