DBS Black Visa Card – MoneySmart Review 2020

DBS Black Card Review

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, letting you earn up to 3X DBS Points (or 6 miles) on contactless payments. But how useful is it really? Let’s take a look.


DBS Black Visa Card terms & conditions

DBS Black Visa Card
Annual fee & waiver $192.60 (waived for 1 year)
Supplementary annual fee $96.30
Interest free period 20 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 (also available as American Express)
Wireless payment Visa payWave, Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, Android Pay


How the DBS Black Visa Card works

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.

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.

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


What rewards 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

If you crunch the numbers, you’ll realise 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 cards go, 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 more attractive than the DBS Black Visa Card.

Citi Rewards Card Get 10x rewards (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.

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 points (10 miles per $5) online, and 1X for everything else. If you spend a lot of money online, this is a good complement to the DBS Black Visa. However, there’s a spending cap of $1,000 a month.

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. It’s better than the DBS Woman’s Card, giving you a whopping 10X (20 miles per $5) points on contactless payments and online spending, which makes the DBS Black Visa Card’s 3X look rather measly by comparison. But it also has a monthly expenditure cap of $1,000.

HSBC Revolution Credit Card – The only competitor with no expenditure cap is the HSBC Revolution Credit Card, which still beats the DBS Black Visa Card with 5X points per $1 spent, but the categories are restricted to online spend, dining and entertainment. Not great if your spending is mainly offline and at shops.

Notice that 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.

But if you’ve made up your mind to get this card, you can apply here:

DBS logo
on All Local Visa Contactless purchases
S$5 = 3X Points
on All Other Spend
S$5 = 1X Points
Rewards to Miles Conversion
1 Point = 2 Miles

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


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