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DBS Vantage Credit Card Review: Is This The Right $120K Card For You?

SingSaver team

SingSaver team

Last updated 25 December, 2023

The DBS Vantage Card entered an already competitive premium credit card market not too long ago. If you're often stuck in a conundrum between wanting miles or cashback, the DBS Vantage Card could be your solution.

While it’s far from an official designation, the S$120K segment refers to a group of premium credit cards that offer exclusive travel and lifestyle benefits. These typically come in metal, and have income requirements of at least S$120,000 per annum (hence the name), plus annual fees around the S$500 - S$600 mark. Examples include the Citi Prestige, OCBC VOYAGE and Standard Chartered Visa Infinite

You can now add the DBS Vantage to that list. After sitting on the sidelines for years, DBS has finally decided to throw its hat into the ring by launching a $120K card of its own. But if you only have the space (and budget) for a single S$120K card, should this be the one?

In this post, we’ll look at the key features and benefits of the DBS Vantage, as well as how they measure up to the competition.

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.


DBS Vantage Credit Card: Earn Rates

DBS_VANTAGE_VISA_INFINITE

DBS Vantage Card cardholders earn 1.5 mpd on local spending, and 2.2 mpd on foreign currency spending. There is no minimum spend required, nor caps on the miles that can be earned.

This already puts it in an advantageous position compared to other cards in the S$120K segment, as the table below shows.

Card Local Spend FCY Spend
Standard Chartered Visa Infinite 1.4 mpd* 3.0 mpd*
DBS Vantage 1.5 mpd 2.2 mpd
HSBC Visa Infinite 1.25 mpd^ 2.25 mpd^
OCBC VOYAGE 1.3 mpd 2.2 mpd
UOB Visa Infinite Metal Card 1.4 mpd 2.0 mpd
Citi Prestige 1.3 mpd 2.0 mpd
Maybank Visa Infinite 1.2 mpd 2.0 mpd
*With min. S$2,000 spend per statement month, otherwise 1.0 mpd for both
^With min. S$50,000 spend per membership year, otherwise 1.0 mpd local, 2.0 mpd FCY

While the Standard Chartered Visa Infinite looks to be a close competitor, cardholders must spend at least S$2,000 per statement month to unlock its 1.4/3.0 mpd rates on local/FCY spending. Fail to meet that, and it’s a 1.0 mpd for both.

Likewise, the HSBC Visa Infinite requires a hefty S$50,000 spend in the previous membership year to unlock its 1.25/2.25 mpd rates on local/FCY spending. If you fail to meet that, or if it’s the first year of membership, the earn rate is 1.0/2.0 mpd for local/FCY spending.

What's great for cardholders is the option to switch flexibly between up to 2.2 miles per S$1 or 2.2% cashback for overseas spend (1.5% cashback for local spend). 

Other perks include up to 6 miles per S$1 on Expedia bookings and up to 19% off on fuel spending at Esso. 

DBS Vantage Card Welcome Gift: Get up to 85,000 miles when you apply and make a min. spend of S$4,000 within 30 days of card approval. Valid till 31 May 2024. T&Cs apply.

Read more: Where to Travel in 2023: 7 Best Countries to Visit


DBS Vantage Credit Card: Bonus Points

DBS_VANTAGE_VISA_INFINITE

The DBS Vantage Card has an annual fee of S$599.50, which cannot be waived in the first year. In subsequent years, a waiver will only be granted with a minimum eligible spend of S$60,000 within the year. 

Card Annual Fee Fee Waiver
HSBC Visa Infinite S$662.15
(S$497.12 for HSBC Premier)
N/A
UOB Visa Infinite Metal Card S$664 N/A
Maybank Visa Infinite S$605.55 (First year free) Min. S$60K spend
DBS Vantage S$599.50 (w.e.f. 1 Jan 2024) Min. S$60K spend
Standard Chartered Visa Infinite S$599.50 N/A
Citi Prestige S$545 N/A
OCBC VOYAGE S$497.06 with 15,000 VOYAGE Miles

S$3,270 with 150,000 VOYAGE Miles
N/A

S$599.50 is a lot of money to pay, but it’s decidedly middle-of-the-road for the S$120K segment. Moreover, DSB Vantage Card cardholders receive 12,500 DBS Points (25,000 miles) every time the annual fee is paid, which helps to offset some of the cost but everyone will need to come to their own valuation. 

