Here’s our review of the DBS Woman’s World 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 9th August 2020.
|DBS Woman's World Card|
|DBS Woman's World Card|
Mainly Miles Says
A generous $2,000 monthly cap for 4 miles per dollar on all online spend is the main draw for this card, enough to net you 96,000 KrisFlyer miles, Asia Miles or Qantas Points per annum with exactly the right spend.
The DBS Woman’s card comes in two varieties. 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 (the one on the right). 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, since this one is only really any use for the high miles per dollar rate associated with online spending.
- Gender: Any!
- Minimum Age: 21
- Minimum Income: $80,000/yr
While the mainstream miles earning DBS Altitude cards came down to earth from their $80k per annum income requirement in recent years, the Woman’s World Card has remained pinned at this higher level, for all applicants.
There are reports that the income requirement is not strictly enforced, especially for existing DBS customers. If you earn over $30k per annum, it’s worth a try.
Annual Fees & Interest Rates
- Annual Fee (principal): $192.60 (first year free)
- Annual Fee (supplementary): $96.30 (first year free)
- Fee waiver: All annual card fees waived with $25,000+ retail spend in the previous membership year
This card has an annual fee of $192.60. That’s waived in year one, but don’t worry there’s a get out in subsequent years too.
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. I recently (August 2020) got a full waiver on my DBS Altitude Amex card this way within 24 hours, a month after it had been charged.
Other fees and interest rates for the DBS Woman’s World card include:
- EIR: 26.8%
- Interest-free period: 25 days
- Minimum payment: 3% (capped at $50)
- Late payment fee: $100
- Cash advance fee: 8% (capped at $15)
- Overlimit fee: $40
Regular earn rates
The DBS Woman’s World card earns:
- 0.4 miles for every $1 of general local spend
- 1.2 miles for every $1 of foreign currency spend
These are not attractive earn rates, you should be earning at least 1.2 mpd for general spend locally and 2 mpd overseas, however the big draw for this card is of course the online bonus earn rate described below.
You should not be using it for general spending outside the bonus category (see entry-level general spend cards like the Citi PremierMiles, or DBS Altitude or UOB PRVI Miles for good general spend earn rates).
Bonus earn rates
The DBS Woman’s World card earns:
- 4 miles for every $1 spent online (local or overseas)
This excellent rate is capped at the first $2,000 spent in the category per calendar month.
It applies for retail purchases including Grab and gojek rides, foodpanda and Deliveroo orders, buying air tickets online or booking hotels online, to name a few.
There is no current miles-earning sign-up bonus for the DBS Woman’s World Card, which is the normal situation.
Instead DBS is offering $150 cashback for new to DBS/POSB credit card customers who are currently not holding any principal DBS/POSB credit card and/or have not cancelled such a card within the last 12 months.
To be eligible for this offer you’ll have to:
- Apply online for your DBS Woman’s World Card by 30th September 2020 with promo code ‘150CASH’
- Charge a minimum spend of $800 within the first 60 days from card approval date
Eligible transactions on the DBS Woman’s World card for miles earning are all retail purchases including recurring payments, with the exception of the following:
This list is subject to change, so check the DBS Rewards Programme Terms and Conditions (section 2.6) for the latest information.
Some additional exclusions are also listed on the DBS Woman’s Card Terms and Conditions, so be sure to review those in conjunction with the above list.
Principal exclusions are for CardUp, iPaymy, insurance premiums, utility bills and Grab top-ups, even if conducted online.
Are KrisFlyer miles credited directly?
No, in fact rather than being credited miles directly you’ll accrue ‘DBS Points’ for your regular spending on this card.
These transfer to KrisFlyer miles at a 1:2 ratio, so for $2,000 of eligible online spending, you’ll net 4,000 DBS Points, which can be converted to 8,000 KrisFlyer miles (4 mpd).
When do DBS Points credit?
DBS Points will reflect in your rewards account as follows:
- For local transactions (0.4 mpd), points will be credited one working day after the transaction is posted to your account.
- For overseas transactions (1.2 mpd), points will be credited one working day after the transaction is posted to your account.
- For online transactions, points will initially be credited in line with the local or overseas rate (depending on the currency the transaction took place in), i.e. within one working day of the transaction posting. The balance of points (equivalent to 3.6 mpd for local online or 2.8 mpd for overseas online) will be credited at the end of the next calendar month.
Bear in mind that it takes between one and three days for a transaction to post to your account in the first instance.
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. Instead you can use their chatbot service to check.
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 towards the end 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.
Do DBS Points expire?
Some do and some don’t! Unfortunately 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 too.
Pro Tip: If you do let your DBS Points expire, they will usually allow you to reinstate them for gift redemptions like vouchers, but you won’t be able to convert them to miles anymore.
DBS Points pool with other cards
DBS Points pool together with your other DBS cards for the purposes of redemption, for example if you also hold the DBS Altitude card.
If you cancel your Woman’s World card however, any DBS Points accrued but not redeemed from that card will be forfeited, they cannot be transferred to your Altitude card in this example.
