When I was in school, once in a while, I would scrape together $4 in order to buy an ice blended mocha at Coffee Bean, just so I could earn a stamp on my loyalty card. After collecting 9 stamps, you could exchange the card for a free drink.
These days, loyalty programmes are far more sophisticated and can get you a lot more than an overly sugary drink. STACK, a “multi-partner loyalty platform” by OCBC, aims to help you maximise your rewards from such programmes.
So, is it worth signing up for? Let’s find out.
What is the OCBC STACK app?
OCBC STACK is a mobile platform that lets you manage all your rewards points from various programmes on one single platform. The app lets you not only track rewards points from several rewards programmes, but also swap points around between the various programmes.
Of course, in order for STACK to be useful to you, it’s got to include programmes that you’d actually use. Here are the programmes supported by STACK:
- OCBC$ Rewards Programme / Travel$ Rewards Programme / OCBC VOYAYGE Programme — Earn points when you spend on eligible OCBC credit cards.
- Robinsons$ Rewards Programme — Earn points when you spend on your OCBC Robinsons Group Visa Card which you can then use to offset shopping bills.
- Millennium Hotels & Resorts — Earn points when you stay at participating hotels, which include Millennium, Copthorne, Kingsgate and M Hotels worldwide. Redeem points for free nights or other rewards such as club lounge access and dining vouchers.
- UPGREAT by Great Eastern — Earn points when you shop online at more than 150 merchants including Amazon, Guardian, Shopee and Qoo10, and then exchange them for vouchers at merchants such as Best Denki and GrabFood.
- Amperkz — Shop at Century Square, Hougang Mall, Tampines 1, Tiong Bahru Plaza or White Sands, and earn points to exchange for gift vouchers at the malls and carpark credits.
How does the OCBC STACK app work?
After downloading the app, you have to manually add and verify each of your accounts with the various partner programmes. It’s a bit of a hassle but all worth it!
Once an account has been verified on STACK, the app will automatically start to track your point balance and whenever you earn points through any of the partner rewards programmes, they will be reflected on your OCBC STACK account.
You can then browse STACK Marketplace to redeem rewards, or shift points around to different programmes using STACK Exchange.
Stack Marketplace enables you to exchange your points for rewards directly on your smartphone. It also gives you a quick and easy way to browse rewards and spot limited-time-only deals.
You can choose to pay for deals using rewards points or in cash by Visa or MasterCard. Now, why on earth would you want to buy rewards in cash? Well, many of the rewards can actually save you money when you pay in cash. For instance, at the time of writing, you can buy a $20 GrabFood voucher for $15, or a $50 FairPrice voucher for $42.50.
So, even if you don’t have any rewards points, if you are a true bargain hunter you might want to check the app frequently for good deals that you can pay for in cash.
STACK Points Exchange
Sometimes, you accumulate points under a certain programme but don’t have anything to exchange them for. For instance, if you’ve been collecting points under the Millennium Hotels & Resorts programme, being able to redeem them for hotel stays is basically useless now that COVID-19 has halted all travelling.
Now here’s where STACK Points Exchange comes in handy. This function lets you convert points from one programme to points in another at an indicated exchange rate. Rewards points are converted instantly and can be used to redeem rewards immediately.
Exchanging points isn’t free though. You pay a 2% admin fee to STACK on the total value of the points being exchanged. In addition, you also have to pay admin fees charged by the rewards programmes. In short, you might lose a bit of the value of your points, but that’s better than wasting them altogether.
Conclusion: Is it worth using the OCBC Stack app?
The utility of the OCBC STACK app will depend on how active you are as a participant in their partner programmes. If you are a member of at least one programme that you earn points with regularly, the app can make it that much easier to track and redeem points.
Bargain hunting types might also enjoy being able to shop for deals on STACK Marketplace, regardless of whether they pay with rewards points or in cash.
Bonus: Best OCBC credit cards to use with the Stack app for maximum rewards
Since STACK is an OCBC app, it’s obviously most useful with OCBC credit cards, since it can be used to exchange OCBC$, Travel$ and Voyage miles.
Here are three cards you can link to the app.
- OCBC Titanium Rewards Card — Earn 10X OCBC$ for every $1 spent on eligible online and retail purchases (merchants include IKEA, Mustafa, Amazon, Taobao, and department stores, clothing stores and electronics stores), and 1X OCBC$ on everything else.
- OCBC 90°N Card — Earn 2.1 Travel$ for every $1 of foreign currency spending and 1.2 Travel$ for every $1 of local spending.
- OCBC Voyage Card — Earn 2.3 miles with every $1 spent in foreign currency, 16 miles for every $1 spent on local dining and 1.2 miles for every $1 spent on local retail. Miles never expire.