Credit Cards Deals

Extended: DBS Vantage Card 60,000 miles sign-up bonus

Apply for the new DBS Vantage Card until 30th September and earn up to 60,000 bonus miles with S$8,000 spend.

Last month DBS launched the new Vantage credit card, its first foray into the S$120k income segment, with an attractive sign-up bonus worth up to 80,000 miles for new-to-bank applicants, for a minimum spend of S$8,000 in the first 60 days.

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That short-term offer has since closed, but the bank later launched a new deal with a reduced bonus of up to 60,000 miles on offer, originally running between until 31st July 2022, but now extended for applications through to 30th September 2022.

This one might still be worth considering, especially for new-to-bank customers.

DBS Vantage: Key facts

Here are the headline stats for the DBS Vantage card.

Annual fee: $588.50/yr
EIR: 26.8%
Sign-up bonus: 60,000 miles*
Local earn rate: 1.5 mpd
Overseas earn rate: 2.2 mpd
Dining / Petrol earn rate: 4 mpd**
FCY transaction fee: 3.25%
Minimum Age: 21
Minimum income: S$120,000/yr
* Min. S$8k spend in the first 60 days
** Until 31 Dec 2022, capped at S$2k/mo

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Other card benefits include:

  • Priority Pass membership with up to 10 free lounge visits per year (US$32 per visit thereafter)
  • Accor Plus Explorer membership, including Elite Silver status and one complimentary Asia-Pacific hotel night per year at selected brands
  • Up to 50% off local dining at over 80 Singapore restaurants (though most are ~15%)
  • The ability to switch between miles and cashback, if you wish
  • Free supplementary card

Up to 60,000 miles sign-up bonus

The extended sign-up offer for the DBS Vantage Visa Infinite Card is worth up to 60,000 miles if you apply by 30th September 2022, and spend S$8,000 in the first 60 days of card membership. It is subject to payment of the (non-waivable) annual fee of S$588.50.

You must enter the promo code ‘VANMILES’ when you apply, and your card must be approved by 14th October 2022, in order to qualify.

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The bonus miles structure is outlined in the following table, based on whether you are an existing DBS or POSB primary cardholder or not.

  New to DBS/POSB Existing DBS/POSB
Payment of Annual Fee 25,000 miles 25,000 miles
Meet S$8,000 Spend Criteria 35,000 miles 15,000 miles
Total award 60,000 miles 40,000 miles

DBS defines ‘new-to-bank’ customers as those who:

  • do not currently hold any principal DBS/POSB credit card; and
  • have not cancelled any principal DBS/POSB credit card(s) within the last 12 months.

If you are a supplementary DBS/POSB cardholder, but not a primary cardholder on any such account, you will qualify as a new customer.



 


 

Regular earn rates are in addition

These bonus miles will be awarded in addition to the regular miles you will accrue anyway to meet the S$8,000 spend as part of the sign-up bonus.

Your total earning (including the sign-up bonus) during this promotion, will be at least 52,000 miles as an existing customer or 72,000 miles as a new customer, assuming local spend.

DBS Vantage
Total promotion earning

  New to DBS/POSB Existing DBS/POSB
Sign-up bonus 60,000 miles 40,000 miles
Miles for S$8,000 local spend
(1.5 mpd)
12,000 miles 12,000 miles
Total 72,000 miles 52,000 miles

You’ll do even better than this by tapping into the card’s overseas (2.2 mpd) and petrol / dining (4 mpd) earn rates during the first 60 days of card membership.

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For example as a new-to-bank cardholder with S$2,500 of petrol and dining spend, S$1,500 of local retail spend and S$4,000 of FCY retail spend in the first 60 days, you’re looking at 21,050 miles for the spend itself, for a grand total of 81,050 miles.

That’s enough for a return saver Business Class award from Singapore to Perth, even at the devalued KrisFlyer rates which took effect on 5th July 2022.

It’s possible with the right spend profile in the first 60 days to net enough miles for a Business Class redemption from Singapore to Perth and back on SIA. (Photo: MainlyMiles)

Cost per mile

Here’s how the cost per mile stacks up for simply signing up for the card (no spend requirement), or for meeting the S$8,000 spend requirement in the first 60 days as either an existing or new DBS credit card customer.

DBS Vantage
Cost per mile

  Total bonus Cost per mile
Annual fee only
(no spend requirement)
25,000 miles 2.35 cents
With S$8,000 spend
(existing DBS cardholder)
40,000 miles 1.47 cents
With S$8,000 spend
(new-to-bank)
60,000 miles 0.98 cents

This is based on payment of the (non-waivable) first year annual fee of S$588.50.

