Which supplementary cards have the best benefits?

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While most banks reserve the best benefits for principal members, some supplementary cardholders get to join in the fun too.

When it comes to credit card benefits, it’s safe to say that supplementary cardholders (and anyone who calls it a sub card should be facing summary execution) don’t get a whole lot of love.

After all, banks are after the ones who make money, and supplementary cardholders are the tagalongs- a stay at home spouse, a retiree parent, a student going overseas for further studies. 

But in recognition of the fact that it’s sometimes a package deal, some cards have extended certain principal cardholder entitlements to supplementary cardholders as well. In this post, we’ll look at the (admittedly limited) options.

Overview: Supplementary cards

Let’s recap a few basic principles for supplementary cards:

  • Holding a supplementary card, in and of itself, does not disqualify you from the various new-to-bank promotions offered by banks and SingSaver
  • Supplementary cards do not have their own bonus caps. For example, if a principal HSBC Revolution cardholder gets a supplementary card, the monthly S$1,000 cap on 4 mpd will be shared between both cards
  • Supplementary cards have no impact on the credit score of the supplementary cardholder. If the supplementary cardholder’s bill is not paid, the principal cardholder takes the hit. Likewise, paying off the supplementary cardholder’s bill in full and on time enhances the principal cardholder’s score
  • Supplementary cards share the same credit limit as the principal cardholder. That just makes sense, since the bank is only assessing the creditworthiness of the principal cardholder
  • Supplementary card spending almost always counts towards sign-up bonus spending, since it’s conceptually no different from the spending of the principal cardholder. I say “almost”, because you-know-who has tried to set an unwelcome precedent by excluding it
  • Supplementary cardholders must be aged 18 and above, though exceptions can be made for those accepted for overseas studies

One further point worth mentioning: if you hold an entry-level credit card (anything with an income requirement in the S$30,000 to S$50,000 range), you can forget about any perks for supplementary cardholders, beyond the usual generic bank discounts. 

Actual, concrete benefits are reserved for credit cards in the $120K segment and above. Consider yourself warned.

AMEX Platinum Charge

Apply Here
Supp. Card Application
Supp. Card FeeS$160.50
(first 2 free)
Supp. Card Benefits
  • AMEX Love Dining
  • AMEX Chillax
  • AMEX Fine Hotels & Resorts (room upgrades, US$100 credit, free breakfast)
  • Airport lounge access:
    • Priority Pass with unlimited visits (only for the first supplementary cardholder)
    • International American Express Lounges
    • Centurion Lounges
    • Delta SkyClub
    • Plaza Premium Lounges
  • Tower Club access
  • Golf privileges
  • Hilton Honors Gold, Marriott Bonvoy Gold, Radisson Rewards Gold, Hertz Gold Plus Rewards Five Star, DISCOVERY Platinum

When it comes to supplementary cardholder benefits, there’s little doubt in my mind that the AMEX Platinum Charge packs the most punch (as well it should, given its S$1,712 annual fee).

Two supplementary cards are offered free for life, and enjoy practically identical benefits to the principal cardholder (minus the dining vouchers and travel credits).

For example, supplementary cardholders get unlimited access to Centurion Lounges, International American Express Lounges, Delta SkyClubs and Plaza Premium Lounges with 1-2 guests. The first supplementary cardholder also receives an unlimited-visit Priority Pass.

There’s also Hilton Gold (which offers free breakfast), Marriott Gold, and other status with hotel and car rental chains, plus Tower Club access and AMEX Love Dining, Chillax and Fine Hotels & Resorts privileges.

Simply put, it’s the most full fat supplementary card in Singapore (perhaps after the Centurion card), and maxing out the two card allowance puts you well on your way to recovering the principal card’s annual fee. And if you need more than two, I’d argue S$160.50 is a heck of a deal for all those benefits. 

HSBC Visa Infinite

Apply Here
Supp. Card Application
Supp. Card FeeFree
Supp. Card Benefits
  • LoungeKey with unlimited visits (for first five supplementary cards)
  • Up to 50% off dining at Goodwood Park
  • Up to 50% off dining at Singapore Marriott Tang Plaza
  • 30% off spa treatments at Mandarin Oriental Singapore

HSBC Visa Infinite cardholders get unlimited supplementary cards for free, and the first five come with an unlimited-visit LoungeKey membership. Since the principal cardholder has no guest entitlement, he/she may want to give supplementary cards to the family members he/she travels with the most.

Supplementary cardholders also enjoy the same dining and spa benefits as the principal cardholder, at Goodwood Park, Singapore Marriott Tang Plaza Hotel, and Mandarin Oriental Singapore.

