Credit Card Comparison: DBS Altitude vs Citi PremierMiles vs OCBC 90°N

Denise Bay

Denise Bay

Last updated 02 April, 2024

Choices are never easy. That’s why, we do the math, so you don’t have to. Compare This, a SingSaver series, is here to help make decisions a little easier for you.


Air miles credit cards may seem mysterious but they are your best bet if free flights make you tick. Find out which card will emerge as the winner in this three-way battle between DBS Altitude vs Citi PremierMiles vs OCBC 90°N.

[Update] The DBS Altitude Card now earns 1.3 miles per S$1 on local spend and 2.2 miles per S$1 on overseas spend. Travellers will earn 3 miles per S$1 on Agoda bookings, which might be a caveat to some. However, it no longer earns miles for Expedia and Kaligo.

What’s sweeter than a dreamy vacation to somewhere you’ve always wanted to visit? Free flights. While you may need to fork out some taxes and airport charges, the cost of your travel tickets may essentially shrivel up thanks to the miles you’ve earned and accumulated on your air miles credit card

In this comparison article, we will pit three miles cards against each other: DBS Altitude vs Citi PremierMiles vs OCBC 90°N. One of these three travel-oriented credit cards may be what you’ve been looking for to kickstart your mile-chasing journey.



Overview: DBS Altitude vs Citi PremierMiles vs OCBC 90ºN

Credit card 
Key benefits
DBS Altitude Card
[New] S$1 = 2.2 miles on overseas spend (in foreign currency)

[New] S$1 = 1.3 miles on local spend
 
Earn up to 3 miles per $1 spent on Agoda
 
2 complimentary airport lounge visits per year
Citi PremierMiles Card
CITI_PREMIERMILES_MASTER (1)
S$1 = 2 miles on foreign currency spend
 
S$1 = 1.2 miles on local spend
 
Earn up to 10 miles per S$1 spent on Kaligo
 
Earn up to 7 miles per S$1 spent on Agoda international hotel bookings
 
2 complimentary airport lounge visits per year
OCBC 90ºN Card
OCBC_90N_VISA-1

OCBC_90N_MASTERCARD_UPDATED

S$1 = 2.1 miles on foreign currency spend
 
S$1 = 1.3 miles on local spend
 
Earn up to 7 miles per S$1 spent on Agoda accommo
dations 

What these air miles credit cards have in common

All three credit cards offer rewards that do not expire (Citi Mile, 90ºN Mile and DBS Point), the ability to earn renewal bonus miles, alongside other benefits, all while only requiring cardmembers who are Singapore Citizens/PRs to earn a minimum annual income of S$30,000. 

They also have the same annual fee of S$196.20, which is waived for the first year.

DBS Points, Citi Miles and 90ºN Miles can be utilised for travel as well as other things, such as rewards and cash rebates. All three credit cards are also widely accepted around the world as DBS Altitude is a Visa card and Citi PremierMiles is a Mastercard card. Meanwhile, OCBC 90ºN is both a Visa and Mastercard card.


How these air miles credit cards differ

Although DBS Altitude Visa, Citi PremierMiles and OCBC 90°N are all marketed to be travel-oriented, these three air miles credit cards couldn’t be more different. Right from their miles earn rate, miles conversion fee to travel benefits like travel insurance and airport lounge access, range of frequent flyer programme partners, these features are not the same.

To make the comparisons easier for you to understand and digest, we’ve broken them down into distinct points we reckon you would want to know as a savvy consumer.

Comparison #1: Miles earn rate

  DBS Altitude  Citi PremierMiles OCBC 90°N
Miles earn rate S$1 = 2.2 miles on overseas spend (in foreign currency)

S$1 = 1.3 miles on local spend

Earn up to 3 miles per S$1 on Agoda
$1 = 2 miles on foreign currency spend 

S$1 = 1.2 miles on local spend 

Earn up to 10 miles per S$1 on Kaligo and up to 7 miles per S$1 on Agoda 
S$1 = 2.1 miles on foreign currency spend 

S$1 = 1.3 miles on local spend 

Earn up to 7 90ºN Mile per S$1 spent on Agoda accommodations worldwide 

While there is no minimum spend to start earning miles for all three credit cards, take note that DBS Altitude lets you earn miles in the form of DBS Points — 3.25 DBS Points awarded for every S$5 local spend (or 1.3 mpd) and 5.5 DBS Points for every S$5 overseas spend (equivalent to 2.2 mpd). 