It’s clearly not worth signing up for this card if you aren’t going to participate in the bonus miles for S$8,000+ spend promotion, since the 25,000 miles you’ll receive for payment of the annual fee means buying miles at 2.35 cents each (assuming you don’t place any value on the other perks).

With the bonus miles in play, however, it’s worth it in our book if you’re a new DBS customer, buying 60,000 miles at 0.98 cents each.

For existing DBS or POSB credit card holders, it’s a bit marginal with a cost per mile of 1.47 cents each, so you’d probably have to be placing some value on the card’s other perks in order to bite in this case.

When the bonus miles are credited

The first tranche of 12,500 DBS Points, which transfer into 25,000 frequent flyer miles like KrisFlyer, will be credited as soon as your annual fee is charged.

The bonus, equivalent to an extra 35,000 miles for new-to-bank cardholders or an extra 15,000 miles for existing DBS credit card customers, will be credited within 120 to 150 days of you meeting the S$8,000 spend criteria.

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For example if you apply on 30th September 2022, are approved on 14th October 2022, and meet the minimum spend criteria right at the end of your 60-day window on 13th December 2022, you could be waiting until 12th May 2023 to see this major element of the bonus.

Spend exclusions

DBS is excluding transactions which fall under its usual list of excluded spend categories when it comes to qualifying spend for the S$8,000 minimum within 60 days to trigger the bonus miles, as shown below (click to expand).

  • posted 0% Interest Instalment Payment Plan monthly transactions
  • posted My Preferred Payment Plan monthly transactions
  • interest, finance charges, cash withdrawal, balance transfer, smart cash, AXS payments, SAM online bill payments, bill payments via internet banking and all fees charged by DBS
  • payments to educational institutions
  • payments to financial institutions (including banks, online trading platforms and brokerages)
  • payments to government institutions and services (court cases, fines, bail and bonds, tax payment, postal services, parking lots and garages, intra-government purchases and any other government services not classified here)
  • payments to hospitals
  • payments to insurance companies (sales, underwriting and premiums)
  • payments to non-profit organisations
  • payments to utility bill companies
  • payments to professional service providers (including but not limited to accounting, auditing, bookkeeping services, advertising services, funeral service and legal services and attorneys)
  • any top-ups or payment of funds to payment service providers, prepaid cards, any prepaid accounts or purchase of prepaid cards/credits (including but not limited to EZ-Link, GrabPay, NETS FlashPay and Singtel Dash)
  • any betting transactions (including levy payments to local casinos, lottery tickets, casino gaming chips, off-track betting and wagers)
  • any transactions related to crypto currencies
  • any transaction with transaction description “AMAZE*”
  • any other transactions determined by DBS from time to time

Annual fee bonus

If you keep the DBS Vantage Card into your second card membership year and beyond, do note that a 25,000 miles bonus is credited each year on payment of the annual fee of S$588.50 (cost per mile 2.35 cents).

The annual fee is waived if your retail spend in the previous card membership year was S$60,000+, however in this case the 25,000 bonus miles will not be awarded.

Which FFPs?

You can transfer DBS Points into Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer, Cathay Pacific Asia Miles and Qantas Frequent Flyer Points.

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.

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.

It’ll cost $26.75 (including GST) each time you transfer DBS Points to frequent flyer miles, regardless of the total quantity.

DBS Points to miles transfers take between 5 and 10 working days according to the bank, but in our experience when converting to both KrisFlyer and Asia Miles you’ll see the miles in your account within 2 days.

Card details and benefits

Here’s a summary of the DBS Vantage card benefits, including 10 Priority Pass lounge visits and a free hotel night perk each year (click to expand).

DBS Vantage cardholders will earn 3.75 DBS Points (7.5 miles) for every S$5 in local currency spend, and 5.5 DBS Points (11 miles) for every S$5 equivalent on foreign currency transactions. That works out as:

  • Local Spend: 1.5 miles per S$1
  • Foreign Currency Spend: 2.2 miles per S$1

With an FCY fee of 3.25%, earning 2.2 mpd on overseas transactions is the equivalent of buying miles for around 1.56 cents each, compared to using cash, including a 0.3% 'spread' over money changer rates.

Between now and 31st December 2022, DBS Vantage cardholders will earn an additional 6.25 DBS Points (12.5 miles) for every S$5 spend on local dining and petrol spend, or an additional 4.5 DBS Points (9 miles) for every S$5 equivalent on dining and petrol spend transacted in foreign currency.

That works out as:

  • Dining & Petrol Spend (Local or FCY): 4 miles per S$1

This bonus is applicable only on the first S$2,000 aggregate spend across these two categories per calendar month, based on the transaction date (even if the charge is posted on your statement the following month).

