OCBC VOYAGE devalues VOYAGE Miles by 25%

Paying for a flight with VOYAGE Miles? It'll cost you more from August, following OCBC's unannounced devaluation for redemptions via Travel with OCBC.

OCBC VOYAGE Miles are one of the more unique points currencies out there, because in addition to conversions to airline and hotel loyalty programmes, VOYAGE Miles can also be redeemed like cash against the cost of any ticket on any airline.

While the value of the former is public knowledge (e.g. 1 VOYAGE Mile = 1 KrisFlyer mile), the value of the latter is opaque. OCBC does not publish the value of a VOYAGE Mile when used to pay for airfares, and to further complicate matters, the value can differ depending on cabin (or even route, historically speaking). 

And it’s because of that opacity that OCBC VOYAGE Cardholders are particularly exposed to stealth devaluations, like the one that just happened a few days ago.

OCBC devalues VOYAGE Miles

Travel with OCBC

For context, OCBC VOYAGE Cardholders can redeem their VOYAGE Miles for airfares on the Travel with OCBC portal, which works like any regular OTA. 

Just enter your route, dates and cabin, hit the search button and browse the options. You’ll see a slider bar that lets you decide what mixture of VOYAGE Miles and cash you want to use. 

Paying entirely in cash | Screenshot: Ronald
Paying entirely in VOYAGE Miles | Screenshot: Ronald

You can work out the value per mile by taking the cash price of the ticket divided by the number of VOYAGE Miles required, although the Travel with OCBC portal sometimes quotes higher prices than the airline’s official website- in such cases the value per VOYAGE Mile will be inflated. 

Long story short: prior to 1 August 2023, the value of a VOYAGE Mile when redeemed for Business Class airfares was reliably ~2.3 cents.

Here’s the value now:

CabinValue per VM
First Class 1.72 cents 
Business Class 1.72 cents 
Premium Economy Class 1.03 cents 
Economy Class 0.92 cents 

Where Business Class is concerned, the value per VOYAGE Mile has been cut by 25%, and while I don’t have the pre-August valuations for other cabins, it’s safe to say the value there has been cut too. 

For avoidance of doubt, this affects all VOYAGE Cardholders, whether you hold the entry-level vanilla VOYAGE or the top-of-the-line BOS VOYAGE.

🛎️ What about the VOYAGE Concierge?
The above valuations are based on quotes from the Travel with OCBC portal. You may obtain different valuations with quotes from the VOYAGE Concierge; I don’t have a VOYAGE Card, so I’m not able to verify that.

In other words, VOYAGE Cardholders have had the value of their miles stash cut overnight, with no recourse available. Remember: OCBC never promised you a specific value per VOYAGE Mile when paying for airfares. They only said you could do so, and the value is “whatever we say it is!”

This in a nutshell is my discomfort with any programme that doesn’t have published award charts (as Alaska Mileage Plan users can attest to!). There’s no knowing when the other shoe will drop. 

What else can you do with VOYAGE Miles?

For what it’s worth, the conversion rates for OCBC VOYAGE Miles to airline and hotel loyalty programmes have not been touched, and remain as follows:

Frequent Flyer ProgrammeConversion Ratio
(VOYAGE Miles : Miles)
krisflyer logo1,000 : 1,000
flyingblue logo1,000 : 1,000
1,000 : 1,000
ihg logo1,000 : 1,000
british airways logo1,000 : 900
etihad guest logo1,000 : 900
asia miles logo1,000 : 750
1,000 : 700
1,000 : 500

As a reminder: 

A S$25 conversion fee applies, but this is waived for all partners on the STACK Rewards portal till 30 October 2023. 

Conversions for KrisFlyer miles are usually processed within a day, while STACK Rewards conversions should be instant for most partners except Accor Live Limitless. 

Conclusion

OCBC VOYAGE Cardholders have had a rough start to August, with the bank quietly devaluing VOYAGE Miles for airfare redemptions. If you were sitting on a pile of VOYAGE Miles, all I can say is “ouch”.

Unfortunately, that’s just how this particular system works. Without a published value per VOYAGE Mile (or OCBC$ or 90°N Mile for that matter), cardholders would be well advised to earn and burn quickly- hoarding too long is asking for trouble.

Aaron Wong
Aaron Wong
Aaron founded The Milelion to help people travel better for less and impress chiobu. He was 50% successful.

Similar Articles

Comments

8 COMMENTS

Subscribe
Notify of
guest

8 Comments
Oldest
Newest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
No OCBC

I don’t hold Voyage but where is the fairness to customers. Or at least the decency to inform that in 5 working days, your $ value may vary

Ceelo

We must inform the ministers. This cannot stand!

Grow a Spine

Or just know what you agreed to when you sign up for the card and grow a spine.

Zaos

This is the silver lining to bloggers. Disinfecting sunshine on tricks like this.

OCBC holder

agreed, it shouldnt be informed in such a manner.

Charles

Pretty scummy move.

Stajin

did you take into consideration when valuing VM that you earn KF miles when you redeem your VM on ocbc travel site?

Kel

Ponzi scheme survival rules apply here. Get into the program and redeem quick. Last ones out the door get saddled with the short straws.

CREDIT CARD SIGN UP BONUSES

Advertisment

Featured Deals

Advertisment

Follow us

7,110FansLike
10,314FollowersFollow

TAGS