Nerf: OCBC Titanium Rewards to cap bonus OCBC$ by month, remove bonus for electronics

From November 2023, the OCBC Titanium Rewards Card will cap its bonus OCBC$ by month instead of by year, and change its bonus merchants whitelist to remove electronics stores and IKEA.

While the OCBC Titanium Rewards Card does not offer as wide a range of bonus categories as the Citi Rewards Card or DBS Woman’s World Card, its biggest asset is the ability to spend the entire year’s bonus cap at one shot.

In other words, cardholders can charge up to S$13,335 at an eligible merchant and earn 4 mpd on the entire amount, making it ideal for big-ticket purchases such as luxury goods, electronics, or the latest iPhone 15 (which, I suppose, counts as both). 

However, OCBC is changing the rules from November 2023.

⚠️ OCBC Notification

From 1 November 2023, you will earn 10 times the usual OCBC$ (equivalent to 4 air miles or 2.78% cash rebate) for every S$1 spent on:

  • Transactions made at these merchants: Guardian, NTUC Unity, Watsons and TikTok Shop
  • Transactions that fall under these Merchant Category Codes (MCC): MCC 5309 (Duty Free Stores), MCC 5655 (Sports and Riding Apparel Stores), MCC 5941 (Sporting Goods Stores) and MCC 5948 (Luggage or Leather Goods Stores)

Continue to earn up to 120,000 bonus OCBC$ a year, now limited to 10,000 bonus OCBC$ a month.

In addition to changing the list of MCCs and merchants eligible for 4 mpd, the Titanium Rewards Card will lose what’s arguably its biggest selling point by switching its bonus cap from annual to monthly.

Details: OCBC Titanium Rewards changes

From 1 November 2023, the OCBC Titanium Rewards Card will change the way it applies its 4 mpd bonus cap, and revise the list of MCCs and merchants eligible for bonus miles. 

Revised bonus cap

Instead of the current bonus cap of 120,000 OCBC$ per membership year, the OCBC Titanium Rewards Card will adopt a bonus cap of 10,000 OCBC$ per calendar month. 

 CurrentFrom 1 Nov 2023
Bonus OCBC$ Cap120,000 OCBC$ per membership year10,000 OCBC$ per calendar month
Equivalent toS$13,335 per membership yearS$1,110 per calendar month

This means that cardholders will no longer be able to utilise their entire 4 mpd bonus cap in a single S$13,335 transaction. Instead, they’ll need to break it into 12 monthly transactions of S$1,110 each (do note that the cap is S$1,110 and not S$1,000 because it’s the bonus OCBC$ which are capped at 10,000).

This is a huge blow to the OCBC Titanium Reward’s value proposition, if you ask me. It’s already playing second fiddle to competitors like the Citi Rewards Card and DBS Woman’s World Card, which offer a less restrictive “blacklist approach”- all online transactions earn 4 mpd, unless they’re on the exclusions list. 

In contrast, the OCBC Titanium Rewards is still sticking with its more restrictive “whitelist approach”- only specified MCCs and merchants earn 4 mpd. And even compared to other whitelist cards like the HSBC Revolution and UOB Preferred Platinum Visa (where online spend is concerned), the OCBC Titanium Reward’s whitelist is much more restrictive.

As before, both the Blue and Pink OCBC Titanium Rewards Cards will continue to have their own independent bonus OCBC$ caps.

