OCBC 90°N Visa vs Mastercard—Which Miles Card is Better? (2023 Review)

ocbc 90 n card review

For the longest time, OCBC simply did not have a decent entry-level air miles credit card in their lineup. Sure, there’s the OCBC Voyage Visa Infinite, but that’s for those with super-high incomes ($120,000/year to be exact) and out of reach for most. The closest thing to a miles card for regular people was the OCBC Titanium Rewards Card, which is a very good credit card for earning rewards points, but not exactly a miles card.

All that changed when OCBC launched the OCBC 90°N Mastercard in 2019. At long last came an air miles credit card from OCBC! Then, they followed up with the launch of the OCBC 90°N Visa.

OCBC logo
Earn Miles That Don't Expire
on Agoda accommodations worldwide
S$1 = Up to 7 Miles
on Foreign Currency spend
S$1 = 2.1 Miles
on Local spend
S$1 = 1.3 Miles

Despite its hard-to-pronounce name (I’ve heard it referred to as the “OCBC 90 Degree Card” and even “OCBC N90 Card”… you think what? Haze mask ah?), the OCBC miles cards have some attractive features that should make any globe trotter sit up and take note. 

Contents

  1. OCBC 90°N Miles Cards: Summary
  2. OCBC 90°N Miles Mastercard vs Visa Card: What’s the difference?
  3. OCBC 90°N Miles Cards Exclusions
  4. OCBC 90°N Miles Cards KrisFlyer Miles Redemption
  5. OCBC 90°N Miles Cards Travel Privileges, Promotion
  6. OCBC 90°N Miles Cards Sign-up Promotion
  7. Should I get the OCBC 90°N Miles Cards?
  8. OCBC 90°N Miles Cards Minimum Income, Fees 
  9. Alternatives to the OCBC 90°N Miles Cards

 

1. OCBC 90°N Miles Cards: Summary

Right off the bat, we can acknowledge that the OCBC 90°N Mastercard and 90°N Visa miles cards have a pretty standard miles earn rate. Both cards get you 1.3 miles per dollar on local spend and 2.1 miles per $1 on overseas spend.

While the miles earnings aren’t anything out of the ordinary, what makes the OCBC 90°N Miles cards appealing is the travel privileges that come with it. For instance, if you make accommodation bookings on Agoda, you can earn a rather generous 6 miles per $1 on local spend and 7 miles per $1 on overseas spend.

Not only that, unlike most miles cards that charge a fee for miles conversion, you don’t have to pay to convert your Travel$ to KrisFlyer miles. And even better, the OCBC Travel$ do not expire.

Let’s dive into the nitty gritty details of the card.

Back to top

 

2. OCBC 90°N Miles Mastercard vs Visa Card: What’s the difference?

As of 17 Mar 2023, the OCBC 90°N Mastercard and 90°N Visa share the same base earn rates (the Mastercard card used to earn slightly more). However, if you take a closer look at the T&Cs of the OCBC 90°N Mastercard and Visa card, they do continue to differ in terms of their bonus earn rates. Here’s a summary:

OCBC 90°N Mastercard OCBC 90°N Visa 
Base Points
  • Local spend: 6.5 Travel$ per $5 (1.3 miles per $1)
  • Overseas spend: 10.5 Travel$ per $5 (2.1 miles per $1)
  • No minimum monthly spend
  • No monthly earn cap
  • Local spend: 6.5 Travel$ per $5 (1.3 miles per $1)
  • Overseas spend: 10.5 Travel$ per $5 (2.1 miles per $1)
  • No minimum monthly spend
  • No monthly earn cap
Bonus Category
  • Streaming services
  • Online food delivery
  • Online shopping
  • Groceries
Bonus Points (Streaming services: Disney+, Spotify, Netflix, Audible, Viu)
  • Local spend: +10 Travel$ per $5 (+2 miles per $1)
  • Overseas spend: +5 Travel$ per $5 (+1 mile per $1)
Bonus Points (Online food delivery: Grab, Foodpanda, Deliveroo, Oddle)
  • Local spend: +2.5 Travel$ per $5 (+0.5 mile per $1)
  • Overseas spend: +10 Travel$ per $5 (+2 miles per $1)
Bonus Points (Online shopping: Lazada, Shopee, Qoo10, Taobao, Amazon)
  • Local spend: +2.5 Travel$ per $5 (+0.5 mile per $1)
  • Overseas spend: +10 Travel$ per $5 (+2 miles per $1)
Bonus Points (Groceries: Red Mart, NTUC, Cold Storage, Giant, Sheng Shiong)
  • Local spend: +2.5 Travel$ per $5 (+0.5 mile per $1)
  • Overseas spend: +10 Travel$ per $5 (+2 miles per $1)
Bonus Points Cap 500 bonus Travel$ (500 miles) per calendar month
Airport lounge benefits Discounted access to 1000+ lounges with the Mastercard Airport Experience platform’s LoungeKey network  –