While the annual fee is strictly non-waivable for the first year, you will enjoy a waiver in the subsequent years if a minimum of S$60,000 worth of retail spend is made in the preceding Card Year^.

The 12,500 DBS Points (25,000 miles) will not be awarded if the annual fee is waived.

^Card Year refers to the 12-month period starting from the date the Card application was approved by DBS.

DBS Vantage Card Welcome Gift: Get up to 85,000 miles when you apply and make a min. spend of S$4,000 within 30 days of card approval. Valid till 31 May 2024. T&Cs apply.

DBS Vantage Credit Card: Lounge Access

DBS Vantage Card cardholders enjoy 10 complimentary lounge visits per membership year, courtesy of Priority Pass.

Lounge visits can be shared with guests, so a cardholder could bring his wife and two children and utilise four visits at one go, for example. 

This perk is limited to the principal cardholder, and once the free visits are exhausted, a fee of US$32 per visit applies. 

Truth be told, 10 free lounge visits aren’t the best perk out there. There are numerous other $120K cards which offer unlimited lounge access, and it’s safe to say that anyone other than a solo casual traveller will burn through that allowance in no time flat. 

Card Principal Cardholder Supp. Cardholder
HSBC Visa Infinite Unlimited Unlimited
Citi Prestige Unlimited + 1 guest N/A
OCBC VOYAGE Unlimited Unlimited
Maybank Visa Infinite Unlimited N/A
DBS Vantage 10 N/A
Standard Chartered Visa Infinite 6 N/A
UOB Visa Infinite Metal Card 4 N/A


DBS Vantage Credit Card: Accor Plus Explorer 

DBS Vantage Card cardholders receive a complimentary Accor Plus Explorer membership each year they renew the card. This normally retails for S$418, and includes the following benefits:

  • Up to 50% off dining at participating Accor hotels across Asia Pacific
  • 15% off drinks bill in Asia
  • 10% off the best available public rate
  • Up to 2 complimentary nights' stay
  • Access to Red Hot Room sales with up to 50% off
  • Accor Live Limitless Silver status

The dining discount is based on the number of diners, and is valid at more than 1,400 restaurants including Prego, Mikuni and Asian Market Cafe. 

  • 1 diner enjoys 25% off
  • 2 diners enjoy 50% off
  • 3 diners enjoy 33% off
  • 4 diners enjoy 25% off

One little trick to maximise our Accor Plus benefit is to book rooms without breakfast included, then pay at the hotel to enjoy 50% off for two pax. It’s almost always cheaper than booking the breakfast-included rate. 

The complimentary hotel night can be redeemed in Singapore or overseas, and careful planning is key to maximising the benefit. It’s relatively easy to find nights at cheaper properties like Novotel and ibis, but you’ll obviously want to redeem it at a Sofitel to get your money’s worth.

Accor Plus also gives you Accor Live Limitless Silver status, which may not sound like a lot but it at least secures you a pair of welcome drinks every time you stay. At some hotels, this may even include champagne!

See also: 7 Best Credit Cards For Booking Flights and Hotels


DBS Vantage Credit Card: Dining City discounts

[Update!] Dining City privileges will cease on 31 December 2023. Till then, final reservations and last seating are still acceptable before or on 31 December.

DBS Vantage cardholders can enjoy "members-only discounts at over 80 of Singapore's finest dining establishments", through a partnership with DiningCity.

DiningCity discounts range from 15 - 50% off, though most of them are around the 15% mark. Participating venues include 1-Atico, MONTI, La Brasserie, Napoleon Food & Wine Bar, and Golden Peony. 

These discounts are certainly not in the same league as American Express’ Love Dining programme, though to be fair the Accor Plus membership is probably meant to be the main dining draw of the DBS Vantage.

See also: Best Dining Credit Cards in Singapore


What’s missing?

While the DBS Vantage Card has a solid value proposition, those desiring the following perks will need to look elsewhere. 

Limo rides: Other $120K cards like the HSBC Visa Infinite, Citi Prestige and OCBC VOYAGE offer cardholders complimentary airport transfers subject to a certain minimum spend. The DBS Vantage does not have this benefit.

Non-expiring points: Citi Prestige, Maybank Visa Infinite, OCBC VOYAGE and Standard Chartered Visa Infinite cardholders enjoy non-expiring points, but DBS Vantage Card cardholders must redeem their points within 3 years. While this is a fairly generous window, it’d obviously be much better had points been evergreen from the start. 

