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The Ultimate Guide to Waiving Credit Card Annual Fees

The Ultimate Guide to Waiving Credit Card Annual Fees

profileJustin Oh

Credit cards are handy tools for us to maximise our spending.

Aside from awesome sign-up promotions and earning cashback or miles as we spend, some credit cards even give us complimentary travel insurance, airport lounge access, 1-for-1 deals and more.

Source: Giphy

BUT

There comes a time when we have to pay for these perks, in the form of annual fees, which are $192.60 for most entry-level credit cards.

And depending on how much you spend or utilise said perks, these fees may end up costing you instead of allowing you to save.

Luckily, you can waive credit card annual fees simply by contacting your card issuer which is typically a bank!

Intrigued? Here’s how you can do it, along with some useful tips on how to be successful with a waiver!


TL;DR: Waive Credit Card Annual Fees Singapore Guide

 Bank Hotlines (From Singapore)Bank Hotlines (From Overseas)
American ExpressRefer to this table
Citibank+65 6225 5225
DBS/POSB1800 111 1111+65 6327 2265
HSBC1800 4722 669+65 6472 2669
Maybank1800 629 2265+65 6533 5229
OCBCAutomated Service Only
Standard CharteredAutomated Service Only
UOB1800 222 2121+65 6222 2121

Jump to:


How Do I Request a Fee Waiver?

In general, you will have to call your credit card issuer or bank’s hotline to request a fee waiver. However, the annual fee waiver is not guaranteed!

No one really knows how banks or card issuers grant annual fee waivers, with the exception of those that give you an automatic waiver if you hit certain minimum spends ($10,000, S$15,000, or even S$25,000) within the year.

But, we do have a few useful tips based on our experiences!

Tips to Improve Your Chances at a Successful Annual Fee Waiver

  • Concentrate your spending on one credit card: If you happen to have multiple cards, try to spend more on the credit card that is due for an annual fee payment and remember to pay your credit card bills on time! You’ll be in good standing in the eyes of your card issuer and have a higher chance of getting a fee waiver.
  • Be polite: When calling the hotline to speak to a representative, be as polite as possible when requesting for a waiver! The representative may be more inclined to DEcline your waiver request if you’re being a prick.
  • Be persistent: When on the call with a representative, you’ll also want to be persistent when it comes to your request. If you get hit with a rejection initially, try to plead your case tactfully.

What Do I Do if My Fee Waiver Request Is Still Unsuccessful?

If you’ve applied the tips above but to no avail, you may consider cancelling the card. But before you do so, make sure that you don’t have any leftover cashback, points or miles in your account.

If you feel that you are getting more out of the card than the annual fee itself (eg. you get $500 cashback in a year which far exceeds the annual fee of $192.60), you can simply just pay the fee instead.

Some may just lan lan suck thumb (slang for suck it up) and pay the annual fee for the sake of maintaining a good credit score, which helps you get a better chance of loan approvals with banks.

How To Get Annual Fee Waivers From Banks and Card Issuers

How to Waive DBS Credit Card Annual Fee

DBS/POSB customers can submit credit card annual fee waivers through the DBS digibot or phone banking, so you won’t need to go through the hassle of speaking to a customer service officer.

DBS digibot

1. On your DBS digibank app or the DBS website, look for the following icon and click it to access the DBS digibot

DBS Digibank
DBS Website

2. Type “Fee Waiver” into the chat

3. After authentication, select ‘Credit Cards Fee Waiver’

4. Select the credit card account to be waived

5. Review and tap on ‘Confirm’

6. DBS will review your waiver eligibility and an email/SMS will be sent to you within three working days.

DBS Phone Banking

1. Call 1800 111 1111 (from Singapore) or +65 6327 2265 (from Overseas).

2. Follow and choose the menu options accordingly

3. DBS will review your waiver eligibility and an email/SMS will be sent to you within three working days.

How to Waive American Express (AMEX) Credit Card Annual Fee

Unlike other card issuers, there are specific hotlines to call depending on which American Express credit card you have.

Simply look up your credit card hotline in the table below and call the number to request a fee waiver.

 Toll-free HotlineFor Overseas Callers
American Express CapitaCard1800 723 1339+65 6880 1343
American Express Platinum Credit Card1800 396 6000+65 6396 6000
American Express Platinum Reserve Credit Card1800 392 1181+65 6392 1181
American Express Rewards Card1800 296 0220+65 6296 0220
American Express Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Ascend Credit Card1800 392 2000+65 6392 2000
American Express Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Credit Card1800 392 2000+65 6392 2000
American Express Singapore Airlines PPS Club Credit Card1800 396 6888+65 6396 6888
American Express Singapore Airlines Solitaire PPS Credit Card1800 396 6888+65 6396 6888
American Express True Cashback Card1800 295 0500+65 6295 0500

How to Waive OCBC Credit Card Annual Fee

OCBC customers can submit credit card annual fee waivers through the OCBC Digital app, OCBC Internet Banking website or OCBC’s phone banking service.

OCBC Digital app (mobile)

  1. Log in to OCBC Digital app
  2. Tap on the top left menu
  3. Tap on “More services” → “Card services” → “Credit card fee waiver”

OCBC Internet Banking

  1. Log in to OCBC Internet Banking
  2. Go to “Customer Service”
  3. Select “Credit card fee waiver”

OCBC Phone Banking

  1. Have your credit card at hand
  2. Call 1800 363 3333 or +65 6363 3333 from overseas and when prompted, say “credit card fee waiver”
  3. Key in your 16-digit card number when prompted
  4. OCBC will notify you on the outcome immediately

How to Waive Standard Chartered Credit Card Annual Fee

For Standard Chartered customers, you can submit your fee waiver requests via Standard Chartered’s mobile app or Online Banking service.

1. Log in via Standard Chartered Online Banking or the mobile app

2. Select ‘Help & Services’ and navigate to ‘Service request by category’

3. Select ‘Card Management’, followed by ‘Credit Card Fee Waiver’

Source: Standard Chartered

4. Select up to five fee waiver-eligible card(s)

5. Select ‘Next’, agree on the terms and conditions, then select ‘Yes’

6. Select the annual fee transactions you would like waived

7. Check your fee waiver request details

8. You will see an acknowledgement screen where you can check the status of your fee waiver request

How to Waive Citibank/HSBC/Maybank/UOB Credit Card Annual Fees

For these banks, the only option available is to request a fee waiver via their phone banking hotline.

Simply look for and call your bank’s hotline below (using the phone number that you registered with) and follow the menu options to request for a fee waiver.

The bank will notify you of the results either by SMS or email.

 Bank Hotlines (for locals)Number to call if you're calling from overseas
Citibank+65 6225 5225 +65 6225 5225
HSBC1800 4722 669+65 6472 2669
Maybank1800 629 2265+65 6533 5229
UOB1800 222 2121+65 6222 2121

Credit Cards With No Annual Fees

In Singapore, CIMB credit cards and cards like the Standard Chartered Smart Credit Card and HSBC Revolution Credit Card come with no annual fees!

However, do make sure that your accounts are in good standing to enjoy zero annual fees on these credit cards.

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About Justin Oh
Your average Zillennial who is obsessed with anime, games, movies and of course, personal finance. Join me as I break down personal finance into easily digestible and fun bits!
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