Why Are There 2 DCS Ultimate Platinum Cards? Should I Get 1?

dcs-ultimate-platinum-mastercard-review

I’m always wary of cards that are marketed as “XX Ultimate” or “XX Platinum”. For all their outlandish names declaring “I am the best!”, these cards seem to be mostly underwhelming or unattainable—the by-invite-only Citi Ultima Card is a perfect example of the latter.

So when I saw that DCS launched a credit card with not just 1, but both words in its name, I had my reservations. The DCS Ultimate Platinum comes in 2 versions—one is the DCS Ultimate Platinum MasterCard, which promises special Mastercard privileges, and the other is the DCS Ultimate Platinum UnionPay, which promises UnionPay perks. Both cards are dubbed “Ultimate Platinum”—but do they really offer a “platinum” level experience? Are they really the ultimate cashback cards?

Let’s take a look. We review the DCS Ultimate Platinum Card, including why it could be better than an unlimited cashback card, its member perks, and more.

DCS Ultimate Platinum Cards Review—Is it MoneySmart?
DCS-Ultimate-Platinum-Mastercard

DCS-ultimate-platinum-unionpay

Overall: ★★★☆☆
Best for: Entry-level cardholders who want fuss-free cashback for general spending, and who spend $10,000 or less a month (because you’ll hit the cashback cap).

Category Our rating The deets
Earn rates: Cashback 💰💰💰 2% cashback on (almost) all your purchases—usual exclusions like insurance and bills apply
No minimum spend
Cashback cap of $200 a month ($10,000 spend)
– Fuss-free cashback mechanism: Cashback earned offsets the same month’s credit card bill
Earn categories 💰💰💰💰
Annual fees and charges ★★★★☆ $194.40 (main) / $97.20 (supplementary). First year fee waived.
Accessibility ★★★★☆ Age requirement: 21 to 65 years old
Minimum income requirement:
– Singaporeans & PRs: S$30,000 / S$15,000 p.a. (age 55 & above)
– Foreigners: S$60,000 p.a.
Extras/periphery rewards ★★☆☆☆ Mastercard Priceless Specials privileges:
– One Dines Free: 1 complimentary main course (1 per bill) at partner restaurants
– One Night Free: 1 complimentary night’s stay at participating hotels
– E-Commerce Protection: Up to USD 200/year coverage for online purchases
UnionPay exclusive benefits:
– Complimentary Sands Rewards LifeStyle Elite tier membership
– Up to 15% off Agoda hotel bookings
– Up to 10% off at over 100 International Airport Duty Free Shops
Sign-up bonus ★★☆☆☆ Get a pair of GOTRIP luggage bags (worth S$500) if you:
– Apply for any 2 eligible DCS cards and spend a minimum of $350 monthly for 2 consecutive months; OR
– Apply for 1 eligible DCS card and spend a minimum of $450 monthly for 2 consecutive months.
Valid till 31 Aug 2023. See the DCS Ultimate Platinum Mastercard page or the DCS Ultimate Platinum UnionPay Card page for the latest promotions. 

See our credit card ranking rubric to find out how we rank credit cards.

 

DCS Ultimate Platinum Card—MoneySmart Review 2023

  1. DCS Ultimate Platinum Card: Summary
  2. DCS Ultimate Platinum Card: Eligibility
  3. DCS Ultimate Platinum Card: Annual fees
  4. DCS Ultimate Platinum Card: Cashback rates
  5. DCS Ultimate Platinum Card: Is there any bonus cashback?
  6. DCS Ultimate Platinum Card: How does the cashback work?
  7. DCS Ultimate Platinum Card: Benefits and privileges
  8. DCS Ultimate Platinum Card: Sign-up promotion
  9. Should I get the DCS Ultimate Platinum Card?
  10. Alternatives to the DCS Ultimate Platinum Card

 

1. DCS Ultimate Platinum Card: Summary

The DCS Ultimate Platinum Card is an entry-level, $0 minimum spend cashback card from DCS Card Centre, formerly known as Diners Club Singapore (they renamed themselves in Oct 2022). Offering up to 2% cashback capped at $200 a month, the card comes in 2 versions—one Mastercard, and one UnionPay.

