Rumour: DBS to launch premium credit card called DBS Vantage

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Will DBS finally get a $120K card of its own? A leak on the Accor Plus website suggests yes.

DBS has always been a notable absentee in the $120K card segment. Pretty much every bank I can think of has an offering catered to this mass affluent market- Citibank, OCBC, UOB, even smaller ones like Bank of China and CIMB. 

It’s a curious omission, given how $120K cards are meant to be gateways to priority banking relationships, which enable banks to cross-sell higher margin products like insurance, retirement planning and investment advice (product managers I’ve spoken to say that at best, they break even on the card itself). You’d think the biggest bank in Singapore might want a piece of that! 

Some time ago, I asked a DBS executive why the bank hadn’t seen fit to introduce a $120K card of their own. He smiled wryly and said something along the lines of “that is a good question”.

Perhaps we now know why. As per a leak on the Accor Plus website, DBS may be preparing to launch a premium credit card called the DBS Vantage.

DBS Vantage: DBS’s new premium card?

While searching for Accor tie-ups with banks, I found a new section on the Accor Plus website which hints that DBS has a new premium card in the works:

As a DBS Vantage Card member, you are entitled to a 12-month Accor Plus Explorer membership worth SGD 408. Accor Plus, Asia Pacific’s most expansive travel, dining and lifestyle programme enables you to do more, in Singapore and across Asia Pacific. Enjoy exclusive member benefits at over 1,000 participating Accor hotels and resorts including international hotel brands such as Fairmont, Sofitel, Swissôtel, and more.

Details are scarce for now, but what we can tell from the landing page is that the DBS Vantage will be a Visa Infinite card (the highest tier of Visa available), and come with a 12-month Accor Plus Explorer membership worth S$408. 

Accor Plus Explorer includes a complimentary one-night hotel stay, as well as:

  • Up to 50% off dining across 1,400 restaurants in Asia Pacific
  • 15% off drinks bill in Asia
  • Up to 50% off member exclusive room rates with Red Hot Room offers
  • 10% off best available public rate
  • Member exclusive More Escapes stay packages
  • Early access to global Accor hotel sales
  • Members’ exclusive experiences
  • Accor Live Limitless Silver status

That’s certainly a nice perk to have, and it does seem like Accor Plus is pivoting to bank partnerships- AMEX HighFlyer Card cardholders enjoy a complimentary membership with one free hotel night as a recurring perk, while UOB Visa Infinite Metal Card cardholders can get a complimentary membership with up to three free hotel nights as a sign-up gift. 

Vantage cardholders will receive a unique redemption code to activate their Accor Plus membership, which will be valid for 12 months initially and renewed along with the Vantage card. This implies it’s a recurring perk rather than a one-off gift, which is good to know.

That’s all the landing page tells us, and Google searches for “DBS Vantage” only bring up Aston Martin fan sites (good luck with SEO, if that’s indeed the final name). 

What would I want to see in a DBS $120K card?

Now, it’s always possible this turns out to be a business-facing card and not a consumer-facing one. There are high-end cards like the UOB Empire and UOB Regal which are aimed at SME towkay types, and DBS Vantage could be DBS’s response. 

But assuming it’s for consumers, I’d be hoping for:

  • Earn rates of at least 1.3/2.0 mpd for local/overseas spend
  • Non-expiring points
  • Waived conversion fees to airline miles
  • Airport limo transfer
  • An unlimited-visit lounge pass (not that they’d ever give access to Asia Treasures lounge, but we can dream!)
  • A good value miles purchase facility
  • Special dining and hotel privileges (which I suppose Accor Plus fills the role of already)
  • Periodic member-only events (like what Citi Prestige and OCBC VOYAGE do with their curated dinners)

A nice sign-up bonus wouldn’t hurt either, as the market’s gone rather quiet on this front of late.

In terms of annual fee, the range for the $120K segment is currently S$488 to S$642, so I’d hope the DBS Vantage falls somewhere in the middle, perhaps with 20,000 to 25,000 miles as a renewal gift.

Conclusion

There’s no shortage of competition in the $120K segment, so the DBS Vantage has its work cut out for it. A complimentary Accor Plus membership with a free hotel night would be a good start, although we obviously need to view that in context of the as-yet-unknown annual fee. 

What’s on your wishlist for a DBS $120K card?

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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Stacy

Will this be better in any way from DBS Insignia (which gives 1.6 mpd)?

Towkay

Very offended – you spelled my name wrongly!

Joon

4mpd to suck up all the mile chasers in this segment.

Syok

The Accor page is 404 now

Syok

I honestly think, we have more than enough travel perks in the 120K segment, with the Covid situation and the time being for launch, why not DBS make it a card where the card holder could define what benefit they want to have, eg, travel perks like lounge access; or bonus rewarding in daily spending, eg 2 miles for every dollar spent in grocery/dinning/transport, etc. I just feel they can do sth different instead, out of the normal 120K segment box

Stacy C

Ditto that. Sadly as much as they pride themselves to be an innovative bank, there are probably many senior VPs sitting in their ivory towers, who are contend with collecting fat paychecks than generating ideas to bridge value for card users.

Argentum

The list of perks looks great except for airport limo which is just a little north of useless. I would like to see $120K cards offer free (at least base tier) subscriptions to Netflix and such.

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