Dining is a useful bonus spend category for the next six months. (Photo: Artemis Singapore)

Here are the eligible MCC categories.

Dining MCCs

Eligible MCCs Category
5811 Caterers
(e.g. HappyMamaPapa Catering, Stamford Catering, Tian Wei Signature)
5812 Eating Places and Restaurants
(e.g. Chope, Deliveroo, foodpanda, Lei Garden, Les Amis, Sen-ryo, Shinji by Kanesaka, Wooloomooloo Steakhouse)
5813 Drinking Places (Alcoholic Beverages)
Bars, Taverns, Nightclubs, Cocktail Lounges, and Discotheques
(e.g. 1-Altitude Rooftop Bar, Brewerkz, Gibson Bar, Penicillin Bar, Zouk)

Petrol Spend MCCs

Eligible MCCs Category
5172 Petroleum and Petroleum Products
(e.g. Al Maha, Hascol, Metro Petroleum Williamtown, Vibe Jandakot)
5541 Service Stations (with or without Assistance Services)
(e.g. Caltex, Esso, Shell, Sinopec, United Petroleum)
5542 Automated Fuel Dispensers
(e.g. BHPetrol, BJS Fuel, Esso, Shell, Petronas)

The bonus DBS Points, making up the difference between the regular local or overseas earn rate (as applicable) and the total 4 mpd level, will be awarded on the 11th day of the next calendar month.

As an example, for bonus category spend in July, the bonus will post on 11th August (or the next working day).

DBS Vantage cardholders will benefit from a Priority Pass membership, entitling them to 10 free lounge visits per year. Access is then charged at US$32 (~S$45) per visit thereafter.

While this is a decent number of lounge visits, unfortunately it falls short of the unlimited Priority Pass benefit you get with cards like the Citi Prestige.

Nonetheless with travel very much back on the agenda there's some value to be had here, even if it does only cover a couple of trips when travelling with your partner.

Priority Pass options at Changi T3 include the Marhaba lounge, which recently reopened. (Photo: MainlyMiles)

DBS Vantage cardholders also get a complimentary Accor Plus Explorer membership, which usually costs S$408 per year.

The benefits include:

  • Accor Live Limitless Elite Silver status
  • 10% discount on best available rates
  • Up to 50% off in-hotel restaurant dining
  • 15% off drinks at in-hotel bars and restaurants

Perhaps best of all though, the membership also gives you one complimentary night at an Accor property in the Asia-Pacific region each year.

Before you get too excited, do note that there are specific property and whole brand exclusions (see here), so this isn’t a free night at Raffles or anything like that!

The Fairmont Singapore is an eligible Accor property for the free night benefit. (Photo: Accor)

While the free night is the biggest draw here, Accor Silver status also gives you a complimentary welcome drink and late checkout benefits for all stays, which can come in handy if you frequent Accor properties.

As many of you will know, some DBS Points expire, and some don't.

For example, if you accrue points on the DBS Altitude card they never expire, but those you pick up on the DBS Woman's card expire on an annual basis.

The DBS Vantage Card has its own expiry policy:

  • DBS Points awarded in the first year* expire 36 months from card opening.
  • DBS Points earned in each successive year expire three years from their earned date.

* Up to 36 months from the date the card account is opened

Once you transfer DBS Points into KrisFlyer, miles are valid for 3 years from the month of deposit.

For DBS to Asia Miles or Qantas transfers, miles will then be valid for 18 months, but any earning or redemption activity keeps all your miles alive for a further 18 months.

Terms and conditions

Here’s the full set of terms and conditions for the DBS Vantage Card, and for the latest 60,000 miles sign-up bonus promotion:

Summary

If you missed out on the 80,000 miles sign-up offer for the DBS Vantage Card, you might still be in the market to consider this newly extended 60,000 miles bonus as a new-to-bank primary credit card holder.

S$8,000 spend in 60 days is a big ask for many people, but if you can manage it then this large tranche of bonus miles is a very useful stash to pick up at a cost of 0.98 cents each.

Unfortunately the reduced bonus for existing DBS cardholders pushes the cost per mile up to 1.47 cents each, for a total bonus of 40,000 miles, which is much more marginal and would probably only make sense if you place value on the card’s other perks, like a free hotel night stay and the Priority Pass lounge visits.

Remember you’ll need to apply by Friday 30th September 2022 to take advantage of the sign-up bonus, and be sure to use promo code ‘VANMILES’ on the application form to qualify.

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(Cover Photo: Isaac Matthew)

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