DCS logo
Online Promo
Cashback on the first S$10,000 spent
Earn 2%
Min. Spend
S$0
Cash Back Cap per month
S$200
DCS logo
Online Promo
Cashback on the first S$10,000 spent
Earn 2%
Min. Spend
S$0
Cash Back Cap per month
S$200

Both cards come with the same cashback rates and perks like complimentary insurance. The only differences are these 3:

  • Card association, which affects where your card is accepted
  • Corresponding travel, dining, and shopping privileges each card gets you
  • Colour of the card: One’s pink, one’s blue, and no—the card eligibility is not gendered.

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2. DCS Ultimate Platinum Card: Eligibility

We’re looking at very standard age and income requirements for the DCS Ultimate Platinum cards.

Age requirement: 21 to 65 years old

Minimum annual income requirement:

  • Singaporeans & PRs: S$30,000 / S$15,000 p.a. (age 55 & above)
  • Foreigners: S$60,000 p.a.

These are similar to pretty much any other entry-level credit card out there, such as the Citi Rewards Card and Standard Chartered Simply Cash Credit Card.

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3. DCS Ultimate Platinum Card: Annual fees

Like its eligibility requirements, the DCS Ultimate Platinum Card’s annual fees are also pretty standard:

  • Main card: S$194.40 (inclusive of GST)
  • Supplementary card: S$97.20 (inclusive of GST )

These credit card fees are about as low as they get, aside from cards like the OCBC 90°N Card ($54 annual fee) or better yet, credit cards with no annual fee.

DCS will waive the annual fee for the first year for both your main and supplementary DCS Ultimate Platinum cards (if any). No promises for the years after that, but you can (and should!) always try to waive your card fee.

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4. DCS Ultimate Platinum Card: Cashback rates

Now let’s get into what the DCS Ultimate Platinum Card was made to deliver: Cashback.

The DCS Ultimate Platinum Card gives you 2% cashback on (almost) all your purchases with no minimum spend required. If you’ve taken a look at the DCS Ultimate Platinum Card page, you may notice that its marketing materials say “2% cashback* on all purchases” with a very sus looking asterisk. That’s because there are 2 catches to this 2% cashback.

Firstly, the 2% cashback is capped at a monthly spend of S$10,000, or S$200 cashback each month. If you know you’re going to spend more than 10 grand a month, opt for an unlimited cashback card instead. These probably won’t come with as high a cashback rate, but at least you’ve got no cashback cap. You can consider the UOB Absolute Cashback Card (1.7% cashback), the Citi Cash Back+ Card (1.6% cashback), or the Standard Chartered Simply Cash Credit Card (1.5% cashback).

Secondly, as for most cards, cashback cannot be earned on things like insurance payments and mobile wallet top-ups, like your EZ-link card, ShopeePay or Grab Wallet. For the full list of exclusions, you’ll have to dig through the T&Cs of the DCS Ultimate Platinum Card, from pages 4 to 6. 

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5. DCS Ultimate Platinum Card: Is there any bonus cashback?

The DCS Ultimate Platinum Card is a general spending card. It has no bonus cashback categories, unlike cashback cards like the Citi Cash Back CardOCBC 365 Credit Card, or HSBC Visa Platinum Credit Card. However, these cards come with certain minimum spends you have to hit each month in order to enjoy the bonus cashback rates:

Cashback credit card Bonus cashback Minimum spend (monthly)
DCS Ultimate Platinum Card None. Base cashback of 2% for general spending $0
Citi Cash Back Card 8% on dining, groceries and petrol $800
OCBC 365 Credit Card 5% on local dining and groceries $600
HSBC Visa Platinum Credit Card 5% on local and overseas dining $800

What does this mean for you? The DCS Ultimate Platinum Card is a good choice if you aren’t going to spend at least $600 to $800 a month to hit higher bonus cashback other cards offer, and/or if you won’t spend a lot in particular categories like dining. But remember, if you’re going to spend more than $10,000 a month, you’ll bust the cashback cap. As mentioned in the previous section, consider an unlimited cashback card instead.