[Update] Starting 1 April 2024, DBS Altitude cardholders can no longer earn additional 6 miles per S$1 for Expedia bookings and 10 miles per S$1 for Kaligo.

CITI_PREMIERMILES_MASTER (1)

Meanwhile, Citi PremierMiles is the most straightforward of the three. Citibank rewards cardmembers with Citi Miles, where 1 Citi Mile is simply equal to 1 frequent flyer mile.  

Similarly, OCBC 90ºN lets cardmembers earn miles in the form of 90ºN Mile, where 1 90ºN Mile is equal to 1 frequent flyer mile. However, like DBS Altitude, OCBC 90ºN is a little confusing — 90ºN Miles is awarded for every S$5 spent per transaction.

Also, no partial or prorated award of any 90ºN Mile will be available for any amount charged to the card that does not amount to a S$5 block. They can be redeemed in minimum blocks of 1,000 frequent flyer miles.

But here’s where DBS Altitude fares better compared to OCBC 90ºN and Citi PremierMiles (more on that in a bit).

You can earn 1 DBS Point with a min. spend of S$1.67 on bus/train rides! This makes DBS Altitude a great card to use for public transport as you can simply tap and go while continuing to earn miles at the local rate of 1.3 mpd.

TeamCashback-VS-TeamMiles-KV2.1_BLOGARTICLE_800x250

🆚SingSaver's Cashback vs Miles Campaign (Round 2) 🆚: Are you Team Cashback or Team Air Miles?

Be one of the first 400 to receive rewards of up to +S$740 Vouchers or up to +74K Miles when you sign up for any participating Cashback or Miles Credit Card, respectively, within the promo period. The team with the most applications wins the rewards! Promo runs from 24 May, 12pm - 6 June 2024. T&Cs apply.

Plus, get up to 31x chances to win a Pair of RETURN Business Class Tickets to Tokyo, Japan (worth 120K Max Miles) in the Grand Lucky Draw when you successfully apply for participating products. Promo runs from 24 May, 12pm - 6 June 2024. T&Cs apply.

SingSaver's Exclusive Offer: Enjoy the following rewards when you sign up for a Citi PremierMiles Card (Team Air Miles):

Citi PremierMiles_27May_Campaign_BLOGARTICLE_800x250

Receive a Dyson Supersonic (worth S$699) or an Apple iPad 10th Gen 10.9 wifi 64GB (worth S$529) or 15,600 KrisFlyer Miles or S$450 eCapitaVoucher or S$300 Cash upon activating and spending a minimum of S$500 within 30 days of card approval. Valid until 2 June 2024. T&Cs apply.

Pay_To_Upgrade_Rewards_Campaign_BLOGARTICLE_800x250-1

Plus, upgrade your rewards when you top up S$999 for an Apple MacBook Air 13” (M3 chip) 256GB (worth S$1,599) or an Apple iPhone 15 Pro 128GB (worth S$1,664.25). Alternatively, top up S$1,488 for a Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra Titanium Gray 12+512GB 5G (worth S$2,128). Valid till 2 June 2024. T&Cs apply.


Comparison #2: Free airport lounge access

  DBS Altitude Citi PremierMiles OCBC 90°N
Free airport lounge access 2 free Priority Pass lounge visits per year 2 free Priority Pass lounge visits per year NIL

If there is one major thing missing from OCBC 90ºN, it is the coveted complimentary airport lounge access perk. Cardmembers can enjoy airport lounges through the Mastercard Airport Experiences platform but they will have to fork out US$32 per visit. 

Fancy travelling in style without having to shell out extra money at the airport? Enter the DBS Altitude and Citi PremierMiles. These two air miles credit cards offer cardmembers 2 complimentary Priority Pass lounge visits per year. The sky’s the limit here because you can choose from over 1,300 airport lounges worldwide. Additional visits are possible but subject to a payment of US$32 per visit.

