DBS Live Fresh is a great option for modern spending, offering 5% cashback that applies broadly to any online transaction and any Visa contactless payments. It's also advertised as the first eco-friendly credit card in Singapore, offering an extra 5% cashback at select eco-eateries, retailers and transport services. While its online rebate isn't the highest, DBS Live Fresh Card delivers a unique combination of cashback, ATM, and SimplyGo capabilities.
DBS Live Fresh Card Features and Benefits
Our Evaluation: Decent Cashback and Eco-Friendly Savings, But No Fee Waivers
DBS Live Fresh Card is great if you want versatile cashback from both online and mobile payments. You earn 5% cashback on online retail spend and on payments made via Visa payWave through a contactless terminal or mobile wallet (Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, Google Pay). In today's economy, this means you can earn 5% on nearly any spend - up to the card's limit of S$40 per month in those two categories.
On top of its core 5% cashback, DBS Live Fresh also offers 5% back at select eco-eateries, eco-retailers and eco-transportation, up to a monthly category limit of S$15. All other spend earns a standard base rate of 0.3% cashback. Compared to other credit cards with online cashback, DBS Live Fresh Card stands out for its all-in-one functionality: you get ATM and SimplyGo features to complement the cashback benefits.
However, DBS Live Fresh falls behind in some ways. Its 5% rebate is decent, but not the highest available. It also requires you spend S$600 per month to earn the 5% rate, and your maximum rewards are limited to no more than S$20 in each 5% category. It also carries an annual fee of S$192.6 that is only waived in the first year, with no way of avoiding it in subsequent years. Finally, DBS Live Fresh does not earn cashback on payment platforms like CardUp, iPayMy and SmoovePay.
Still, we think that there are plenty of people who will find DBS Live Fresh Card a useful option for getting cashback without having to pay close attention to their spending habits. As long as you tap your card to pay in person or use Google Pay, Apple Pay or Samsung Pay, you'll earn 5% every month.
How Does DBS Live Fresh Card's Rewards Program Work?
- Every 1 dollar of cashback earned is equal to S$1
- Cashback is credited to the cardholder's account monthly
- Cashback is automatically applied to pay part of the billed amount for that month
Before You Apply: Caps, Minimums, and Exclusions
Like most other credit cards, DBS Live Fresh comes with some restrictions that you'll need to keep in mind if you want to get the most value out of its rewards. First of all, the cashback you can earn each month is limited to S$75, divided into four categories: online spend, Visa contactless spend, sustainable spend and general spend.
|Cashback rate||Monthly rewards cap||Spend for cap|
|Visa contactless spend||5%||S$20||S$400|
|All other spend||0.3%||S$20||S$1,667|
Among these four categories, the sustainable spend works like an extra bonus and can be earned on top of online or contactless spend for a total of 10% cashback on a single transaction. This means that even in an ideal scenario, you must spend at least S$2,467 per month in order to reach the maximum S$75 cashback possible with DBS Live Fresh Card.
That said, much of that required spend is concentrated in the general spend rate of 0.3%, which we don't believe is a great deal compared to the 5% cashback rates in the other three categories. The more efficient method of using this card would be to target the combined S$40 cap on online purchases and Visa contactless spend, which only requires S$800 per month.
