Here’s the Milelion’s review of the OCBC Titanium Rewards Card, OCBC’s flagship rewards offering. Ever since its 2016 relaunch, it’s been making waves in the miles and points game, thanks to generous promotions on mobile payments, public transport and IKEA, to name a few.
But can it continue to stand out in a very crowded rewards card space?
|💳 tl;dr: ★★★★|
|It’s not as essential as the Citi Rewards or DBS Woman’s World Card, but the OCBC Titanium Rewards is still an excellent option for anyone who shops online. Cardholders periodically enjoy some excellent bonus points promotions too.|
|The good||The bad|
|This OCBC Titanium Rewards review forms part of my collection of credit card reviews. I’m constantly adding new ones, and you can browse the entire collection here.|
Overview: OCBC Titanium Rewards
Let’s start this review by looking at the key features of the OCBC Titanium Rewards Card.
|Income Req.||S$30,000 p.a||Points Validity||2 years|
(2 Years Free)
|FCY Fee||3.25%||Transfer Fee||S$25|
|Local Earn||0.4 mpd||Points Pool?||Yes|
|FCY Earn||0.4 mpd||Lounge Access?||No|
|Special Earn||4 mpd on online and offline shopping||Airport Limo?||No|
|Cardholder Terms and Conditions|
There are two variants of the OCBC Titanium Rewards Card- the Blue and the Pink. Both cards are identical in every way except colour. You’re perfectly at liberty to apply for either, or both (useful because each card has its own 4 mpd cap, read more on that below).
How much must I earn to qualify for an OCBC Titanium Rewards Card?
The OCBC Titanium Rewards card has an income requirement of just S$30,000 p.a.
If you do not meet the minimum income requirement, it’s possible to get a secured version of the card by depositing S$10,000 in a fixed deposit with OCBC. Visit any OCBC branch to do the necessary paperwork.
How much is the OCBC Titanium Rewards Card’s annual fee?
|Principal Card||Supp. Card|
|First 2 Years||Free||Free|
The OCBC Titanium Rewards Card has an annual fee of S$192.60 for the principal cardholder, and S$96.30 for each supplementary card. These fees are waived for the first 2 years. A fee waiver will be automatically granted if you spend at least S$10,000 in a membership year.
No bonus points are awarded for the payment of the annual fee.
What sign-up bonus or gifts are available?
OCBC periodically offers sign-up bonuses for both existing and new-to-bank customers (defined as those who do not currently hold a principal OCBC credit card, and have not in the 12 months before application).
In March 2019, for instance, new-to-bank customers could earn 12,800 bonus miles just by spending S$300 in the month after approval. More recently, we’ve seen OCBC offering S$100 cash/GrabFood vouchers.
Here’s the current sign-up offer:
|🎁 Current Sign-Up Bonuses/Gifts
|Offer valid till 31 July 2020
How many miles do I earn?
|🇸🇬 SGD Spending||🌎 FCY Spending||➕ Bonus Spending|
|0.4 mpd||0.4 mpd||4 mpd on online and offline shopping|
OCBC Titanium Rewards Card members earn 5 OCBC$ for every S$5 spent in Singapore Dollars or foreign currency (FCY). 1 OCBC$ is worth 0.4 airline miles, so that’s an equivalent earn rate of 0.4 mpd for both local and FCY spending.
All transactions not in Singapore dollars attract an FCY fee of 3.25%.
Needless to say, this isn’t the reason you get an OCBC Titanium Rewards Card.
OCBC Titanium Rewards Card members earn 50 OCBC$ for every S$5 spent on online and offline shopping, whether in local or FCY. This is an effective earn rate of 4 mpd.
OCBC defines shopping as purchases made at any merchant with the following MCCs:
- MCC 5311: Department Stores
- 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
In addition to this, transactions at the following websites are also eligible for 4 mpd:
- Mustafa Centre
The above list is not exhaustive, and OCBC maintains an active presence on the HWZ forums, answering questions about merchant eligibility. If you’re unsure about a specific merchant, that’s your best shot of getting an answer.
The HWZ community has put together a spreadsheet of retailers which have also been confirmed to earn 4 mpd. This includes:
- Apple (both online and in-store)
- Audio House
- Best Denki
- Gain City
- Harvey Norman
- Marks & Spencer
The 4 mpd rate is capped at $12,000 of spending per membership year. If you were approved for the card in January 2020, your cap will be reset on 1 January 2021.
Most other 4 mpd cards apply a monthly cap, which makes the OCBC Titanium Rewards Card a superior option for big ticket purchases. For example, if you wanted to buy a S$3,000 laptop online, the Citi Rewards would award 4 mpd on the first S$1,000 only, and 0.4 mpd for the remaining S$2,000. In contrast, the OCBC Titanium Rewards would give you 4 mpd on the full S$3,000.
Caps are applied on a per card basis. If you have both the Blue and Pink versions of the OCBC Titanium Rewards Card, you’ll enjoy a combined annual cap of S$24,000.
The OCBC Titanium Rewards Card periodically runs some fantastic bonus points promotions, which are a great way to pick up a few more miles:
- In 2017 and 2018: 4 mpd on all mobile payments
- In January 2018: 4 mpd on dining
- In March 2018: 12 mpd at IKEA
- In May 2018: 8 mpd on Emirates
- In July 2018: 12 mpd at ZALORA
- In November 2018: 12 mpd on public transport
- In April 2019: 8 mpd on Deliveroo, foodpanda, Netflix and other online merchants
Do note that some of these promotions are targeted; to receive these alerts, ensure you’ve given consent to receive marketing messages from OCBC (you can opt in via i-banking).
