Bank of China backtracks on CardUp rewards exclusion

CardUp transactions will continue to earn rewards points on BOC credit cards, even from 15 June 2020.

A couple of weeks ago, Bank of China announced some major changes to its BOC Elite Miles World Mastercard, which take effect from 15 June 2020. 

These changes involve a reduced earn rate, a cut in the conversion ratio from bank points to airline miles, and additional rewards exclusion categories.

 CurrentFrom 15 June 2020
Earn RateLocal: 1.5 mpd
FCY: 3.0 mpd
Local: 1.0 mpd
FCY: 2.0 mpd
30,000 points
= 10,000 miles
45,000 points
= 10,000 miles
18,000 points
= 6,000 miles
27,000 points=
6,000 miles

BOC has now walked back one of those changes: CardUp transactions will continue to earn rewards points.

CardUp transactions will continue to earn points with BOC credit cards

A new version of the T&Cs has gone up on the BOC website, which for ease of comparison I’ve run through a change tracker.

The main point of difference is shown below.

t&c comparison boc

CardUp transactions, which were previously excluded, have now been removed from the exclusions list. However, RentHero remains on the exclusions list.

⚠️ Other new rewards exclusion categories that take effect from 15 June 2020 include:

  • Payments to educational institutions
  • Payments to hospitals
  • Insurance payments
  • Payments to financial institutions (including banks and brokerages) for
    financial services;
  • Payments to real estate agents and managers; and
  • Payments for betting through any channel (including but not limited to
    lottery tickets, casino gaming chips, off-track betting and wagers at race

But does it really matter?

While it’s good that CardUp transactions will continue to earn rewards with BOC cards, truth be told, the BOC Elite Miles card will become largely irrelevant from 15 June anyway

With a reduced earn rate of just 1 mpd on local spending, your cost per mile will skyrocket, and you’d be better off using a card like the UOB PRVI Miles instead.

Cost Per Mile with BOC Elite Miles Card
@ 1.5 mpd
From 15 June 2020
@ 1 mpd
CardUp 1.75% income tax promotion1.151.72
CardUp 1.9% rent payment promotion1.241.86
CardUp 2.25% fee for other payments1.472.20

That said, if you’re intending to make an income tax payment under CardUp’s 1.75% promotional rate, it’s still worth using your BOC card until 15 June (remember that your card must be charged before this date, so don’t leave it till the last minute to schedule your payment). 1.15 cents per mile is one of the cheapest ways you can buy miles when paying your income tax bill. 

cardup promo


CardUp transactions will continue to earn rewards points with BOC cards even from 15 June 2020, but it doesn’t change the “abandon ship” order for the BOC Elite Miles card.

If you’re still holding on to BOC points, remember to convert them before 15 June 2020. Here’s a handy guide that explores the options you have for exchanging them for miles, or shopping vouchers as necessary.

Aaron Wong
Aaron Wong
Aaron founded The Milelion to help people travel better for less and impress chiobu. He was 50% successful.

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This will be useful for those with BOC Smartsaver account with at least $60K, which provides 0.8% pa on $60K with min spend of $500 per month, or about $40 interest per month. This will equate to a cashback return of 8%, excluding the miles you will earn.


.. which also means you earn nothing from $60K in BOC.. you can’t have your cake and eat it!


but isn’t it the same for all Smartsaver acct holders?


.. which is also why I don’t subscribe to such arrangement


Big deal. You can do the same thing with OCBC 360 savings account and the 90N card.


For rent or education, CardUp uses corresponding MCC, so some transactions could still be excluded, right?

Aaron Wong

cardup has told me they wont process under those excluded MCCs, so BOC will continue to earn points. the question is more like whether you want to earn points with boc though.


Bank of China’s behaviour over the past 2 years since launching this card – with more backflips, twists and turns than an Olympics gymnast – reinforces our collective belief in one fact only, that it’s absolutely clueless on how to operate a compelling credit card proposition. RIP.



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