Credit Cards

DBS Black Visa Card – MoneySmart Review 2018


Joanne Poh



Your parents might think it’s bad luck to wear black. But that sure hasn’t hurt DBS Black Visa Card’s popularity. The card itself looks pretty sleek and is marketed as ideal for shopaholics. But underneath all the hype, how useful it it really?

DBS Black Visa Card

DBS Black Visa Card

Card Benefits

    • 3X DBS Points per S$5 spent on all local Visa payWave purchases
    • 1X DBS Point per S$5 spent on all other purchases


    Pay by PayWave to get 3X bonus points

    The DBS Black Visa Card is a rewards credit card. Using it lets you earn DBS Points at a standard rate of $5 = 1 DBS Point (2 miles). Not terribly attractive, to be frank.

    You can earn points a bit faster if you use Visa PayWave, Apple Pay, Samsung Pay or Google Pay. This will get you $5 = 3 DBS Points (6 miles). Because you get 3 times the number of rewards points, keep your eyes open for opportunities to do so. Fortunately, PayWave is widely accepted these days at supermarkets, restaurants, shops, taxis, and even some food courts.

    Payment type Points earned Miles conversion rate
    PayWave, Apple/Samsung/Google Pay $5 = 3 DBS Points $1 = 1.2 miles
    Other purchases $5 = 1 DBS Point $1 = 0.4 miles

    There are some drawbacks though. For a start, points are awarded for every $5 spent, so you may want to make sure your total shopping bill is a nice number – i.e. it doesn’t end in “4.99”.

    More importantly, 3X points is really low compared to the competition. Many competing rewards cards are offering 5X or even 10X points for many spending categories. (Even DBS’ other rewards card, the DBS Woman’s Card, gets you 5X DBS Points, although it’s for online spending.) We’ll cover some of the more competitive cards later on.


    But… there’s no expenditure cap!

    The one thing that the DBS Black Visa Card has going for it is that there’s no expenditure cap. Considering how most rewards credit cards impose a cap of $1,000 or $2,000 a month, this might be a downer if you really want to chiong the Club 21 sale.

    The only other noteworthy competitor with no expenditure is the HSBC Revolution Credit Card. It gives you 5X points with no cap, but the categories are restricted to online spend, dining and entertainment. Not great if your spending is mainly offline and at shops.

    There’s also no minimum spend, but that is typical for rewards cards.


    What can you redeem with DBS Points?

    So how useful are DBS rewards points? Here are some of the things you can redeem those points for.

    • $20 Crystal Jade voucher for 1,300 DBS points
    • $40 ESSO SYNERGY fuel voucher for 2,600 DBS points
    • $50 Takashimaya voucher for 3,200 DBS points
    • 10,000 Krisflyer miles for 5,000 DBS points

    The conversion rate of DBS points to the above vouchers is about 1.54% to 1.56%. That’s a mediocre amount when you consider that many cashback credit cards can get you more than 1.5% rebates, without having to go through the trouble of redeeming vouchers.


    Other cards that are also great for shopaholics

    As far as shopping credit card goes, the DBS Black Visa Card is mediocre at best.

    Here are some other cards that also reward you for retail spending. Depending on your spending habits, you might find these might attractive than the DBS Black Visa Card.

    Citi Rewards Card – Get 10x rewards (equivalent to 4 miles) for every $1 spent on clothes, bags or shoes, or at department stores or online shopping websites. As you can see, the earn rate for shopping is way more generous than DBS Black Visa Card’s, and you also get rewarded for shopping online. The main drawback is that you need to spend on clothes, bags and shoes, so tough luck if most of your retail spending goes to anything else.

    UOB Preferred Platinum Card – If you like the fact that you can get bonus rewards points on your Visa PayWave purchases, the UOB PP is another credit card that offers this perk. In fact, it gives you a whopping 10X points on contactless payments (and online spending too) which makes the DBS Black Visa Card’s 3X look rather measly by comparison. However, there’s a spending cap of $1,000 a month.

    DBS Woman’s Card – If you really want to get a DBS credit card, consider the DBS Woman’s Card as well. It gets you 5X DBS Points (or 10 miles) for every $5 you spend online, and, like the DBS Black Visa Card, 1X DBS Points (or 2 miles) for every $5 spent on everything else. If you spend a lot of money online, this is a good complement to the DBS Black Visa.

    Our verdict: almost every credit card trumps the DBS Black Visa Card. If you love shopping, get the Citi Rewards Card instead. If you want to earn bonus points on PayWave, the UOB Preferred Platinum is a lot more rewarding.


    DBS Black Visa Card minimum income

    Singaporeans & PRs: $30,000

    Foreigners: $45,000


    DBS Black Visa Card annual fee

    $192.60 (waived for first year)

    Do you have the DBS Black Visa Card? Share your reviews in the comments.


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    Joanne Poh

    In my previous life, I was a property lawyer who spent most of my time struggling to get out of bed or stuck in peak hour traffic. These days, as a freelance commercial writer, I work in bed, on the beach, in parks and at cafes, all while being really frugal. I like helping other people save money so they can stop living lives they don't like.