DBS debit and credit card overseas transaction fees: Everything you need to know

Elle Kasser

Shopping online, or spending while you travel is more convenient when you use a card. However, you might find you pay extra fees whenever you make international purchases on your credit or debit card.

This guide walks through the charges involved with international spending on your DBS credit or debit card. We’ll also touch on the Wise multi-currency account and card as a smart way of avoiding foreign transaction fees, to cut the costs of overseas purchases.

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DBS debit card overseas transaction fees

You’ll find an extra fee is charged whenever you use your DBS credit or debit card overseas. The costs will depend on the network which your card is on, as well as the specific terms and conditions of the card. Here’s a rundown.

Foreign transaction fee

A foreign transaction fee applies in the following cases:¹ ²

  • When you’re overseas and you spend using your DBS card
  • When you shop online with an international retailer, using your card
  • Refunds and reversals made to a DBS card from an international retailer

The exact costs depends on which network your card is issued on:

  • Visa, Mastercard and UnionPay debit cards - 3.25%
  • Visa and Mastercard credit cards - 3.25%
  • American express credit cards - 3%

Whenever you spend overseas, the cost will need to be converted into SGD to be charged to your account. Sometimes - depending on your card network and the currency you’re spending in - the cost will be converted to USD first, before being calculated in SGD. The exchange rates used are set by your card network, and change frequently due to market fluctuations.

The foreign transaction fee listed above is then charged on the converted Singapore dollar amount of your purchase.

Avoid foreign transaction fees with Wise

If you want to spend less on foreign transactions, check out the Wise multi-currency account and card.

You can open an account online for free, and top up in SGD easily. Then just convert your funds to the currency you need using the mid-market exchange rate and a low, transparent fee, to spend overseas with no foreign transaction fee.

Or you can choose to allow the Wise auto-convert tool to convert your balance to the currency you need for the lowest possible fee, saving yourself both time and money.

See if you can save with Wise today.

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Dynamic Currency Conversion

When making international purchases, another potential cost you may run into is Dynamic Currency Conversion - DCC. This is where you’re asked when spending overseas, whether you’d like to pay in your home currency or the local currency wherever you are.

If you opt to pay in your home currency - SGD - you won’t get the exchange rate set by your card issuer. Instead, the rate is set by the merchant or service provider - which is usually worse than the one available on your own network. You’ll also pay an extra fee to DBS:²

  • DCC fee for Visa and Mastercard debit card - 2.8%
  • DCC fee for Visa and Mastercard credit card - 1%

DCC is a headache for travellers, and can mean you pay more than you need to for your overseas spending. Choose to pay in the local currency where you are to get the best available deal.

International spending is easier with your credit or debit card. However, you’ll want to watch out for unexpected and avoidable fees to keep your costs down.

Why not get a Wise multi-currency account and card to cut the costs of shopping while you’re abroad, or with your favourite international ecommerce stores. Save on fees, so you have more to spend on yourself.


  1. DBS - Overseas Card Transaction Fees
  2. DBS- Card rates and fees

All sources checked on 29 December 2020

Please see terms of use and product availability for your region or visit Wise fees and pricing for the most up to date pricing and fee information.

This publication is provided for general information purposes and does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from Wise Payments Limited or its subsidiaries and its affiliates, and it is not intended as a substitute for obtaining advice from a financial advisor or any other professional.

We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether expressed or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.

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