OCBC Titanium Rewards adopts S$5 earning blocks, new exclusion categories

From 1 June 2020, the OCBC Titanium Rewards will award points in blocks of S$5, and add a few new exclusion categories.

OCBC has been just unveiled a raft of changes to its points-earning cards, which take effect from 1 June 2020. We’ve already discussed and analyzed the changes on the VOYAGE and 90°N Cards, and now it’s the Titanium Reward’s turn.

From 1 June 2020, the OCBC Titanium Rewards cards will adopt a new set of T&Cs, which introduce S$5 earning blocks and additional rewards exclusion categories.

The old T&Cs can be found here, while the new T&Cs can be found here. For ease of reference, I’ve created a comparison which you can view here.

Introduction of S$5 earning blocks

Here’s how earning points on the OCBC Titanium Rewards card will change from 1 June 2020:

Before 1 June 2020 From 1 June 2020
Regular spending S$1= 1 OCBC$
(0.4 mpd)
S$5= 5 OCBC$
(0.4 mpd)
10X categories* S$1=10 OCBC$
(4 mpd)
S$5= 50 OCBC$
(4 mpd)
👍 The cap on 10X points remains the same at 120,000 OCBC$ (S$12,000) per card membership year. The Pink and Blue card each has its own cap.

Although I’ve already discussed the impact of S$5 earning blocks in my article on the OCBC 90°N, I think it’s necessary to do a separate discussion for the Titanium Rewards card.

That’s because the 90°N is a general spending card, while the Titanium Rewards is a specialized spending card. The way they compute and award points is different.

❓ How do banks compute and award credit card points? Here’s how it works for general spending and specialized spending cards.

Points on the 90°N are awarded instantly, when the transaction posts. With the Titanium Rewards, 1X points are awarded instantly when the transaction posts. The remaining 9X are awarded by the end of the next calendar month. This means that S$5 rounding blocks will affect both cards differently.

Here’s how OCBC currently awards the 10X points on the Titanium Rewards Card:

  • 1X points: Round transaction down to nearest S$1, then multiply transaction by 1.0
  • 9X points: Sum all eligible transactions (including cents), multiply transaction by 9.0, round down

From 1 June 2020, here’s how points will be calculated:

  • 1X points: Round transaction down to nearest S$5, divide by 5.0, then multiply by 5.0
  • 9X points: Round transaction down to nearest S$5, divide by 5.0, then multiply by 45
⚠️ I know it seems dumb to divide by 5 then multiply by 5, but it helps when you’re trying to conceptualize the calculation- e.g S$45 has 9 blocks of S$5, and each block gets 5 OCBC$

In other words, your 9X points will now be calculated on a per transaction basis, instead of collectively.

That’s too much math for a public holiday, so let’s just do an illustration. Suppose you made five eligible 10X transactions over the course of a month, spending a total of S$739.19:

  • Qoo10: S$8.99
  • Lazada: S$46.50
  • IKEA: S$19.50
  • Amazon: S$4.30
  • Mustafa: S$659.90

Here’s how the points you earn change:

Before 1 June 2020
From 1 June 2020
1X 9X 1X 9X
Qoo10 8
6,652

5 45
Lazada 46  45  405
IKEA 19  15  135
Amazon 0
Mustafa 659  655  5,895
Total OCBC$ 7,388
(2,955 miles)
7,200
(2,880 miles)

New exclusion categories

From 1 June 2020, the following transactions will no longer earn points:

  • MCC 4784: Tolls and Bridge Fees
  • MCC 5993: Cigars, Stores and Stands
  • MCC 6010: Banks- Manual/Automated Cash Disbursement
  • MCC 8675: Automobile Associations
  • MCC 8699: Labour Union
  • Transactions to Singapore Government Public Hospitals including Non-Profit Hospitals, Community Hospitals and Polyclinics under MCC 8062

Curiously enough, MCC 4111/4121/4131 (transport), which have been excluded under the VOYAGE and 90°N cards, are not excluded here.

I’m not really going to discuss these new exclusion categories because they’re entirely academic- you wouldn’t use your Titanium Rewards card on such transactions anyway, as you’d only earn 0.4 mpd. This matters much more for the VOYAGE and 90°N Cards, and I’ve done the analysis in the respective articles.

OCBC has maintained the same list of eligible 10X MCCs:

  • MCC 5611: Men’s and Boys’ Clothing and Accessories Stores
  • MCC 5621: Women’s Ready to Wear Stores
  • MCC 5631: Women’s Accessory and Specialty Stores
  • MCC 5641: Children’s and Infants’ Wear Stores
  • MCC 5651: Family Clothing Stores
  • MCC 5661: Shoe Stores
  • MCC 5691: Men’s and Women’s Clothing Stores
  • MCC 5045: Computers, Peripherals, and Software
  • MCC 5732: Electronics Stores
  • MCC 5699: Miscellaneous Apparel and Accessory Shops
  • MCC 5311: Department Stores

They’ve also codified the following specific merchants into the T&Cs:

  • Alibaba
  • AliExpress
  • Amazon
  • Courts
  • Daigou
  • Ezbuy
  • IKEA
  • Lazada
  • Mustafa Centre
  • Qoo10
  • Shopee
  • Taobao

Conclusion

S$5 earning blocks are annoying to be sure, but it was always inevitable that the Titanium Rewards would move onto the same system after the VOYAGE and 90°N’s changes.

For what it’s worth, I don’t think it’s a dealbreaker- the OCBC Titanium Rewards continues to be extremely useful for online spending, and more importantly, its 10X cap is based on membership year. If you were buying a big ticket item of, say, S$5,000, you’d be able to process it all at once on the Titanium Rewards, instead of splitting it into smaller transactions for the DBS Woman’s World (cap: S$2,000 per month) or Citi Rewards (cap: S$1,000 per month).

Remember that it’s also possible to double your 10X cap by applying for the Blue and Pink cards- each has their own individual cap.

Aaron Wong
Aaron founded The Milelion with the intention of helping people travel better for less and impressing chiobu. He was 50% successful.

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B

Hi Aaron,
Does it still award additional rewards for paywave transactions? Keen in this card for contactless transactions but found no mention of bonuses for contactless transactions for this card. Thanks!

Adam

Look at the UOB Preferred Platinum Visa instead. But do note that you need to use mobile wallet from 22 May onwards https://milelion.com/2020/04/22/psa-no-more-10x-on-contactless-payments-with-uob-preferred-platinum-visa-physical-card/

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