While it’s generally a bad idea to redeem credit card points for cash rebates (the value you receive is so poor that you might as well have used a cashback card in the first place), we occasionally see exceptions.
One example is the promotion that OCBC is currently running for its VOYAGE cardholders, where they can cash out miles at 1.54 cents each. However, there’s another similar promotion for 90°N cardholders that’s worth looking at in a bit more detail too.
Redeem Travel$ at up to 1.43 cents each
Travel$ can normally be redeemed for cash rebates at a rate of 1 cent each. However, from now till 31 December 2020, OCBC90°N cardholders will receive an enhanced rate of up to 1.43 cents each:
<ADV> OCBC 90.N Card: From now till 31 December 2020, get up to 30% off when you use your Travel$ to exchange for cash in your card account. For example, you will get S$10 in exchange for 800 Travel$ (usually 1,000); 7,000 Travel$ (usually 10,000) will give you S$100. Go to www.ocbc.com/rewards to make your redemptions. Questions? Call 1800 363 3333. SMS unsub to 72377
I’ve confirmed with OCBC that this is not a targeted promotion; it’s in fact open to all 90°N cardholders. You should see this reflected when you login to the OCBC online rewards portal.
OCBC 90°N cardholders can choose from the following options (remember that 1 Travel$ = 1 mile):
1,000800 Travel$ for S$10 cash (1.25 cents/mile)
10,0007,000 Travel$ for S$100 cash (1.43 cents/mile)
|⚠️ Some users are reporting an IT glitch on the OCBC website whereby points are deducted, but an error page shows after clicking “redeem”. OCBC is looking into this, but in the meantime, you can find proof of your redemption in the “Rewards” tab in online banking, under “Transaction History”|
All redemptions must be made by 31 December 2020, and there’s no cap on the maximum redemptions that can be done. For example, even if your current card balance is S$300, you can redeem as many sets of S$500 as you have points.
Is it worth it?
Based on the regular OCBC 90°N earn rates, this promotion represents a rebate of up to 3.0%– higher than what you’d get with any unlimited cashback card on the market.
|Local Spend*||Overseas Spend*|
|OCBC 90°N||1.2 mpd|
|*Rebates based on conversion rate of 7,000 Travel$ for S$100 cash|
It’s not as good as what we have on the OCBC VOYAGE card (because VOYAGE cardholders can cash out miles at 1.54 cents each), but for someone with too many Travel$, it’s not the worst option ever. My personal threshold for cashing out miles would be 1.5 cents each, so this falls slightly short for me.
|Voucher||Cash Price||Travel$||Value/ Travel$|
|S$50 New Ubin Seafood||S$37.50||2,300||1.63|
|S$50 Seoul Garden||S$40||2,453||1.63|
There’s plenty more to choose from, like Grab, FairPrice, Cold Storage, Qoo10 and Guardian vouchers, all at 1.63 cents per Travel$. I’d probably lean this way instead.
Do remember that if you want to enjoy the 1.43 cents per mile rate, you’ll need to cash out in blocks of 7,000 Travel$. OCBC does not allow partial block redemptions, so factor this into your calculations too.
The longer travel remains on hold, the more attractive options like this are going to look. That said, you have until the end of 2020 to pull the trigger, and we should hopefully start to see more travel bubbles taking shape by then.
If I were going to cash out Travel$, however, I’d certainly look at STACK first.