OCBC adding 7 new airline & hotel transfer partners

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From December 2022, OCBC cardholders will have more than just KrisFlyer to choose from, as the bank adds 7 new airline and hotel partners.

One key weakness of OCBC credit cards is that they only have a single transfer partner: Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer. 

While that might be sufficient for the vast majority of cardholders, true miles and points junkies will know that other frequent flyer programmes (FFP) have sweet spots of their own, whether it’s BA Executive Club short-haul awards, Miles&Smiles tickets to Europe, or Etihad Guest’s eclectic mix of partner airlines. Each FFP is like a different tool, and all things equal, wouldn’t you rather have a fully-loaded toolbox?

Fortunately, the situation is going to get a whole lot better by the end of 2022, with OCBC set to add seven new airline and hotel transfer partners.

OCBC adding 7 new transfer partners

While poking around on the OCBC VOYAGE website, I came across the following under the “benefits” section. 

“Convert VOYAGE miles to loyalty points at 8 airline and hotel partner programmes”. That’s certainly new!

I asked OCBC about this, and they confirmed the following:

  • OCBC intends to add seven new airline and hotel transfer partners by December 2022
  • These will be available for all rewards currencies: VOYAGE Miles, Travel$, OCBC$

OCBC wasn’t able to disclose the names of the new partners or the transfer ratios, but if they’re adding seven at one go, it almost certainly means they’ll be using Ascenda Loyalty’s TransferConnect.

TransferConnect is a points exchange network that allows customers to tap Ascenda’s pre-existing network of airline and hotel partners, avoiding the hassle of individual negotiations. It’s how Standard Chartered launched the SC X Card and added 11 transfer partners overnight.

Ascenda Loyalty partners with the following airline and hotel loyalty programmes:

  • Accor Live Limitless
  • Air NZ AirPoints
  • Aeroflot Bonus
  • Aeroplan
  • AeroMexico Club Premier
  • AirAsia Rewards
  • Asia Miles
  • British Airways Executive Club
  • China Eastern Miles
  • China Southern Sky Pearl Club
  • Club Vistara
  • EL AL Matmid Frequent Flyer Club
  • Emirates Skywards
  • Etihad Guest
  • EVA Infinity MileageLands
  • Finnair Plus
  • FlyingBlue
  • Hainan Airlines Fortune Wings Club
  • HawaiianMiles
  • Iberia Plus
  • IHG One Rewards
  • JAL Mileage Bank
  • JetBlue TrueBlue
  • Malaysia Enrich
  • Marriott Bonvoy
  • LATAM Pass
  • LifeMiles
  • Qantas Frequent Flyer
  • Qatar Privilege Club
  • TAP Miles&Go
  • THAI Royal Orchid Plus
  • Turkish Miles&Smiles
  • United MileagePlus
  • Velocity Frequent Flyer
  • Wyndham Rewards

If I had to guess, I’d say we’ll see the following additions for OCBC in December:

  • Accor Live Limitless
  • Asia Miles
  • British Airways Executive Club
  • Emirates Skywards
  • Etihad Guest
  • IHG One Rewards
  • Qantas Frequent Flyer

While I’d love to see more “exotic” programmes like Aeroplan and LifeMiles, that might be a bit too niche for the local market. 

In terms of transfer ratios, we shouldn’t expect to see a uniform rate applied across the board. Using Standard Chartered as an example, conversions range from 2,500-3,500 bank points to 1,000 partner miles. 

Frequent Flyer ProgrammeConversion Ratio
(SC Points: Partner)
2,500: 1,000
2,500: 1,000
2,500: 1,000 
2,500: 1,000
2,500: 1,000
3,000: 1,000 
3,500: 1,000 
3,500: 1,000 
3,500: 1,000
5,000: 1,000

This suggests that the cost price of Emirates Skywards and Qatar Privilege Club miles is more than Qantas points or FlyingBlue miles, for example, and I’d expect OCBC to apply similar ratios if they’re featured. 

Transfer partners by bank

As a reminder, here’s the current list of transfer partners by bank. 

Click to enlarge

Singapore Airlines is the obvious leader, partnering with all nine points-awarding banks. Cathay Pacific in second place with seven, followed by Qantas in third with four. 

More rare are partners like Turkish Miles&Smiles, Accor Live Limitless and Marriott Bonvoy- I certainly hope to see more banks getting them on board!

Conclusion

OCBC is set to add seven new airline and hotel transfer partners by December 2022, giving cardholders alternatives to KrisFlyer. 

It’s yet to be confirmed who the seven are, but Cathay Pacific is almost a nailed-on certainty, as well as one of Accor Live Limitless, IHG One Rewards or Marriott Bonvoy. And if OCBC introduces one completely new partner to the Singapore market, well, I wouldn’t complain either!

So if you’re holding on to a big stash of VOYAGE Miles, Travel$ or OCBC$, don’t cash them out for KrisFlyer miles just yet. 

Which transfer partners are you hoping to see?

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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DrRespect

It’s Ocbc. They’d probably add Air Asia.

Uh oh

Ascenda is good as long as the software can handle your request, if you need customer service you’re fried.

CH Lim

It’s OCBC. They’d probably add Oyo rooms

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