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6. DCS Ultimate Platinum Card: How does the cashback work?

The cashback system of the DCS Ultimate Platinum Card is my personal favourite kind of cashback mechanic. It’s as simple as cashback gets: DCS will use the cashback you earn to offset your credit card bill.

Here’s an excerpt from Clause 4.4 of the DCS Ultimate Platinum Card T&Cs, with my emphasis added in bold:

“The Cashback is in Singapore Dollars, and is computed on a full calendar month basis, rounded up to the nearest two (2) decimal places for every eligible Card Transaction, based on the total amount of Card Transactions charged to the Card Account. The Cashback shall be credited to your SoA statement within the same month and, where applicable, shall be applied to offset against billed amount.”

Basically, DCS will give you an automatic 2% discount on your spending that month, capped at $200. It’s the least fussed cashback mechanism, especially compared to other banks that may give you reward points that you have to redeem yourself. Rewards programmes have the advantage of giving you the flexibility to get other types of rewards from a rewards catalogue, but if you want cashback plain and simple, the DCS Ultimate Platinum Card is worth considering.

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7. DCS Ultimate Platinum Card: Benefits and privileges

Mastercard or UnionPay? These are the 2 versions of the DCS Ultimate Platinum Card you can choose between, and each come with a different set of benefits. 

DCS Ultimate Platinum Mastercard: Mastercard Priceless Specials privileges DCS Ultimate Platinum UnionPay Card: UnionPay exclusive benefits
  • One Dines Free: Enjoy a complimentary main course (1 per bill) at partner restaurants in Singapore and Asia Pacific
  • One Night Free: 1 complimentary night’s stay at participating hotels
  • E-Commerce Protection: Get worldwide coverage for online purchases (up to USD 200/year) with your DCS Ultimate Platinum Mastercard
  • Complimentary Sands Rewards LifeStyle Elite tier membership
  • Up to 15% off Agoda hotel bookings
  • Up to 10% off at over 100 International Airport Duty Free Shops

On top of the aforementioned card association privileges, the DCS Ultimate Platinum Card (both versions) also come with complimentary insurance coverage of up to S$1 million.

DCS has also made an effort to bump up security with the DCS Ultimate Platinum UnionPay Card (note: not the MasterCard version) by making the physical card numberless. That means your card number, expiry date and CVV code aren’t featured on the card, and hence won’t be made known to any wrong hands your card may fall into. The slight downside for you is that you have to log in to your DCS Cards App to access the information instead, which some may find an inconvenience. It’s a trade-off with safety. While it doesn’t seem like the DCS Ultimate Platinum MasterCard will be numberless, you can still access your card information in the DCS Cards App.

Thinking about using your DCS Ultimate Platinum Card overseas? DCS allows you to make cash withdrawals overseas easily by setting up your ATM PIN via the DCS Cards App. What they don’t advertise as boldly is that they do charge a conversion commission fee of 3.25% on all transactions in foreign currencies.

DCS also advertises that you can use your DCS Card to pay bills at over 800 AXS stations in Singapore. I’m not terribly impressed by this “perk”—who goes to a physical AXS machine to pay bills these days anyway? And it’s not like these payments will earn you 2% cashback. AXS bill payments are specifically stated as an exclusion, according to the DCS Ultimate Platinum T&Cs.

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8. DCS Ultimate Platinum Card: Sign-up promotion

Currently, the DCS Ultimate Platinum sign-up promotion is alright, but not amazing. Here’s a breakdown of what welcome gift you can get, and what you need to do to get it:

  • Welcome gift: A pair of GOTRIP luggage bags (worth S$500)
  • What you need to do to get it:
    • Apply for any 2 eligible DCS cards and spend a minimum of $350 monthly for 2 consecutive months; OR
    • Apply for 1 eligible DCS card and spend a minimum of $450 monthly for 2 consecutive months.

