Review: Newly Revamped OCBC FRANK – 6% on Almost Anything, This is the New Cashback Hotness
Finally, some good news. Instead of a revision that significantly nerfs a product, every now and then we get a revision that is an improvement. And what an improvement this is: FRANK has been revamped for the better, and it is now so good, it is going to be the go to card for many cashback people.
Features and details
|Earn Rate||– 6% cashback for online/contactless (mobile)|
– 0.3% for everything else
|Conditions||Minimum spend of $600 split between online and contactless payment|
|Limits||– Cap of $25 for online payments |
– Cap of $25 for contactless payments
If this looks familiar, OCBC FRANK is basically an almost exact clone of DBS LiveFresh. I won’t fault OCBC FRANK for being uncreative, not only because LiveFresh is a pretty decent cashback card, but also because OCBC ups the cashback rate to a handsome 6%.
Even the maximum cashback amount is increased, a much welcomed change since LiveFresh’s 5% cashback maxes out at $20 on contactless and $20 on online transactions, which means that your maximum spend should be $400 on each category. With FRANK, the maximum cashback is $25 on each category, which means you can spend $416.67 per category for the maximum cashback.
Take note that you must add your card to your smartphone for it to qualify for 6%; tapping the physical card doesn’t get you that earn rate. A pity, because the card is really good looking.
Contactless and online make up almost everything; just be mindful of sublimits
Conditional cards make you fulfil conditions in order to get higher earn rates, and while FRANK is technically a conditional card, its conditions are very easy to fulfil. Contactless payments are practically everywhere offline, so coupled with the online category, FRANK accords you 6% cashback on practically anything you may want to buy.
Anything, that is, if it’s under $416.67 because of the sublimits. While the minimum spending required to get 6% cashback is $600, there is a limit of $25 per category which means you should spend a maximum of $416.67 per category to get the full 6% cashback on your spend.
Spend $600 on a single category and you’ll get only about 4.17% cashback. It’s alright, but not the most optimal for the card. To optimize your spend, make sure to split your $600 between both categories with a maximum of $416.67 per category.
FRANK vs LiveFresh
Barring any oddities we can’t tell at the moment (perhaps cashback is not calculated properly or unforeseen things like this), OCBC FRANK is strictly better than DBS LiveFresh and automatically takes its place as one of the top cashback cards.
There is one exception where LiveFresh is superior: OCBC FRANK counts eligible spending by posting date while DBS goes by transaction date. If you spend on the last day of July, LiveFresh counts it as spending for July, whereas the transaction will very likely post a few days later for OCBC FRANK, pushing it to August instead. There are often times where I haven’t clocked enough spending for the month, and DBS LiveFresh is more forgiving in this regard.
Nevertheless, both cards are not mutually exclusive; OCBC FRANK makes a good pairing with DBS LiveFresh, with a combined cashback cap of $90 (up to $1,633 of spending) a month if you exceed FRANK’s maximum cashback for the month.
One more thing that is kind of annoying: OCBC FRANK only awards 6% on mobile payments, which means you have to add the card to your smartphone and pay from there to qualify for 6% cashback, while LiveFresh allows you to use your physical card if you so desire.
King of cashback?
In its company would be the venerable UOB One card, and what I feel is reigning cashback king – Maybank’s Family and Friends.
Against UOB One, it depends on the amount of your monthly spend. If you can spend $2,000 per month consistently, UOB One wins on the sheer amount of cashback: $100 per month compared to FRANK’s $50. At lower spending quantums, FRANK beats UOB One handily.
It is a little trickier when you compare it with Maybank FnF. If your spending habits fit within FnF’s conditions, FnF’s 8% rate and relatively generous $80 cashback cap a month is hard to beat. If you struggle to spend on the categories Maybank FnF specifies, FRANK is a more versatile card since online and contactless are almost all encompassing.
No current promo; apply for one of the other OCBC Cards first.
In a time when most products get unceremoniously nerfed and downgraded, it is nice to see products get better. OCBC FRANK takes DBS LiveFresh’s rather decent formula for a cashback card and increases things that matter – earn rate and maximum monthly cashback – making it a very compelling card for people who seek cashback.
- Almost the best cashback rate available now: 6%
- Easy to fulfil categories of contactless and online payments
- A handsome looking card, if you’re concerned about such things (I am)
- Sublimits are still annoying
- $50 of monthly cashback is relatively low
- Counts eligible spending by posting date rather than transaction date
- Physical card transactions do not count for 6% cashback
- Failing to meet your minimum spend for the month because a transaction is posted in the next month
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5 thoughts on “Review: Newly Revamped OCBC FRANK – 6% on Almost Anything, This is the New Cashback Hotness”
For new to FRANK cardholders, the bonus 4% cashback applies for each calendar month? Assuming I spend $600 posted in Jul, Aug and Sep, means I can get bonus $24 for each of these months?
Sorry, I read the T&C; indeed the bonus cashback it is for each of the months, which makes for quite an attractive sign up offer.
Thanks for the comment! I have updated the sign-up section to be clearer on this.
One of the ‘the Bad’ you may add in is that the contactless spend eligible for 6% cashback is only for in-store Mobile contactless spend (aka similar to UOB PPV). Physical waving of the card is not eligible for cashback. Annoying (esp with covid face mask making faceID to pay more inconvenient) but not a dealbreaker.
Another good is that SimplyGo qualfiies for 6% cashback (clarified on HWZ forums) if the card is added to the mobile wallet and scanned on Public Transport.
Hi Bent, thanks for your comment! Yes I noticed this after publishing the review, and your comment reminded me to update the article 😅
Such a pity because the card is really good looking!