DBS Live Fresh Card – MoneySmart Review 2020

dbs live fresh card

Singapore’s go-to bank DBS must really want to change up their mundane, workaday image – just look at how much effort it’s pumped into the snazzy DBS Live Fresh Card. In collaboration with sneaker artist Mr SBTG, the cashback credit card got a huge makeover last year in a pretty damn unsubtle play for the millennial crowd.

I’d say it worked, because until quite recently, I never had any sort of impression of DBS and POSB credit cards.

Let’s see if the DBS Live Fresh Card has the substance to match its style.


DBS Live Fresh Card terms & conditions

DBS Live Fresh 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
Wireless payment Visa payWave, Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, Google Pay


How the DBS Live Fresh Card works

The DBS Live Fresh Card is a basic cashback credit card, but it’s not one my parents will appreciate. There are absolutely no perks for necessities like grocery shopping, petrol or utilities. Instead, the card privileges are for fashion and dining, and the bonus rebates are for online shopping.

100% targeted at millennials, the DBS Live Fresh Card offers a decent 5% cash rebate for all online shopping, including transactions made via Visa PayWave (Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, Google Pay). Everything else earns 0.3% – almost negligible in my opinion.

Total cashback is capped at $60, which is quite low. Adding to that, the cap is further split into 3 categories – $20 for online spend, $20 for Visa PayWave and $20 for all other spend.

It doesn’t take a genius to realise that the cash rebates are a tad stingy, especially for a card with a $600 minimum spend requirement. So why is this card still popular?


Who should use the DBS Live Fresh Card?

If you haven’t already guessed, the DBS Live Fresh Card belongs in the pockets of the hip millennials who rely on the internet to get stuff done.

There aren’t any specific bonus rebates for key categories (like groceries, dining and the likes), but in this day and age, you can pay for everything with just a click or wave right?

If it can’t be ordered online, cardholders can make use of the 5% cashback on contactless payment methods to still earn some rebates when spending on those necessities. But bear in mind – cashback is capped at $20, which means you can only swipe up to $400.

When the card was re-launched in 2017, the DBS Live Fresh Card had a super generous bonus cashback promotion (think 5+5% cashback), but those days are gone.

To get decent discounts on your favourite online merchants like Lazada and Expedia, you’ll have to look through the DBS Lifestyle app or dig through the DBS credit card promotions page.


Alternatives to the DBS Live Fresh Card

Almost all the banks in Singapore are fighting over millennial dollars – after all, young Singaporeans have zero brand loyalty (how many credit cards do you have?) and can be easily persuaded to part with what little money we have.

So as expected, the DBS Live Fresh Card has some serious competition. Let’s see how it stacks up against the others:

UOB YOLO Card – Another credit card obviously targeting the same demographic as the DBS Live Fresh Card, the UOB YOLO Card offers a more attractive 8% cashback for weekend dining and entertainment categories, but with the same cashback cap of $60.

For young people who go out a lot, this is a lot more versatile offline. You won’t have to patronise only outlets with Visa payWave. That means you can go to all the indie cafes and dive bars you want.

CIMB Visa Signature Card – I never gave CIMB much thought until I came across this credit card. It gives you an amazing 10% cashback on online spending AND on dining and nightlife.

The drawbacks are its horribly tedious minimum spend requirement of $800 a month and the cap of $100 per statement for the 10% cashback.

UOB Preferred Platinum Visa Card – Although this is a rewards credit card, it’s a viable alternative to the DBS Live Fresh Card for someone with the same spending profile. You get 10X rewards (1 point = 2 miles) for most online spend (not travel or services though) and contactless payment too. Best of all, there’s no minimum spend!

I think the UOB Preferred Platinum Visa Card is a near-perfect alternative to the DBS Live Fresh. Sure, you earn rewards instead of cashback, but which millennial would turn down air miles, right?

Still, if you’ve got a slot in your wallet the hip DBS Live Fresh Card might just up your cool quotient… Which is your favourite credit card for entertainment? Let us know in the comments below!


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