When are OCBC$ credited?
Not all your OCBC$ are credited immediately. Base points will be awarded when the transaction posts (typically in 1-3 working days), and bonus points will be received by the end of the next calendar month.
|Base Points||Credited when transaction posts|
|Bonus Points||Credited by the end of the next calendar month|
|💡 Check your credit card points and breakdowns by following the steps here|
How are OCBC$ calculated?
Here’s how you can work out the OCBC$ earned on your OCBC Titanium Rewards Card:
|Base Points||Round down transaction to nearest S$5, then divide by 5 and multiply by 5|
||Round down transaction to nearest S$5, then divide by 5 and multiply 45|
On 1 June 2020, OCBC started awarding credit card points in blocks of S$5. This means you’ll be penalized should your transaction not be in a block of S$5. For example, a S$9.90 transaction will earn the same number of points as a S$5 transaction, and a S$4.90 transaction will earn zero points. In other words, the minimum transaction to earn points is S$5.
Here’s how this policy affects the miles you earn on the OCBC Titanium Rewards Card, compared to another 4 mpd card like the Citi Rewards.
|OCBC Titanium Rewards||Citi Rewards|
|$5||20 miles||20 miles|
|$9.99||20 miles||36 miles|
|$15||60 miles||60 miles|
|$19.99||60 miles||76 miles|
|$25||100 miles||100 miles|
|$29.99||100 miles||116 miles|
If you’re an excel geek, here’s the formulas you need to calculate points:
|Base Points||=ROUNDDOWN (X/5,0)*5|
|Where X= Amount Spent
For the full list of formulas that banks use to calculate credit card points, do refer to these articles:
What transactions aren’t eligible for OCBC$?
A full list of transactions that do not earn OCBC$ can be found in the T&C. I’ve highlighted a few noteworthy categories below:
- Charitable Donations
- GrabPay top-ups
- Government Services
- Non-profit and government hospitals
- Real Estate Agents & Managers
The OCBC Titanium Rewards will not earn 4 mpd on platforms like CardUp, ipaymy and RentHero, so don’t waste your admin fee trying it out.
You can earn points with SimplyGo, but there’s no reason to settle for 0.4 mpd when much better options exist.
What do I need to know about OCBC$?
OCBC$ expire after 2 years.
It’s important to note that OCBC has three different rewards currencies:
- VOYAGE Miles
OCBC$ pool across all cards that earn OCBC$, but do not pool with other currencies.
For example, if you have 20,000 OCBC$ on both the Blue and Pink versions of the OCBC Titanium Rewards Card, you can redeem 40,000 OCBC$ at one shot and pay a single conversion fee. However, you cannot redeem Travel$ together with OCBC$.
Since OCBC$ pool, you do not need to transfer them out before cancelling your OCBC Titanium Rewards Card, assuming it’s not your last OCBC$-earning card.
OCBC only has a single airline transfer partner- KrisFlyer. OCBC$ transfer at a 5:2 ratio, with a minimum transfer block of 25,000 OCBC$.
|Frequent Flyer Program||Conversion Ratio
Transfers cost S$25 per program, regardless of how many points are transferred.
STACK currently offers points conversions between the following programs:
- VOYAGE Miles
- My Millennium
Unfortunately, there are no real arbitrage opportunities available- it’s not like you can grow your OCBC$ by trading them for Travel$. STACK is more useful for cashing out orphan points that would otherwise go to waste. For example, I may not normally stay at Millennium Hotel properties, but on the odd occasion I do, there’s still value in collecting the loyalty points so I can trade them for a currency I actually use.
Here’s how different points currencies map to each other. Do note that it’s currently not possible to transfer points into OCBC$.
|1 My Point||0.417||N/A||0.391||1.283||0.680||N/A||1.36|
Other card perks
2% rebate at Best Denki
OCBC Titanium Rewards Card members will earn an additional 2% cash rebate on top of the 4 mpd at Best Denki, up till 31 January 2021.
There is no cap on the maximum cashback that can be earned.
Discounted lounge access
There’s no free lounge visits on this card, but cardholders can purchase them at a rate of US$27 each via LoungeKey and the Mastercard Airport Experiences program.
Summary Review: OCBC Titanium Rewards Card
As far as 4 mpd cards come, the OCBC Titanium Rewards Card isn’t as “brainless” as the Citi Rewards or DBS Woman’s World Card. While the latter two earn 4 mpd on almost all online transactions, the OCBC Titanium Rewards confines the bonus to a smaller range of MCCs. You’ll need to be careful not to use it for online groceries, or food delivery for example.
That said, it covers all your essential e-commerce merchants (not to mention offline department stores and boutiques), and the annual (instead of monthly) 4 mpd cap makes it a great choice for big ticket purchases. The frequent bonus points promotions are just the icing on the cake.
For large spenders, getting both the Blue and Pink versions doubles your 4 mpd cap to S$24,000 per membership year, or 96,000 miles. That’s an excellent overall return, equivalent to a one-way Business Class ticket from Singapore to Los Angeles/San Francisco/Seattle.
So that’s my review of the OCBC Titanium Rewards Card. What do you think?
|An essential card for miles chasers, with few viable alternatives|
|A very good card, although other equally good alternatives may exist|
|A decent card to round out your collection, but not absolutely essential|
|Very limited use cases, and outperformed by most other cards|
|Paperweight. Use for picking teeth or ninja stars|