OCBC has launched the OCBC 90°N Card, a brand new travel credit card that’s offering 4 mpd on overseas spending and selected airlines (including SIA), plus 8 mpd on Airbnb and OTAs like Agoda and Expedia- all without caps for six months.
Remember, we’re giving away 10 x $50 Taka vouchers to mark the launch- simply head on over to this post and share your craziest miles story in the comments!
Here’s what you need to know about the card, its features and how those big bonuses work.
OCBC 90°N Card Basics
|Income Req.||Annual Fee||Miles from Annual Fee|
|S$30,000||S$192.60 (first year free)||10,000|
|FCY Fee||Points Validity||Transfer Fees|
|Local Spend||Overseas Spend||Special Spend|
Until 29 Feb 2020: 4.0 mpd
|Until 29 Feb 2020: 4.0 mpd on SIA group, AirAsia, Jetstar, DFS & Shilla @ Changi, Netflix & Spotify, 8.0 mpd on Airbnb, Millennium Hotels, Agoda, Expedia, Mr & Mrs.Smith|
The OCBC 90°N Card is an entry-level credit card, with a S$30,000 annual income requirement.
It carries a S$192.60 annual fee, which is waived for the first year. Paying the annual fee in subsequent years gets you 10,000 miles, identical to what the Citi PremierMiles Visa, KrisFlyer UOB Credit Card, and DBS Altitude are offering.
|OCBC 90°N Card|
|General T&C||Bonus Travel$ T&C||FAQ|
No conversion fees, miles don’t expire
The OCBC 90°N Card earns Travel$, a new rewards currency which can be converted into miles at a 1:1 ratio with no conversion fees. Add the fact that Travel$ do not expire, and you’ll see that they’re more similar to VOYAGE Miles than OCBC$.
|Earned through||OCBC Titanium Rewards||OCBC 90°N Card||OCBC VOYAGE|
|Conversion Ratio (Points: Miles)||5:2||1:1||1:1, can also be used to pay for revenue flights|
|Minimum Conversion||25,000 OCBC$||1,000 Travel$||1 VOYAGE mile|
Even better, the minimum conversion block is just 1,000 Travel$, which coupled with the lack of conversion fees makes the OCBC 90°N Card a great option for small top-ups to a KrisFlyer account. KrisFlyer is currently OCBC’s only transfer partner, but I understand there are new ones on the horizon, so keep an eye out for that in the future.
Travel$ can also be converted into cash rebates at a rate of 1,000 Travel$= S$10, or into shopping vouchers at 1,300 Travel$= S$10. Neither option represents particularly good value, so it’s safe to ignore them.
Earn 1.2 mpd on local spend and 4 mpd on overseas spend, with no cap
The OCBC 90°N Card normally earns 1.2 mpd on local spending and 2.1 mpd on overseas spending. However, from now till 29 February 2020, cardholders will earn 4 mpd on all overseas spend, without cap.
|OCBC defines “overseas spend” as any spend in foreign currency, regardless of where payment processing is done.|
Here’s how the earn rates and expiry policy of the OCBC 90°N Card measure up to other credit cards at the $30,000 income mark.
|Local Spend||FCY Spend||Miles Expiry|
|BOC Elite Miles World Mastercard||1.5||3.0||12-24 months|
|UOB PRVI Miles||1.4||2.4||2 years|
|OCBC 90°N Card||1.2||None|
|Citi PremierMiles Visa||1.2||2.0||None|
|AMEX KrisFlyer Credit Card||1.1||2.0 during June/Dec||3 years|
Do note that the OCBC 90°N rounds transactions down to the nearest S$1 when awarding Travel$, so the minimum spending to earn points is S$1. This rounding policy actually makes it a better option than the UOB PRVI Miles for transactions <S$30, provided they’re not divisible by 5.
|Curious how banks calculate your points? Learn how rounding policies can affect your miles haul for general and specialized spending cards.|
Despite the outsized miles on overseas spend, the OCBC 90°N Card still maintains OCBC’s 3% foreign currency transaction fee.
The fact that the OCBC 90°N Card earns 4 mpd on all overseas spend with no cap, no minimum spend and no “payment processing outside of Singapore” requirement makes it hands down the best card to use for overseas transactions…and a few other things.
Earn 4 mpd on Singapore Airlines (and others), 8 mpd on Airbnb and selected OTAs
From now till 29 February 2020, OCBC 90°N cardholders will earn 4 mpd at the following merchants, without cap:
|Airlines||Duty Free & Subscriptions|
You may already be earning 4 mpd on some of these transactions with the DBS Woman’s World card, but remember that this is capped at S$2,000 of online spending per month, and DBS Points earned through the Woman’s card expire in 1 year. The OCBC 90°N Card has no such cap, and its Travel$ never expire.
Cardholders will also earn 8 mpd at the following accommodation and OTA merchants:
- Agoda, via www.agoda.com/ocbc90n
- Expedia, via www.expedia.com.sg/ocbc90n
- Millennium Hotels & Resorts
- Mr. & Mrs. Smith
We’ve seen other banks offer big miles promotions on Agoda and Expedia before, but those have come with caps on earning. What’s more, this is the first time we’ve seen 8 mpd on Airbnb, which is my fallback option when I can’t find good value hotel redemptions.
