Limited Time: OCBC 90°N Becomes a Limitless 1.71% to 1.96% Cashback Card… and a Great Starting Point for Playing the Miles Game

The OCBC 90°N card was released to much fanfare last year. At its launch, it offered an unparalled 8 mpd for certain categories of travel-related spend. Even if you aren’t a miles person, that same 8 miles per dollar could be converted into a handsome 8% cashback rate. I cringe now, but my suggestion back then to book accommodation in advance to enjoy the high earn rate was entirely reasonable (I think).

The card understandably faded into obscurity after the promotional launch period was over, but some quiet changes done by OCBC recently have made the 90°N quite interesting again.

OCBC
90°N

Travel$ is pretty versatile, and it’s getting a boost

Outside of promotion periods, the card earns 6 Travel$ per $5 spent. You can exchange 1,000 Travel$ for 1,000 miles or $10 cash rebate. Each Travel$ is hence worth 1 mile or 1 cent, which means that the OCBC 90°N is essentially a 1.2 mpd mile card, or a 1.2% cashback card.

From now until 31st December, OCBC is reducing the amount of Travel$ required for cash rebates – $10 now requires 800 Travel$ (down from 1,000), and $100 requires 7,000 Travel$ (down from 10,000). This boosts the 1.2% earn rate of OCBC 90°N quite significantly.

Also, through STACK rewards, OCBC’s rewards portal, vouchers can be redeemed at a rate of 613 Travel$ for $10, which is an even better deal than redeeming for cash, if you can find use for the vouchers listed on the site. There is a wide range of merchants including major supermarkets, so it shouldn’t be too difficult to find something useful here.

There are even promotional items that further boosts the value of your Travel$; I have redeemed half-priced FairPrice vouchers, and cheap Dyson vacuums amongst other great deals that pop up from time to time.

For local spending earning 6 Travel$ for every $5:

Amount of Travel$Exchange ForValue per Travel$Effective Earn Rate Per $ Spent
800$10 cash rebate1.25¢1.5% cashback
7,000$100 cash rebate1.43¢ 1.71% cashback
613$10 voucher1.63¢1.96% cashback

For foreign currency spending earning 10.5 Travel$5 for every S$5 equivalent:

Amount of Travel$Exchange ForValue per Travel$Effective Earn Rate Per $ Spent
800$10 cash rebate1.25¢2.625% cashback
7,000$100 cash rebate1.43¢3% cashback
613$10 voucher1.63¢3.43% cashback

Get $10 credits and 1.80% p.a. returns on your savings!

What is this useful for?

Existing cardholders
If you’ve previously earned Travel$ during the promotional 8 mpd period, all those Travel$ you have accumulated have gone up in value if you wish to convert them into cash rebates or vouchers, something that is more relevant now.

Big purchases
If you’re new to this card, 90°N has a compelling us cases as a limitless cashback card if you have a huge purchase or two in the near future. At 1.71% for cash and 1.96% for vouchers, it compares really favourably to limitless cashback cards like StanChart Unlimited and Citi Cash Back+ Mastercard® give 1.5% and 1.6% cashback respectively.

StanChart Spree gives 2%, but it is only for up to $3,000 a month. People who don’t already have Amex True Cashback might consider getting the Amex card instead, since new cardholders get 3% instead of 1.5%, though that is for the first $5,000 of spend. People with really huge purchases beyond $3,000 or $5,000 probably can’t do better than the OCBC 90°N.

If you have numerous smaller purchases, you might lose out on Travel$ because a $9.90 transaction earns you the same amount as a $5 transaction owing to the way OCBC 90°N awards Travel$ in blocks of $5.

Agoda
When it comes to Agoda purchases, this card is unbeatable. With 6 Travel$ per SGD spend (7 Travel$ for foreign currency), it’s an impressive 8.57% cashback rate based on 7000 Travel$ for $100 cash rebate, and a staggering 9.79% earn rate based on 613 Travel$ for $10 vouchers. Definitely consider this card before booking a staycation.

Your first miles/rewards card?

Unlike other miles cards which require a minimum of 10,000 miles before conversion and charge a fee of around $25, OCBC allows you to convert your Travel$ in blocks of 1,000 miles, and the conversion is free. Also, your Travel$ have no expiry. These are major pain points of mile/rewards cards that 90°N does away with.

For cashback people and those new to the game of credit card rewards, the 90°N may well be a great starting point to dipping your toe into the miles and reward points game for a start. If it doesn’t work out, you can always cash out your Travel$ at an alright rate in form of cashback or vouchers.

Keep up to date on the best cashback/mile cards, savings accounts, attractive deals, and more tips to maximise your financial wellbeing by subscribing to my Telegram channel.

You can also ask questions in the chat, and having more subscribers means I can negotiate better deals for you too 😄

Notable promos at the moment:

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