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 miles.
How long do miles take to credit to KrisFlyer?
The official line is “approximately 7 working days”. In other words, about a week and a half. That’s a bit on the long side if you’re chasing a currently available redemption ticket, or booking a short-term award.
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?
You can transfer DBS Points into Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer, Cathay Pacific Asia Miles and Qantas Frequent Flyer Points.
The same earning rate, transfer cost, and minimum transfer ‘blocks’ apply if you choose to credit to Asia Miles or Qantas.
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 a fifth of the value of a KrisFlyer mile / Asia Mile.
Since Air Asia BIG Points is effectively a cashback programme, this is even worse value than using your DBS Points to obtain shopping vouchers!
Currently DBS is offering fee-free transfers to Air Asia BIG Points until 31st December 2020, though that still shouldn’t sway you to explore this terrible value option.
Points / miles transfer times into non-KrisFlyer programmes are quoted as:
- Air Asia: 10 working days
- Asia Miles: 10 working days
- Qantas: 7 working days
Our personal experience of transferring DBS Points into Asia Miles in 2019 was a transfer time of almost exactly one week.
Note that unlike the DBS Altitude card, there is no auto miles conversion option with the DBS Woman’s World card.
Instant free transfer to KrisFlyer miles via KrisPay
You can also link your DBS Points and KrisPay account and instantly transfer as little as 100 points into KrisPay miles.
The transfer ratio is 1:1.7 (e.g. 100 DBS Points = 170 KrisPay miles)
You won’t want to be using them there due to the awful value against purchases of 0.67 cents per mile, but you can immediately transfer them 1:1 into your KrisFlyer account as KrisFlyer miles.
As you’ll notice this is a 15% ‘hit’ on the usual DBS Points to KrisFlyer transaction rate, so it’s only of interest if you need a small amount to meet a specific redemption threshold, or have a small balance ‘stuck’ in DBS Points (less than 5,000), which you aren’t going to be adding to in future.
You shouldn’t be using this as your regular DBS Points to KrisFlyer transfer method, as it effectively devalues your miles earning rate to 1 mpd locally and 1.7 mpd for FCY purchases.
There are two golden rules to be aware of, firstly you’ll have to move any points transferred from DBS to KrisPay into KrisFlyer miles within seven days, otherwise they are stuck in KrisPay (where you definitely don’t want them).
The second is just as important, you cannot use any of the KrisPay miles you have earned from your DBS Points transfer for any KrisPay purchase, no matter how small, as that automatically renders the entire transfer stuck in KrisPay forever.
The golden rule therefore is to transfer in to KrisPay, then transfer straight out to KrisFlyer. Even with that seven-day window available, our advice is don’t wait.
Points rounding (Offline spend)
DBS doesn’t have the simplest rounding policy for issuance of its DBS Points when you make a purchase using the Woman’s World card.
“DBS Points shall be awarded to the Principal Cardmember based on the amount of retail purchases charged to the Card Account on a per transaction basis, rounded down to the nearest whole number.”
DBS Rewards Terms and Conditions
That means each transaction you make, whether in SGD or foreign currency, will first be rounded down to the next whole dollar (in SGD equivalent if required) before DBS Points earning is assessed (e.g. $57.99 is rounded down to 57).
Now for the trickier part.
“DBS Woman’s World Cardmembers earn 10 DBS Points for every S$5 online retail purchase, capped at S$2,000 spend on online retail purchase per calendar month, and 3 DBS Points for every S$5 equivalent in foreign currency purchase.”
DBS Rewards Terms and Conditions
That suggests points will only be awarded in $5 spend blocks, however it’s not quite that simple.
Your rounded down transaction (57 in the $57.99 example above) is then divided by 5 before being multiplied by the appropriate number of DBS Points.
While DBS does not then mention it specifically, only whole DBS Points can be awarded for your transaction so it’s another ’round down’ at the end to the next whole point.
For example, assuming a $57.99 local offline transaction:
- $57.99 rounds down to 57
- 57 / 5 = 11.4 x 1 (FCY purchase) = 11.4
- 11.4 rounds down to 11
- 11 DBS Points awarded (equivalent to 22 miles, so you’re getting 0.38 mpd)
Assuming a $57.99 overseas offline transaction:
- $57.99 rounds down to 57
- 57 / 5 = 11.4 x 3 (FCY purchase) = 34.2
- 34.2 rounds down to 34
- 34 DBS Points awarded (equivalent to 68 miles, so you’re getting 1.17 mpd)
Points rounding (Online spend)
As we mentioned earlier, even for eligible online spend you’ll initially earn the basic local or overseas earn rate and have these DBS points credited (as shown above) to your rewards account within a few days of your purchase.
At the end of the following month, eligible transactions in the online spend category for the previous month are assessed.
- Your total local spend in this category is then combined and the remaining 9 DBS Points per $5 are then applied.
- Your total overseas spend in this category is then combined and the remaining 7 DBS Points per $5 are then applied.
