dbs esso card

DBS Esso Card Review: Perfect for Frequent Drivers

With DBS Esso Card promotions ranging from % 21.2 fuel savings to % 2.4 Smiles savings, it’s not hard to see why Singapore residents love this increasingly popular credit card. Customers can rack up Smiles Points on all types of card spend, from nett fuel petrol spend to other card retail spend, and claim instant fuel redemption whenever they please.

Daily motorists will no doubt welcome the petrol discounts, money off at Esso, and other driving-related perks available with this card. However, other customers might find the DBS Esso Smiles Card rewards rate on retail spend a little low compared to some of the other best credit cards available in Singapore right now. 

Key Features and Benefits – Driver Rewards Program, Fuel Savings and More

  • Turn fuel at Esso and Synergy Fuel purchased into instant fuel discounts and other Esso Smiles driver rewards.
  • Get % 21.2 fuel savings at Esso service station and other eligible service stations.
  • Earn up to 2.4% Smiles savings and earn 1 Smiles Point for every litre of Synergy Fuel bought at any eligible Esso station or petrol stations.
  • Take advantage of a DBS Esso 0% interest-free instalment payment plan for motor insurance and road tax.
  • Enjoy an 18% instant fuel discount, as well as $ 10 instant fuel redemption with just 300 Smiles Points.
  • Claim a one-year annual fee waiver worth $192.60 in your first year of principal card ownership.

 

Pros and Cons – From % 21.2 Fuel Savings to the Ins and Outs of the Driver Rewards Programme

Pros

  • Access the Esso Smiles Driver Rewards Programme to enjoy amazing savings on fuel at Esso service stations, as well as Synergy discounts.
  • Turn your petrol purchases into Esso Smiles Driver Rewards with ease.
  • Every 1 litre of Synergy purchased will earn you 1 Smiles Point.
  • Get an 18% instant fuel discount paired with a $7 discount with a nett fuel spend of $180, thanks to 3.2% additional savings.
  • Earn Smiles Points with all card spend, including nett fuel spend and all other retail spend.

Cons

  • DBS Esso Card promotions are largely restricted to driving-related benefits only.
  • 18% instant fuel discounts cannot be claimed with Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, Google Pay or other mobile wallet payments.
  • Rewards earning rate of 0.3% to 0.4% on general spend is relatively low when compared to top competitor credit cards.

How the DBS Esso Card Compares with Other Credit Cards on the Market

The DBS Esso Credit Card offers tons of driving-centric benefits and savings to frequent petrol purchasers. That said, some competitor credit cards might be a better fit for customers looking for other kinds of perks. Let’s review how the DBS Esso Credit Card compares to some of the best credit cards available in Singapore right now:

 

  Cash Rebate / Cashback Benefits

 

Minimum Spend per Calendar Month

 

Cashback Caps / Limitations Sign Up Bonus
DBS Esso Credit Card

 

Get up to % 21.2 fuel savings with every litre worth of Synergy Fuel

 

Enjoy 2.4% Smiles savings with every litre worth of Synergy fuel

 

$180 nett fuel spend at any Esso service station within 3 months of card approval date is required N/A Claim up to $120 fuel savings when you apply before 31 March 2022

 

Citi Cash Back Card

 

Earn 6% cash rebates when dining at worldwide restaurants and cafes

 

Get 8% cash rebates on supermarket and grocery store purchases

 

Enjoy 20.88% fuel savings at Esso and Shell with all petrol spend

 

$800 minimum spend per statement month $80 cashback cap across all general spend per statement month $120 cash back welcome gift available

 

Standard Chartered Visa Infinite Card

 

Earn 3 air miles for every $1 spend

 

Up to 20.1% fuel savings per month available with petrol spend

$2,000 per statement cycle N/A 35,000 miles welcome gift available

 

6 months’ Disney+ subscription when you activate your card

 

OCBC 365 Card

 

Get 6% cashback on dining and online food delivery, 5% on fuel spend at all petrol service stations and 3% on groceries, transport and online travel

 

Only required for customers who wish to claim a 2-year annual fee waiver $80 per calendar month N/A
Maybank Family and Friends Card

 

Enjoy 8% cash rebates across five self-selected spending categories (petrol / transport category available)

 

$800 per calendar month required to claim 8% cash rebates $50 per month cap for rebates at the 8% rate Get a Garmin Vivomove watch worth $469

 

HSBC Revolution Card

 

Claim 10X Reward Points on online and contactless spend

 

Claim 1% cashback by depositing monthly funds into an eligible HSBC account

 

N/A No cap on reward points N/A

 

As our above comparison table reveals, the DBS Esso Credit Card generally offers higher percentage fuel savings than many competitors – at 22.1% as opposed to 20.88% with the Citi Cashback Card, or just 20.1% with the Standard Chartered Visa Infinite Card. This makes it the ideal choice for drivers and customers seeking quick-and-easy fuel savings.

That said, offering 22.1% fuel savings at Caltex, 20.2% fuel savings at Esso and 5% cashback on spend at all petrol service stations, the OCBC 365 Card comes across as a very sensible alternative, providing a good range of benefits in terms of both fuel and general spending.

