Short answer: yes, it depends.
Long answer: yes, it really depends. This is a prime example of why cashback people shouldn’t ignore mile cards (or vice versa). The OCBC Titanium Rewards card is a card that isn’t used often, but when it’s time to use it, it really shines. It is typically known as a 4 mpd card, so why am I comparing it to a cashback card?
Features & Details
|Type||Conditional mile card|
|Earn Rate||– 10 OCBC$ per dollar (4 mpd) for qualifying spend|
– 1 OCBC$ per dollar (0.4 mpd) for non-qualifying
|Conditions||Spend on electronics, departmental stores, various furniture merchants|
|Limits||$12,000 per statement year|
|Tracking||Posting date, calendar month|
The OCBC Titanium doesn’t seem special at first, but it is a rather unique card. On top of giving 4 mpd on fashion spend, it also does so for electronics and purchases from many popular furniture stores like IKEA, Courts, and even Taobao or Alibaba.
Huge $12,000/$24,000 capacity for large purchases
So far it’s not too special since you can get 4 mpd on such purchases if you buy online and use DBS Woman World Card or CitiRewards. Where this card truly shines is when your purchase gets large. Instead of a monthly cap, the OCBC TR’s annual cap is $12,000. This means that if you have a sizeable bill, the OCBC TR is the only card that gives you high rewards.
Buying a fancy $5,000 OLED TV? No issue there. Gucci bag? As long as it’s under $12,000. Remodelling your home? You can even apply for a second OCBC TR card to double your annual cap to $24,000 and the OCBC$ will be shared between both the Blue and Pink variants. This will come in really handy for me later this year when I move into my new apartment.
You can opt for pretty decent cashback
OCBC TR is considered a mile card by many, but it is technically a rewards card that earns you OCBC$, which is then converted into miles. You could also redeem OCBC$ for a variety of shopping vouchers, or plain old cash rebate off your bill, making this a cashback card too.
At 10 OCBC$ per dollar spent on the qualifying categories, you can either get 4 miles or a 2.77% cashback. This is of course a lot less than the 5% cashback cards that exist right now, but OCBC TR offers a unique value preposition as it does not have a monthly cap. There simply isn’t a cashback card that can give you anywhere near 2.77% cashback if you are spending $5,000 to $24,000 within a single month. (Okay, I can think of something: Unlimited$aver which takes quite a bit of setting up. And $100,000.)
|5||1.5%||1.2 to 1.5 mpd||Miles|
Moreover, shopping at Best Denki with this card gives you an additional 2% cashback, making your total rewards 4 mpd + 2% which is rightfully Tier 1 level. Purely cashback, this represents 4.77% on large purchases which is really good.
Of course, Best Denki’s stuff needs to be price competitive for the 2% discount to make sense, and from my experience checking prices at their store, they have reasonable pricing for their products. From time to time, I’ve even seen them do 6% storewide sales which is pretty insane.
Should you really be picking 2.77% cashback over 4 mpd?
According to my tier list, 4 mpd is one tier above 3% cashback, and it should go without saying that 4 mpd is better than 2.77% cashback for most cases.
If you spent $6,250, you’d get 25,000 miles and pay about $80 tax to go to Bangkok. You could also opt for 2.77% cashback which is almost $174. Pay $80 out of your pocket and that’s $250 which is more or less a Bangkok ticket too. Cashback would make more sense here since you could buy anything besides a ticket to Bangkok. Of course, this is an example of miles being used inefficiently; nobody shrewd would redeem 25,000 miles for a Bangkok flight.
If the amount grows larger to $12,500, you start to gain enough for a trip to Tokyo via SQ Economy, easily $600-$700 value. Going for 2.77% cashback means you’d only have less than $350.
$24,000? Now we’re talking. Business class to Tokyo, or barely $665? The choice is clear.
If you’re a mile person, you would probably think that it’s a little ridiculous to pick cashback. Regardless, I’m sure there’re still people who prefer cashback for whatever reason, and 2.77% cashback is at least better than 1.5% cashback for big purchases.
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You’ll feel a dopamine hit when you charge a huge amount to this card. At least I do. Ugh addiction feels so good.
- No monthly cap! Generous $12,000 annual cap
- Double your annual cap with a second OCBC TR card
- +2% cashback on Best Denki which has decent prices
- Wide range of qualifying categories and merchants
- Slow crediting: points are awarded at the end of the following month
- Fun fact: I once used a 1.5% cashback card for $11,000 of electronics when I was new to the game of credit cards. Giving up nearly a return trip to Japan for $165? I still get nightmares.