OCBC Points Devaluation: STACK Rewards to Increase Redemption Cost From 1st September

Update 01/09/2022: new values updated

Those with OCBC reward points take note: come 1st September 2022, STACK Rewards (OCBC’s reward redemption portal) will increase the cost of redemptions for OCBC$, Travel$, and Voyage miles. This means that you would need more points to redeem items on Stack Rewards from next month onwards, effectively devaluing the points. Unfortunately, there isn’t any other info on how much more expensive things would be, so there is no indication how much the devaluation would be.

This change is buried in the fine print of a marketing email sent today (15th August), and eagle-eyed CG from the chat group shared it with the group.

What’s STACK Rewards anyway?

STACK allows users of OCBC cards to convert points into a variety of items, gadgets, and vouchers. It also allows various other companies to list their reward points on the site, allowing conversion of points between loyalty programmes. It’s a neat idea for sure, but it doesn’t seem to have much success convincing partners on board so far. Aside from Frasers and Millenium Hotels, the rest are all OCBC properties. They had a little fling with Harry’s (the gastropub chain) once, and that’s another story for the group chat.

Seth
Seth

Easy deal: get up to S$160 by opening a Citi Plus account, and additional S$100 when you deposit $15,000!

Current earn rates and value

Nevertheless, STACK Rewards actually offers rather decent value for one’s points. In a world where most banks offer derisory redemption rates when you change points for vouchers, STACK Rewards is really quite generous.

Value until 1st September 2022Value per MileValue from 1st September 2022 onwardsValue Per Mile
1 OCBC$ (0.4 miles)0.370 cents 0.925To be updated
0.260 cents
0.650
1 Travel$ (1 mile)1.631.63To be updated
0.980 cents
0.980

Most people who use OCBC Titanium Rewards would probably trade the 10X points earn rate for 4 miles per dollar. Someone more keen on rebates can actually trade 10X points for 3.70 cents, albeit in the form of supermarket vouchers (or other vouchers available on STACK). That’s a 3.70% earn rate which isn’t half bad. Other miles card would give closer to 2 to 2.5% at best should you change your points for vouchers.

1.63 cents per mile means that the 1.2-mpd OCBC 90°N gets 1.96 cents of vouchers per dollar spent. 1.96% isn’t a good rate when there’re 5, 6, even 8% cashback cards, but OCBC 90°N is in the same category of cards that give 1.5 to 1.6% cashback at best.

Will this affect miles redemption?

Miles redemptions, along with exchanging points for cash, remain separate from STACK Rewards, so it is improbable that there would be devaluation. Aside from a few exceptions like UOB, DBS, and Maybank, it is almost an industry standard that 10 points = 4 miles, and I find it unlikely OCBC will deviate from this anytime soon… fingers crossed.

What to do if with my points?

People with OCBC$ have a relatively easy time deciding. If you have intention to use your miles for flights, liquidating your points at a 0.925 cents per mile valuation is a little on the low side.

Those with Travel$, on the other hand, face an interesting dilemma because 1.63 cents per mile is actually a pretty decent rate to liquidate miles. If you own 104,000 Travel$, you essentially have a choice of either a return flight to Tokyo in business class, or $1,695.20 of vouchers. If you would pick the flight, then this devaluation has nothing to do with you since it only affects STACK redemptions.

I’m willing to wager that there’re more than a few people who would rather have almost $1,700 in vouchers, and such people should redeem as soon as possible since this number is only going down come 1st September.

Conclusion

Given that the devaluation is of unknown magnitude, it’s a little hard to decide what to do now. I’m personally in two minds about it, and would no doubt agonise over this decision for the next 2 weeks or so.

What would you be doing with your Travel$? Let us know in the Telegram group or in the comments below!

Update: the voucher redemption rates are now even lower than redeeming your OCBC$ or Travel$ for direct cash rebate. It seems like redeeming on STACK Rewards is only good when there are promotional redemptions.

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