DBS multi-currency debit card: All you need to know

Hannes Ausmees

If you love to travel, or enjoy shopping online with international ecommerce retailers, then a multi-currency account could be just what you need to cut the costs of currency conversion, and provide easy ways to spend in foreign currencies.

In this full DBS multi-currency card review, we’ll cover everything you need to know about the DBS multi-currency debit card, including how it works, how much it costs, and the features and perks on offer.

We’ll also touch on other ways to spend globally, such as the Wise card, to help you compare options and pick the perfect solution to suit you.

Table of contents

What is a DBS multi-currency Visa debit card and what are the benefits?

If you travel frequently, or like to shop with international ecommerce stores, the DBS Visa debit card¹ - which can be added to a DBS My Account² for multi-currency functionality - might be a good choice.

dbs-card

Screenshot from DBS website

With the DBS Visa card you’ll get:

  • Contactless payments, and easy ATM withdrawals
  • Cashback on eligible spending up to 4%
  • Tap and SimplyGo on transport - not need to top up a card
  • No foreign exchange fee when spending supported currencies you hold in your My Account
  • Add your card to a mobile wallet for easy on the go spending with just your phone

The DBS My Account is a great choice to link your DBS Visa card, as it has no monthly fees, and allows you to add in the banking features you need for a fully custom built account experience. Hold multiple currencies, pay bills, manage your money online and on the move, and spend easily with your linked card.

DBS debit card limits

The daily limits for your DBS Visa debit card are set to a default amount of:

  • NETS Transactions - 5,000 SGD/day
  • ATM Withdrawals - 3,000 SGD/day
  • Debit Card Spend Transactions - 2,000 SGD/day

You can review your card limits, and make changes to them, by logging into online or mobile banking, and choosing the cards tab, then selecting Change Debit Card Limit.

DBS debit card cashback

You can earn cashback on your spending with your DBD debit card, when you spend a minimum of 500 SGD and withdraw no more than 400 SGD from an ATM each month. At the time of writing, the cashback options include:

  • 4% cashback on food delivery
  • 3% cashback on transport, including ride hailing
  • 2% cashback on foreign currency spending, in person and online

DBS card exchange rate

If you link your DBS Visa card to your My Account, which can be used to hold 12 different currencies, you may be able to spend with your card in up to 11 supported currencies with no extra fees. One point to note is that Chinese renminbi (Offshore - CNH) is not supported for card spend, even though you can hold a balance in this currency in your My Account.

To avoid paying fees, you’ll need to make sure your account holds enough in the required currency to cover the spend amount. If you’re spending an unsupported currency, or if your balance is not enough, the exchange rate used will be the Visa rate, but you’ll find you pay administrative charges of up to 3.25% to convert your funds to the currency you need³.

Learn more here about the rates of DBS overseas transfers

Multi-currency card comparison - DBS vs YouTrip vs Wise (formerly Wise)

A multi-currency account and card can be a super smart way to reduce the costs of spending in foreign currencies, as you’ll be able to hold a balance in the currency or currencies you need, to spend at your leisure on the linked card. Get the right account and you may also benefit from preferential exchange rates and low - or no - foreign transaction fees.

The DBS My Account and linked DBS Visa card is a good option if you want an account from a traditional Singapore bank with an extensive branch network. However, if you prefer to manage your money online and on your phone, you might want to compare a few alternative options, like the YouTrip card and the Wise card to see if you can get a better deal.

Here’s how YouTrip vs DBS vs Wise measure up on some important features.

FeatureDBS Visa cardYouTrip⁶Wise card
EligibilitySingapore residents onlySingapore residents onlyApply from all but a small selection of countries around the world
Maintenance feeNo fee No fee
Currencies supported11 foreign currencies for card spending, 12 for My Account10 currencies for holding and exchange50+
Exchange rateVisa rate for card spending, other transactions use the DBS rateWholesale rate appliesMid-market rate
International payment feesOnline transfer fees 5 SGD - 35 SGD based on value of payment + 20 SGD cable charge + any relevant agent fees⁴Not availableLow fees from 0.41%
Local bank detailsNot availableNot availableAvailable to get paid like a local in 10 currencies
ATM fees - localFree at DBS and POSB ATMs5 SGD⁷No local withdrawals available
ATM fees - international7 SGD + foreign transaction fee⁵ Some discounts apply for specific foreign ATM operators5 SGDUp to 2 withdrawals free to value of 350 SGD/month¹¹ Then 1.50 SGD + 1.75% fee
Foreign transaction feeFree to spend currency you hold in your My Account, although you may pay a fee in the exchange rate used to convert from SGD to the foreign currency you need in the first place Up to 3.25% for other currency spendingFree to spend any currency you holdFree to spend any currency you hold Currency conversion from 0.41% for other currency spending

