Up to 55,000 Miles Offer – Is the OCBC 90°N Promo Worth it?
OCBC finally has pretty decent sign-up offers for its cards, offering S$228 cashback for its popular cards. A notable exception, the OCBC 90°N, is giving miles instead, promising a whopping 55,000 miles. The promo also requires a sizeable S$15,000 spend, and here’s a look at whether the promo is worth it.
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$1,000 within each 30-day period (in a 60-day period) upon approval of your eligible card
Until 30th June 2023
Terms and conditions:
- OCBC: tap here
Save a copy for your own reference.
Earn 1.3 Travel$ (1.3 miles) per S$1 in local currency spend. Travel$ are awarded in blocks of S$5 per transaction
The 55,000 miles is made up of three parts:
|Meet minimum qualifying spend of S$15,000 by 30 September 2023 (for cards approved in March 2023)||25,500 Travel$¹|
(25,550 miles or S$255.00)
|Base Travel$ earned||19,500 Travel$|
(19,500 miles or S$195)
|Optional: pay annual fee of S$194.40||10,000 Travel$|
(10,000 miles or S$100)
(worth 55,000 miles or S$550)
The good thing about this promo is that the 25,500 and 10,000 miles are awarded within 2 weeks of card approval in the form of Travel$. This comes in handy for people who require miles quickly for a redemption they need to make quickly.
Opportunity to buy miles at 2.12 cents each, if you really want to
If the minimum spend is not made within the specified time frame of 6 months, the 25,500 points will be clawed back. If there is insufficient Travel$ for this clawback, a fee of S$540 (inclusive of GST) will be levied instead. This means that you can just sign up for this promo and convert the points into miles, effectively paying S$540 for 25,500 miles without any minimum spend.
That’s buying miles at 2.12 cents each, which is quite pricey in my books. That’s not to say that it is completely useless because you might just be short of a redemption that makes sense for you. People who are willing to pay for business class flights are likely to find this an okay price to procure miles.
Paying the annual fee is buying miles at 1.94 cents each
The option to pay S$194.40 for 10,000 miles is buying each mile at 1.94 cents each. Again, I find this to be relatively pricey since my personal valuation of miles is around 1.25 cents each.
Get S$300 with Citi SMRT Card – excellent easy-to-use 5% cashback card with no monthly cap!
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An effective rate of 3 miles per dollar great for large transactions
If you were to meet the S$15,000 minimum spend for the promo, you will get 19,500 Travel$ from the card’s 1.3 points per dollar earn rate on top of the 25,500 bonus. This makes for a total of 45,000 miles for S$15,000 of spend, giving you an effective earn rate of 3 miles per dollar.
While this is not as good as what the many 4 mile-per-dollar cards can get, it is very useful for those with large transactions since most 4 mile-per-dollar cards have limits of S$1,000 to S$2,000 per month.
Other high-earn cards that would work for large transactions include OCBC Titanium Rewards which gives 4 miles per dollar and maxes out at S$13,330 of spend per year, and Citi SMRT which offers 5% cashback and maxes out at S$12,000 per year. UOB KrisFlyer Card also gives 3 miles per dollar without caps.
One has to note, however, that each of these cards require conditions to be met. OCBC Titanium Rewards and UOB KrisFlyer require specific MCCs while Citi SMRT requires transactions to be online while excluding travel expenses. This OCBC 90°N promo is a lot less restrictive since you just need to spend on things that are not excluded.
Pay your bills with CardUp and ipaymy
Perhaps the easiest way to meet your minimum spend would be to use a payment service like CardUp or ipaymy. There is a a service fee to be paid for either service, but you can get your first payment of around S$1,100 to S$1,330 free of charge:
New to CardUp
Use promo code
SETHISFY: get $30 off the fee on your first payment! That’s a transaction of around S$1,150 for free!
New and existing users
Use promo code
SETHTAX23: get a discounted 1.75% fees on one-off or recurring income tax, Visa only
New to ipaymy
Sign up here to get $30 off the fee on your first payment! That’s a transaction of around S$1,330 for free!
Not only can you meet the minimum spend easily by paying a variety of bills, it also reduces your opportunity costs. 4 mile-per-dollar cards don’t work with such services.
Assuming a fee of 2.25% for 3 miles per dollar, you’re buying miles at 0.75 cents each which is an excellent rate.
What I would do to clock this promo
If I were a new OCBC cardholder, this is how I would take advantage of this promo:
- Apply and opt for no annual fee
- Use CardUp or ipaymy to meet the minimum spend
- Get 45,000 miles with a cost of roughly S$337.50
This is probably the most cost-effective and fuss-free way to clock this promo, and you walk away with 45,000 miles which is a substantial amount.
Otherwise, there’s always signing up for other OCBC cards which perhaps have more straightforward promos.
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