OCBC VOYAGE

Apply Here
Supp. Card Application
Supp. Card FeeS$188
(first year free for 2 cards)
Supp. Card Benefits

The OCBC VOYAGE is unique among the cards in this section in that it only waives the first year fee for two supplementary cards. Beyond that, you’ll pay S$188 per year, per card. 

Supplementary cards enjoy the same lounge entitlement as the principal cardholder, i.e. unlimited visits to Plaza Premium Lounges worldwide.

The Plaza Premium network is currently nowhere as big as Priority Pass or LoungeKey, but their tie-up with DragonPass could change all that. A DragonPass spokesperson has told me that the roadmap involves giving cardholders with Plaza Premium entitlements full access to the DragonPass global network. 

OCBC Premier Visa Infinite

Apply Here
Supp. Card Application
Supp. Card FeeS$96.30
(first five free)
Supp. Card Benefits

The OCBC Premier Visa Infinite offers five free supplementary cards, each of which comes with two complimentary visits to Plaza Premium Lounges per membership year (the same as the principal cardholder).

It’s not much, but considering the principal card doesn’t even have an annual fee…

UOB Visa Infinite Metal Card

Apply Here
Supp. Card Application
Supp. Card FeeS$288
(first card free)
Supp. Card Benefits
  • Up to 50% off StraitsKitchen lunch bill 
  • Up to 50% off Pan Pacific Hotels Group dining
  • Up to 50% off Fullerton Hotels dining

The UOB Visa Infinite Metal Card offers one free supplementary card for life, and while it doesn’t have any lounge benefits (have you even seen the entitlement for the principal card?), the cardholder will at least enjoy up to 50% off weekday lunches at selected restaurants.

This includes StraitsKitchen at the Grand Hyatt, restaurants within the Pan Pacific Hotels Group like Edge, Hai Tien Lo, Lime and Si Chuan Dou Hua, as well as all restaurants at The Fullerton Hotel and Fullerton Bay Hotel Singapore.

What about the rest?

You might be wondering where the rest of the $120K cards are. Well, unless I’ve missed something, there’s very little to get excited about here. 

With the Citi Prestige, for example, the 4th night free benefit is only available to the principal cardholder, as is the unlimited-visit Priority Pass and airport limo benefit. And don’t get me started on the Standard Chartered Visa Infinite and Standard Chartered X Card, which have barely any benefits for the principal cardholder to begin with!

At most, supplementary cardholders will enjoy the same complimentary travel insurance coverage the principal cardholder enjoys when they purchase air tickets with their card, but beyond that, I’m struggling to think of anything else. 

💳 Honourable mention: AMEX Platinum Credit Card

The AMEX Platinum Credit Card comes with two free supplementary cards, both of which enjoy Love Dining and Chillax benefits.

It’s an easy way to share the dining benefits with family members, and don’t forget, signing up through POEMS gives you a first year annual fee waiver on the principal card.

Conclusion

While supplementary card benefits can never hope to match those of the principal cardholder, there are a few (most notably the AMEX Platinum Charge) which come close. 

Assuming there’s no impulse control issues at play, there’s no reason not to stretch your annual fee by sharing benefits through supplementary cards. 

Any other supplementary cardholder benefits worth highlighting?

Aaron Wong
Aaron Wong
Aaron founded The Milelion to help people travel better for less and impress chiobu. He was 50% successful.

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lifeonthego

As someone pointed out in your Telegram group, the GHA Fast track offer with Mastercard World Elite remains for the duration that the cardholder owns the card. Aren’t Citi Prestige suppl. card holders then also eligible for this? I know it’s not a Citi Prestige card benefit as such but more a Mastercard World Elite benefit. Yet, I think it’s still worth mentioning. Also, as far as I know, the 1:1 Haute Dinning offers with the Citi Prestige are open to suppl. card holders.

Last edited 1 month ago by lifeonthego
Anthony Tan

You’re right, it is an MC benefit hence not specifically a card benefit. Otherwise OCBC Premier Debit Card should be on there too, with all other World Elite MCs.

Lincoln

The GHA fast track is not a card benefit, it is a limited time offer. If we listed limited time offers it gets crazy, eg: amex supp card holders get 15% off NET-A-PORTER until October, Citi supp card holders get $10 return voucher at Dian Xiao Er until November upon payment.

Anon

Only family allowed for supp card?

Ieatandsleep

u can supp to anyone but bear the bill if the anyone decided to go missing

Last edited 1 month ago by Ieatandsleep
RandomMiles

Insurance for supp card is another plus point for Amex charge card.

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