OCBC offering 15% Asia Miles transfer bonus (capped at just 2,500 miles)

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For November 2023, OCBC cardholders can take advantage of a 15% Asia Miles transfer bonus. But with a low base rate and 2,500 bonus miles cap, it's more like this is taking advantage of them.

In July 2023, OCBC finally launched its eight new airline and hotel loyalty programmes, giving cardholders additional transfer options beyond just Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer. 

While more choice is always welcome, the problem is that the conversion ratios weren’t great.

Transfer Partners
 90°N Miles & VOYAGE MilesOCBC$
krisflyer logo1:1 (VOYAGE)
25,000 : 10,000
1,000 : 1,000 (90°N)
flyingblue logo1,000 : 1,00010,000 : 4,000
1,000 : 1,00010,000 : 4,000
1,000 : 1,00010,000 : 4,000
british airways logo1,000 : 90010,000 : 3,600
etihad guest logo1,000 : 90010,000 : 3,600
asia miles logo1,000 : 75010,000 : 2,900
1,000 : 70010,000 : 2,800
1,000 : 50010,000 : 2,000
All ratios expressed as OCBC points : partner miles/points

For instance, compared to KrisFlyer you’d be taking a 25% haircut when converting points to Cathay Pacific Asia Miles. That’s a tough pill to swallow, when every other bank in Singapore offers KrisFlyer and Asia Miles conversions at parity. 

OCBC has now launched a limited-time transfer bonus for Asia Miles, but since it’s only 15% and capped at just 2,500 bonus miles, I really wonder why they even bothered!

OCBC offering 15% transfer bonus to Asia Miles

From 1-30 November 2023, eligible OCBC cardholders can redeem 90°N Miles, OCBC$ and VOYAGE Miles for Asia Miles with a 15% bonus.

1,000 90°N Miles750  863 Asia Miles
1,000 VOYAGE Miles750  863 Asia Miles
10,000 OCBC$2,900 3,335 Asia Miles
A minimum transfer of 1,000 90°N /VOYAGE Miles and 10,000 OCBC$ is required, but subsequent conversion blocks are 100 90°N /VOYAGE Miles and 1,000 OCBC$.
❓ “Eligible Cards”

Eligible cards refer to:

  • OCBC Titanium Rewards Credit Card
  • OCBC 90°N Card
  • OCBC VOYAGE Card
  • OCBC Premier VOYAGE Card
  • OCBC Premier Private Client VOYAGE Card
  • Bank of Singapore VOYAGE Card

The OCBC Premier Visa Infinite (which earns OCBC$) is not listed, which I suspect might just be an oversight- but don’t take my word for it. 

The bonus will be applied automatically, with no registration required. However, the maximum bonus is capped at just 2,500 Asia Miles, which means a transfer of 16,667 miles would max it out. Seriously, what’s that going to get you? It’s so low it’s almost derisory, quite frankly. 

If you decide to proceed nonetheless, you’ll need to visit the STACK Rewards platform where the eight new transfer partners are located (unlike KrisFlyer, which is on the legacy OCBC Rewards portal).

Click on the Points Exchange tab, and scroll until you see Cathay. 

The regular ratio will be reflected, but within a few days the STACK team should update the interface with a small notification about the additional 15% bonus.

In any case the T&Cs are ironclad about the transfer bonus running from 1-30 November 2023, so I wouldn’t worry. In any case, this is all hypothetical because you shouldn’t be transferring points in the first place! 

Base and bonus Asia Miles will be reflected in two separate transactions. The base component should be credited instantly, with the bonus component appearing within four weeks after the campaign ends, i.e. by 28 December 2023. 

Transfers via STACK Rewards normally incur a conversion fee of S$25, but OCBC will be waiving this till 30 November 2023 (extended from 31 October 2023).

Terms & Conditions

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

Is it worth it?

Every bank in Singapore offers similar conversion ratios for KrisFlyer and Asia Miles…except OCBC

Goodness me, no.

Every other bank in Singapore, even BOC, offers transfers to Asia Miles miles at the same cost as KrisFlyer miles. 

 KrisFlyerAsia Miles
AMEX400 MR pts: 250 miles*400 MR pts: 250 miles*
BOC45,000 pts: 10,000 miles27,000 pts: 6,000 miles
Citibank10,000 Citi Miles: 10,000 miles10,000 Citi Miles: 10,000 miles
DBS5,000 DBS Points: 10,000 miles5,000 DBS Points: 10,000 miles
HSBC25,000 pts: 10,000 miles25,000 pts: 10,000 miles
Maybank25,000 TREATS: 10,000 miles12,500 TREATS: 5,000 miles
OCBC1,000 90°N Miles: 1,000 miles1,000 90°N Miles: 750  863 miles
UOB5,000 UNI$ : 10,000 miles5,000 UNI$ : 10,000 miles
*For Platinum Charge and Centurion; for all other AMEX cards 450 pts : 250 miles

So if you really want Asia Miles, you’re better off earning points with any bank other than OCBC. Even after the 15% transfer bonus, you’re still taking a 15% haircut compared to KrisFlyer!

On a separate note, Asia Miles had a programme devaluation which came into effect on 1 October 2023. While there was a reduction in the price of most Economy awards, Premium Economy, Business and First awards rose by 8-29%, with the biggest increases for long-haul flights.

✈️ Asia Miles Redemptions for Cathay Pacific Flights
(in 000’s)

DistanceYPYJF
1-7507.5111625
751 – 2,750
(Type 1)
1018
20
25
28
40
43
751 – 2,750
(Type 2)
10
12.5
18
23
25
32
40
50
2,751 – 5,00022
20
30
38
45
58
70
90
5,001 – 7,500*
30
27
40 or 45
50
65 or 70
84
100 or 110
125
7,501+42
38
60
75
85
110
125
160
*Formerly split into Type 1 & Type 2, now combined into one

For more analysis on the devaluation, and the remaining sweet spots, refer to the post below.

Cathay Pacific Asia Miles devaluation coming October 2023

Conclusion

OCBC cardholders can now take advantage of a 15% transfer bonus to Asia Miles, but with the underwhelming base rate and 2,500 bonus miles cap, it’s more like this promotion is taking advantage of them!

For what it’s worth, it does look like OCBC will be running regular transfer bonuses for its new partners. We’ve already seen offers for Flying Blue (good), Marriott Bonvoy (maybe), and IHG One Rewards (meh), so hopefully future promotions will give more to cheer 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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Kel

Worst local bank amongst the big 3

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