DBS Altitude Card Review: Best Value-for-Money Miles Card?

Priscilla Lee
Updated:
PROMO: Receive up to 43,000 welcome miles
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on DBS's website

DBS Altitude Card Visa Signature

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on DBS's website
The DBS Altitude is an entry-level miles card offering DBS Points that never expire. With its boosted rates for travel-related spending, it’s a great card for younger income earners who have a penchant for travel.

Pros

  • DBS Points never expire
  • Not locked into one frequent flyer program
  • Option to earn miles at accelerated rate for 2% fee
  • Up to 10 MPD on travel-related spending

Cons

  • No complimentary travel insurance
  • Cap of S$5,000/mo on flight and hotel bookings
  • Limited travel perks
  • Automatic fee waiver requires S$25k spend per year

Current Promotion

Receive up to 43,000 welcome miles when you apply online for the Visa Signature or American Express card with the respective promo code and charge the minimum spend of S$4,000 within 60 days from card approval date. (Valid until 1 January 2023) Click to apply.

Considering it’s an entry-level card, the DBS Altitude Card has one of the best miles-per-dollar ratios we’ve seen for travel-related spending.

It doesn’t come with too many travel perks – just the standard two lounge visits per year and discounts off typical travel expenses – but it’s still a great go-to card for travel planning.

If this card piques your interest, read on to find out more about:

Eligibility Requirements

Age21 and above
Income Requirement
  • At least S$30,000 per annum for Singaporeans and PRs
  • At least S$45,000 per annum for foreigners

You can apply for either the Visa Signature or American Express card via the digibank app or DBS website. Just bear in mind that the Visa Signature card offers more benefits than the AMEX card at the moment.

There’s no option to provide a fixed deposit collateral in lieu of the income requirement, so be sure you can provide proof of income with either your CPF contribution history, payslips, bank statements, or Income Tax Notice of Assessment. DBS is integrated with Singpass MyInfo, so all the relevant info will be automatically retrieved when you apply.

Fees and Charges

Annual FeesS$180 for the principal card and S$90 for each supplementary card. One-year annual fee waiver; subsequent waivers require a minimum spend of S$25,000 each year
Effective Interest Rate26.80% per annum
Late Payment ChargesS$100 for outstanding balances above S$200
Minimum Monthly Payment3% of the statement balance or S$50, whichever is higher
DBS Point Conversion FeeS$25 for each conversion 
Foreign Currency Transaction FeeUp to 3.25%
Cash Advance Fee8% of the amount withdrawn or S$15, whichever is higher
Lost or Stolen Card PenaltyMaximum charge of S$100

MPD Rates and Other Benefits

Here’s what you’ll get with the DBS Altitude Card:

1.2 MPD on Local Spending

Nothing spectacular, but also a fair rate versus other cards on the market.

Currently, you’ll get:

  • 2 MPD on general overseas purchases
  • 3 MPD when you book flights and hotels online (capped at S$5,000 monthly)
  • 6 MPD if you book those flights and hotels via Expedia
  • 10 MPD if you book your hotel via Kaligo

All this makes it easy to rack up miles quick when you’re making your holiday preparations, though it’s a bit of a bummer that they cap the flight and hotel bookings at S$5,000 monthly. If you’re booking a long-haul trip with your whole family, it’s easy to go over that limit.

Extra 1 MPD on All Transactions with 2% Admin Fee

This is an option if you find yourself short of miles for your next trip. 

Once you register and pay the 2% admin fee, you’ll start earning an extra mile per dollar on all your spending for the next calendar month. That means 2.2 MPD on all local spend and up to 4 MPD on flight and hotel bookings.

You can opt out again whenever you’ve collected enough miles.

DBS Point Expiry & Redemption

Co-branded cards like the AMEX or UOB KrisFlyer deposit miles directly into your linked frequent flyer account. The DBS Altitude, however, uses a point system.

That means you’re not locked into a specific airline: you can convert your DBS Points into KrisFlyer miles, Asia Miles, Qantas Points, or AirAsia BIG Points. Your points will also never expire, which came as a relief to many dealing with the travel restrictions last year.

There’s an admin fee of S$25 per conversion, but some would prefer this over the risk of losing the miles.

Travel Privileges

Along with all the ways to accumulate miles, you’ll also get these travel perks:

  • Two free access passes to 1,300 lounges worldwide per year
  • Up to 60% off TravellerShield Plus
  • Visa-exclusive deals like free 24/7 access to the Visa Concierge as well as discounts on airport transfer services and Avis, to name a few

Renewal Bonus

If you renew the card and pay its annual fees, you’ll get 10,000 bonus miles. Sadly, this doesn’t apply if you call in for a fee waiver (or spend above S$25,000 per year for the automatic fee waiver).

How Do the MPD Rates Compare?

Here’s a quick breakdown of the DBS Altitude Card versus other entry-level miles cards:

Credit CardLocal SpendOverseas Spend
DBS Altitude Card1.2 MPD2 MPD for overseas spend

3 MPD for online flight and hotel bookings (capped at S$5,000/mo)

10 MPD for hotel transactions on Kaligo

6 MPD for flight and hotel transactions on Expedia
Citi PremierMiles Card1.2 MPD2 MPD

7 MPD on Agoda

10 MPD on Kaligo
UOB KrisFlyer Card 1.2 MPD

3 MPD for dining, transport, travel, food delivery, and online shopping
3 MPD for travel bookings with SIA brands including SIA, Scoot, and KrisShop
American Express KrisFlyer Card 1.1 MPD

3.1 MPD on Grab transactions
1.1 MPD

2 MPD for June and December only
Maybank Horizon Card3.2 MPD for local dining, public transport, Grab/taxi rides, and petrol

0.4 MPD for others
2 MPD for overseas (online and onsite) and travel-related spend

Overall, the DBS Altitude Card is comparable to the Citi PremierMiles Card for overseas and travel-related spending. It’s just a matter of whether you prefer Agoda or Expedia – or perhaps if you’d prefer booking flights and hotels directly.

Pair this with the Maybank Horizon or UOB KrisFlyer Card and you’ve got the best MPD rates for both local and overseas spending. 

Who Would Benefit the Most From This Card

In all, we’d recommend this card for anyone not set on a specific airline (e.g. KrisFlyer) and who want excellent MPD rates for travel-related spending. Since DBS points never expire, it’s also a good option if you need more time to accumulate miles for travel.