DBS Live Fresh Student Card: Is It a Good Option for You?

Priscilla Lee
Updated:
PROMO: Get S$150 cashback if you’re a new-to-DBS cardmember who charges at least S$800 to the card within 60 days of card approval
Apply Now
on DBS's website

DBS Live Fresh Student Card

Apply Now
on DBS's website
The DBS Live Fresh Student Card is an attractive offering, particularly for environmentally-minded young adults. You’d be hard-pressed to find another student card that offers up to 10% cashback with no minimum spend.

Pros

  • High cashback on student-friendly brands
  • Fee waivers for 5 years – enough to last through tertiary education
  • No minimum spend
  • Doubles up as a public transport card with cashback via SimplyGo

Cons

  • Limited eligible categories
  • Low cashback (0.3%) if the merchant doesn’t fall in the selected eligible categories
  • Minimum 21 years of age, which means many polytechnic students aren’t eligible
  • Limited eligible tertiary institutions

Current Promotion

Get S$150 cashback if you’re a new-to-DBS cardmember who charges at least S$800 to the card within 60 days of card approval. Valid until 31 January 2023. Click to apply.

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:

Key FeaturesBenefits
Eco-friendly credit cardSingapore’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 yearsThe card is basically free for your entire tertiary education
Credit limit of S$500 per monthLimits 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 annumCharges on par with regular credit cards in Singapore
5% cashback on eligible spending, 0.3% on all other spendHigher rates of cashback than most student cards for selected merchants 
Fresh deals including exclusive perks and discountsGet periodic travel, entertainment, shopping, and dining deals
Play Fortnite for freeFree 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:

The list current features these merchants:

  • Golden Village
  • McDonald’s
  • McDelivery
  • Netflix
  • Spotify
  • Starbucks

#2 – Extra 5% green cashback, capped at S$15 per month

As of 4 November, here’s the current list of eligible ‘green’ merchants:

Eco-EateriesEco-RetailersEco-Transport Services
  • Just Dabao
  • Open Farm Community
  • Restaurant Labyrinth
  • Scaled by Ah Hua Kelong
  • The Summerhouse
 
  • Bamboo Straw Girl
  • Bettr Barista
  • Bettr Coffee Co.
  • Boxgreen
  • Crunch Cutlery
  • Everyday Vegan Grocer
  • Little Farms
  • Ryan’s Grocery
  • Sasha’s Fine Foods
  • Scoop Wholefoods
  • SimplyGood
  • Souley Green
  • SuperNature
  • The Social Space
  • The Source Bulk Foods
  • The Sustainability Project
  • Treatsure
  • Tribe Collective
  • UglyFood
  • WhatIF Foods
  • Your Sustainable Store
  • Anywheel
  • BlueSG
  • Bus/Train Rides via SimplyGo
  • Electric Vehicle Charging
  • Greenlots
  • SG Bike

#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