The cards’ base rates are nothing to rave about. It’s pretty mediocre at $1 = 2.1 miles on overseas spending and $1= 1.3 mile on local spending. What then makes the OCBC 90°N Mastercard and OCBC 90°N Visa appealing? The Travel$ that you earn do not expire and there’s no conversion fees.

Comparing the two cards’ earn rates, the OCBC 90°N Visa has a slight edge over its Mastercard counterpart with its bonus earn rates. It offers higher earn rates for everyday spending like groceries, online shopping, food delivery, and streaming services. The highest total earn rate of 15 Travel$ per $5 (3 miles per $1) is doled out for your Disney+, Spotify, Netflix, Viu, and Audible subscriptions. Everyday spending, on the other hand, can earn you up to 7.5 Travel$ per $5 (1.5 miles per $1).

Looking at airport lounge benefits, the OCBC 90°N MasterCard comes out on top. It gives you discounted access to over 1,000 airport lounges in the Mastercard Airport Experience platform‘s LoungeKey network. However, note that OCBC clearly states in their T&Cs that you get to “enjoy discounts at airport lounges”, not “complimentary access”. That means you still have to pay to enter a lounge. The OCBC 90°N Visa is even worse off, with no airport lounge benefits at all. Overall, both OCBC 90°N Miles cards fall below our expectations, since many other entry-level miles cards (like the DBS Altitude and Citi PremierMiles) at least provide 2 x free access to airport lounges a year. 

Back to top

 

3. OCBC 90°N Miles Cards Exclusions

As with most credit cards, the OCBC 90°N Visa and Mastercard come with a list of exclusions. The following are some main exclusions which will not earn any Travel$:

  •  Government services
  • Payments to educational institutions
  • Insurance payments
  • Hospital bills
  • Utility bills – gas, water, electric
  • Cryptocurrencies
  • Parking charges
  • Tax payments

It’s a pretty standard list of exclusions. Save for these, the OCBC 90°N Miles cards are fuss-free and almost everything that you swipe the card for will earn you Travel$ which you can later convert to miles.

 

4. OCBC 90°N Miles Cards KrisFlyer Miles Redemption

The OCBC Travel$ is not particularly flexible as miles currency. The only frequent flyer programme it supports is KrisFlyer, so you cannot redeem miles under any other programme. 

This is a shame, because you can redeem flights for fewer miles with other frequent flyer programmes, such as Cathay Pacific’s Asia Miles. SQ has also been known to devalue KrisFlyer miles from time to time, which can make earning miles frustrating if you have no other options. 

Unfortunately, there is a transaction fee to redeem miles. It’ll cost you $25 per transaction to redeem your Travel$ for KrisFlyer Miles at a conversion rate of 1:1, and in blocks of 1,000 Travel$. If you have both the OCBC 90°N Mastercard and 90°N Visa, you can stack the Travel$ earned on both cards and redeem more miles.

Back to top

 

5. OCBC 90°N Miles Card—Other promotions and benefits

Earning miles aside, the OCBC 90°N Miles cards come with some privileges and promotions.

Discounted COVID-19 travel insurance

As a OCBC 90°N miles card holder, you get access to Travel with OCBC, which offers special rates on flights and accommodation. On top of that, you get a 45% discount on OCBC travel insurance with COVID-19 coverage from now till 30 Jun 2023 with the promo code 9NXEX45.

Free 12-month Burpple Beyond membership

It isn’t too difficult to spend on 5 things within 30 days, right? That will qualify you for a free 12-month Burpple Beyond Premium membership with the OCBC 90°N cards from now till 31 Dec 2023. OCBC did not state any minimum spend for the qualifying transactions, but do note that things like annual card fees and insurance premiums don’t count.

Back to top

 

6. OCBC 90°N Miles Cards Sign-up Promotion

One of the easiest ways to accumulate a lump sum of miles quickly is through sign-up promotions. If you’re planning for an upcoming holiday, sign-up for the OCBC 90°N Mastercard or Visa Card to earn 55,000 Travel$. Here’s how:

  • You must be new to OCBC credit cards (or cancelled your last one at least a year ago).
  • Spend a minimum of S$15,000 in Qualifying Spend in the first 6 months.
  • Pay the first year annual fee.
  • Promotion ends 30 Jun 2023.