Free points transfers: Maybank Visa Infinite and OCBC VOYAGE cardholders can enjoy fee-free transfers of points to frequent flyer programmes. DBS Vantage Card cardholders will need to pay S$27 per transfer. 

Travel insurance: Some $120K cards offer very solid complimentary travel insurance policies. For example, the Citi Prestige and HSBC Visa Infinite offer a level of coverage comparable to a stand-alone policy, with coverage for accidental death, medical expenses (including COVID-related ones), medical evacuation and travel inconvenience. The DBS Vantage Card has no such benefit.


What charges or fees should you look out for?

  • Annual fee: S$599.50 for principal card (9% GST w.e.f. 1 Jan 2024), and free for supplementary card
  • Late payment charge: S$100 (for outstanding balance over S$200)
  • Minimum monthly payment: 3% of the statement balance or S$50, whichever is greater, plus any amount that is overdue and/or exceeds your credit limit
  • Overlimit fee: S$40 if the total outstanding card balance exceeds the total credit limit at any time
  • Interest on purchases: 27.8% p.a. chargeable on daily basis (subject to compounding), minimum charge of S$2.50 imposed
  • Interest on cash advance: 28.5% of the amount withdrawn per transaction, chargeable on a daily basis (subject to compounding), minimum charge of S$2.50 imposed
  • Cash advance fee: 8% of amount withdrawn per transaction or S$15, whichever is greater
  • Foreign currency transaction fee: 3.25%
  • Dynamic currency conversion fee: 1%

Eligibility criteria

  • At least 21 years of age
  • Minimum annual income: S$120,000 (for both Singaporeans and Foreigners)

How to apply?

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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:

  • Front and back of NRIC/Passport/Employment Pass
  • Salaried employees
    • For less than 3 months: Latest original computerised payslip or company letter certifying employment and salary
    • 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 Vantage Credit Card?

DBS_VANTAGE_VISA_INFINITE

The DBS Vantage Card is a commendable first attempt to break into the $120K market, given its high earn rates, exclusive dining privileges, and Accor Plus membership. What would have made it better is an unlimited lounge pass and an airport limo benefit.

In that sense, it might be a better lifestyle card than a travel one — especially with its flexible, interchangeable miles-cashback conversion. However, apart from that, the DBS Vantage Card is definitely more of a want than a need, as far as premium credit cards go. 

DBS Vantage Card Welcome Gift: Get up to 85,000 miles when you apply and make a min. spend of S$4,000 within 30 days of card approval. Valid till 31 May 2024. T&Cs apply.

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.

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.

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.

scb-visa-infinite-card

Standard Chartered Visa Infinite Card product summary:

Local spend
1.4 mpd
Foreign spend
3 mpd
Min. spend requirement
S$2,000 spend per statement month, otherwise 1 mpd for both spend
Annual fee
S$599.50
Airport lounge access
6 Priority Pass visits per year
Travel insurance
Up to S$1 million coverage
 Welcome bonus: 35,000 miles upon card sign-up

HSBC Visa Infinite Credit Card | Premium Lifestyle - HSBC SG

HSBC Visa Infinite Card product summary:

Local spend
1.25 mpd
Foreign spend
2.25 mpd
Min. spend requirement
S$50,000 spend per membership year, otherwise 1 mpd for local spend and 2 mpd for foreign spend
Annual fee
S$662.15
S$497.12 for HSBC Premier
Airport lounge access
Unlimited visits
Travel insurance
Up to US$2 million COVID-19 coverage

OCBC-Voyage-Credit-Card

OCBC Voyage Card product summary:

Local spend
1.3 mpd
Foreign spend
2.2 mpd
Annual fee
S$497.06 with complimentary 15,000 VOYAGE Miles

S$3,270 with complimentary 150,000 VOYAGE Miles
Airport lounge access
Unlimited visits
Travel insurance
Up to US$2 million COVID-19 coverage
Other perks ⭐
VOYAGE Miles never expire*

Enjoy flexibility of either 2.3 VOYAGE Miles or 2.3% cash rebate

Up to 2x airport transfer per quarter with min. S$12,000 spend (in local or foreign currency) per quarter 

Up to 23% off fuel at Sinopec, 19% off fuel at Caltex, and 14% off fuel at Esso

*S$25 conversion fee of VOYAGE miles to airline miles applies

 

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