See also: Cheap & Free Ways to Get Into Changi Airport Lounges


Comparison #3: Travel insurance coverage

  DBS Altitude Citi PremierMiles OCBC 90°N
Travel insurance coverage Up to S$1 million  Up to S$1 million  NIL

This is an interesting comparison because DBS Altitude and Citi PremierMiles both offer cardmembers and their legal family members up to S$1 million in travel accident insurance coverage when they charge their full travel purchase to their credit card. 

The complimentary travel insurance that comes with DBS Altitude only covers accidental death or permanent disablement while travelling on a public conveyance. 

On the other hand, the one offered by Citi PremierMiles is more comprehensive. On top of covering accidental death and permanent disablement, it also covers medical expenses, emergency medical evacuation and repatriation, and direct repatriation of mortal remains.

Exclusive to Citi PremierMiles cardmembers only, travel inconveniences like loss of personal baggage, baggage delay, flight delay, trip cancellation and trip interruption are covered as well.


Comparison #4: Frequent flyer partners

  DBS Altitude Citi PremierMiles OCBC 90ºN
Frequent flyer partners Asia Miles
Singapore Airlines 
Qantas 
AirAsia 
AirAsia 
Asia Miles 
British Airways
Etihad
EVA Air
Air France & KLM 
Malaysia Airlines
Qantas
Qatar Airways
Singapore Airlines
Thai Airways
Turkish Airlines

Singapore Airlines

Coming soon
Air France – KLM Flying Blue
British Airways Executive Club
Cathay Pacific
Etihad Guest
United MileagePlus
 

Miles conversion rate 1 DBS Point = 2 Frequent Flyer Programme Miles 

1 DBS Point = 3 AirAsia BIG Points
1 Citi Mile = 1 Frequent Flyer Programme Mile  1 OCBC 90ºN Mile = 1 KrisFlyer Mile 

As you can already tell, Citibank has the most frequent flyer partners among the three banks. Besides letting you convert your miles to airlines’ frequent flyer programmes at a fee, you can also transfer your Citi Miles to IHG Rewards Club if you are more interested in getting free hotel stays instead of flights. 

Currently, 90ºN Miles and Travel$ can only be converted to Singapore Airlines’ KrisFlyer miles.


Comparison #5: Miles conversion fee

  DBS Altitude Citi PremierMiles OCBC 90°N
Miles conversion fee S$25  S$25 Free 

For all three cards, an administrative fee of S$25 (exclusive of GST) applies for each conversion of DBS Points or Citi Miles or 90ºN Miles to actual frequent flyer miles. 

A great tip is to earn and accumulate your DBS Points or Citi Miles until you are sure you have enough miles to redeem for your dream award flights, before transferring them to your enrolled frequent flyer programme of choice.

This helps minimise the miles conversion fees you need to pay. Anyway, DBS Points, 90ºN Miles, and Citi Miles do not have an expiry date — take your time to earn and accumulate them without feeling rushed. 

💡 Important note: Even though DBS Points, Citi Miles and 90ºN Miles do not expire, once you convert and transfer your rewards to participating frequent flyer programmes or hotel loyalty programmes, your converted frequent flyer miles and hotel loyalty programme points will be subject to the terms and conditions of their respective loyalty programme. More often than not, your converted frequent flyer miles and hotel loyalty programme points will expire after some time (e.g. 36 months for KrisFlyer miles).


 

Comparison #6: Additional perks

  DBS Altitude Citi PremierMiles OCBC 90°N
Exclusive privileges Receive 10,000 bonus miles when you pay the annual fee of S$194.40 

Earn 1 extra mile on everything you spend, with an admin fee of just 2% of your retail spend. That’s up to 4 miles per S$1 spent! Registration required

Enjoy up to 4.10% p.a. with the DBS Multiplier Account 

Visa travel perks

Golf Club Privileges

Various merchant and dining deals 
Receive 10,000 bonus miles when you pay the annual fee of S$194.40 

Earn miles on rent, condo management fees, school fees, taxes and bills via Citi PayAll. Citi PayAll service fee applies 

Citi World Privileges


New-to-OCBC cardmembers: Receive 10,000 90ºN Miles when you pay the upfront annual fee of S$180 (excl. GST)

Otherwise, annual fee remains at S$54 with no bonus miles earned upon renewal

Get exclusive deals on STACK Marketplace

Various merchant promotions 



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

You can already tell at a glance that DBS Altitude offers the most perks in this three-way battle. As a true travel credit card, it is no surprise most of the extra perks that come with DBS Altitude are travel-oriented. 