Revised bonus categories

The OCBC Titanium Rewards Card’s 4 mpd whitelist will be changed as follows:

MCCExamples
(non-exhaustive)
MCC 5309 Duty Free Stores  new Lotte Duty Free, King Power Duty Free, The Shilla Duty Free
MCC 5311 Departmental StoresTakashimaya, TANGS, Isetan, OG, Metro, BHG, Marks & Spencer
MCC 5611 Men’s and Boys’ Clothing and Accessories StoresBenjamin Barker, Timberland, Edit Suits, Berluti
MCC 5621 Women’s Ready to Wear StoresZara, H&M, Mothercare
MCC 5631 Women’s Accessory and Speciality StoresTory Burch, Love Bonito, Pandora
MCC 5641 Children’s and Infants’ Wear StoresKiddy Palace, Mummys Market, Pupsik, Motherswork
MCC 5651 Family Clothing StoresUniqlo, ASOS, Club 21, Burberry, Yoox
MCC 5655 Sports and Riding Apparel  new Nike, Lululemon, Adidas
MCC 5661 Shoe StoresSkechers, Charles & Keith, Bata, Foot Locker, Pazzion
MCC 5691 Men’s and Women’s Clothing StoresEzbuy, Zalora, Fartech
MCC 5045 Computers, Peripherals, and SoftwareApple, Aftershock, Prism Plus, Dell
MCC 5732 Electronics StoresBest Denki, Harvey Norman, Gain City
MCC 5699 Miscellaneous Apparel and Accessory ShopsQoo10, Cotton On, Reebonz
MCC 5941 Sporting Goods Stores  new Decathlon, Fila, New Balance
MCC 5948 Luggage or Leather Goods Stores  new Louis Vuitton, Coach, Rimowa
Specified Merchants
  • Alibaba
  • AliExpress
  • Amazon^
  • Courts
  • Daigou
  • Ezbuy
  • Guardian  new 
  • IKEA
  • Lazada
  • Mustafa Centre^
  • NTUC Unity  new 
  • Qoo10
  • Shopee*
  • Taobao
  • TikTok Shop  new 
  • Watsons  new 
^Amazon and Mustafa Centre transactions under MCC 5411 are not eligible to earn any OCBC$
*Shopee Pay transactions under MCC 5262 are not eligible to earn any OCBC$

The key losses are computer and electronics stores such as Best Denki, Courts and Harvey Norman, as well as IKEA. Go figure that these are some of the places where you’re most likely to make big-ticket purchases…

New additions to the list include duty-free stores like King Power and KrisShop, sportswear stores like Adidas and Nike, leather goods retailers like Coach and LV, and the TikTok Shop (why?).

I’m also pleased to see the addition of Guardian, NTUC Unity and Watsons, though it does make me wonder why they just didn’t whitelist MCC 5912 Drug Stores and Pharmacies altogether!

The silver lining

While this is undoubtedly a negative change overall, I did think of one silver lining.

These changes take effect from 1 November 2023, so you have until 31 October 2023 to burn what remains of your 120,000 annual bonus OCBC$ allowance.

Here’s how OCBC puts it:

Your OCBC$ earned before 1 November 2023 will follow the annual cap of 120,000 OCBC$, depending on your card anniversary date. The monthly bonus cap takes effect from 1 November2023 for all cardholders, regardless of your card anniversary date

To illustrate, suppose my membership year runs from 1 April to 31 March each year, and I’ve already utilised 40,000 bonus OCBC$ so far. I have until 31 October 2023 to use the remaining 80,000 OCBC$, and from 1 November 2023, my monthly cap will be 10,000 bonus OCBC$, regardless of how many OCBC$ I’ve utilised in the months prior.

This means that my bonus OCBC$ for this particular membership year will actually be more than 120,000 OCBC$.

💳 OCBC Titanium Rewards Illustration
(for cardholder with membership year bet. 1 April to 31 March)
PeriodBonus OCBC$
1 April 2023 to 31 October 2023120,000 OCBC$
1 November 2023 to 31 March 202450,000 OCBC$
(5 mo. x 10,000 OCBC$ each)
Total bonus OCBC$ for membership year170,000 OCBC$

Terms and Conditions

Conclusion

With the OCBC Titanium Rewards Card shifting its 4 mpd cap from annual to monthly, cardholders will no longer be able to earn their entire year’s bonus at one go and then chuck the card into the drawer- which I believe is the idea.

If it’s any consolation, the transition will allow cardholders to earn more than 120,000 bonus OCBC$ this current membership year. They will need to spend by 31 October 2023 to make the most of it, however, so don’t wait too long. 

