DBS Live Fresh Card Review: A Must-Have for Young Adults?

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DBS Live Fresh Card

Ah, millennials – the generation that comprises 22% of Singapore’s population. And definitely the largest group of shoppers online.

It should come as no surprise then that banks are trying their best to woo this age group and are all looking for space in every 18 to 30 year old’s wallet.

DBS decided to get this coveted space by getting sneaker artist Mr Sabotage a.k.a. Mark Ong (for the uninitiated, Mark Ong is a sneaker artist whose designs have graced the feet of Linkin Park frontman Mike Shinoda and basketball legend Kobe Bryant) to give the DBS Live Fresh Card a makeover. And what a makeover it is! The card now comes with a glow-in-the-dark camouflage print and looks like you have a piece of beautifully created graffiti in your wallet.

Looks aside, what can the DBS Live Fresh Card do for you and is it only for millennials?

Check out: Best Cashback Credit Cards

A quick look at the features of the DBS Live Fresh Card

Pros Cons
  • 5% cashback on online spends and Visa payWave transactions
  • All-in-one card which can be used for EZ-Link transactions as well as an ATM card
  • Exclusive Zouk privileges which include 1-for-1 on drinks and more
  • Each use of your card gives you an opportunity to win a Singapore Airlines Suite Ticket to New York, Sydney, London, Paris, or Shanghai
  • Spend S$500 on your card and increase your chance of winning by 5 times
  • S$600 minimum monthly spend requirement
  • Total cashback is capped at S$60 per month
  • S$20 cashback cap on eligible online spends
  • S$20 cashback cap on Visa payWave transactions
  • S$20 on all other spends

What you need to know about the 5% cashback

This is quite self-explanatory. All eligible transactions made online earn you 5% cashback. This includes shopping transactions, booking movie tickets, booking flight and hotel stays, among others.

Contrary to popular belief, that this card is best suited only for online spending, you can earn 5% cashback offline as well.

There’s just a little twist (like there always is).

To earn this cashback you will have to pay your bill via Visa payWave. You can do this by linking your DBS Live Fresh Card to a mobile wallet such as Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, or Google Pay and then just touch (or tap) your phone to a contactless terminal.

So, brunch at a local café could also earn you 5% cashback if you make your payment via Google Pay, for instance.

Which is great!

Read: Best Credit Cards for All-Category Cashback

But thanks to the S$20 cashback cap on each category, if you are someone who shops online more often than you make payWave transactions, you stand to lose.

Let’s assume that before this change in the T&C, you used to spend an average of S$800 per month on online shopping. You would then earn S$40 as cashback for that month.

With the cap, what you can now expect to earn when you spend S$800 on online shopping is 5% cashback on S$400 and 0.3% cashback on the remaining S$400. So, the total cashback is now S$20 + S$1.20 = S$21.20.

You essentially lose out if you spend online more than you do on making contactless transactions and vice versa.

Read: 4 Things Every Teenage Student Should Know About Personal Finance

Here’s what the all-in-one function of the card entails

When your application for the Live Fresh Card is approved, you are auto-enrolled for EZ-Reload. Once you activate this facility, you can use it as an EZ-Link card as well. Keep in mind that S$40 is automatically charged to your card for every top-up. This amount is also counted to your minimum spend but will not earn cashback.

If you link your credit card to your savings account, you can also use it as an ATM card. And if you have a DBS Multiplier Account, then we definitely suggest that you link your card to your account since you can earn up to 3.5% p.a. interest on your savings each time you use the card.

Since there is no minimum spend criteria that you need to meet for the Multiplier Account, even a S$1 spend counts!

Read also: 20 Awesome Discounts You Can Get with a Student Card

What do you need to consider before getting the DBS Live Fresh Card?

The only way you can enjoy the 5% cash rebate is by spending S$600 per month, which isn’t an unreasonable amount. So that’s a plus.

The downside is the hassle of keeping track of your spending if you do meet the minimum spend criteria. You have to ensure that once you reach the cashback cap of S$20 per category, you switch to a different credit card that will give you better rewards than just the flat 0.3% cashback.

Also, other than the cashback and party perks, there really isn’t anything else this card offers. Sure there are promotional offers, but you get that with every credit card.

The other aspect about “millennial” cards is that DBS is trying to push their card to a younger demographic. And so is every other bank with their own version of the ‘millennial’ card. And almost all of these cards offer better rewards. Rewards that aren’t just party perks, but the kind that will actually give you a bang for your buck.

Read also: 27 Websites and Apps to Find Your Next Freelance Job or Side Hustle

Here’s how the DBS Live Fresh Card stacks up against other cards

Card Name Rewards Minimum Spend Cashback Cap Annual Fee

DBS Live Fresh Card

Up to 5% cashback per S$1 S$600 S$60 (S$20 per category) S$128.40 (1-year fee waiver)

UOB YOLO Card

– Up to 18% cashback on online spends (until 31 October 2018)

– Up to 8% cashback on weekend dining, entertainment, and Grab spends

– Up to 3% cashback on weekday dining, entertainment, and Grab spends

S$600 S$60 S$192.60 (1-year fee waiver)

OCBC Frank Credit Card

– 6% cash rebate per S$1 spent on online shopping

– Up to 5% cash rebate per S$1 spent on entertainment

S$400 offline spend S$60 S$80 (2-year fee waiver)

Related: Guide to the Best Cashback Credit Cards + When to Use Which Cards

Final thoughts on the DBS Live Fresh Card

If you are already spending about S$300-S$400 online each month, the DBS Live Fresh Card is a good opportunity to earn 5% cashback on those spends. You’ll still need to make another S$300-S$400 in Visa payWave transactions to meet the minimum spends and max out the cashback. Other than that, we don’t recommend that you use the card for other things.

And if you hardly use cashback cards or don’t want to bother about meeting minimum spend requirements, get yourself an all-category cashback card such as the American Express True Cashback Card or the Standard Chartered Unlimited Cashback Card instead.

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