Finally, keep in mind that there are many specific types of transactions that do not qualify for any rewards with DBS Live Fresh (nor with most other credit cards). For DBS Live Fresh, the following exclusions apply:
|Bank Fees||Interest, finance charges, cash withdrawal, cash advance, balance transfer, bill payments via internet banking, all fees charged by Bank, miscellaneous charges imposed by Bank (unless otherwise stated in writing by Bank), payments made via online banking|
|Transfers & Bill Payments||Any top-ups or payment of funds to payment service providers, prepaid cards and any prepaid accounts (including EZ-Link, NETS FlashPay, Singtel Dash and Transit Link); payments done via AXS, SAM, eNETS; payments made to CardUp, iPaymy, and Mileslife; payments made via telephone or mail order; payments to utility bill companies; transactions related to crypto currencies|
|Institutional Payments||Payments to educational institutions, 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), insurance companies (sales, underwriting, and premiums), financial institutions (including banks and brokerages), non-profit organisations, hospitals, professional service providers (accounting, auditing, bookkeeping services, advertising services, funeral service and legal services and attorneys), parking lots|
|Betting or Gambling||Betting (including lottery tickets, casino gaming chips, off-track betting, and wagers at race tracks) through any channel|
How DBS Live Fresh Card Compares to Other Cards
Read our comparisons of DBS Live Fresh Card with other cards and learn what makes each card unique in their own way. We compare and contrast each card to highlight its uniqueness to help you identify the card that you need.
DBS Live Fresh Card v. OCBC Frank Card
OCBC Frank Card is great for online shoppers who are comfortable with making mobile payments and seek rewards for entertainment spend. The card offers higher cashback rates for both online shopping and contactless payments than DBS Live Fresh Card at 6% versus 5%, respectively. It also has a lower minimum spend to unlock higher rates (just S$400/month), and cardholders can reach the cashback cap of S$60/month with spend across any category. It also provides an annual fee waiver for those who spend S$10,000 on the card annually.
Though OCBC Frank Card is not an all-in-one card, it stands apart from DBS Live Fresh Card by offering 3% cashback on the first 2 NETS FlashPay Auto Top-Ups. Finally, DBS Live Fresh Card offers discounts and promotions for nightlife experiences, while OCBC Frank Card offers up to 5% cashback on entertainment. For like-minded consumers, OCBC Frank Card is more likely to maximise rewards quickly and easily than DBS Fresh Live Card. The latter however does have all-in-one functionality.
DBS Live Fresh Card v. Standard Chartered SingPost Spree Card
Shoppers who buy online overseas and use vPost shopping might be interested in Standard Chartered SingPost Spree Card. Cardholders earn lower rates for local and overseas online shopping than with DBS Live Fresh Card, but earn higher cashback on general spend, plus 3% on vPost transactions. Another difference is that SC SingPost Spree Card's cashback cap of S$60/month is not subdivided into categories, making it easier to max rewards than with DBS Live Fresh.
By combining cashback from overseas online spend (like through Amazon, for example) with shipping by vPost, cardholders can double up on rewards and quickly benefit from SC SingPost Spree Card. Consumers who rarely shop overseas, but do spend quite a bit online and offline locally with mobile wallets might be interested in DBS Live Fresh Card.
DBS Live Fresh Card v. OCBC 365 Card
Consumers looking for a broad, no-fee cashback card that rewards utilities payments might benefit from OCBC 365 Card. While OCBC 365 Card rewards groceries and online travel at a lower cashback rate than DBS Live Fresh Card (assuming purchase online or via mobile wallet), OCBC 365 offers higher cashback for dining (6%) and transport (3%). The card also offers 3% cashback on utility bills, which are excluded from cashback with DBS Live Fresh Card.
Finally, OCBC 365 Card's fee of S$192.6 is waived for two years and then subsequently with every annual spend of S$10,000–unlike DBS Live Fresh Card, which only waives its S$192.6 fee the first year. Ultimately, OCBC 365 Card is better for consumers seeking no-fee cashback and rewards for dining, transport, and utility payments. DBS Live Fresh Card's all-in-one functionality may be more appealing to some consumers, however.
DBS Live Fresh Card v. CIMB Visa Signature Card
Consumers intent on maximising cashback for online shopping with a no-fee card might want to consider CIMB Visa Signature Card. Consumers earn 10% rebates on online shopping, beauty, groceries,pet care and overseas travel expenses after a qualifying spend of S$800–with no annual fee. While DBS Live Fresh Card has a lower minimum spend requirement, it only offers 5% cashback for online spend and has a S$192.6 fee, waived only 1 year.