Eligible DCS cards include the DCS Ultimate Platinum (duh), DCS Cashback Card, and co-branded cards like the DCS Don Don Donki Card and DCS Sheng Siong Card. Check out the full list in their promotion T&Cs to be sure.

This promotion is valid until 31 Aug 2023.

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9. Should I get the DCS Ultimate Platinum Card?

Here’s a look at the DCS Ultimate Platinum Card pros and cons.

DCS Ultimate Platinum Card
Pros Cons
  • Accessible, entry-level cashback card with standard income requirements
  • Standard annual fees, with first year waiver
  • Good cashback rate of 2% for general spending, with no minimum spend required
  • Fuss-free cashback mechanism
  • Cashback is capped at $200, or  a monthly spend of $10,000, so not suitable if you’re a big spender
  • So-so sign-up promotion
  • No bonus cashback categories

Our take? The best thing about the DCS Ultimate Platinum Card is its 2% cashback with $0 minimum spend. Get it for the cashback, not its average-feeling benefits and privileges.

The 2% cashback rate is better than an unlimited cashback card, which highest rate currently belongs to the UOB Absolute Cashback Card (1.7%). Having said that…

  • Other cashback cards like the UOB Absolute Cashback Card give you cashback on a wider range of things, including insurance, wallet top-ups, healthcare, utility bills and telco bills.
  • With a cashback cap of $200 a month, the DCS Ultimate Platinum Card stops earning you cashback after you hit $10,000 in monthly spend.

So to choose the best cashback card that works for you, consider both how much you spend and what you’re spending on each month.

 

DCS Ultimate Platinum Card: Should I get the Mastercard or UnionPay version?

There are 2 main considerations here. The first is the benefits of each card. The DCS Ultimate Platinum Mastercard gives you Mastercard Priceless Specials privileges, which to me feel meatier than the DCS Ultimate Platinum UnionPay Card’s UnionPay exclusive benefits.

The second thing you should consider is where your card will be accepted based on its card association. We all know Mastercard, but what’s UnionPay? UnionPay is a card payment method that was founded in the early 2000s in China, where Visa and Mastercard aren’t widely accepted. Today, UnionPay is as recognised in China as Mastercard and Visa are ubiquitous in Singapore.

For frequent travellers to China, the DCS Ultimate Platinum UnionPay Card is a good choice. It’ll be accepted all over the country, and certainly at a higher rate than Mastercard or Visa. 

What if you’re thinking of getting the DCS Ultimate Platinum UnionPay Card for use in Singapore? According to UnionPay Singapore, over 80% of merchants here accept UnionPay cards. While that’s still a sizeable number (over 10,000 merchants, according to UnionPay Singapore), if card acceptance rate in Singapore is a top priority for you, get the Mastercard version of the DCS Ultimate Platinum Card.


ALSO READ: Visa vs Mastercard vs American Express – Which is Best?


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10. Alternatives to the DCS Ultimate Platinum Card

These cashback credit cards are strong contenders to the DCS Ultimate Platinum Card.

UOB Absolute Cashback Card: Limitless 1.7% cashback on everything, including insurance, bills, and healthcare. Do note that this is an AMEX card.

UOB logo
MoneySmart Exclusive
Cash Back on Eligible Spend
1.7%
Min. Spend per month
S$0
Cash Back Cap
Unlimited

Citi Cash Back+ Mastercard: The next highest cashback rate among the unlimited cashback cards, at 1.6%.

Sponsored
Citibank logo
MoneySmart Exclusive
Faster Gift Redemption | Unlimited 1.6% Cashback
Cash Back on Eligible Spend
1.6%
Min. Spend per month
S$0
Cash Back Cap per month
Unlimited
MoneySmart Exclusive:

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Get an Apple iPad (9th Gen), 64GB (worth S$508.30) or a Sony WH-1000XM5 Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphones (worth S$589) or S$420 Lendlease E-Vouchers (can be used at 313@somerset, Jem, Parkway Parade, PLQ) or S$300 Cash via PayNow, in as fast as 6 weeks from meeting the S$500 spend criteria! T&Cs apply.

