When it comes to credit cards in Hong Kong, there are so many different ones to choose from that you may not know where to start.
Every newspaper, billboard, and magazine seems to have yet another wonderful offer for you to choose from.
So where on earth do you start? Well, most of these credit cards come with some kind of “reward” scheme, and once you decide what works best for you, you can begin to understand which one is the card you need.
Do you want a cashback card? Or perhaps one where you can collect free Asia Miles? Perhaps you want a good card for overseas spending, or perhaps the most important thing for you is to get discounts when shopping online.
The choice is yours when it comes to the rewards. So, with that in mind, here’s our guide to the 7 best credit cards for expats living in Hong Kong.
1. Best for cashback: Citibank American Express Card
Any credit card that provides you with 1 or 2% back on your spending is a good deal – and the Citibank American Express Card does just that.
This little baby provides you with a 1% cash rebate on all your spending – EXCEPT for money spent on dining out. For that treat you earn double – 2% rebate.
Amex also waives the first year’s annual fee, and you don’t have to do anything to redeem your cashback – it automatically gets credited to your account.
There are various other privileges that the card offers, but one of the best is the Global Assist, a hotline that you can call from anywhere in the world if you need help with, well, literally anything. From medical to legal assistance, English speaking lawyers to customs information – these guys can assist with it all.
2. Best for overseas spending: Public Bank Hong Kong Credit Card
For those who travel a lot, spending on a credit card can end up costing a huge amount in currency exchange transfer fees. The Public Bank Hong Kong Credit Card waives these charges (although if Visa themselves add a charge, you will have to pay 1% of this).
In addition, you also benefit from cashback of up to 0.6% of your spending.
To get such a card, you need to have a minimum income of HK$ 250,000.
3. Best for online spending: CCB Eye Credit Card
The CCB Eye Credit Card is unashamedly targeting those who enjoy shopping online (and let’s face it, who doesn’t?).
Right now (as of January 2016), they’re giving a supermarket cash coupon of HK$ 150 to everyone who applies and submits the relevant documents.
There’s no annual fee and you get various points for online spending. This is provided in the form of coupons, and equates to around 2% of your spending.
The card is available to those with a minimum income of HK$ 150,000.
4. Best for travellers: Citibank Premier Miles Credit Card
If you travel a lot, then the Citibank Premier Miles Credit Card could well be the one for you. This card provides you with free access to the Hong Kong International Airport lounges, free annual travel insurance (worth HK$ 1,500), and Asia Miles on all of your spending.
As of January 2016, there’s a welcome offer of up to 8,000 miles on being accepted for the card.
The card is offered to those with an annual income of HK$ 480,000 or more.
5. Best for Asia Miles: Standard Chartered WorldMiles Credit Card
For collecting Asia Miles, the Standard Chartered WorldMiles Credit Card by American Express is one of the top earners. Giving you a massive 1 mile (or 15 points) for every HK$ 5 spent, this is one of the best air miles cards out there right now.
And up until 13 March 2016, new customers who successfully apply can choose from one of two welcome offers – gaining a mile per HK$ 1 spend, or a bonus of 6,000 miles.
You need a minimum income of HK$ 60,000, or HK$ 150,000 for a platinum card.
6. Best for pet lovers: ICBC Xplore Visa Signature Card
The ICBC Xplore Visa Signature Card is ideal for those who love their pets. You can take full advantage of comprehensive pet caring services, along with pet grooming, pet training, pet photography, pet products, and pet entertainments.
And, for those who dare to go out and leave their furry friends alone for a few hours, you also get a “buy one movie ticket get one free” every time you make a single purchase of HK$ 800 or above (until 30 April 2016).
In addition, you get a “buy one get one free” at Pacific Coffee when purchasing any handcrafted beverage (once again, this offer is available until 30 April 2016).
You need to earn HK$ 250,000 to be accepted for this card.
7. Best for those who shop in China: ICBC Union Pay Dual Currency Platinum Card
If you’re forever nipping over to China in order to stock up on some shopping (or for work), then the ability to pay in both currencies with one card will not only be convenient, but will save you a packet on currency exchange fees.
The ICBC Union Pay Dual Currency Platinum Card does just that.
To apply you need to earn in excess of HK$ 250,000 per annum.
There are many, many other credit cards available for expats in Hong Kong. If any of the above are not suitable, then you can get a helping hand by using one of the many credit card comparison websites to aid your search. These include Money Hero and Best Money.
When choosing a credit card, it’s ultra important not to be seduced by any introductory deals – and the freebies that are given out are not a reason to choose a card.
The most important is to ensure that the interest charged, should you not pay back in full every month, is at a reasonable level.
And remember, any extras that are offered (such as movie tickets or air miles) are only of any value if you actually use them. Happy card hunting – and enjoy what you spend.