Best Credit Card for China Airlines Dynasty FFP

I am a China Airlines Emerald (SkyTeam elite plus) card member. I will be converting to a hopefully three-year work ARC soon through an investment (not an investment ARC that requires USD 200,000, but the work ARC that requires a minimum investment of TWD 500,000). Am thinking of paying myself a higher salary (if necessary) just for the credit card for the first few months. I’m investing more than TWD 500,000 in order to give myself a bit of leeway with the salary.

For me, ‘best’ means the conversion rate from spending to miles is the most favourable and hopefully there are other benefits (unlimited lounge access worldwide, etc.).

A few questions:

  1. Which credit card is good for foreigners (meaning, foreigner friendly) to earn China Airlines miles and other travel benefits? I’ve read multiple articles in Chinese and the HSBC card seems to be one of the best. There’s also the CTBC China Airlines card, but the annual fee is honestly exorbitant and I have heard from this forum that CBTC isn’t foreigner friendly whatsoever.
  2. Is the required salary different for foreigners? Also, if the banks claim they only look at the past three months, do they actually want a longer period for foreigners?
  3. If the requirements do not state the exact salary required, what sort of salary does the bank expect?
  4. How do Taiwanese banks see it if foreigners apply for two different credit cards from different banks at the same time?

Thank you all in advance.

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I applied for the CTBC China Airlines business card as I already had another CTBC Credit card. No annual fee when using e statements.
I wanted a higher limit than provided so use my overseas PDF from HSBC HK. Banks don’t care how many different banks you have credit cards from,
Suggest you read this thread.

PS I am no longer a foreigner in Taiwan but I used to be.

Since I received my CTBC China Airlines card I have racked up 15000 miles on my credit card spending since August. The CTBC card has my China Airlines Dynasty membership number on the card.

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so, it really depends.

Being you already CI Emerald, there is no reason to get the top of the line CTBC CI card since the biggest perk is giving automatic CI Gold status for 2 yrs, plus lounge access and discounts on CI airfare from TW.

So, as you said correctly, the best is the HSBC Travellers Infinite card. It’s 8K p.a. fee but the accrual rates for miles is very good, the best in TW imo.
Besides CI, HSBC has the widest network of redemption.

After my complaint with HSBC, the bank adopted a much more foreign friendly stand. I still recommend to either wait 3 months to have some kind of history with local accounts of money going in and out or be prepared to put some money in.
HSBC doesn’t make much more distinction between foreigners and citizens now, maybe somewhat lower initial credit limits (especially if u don’t have history here).

check here for HSBC

DBS card is also good and cheaper, slightly worse accrual rates, but more offers at shops:


It’s only 20,000 TWD and if you’re a frequent flyer in premium economy or business then amount you save with it will be vastly greater than that.

I have this card and absolutely love it, racking up over a million points on it in the last year, and have probably saved over 500,000 TWD in airfare through airline discounts and flight upgrades.

Also, I can’t speak for anyone else but as a foreigner I had no problem getting this card, was a very easy process.

Also, you don’t need to pay yourself a higher salary to get the cards, just make sure you have enough in your bank account. For the CTBC card I think they want to see around 1 mill twd in the account if I remember rightly.


well, 20K p.a. ain’t peanuts for a lot of ppl.

I agree that if u use CI frequently it gives very good perks. Heck, I’m paying more on the BR amex platinum card and still not complaining with all the perks, but wouldn’t say “only 20K”…

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I don’t have a bank account with CTBC… was never a requirement to have one to get the co branded card.

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There is, you get bigger discounts on air travel. You get 18% off Business and Premium Economy class tickets with the top card, as opposed to 8% for the cheaper card. You will make pretty much all the money back you paid for the card in one long haul business class flight.

True I know what you mean but he/she is already a frequent flyer so I guess they have enough money to travel a lot and they should be able to easily save more than they spend with the card.

I don’t either, it doesn’t matter what bank account you have, just that you can show you have enough money in it.

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The business card I have is up to 15% off… not 8%

People that don’t have 20K are not flying a lot anyway lol

I think yours will be the middle card out of the three?

Most expensive card gets, 18% off, middle 14%, lowest 8%

well, spending 20k or more on a flight is one thing, spending them on a card fee is another mate, cmon.

Even my wife keeps telling me spending those money on a card is nuts and she doesn’t get it (and she has 20K to spend :rofl:)

Yeah CTBC only gave me an initial NT$30k limit at first… so gave them some PDF and they asked what limit I would like… I said same as my Coscto Fubon Credit card which is NT$250k…


Sorry for the late reply. Thank you very much for the advice.

Wow you were a foreigner in Taiwan. I’m aiming for at least an APRC, maybe citizenship in the future. Hopefully I can join a conversation somewhere on Forumosa about your naturalisation process (sorry I’m new here, I tried finding your post (if it exists), is there a link)?

Thank you very much for the links and advice. Sorry for the late reply.

Initially after reading this reply I thought the HSBC card would be the best one but now I’m not sure after I read @miamidice 's reply. I did read about all the benefits of the CTBC and HSBC cards before posting though. IIRC the DBS card has better rates for conversion to SQ, CX, etc., it was a bit disappointing to see a worse conversion rate to CI miles.

8k p.a. is reasonable but 20k TWD for the CTBC one sounds a bit extreme for what I’m getting, at least compared to what I’m used to seeing in Singapore, my country of nationality.

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Yes I was a foreigner. Lot’s of posts but this is the main one

Yes I am a frequent flyer in business, if the ticket is reasonable.

Ah, I forgot one question. If I am the sole shareholder of the company and at the same time an employee, can I use the amount I invested in the company as proof of funds for CTBC (seems like HSBC allows it)? Didn’t want to invest a lot for a start, just over a million TWD. I tried not to put a lot of my personal savings in TWD since it keeps depreciating against the SGD, so my bank account balance in Taiwan is very low.

And just to confirm that things are the same in Taiwan, am I correct to say that they do not care if I reduce my salary after getting the card?

And thank you very much for your reply.

No, reducing your salary after you get the card is fine. You only need it to get a good credit limit.

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Just note that you need to submit a proof of salary (I think two times the national minimum wage according to your latest tax return) or proof of sufficient funds (not sure if they accept accounts outside Taiwan for this) during your APRC application (as you have mentioned that you might want to go that route).

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Yes I am aware of this. But they only look at the year preceding my APRC application. Alternatively I could base it on property which I intend to eventually purchase anyways. That’s just a backup plan just in case I can’t get my work permit renewed and I’m on an investor ARC.