Review: OCBC Titanium Rewards – Can a Mile Card Give You More Cashback Than Cashback Cards?
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|
OCBC Titanium Rewards
New OCBC Cardholders
Option 1: Free Samsonite 28” luggage
Charge at least S$500 within 30 days upon approval of your eligible card
Option 2: S$250 in cashback
Charge at least S$1,000 within each 30-day period (in a 60-day period) upon approval of your eligible card
Until 30th June 2023
Terms and conditions:
- OCBC: tap here
Save a copy for your own reference.
Get 4 miles per dollar or 2.78% cash rebate on up to S$13,330 of eligible spend per membership year! No monthly cap so it is perfect for big transactions. Eligible spend includes things like electronics, Shopee, Lazada, IKEA, clothing etc.
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.
3 thoughts on “Review: OCBC Titanium Rewards – Can a Mile Card Give You More Cashback Than Cashback Cards?”
This may be slightly unrelated, but ICBC offers 3.0% cashback for overseas txns; after their txn fee of 2.5%, the nett cashback is 0.5%. Would you pick this card over say OCBC N90 which offers 2.1MPD albeit with 3.25% forex fee?
I saw your comparison of miles vs cashback and was trying to think this though.
Hi Benjamin, 3.25% fee for 2.1 mpd = 1.55 cents per mile. There are cheaper ways to procure miles and typically difficult to get greater than 1.55 cent per mile if you’re not someone who’d normally pay for business class tickets.
After reading the T&C, unclear and doubt on the eligible online spending. OCBC only listed the eligible retail transaction in clause 2b and some special merchant (mixed on online and retail) under clause 2c.
Is all the online spending as long the spending aren’t under the exclusion list (excluded MCC listed under clause 3m and transaction under clause 3i) are considered eligible for additional bonus OCBC$45?