For what it’s worth, I can still see use cases for the OCBC Titanium Rewards Card even after November. It’s just that I’ll need to squint harder than ever before.

(HT: Anthony)

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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Mark

You have to wonder what on earth these banks are thinking. This is the second case where they removed the one item that differentiates themselves in the market (and therefore would attract customers). First DBS removes the 3mpd on hotels/travel on the Altitude Card, and now OCBC introduces a monthly cap. Bizzaire.

Siang Fei

Inflation le plus pharmacy in Singapore not doing well. All 3 big giant are working with ocbc

Joy

Banks don’t care about it. The golden days of miles earning is over. The last hurrah was during covid and i dont think we have seen anything exciting after that.. I guess thats to be expected when the game is now made so accessible and so conveniently to everyone these days..

Rondo

Agreed. Some things are better kept within a controlled community.

Nowadays every rando is into miles collecting. Good luck trying to redeem a flight.

CASHON

Nothing bizarre really. It costs a lot of money to run a cards programme and to make it profitable. I’m sure the banks have done more than their fair share of analysis.

chk

Like overseas credit cards earning miserable points or mpd

Cheong

https://milelion.com/2023/08/22/ocbc-titanium-rewards-offering-6-mpd-to-new-customers-plus-other-sign-up-gifts/

How about the previous 6mpd promotion for 3 months with maximum of $2k spend per month? I just got approved on 29 Sep.

Eugene L

I called into OCBC and the CSO said regardless of my CC approval date (which was 26 Aug 2023), the new TnCs kick in 1st Nov 2023. So I have 1 less month since (to simplify the dates) I was supposed to have the whole of Sept, whole of Oct, and whole of Nov 2023. Quite jialat lah OCBC.

Cheong

Yah feel cheated. Have to use this month to purchase all electronic goods

Joven

Does this mean they will still honor purchase done before 1st Nov? They will give the points? Planning to spend -8k for electronics stuff ..

Dave

I’m wondering can earn 4mpd for purchasing from overseas shopee like Malaysia/Indonesia, apart from Singapore one?

man

some comments:

how did the 2.78 % cash back rebate (eqialvalent to 4 mpd) come about? is it a market standard for KF miles? what does 3.33 equate to in mpd ?
watsons is a welcome one
leather goods is welcome but it’s capped by the 1.1k limit darn

Patrick

Dear dear. I always thought LV is under 5631 (Women’s Accessory and Specialty Shops) according to Max.

Anyway $1000 is too low for LV. Ha ha.

I hate Singapore banks. A lot.

Waivering

Plenty of reports in HWZ of people getting no bonus for LV purchases using TRMC.

Rondo

You could buy a keychain! Maybe?

Stajin

to the garbage can it goes weeeeee

MileTiger

The yearly cap was the selling point of this and awesome for overseas branded goods shopping.

I will cash out my existing points inside both cards if they do not waive the upcoming annual fees

Knowing OCBC and their anal stance in not waiving annual fee, I am not holding my breath

Dobby

I have taken A LOT of time researching and decided that this was the best card for me so I can make my Harvey Norman purchases soon. until I saw this news. I’m glad I haven’t signed up yet, but at the same time, I’m back to square one. Can someone recommend me a decent miles card for big ticket purchases please?

Nsy

Uob visa signature will give you 2k a mnth cap

Mark Wx

What’s a replacement card for big electronics purchase?
Was thinking of Citi Premieremiles

kwj

Under the old scheme, for OCBC$ earned from transactions that are refunded, OCBC will deduct the OCBC$ earned, but would this be reinstated as part of the 120,000 OCBC$ per membership year? Under the new scheme, less to worry about as the 10,000 OCBC$ cap is refreshed monthly.

Winston

I’ve just noticed in the new TnCs post-nerf that the Titanium Rewards card still awards OCBC$ in $5 blocks, not $1 blocks.

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