DBS Altitude Visa Signature Card – MoneySmart Review (2022)

DBS Altitude Visa Signature Card – MoneySmart Review (2022)

Yet another DBS credit card? You’ll want to pay attention to this one though. The DBS Altitude Card is one of the most popular air miles credit cards for fresh grads and young working adults. You earn air miles at a standard rate of $1 = 1.2 miles (local) and $1 = 2 miles (overseas), plus $1 = 3 miles (or more) on online flight and hotel bookings.

The minimum income criteria of $30,000 p.a. is easily within reach if you’ve just started working, while the fact that DBS points don’t expire means you can slowly and steadily accumulate your miles. You won’t have to make big splurges or questionable purchase in a rush to make the most out of your expiring miles.

Interested to find out if this air miles credit card is for you? Keep reading for our DBS Altitude Card review.

Contents

  1. DBS Altitude Card: How does it work?
  2. DBS Altitude Card Miles Accelerator
  3. DBS Altitude Card Miles Conversion
  4. DBS Altitude Card: Who is it for?
  5. DBS Altitude Card Sign-Up Promotion
  6. DBS Altitude Card Travel Privileges
  7. DBS Altitude Card Fees
  8. Alternatives to the DBS Altitude Card

1. DBS Altitude Card: How does it work?

The DBS Altitude Card is a pretty straight forward card that lets you accumulate miles that never expire. Here’s a summary of the card’s earn rates:

DBS Altitude Card
Base Points (Local spend) 3 DBS Points per S$5 (1.2 miles per S$1)
Base Points (Overseas spend) 5 DBS Points per S$5 (2 miles per S$1)
Bonus Category Online flight and hotel bookings; 

Online hotel bookings on Kaligo;

Online flight and hotel bookings on Expedia

Bonus Points (Online flight & hotel bookings local spend) +4.5 DBS Points per S$5 (+1.8 miles per S$1)
Bonus Points (Online flight & hotel bookings overseas spend) +2.5 DBS Points per S$5 (+1 mile per S$1)
Bonus Points (Online bookings on Kaligo) +7 miles per S$1
Bonus Points (Online bookings on Expedia) +3 miles per S$1
Bonus Category Spend Cap Only on the first S$5,000 online hotel and/or flight spend per calendar month

Looking at the table above, the DBS Altitude Card may not give you the best earn rates on your everyday expenses. It’s saving grace, however, is that you can use your DBS Altitude Card on pretty much most of your daily expenses including transport. The main exclusions to the local spending category that you need to take note of are as follows:

  • Bill payments & all transactions via AXS
  • Insurance payments
  • Hospital bills
  • Utility bills
  • Betting
  • Bank payments

However, don’t be too quick to shove the DBS Altitude Card aside. When it comes to travel bookings, it has some of the best bonus miles on the market. $1 = 2 miles on overseas spending is the ‘market rate’ for miles cards, so that’s nothing to shout about. The true selling point of the DBS Altitude Card is the bonus $1 = 3 miles earn rate for online hotel and flight bookings.

On top of that, the DBS Altitude Card also offers a generous $1= 10 miles on hotel bookings on Kaligo and $1 = 6 miles on flight and hotel bookings on Expedia. Here’s the breakdown:

  • 3 miles per S$1 online flight and accommodation booking + 7 bonus miles per S$1 Kaligo booking = 6 miles per S$1
  • 3 miles per S$1 online flight and accommodation booking + 3 bonus miles per S$1 Expedia booking = 10 miles per S$1

To qualify, you’ll have to book via the Kaligo and Expedia links on the DBS website. If you were to book on the respective sites directly, you will unfortunately not earn the bonus miles. Before you enthusiastically make your travel purchases to earn the attractive bonus miles, we’d suggest you shop around first. Listen to your Ma, always do your homework!

DBS logo
Earn Miles That Never Expire
Local Spend
S$1 = 1.2 Miles
Overseas Spend
S$1 = 2 Miles
Staycation bookings
S$1 = 10 Miles

2. DBS Altitude Card Miles Accelerator

You can further maximise the miles you earn on your DBS Altitude Card if you register for its miles accelerator programme. This will allow you to earn an additional mile on everything you spend, both local and overseas with a 2% administrative charge on your expenses. Here’s a breakdown of the additional miles you would earn:

Amount spent Base miles earned Additional miles earned Total miles earned 2% admin fee
Local Spend S$2,000 2,400 miles 2,000 miles 4,400 miles
(2.2 miles per S$1)
S$40
Overseas S$3,500 7,000 miles 3,500 miles 10,500 miles
(3 miles per S$1)
S$70
Online flight & hotel transactions S$1,500 4,500 miles 1,500 miles 6,000 miles
(4 miles per S$1)
S$30
20,900 miles S$140

When you do the math, taking into account the additional fees you’ll be paying for the extra miles, you’ll be earning 50 miles per S$1. You’ll definitely be getting the most miles for your dollar, if you ask us!