If petrol discounts don’t appeal to you at all, however, the Maybank Family and Friends Card might also be worth a look. This popular card boasts fully customizable spending categories and an amazing 8% earnings rate. That said, you will need to be willing to hit a high minimum spend per calendar month. Ultimately, which card is best all comes down to what kinds of credit card benefits best suit you.

Is the DBS Esso Credit Card Right for You? Do Instant Fuel Redemption and Other Benefits Outweigh the Cons?

open credit card with fuel hose oil pump

If discounts at petrol stations, mega fuel savings and redeemable Esso Smiles Points sound like a good match for your frequent spending habits, then the DBS Esso Credit Card will slot nicely into your wallet and everyday routine.

The Esso Smiles Driver Rewards Programme offers some seriously good savings for anyone who frequently buys Synergy petrol or stops by Esso stations on their way to work. Even better if you want to save big on motor insurance and road tax, too. That said, other credit cards listed in our comparison undoubtedly offer more bang for your buck when it comes to other card retail spend – particularly if you want to rack up rewards points or cashback on general spending, rather than just fuel discounts.

How to Apply for a DBS Esso Credit Card

To sign up for your DBS Esso Smiles Card and start earning Smiles Points and free fuel petrol discounts today, all you have to do is visit the DBS website here and follow the bank’s straightforward application process. Alternatively, you can apply via your DBS digibank app by following More > Apply > Cards, if you are already a DBS customer.

But there’s a little more to it than that – you also have to make sure you meet the following eligibility requirements before you will be accepted and granted a card approval date –

  • Age – At least 21 years old
  • Minimum Annual Income – $30,000 for Singapore Citizens and PRs, $45,000 for Foreigners

What’s more, you’ll need to ensure you are totally happy with the below fee structure and charges before you can register your card and start enjoying those amazing gas savings and additional smiles savings –

  • Annual Fee – $192.60 for primary card, $96.30 for supplementary cards
  • Annual Fee Waiver – Available for first year only
  • Interest Rate – 26.80% per annum (chargeable daily and subject to compounding)
  • Late Payment Fee – $100 payable on all outstanding balances above $200

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About the DBS Esso Credit Card

Do I Get an Annual Fee Waiver?

Yes, your annual fee will be waived for the first 12 months from your card approval date, saving you approximately $192.60. However, this fee waiver only applies to your principal card – any supplementary cards requested will still attract an annual fee of $96.30 each.

What Supporting Documents are Required to Apply?

Salaried employees will usually need to provide evidence of their NRIC, their latest three months’ computerized payslips, and their latest 12 months’ CPF contribution history to apply for a DBS Esso Credit Card. That said, some customers may be able to use MyInfo via SingPass to apply online without providing any supporting documents.

Can Foreigners Apply for DBS Esso Credit Cards?

Yes, this card is available to Foreigners in Singapore, but you’ll need to meet a $45,000 per annum minimum income threshold and provide evidence of an Employment Pass, S Pass, Long Term Visit Pass, or International Organisation Pass to apply.

What Other Credit Cards Should I Consider for Saving Money on Petrol?

Customers looking for petrol savings with their credit card might want to consider the OCBC 365 Card, which offers 22.1% fuel savings at Caltex, 20.2% fuel savings at Esso, and 5% cashback on spend at all petrol service stations, making it a very viable alternative to the DBS Esso Credit Card.

What is the Interest Rate?

The DBS Esso Credit Card has an annual interest rate of 26.80%, which is chargeable on a daily basis and subject to compounding.

Do I Still Need to Provide Documents If I’m Already a DBS or POSB Customer?

No, DBS digibank customers who hold a DBS or POSB account that has been receiving a salary via GIRO for three consecutive months or more won’t need to provide any supporting documents when applying for this card. Simply log into DBS digibank and apply online.

How Do Smiles Points Work?

Your DBS Esso Credit Card enables you to turn all your shopping, dining, and general credit card spending into Smiles Points to redeem free fuel. Every 1 liter of Synergy fuel will earn you 1 Smiles Point, while every $10 charged to your card outside of Esso (i.e. on other transactions) will also earn you 1 Smiles Point. Redeeming each and every Smiles Point effectively acts as an instant fuel discount at the point of sale. 

Conclusion – Is the DBS Esso Credit Card Worth Applying For?

If you want to reel in exceptional petrol savings with Esso, build up Smiles Points with ease when spending on all your shopping and enjoy additional Smiles Savings, the DBS Esso Credit Card will be your best friend. But before you apply, be sure to keep the following in mind:

  • You’ll need a minimum annual income of at least $30,000 (or $45,000 if you’re a Foreigner) before you’ll be deemed eligible.
  • The terms and conditions regarding the DBS Smiles Rewards Programme are a little on the complicated side, so read carefully before you sign up.
  • Spending on Esso fuel will help you enjoy bumper Smiles Points savings with every liter of Synergy fuel purchased, but only if you buy using your credit card and not using mobile wallets like Google Pay or Apple Pay.
  • The key features of this credit card are predominantly geared toward petrol savings, meaning you might want to compare the market and shop around if you’re looking for other kinds of credit card perks.

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