There’s a new credit card bonus miles sign-up offer starting tomorrow for those of you not currently holding a DBS Altitude American Express card, worth 10,000 KrisFlyer miles.
Apply for the DBS Altitude American Express card online via the website, DBS iBanking or Digibank between 1st September 2018 (tomorrow) and 31st January 2019 and spend a minimum of S$2,000 on the card per month for the first three consecutive months from the date of card approval to be awarded a sign-up gift of 5,000 DBS points (transferable into 10,000 miles).
The DBS Altitude Visa card is not included in the sign-up offer.
Click here to view the full terms and conditions.
The DBS Altitude American Express has an annual fee of S$192.60. It also has a local earn rate of 1.2 miles per S$1 spent and 2.0 miles per S$1 spent overseas.
At each annual renewal, on payment of the annual fee, 10,000 miles (in the form of 5,000 DBS points) are credited to your award account, however this is normally not awarded at initial sign-up.
Edit: One of our readers correctly pointed out this card now has first-year fee waiver.
Is it worth it?
Let’s say you applied for (and have actually received) the new BOC Elite Miles World Mastercard (see our full review), with a bonus earn rate of 2 miles per S$1 spent between now and the end of 2018, however you have at least S$2,000 of local spending per month to do between now and then. Is this sign-up bonus worth it?
DBS Altitude Amex Sign-Up bonus
- Miles earned for S$6,000 local spend: 7,200
- Bonus miles under this promotion: 10,000
- Total miles: 17,200
BOC Elite Miles Mastercard (promotional rates)
- Miles earned for S$6,000 local spend: 12,000
- Total miles: 12,000
The difference isn’t that great, since the BOC Elite Miles promotion rate is so generous. Bear in mind also that the DBS Altitude Amex card has an annual fee of S$192.60 (Edit: or does it?), while the BOC Elite Miles card is fee-free in the first year.
That means the extra 5,200 miles you would earn for spending on the DBS Altitude Amex card vs. the BOC Elite Miles Mastercard are effectively costing you 3.7 cents each, way too much to be paying.
Edit: One of our readers correctly pointed out this card now has first-year fee waiver. This changes the proposition entirely as the additional 5,200 miles in the above example are at no cost.
If you haven’t applied for (and don’t intend to get) the BOC Miles Elite card however, the best you’re likely making for local purchases is 1.4 miles per S$1 spent, which would net you 8,400 miles for S$6,000 of local spending.
In this case you’re gaining 8,800 miles with the DBS Altitude Amex card compared with your existing card, for a one-off fee of S$192.60, a much more palatable ‘purchase rate’ of 2.2 cents per mile (though still a bit high for our liking).
Ultimately you’ll have to do your own calculation as to whether this offer is worth it or not based on the card(s) you would otherwise use for S$6,000 of spend in the next 3 months or so.
Edit: One of our readers correctly pointed out this card now has first-year fee waiver. This changes the proposition entirely as the additional miles are at no cost.
Wait until the end
One option with this promotion, which is not limited to any specific number of applicants (no one is learning from UOB, thankfully), is to apply after the BOC card enhanced rates promotion is finished on 31st December 2018.
BOC reverts to 1.5 miles per S$1 spent locally after this date, so the cost per mile analysis for using the DBS Altitude for S$6,000 of spend in this case is still a bit high at 2.3 cents per mile. (Edit: or nil as the DBS card is apparently now fee-free in year 1)
However that might suit some people holding the BOC card who either value their miles higher than that, or might take advantage of some of the other perks of the DBS Altitude card (see our full DBS Altitude review for details on that, like 2 annual Priority Pass visits and enhanced earning rates on travel bookings) .
What about existing cardholders?
If you already hold a DBS Altitude American Express card you won’t qualify for the offer, which is logical enough, however even if you have the DBS Altitude Visa card provided you are not the principal or supplementary cardholder of a DBS Altitude American Express card you will be eligible.
If you never held a DBS Altitude card before, or you had a DBS Altitude American Express that you cancelled more than 12 months ago, you will be eligible.
Is it just for KrisFlyer miles?
No. As these bonus points will be credited as 5,000 ‘DBS Points’ you can transfer them into your choice of:
- 10,000 KrisFlyer miles
- 10,000 Asia Miles
- 15,000 AirAsia BIG Points
Our advice, forget AirAsia BIG Points (worth about 0.34 Singapore cents each as mentioned in our full review of this card) and stick with KrisFlyer miles or Asia Miles, both worth around 2 Singapore cents each.
Not the best promotion out there currently, especially if you have received (or like most of us, are still awaiting) your BOC Elite Miles World Mastercard.
Edit: One of our readers correctly pointed out this card now has first-year fee waiver. This changes the proposition entirely as the sign-up bonus miles are at no cost.
The DBS Altitude does come with some additional perks though, including 10,000 miles per year on annual renewal at a cost of 1.93 cents each. They also run occasional promotions, like 3 miles per dollar on overseas spend.
We’ve updated our top credit card sign-up bonuses page to reflect this new offer so you can compare it easily to others. Do check out our full review of the DBS Altitude card, assess all the benefits and do your own calculation based on your circumstances as to whether the extra miles justify the annual fee. (Edit: As the DBS card is apparently now fee-free in year 1, these are fee-free miles.)