Pricing/fees: Please see Terms of Use for your region or visit Wise Fees & Pricing for the most up to date pricing and fee information

As you can see, the Wise account and card can support more currencies compared to the DBS My Account, and currency conversion uses the mid-market exchange rate with low, transparent fees from 0.41%. That can make it cheap to spend overseas - and to make cash withdrawals when you travel.

Unlike DBS, Wise doesn’t have a branch network - and you can’t make local ATM withdrawals with your Wise card. However, you’ll be able to apply for your Wise account and card from more or less anywhere, and get some fee free international withdrawals every month.

Plus you can get paid fee-free (except USD wire transfers) like a local from 30+ countries, with bank details for 10 currencies - perfect if you need to receive overseas payments from friends, family, clients, or an employer.

spend-globally-wise

How to apply for DBS multi-currency card

To apply for a DBS Visa card you’ll already need a DBS account - the My Account is the option which is recommended, as you’ll then be able to add in neat multi-currency features. Once you have your active DBS account you’ll apply for your DBS Visa in the DBS digibank app.

Here’s how to apply for a DBS multi-currency card:

  • Launch the digibank app and login with your PIN or biometric key
  • Select More, then Apply
  • Tap Cards, pick the DBS Visa option, and follow the prompts to confirm and order the card

How to activate DBS multi-currency-card

When you first receive your DBS Visa card it’ll need activating. This is a security measure and ensures the card can only be used by someone who can also log into mobile and online banking.

Here’s how to activate your DBS Visa in the DBS Digibank app⁸

  • Launch the digibank app and login with your PIN or biometric key
  • Select More, then Manage Cards & Loans
  • Tap Activate Cards, and then Activate ATM/Debit card
  • Select your DBS Visa card
  • Check everything over and confirm, tap Activate Card and you’re done

Summary

The DBS Visa card gives easy ways to spend and make withdrawals, in Singapore and beyond. You’ll be able to link your card to a My Account, to get multi-currency functionality that covers spending in 11 currencies.

It is very convenient, but does have some fees you’ll want to know about, like the foreign transaction fee of up to 3.25% that applies if you’re spending an unsupported currency, or you don’t have enough of the currency you need in your account - and the 7 SGD overseas ATM fee.

Compare the DBS Visa against alternatives like the Wise card. You might find it’s worth ordering a Wise card to go alongside your DBS card for international spending and withdrawals, to make your money go further when you use foreign currencies.

Get a Wise card today 💳


Frequently asked questions

Got questions? Here are a couple more common issues, and how to solve them.

How to activate DBS Visa debit card for overseas use

You can enable and disable your DBS Visa debit card for overseas use by SMS, in the DBS online or mobile banking service, or using an ATM. The easiest way is to use DBS Digibank, the mobile banking service from DBS⁹:

  • Log in to digibank Mobile
  • Select Manage Cards & Loans, and then tap More, under select Enable/Disable Overseas Use.
  • Select your DBS Visa and the Allow Overseas Use
  • Tap Next, confirm the Details and tap Activate

How to cancel DBS Visa debit card

You can cancel your DBS Visa card if you need to, in the DBS mobile banking app.

Here’s how to cancel a card with DBS¹⁰:

  • Log in to digibank Mobile
  • Tap the digibot icon and type Terminate Card
  • Select Authenticate me, and complete the verification step to proceed
  • Click on the DBS Visa card you want to cancel
  • Verify the number of the card you’re cancelling
  • Select the reason for cancelling
  • Confirm if there are any other cards to cancel, check everything, and tap to complete

Sources:

  1. DBS multi-currency Visa card
  2. DBS My Account
  3. DBS card fees
  4. DBS deposit account fees
  5. DBS overseas withdrawal fees
  6. YouTrip Singapore
  7. YouTrip terms and conditions
  8. DBS - activate card
  9. DBS - enable card for overseas use
  10. DBS - cancel card
  11. Wise will not charge you for these withdrawals, but some additional charges may occur from independent ATM networks.

Sources checked on 23/02/2023


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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