Martin Lee @ Sg
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Credit Cards for Elderly

There had been a recent spate of discussion in the Straits Times recently about elderly people who had their applications for credit cards rejected.

According to a key guideline from MAS, customers who are above 55 should have at least $15,000 in annual income.

Some elderly who own a substantial portfolio of shares providing annual dividends that exceed the income requirement also had their application rejected.

Some banks have mentioned that share dividends are not stable and thus would not be a good stable source of income.

Actually, it can be quite possible for a person working in a job to lose his job overnight so I do not know why there is a double standard here.

I think one real reason (for rejection) not mentioned by the banks is that many elderly people could have better spending habits compared to the young people today. They are less likely to rollover their debt and thus the profits from interest payments would be low.

If you are an elderly person and have problems getting a credit card, you can consider getting a debit card instead.

Standard Chartered Bank offers a XtraSaver account that comes with a free debit card.

If you maintain a minimum average balance of $6000 in the account, the debit card will also earn you a healthy 2% cash rebate on all your Mastercard spending and 0.5% on Nets spending. The 2% is much higher than any reward points system offered by most (if not all) of the other credit cards out there.

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4 comments
Roger says 8 years ago

I find it strange that someone over 60 would suddenly want to apply for a credit card. Usually people would have gotten their credit cards during their working phase of lives and carried on holding those cards they know so well.
Again, simplicity is what we should seek as we aged so in fact we should be thinking of which card to give up as we cross 60 from our portfolio of cards garnered during the active working stage of our lives.
Then we will have less one problem concerning credit cards.
Having said this, sometimes I wonder why these supposedly brilliant people running the banks think.
During the most active period of my life when I was earning the most, my application to DBS for a credit card was rejected and when I appeal it was rejected again but when I was not earning anything when I retire I got even titanium credit cards with my name embossed sent to me without me even applying for them.
This is a strange world. My conclusion is that there are intelligent people but there are no intelligent organisations.

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VSL says 8 years ago

There are some websites that do not accept debit cards, but accept credit cards. I wonder why? This could be a reason why seniors need a credit card. With a debit card, the merchant gets paid imediately and with very low service charges incurred. A credit card payment would reduce the merchant’s income by 2% or so.

A friend tried to book a flight on Jetstar and claimed that his debit card was not an accepted mode of payment. I had to use my credit card to make the payment.

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Nuts says 8 years ago

Previously for seniors above 60 yrs old, banks used to allow credit cards if they deposit a collateral with the bank e.g. $10K in FD for a credit card with $6K or $8K credit limit. This is not a debit card, and you cannot withdraw the collateral as long as you want to hold on to the credit card.

Don’t tell me that the regulations have changed? Maybe the banks are scared that seniors will whack all their credit, up the lorry, and leave the banks with uncollectable bad debts?!?

The minimum $15K income quota is ridiculous in a country where there is no minimum wage, non-existent strong employee laws, structural unemployment for 40+ and permanent depressed wages. Not all people belong to the favoured elites who can move into retirement job as chairman or director in some GLC.

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Eugene says 8 years ago

Haha promoting SCB XtraSaver? I’ve been using it, quite a good deal if one doesn’t mind having min 6K ‘locked’ to enjoy the rebates. Not sure how long this will go on since it’s one of the better deals around – when more ppl have it the less incentive they have in continuing it since it’s a debit account.

But just wondering about the credit card rejections: is there a possibility for working adults being rejected due to having ‘too clean’ credit records – payment of all credit card bills on time and no rollover whatsoever etc…?

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