OCBC Finally Has an Air Miles Card! 5 Facts About the OCBC 90°N Card

ocbc 90 n card review

For the longest time, OCBC simply did not have a decent air miles credit card in their lineup. Just how this makes any business sense in travel-crazed Singapore, I have no idea.

Sure, there’s the OCBC Voyage Visa Infinite, but that’s for those with super-high incomes and out of reach for most. The closest thing to a miles card for regular people is the OCBC Titanium, which is a very good credit card for earning rewards points, but not exactly a miles card.

All that has changed now that OCBC has launched its first miles card in recent memory — the OCBC 90°N Miles Card. Rejoice!

OCBC logo
Cash Back on Eligible Spend
1.2%
on Overseas spend
S$1 = 2.1 Miles
on Local spend
S$1 = 1.2 Miles

Despite its impossible-to-remember 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 new OCBC miles card has some excellent features that should make any wanderluster sit up and take note. 

Let’s dive in.

 

1. Up to 10% cashback on travel bookings, again with no cap

The OCBC 90°N Card also gets you an incredible 10% cashback when you make travel bookings on Booking.com

While this is for accommodation, it’s also possible to earn 10% discounts on hotels via Expedia, as long as you key in the OCBC voucher code

 

2. Miles have no expiry, no conversion fee, low minimum for conversion

Although I just promoted the heck out of the OCBC 90°N Card’s “headline benefits”, most miles chasers would also pay close attention to the boring back-end details such as expiry dates and conversion process.

In fact, that’s where OCBC’s miles card stands out as a sustainable long-term miles card that you’ll want to keep around even after the generous promos end.

OCBC lets you earn miles in Travel$ (Travel$1 = 1 KrisFlyer mile), and they never expire, so you can earn them for as long as you like.

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
Local Spend
S$1 = Up to 1.2 Miles
All Foreign Currency Spend including Retail and Online
S$1 = 2 Miles
Selected Online Hotel and Flight bookings
S$1 = Up to 10 Miles
MoneySmart Exclusive: Get an Airpods Pro or Nintendo Switch Lite delivered to your doorsteps when you apply & spend on your card. Fill in the claim form after application to redeem! T&Cs apply. Valid till 31 Jul 2020.
DBS logo
Local Spend
S$1 = 1.2 Miles
Overseas Spend
S$1 = 2 Miles
Online spend and offline shopping spend
S$1 = 4 Miles

But OCBC’s miles card is actually better in several ways. There’s also no conversion fee for redeeming miles (this normally costs $25 with other cards) and miles can be redeemed in blocks of 1,000 (as opposed to 10,000 typically).

Here’s a quick comparison of the 3 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 DBS Altitude Citi PremierMiles
Earn rate (local) $1 = 1.2 miles $1 = 1.2 miles $1 = 1.2 miles
Earn rate (overseas) $1 = 2.1 miles $1 = 2 miles $1 = 2 miles
Minimum for redemption 1,000 miles 10,000 miles 10,000 miles
Conversion fee Free $26.75 $25
Miles expiry None None None

The OCBC 90°N Card is definitely the best in terms of redemption flexibility. But when it comes to the other benefits, OCBC will be a lot less competitive when the opening promotion ends next year.

 

3. Major drawbacks: Only KrisFlyer miles supported, no lounge benefits

Although the OCBC 90°N Card certainly sounds like a dream come true, it does have a few weaknesses.

First, 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.

The OCBC rewards catalogue also isn’t fantastic, so if you ever decide to stop accumulating miles or want to redeem your orphaned miles, hm… Not ideal lah. Cannot even redeem CapitaLand vouchers.

A second possible dealbreaker: No airport lounge benefits. It’s now standard for even the most entry-level of miles cards (like the DBS Altitude and Citi PremierMiles mentioned above) to provide 2 x free access to airport lounges a year. 

The OCBC 90°N Card only gives you paid access to the LoungeKey network at US$32 per visit. … Nah.

A final objection I have is that most of the key benefits of the OCBC 90°N Card are limited to the promotion period (up to 29 Feb 2020). So if OCBC does not renew its accelerated miles for travel-related spending after that, it’s going to fall a bit flat.

 

OCBC 90°N Miles Card terms & conditions

OCBC 90°N Miles Card
Annual fee & waiver $192.60 (waived for 1 year)
Supplementary annual fee $96.30 (waived for 1 year)
Interest free period 23 days
Annual interest rate 26.88%
Late payment fee $100
Minimum monthly repayment 3% or $50, whichever is higher
Foreign currency transaction fee 3.25%
Cash advance transaction fee 6% or S$15, whichever is higher
Overlimit fee 3% + excess
Minimum income $30,000 (Singaporean) / $45,000 (non-Singaporean)
Card association MasterCard

Interested? Apply for the OCBC 90°N Card through MoneySmart here:

OCBC logo
Cash Back on Eligible Spend
1.2%
on Overseas spend
S$1 = 2.1 Miles
on Local spend
S$1 = 1.2 Miles

 

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