And of course, the bonus category spend cap of first $5,000 on online hotel and flight bookings also applies to the miles accelerator programme.

3. DBS Altitude Card Miles Conversion

Beginner miles collectors should note that each conversion to KrisFlyer miles or Asia miles will incur an administrative fee of $26.75 (inclusive of GST), so only convert after you’ve accumulated a significant amount of miles.

DBS also offers the KrisFlyer Auto Conversion Programme that will automatically convert your DBS points to KrisFlyer miles in blocks of 500 points at the start of each quarter (January, April, July, and October). Of course, the KrisFlyer Auto Conversion Programme comes at a cost. You’ll be charged an annual conversion fee of $42.80.

The KrisFlyer Auto Conversion Programme may sound great in theory because you won’t have to do the admin work. BUT, there’s a big but, converting your DBS Points to KrisFlyer miles would mean that the expiry will then be subjected to KrisFlyer’s expiry term of one year. If you don’t want your miles to expire, you have to retain them as DBS Points, converting them to air miles only when you are ready to make your flight booking.

4. DBS Altitude Card: Who is it for?

The DBS Altitude Card has a low minimum income requirement of $30,000 p.a., which makes it perfect for students and young working adults.

If you graduated not too long ago and have only just started working, you’re probably dying to start travelling now that the travel restrictions are mostly non-existent in most parts of the world. I mean, the whole reason you even go to work is so you can travel, right?

Although the everyday earn rates are average, the bonus earn rates on travel-related bookings make up for it. Put together, the DBS Altitude Card is a pretty solid entry level air miles card for young working adults who don’t have massive expenses.

5. DBS Altitude Card Sign-up Promotion

Convinced that the DBS Altitude Card is worthy of your attention? With the ongoing DBS Altitude Card sign-up promotion, you can get 34,000 miles with promo code ALTVIS (min spend $4,000 in 60 days), until 30 September 2022. That’s only $0.12 per mile!

Alternatively, with the promo code ALTVISW, you can earn up to 24,000 miles with annual fee waiver.

Here are the steps to qualify:

  • You must be new to DBS credit cards (or have cancelled yours more than a year ago)
  • Apply online through DBS, using promo code ALTMEX or ALTVIS
  • Spend at least $4,000 in eligible transactions within 60 days of card approval
  • Promotion ends 30 September 2022
DBS logo
Earn Miles That Never Expire
Local Spend
S$1 = 1.2 Miles
Overseas Spend
S$1 = 2 Miles
Staycation bookings
S$1 = 10 Miles

6. DBS Altitude Card Travel Privileges

The DBS Altitude Card is obviously one that incentivises travel. If you’re a globe trotter, there’s plenty of travel perks that the card can offer you. The following are some of the key travel and accommodation promotions you can enjoy as a DBS Altitude Card holder:

Promotion Expiry
Agoda 18% savings on eligible worldwide hotel bookings on Agoda mobile app 31 Aug 22
Pelago 25% off all activity bookings (promo code DBSPEL25) 31 Aug 22
Qatar Airways 10% off Business Class Comfort fares and Economy Class Convenience fares

7% off Economy Class and Business Class Classic fares (promo code DBSQR21)

31 Oct 22
Booking.com 10% cashback accommodation bookings 31 Dec 24
Hotels.com 8% off Hotels.com bookings (promo code VISA8) 31 Dec 22
Avis Up to 35% off on Standard car rental rates; Up to 30% off on International car rental rates 31 Dec 22

On top of the above, you also will be entitled to 2 free lounge visits each year at over 1,300 airport lounges across the globe under the complimentary Digital Priority Pass membership. Yes, you get to sip on champagne and nibble on cheese while you await boarding.

The DBS Altitude Card’s perks also extend to discounts on airport transport services, Visa concierge services for priority booking and assistance with planning your itinerary, and access to Visa Luxury Hotel Collections which guarantees you the best rate for your accommodation bookings. It’s a rather extensive list perks which you can view here.

