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OCBC adjusts earn rates on 90°N card

Travel$ to be awarded in blocks of S$5 spend from 1 Jun

OCBC has made some tweaks to their 90°N card, to be effected from 1 Jun. These changes are not major, but may affect the way you spend if you are still using that as your default card.

Travel$ to be awarded in blocks of S$5 spend

From 1 Jun, OCBC will award Travel$ in blocks of S$5 spend, meaning:

  • For local spend, every S$5 spend will earn you 6 Travel$, equivalent to 6 miles (i.e. 1.2 mpd)
  • For foreign spend, every S$5 equivalent spend will earn you 10.5 Travel$, equivalent to 10.5 miles (i.e. 2.1 mpd)
  • AXS Pay+Earn will earn you 5 Travel$ for every S$5 spend (i.e. 1 mpd)

Previously, OCBC award Travel$ based on dollar spend, rounded down to the nearest dollar.

So this means that there will be slight changes to the number of Travel$ you earn after 1 Jun:

Transaction amountLocal/Overseas spendTravel$ earned before 1 JunTravel$ earned on or after 1 Jun
$4.99Local4.80
$9.50Local10.86
$26.40Local31.230
$3.80Overseas6.30
$19.48Overseas39.931.5
$200.00Overseas420420

So as you can see, by and large, you are going to get a bit less Travel$ after 1 Jun, and all the little bit adds up. If your spend is mostly under S$5, this makes it even more obvious, as any transactions under S$5 will effectively get nothing from 1 Jun.

More excluded transactions

OCBC has also added in even more exclusions in the earning of Travel$. These new categories will be excluded from 1 Jun, on top of existing ones:

  • Cleaning, Maintenance and Janitorial Services (MCC: 7349)
  • Tolls and Bridge Fees (MCC: 4784)
  • Cigars Stores and Stands (MCC: 5993)
  • Automobile Associations (MCC: 8675)
  • Labor Union (MCC: 8699)
  • Transactions under Transportation and Tolls (MCC: 4111, 4121, 4131), except for Grab Transport, Gojek and Comfort/Citycab transactions
  • Transactions to Singapore Government Public Hospitals including Non-Profit Hospitals, Community Hospitals and Polyclinics under the MCC 8062

This is consistent with many other card issuers, which have been excluding transactions from MCCs that typically pay very low fees.

Final thoughts

I’ve long set aside this card since the launch promotional earn rates ended on 29 Feb earlier this year, and these changes will just make me bury this card even further down the pile.

Even before these changes are announced, with its regular miles earning rate, you are better off using some other cards, including the UOB PRVI card and BOC Elite Miles cards (although the customer service is rather dire, but hey it’s a trade-off).

The upside for this card remains to be the free conversion of miles to Krisflyer programme and non-expiry of Travel$, but beyond these, there really isn’t much point using this as your default card whenever there is no promotion.

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