Why DBS Live Fresh Card?
The best cash back credit in Singapore for 2020 is the modest and but dependent DBS Live Fresh Card. It does not offer an eye-popping 10% direct cash back like other Credit Cards for Cashback but what it does offer is a more sustainable 5% cash back on online (upsized to 10% if you enroll succesfully for the latest online spend promotion) and Visa contactless spend. The 5% cash back on Visa contactless spend makes it the perfect general everyday spend card as most merchants now accept contactless payments and even if they don't, you can try using the card for FavePay or GrabPay which we will count as an online spend (anyone that tried and failed can post it in reviews) and qualify for 5% cash back under online spend category.
The cash back cap of $20 for each spend category (online, Visa contactless and all other spend) is low but similar to other Credit Cards for Cashback. It makes up by offering a lower minimum spend of $600 a month which can be easily met by shifting daily expenses either to online spend or through Visa contactless payments.
Earn 5% cashback on online and Visa contactless spend and 0.3% cashback on all other spend. There is a cash back cap of $20 on each of the three categories (online, Visa contactless and all other spend) and a total cashback cap of $60 per calendar month. Cashback will be credited to your card account on the 30th calendar day following the last day of the calendar month.
Any other Perks?
DBS runs regular card-specific limited time promotions for DBS Live Fresh Card in an effort to promote card usage and sign ups. The promotions can range from good old promotional campaigns that provide extra cashback on top of its regular cashbacks to awarding aspirational lucky draw prizes to cardholders who spend using the DBS Live Fresh Card.
The current card-specific promotion subject to registration awards cardholders with an additional 5% bonus cashback for online spend subject to a personalised minimum monthly spend goal (standard $1,000 minimum spend for new cardholders) and capped at $20 per calendar month. The promotional expires on 31 Aug 2020 and cardholders who have successfully registered can receive a total of 10% cash back for online spend capped at $40 per month.
DBS is also running a separate sign up promotion for the DBS Live Fresh Card which award new cardholders with $200 cashback or Apple AirPods when they spend a minimum of $2,000 within the first 60 days from card approval date. A new cardholder can double dip by stacking this promotion with the above online spend promotion. Cardholders can also choose another promotion which award new cardholders with $50 cashback on essentials per month for next 3 months (max. of $150 cashback) with no minimum spend. Essentials include spend on dining, groceries, petroleum, pharmacies, teleco, services and utilities. This promotion is much more attractive as it could mean a 100% cash back as a new cardholder can technically just spend $150 on essentials and receive $150 cash back. Promotion ends on 14 Aug 2020.
Other than card exclusive promotions, DBS Live Fresh cardholders can also enjoy promotions and discounts with a wide range of merchants that have tie-ups with DBS credit cards. These include discounts for shopping, dining, online, activities, travel, etc (See Online Shopping Discount Codes for extensive list of discounts at various online merchants). Cardholders will receive additional 5% cash back on top of these discounts if they shop online or pay using Visa contactless.
Weighing the Pros and Cons
The cash back cap of $20 for each category spend (base online spend, Visa contactless payments or bonus online spend) is quite low and one can easily hit the maximum cash back cap by spending $400 online or via contactless spend. This category cash back cap was put in place in June 2018 in an effort by DBS to make it more difficult for cardholders to earn cashback and is unlikely to be lifted anytime soon.
The low category cash back cap and reasonable 5% base cash back leads us to believe that DBS is looking to maintain the card offerings in the long run and not using a "Bait-and-Switch" tactic to attract more signups. However, they have done it in the past by imposing a $20 cap for cashback for each category spend and it is perfectly within their rights to change the requirements or even alter the cashback percentage at little or no advance notice. We can only keep our fingers crossed and hope that DBS keep to the existing cash back requirements until the next better cash back card comes along.