Nerfed: OCBC 365 Excluding Fast Food MCC 5814 From 1st September

Starting 1st September 2023, a notable change will take effect for the dining cashback rate of the OCBC 365 Credit Card and it is not good news. OCBC is removing Merchant Category Code (MCC) 5814 from OCBC 365’s 5% cashback rate. Despite 5814 being for Fast Food Restaurants, this impacts more than just things like McDonald’s or Burger King.

Previously, cardholders enjoyed 6% cashback on dining transactions which included Restaurants and Eating Places (MCC 5812), Fast Food (MCC 5814) and Caterers (5811). The rate was dropped slightly to 5% a couple of months ago along with the devastating removal of Travel from the card’s 3% rate.

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Last date to apply: 4th October 2023

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Get between 3 to 6% cashback on groceries, petrol, dining etc.

Nerf affects more than just fast food

From 1st September 2023 onwards, transactions falling under the Merchant Category Code (MCC) 5814 will only attract a paltry 0.25% cashback rate. Although MCC 5814 seems to affect only fast food, the actual impact is greater because many dining places are tagged as 5814 despite being nowhere near what we associate with “fast food”.

For instance, coffee joints like Starbucks and Ya Kun are tagged with this MCC for some strange reason. Craving for Japanese cuisine? Genki Sushi is tagged 5814! Hawker stalls that accept QR payments tend to be tagged under this code as well. To make matters worse, some branches of the same food chain can be 5812 while others are tagged 5814.

This change hence makes the OCBC 365 useless for a lot of food options while being a gamble even when you’re paying for a meal in a place that seems like a restaurant.

5814 aside, the 5% cashback rate applies to other dining-related transactions assuming the minimum spend of the card is met. This means the card is still good for the following:

  • MCC 5812 (Restaurants and eating places)
  • MCC 5811 (Caterers)
  • transactions made on select online food delivery platforms, including Deliveroo, foodpanda, and GrabFood.

I intend to do a review of this card after its revisions, so stay subscribed for updates.


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Knowing what card to use becomes more important

To be fair, OCBC 365 is not unique in treating dining transactions like this, and it joins cards like Maybank Family and Friends that split up 5812 and 5814. Knowing what card to use for a particular dining place becomes more important when you use cards like these.

Alternate payment methods for dining

If you’re looking for other ways to make payment for eating out, I’ve made posts on wallet apps and credit cards to use for dining, and you can see them here:

Great sign-up promo until 31st August 2023

If it’s any consolation, those who have yet to sign up for an OCBC card may still want to get the OCBC 365 (or one of its other siblings) because of the great ongoing sign-up promo:

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