One unique feature exclusive to DBS Altitude: You have the option of registering for the promotion and paying a 2% admin fee to earn an extra mile on all your retail spend — perfect if you are serious about chasing miles albeit at a cost. This card is also ideal if you are keen on earning higher interest on your deposits with the DBS Multiplier Account.

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Enjoy up to 3% p.a. interest rate on your savings with no min. transaction amount required. T&Cs apply.
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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.


Conclusion: Which one should you choose?

DBS Altitude, Citi PremierMiles and OCBC 90ºN are all good contenders for people who are keen on earning and accumulating air miles that they can redeem for (almost) free travel further down the road. 

As much as we’d like to pit OCBC 90ºN against the other two longtime players, OCBC 90ºN is more basic in what it has to offer — no complimentary airport lounge access, no travel insurance coverage, and its only frequent flyer partner at this time is Singapore Airlines. 

OCBC_90N_MASTERCARD_UPDATED OCBC_90N_VISA

Choose OCBC 90°N: Two points where OCBC 90ºN does better than DBS Altitude and Citi PremierMiles? This card lets you earn a tad more miles per S$1 spent in foreign currency (i.e. 2.1 vs 2) and there’s zero conversion fee involved to have your 90ºN Miles converted to KrisFlyer miles.


Choose DBS Altitude: That’s if you fancy the idea of earning miles on literally everything you spend on, including bus and MRT rides. DBS Altitude runs spend promotions periodically that lets cardmembers chalk up miles quicker if they meet the spend and eligibility criteria post-registration. The only truly bothersome thing about this card is that DBS Points are awarded on spend in blocks of S$5 (except bus/MRT rides when you ‘tap and 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.


Choose Citi PremierMiles: Think of Citi PremierMiles as DBS Altitude’s less fussy credit card twin. Citi PremierMiles rewards cardmembers on every S$1 they spend in local or foreign currency, making things easier for those who enjoy crunching numbers and counting each mile they’ve earned. Citi PremierMiles offers a more comprehensive travel insurance coverage and a greater assortment of frequent flyer partners than DBS Altitude, too. 

SingSaver's Exclusive Offer: Receive the following rewards when you sign up for a Citi Credit Card:

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Citi PremierMiles Card: Receive a Dyson Supersonic (worth S$699) or an Apple iPad 10th Gen 10.9 wifi 64GB (worth S$529) or 15,600 KrisFlyer Miles or S$450 eCapitaVoucher or S$300 Cash upon activating and spending a minimum of S$500 within 30 days of card approval. Valid until 2 June 2024. T&Cs apply.

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Other Citi Credit Cards: Receive a Dyson Supersonic (worth S$699) or Apple iPad 10th Gen 10.9 wifi 64GB (worth S$529) or Sony Portable Theatre System HT-AX7 (worth S$759) or S$450 eCapitaVoucher or S$300 cash via PayNow upon activating and spending a minimum of S$500 within 30 days of card approval. Valid until 2 June 2024. T&Cs apply.

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Plus, upgrade your rewards when you top up S$999 for an Apple MacBook Air 13” (M3 chip) 256GB (worth S$1,599) or an Apple iPhone 15 Pro 128GB (worth S$1,664.25). Alternatively, top up S$1,488 for a Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra Titanium Gray 12+512GB 5G (worth S$2,128). Valid till 2 June 2024. T&Cs apply.

While Denise has a thing for travel, K-dramas, 0% sugar bbt (with boba!), Japanese cuisine and flat white, her curious nature means all sorts of random tabs are open on her phone 24/7. She doesn’t like to pay full price for anything, too.

FINANCIAL TIP:

Use a personal loan to consolidate your outstanding debt at a lower interest rate!

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