- These two totals are summed and credited as a whole number of DBS Points towards the end of the month.
Let’s stick to the S$57.99 transaction example used above, but let’s say you made two of these identical transactions per month. Here are the DBS Points awarded at the end of the following month assuming the two transactions were:
- Both in SGD
- Both in FCY
- One in SGD, one in FCY
For the overseas transactions, this assumes they converted from the applicable FCY to exactly S$57.99 when posted to your statement.
|Both in SGD||
|Both in FCY||
|One in SGD
One in FCY
Once you have multiple eligible transactions in SGD or in FCY during a calendar month, the rounding issue becomes less relevant because all of the spend in each category is then combined before being assessed for bonus points once, meaning that final ’round down’ to a whole DBS point becomes of little consequence.
↥ Minimum spend to earn points
Since you’ll need to accrue at least 1 DBS Point to earn miles for your transaction (0.99 DBS Points rounds down to zero), the minimum spend in SGD on the DBS Woman’s World card to earn points is:
- Offline local transactions: $5.00
- Offline FCY transactions: $1.67 (after conversion)
- Online local transactions: $0.56
- Online FCY transactions: $0.72 (after conversion)
With the exception of offline local transactions, which you shouldn’t be charging to this card at the poor 0.4 mpd earn rate anyway, these are quite reasonable levels.
Be aware: Online transactions of less than $5 (local) or $1.67 (FCY) will initially earn no DBS Points when posted to your account. They will still earn bonus points however at the end the following month, provided they were $0.56 or more (local) or $0.72 or more (FCY). For example a $4.50 local online transaction will earn no DBS Points at first, but will attract 8 DBS Points at the end of the following month (16 miles, equivalent to 3.55 mpd).
FCY fee / cpm overseas
DBS imposes a 3.25% fee on transactions made in foreign currency on the Woman’s World card.
You won’t be wanting to make transactions in foreign currency at the basic 1.2 mpd earn rate with this card, which would be equivalent to ‘buying’ miles at an unattractive 2.86 cents each, more than you can probably achieve in value.
At the 4 mpd bonus rate though, which would apply for example to an online payment charged in US Dollars, it’s a different matter altogether.
Here’s how that cost per mile compares to other credit cards in Singapore offering 4 mpd for at least some form of eligible transactions in foreign currency.
Cost per mile on overseas credit card transactions (4 mpd cards)
(Best to worst, August 2020)
Cost per mile also accounts for an additional 0.3% ‘spread’ over money changer currency rates, though this doesn’t apply to all banks and all foreign currencies, so is a worst-case scenario.
As you can see the DBS Woman’s Word card comes in at a very competitive cost of 0.86 cents per mile, so you should definitely be using this card for online transactions in FCY, subject to the monthly cap.
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 1.9 cents each, so that’s approximately 3.8 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 $26.20. You should never be using your DBS Points for anything other than KrisFlyer miles, Asia Miles or Qantas Points transfers.
There are a few additional benefits with the DBS Woman’s World card. 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:
- 10 miles per $1 spent* on Singapore Staycation bookings at Agoda until 30th December 2020. See our article for full details.
- 8 miles per $1 spent* on overseas hotel bookings at Agoda until 30th December 2020. See our article for full details.
- World Mastercard benefits across categories like travel and shopping.
- A range of beauty and wellness discounts and fashion discounts at a variety of outlets in Singapore. See the product landing page for full details.
* Capped as part of the same $2,000 limit per calendar month for online spend.
Terms and conditions
Here are links to the full terms and conditions applicable to the DBS Woman’s World Card and the DBS Rewards programme.
There’s really only one valuable use for the DBS Woman’s World Card, spending up to $2,000 per month on eligible online transactions. While the fact that only a single spend category is worth considering with this card sounds like a downfall, its simplicity is also enticing.
No worrying about MCC codes (for the most part), or whether you need to tap or use Apple Pay, etc. If you have an online retail transaction to make in any currency, the DBS Woman’s Card is your go-to solution.
If you achieve the exact monthly cap of $2,000 spend in this category throughout the year, it’s equivalent to 96,000 KrisFlyer miles, Asia Miles or Qantas Points per annum.
Another great thing about this card of course is that men can get it too, and many should to take full advantage of this great benefit.
There are no significant other perks like lounge access and limo rides with this card however. For physical shopping such as in department stores, take a look at the Citi Rewards or OCBC Titanium Rewards cards for better miles-earning options at the 4 mpd levels.
For general spending, stick with the DBS Altitude or similar for at least 1.2 mpd locally and 2 mpd 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.
DBS Points also only convert into three useful frequent flyer programmes, a relatively limited list when compared to Citi cards for example (check who converts where in our table here).
Overall though, provided you have a decent monthly online retail spend (increasingly useful in these COVID-19 times), this is definitely one to consider.
| 4 / 5
among 4 mpd bonus cards
DBS Woman’s World Card
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(Cover Photo: Shutterstock)