Revealed: OCBC’s new airline and hotel transfer partners

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OCBC has announced eight new airline and hotel partners, including Etihad Guest, Marriott Bonvoy and United MileagePlus.

Back in September 2022, I wrote about how OCBC was set to add seven new transfer partners, which would give cardholders a much wider choice beyond the current KrisFlyer-only setup. 

The new partners were supposed to be added by the end of 2022, but that deadline slipped to February 2023. Now an eDM with further details has gone out to VOYAGE Cardholders, and instead of seven, we have eight new airline and hotel partners to look forward to.

In addition to VOYAGE Miles, these new partners will also be available for Travel$ and OCBC$ conversions, although we do not know any transfer ratios at this point. 

OCBC’s new transfer partners

OCBC will soon be adding the following airline and hotel partner programmes for VOYAGE Miles, Travel$ and OCBC$ redemptions. 

✈️ Airlines🏨 Hotels
  • Air France-KLM Flying Blue
  • British Airways Executive Club
  • Cathay Pacific 
  • Etihad Guest
  • United MileagePlus
  • Accor Live Limitless
  • IHG One Rewards
  • Marriott Bonvoy

These are targeted to come online in February 2023, although the exact date has yet to be confirmed.

As a reminder, OCBC will also be ending its free KrisFlyer miles conversions, which are currently available for VOYAGE Miles, Travel$, and OCBC$ earned on the OCBC Premier Visa Infinite. A S$25 admin fee will apply for all conversions from 1 February 2023 onwards. You can read the details in the posts below. 

Nerfed: OCBC VOYAGE slashes limo rides, adds miles conversion fees

OCBC ending free miles transfers for 90°N and Premier Visa Infinite Cards

Which partners am I excited about?

United MileagePlus has the potential to be an interesting partner

Additional transfer partners are always a good thing, especially when they include hotels (it’s notoriously difficult to earn hotel points through credit cards in Singapore).

Of course, we don’t know the all-important transfer ratios yet, so this could either be an exciting development or a damp squib. Here’s my speculative ratios, mostly based on what we’ve seen with Standard Chartered (OCBC is using the same Ascenda Loyalty platform, so it stands to reason the underlying economics are similar). 

💭 Speculative Transfer Ratios
(OCBC: partner)
 OCBC$Travel$/VOYAGE Miles
Air France-KLM2.5:11:1
British Airways2.5:11:1
Cathay Pacific2.5:11:1
Etihad Guest3:11.2:1
United MileagePlus3.5:11.4:1
Accor Live Limitless5:12:1
IHG One2.5:11:1
Marriott Bonvoy2.5:11:1

Accor Live Limitless points have a fixed value of €0.02, which means you could potentially cash out Travel$ and VOYAGE Miles at S$0.0143 each, assuming my speculative ratios are correct. That could get even better whenever Accor offers one of its transfer bonuses. 

British Airways is well-known for their short-haul award sweet spots, and also happens to be one of the best ways of visiting the excellent Qatar Premium Lounge at Changi for cheap (just redeem a one-way MH Business Class ticket to KUL for 12,500 Avios). 

Don’t forget that you can also transfer Avios from British Airways to Qatar Airways at a 1:1 ratio, and Qatar Airways does not impose fuel surcharges for redemptions on its own metal. 

Etihad Guest has a veritable harem of partner airlines, making it a jack-of-all-trade solution for someone who wants a “fourth alliance” of sorts. You can redeem tickets on Air Serbia, Air Canada, Gulf Air, Korean Air, SriLankan Airlines and more. 

United MileagePlus is a relative unknown for most miles chasers here, and despite their shift to dynamic pricing, you can still find good value awards if you know where to look. They also have nifty tricks like the Excursionist Perk (I covered this during my pre-COVID miles classes- hopefully those who attended were paying attention!), and domestic flights within the US start from just 5,000 miles each way. 

More crucially, United MileagePlus does not impose fuel surcharges on redemptions. This makes them the ideal programme to redeem Lufthansa First Class, or any other carrier that slaps on these junk fees. 

The US bloggers will have this covered better, so refer to the links below for some sweet spot ideas:

Conclusion

OCBC has announced eight new airline and hotel partners, which are targeted to be added from February 2023. This will give cardholders a total of nine transfer partners to choose from, dramatically enhancing the usefulness of OCBC’s rewards currencies. 

I’ll update you with the transfer ratios as soon as we have confirmation.

Which OCBC transfer partner are you most excited about?

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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Lion Den

Are there plans for in-person classes for miles enthusiasts? Just like pre-Covid.

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