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!
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.
- Local Spend
- S$1 = Up to 1.2 Miles
- All Foreign Currency Spend including Retail and Online
- S$1 = 2 Miles
- Selected Online Hotel Bookings
- S$1 = Up to 10 Miles
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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||$1 = 2 miles|
|Minimum for redemption||1,000 miles||10,000 miles||10,000 miles|
The OCBC 90°N Card is definitely the best in terms of redemption flexibility. But when it comes to the other benefits, OCBC will be a lot less competitive when the opening promotion ends next year.
3. Major drawbacks: Only KrisFlyer miles supported, no lounge benefits
Although the OCBC 90°N Card certainly sounds like a dream come true, it does have a few weaknesses.
First, OCBC Travel$ 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)|
Interested? Apply for the OCBC 90°N Card through MoneySmart here: