Amex Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer vs DBS Altitude Credit Card Comparison 2020

There are many competitive travel credit cards currently on the market, including both American Express Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Card and DBS Altitude Visa Card. However, the ultimate value of a card is based on how well it fits your needs & lifestyle. These cards are best suited to very different consumer needs, with one providing upfront bonus miles and the other offering affordable luxury perks. In the thorough analysis below, we've clarified exactly how Amex SIA KF Card and DBS Altitude Card are similar and different–helping you to make an informed choice.

  • Local, overseas & category boosted rewards rates
  • Miles expiration details
  • Auto-conversion programmes, transfer fees & processing times
Comparison of Travel Perks
  • Lounge access & travel insurance
  • Limo transfers, golfing privileges & more
  • Card privileges programmes
Comparison of Card Fees & Requirements
  • Annual fees, spend-based waivers & bonus miles
  • Foreign transaction fees
  • Minimum age & minimum income requirements

Comparison of Competitive Travel Cards in Singapore by Dollar Value

Based on an average monthly spend of S$2,000, we analysed some of the most competitive travel cards on the market to estimate returned value-to-consumer after 2 years, accounting for rebates and netting out annual fees. As a note, dollar value is heavily dependent on spending habits; intangible benefits (like free travel insurance and airport lounge access) are valuable but difficult to quantify.

A graph displaying how competitive travel credit cards compare to one another in terms of their rewards
Comparison of Competitive Travel Cards in Singapore by Estimated 2-Year Dollar Value

Comparison of Competitive Travel Cards in Singapore by Dollar Value

Based on an average monthly spend of S$2,000, we analysed some of the most competitive travel cards on the market to estimate returned value-to-consumer after 2 years, accounting for rebates and netting out annual fees. As a note, dollar value is heavily dependent on spending habits; intangible benefits (like free travel insurance and airport lounge access) are valuable but difficult to quantify.

A graph displaying how competitive travel credit cards compare to one another in terms of their rewards
Comparison of Competitive Travel Cards in Singapore by Estimated 2-Year Dollar Value

Overview: Amex Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer vs. DBS Altitude Visa

While both quite competitive amongst travel credit cards, American Express Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Card and DBS Altitude Visa Card are actually quite different from one another. The former offers beginners an easy way to earn hassle-free miles, while the latter provides an affordable balance of competitive miles rates and luxury perks. To help you better understand these differences, we've analysed how each card compares across key details and provided a thorough analysis below.

Summary Table: Amex SIA KrisFlyer vs. DBS Altitude Visa

CategoryFeatureAmex SIA KFDBS Altitude Visa
  • Rewards Rate
Local Rate1.1 miles/S$11.2 miles/S$1
Overseas Rate2.0 miles/S$12.0 miles/S$1
Category Boost
  • 2.0 miles/S$1 (SIA spend)
  • 3.1 miles/S$1 (Grab)
3.0 miles/S$1 (travel bookings)
  • Travel Perks
Lounge AccessN/A2 visits/year
Travel InsuranceCoverage up to S$350kCoverage up to S$1M
TransportHertz Gold Plus PrivilegesDiscounted transfers
Golfing PerksN/ADiscounted green fees
  • Annual Fee
Annual FeeS$176.55, 1yr waiverS$192.6, 1yr waiver
Spend WaiverN/AWaived w/ S$25k/yr spend
Bonus MilesPromotions vary10k miles/yr (in lieu of waiver)
Amex SIA KF Card's overseas rate is limited to June and December only; off-season overseas spend earns 1.1 miles per S$1. Additional details apply. See sections below or card websites for a further breakdown of information

Rewards Rates: Amex SIA KrisFlyer vs. DBS Altitude Visa

The rewards value of American Express Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Card and DBS Altitude Visa is largely based on whether you prioritise convenience or flexibility. Amex SIA KF Card is somewhat easier to use. Rewards are earned directly as KrisFlyer miles, which are credited to the cardholder's KrisFlyer frequent flyer account. As a result, consumers don't need to enrol in auto-conversion programmes, pay for transfers, or worry about protracted processing times. DBS Altitude Card, on the other hand, does require additional redemption efforts. Cardholders earn in DBS Points which must be converted to miles at a rate of S$25.6/transfer. While consumers can enrol in an auto-conversion programme which waives such transfer fees, they'll still need to pay a S$42.8 annual participation fee and wait 1-2 weeks for processing. As a result, Amex SIA KF Card is a better match for people who want a straightforward miles card.

DBS Altitude Card may be slightly less convenient, but it offers far more attractive and flexible rewards rates. Unlike Amex SIA KF, which limits boosted rates to spend with SIA brands, DBS Altitude offers higher year-round rates in nearly ever category, with a special boost for online travel bookings. Surprisingly enough, a SIA loyalist who books online can earn more with DBS Altitude than with Amex SIA KF Card. It is worth mentioning, however, that DBS Altitude's online travel boost applies only to the 1st S$5k category spend, maxing out at 15k miles/month.

Comparison Table: Miles Rewards & Redemption

FeatureAmex SIA KFDBS Altitude
Rewards Currency
  • KrisFlyer Miles
  • DBS Pts (2 DBS Pts = 1 Mile)
Local Rate1.1 miles/S$11.2 miles/S$1
Overseas Rate2.0 miles/S$12.0 miles/S$1
Category Boost
  • 2.0 miles/S$1 w/ SIA, 3.1 miles/S$1 on Grab (up to 620 mi/mo)
3.0 miles/S$1, online travel bookings (up to 15k mi/mo)
Rewards Expiry3 yrsNever expire
Auto-ConversionN/AKF Miles Auto-Conversion Programme
Conversion FeeN/AS$25.6/transfer (waived w/ auto-conversion programme)
Processing TimeN/A1-2 Weeks
Please note: Amex SIA KF Card's overseas rate applies only in June & December (off-season earns 1.1 mi/S$1). Additional details apply. See card websites for a further breakdown of information

Travel Perks: Amex SIA KrisFlyer vs. DBS Altitude

One of DBS Altitude Card's best features is how well it balances competitive rates with affordable luxury perks. Amex SIA Card, on the other hand, has far fewer benefits for travellers. To begin with, DBS Altitude cardholders receive 2 free lounge visits every year, which can be used for 2 separate cardmember visits or concurrently for a cardmember and 1 guest. Future visits are discounted to just US$32 per person. Amex SIA KF Card, on the other hand, does not grant lounge access.

Comparison Table: Travel Perks & Privileges

FeatureAmex SIA KFDBS Altitude
Lounge AccessN/A2 visits/yr via Priority Pass
Travel InsuranceAccidental Death & Disablement (Up to S$350k), Travel InconvenienceAccidental Death & Disablement (Up to S$1M)
Transport PerksHertz Gold Plus PrivilegesDisc. limo transfers
Golfing PrivilegesN/ADiscounted green fees in APAC
Card PrivilegesAmerican Express SelectsVisa Digital Concierge
Additional details apply. See card websites for a further breakdown of information

DBS Altitude Card also comes with discounted limo transfers worldwide, savings on green fees at 24 fairways across 12 countries in Asia Pacific, and free breakfasts and upgraded hotel rooms via Visa Digital Concierge. Amex SIA KF Card provides rental car privileges via Hertz Gold Plus Privileges and lifestyle & dining perks through American Express Selects, but these features are far less extensive. Even Amex SIA KF Card's travel insurance plan offers just a fraction of the coverage, though travel inconvenience is included.

Fees & Requirements: Amex SIA KrisFlyer vs. DBS Altitude

Finally, DBS Altitude Card is a bit more affordable than Amex SIA KF. This may seem counterintuitive at first, as Amex SIA KF Card's S$176.55 annual fee is lower than DBS Altitude Card's S$192.6 fee. However, DBS Altitude cardholders can access a full waiver with S$25k annual spend (about S$2,083/month), and those who spend less can alternatively receive 10,000 annual bonus miles (worth S$100+). Amex SIA KF Card's fee is waived just 1 year, and cardholders do not have access to further waivers or bonus miles. It is worth mentioning, however, that Amex SIA KF Card charges a much lower foreign currency transaction fee (though this still does not offset its comparatively lower overseas rewards rate).