Valid until 31 May 2024

OCBC 365 Credit Card: This cashback card offers up to 5% cashback in specific categories (such as dining and online food delivery), with a cap of $80 cashback a month with $800 spend. You also get 3% cashback on recurring telco and electricity bills, which are usually excluded.

OCBC logo
High Spend on Dining
Cashback on Everyday Dining
5%
with min. spend of $1,600 per month
Unlock up to $160 Cashback
with min. spend of $800 per month
$80 Cashback per month

CIMB World Mastercard: Spend $500 a month to get 2% unlimited cashback on a bunch of categories, including Wine & Dine, Online Food Delivery, Movies & Digital Entertainment, Taxi & Automobile, and Luxury Goods. No annual fees.

CIMB logo
Online Promo
Unlimited 2% Cashback
Unlimited Cashback on the following categories (Wine & Dine, Online Food Delivery, Movies & Digital Entertainment, Taxi & Automobile, Luxury Goods)
Up to 2%
Min. spend per month to qualify for 2% Unlimited Cashback
S$1,000
Cash Rebate cap
Unlimited

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P.S. Here’s our MoneySmart credit card ranking rubric

In case you’re wondering, here’s how we decide on our credit card rankings.

Is that credit card MoneySmart? Our MoneySmart credit card ranking rubric
Category Our rating
Overall The average rating for the credit card on the whole, calculated from the ratings for the individual categories below. Plus, we’ll give you a one-liner on who we think the credit card is best suited for. 
Earn rates: Air miles / Cashback / Rewards points Air miles ✈️✈️✈️✈️✈️ / Cashback 💰💰💰💰💰/ Rewards points 🎁🎁🎁🎁🎁. This category looks at the depth rather than breadth of earn rates.

  • 5 stars means this card’s got the highest earn rates within that credit card type.
  • 3-4 stars mean it’s average
  • 1-2 stars reflect earn rates that are below average.
Earn categories This category looks at the breadth rather than depth of your earnings.

  • 5 stars: Earn with ANY spend.
  • 3-4 stars: Earn on a large number of categories (e.g. all dining, transport and retail, but not telco bills) OR earn on 1 very broad category (e.g. all contactless/mobile payments).
  • 1-2 stars: Earn a decent rate only on selected categories, such as fast food only.
Annual fees and charges
  • 5 stars: $0 
  • 4 stars: $1-200
  • 3 stars: $201-500
  • 2 stars: $501-$999
  • 1 star: $1,000 and up
  • We dock a star if fee waiver is NOT allowed.
Accessibility Minimum income requirements:

  • 5 stars: Less than $30,000 a year
  • 4 stars: Around $30,000 a year for Singaporeans and $40,000-$45,o00 for non-Singaporeans
  • 3 stars: $30,000-$60,000 a year for Singaporeans, $40,000-$70,000 for non-Singaporeans
  • 2 stars: $60,000-$120,000 a year for Singaporeans, $70,000-$120,000 for non-Singaporeans
  • 1 star: $120,000 and up for either, or both

Exclusivity: We dock 1-2 stars if there is/are another category/categories that make the card exclusive and very specific to a certain clientele.

Extras/periphery rewards These include:

  • Travel benefits, such as airport lounge access
  • Lifestyle benefits, such as spa privileges
  • Dining benefits, such as complimentary AMEX Love Dining or Entertainer with HSBC subscriptions

We count the number of benefits and award between 0.5 to 2 stars for each, depending on how good the perk is.

Sign-up bonus
  • 5 stars: The gift(s), cash, or miles are the highest we see out there compared to other credit cards of the same type (miles, cashback, etc). Also easy to attain these welcome bonuses.
  • 3-4 stars: Average but not disappointing sign-up bonus compared to other credit cards. You aren’t losing out.
  • 1-2 stars: You are probably losing out in terms of the welcome bonus you’re getting; there are other similar credit cards with sign-up bonuses that are better or easier to attain.

Check out all our MoneySmart credit card reviews: The Ultimate List of Credit Card Reviews in Singapore.

 

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