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DBS Altitude Credit Card Review: Enjoy Expiry-Free Miles

SingSaver team

SingSaver team

Last updated 25 December, 2023

The DBS Altitude Card just unveiled increased miles earn rates of 1.3 mpd and 2.2 mpd on local and overseas spending. But that also meant reducing other bonus miles elsewhere.

Previously, the DBS Altitude Card offered a standard market rate of 1.2 miles per S$1 on local spend and 2 miles per S$1 on overseas spend but stood out in terms of its boosted 3 miles per $1 spend on hotel and flight bookings on participating online travel sites.

But since 1 August 2023, these rates have been changed – whether it's for the better or worse, we'll leave you to be the judge of that.

[Update!] Now, you'll earn 1.3 miles per S$1 on local spend and 2.2 miles per S$1 on overseas spend. Even then, these updated rates are still subject to change, valid till 31 January 2024 only, so that definitely raises a few eyebrows.

Meanwhile, the bonus 3 miles per S$1 for online hotel and flight bookings has been entirely removed

The good news is, its upsized miles earned on Kaligo (up to 10 miles per S$1) and Expedia (up to 6 miles per S$1) travel bookings remain untouched; along with its annual complimentary pair of airport lounge passes and up to S$1 million complimentary travel insurance coverage.

So all that said, does the DBS Altitude Card still meet the mark as a travel credit card?

Table of contents


Looking for the best credit cards to complement your spending patterns and expenditure in 2024? Check out our Ultimate Credit Card Guide that covers all things credit cards in Singapore – from choosing between a cashback, miles, or rewards credit card to planning your credit card strategy.


What the DBS Altitude credit card can do for you

DBS-Altitude-Visa_LF-2019-2026-1024x686-1 dbs-altitude-v1-300x189
DBS Altitude Card product summary:
  • [New!] Local spend: 1.3 miles per S$1 spend
  • [New!] Overseas spend: 2.2 miles per S$1 spend
  • [Updated!] Bonus travel spend:
    • Up to 10 miles per S$1 spend on eligible Kaligo bookings
    • Up to 6 miles per S$1 spend on eligible Expedia bookings
  • 2 complimentary airport lounge visits per year (Visa Signature version only)
  • Complimentary Mr and Mrs Smith SilverSmith membership (AMEX version only)
  • DBS Points never expire
  • Enjoy a 10,000 miles renewal bonus when you pay the card's annual fee
  • Annual income requirement: $30,000 (Singaporeans/PR), $45,000 (Foreigners)
  • Minimum age: 21
  • Annual fee: S$196.20 (First year waived; 9% GST w.e.f. 1 Jan 2024)
Pros ✅ Cons ❌
[New!] Above average rate of 1.3 mpd on local spend and 2.2 mpd on overseas spend Have to charge a minimum of S$25,000 to your card each year to receive annual fee waiver for the following year

Attractive miles earn rates with exclusive travel partners:

  • 10 mpd on hotel transactions at Kaligo
  • 6 mpd on hotel, flight, and travel transactions at Expedia
[New!] No more 3 mpd rate on online flight and hotel transactions
DBS Altitude Visa Card gives 2 free lounge visits within each 12-month period of your membership  
DBS Altitude AMEX Card gives complimentary Mr and Mrs Smith Silversmith membership  
DBS Points do not expire  
Receive 10,000 bonus miles (as 5,000 DBS Points) when you pay the annual fee  

DBS/POSB Credit Card Welcome Gift: Receive up to S$388 cashback or 85,000 miles when you apply for select DBS credit cards and fulfil the relevant promotion criteria. T&Cs apply.


Why should you choose the DBS Altitude credit card?

DBS-Altitude-Visa_LF-2019-2026-1024x686-1 dbs-altitude-v1-300x189

#1: Maximise your travel spend

The amplified bonus miles of 1.3 mpd and 2.2 mpd earned on local and overseas spend are definitely a welcomed upgrade for both new and existing DBS Altitude cardholders. 

Moreover, these rates are only valid till 31 January 2024. Following this, they'll be subjected to another revision from 1 February 2024 onwards.


Source: DBS

Under the DBS Altitude Card, miles are earned and accumulated in the form of DBS Points. The conversion ratios are as follows:

  • 3.25 DBS Points per S$5 spend = 1.3 mpd for local spend
  • 5.5 DBS Points per S$5 spend = 2.2 mpd for overseas spend

Thus, to calculate your number of DBS Points earned in a single transaction, you'll have to divide it by 5 before multiplying it by 3.25 or 5.5 times respectively. Do note that even for foreign currency, you'll have to convert it to SGD (per exchange rate) before calculating.