Comparison Table: Requirements & Fees

FeatureAmex SIA KFDBS Altitude
Annual FeeS$176.55, 1yr waiverS$192.6, 1yr waiver
Spend-Based WaiverN/AWaived w/ S$25k spend
Bonus MilesPromotions vary10k miles/yr (in lieu of waiver)
FX Fee2.95%3.25%
Minimum Age21 years old21 years old
Income Req
  • SG & PR: S$30,000
  • Foreigners: S$60,000
  • SG & PR: S$30,000
  • Foreigners: S$45,000
Additional details apply. See card websites for a further breakdown of information

Ultimately, the biggest perk associated with American Express Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Card is that it allows consumers to rapidly accrue a large amount of bonus miles within their 1st 6 months. Travellers without a strong sense of urgency, however, would be better off with DBS Altitude Card, both for its competitive rates as well as its affordable luxury benefits.

Comparison to Similar Travel Credit Cards

If you're considering a new travel card, you may want to look beyond American Express Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Card or DBS Altitude. There are several competitive options on the market tailored to different spending behaviours. Read our reviews below to see if an alternative is a better match for you.

KrisFlyer UOB Credit Card: Affordable Miles for Young SIA Loyalists

  • Boosted everyday miles w/ SIA perks & privileges
  • Promotions: New cardholders will receive S$80 cash via Paynow upon approval
  • Existing cardholders will receive S$20 worth of GrabFood voucher
  • New and existing cardholders will get S$20 cash upon approval
  • Read Our Full Review
  • Annual fee: S$192.6, 1-year waiver
  • 3 mi/S$1 spend on SIA brands (SIA, SilkAir, Scoot, KrisShop)
  • 3 mi/S$1 on dining, transport, online shopping & travel bookings w/ S$500 min. SIA spend/yr
  • 1.2 mi/S$1 on general spend
  • 10,000 annual renewal miles
  • Scoot privileges, KrisShop rebate, fast-track to KF Elite Silver & more
KrisFlyer UOB Card is the best option on the market for young SIA loyalists who travel on a budget. Cardholders earn 1.2 miles per S$1 on general local and overseas spend, which roughly aligns with Amex SIA KF Card. This rate is boosted to 3 miles per S$1 for spend with SIA, Scoot, SilkAir and KrisShop–notably higher than Amex SIA KF Card's corresponding rate. KF UOB Card really stands out, however, by boosting miles rates to 3 per S$1 on dining, transport, online shopping & travel bookings for consumers who spend S$500 with SIA annually. Essentially, loyalty to SIA fuels rapid miles accrual. Cardholders only receive their aggregated bonus at the end of the year, however, which may be less appealing for people planning an upcoming trip.


For frequent SIA flyers, KF UOB Card may be more competitive than DBS Altitude Card. However, these cards are very different in terms of perks. While DBS Altitude provides affordable access to luxury, KF UOB Card simply adds a touch of convenience to budget-driven travel. Cardholders receive privileges with Scoot, SIA's low-cost carrier, such as free standard seat selection, baggage allowance upgrades, free priority check-in & boarding and booking flexibility waivers. Consumers don't receive lounge access, but higher spenders can expedite KrisFlyer Elite Silver status with S$5k annual SIA spend.

Finally, KF UOB Card is quite affordable itself, with a S$192.6 annual fee that's waived the 1st year. While there isn't a spend-based waiver option for subsequent years, cardholders do receive 10,000 annual renewal miles–worth S$100+–which offset the fee. As a result, younger, budget-conscious travellers willing to exclusively fly with SIA brands will likely benefit more from KrisFlyer UOB Card than with any other option on the market.