To enjoy 8 mpd on Agoda, you’ll need to make your hotel booking between 26 Aug 2019 and 29 Feb 2020, and stay between 26 Aug 2019 and 30 Sep 2020. This only applies to prepaid bookings, and not bookings where you pay at the destination.
|OCBC 90°N Card x Agoda T&C: Link|
To enjoy 8 mpd on Expedia, you’ll need to make a booking at an “eligible hotel” or “participating airline”. Eligible hotels can be found here and must be prepaid (the list excludes most major chains). There is no mention of specific stay dates, so presumably as long as you pay before 29 Feb 2020, you’ll get the bonus.
Here’s the list of participating airlines:
This list is identical to that of the UOB PRVI Miles x Expedia 6 mpd promotion, the main difference being that OCBC is offering 8 mpd.
|OCBC 90°N Card x Expedia T&C: Link|
Bonus miles post immediately, with the exception of Agoda
Unlike certain cards which delay your bonus miles as much as fourteen months, the OCBC 90°N Card credits base and bonus miles at the same time.
For example, the 4 mpd on overseas spend consists of a base 1.2 mpd and a bonus 2.8 mpd. Both will be credited as soon as the transaction posts. Ditto for Singapore Airlines, Airbnb and almost all the other bonus merchants.
The only exception is Agoda, where bonus miles will be credited within 2 calendar months following the cardmember’s stay.
Key exclusions for OCBC 90°N Card
Like every miles card, the OCBC 90°N Card excludes certain transactions from earning points. Travel$ will not be awarded for spending on the following:
These are fairly standard exclusions, although you may want to note in particular that education is excluded. If you were hoping to earn a big miles haul by paying overseas tuition fees, you’ll want to look elsewhere.
Sign up bonus: Get up to S$50 and 7,000 miles
|New OCBC Credit Card applicants||Existing customers|
|Spend $5,000 within 3 months of approval||7,000 Travel$||3,000 Travel$|
New-to-bank cardholders (defined as those who don’t currently hold OCBC credit cards, and haven’t in the past six months) who spend $5,000 within 3 months of approval will get 7,000 bonus miles and $50 cash, while existing customers will get 3,000 miles. You must be approved by 31 October 2019 to be eligible for this bonus.
|OCBC 90°N Card Sign Up Bonus T&C: Link|
As the chart below shows, it’s certainly not the largest sign up bonus in the market (in fact, it’s the smallest). This is a card you get for its raw earning potential on foreign currency, air tickets and hotel stays.
For what it’s worth, OCBC’s 3 month timeline is rather generously implemented. The spending threshold must be reached “by the end of 3 months from card approval date.” That’s to say, if your card is approved on 5 September, you need to spend by 31 December (rest of Sept + Oct-Dec).
|Card Approval Month||Qualifying Spend End Date||Miles Bonus credited by|
|Aug-19||30 Nov 2019||31 Dec 2019|
|Sept-19||31 Dec 2019||31 Jan 2020|
|Oct-19||31 Jan 2020||29 Feb 2020|
This gives you as much as four months to hit the threshold, so time your application early in the month.
No lounge access
If there’s one thing missing from the OCBC 90°N Card, it’s lounge access. To be fair though, it’s not a common feature of cards at the S$30,000 income level- only the Citi PremierMiles Visa and DBS Altitude have it.
|Complimentary Lounge Visits|
BOC Elite Miles World Mastercard
UOB PRVI Miles
OCBC 90°N Card
|Citi PremierMiles Visa||2 free visits via Priority Pass|
DBS Altitude Visa (not AMEX)
|2 free visits via Priority Pass|
|AMEX KrisFlyer Credit Card||None|
Since the OCBC 90°N is issued by Mastercard, cardholders can buy US$27 lounge passes (US$32 from 1 October) to more than 1,000 lounges under the Mastercard Airport Experiences platform. That said, it’s fairly easy to find another card on the market with free lounge access, so you shouldn’t be paying out of pocket for it.
As far as mass market miles cards go, the OCBC 90°N does what it says on the tin, and very well.
4 mpd on overseas spending may not quite be the 5 mpd offered by the BOC Elite Miles back at launch, but I’m willing to bet that OCBC is going to fulfill cards a heck of a lot faster than BOC. Throw in 4 mpd for SIA-group, AirAsia and Jetstar, plus 8 mpd on hotels and accommodation, and this adds up to a very convincing value proposition.
Even after the promotion ends in Feb 2020, the OCBC 90°N Card still edges the DBS Altitude and Citi PremierMiles cards on miles earning rates. To be sure, it lacks the lounge access that these cards have, but it counters with a 1,000 transfer block and zero conversion fees.
tl;dr: If you’ve got travel plans lined up for the next six months, then the OCBC 90°N Card should absolutely be part of your wallet.
Join the OCBC 90°N Telegram Group for more discussion about the card!