DBS Insignia Visa Card Review
Summary: The DBS Insignia Visa Card delivers benefits that more than make up for its $3210 annual fee. You can walk away with benefits worth much more plus a sexy metal credit card in your wallet!
On the surface, having to pay an annual fee of $3210 for the privilege of owning a metal credit card would seem absurd to many. But if you believe in the old adage that you need to spend money to make money, then this credit card is perfect for you. In fact, the DBS Insignia’s annual fee is not as expensive as some of the other metal credit cards being offered in Singapore.
Here is a summary of the card benefits listed on the DBS website. You may have seen “ONE°15 Marina Club access” listed in other reviews as an Insignia benefit, but unfortunately in 2016 this benefit was removed.
- 100,000 annual KrisFlyer or Asia Miles
- Complimentary two nights’ stay at selected properties
- Earn 2 miles per S$1 spent overseas and 1.6 miles per $1 spent locally
- Priority Pass membership
- Fast tracked immigration with complimentary SpeedPasses within Asia
- Club at Hyatt membership (dining discounts)
- Damai Spa at Hyatt
- Access to gym facilities, swimming pool, sauna, steam, hot and cold plunge pools
- Complimentary entry to group classes Yoga, Pilates, Zumba and Circuit training
- 20% off on Spa treatments
This card provides 1.6 miles per dollar (mpd) for local spend which is the highest level available for general credit card spend in Singapore. It’s also the standard level given by Insignia’s ultra high-end competitors, except for American Express Centurion which only offers 1 mpd for local spend
Priority Pass membership is also included but I don’t regard this as much of a benefit these days because if you are a points enthusiast you will already have several Priority Pass cards from the various credit cards you own.
The value of Club at Hyatt membership depends on how much you dine (or are willing to dine) at the Grand Hyatt Singapore. Essentially it’s a two dine for the price of one program.
Also, how you value the Damai Spa access really depends on your interest in using the facilities mentioned above. If you live near Orchard and want free use of a gym and some fitness classes, then sure this benefit may resonate with you.
There are also some unlisted card benefits such as Grand Hyatt (dining) and Damai Spa vouchers. These are sent to members upon card renewal and also their birthday. The value of these vouchers is about $500 per year.
All of these benefits are great, but really I consider them to be pure bonus. The truth is for the DBS Insignia, you can get your return on investment simply from two benefits: the 100,000 miles and the two free hotel nights.
Why This Card Is Worth It
People value points differently, but 1.9 cents per mile is a well agreed upon valuation among miles collectors in Singapore. It’s also the same price you would pay if you purchased miles via the UOB Reserve credit card.
So at 1.9 cents per mile, the 100,000 miles you receive from Insignia is worth $1900.
Two Free Hotels Nights
I am in love with the Maldives, and I am fortunate to have vacationed there 8 times (in 7 years) and am always looking for a way to go back!
But vacationing in the Maldives is pricey. Fortunately, among Insignia’s list of selected properties for the two free nights are a few hotels in the Maldives.
- Anantara Dhigu Maldives Resort
- PER AQUUM Niyama Maldives
- The Residence Maldives
If you take a an ultra-conservative valuation of US$550 per night in the Maldives, then your two free nights are worth US$1100. At the current USD/SGD exchange rate, that’s S$1490.
RESULT: From your annual fee of $3210, you receive at minimum $3390 worth of benefits!
Could Be Better, Could Be Worse
It’s worth mentioning that most of the other properties eligible for the two free nights are in Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, and Malaysia. A few resorts in Qatar, UAE, Seychelles, and Bhutan are also on the list. Since the average room cost per night will be vary across resorts and countries, your ROI from the two free nights may vary.
So Is This Card Worth The Annual Fee?
YES! Even if you base your decision simply on the annual gift of miles and hotel room nights, the ROI is quite clear — it’s the card that pays YOU to use it! Add to that the $500 worth of vouchers, dining/gym/spa memberships, 1.6 mpd accrual rate, the beautiful metal credit card, it’s possible that the benefits you receive can easily reach double the annual fee you pay.