  • Stand-Out: Boosted everyday miles w/ SIA perks & privileges
  • Promotions: New cardholders will receive S$80 cash via Paynow upon approval
  • Existing cardholders will receive S$20 worth of GrabFood voucher
  • New and existing cardholders will get S$20 cash upon approval
  • Read Our Full Review
  • Annual fee: S$192.6, 1-year waiver
  • 3 mi/S$1 spend on SIA brands (SIA, SilkAir, Scoot, KrisShop)
  • 3 mi/S$1 on dining, transport, online shopping & travel bookings w/ S$500 min. SIA spend/yr
  • 1.2 mi/S$1 on general spend
  • 10,000 annual renewal miles
  • Scoot privileges, KrisShop rebate, fast-track to KF Elite Silver & more
KrisFlyer UOB Card is the best option on the market for young SIA loyalists who travel on a budget. Cardholders earn 1.2 miles per S$1 on general local and overseas spend, which roughly aligns with Amex SIA KF Card. This rate is boosted to 3 miles per S$1 for spend with SIA, Scoot, SilkAir and KrisShop–notably higher than Amex SIA KF Card's corresponding rate. KF UOB Card really stands out, however, by boosting miles rates to 3 per S$1 on dining, transport, online shopping & travel bookings for consumers who spend S$500 with SIA annually. Essentially, loyalty to SIA fuels rapid miles accrual. Cardholders only receive their aggregated bonus at the end of the year, however, which may be less appealing for people planning an upcoming trip.


For frequent SIA flyers, KF UOB Card may be more competitive than DBS Altitude Card. However, these cards are very different in terms of perks. While DBS Altitude provides affordable access to luxury, KF UOB Card simply adds a touch of convenience to budget-driven travel. Cardholders receive privileges with Scoot, SIA's low-cost carrier, such as free standard seat selection, baggage allowance upgrades, free priority check-in & boarding and booking flexibility waivers. Consumers don't receive lounge access, but higher spenders can expedite KrisFlyer Elite Silver status with S$5k annual SIA spend.

Finally, KF UOB Card is quite affordable itself, with a S$192.6 annual fee that's waived the 1st year. While there isn't a spend-based waiver option for subsequent years, cardholders do receive 10,000 annual renewal miles–worth S$100+–which offset the fee. As a result, younger, budget-conscious travellers willing to exclusively fly with SIA brands will likely benefit more from KrisFlyer UOB Card than with any other option on the market.

Citi PremierMiles: Competitive Miles & Affordable Perks

  • Earn 2mi/S$1 overseas, 2 free lounge visits/yr
  • Promotions: New cardholders get a set of Airpods Pro (worth S$379) or S$300 upon activating and spending within 60 days of approval
  • S$30 cash via PayNow (existing customers)
  • Read Our Full Review
  • Annual fee: S$192.6, 1-year waiver
  • 10,000 bonus annual renewal miles (worth S$100)
  • 1.2 miles per S$1 local spend, 2 miles overseas
  • Miles earned never expire
  • 2 free lounge visits & free travel insurance
Citi PremierMiles Card is one of the most popular travel cards on the market, and unsurprisingly so–cardholders earn at competitive rates while also enjoying a few perks and annual bonus miles. In fact, consumers earn 1.2 miles per S$1 locally and 2 miles overseas, and enjoy free travel insurance and up to 2 free lounge visits per year. There's a S$192.6 annual fee, but cardholders also receive 10,000 annual renewal miles (worth S$100+) which offset its cost. Overall, Citi PM Card is worth considering for average consumers seeking a simple and competitive travel credit card.
  • Stand-Out: Earn 2mi/S$1 overseas, 2 free lounge visits/yr
  • Promotions: New cardholders get a set of Airpods Pro (worth S$379) or S$300 upon activating and spending within 60 days of approval
  • S$30 cash via PayNow (existing customers)
  • Read Our Full Review
  • Annual fee: S$192.6, 1-year waiver
  • 10,000 bonus annual renewal miles (worth S$100)
  • 1.2 miles per S$1 local spend, 2 miles overseas
  • Miles earned never expire
  • 2 free lounge visits & free travel insurance
Citi PremierMiles Card is one of the most popular travel cards on the market, and unsurprisingly so–cardholders earn at competitive rates while also enjoying a few perks and annual bonus miles. In fact, consumers earn 1.2 miles per S$1 locally and 2 miles overseas, and enjoy free travel insurance and up to 2 free lounge visits per year. There's a S$192.6 annual fee, but cardholders also receive 10,000 annual renewal miles (worth S$100+) which offset its cost. Overall, Citi PM Card is worth considering for average consumers seeking a simple and competitive travel credit card.

