Bonus upfront: OCBC 90°N Mastercard 25,500 miles sign-up offer


The OCBC 90°N Mastercard's latest sign-up offer is miles first, spend later, but the hefty minimum spend and lacklustre bonus will deter many.

OCBC has launched a new 25,500 miles sign-up offer for the OCBC 90°N Mastercard, and while it may not be the most generous bonus out there, the mechanic sure is interesting.

OCBC markets the offer as 55,000 miles, but this includes the base miles from the S$15,000 minimum spend

In what could be an industry first, OCBC is offering the bonus miles upfront. There is, of course, a claw back provision should the minimum spend not be met, but the general idea is miles first, spend later.

Unfortunately, the minimum spend is a hefty S$15,000, and those able to spend that much will find superior alternatives elsewhere.

OCBC 90°N Mastercard sign-up offer

This sign-up offer is for the OCBC 90°N Mastercard only; while the 90°N Mastercard and Visa will have identical earn rates by 17 March 2023, they will remain as two separate products, each with their own offers.

New-to-bank customers who apply and get approved for an OCBC 90°N Mastercard from 15 February to 31 March 2023 will receive:

  • 10,000 Travel$ for paying the first year’s S$194.40 annual fee
  • 25,500 Travel$ for spending S$15,000 during the qualifying period (defined below)
❓ New-to-bank

New-to-bank customers are defined as those who:

  • do not currently hold a principal OCBC credit card, and
  • have not cancelled one in the past six months

The 35,500 Travel$ will be automatically credited within 2 weeks of card approval date.

The qualifying period to meet the S$15,000 spend depends on your approval month, but can be up to seven months depending on when approval comes through (e.g. if you get approved on 1 March 2023 you have till 30 September 2023 to make the minimum spend). 

Approval  Min. Spend By
1-28 February 2023 31 August 2023
1-31 March 2023 30 September 2023

If you have not met the S$15,000 spend by the end of the qualifying period, one of two things will happen:

  • If you have at least 25,500 Travel$ in your account, 25,500 Travel$ will be clawed back
  • If you have 25,499 Travel$ or less in your account, OCBC will charge you S$540. This fee will not be pro-rated, e.g. it’s not the case that if you have 12,750 Travel$ in your account, 12,750 Travel$ will be clawed back with a S$270 fee

I’m sure you see that this sign-up bonus has the potential to be a bit of a poisoned chalice, because the cost per mile that OCBC will charge is a hefty 2.11 cents. If you fail to meet the minimum spend, you would have been much better off buying your miles elsewhere!

In addition to the bonus miles, cardholders will earn base miles on their S$15,000 spend as follows:

  • 1.3 mpd for local spend
  • 2.1 mpd for overseas spend

As a reminder, the earn rate for local spend has been upgraded from 1.2 mpd from 15 February 2023 onwards. 

OCBC 90°N Cards boost earn rates for general spend, remove bonus categories

Can I get a first year fee waiver?


Cardholders who do not wish to pay the S$194.40 annual fee can send the following SMS by 15 April 2023:

📱 SMS to 72377
90NMCwaive<space>Last 8 digits of your card
e.g. 90NMCwaive 1234

OCBC will then reverse the S$194.40 annual fee and deduct 10,000 of the 35,500 Travel$ awarded. Obviously, you won’t be able to get a waiver if your Travel$ balance is below 10,000, so be careful not to transfer everything out if that’s the plan.

What counts as qualifying spend?

Qualifying spend refers to in-person or online retail transactions, excluding transactions such as:

  • Charitable Donations
  • Education
  • Government Transactions
  • GrabPay top-ups
  • Hospitals
  • Insurance
  • Utilities

The full list of non-qualifying spend can be found in the OCBC 90°N Mastercard’s T&Cs.

Terms & Conditions

The T&Cs for this offer can be found here.

Note in particular that OCBC will claw back both the 25,500 Travel$ from spending and the 10,000 Travel$ from paying the annual fee should the card be closed within six months from 31 March 2023. 

What can you do with Travel$?

Etihad Guest will soon be a transfer partner for OCBC

Travel$ can only be converted to Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer miles at the moment, but additional partners are coming online by the end of February (the transfer ratios are yet to be revealed).

✈️ 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

All transfers will be charged a conversion fee of S$25.

Is this a good deal?

While I have to give OCBC credit for thinking outside the box with the mechanics, I can’t say this is a particularly attractive offer.

As I wrote about recently, we’re in a bit of a charmed period now when it comes to sign-up bonuses, with more than one dozen to choose from.

Which of these 12 credit card sign-up bonuses should you take?

If you do the math, the OCBC 90°N Mastercard’s offer is 25,500 bonus miles for S$15,000 spend, or a payoff ratio of 1.7 (bonus miles divided by spend). That’s hard to swallow when you can leverage your new-to-bank status to get a much better sign-up offer with the OCBC Titanium Rewards Card: 11,520 miles with a spend of just S$100, or a payoff ratio of 115. Put it another way: compared to the OCBC 90°N Mastercard, the OCBC Titanium Rewards offers just under 50% of the bonus miles for 0.67% of the spending!

There’s just so many other superior offers out there for the Citi PremierMiles, Citi Rewards, or DBS Altitude AMEX; even the notorious UOB is breaking character by offering an uncapped sign-up bonus for the KrisFlyer UOB Credit Card: 25,000 bonus miles for S$2,000 spend.

Factor in the consequences of not meeting the hefty S$15,000 minimum spend, and this sign-up offer feels like something you should pass on. 


The OCBC 90°N Mastercard has launched a new sign-up bonus that awards 25,500 Travel$ with S$15,000 spend in 6-7 months, plus 10,000 Travel$ more if the S$194.40 annual fee is paid.

Offering the bonus upfront is certainly intriguing, but the lacklustre return relative to the minimum spend kills off most of my enthusiasm. 

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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