Asia Miles Credit Cards KrisFlyer

Credit Card Review: DBS Woman’s World Mastercard

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Here’s our review of the DBS Woman’s World Mastercard credit card issued in Singapore. It forms part of our series of credit card reviews, which are all summarised on our dedicated Credit Cards page.

Dollar amounts refer to SGD, and ‘miles’ refer to KrisFlyer miles, except where stated. This review was updated on 14th December 2018.

Key features

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Annual fee: $192.60/yr
EIR/APR: 26.8%
Sign-up bonus: None
Local earn rate: 0.4 miles per $1
Overseas earn rate: 1.2 miles per $1
Online earn rate: 4.0 miles per $1
Minimum Age: 21
Minimum income: $80,000/yr

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Foreword

Most importantly, DBS markets and offers two Woman’s Cards. Both use the Mastercard network; the DBS Woman’s Card and the DBS Woman’s World Card.

We are only reviewing the DBS Woman’s World Card here. That’s because of its 4 miles per dollar bonus rate for online transactions, which we’ll come to in detail later.

Another concept to get your head around is that despite this being marketed as a female product, anyone can apply for one of these cards. In case you’re a man feeling uncomfortable about pulling this out of your wallet for a purchase – don’t worry.

As we attested to in the previous paragraph, your secret miles-earning card with its floral design will be hidden at home as this one is only really any use for the high miles per dollar rate associated with online spending.

Annual fee

This card has an annual fee of $192.60. You’ll have to pay that when you first get it, but there’s a get out in subsequent years.

Provided you spend at least S$25,000 on the card each membership year, you’ll receive a waiver of the fee in the following year.

There is reportedly some flexibility in the application of the annual fee even if you do not meet the spend criteria. You can request a waiver online for any DBS card (including this one) here.

Sign-up bonus

There is no sign-up bonus for the DBS Woman’s World card.

Earning rates

Like many entry-level credit cards in Singapore the DBS Woman’s World card has a very low miles earning rate for local purchases – just 0.4 miles per $1 spent. You should be getting at least three times that (1.2 miles per dollar) with the Citi PremierMiles card, or DBS Altitude. Above that go for the BOC Elite Miles card for 1.5 miles per dollar.

Overseas the earn rate with this card improves to 1.2 miles per dollar, but that’s still well below what you’ll be getting with the aforementioned alternatives.

There is a much better earning category with this card though – online spend will earn you 4.0 miles per $1. That’s right without even leaving the comfort of your home you can earn this fantastic rate on all your online purchases. That rate also supersedes the 1.2 miles per $1 overseas earn rate, for qualifying overseas online spend.

There’s a catch of course, this high earning rate is only valid for the first $2,000 spent online per month. There are also some exclusions, like CardUp, iPaymy, Mileslife, insurance premiums and utility bills. For a full list of the terms and conditions, click here.

Are KrisFlyer miles credited directly?

No, with this card you’ll accrue ‘DBS Points’ for your regular spending on this card. These transfer to KrisFlyer miles at a 1:2 ratio, so for $10,000 of regular local spending (not online), you’ll earn 2,000 DBS Points, which can be converted to 4,000 KrisFlyer miles.

Note that when you spend in the bonus category for online spend you will initially earn 0.4 miles per dollar (0.2 DBS points per $1) for amounts charged in Singapore dollars and 1.2 miles per dollar (0.6 DBS points per $1) for amounts charged in foreign currency even for the first $2,000 of monthly spend.

The additional miles, which bring the earn rate to 4.0 miles per dollar (2.0 DBS points per $1) in total, will be credited on the 16th of the following calendar month for qualifying transactions in the previous month.

Do DBS Points expire?

Unlike the DBS Altitude card, which enjoys expiry-free points, DBS Points accrued with the Woman’s World card do expire on an annual basis. It’s a little complicated so you have to be careful with this.

  • DBS Points awarded in the first year commencing from the date your account is opened, are only redeemable during the 12-month period from that date. This will be shown on your credit card statement. After that if you haven’t redeemed them, the points will expire and be reduced to zero.
  • Points earned in each successive year will then expire a year from the earning date.

This is quite a restrictive policy compared to other cards on the market, so if you are going to get this card to enjoy the 4 miles per dollar online earn rate make sure you keep on top of the expiry rules and transfer your miles into frequent flyer points before they vanish.