UOB PRVI Miles American Express Card: Rapid Miles for High Spenders

  • Up to 20k bonus miles & fee waiver w/ S$50k annual spend
  • Promotions: New cardholders will receive S$80 cash via Paynow upon approval
  • Existing cardholders will receive S$20 worth of GrabFood voucher
  • Earn 4.4mi/S$1 on 1st S$80 spend on local transit fare paid via SimplyGo
  • Read Our Full Review
  • Annual fee: S$256.8, 1-year waiver, subsequently with S$50,000 annual spend
  • 20,000 bonus annual renewal miles (worth S$200) with S$50,000 annual spend
  • 1.4 miles per S$1 local spend, 2.4 miles overseas, 6 miles at major airlines & airports
  • 8 free limo transfers & free travel insurance
  • UOB PRVI Travel Butler & Amex Essentials
If you're a relatively high spender looking to rapidly accrue miles, UOB PRVI Miles American Express Card may be the best option for you. Cardholders earn at a highly competitive 1.4 miles per S$1 locally, 2.4 miles overseas and 6 miles for major hotel & airline bookings. Travel cards with similar rates typically charge S$488+ per year. UOB PRVI Miles Amex, however, costs just S$256.8 annually. Even better, those spending at least S$50k/year (about S$4,1667/mo) are not only completely exempt from this fee–they also receive 20,000 bonus miles (worth S$200+) as well. Clearly, this spend level is quite high, so UOB PRVI Miles Card may not be a match for average consumers; those with budgets closer to S$2k/month may be better off with DBS Altitude or Amex SIA KF Card.


UOB PRVI Miles Amex may also not be the best fit for consumers who prioritise luxury perks. In fact, consumers do not receive lounge access, which is usually a main-stay amongst high-tier travel cards. Perks are limited to free travel insurance and up to 8 limo transfers/year (with a minimum of S$1k spend per quarter). DBS Altitude Card is more competitive in terms of privileges, and might be a better option for people who prioritise travel comfort and convenience.

  • Stand-Out: Up to 20k bonus miles & fee waiver w/ S$50k annual spend
  • Promotions: New cardholders will receive S$80 cash via Paynow upon approval
  • Existing cardholders will receive S$20 worth of GrabFood voucher
  • Earn 4.4mi/S$1 on 1st S$80 spend on local transit fare paid via SimplyGo
  • Read Our Full Review
  • Annual fee: S$256.8, 1-year waiver, subsequently with S$50,000 annual spend
  • 20,000 bonus annual renewal miles (worth S$200) with S$50,000 annual spend
  • 1.4 miles per S$1 local spend, 2.4 miles overseas, 6 miles at major airlines & airports
  • 8 free limo transfers & free travel insurance
  • UOB PRVI Travel Butler & Amex Essentials
If you're a relatively high spender looking to rapidly accrue miles, UOB PRVI Miles American Express Card may be the best option for you. Cardholders earn at a highly competitive 1.4 miles per S$1 locally, 2.4 miles overseas and 6 miles for major hotel & airline bookings. Travel cards with similar rates typically charge S$488+ per year. UOB PRVI Miles Amex, however, costs just S$256.8 annually. Even better, those spending at least S$50k/year (about S$4,1667/mo) are not only completely exempt from this fee–they also receive 20,000 bonus miles (worth S$200+) as well. Clearly, this spend level is quite high, so UOB PRVI Miles Card may not be a match for average consumers; those with budgets closer to S$2k/month may be better off with DBS Altitude or Amex SIA KF Card.


