The DBS Live Fresh Student Card is Singapore’s first eco-friendly card: it promises a ‘green’ way to shop, eat, and travel.
With no minimum income requirement and a bunch of tantalising benefits, this card seems ideal for young adults. But is it really all that it promises to be?
Here’s what we’ll cover:
Who is Eligible to Apply for the DBS Live Fresh Student Card?
The criteria are pretty basic:
- Between 21 to 27 years old
- Studying in a tertiary institution in Singapore*
- Don’t have an existing DBS/POSB credit card and/or other unsecured facilities# with DBS/POSB
You don’t even need a minimum income; it’s that simple.
Card applications can be made via the DBS website. Remember to get your IC and Student Matriculation Card ready because these are the two basic supporting documents required.
*Existing student from NUS, NTU, SMU, SIM, SUTD, SIT, SUSS, NYP, NP, TP, SP, or RP
What Features and Benefits Does It Offer?
Let’s break down the features and discuss how you can benefit from them:
|Eco-friendly credit card||Singapore’s first eco-friendly credit card made from 85.5% recycled plastic|
|No minimum spend||Reduce the need to spend unnecessarily just to meet the bank’s requirements|
|Annual fee of S$180, waived for 5 years||The card is basically free for your entire tertiary education|
|Credit limit of S$500 per month||Limits spending to ensure students won’t spend beyond their means|
|Late fee of S$100 (for outstanding balances above S$200)||Fee on par with regular credit cards in Singapore|
|Interest at 26.8% per annum||Charges on par with regular credit cards in Singapore|
|5% cashback on eligible spending, 0.3% on all other spend||Higher rates of cashback than most student cards for selected merchants|
|Fresh deals including exclusive perks and discounts||Get periodic travel, entertainment, shopping, and dining deals|
|Play Fortnite for free||Free to play using the DBS creative code|
What Are the Different Tiers of Cashback?
The DBS Live Fresh Student Card mentions a fair bit about cashback benefits, so it’s worth diving deeper to see if they’re all that they promise.
The cashback programme is broken down into three categories:
#1 – 5% cashback on brands popular with students, capped at S$15 per month
The list current features these merchants:
- Golden Village
#2 – Extra 5% green cashback, capped at S$15 per month
As of 4 November, here’s the current list of eligible ‘green’ merchants:
#3 – 0.3% on all other spend, capped at S$20 per month
What’s NOT Eligible for Cashback?
As with most credit cards, there are certain items that are excluded from cashback. Here’s what the DBS Live Fresh Student card doesn’t give rebates on:
- Interest-free instalment plans
- Utility bills
- AXS payments
- Payments to financial institutions (e.g. banks, online trading platforms)
- Payments to government institutions and services
- Hospital bills
- Insurance premiums
- Payments to non-profits
- Top-ups of prepaid cards (e.g. EZ-Link, GrabPay, ShopeePay)
- Betting transactions
- Cryptocurrency transactions
- Any fees DBS charges
- Any cancelled or voided transactions
How Much Cashback Can You Actually Get In a Month?
According to DBS, the maximum cashback you can get is S$50. That doesn’t sound too bad, especially considering that other student cards like the Maybank eVibes Card only offer 1% cashback on all spending.
But is it really possible to collect S$50 in rebates each month? Not quite.
Say you spend S$300 on standard brand partners to collect the maximum S$15 cashback. Then you spend the remaining S$200 on eco-partners to collect S$10 cashback. That puts you at S$25 total cashback.
And that’s assuming that you only spend on eligible merchants, which is highly unlikely.
Realistically, most people report only getting a few dollars in rebates per month. (Then again, that’s not bad on a student card.)
Who Would Benefit from the DBS Live Fresh Student Card?
This credit card is best for:
- Eco-conscious young adults who want a card that aligns with their values
- Those who regularly visit Golden Village, McDonald’s, Starbucks, and have monthly subscriptions to Netflix and Spotify
- Those looking for a starter card with straightforward options and perks
Who’s NOT suitable for this card:
- Those who aren’t active consumers of eco-friendly products and services
- Those looking to purchase bigger-ticket items with a credit card
- Those who don’t spend frequently at the DBS partner merchants