Remember if you’re transferring to KrisFlyer you’ll then have a 3-year validity window to use those miles before they expire in that scheme.

How are DBS Points rounded?

DBS awards only whole DBS Points, rounded down to the next whole point. It means the headline 0.4 miles per dollar, 1.2 miles per dollar and 4.0 miles per dollar rates are the best-case scenario for the respective transactions.

For example let’s say you make the following regular spend (not online):

  • $18.56 local
  • $324.50 local
  • $77.54 overseas
  • $12.45 overseas
  • $433.05 total spend

Well you might think having spent $343.06 in Singapore and $89.99 overseas you would get (343.06 x 0.2 = 68 DBS Points) + (89.99 x 0.6 = 53 DBS Points) = 121 DBS Points x 2 = 242 miles. Not quite.

Each transaction is assessed and rounded individually. It actually works like this:

  • $18.56 / 5 = 3.7 (3 points)
  • $324.50 / 5 = 64.9 (64 points)
  • $77.54 / 5 * 3 = 46.5 (46 points)
  • $12.45 / 5 * 3 = 7.4 (7 points)

Total DBS Points = 120 (240 miles).

Bonus categories

Now let’s say those same four transactions were qualifying online payments. The points above are initially awarded, and then on 16th of the following month the bonus points will come in, calculated as follows:

  • $18.56 / 5 * 9 = 33.4 (33 points)
  • $324.50 / 5 * 9 = 584.1 (584 points)
  • $77.54 / 5 * 7 = 108.5 (108 points)
  • $12.45 / 5 * 7 = 17.4 (17 points)

Total DBS Points = 742 (1,484 miles)

Add that to the 120 (240 miles) already awarded for a grand total of 862 DBS Points (1,724 miles) for your $433.05 spend. That’s 3.98 miles per dollar. A minor inconvenience, but not quite 4mpd.

Are bonus points credited accurately?

One issue that crops up with these bonus points categories, in this case for online spend, is whether the bank accurately identifies the transactions as such and therefore awards the correct bonus points.

This unfortunately sometimes takes a little work on your part, as DBS does not itemise the bonus points transaction-by-transaction in your monthly statement.

Don’t forget the crowdsourced spreadsheet by HWZ forum users can be of great assistance here to help you identify transactions which will work and those which won’t, or that you may have to fight for later on (check the 10X reward column in this case).

We certainly recommend checking your bonus points carefully on 16th of each month to ensure you’re getting what you expect for the previous month’s transactions, and do take it up with DBS if you think there is an error. They will usually address the issue for a transaction which should obviously have qualified but didn’t register correctly.

What is the transfer cost to KrisFlyer miles?

It’ll cost $26.75 (including GST) each time you transfer DBS Points to KrisFlyer miles.

Is there a minimum transfer amount?

The minimum volume of miles you can transfer into KrisFlyer is 10,000 (i.e. 5,000 DBS Points). Thereafter they must then be transferred in blocks of 10,000.

How long do miles take to credit to KrisFlyer?

The official line is “approximately 10 working days”. In other words, about 2 weeks. That’s a bit on the long side if you’re chasing a currently available redemption ticket.

Luckily the FlyerTalk forum post where KrisFlyer members share the actual number of days taken to transfer miles across from various banks, suggests that 1 to 4 days is more typical from DBS, with some reporting to receive their miles the same day (presumably on a working day with a transfer request submitted in the morning).

That’s much more reasonable.

Which loyalty schemes can I transfer into?

Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer and Cathay Pacific Asia Miles. The same earning rate, transfer cost, and minimum transfer ‘blocks’ apply if you choose to credit to Asia Miles.

You can also transfer your DBS Points to Air Asia BIG Points, here 500 DBS Points will transfer into 1,500 BIG Points (a 3:1 ratio), though it won’t be much interest to our readers – BIG Points are worth only about $0.0034 each (0.34 cents), or about 6 times less than we value a KrisFlyer mile / Asia Mile.

Note that unlike the DBS Altitude card, there is no auto miles conversion option with the DBS Woman’s World card.

What else can DBS Points be used for?

There are a variety of rewards other than airline miles you can use your DBS Points for, though as usual they all represent much poorer value.

We know that 1 DBS Point can be converted into 2 KrisFlyer miles, which we value at 2 cents each, so that’s approximately 4 cents value to a DBS Point when used this way.

