The DBS Black Card has always sounded and looked really cool in my opinion. In my mind, it should have been a card for high-income earners and probably a Visa Infinite card. Turns out, that isn’t the case, at all. Firstly, the minimum income requirement is only S$30k – most people can get it. Secondly, the card’s benefits are nothing like I imagine it should be.
Nonetheless, let’s find out in this review if the DBS Black Visa Card is good enough for a space in your wallet.
Related: Best Rewards Credit Cards
What are the features of the DBS Black Visa Card?
|DBS Black Visa Card|
|Principal card annual fees||S$192.60 (waived for 1 year)|
|Supplementary card annual fee||S$96.30|
|Minimum income||S$30,000 (Singaporean) / S$40,000 (foreigner)|
|Interest-free period||20 days|
|Interest rate per annum||25.90%|
|Minimum monthly payment||3% or S$50 (whichever is greater)|
|Cash advance fee||6% or S$15 (whichever is greater)|
|Foreign currency transaction fee||2.8%|
|Stolen card liability||S$100|
|Late payment fee||S$100|
How useful are the benefits of the DBS Black Card?
1. 3x DBS Points per S$5 on local Visa payWave transactions
As long as you make your payment using payWave, you earn 3x DBS Points for every S$5 that you spend. That translates to 1.2 miles per S$1 that you spend. PayWave terminals are now widely accepted at supermarkets, restaurants, clothing retails, food courts and even cinemas.
However, we question why DBS would even consider this to be a benefit, especially when their own DBS Altitude Card already gives at least 1.2 miles per S$1 on all local retail transactions.
When it comes to shopping spends, the DBS Black Card pales in comparison to the Citi Rewards or OCBC Titanium Rewards Card. And if we simply make a comparison on payWave transactions, the UOB Preferred Platinum wins the DBS Black Card hands down with 4 miles/dollar on all contactless transactions.
All of the above cards have a minimum annual income of S$30,000 and have identical annual fees. Hence, the case for the DBS Black Card is not very strong.
2. Split purchases into 0% interest instalment payment plans
The DBS Black Card allows you to split your purchases above S$100 into interest-free instalments over 3, 6, or 12-month tenures. Until 31 December 2018, the usual processing fee of 5% is waived.
Is this the key benefit that we could be looking for? The ability to convert purchases into interest-free instalments without processing fee, and also get 3X DBS Points at the same time? Sadly, that’s not the case, as DBS Points will not be awarded for instalment payment plans.
If instalments and rewards or cashback is what you’re looking for, we suggest that you take a look at the OCBC Cashflo Card.
3. 1x DBS Point per S$5 on eligible retail transactions
Any eligible transaction not paid for via Visa payWave earns you 1X DBS Points for every S$5 spent.
This amounts to 0.4 miles per S$1. This is the same base rate for almost all rewards credit cards.
What else do you get?
Well, to be honest, apart from access to DBS’ suite of dining, retail, travel, and lifestyle benefits, you don’t really get anything else.
In fact, when it comes to credit cards with a minimum annual income requirement of S$30,000, almost every bank has a credit card that offers better rewards and benefits.
BankBazaar’s final thoughts
To be honest, the DBS Black Visa Card is an average credit card with average rewards. The DBS Black Card is marketed as a shopping card, but we think that it’s mostly a card for contactless transactions. Seen that way, the UOB Preferred Platinum Visa Card makes a lot more sense. It gives 4 miles/dollar and also has the ability to convert your purchases into interest-free instalments.
There are many cards from DBS that we love, but unfortunately, the DBS Black Card isn’t one of them.
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