DBS retroactively tweaks Altitude AMEX sign up bonus T&Cs

The 10,000 mile sign up bonus for the DBS Altitude AMEX is now capped at the first 1,000 customers. Not cool.

[Update 2: DBS has reversed course and removed the restriction]

[Update: DBS has indeed confirmed that the T&Cs were tweaked on 27 September]

At the start of September, DBS started offering a 10,000 mile sign up bonus for its Altitude AMEX card. This was a welcome move, given that it had been almost 2 years since we’d last seen a sign up bonus on this product.

New DBS Altitude AMEX cardholders who spent $2,000 each month for the first 3 months after approval would get 10,000 sign up miles and 7,200 base miles, or a total spending to miles ratio of $6,000:17,200.

However, it seems that DBS has very quietly updated the T&Cs of this promotion:

Compare that to the previous version (thanks to Benjamin from the Telegram Group for sending this over):

The upshot is that DBS has retroactively capped this sign up bonus to the first 1,000 applicants who apply and meet the criteria. Of course DBS has every legal right to do this, but that doesn’t mean retroactive tweaking of T&Cs is anything other than poor form.

Moreover, it’s disheartening to see another bank going down the “UOB sign up bonus” route, where bonuses are limited to the first X customers and there’s no way to tell ex-ante if you’re still part of the first X.

For example, the UOB PRVI Miles cards are currently offering a 10,000 mile sign up bonus with $6,000 of spending, but this is limited to the first 2,000 customers only. How do you know if you’re within that cap? You don’t. You spend and hope for the best. This makes sign up bonuses more Russian Roulette than sure thing, and it’s very customer unfriendly.

For what it’s worth, Matthew found something interesting lurking in the metadata of the new T&C PDF that suggests the new T&Cs were added on 27 September.


In and of itself, the DBS Altitude AMEX still has a very attractive sign up bonus. However, I’m no big fan of banks retroactively amending T&Cs, and this may end up being a detrimental move for DBS insofar as it spooks people from signing up for fear the cap has already been hit.

In my opinion, it’s still better to go for the “sure things” offered by the sign up bonuses for the AMEX KrisFlyer Blue or AMEX KrisFlyer Ascend cards.

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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