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OCBC launches new miles card: OCBC 90°N Card

Earn up to 8mpd for hotel bookings and 4mpd for flight bookings

OCBC is the latest to jump on the miles card launches, unveiling yet another miles earning card for the Singapore market. An entry level card that has a

A glance at the headline earning figures will sound pretty attractive: up to 8mpd for hotel bookings, and 4mpd for flight bookings.

So what are the key perks of the card?

An overview of the card:

  • Income requirement: S$30,000 p.a. for Singapore citizens and PRs, S$45,000 for foreigners
  • Annual fee: S$192.60 for principal cardmembers, waived for the first year; S$96.30 for supplementary cards, waived for the first year
  • Annual fee gift: 10,000 miles (in the form of 10,000 Travel$)
  • Earn rates: 1.2 mile per dollar spent (mpd) locally; 2.1 mpd overseas; see promotions below for special launch promotion earn rates
  • Foreign currency transaction fee: 3.0%
  • Most importantly, miles don’t expire.
OCBC 90°N Card key perks

The base earn rates are pretty average: BOC Elite Miles give you 1.5mpd for local spend, and 3mpd for overseas spend. Plus, there are an assortment of other cards that give you up to 4mpd for specialised spending, so 1.2mpd is nothing to write home about.

So why do you want to use this card? There are no conversion fees for converting your Travel$ (the card rewards currency) to Krisflyer miles. What’s even better is that you can transfer in blocks of 1,000 miles, which means you don’t have to chalk up a great deal of spend before redeeming them.

Another minor but pretty significant point is the definition of ‘overseas spend’. For this card, OCBC has decided that all foreign currency spend, regardless of where it’s processed, are counted as foreign spend earning a rate of 2.1mpd, so that will make calculating miles earned much easier.

Launch promotions

OCBC has unveiled several launch promotions in conjunction with the card:

1. Sign up bonus of $50 and 7,000 Travel$ for new-to-OCBC customers

If you have not held any OCBC cards in the last six months, you will receive $50 credit when your card is approved, and 7,000 Travel$ (equivalent to 7,000 miles) if you spend at least $5,000 in the first three months of your card approval.

Sign up bonuses for both new and existing customers

If you are an existing OCBC cardholder, your only bonus will be 3,000 Travel$ if you spend at least $5,000 on the card within the first three months.

2. Earn 4 mpd on select airlines including SQ; 8 mpd on Airbnb and some OTAs

From now until 29 February 2020, cardmembers will earn 4mpd and 8mpd respectively for select flight and OTAs bookings.

Earn accelerated miles on special categories

Eligible airlines and hotel booking sites include:

Airlines:

  • Singapore Airlines Group (including SIA, Scoot, SilkAir)
  • AirAsia
  • Jetstar

OTAs & accommodation providers:

For accommodation, the fee must be prepaid, so if you select to pay at the hotel, you will not earn the bonus miles. Note that for Agoda, your hotel booking needs to be made between 26 Aug 2019 and 29 Feb 2020, for stays between 26 Aug 2019 and 30 Sep 2020.

Expedia is a little more complicated as you will earn 8mpd for both hotels and eligible airline flight bookings. The full list of participating airlines can be found here.

On top of the above, you will also get 4mpd for duty-free shopping at DFS and Shilla Duty Free, as well as Netflix and Spotify.

3. Overseas spend will earn a flat 4mpd until 29 Feb 2020

To provide a boost for the newly launch card, OCBC will be offering a bonus 1.9mpd on top of the existing 2.1mpd for all overseas spend until 29 February 2020.

Unlike other banks that will post the extra miles or points after the promotion period, OCBC will post all Travel$ as soon as the transactions are posted, so you will be able to tally your miles rather easily.

So what’s lacking from the card?

Of course, this card is not without its cons. For a start, it’s fairly strange for a travel card to not accord any lounge privileges at all, however token.

Beyond that, there isn’t very much else that the card offer in terms of perks, which may be a good thing for some cardholders who prefer a no-frills card with lower fees.

Final thoughts

The card may not take the local miles-chasing scene by storm, but the card is as good as it says, with a fairly decent launch promotion: 4mpd on overseas and up to 8mpd on some specialised spending for a fairly long period of time.

Also, the sign-up bonus may not be as great as the Standard Chartered X Card, but I’m pretty sure at least they won’t have to suspend card applications.

After the initial promotion phase, the key plus side of the card will probably be the smaller blocks required for conversion of miles to your FFP, as well as the lack of a conversion fee – these alone are good reasons to have this card handy in your wallet.

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