These miles earn rates rival those of the OCBC 90°N Card and the HSBC TravelOne Card, placing it squarely in between the two.

Credit card
Local spend
Overseas spend
OCBC 90°N Card
1.3 mpd
2.1 mpd
DBS Altitude Card
dbs-altitude-v1-300x189

DBSAltitudeVisaSignatureCard

1.3 mpd
2.2 mpd
HSBC TravelOne Card
1.2 mpd
2.4 mpd

See also: Best Credit Card to Earn Revenge Travel Stripes – HSBC TravelOne

But it seems that no good things come without a price, seeing how the coveted 3 mpd rate on selected online hotel and flight bookings have since been removed.

On the bright side, if you continue booking your trip essentials through Expedia or Kaligo, you’ll still earn up to 6 mpd and 10 mpd respectively – so it's still a win in that domain. 

The greatest advantage is that there is no minimum spend required for the bonus miles. You are free to chalk up miles at your own pace accordingly by making eligible local, overseas, or travel-related purchases without the pressure of meeting monthly spend criteria unlike other credit cards (e.g. KrisFlyer UOB Card).

Although the KrisFlyer UOB Card earns up to 3 KrisFlyer Miles per S$1 on everyday spend categories directly, a minimum of S$800 per year on Singapore Airlines, Scoot, and KrisShop transactions is required to qualify for this bonus miles earn rate. Moreover, KrisFlyer Miles will expire after 2 years, unlike DBS Points earned from DBS Altitude which never expire.


#2: No air miles expiry date

Most air miles earned through credit cards have an expiry date. On the contrary, air miles earned via DBS Altitude card as DBS Points earned do not expire. This means you can slowly accumulate your air miles and work your way up to a free flight redemption to Europe or the United States. However, take note that each conversion to KrisFlyer Frequent Flyer program, Asia miles, Qantas Points, or Air Asia BIG Points will cost $27.


#3: Get your annual fee waived

No one likes paying annual fees on their credit cards, and in most cases, we try to get it waived. DBS Altitude Card offers two options when it comes to annual fees.

First off, new cardholders are entitled to their first year's annual fee waived.  Subsequently, you can choose to pay the annual fee of S$196.20 in order to receive 10,000 bonus air miles and renew your membership. In any case, it's a win-win situation depending on whether you prefer to save on some cash or benefit in bonus miles.

Do note that those who opt for the auto annual fee waiver in the first year will not be eligible for the bonus miles. Moreover, no bonus miles will be awarded to supplementary cardholders either.

See also: 4 Types of Credit Cards With Lifetime Annual Fee Waivers


#4: Enjoy complimentary travel insurance

Alternatively, if you book your online travel through the DBS Travel & Leisure Marketplace, you'll be entitled to up to S$200,000 complimentary personal accident and total disablement coverage, up to S$500 emergency medical expenses inclusive of COVID-19, and up to S$1,000 for other trip inconveniences or cancellation. 

Do note, only Singapore Residents are eligible for the above complimentary travel insurance. Foreigners are unfortunately excluded from this perk.

While these coverage benefit amounts aren't the highest – hey, at least they're something. Although, we'd much recommend getting more comprehensive travel insurance coverage from other providers (featuring awesome promos!) here on SingSaver.


#5: Get free access to airport lounges

DBS Altitude Visa Signature cardholders get a complimentary pair of Priority Pass membership with access to over 1,300 airport lounges worldwide every year. Whether you want to sit down, stretch out, sip drinks, grab some pre-flight bites or use your time productively with charging points and free Wi-Fi, complimentary airport lounge access is a plus when choosing a credit card.

Check out these other credit cards that offer complimentary airport lounge access to relax while waiting for your flight departures.

See also: Cheap & Free Ways to Access Changi Airport Lounges


What charges or fees should you look out for?

  • Annual fee: (First year waived; 9% GST w.e.f 1 Jan 2024)
    • Principal card: S$196.20 
    • Supplementary card: S$98.10 
  • Late payment charge: $100
  • Minimum monthly payment: 3% of current balance or $50, whichever is higher, plus any overdue amounts
  • Overlimit fee: $40 if the total outstanding card balance exceeds the total credit limit at any time
  • Interest rate on purchases: 27.8% p.a. on the transaction amount (subject to compounding), chargeable on a daily basis from the date of transaction until receipt of full payment. Minimum charge of $2.50.
  • Interest rate on cash advance: 28.5% p.a. on the amount withdrawn from the date of the cash advance, chargeable on a daily basis from the date of withdrawal until the date the outstanding is paid in full (subject to compounding). Minimum charge of $2.50.
  • Cash advance fee: 8% of withdrawal amount or S$15, whichever is higher
  • Foreign transaction fee: 3.25% for Visa/Mastercard, 3% for American Express*
  • Dynamic currency conversion fee: 1%

*See more here

DBS/POSB Credit Card Welcome Gift: Receive up to S$388 cashback or 85,000 miles when you apply for select DBS credit cards and fulfil the relevant promotion criteria. T&Cs apply.

⭐ Alternatively, as of 18 September 2023, DBS/POSB is currently running a promotion on their own site to reward 40,000 welcome miles to all new cardholders who spend a minimum of S$2,000 within 30 days of card approval. T&Cs apply.

Eligibility criteria

  • At least 21 years of age
  • Minimum income requirement for Singaporeans and PRs: $30,000 per year
  • Minimum income requirement for Foreigners: $45,000 per year*

*No fixed deposit collateral option available


How to apply? 

DBS-Altitude-Visa_LF-2019-2026-1024x686-1 dbs-altitude-v1-300x189

Click on the ‘Apply Now’ button on this page and complete the application form on SingSaver site. You might need to prepare the following documents for the application process:

  1. Click on any of the 'Apply Now' buttons found in this article
  2. Fill up the card application form on our SingSaver site
  3. Prepare the following documents during application: 
    • Front and back of NRIC/Passport/Employment Pass
    • Salaried employees
      1. For less than 3 months: Latest original computerised payslip or company letter certifying employment and salary
      2. For more than 3 months: Latest 3 month's original computerised payslip (otherwise 1 month's) or latest 3 months' salary crediting bank statements, or latest 12 months' CPF statements (otherwise 3 months')
    • Self-employed / Commission-earners: Latest 2 years' Income Tax Notice of Assessment

Should you get the DBS Altitude Credit Card?

DBS or POSB "loyalists" who are looking to break into the miles game and get spoiled by lounge accesses during travels. Indeed, they're a great miles credit card for beginners or young working adults who prefer earning fuss-free miles on the go.

DBS/POSB Credit Card Welcome Gift: Receive up to S$388 cashback or 85,000 miles when you apply for select DBS credit cards and fulfil the relevant promotion criteria. T&Cs apply.

Other similar miles cards we recommend are the Citi PremierMiles Card, HSBC TravelOne Card, OCBC 90°N Card, and Standard Chartered Journey Card. While all these cards offer bonus miles on local and overseas spend, only a select few allow cardholders to earn miles on dedicated travel spend (e.g. on Agoda, Expedia, Kaligo, Booking.com etc.) Out of these, only Citi PremierMiles and OCBC 90°N earn you extra miles on such travel bookings. 

Citi-Premier-300x199-Apr-15-2022-07-10-14-13-AM

Citi PremierMiles Card product summary

Local spend 1.2 mpd
Foreign spend 2 mpd
Bonus travel spend Up to 10 mpd on eligible Kaligo bookings
Up to 7 mpd on eligible Agoda bookings
Airport lounge access 2 visits per year
Travel insurance Up to S$1 million complimentary coverage
Citi Miles never expire

HSBC TravelOne

HSBC TravelOne Card product summary

Local spend 1.2 mpd
Foreign spend 2.4 mpd
Airport lounge access 4 visits per year
Travel insurance Up to US$100,000 complimentary coverage
5 free supplementary cards
No conversion fee for air miles or hotel points until 31 Dec 2023

OCBC 90°N Card product summary

Local spend 1.3 mpd
Foreign spend 2.1 mpd
Bonus travel spend Up to 7 mpd on Agoda accommodations booked in foreign currency
Up to 6 mpd on Agoda accommodations booked in local currency
Airport lounge access US$32 per person per visit
90°N Miles never expire

SC_Card_OM_Journey_20220816-AssetA-RGB-2500px_HENRY YEO

SCB Journey Card product summary

Local spend 1.2 mpd
Foreign spend 2 mpd
Bonus spend

3 mpd on selected online categories:

  • Transport
  • Grocery
  • Food delivery

Capped at S$1,000 spend per month

Airport lounge access 2 visits per year
Travel insurance Up to S$500,000 complimentary coverage
360° Rewards Points never expire

 

 

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