Back to top

 

7. Should I get the OCBC 90°N Miles Cards?

If you’re a KrisFlyer loyalist, the OCBC 90°N Miles Cards are one way for you to earn KrisFlyer miles that do not expire. Plus, you don’t have to pay to convert your OCBC Travel$ into KrisFlyer miles.

The OCBC 90°N Miles Cards are great for globetrotters who are newbies to the miles collection game. For those who spend a fair bit on their daily expenses, the OCBC 90°N Visa offers bonus Travel$ in those categories. However, if you really don’t want to spend any brain cells on various spend categories, the OCBC 90°N Mastercard’s simplicity might be more appealing to you. 

The cards also have a low minimum income requirement of $30,000 p.a. which makes it a beginner-friendly entry-level card.

Back to top

 

8. OCBC 90°N Miles Cards Minimum Income, Fees 

The OCBC 90°N Miles Cards share the same minimum income requirements of $30,000 p.a. and fees. Here’s the breakdown: 

OCBC 90°N Mastercard OCBC 90°N Visa 
Annual fee & waiver $54 $54
Supplementary annual fee $54  $54
Interest free period 23 days 23 days
Annual interest rate 26.88% 26.88%
Late payment fee $100 $100
Minimum monthly repayment 3% or $50, whichever is higher 3% or $50, whichever is higher
Foreign currency transaction fee 3.25% 3.25%
Cash advance transaction fee 6% or S$15, whichever is higher 6% or S$15, whichever is higher
Overlimit fee NA NA
Minimum income $30,000 (Singaporean) / $45,000 (non-Singaporean) $30,000 (Singaporean) / $45,000 (non-Singaporean)
Card association MasterCard Visa

Back to top

 

9. Alternatives to OCBC 90°N Miles Cards 

The OCBC’s90°N Miles card stands out as a sustainable long-term miles card that you’ll want to keep around even after the generous promos end. You can earn miles in Travel$ (Travel$1 = 1 KrisFlyer mile), and they never expire, so you can earn them for as long as you like. Ka-ching! 

This puts the OCBC 90°N Card in the same category as the beginner-friendly air mile cards DBS Altitude and Citi PremierMiles credit cards, whose miles also do not expire. 

Citibank logo
MoneySmart Exclusive
Faster Gift Redemption | Earn 2 Miles per S$1
Local Spend
S$1 = 1.2 Miles
All Foreign Currency Spend including Retail and Online
S$1 = Up to 2 Miles
Selected Online Hotel Bookings
S$1 = Up to 10 Miles
MoneySmart Exclusive:

[FASTER GIFT FULFILMENT]
Get an Apple iPad (9th Gen), 64GB (worth S$508.30) or a Nintendo Switch OLED + S$60 Cash (worth S$609) or S$450 Lendlease E-Vouchers (can be used at 313@somerset, Jem, Parkway Parade, PLQ) or S$300 Cash via PayNow, in as fast as 6 weeks from meeting the S$500 spend criteria! T&Cs apply.

Valid until 31 May 2024
DBS logo
Earn Miles That Never Expire
Local Spend
S$1 = 1.3 Miles
Overseas Spend (made in foreign currency)
S$1 = 2.2 Miles
On Travel Spend at Agoda
S$1 = Up to 4.3 Miles

Here’s a quick comparison of the 4 entry-level miles cards. All 3 cards have the same minimum income ($30,000) and annual fee ($192.60, first year waived):

OCBC 90°N Mastercard and Visa DBS Altitude   Citi PremierMiles
Earn rate (local) $1 = 1.3 miles $1 = 1.2 miles $1 = 1.2 miles
Earn rate (overseas) $1 = 2.1 miles $1 = 2 miles $1 = 2 miles (+2 bonus miles until 30 Jun 2023)
Minimum for redemption 1,000 miles 10,000 miles 10,000 miles
Conversion fee Free $27 $26.75
Miles expiry None None None

Given that the miles earn rate is nearly the same across all cards, the OCBC 90°N Miles Cards turn out to be the best in terms of redemption flexibility. So if the ease of use is a big deal to you, the OCBC 90°N Miles Cards are definitely ones to look into.

Back to top

Found this article useful? Share it with your travel aficionado friends and family!