Other transfer options are largely for shopping and retail vouchers, for example a $10 FairPrice voucher will set you back 690 DBS Points. The same number of points should be getting you 1,380 KrisFlyer miles, worth about $27.60. You should never be using your DBS Points for anything other than KrisFlyer miles or Asia Miles transfers.

DBS Rewards.jpg
This is the section of the DBS Rewards Catalogue you should be focussing on, and only this!

Other benefits

There are a few additional benefits with the DBS Woman’s World card, including discounts at a number of beauty and wellness outlets and fashion brands. For a full list see the landing page for this card product on the DBS website.

Some other benefits which we think will be of most interest to our readers are:

  • Complimentary use of Quayside single trip service at JetQuay for the principal cardholder and 1 companion traveling on the same flight (see T&Cs)
  • 10% off eligible hotel bookings at Expedia until 31st January 2019
  • 8% off hotel bookings at Hotels.com until 31st December 2018 (stay by 31st March 2019)
  • 10% off regular ‘Flex’ and ‘Flex Plus’ fares on Emirates flights until 31st December 2018 (travel by 31st March 2019)
  • 10% off car rentals worldwide at Hertz, complimentary car-class upgrade and complimentary Hertz Gold Plus Rewards membership

Our summary

The key to the DBS Woman’s World card is the excellent rate for online transactions, both in Singapore and overseas, at 4 miles per dollar spent. If you achieve exactly the monthly cap of $2,000 spend in this category throughout the year that’s equivalent to 96,000 KrisFlyer miles or Asia Miles per annum.

Man with laptop (Ali Yahya).jpg
Online spend is the key benefit with this card, and men can use it too! (Photo: Ali Yahya)

Another great thing about this card of course is that men can get it too, and many should to take full advantage of this same benefit.

There are no significant other perks worth having with this card however, so for physical shopping such as in department stores, take a look at the Citi Rewards (review here) or OCBC Titanium Rewards (review here) cards for better miles-earning options.

For general spending, stick with BOC Elite Miles (review here) if you can for a long-term 1.5 miles per dollar spent locally and 3 miles per dollar overseas.

The one-year expiry rule for DBS points accrued on this card is a shame, and definitely something to keep on top of. Remember once you transfer into KrisFlyer your miles will then only be valid for a further three years.

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7 comments

  1. Regarding “DBS Points awarded in the first year commencing from the date your account is opened, are only redeemable during the 12-month period from that date. ”, I could not find it in my statement.

    This year is my 1st year to use this card, my card account opened in Jan 2018. Does it mean that I have to redeem everything earned this year by Jan 2019?

    Thanks.

    1. This is what DBS says in its terms and conditions regarding DBS Points:

      “2.10 DBS Points awarded in the first year commencing from the date the Card Account is opened (“Account Open Date”), shall be redeemable only during the period of up to 12 months from the date the Card Account is opened (which will be reflected as the expiry date on the Credit Card statement), failing which the points will expire and be reduced to zero. Points earned in each successive year will expire a year from the earned date, with the exception of DBS Treasures Black Elite American Express® Card, DBS Altitude American Express® Card, DBS Altitude Visa Signature Card and DBS Insignia DBS Points, which will have no expiry. For the avoidance of doubt, points that have expired cannot be used under the DBS Points Redemption Programme and/or transferred to any loyalty or frequent flyer programme as DBS may from time to time make available in conjunction with the DBS Points Redemption Programme.”

      So I would say yes, unless I’m misreading the rules, points earned in the first year collectively vanish at the end of year 1. That’s stupid because you might have earned some of those points a week before expiry for example!

      Does your statement mention expiring points / dates?

      Full T&Cs here: DBS Rewards Terms and Conditions.

      1. Thanks Andrew. My statement does have one column for points expiry, but only for the next Quarter. I checked my reward points expiry through DBS Lifestyle App. It shows that my points expire 1 year from quarter earned. Maybe because this is not my 1st card with point with DBS?

  2. Hi!

    Based on personal experience, DBS pools all their points earned from every card. The auto miles conversion option will convert all DBS points including points earned by the DBS Woman’s World card.

    Rizman

    1. I was just about to ask the same question.
      Also, if one has more than one DBS card, does the user pick the points to pool or is it done automatically? If automatically, would you know the criteria used?
      Thanks Rizman.

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