UOB PRVI Miles Amex may also not be the best fit for consumers who prioritise luxury perks. In fact, consumers do not receive lounge access, which is usually a main-stay amongst high-tier travel cards. Perks are limited to free travel insurance and up to 8 limo transfers/year (with a minimum of S$1k spend per quarter). DBS Altitude Card is more competitive in terms of privileges, and might be a better option for people who prioritise travel comfort and convenience.

Travel Credit Card Comparison Tables

Credit CardLocalOverseasBoostExpiryTransfer Fee
DBS Altitude 1.2 mi/S$12.0 mi/S$13 mi/S$1 flights & hotelsN/AWaiver Option
Citi PM (Bonus Mi) 1.2 mi/S$12.0 mi/S$1N/AN/AS$25/transfer
Citi PM (No Fee)
Amex SIA KF 1.1 mi/S$12.0 mi/S$12 mi/S$1 with SIA brands, 3.1 mi/S$1 Grab3yrsN/A
KrisFlyer UOB 1.2 mi/S$11.2 mi/S$13 mi/S$1 dining, transport, online fashion & travel3yrsN/A
UOB PRVI Miles 1.4 mi/S$12.4 mi/S$16 mi/S$1 flight & hotels2yrsWaiver Option
Please note: DBS Altitude's category boost is limited to online bookings. Amex SIA KF Card's overseas rate applies only in June & December (1.1 mi/S$1 otherwise). KF UOB Card's boosted rates are unlocked w/ S$500 annual SIA spend. UOB PRVI Miles Amex Card's category boost is limited to select travel merchants
Credit CardLoungeTravel InsGolfTransportOther Perks
DBS Altitude 2 visits/yrCoverage up to S$1MDisc. green feesDisc. transfersVisa Concierge
Citi PM (Bonus Mi) 2 visits/yrCoverage up to S$1MN/AN/ACiti World Priv.
Citi PM (No Fee)
Amex SIA KF N/ACoverage up to S$350kN/AHertz Gold PlusAmex Selects
KrisFlyer UOB N/ACoverage up to S$500kN/AS$15 off GrabScoot Privileges
UOB PRVI Miles N/ACoverage up to S$500kN/A8 transfers/yrUOB Travel Butler
Please note: Travel insurance refers to free travel accident coverage for the principal cardholder; some cards offer additional kinds of insurance coverage (like medical benefits, emergency evacuation & repatriation, travel inconvenience)
Credit CardAnnual FeeSpend WaiverBonus MilesMin. Income
DBS Altitude S$192.6, waived 1yrWaived w/ S$25k annual spend10k mi/yr (in lieu of waiver)
  • SG & PR: S$30k
  • Foreigners: S$45k
Citi PM (Bonus Mi) S$192.6 fee, 10k annual bonus miles +
  • SG & PR: S$30k
  • Foreigners: S$42k
Citi PM (No Fee)
Amex SIA KF S$176.55, waived 1yrN/APromotions vary
  • SG & PR: S$30k
  • Foreigners: S$60k
KrisFlyer UOB S$192.6, waived 1yrN/A10k bonus mi/yr
  • SG & PR: S$30k
  • Foreigners: S$40k
UOB PRVI Miles S$256.8, waived 1yrWaived w/ S$50k annual spend20k mi/yr (w/ S$50k spend)
  • SG & PR: S$30k
  • Foreigners: S$40k
Waivers and bonus miles subject to change. See card websites for further details

Additional Resources to Help You Find the Best Credit Card

Carrie Arndt

Carrie is a Senior Analyst at ValueChampion, specialising in credit cards in Singapore. She previously led consumer studies worldwide as a Senior Research Executive at MMR Research.

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