7. DBS Altitude Card Fees

DBS Altitude Card
Annual fee & waiver $192.60 (waived for 1 year)
Supplementary annual fee $96.30
Interest free period 25 days
Annual interest rate 26.80%
Late payment fee $100
Minimum monthly repayment 3% or $50, whichever is higher
Foreign currency transaction fee 3.25%
Cash advance transaction fee 8% or $15, whichever is higher
Overlimit fee $40
Minimum income $30,000 (Singaporean) / $45,000 (non-Singaporean)
Card association Visa
Wireless payment Visa Contactless, Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, Google Pay

The annual fee is waived for the first year. From the second year onwards, the annual fee will be automatically waived if you spend $25,000 within the card year.

But if you decide to renew and pay your annual fee, you get a renewal bonus of 10,000 miles. That’s less than 2 cents a mile, which isn’t a bad deal.

8. Alternatives to the DBS Altitude Card

The DBS Altitude card isn’t the only credit card for beginner air miles collectors. There are a couple of other notable mentions that we should cover as well:

American Express logo
MoneySmart Exclusive
Convenience & Perks for Frequent Flyers
Local Spend
S$1 = 1.1 Miles
Overseas Spend
S$1 = 2 Miles
Grab rides
S$1 = 3.1 Miles
Get up to 22,000 worth of KrisFlyer Miles (worth a return trip to Bali via Singapore Airlines) from Amex when you apply. Min. spends of S$2,000 within the first 3 months of Card Approval required. T&Cs Apply.
Valid until 31 Oct 2022

American Express KrisFlyer Credit Card — Another entry level credit card, but with poorer earn rates at 1.1 miles (local) and 2 miles (overseas in Jun & Dec) per dollar spent.

But if you have $2,000 or $5,000 of expenses coming up, there’s a great welcome bonus you can take advantage of. Plus, it’s terribly convenient – miles are credited straight into your KrisFlyer account with no conversion fee.

UOB logo
MoneySmart Exclusive
High Miles Earn Rate
Local Spend
S$1 = 1.4 Miles
Overseas Spend
S$1 = 2.4 Miles
Selected Online Hotel and Flight bookings
S$1 = 6 Miles
MoneySmart Exclusive:

Apply and spend S$500 monthly for the first 2 consecutive months to get S$150 Cash via PayNow OR Apple Airpods Gen 3 (worth S$269) OR Lenovo Tab M10 HD (2nd Gen) (worth S$269) (First 200 applicants) or S$50 Cash via PayNow (201 applicant onwards). T&Cs Apply.

Valid until 31 Oct 2022

UOB PRVI Miles Card — The UOB PRVI Miles Card has much better earn rates than the DBS Altitude, at $1 = 1.4 miles (local) and 2.4 miles (overseas), and it even has a similar travel booking promotion with $1 = 6 miles (Agoda, Expedia, UOB Travel).

The drawback is that miles expire within 2 years, so if you don’t spend all that much, you may find your points insufficient for that dream holiday at the end of the period.

UOB logo
MoneySmart Exclusive
Earn Miles on Everyday Spending
on Singapore Airlines, SilkAir, Scoot and KrisShop
S$1 = 3 Miles
on dining, food delivery, online shopping and travel, and transport spend
S$1 = 3 Miles
on all other spend
S$1 = 1.2 Miles
MoneySmart Exclusive:

Apply and spend S$500 monthly for the first 2 consecutive months to get S$150 Cash via PayNow OR Apple Airpods Gen 3 (worth S$269) OR Lenovo Tab M10 HD (2nd Gen) (worth S$269) (First 200 applicants) or S$50 Cash via PayNow (201 applicant onwards). T&Cs Apply.

Valid until 31 Oct 2022

KrisFlyer UOB Card –  The KrisFlyer UOB Card offers an attractive $1 = 3 miles on dining, online shopping, online travel, and transport categories IF you spend at least $500 on Singapore Airlines, Scoot, or KrisShop AND can wait 14 months before the miles appear on your account. If that’s easy peasy for you, the KrisFlyer UOB Card definitely a way for you to leverage on your spending to earn more miles.

Otherwise, consider sticking to the DBS Altitude Card.

Ready to start collecting miles with the DBS Altitude Card? Apply here:

DBS logo
Earn Miles That Never Expire
Local Spend
S$1 = 1.2 Miles
Overseas Spend
S$1 = 2 Miles
Staycation bookings
S$1 = 10 Miles

What do you think of the DBS Altitude Card? Share your thoughts with us in the comments!