DBS goes on devaluation spree

So, 3 nice surprises landed in my inbox this morning (well, technically 2, the CapitaCard one has been known for a while, but that sort of breaks the narrative flow so I’ll ignore it) from DBS.

DBS is cutting back the benefits on 3 cards- the DBS CapitaCard, the DBS LiveFresh and the DBS Black Card. Let’s go through the carnage, shall we?

DBS CapitaCard- no more free parking

 

dbscapital

Although it’s not a miles earning card, the DBS CapitaCard was one of the more useful cards to have because of the great free parking perk. So long as you charged $1,200 to your card (used to be $800) in a month, you’d get 3 hours free parking per day at any of the Capitamalls (Ion seemed to be excluded for some reason) for the month+2 after your spend (ie spend in Jan, enjoy in March)

Depending how much you visited the malls, this could be a real perk. As I mentioned in the DBS credit card omnibus

Put it this way- assume you visit the mall on both weekends. In 1 month, that’s 24 hours of free parking (8 weekends * 3 hours each day). Assume you’d be paying $2.40 an hour otherwise- $57.60 in total. Call it $60. $60 rebate on $1,200 is 5%. That’s fairly decent, if your assumptions hold true. Throw in a weeknight visit to the mall for dinner and you’d be even better off.

Unfortunately, this perk will be terminated effective 31st May, because devaluation. Without this perk, the card reverts to being a typical cashback card with special perks in Capitamalls. Is it worth it? Although they advertise 15% cashback, it’s more like 5-10% in most places. So think of this as a 5-10% cashback card for shopping (bags, clothes, shoes) only. I’d much prefer to use the Citibank Rewards card for my shopping at 4 miles per $1 though.

DBS LiveFresh- no more cashback, fewer category bonuses

dbslivefresh

It’s rare you see me crying about a cashback card, but the DBS LiveFresh was that unique combination of miles AND cashback. With this card, you’d earn 1.2 miles per $1 spent on online, travel, overseas and Paywave spend. Plus, you’d earn 6% cashback on online spend. With an income threshold of $30,000, this was one of the best entry level cards to have in your wallet.

So naturally, DBS is scaling back on the benefits- from 1 April, only online purchases and Paywave earns 1.2 miles per $1. And based on this table below, I’m assuming the 6% cashback goes byebye too.

Your SpendWhat You Get Back
Online Purchases3X DBS Points
Local Visa payWave Transactions3X DBS Points

It’s a shame because I really like the LiveFresh card. The student version is one of the best credit cards students can get.

DBS Black AMEX- miles earning cut in half

dbsblack

If the best general spending cards are out of your income bracket, your best alternative was to get this card for general spending. Yes, it gave a very sad 0.8 miles per $1, but it was better than the default 0.4 miles per $1 other lesser cards have.

Well, no more. Effective 1 April, the general spending rate for the DBS Black AMEX drops to 0.4 miles per $1.

I’m struggling to see what value the DBS Black cards have now, other than a vague sense of faux-exclusivity.

So, let the cancellations begin!

 

Aaron Wong
Aaron Wong
Aaron founded The Milelion to help people travel better for less and impress chiobu. He was 50% successful.

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Vin

If the Black Card doesn’t get its dining promotions back (which was what made me sign up for it in the first place) then it’ll be pretty useless.

Jian

Is that George Michael from AD?

aaronwong

THERE’S ALWAYS MONEY IN THE BANANA STAND

Jian

There’s just too much material from AD (original run) to repeat here. Also running off-topic… But thanks for bringing back wonderful memories:)

Paul

Should we cancel the credit card now for the DBS Black card or wait until December? Very disappointed with the card going from my go-to restaurant card to just Paywave.

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