As we mourned the death of various credit cards in the industry lately, I was surprised to find that the OCBC VOYAGE Card (which I covered in-depth HERE) has just been unveiled improved and enhanced travel and lifestyle benefits for cardholders. While I have previously mentioned that cardholders are already able to access a personal concierge service with the credit card, OCBC has just introduced a brand new medical triage service, enhanced travel perks, greater insurance coverage and new merchant partnerships that cardholders can take advantage of immediately.
1. Medical Triage Service
As part of the VOYAGE Exchange Personal Concierge service that you get with the OCBC VOYAGE Card, cardholders will now be able to access the brand new medical triage service which would basically redirect you to a medical specialist based on your needs and requirement. OCBC has not shared too much about this new service yet but apparently cardholders will be able to have direct access to medical specialists and arrange for emergency medical evacuation where needed.
2. Complimentary Limousine Service (S$3,000 for One Ride, S$6,000 for Two Rides)
While the complimentary limousine service is already an existing benefit for OCBC VOYAGE cardholders, you are now required to spend 40% less for a free limousine transfer. Cardholders are now only required to spend S$3,000 (instead of S$5,000) for a free ride (valid for 3 months) and they can earn up to two free rides (by spending S$6,000), instead of just one, in a given statement period. Therefore, it is now possible to get up to 24 free limousine transfers each year on the OCBC VOYAGE Card. While the qualifying charge of S$3,000 is higher than competing credit cards like the Citi Prestige (S$1,500), all eligible expenses (SGD or otherwise) count towards meeting this minimum sum and even though I do believe that it can be further improved, I applaud OCBC for taking a step towards the right direction in improving benefits for cardholders.
3. Enhanced Insurance Coverage
While a valid travel insurance is still highly recommended for all travellers, OCBC VOYAGE cardholders will now be able to enjoy travel insurance coverage of up to S$1.5 million so long they charge their air tickets to the OCBC VOYAGE Card. Do note that this is only applicable when you charge the round-trip cost of the travel ticket to the OCBC VOYAGE Card - this is probably not applicable if you are redeeming flights with your KrisFlyer miles for instance.
- Up to S$1,500,000 coverage for Travel Personal Accident Insurance
- Up to S$35,500 coverage for Overseas Medical Expense Reimbursement
- Up to S$200 coverage for Flight Delay and Flight mis-connection (more than 4 hours)
- Up to S$200 coverage for Baggage Delay (more than 6 hours)
- Up to S$200 coverage Baggage Loss (more than 48 hours)
4. Renew OCBC Voyage Card for 500,000 VOYAGE Miles (Official)
While there were previous reports of the 500,000 VOYAGE Miles renewal option, this is now official - principal cardholders can now renew the OCBC VOYAGE Card for S$10,000 to get 500,000 renewal VOYAGE Miles (which can be converted into KrisFlyer Miles at a 1:1 ratio) - there are cheaper ways of 'buying miles' in Singapore but none of them actually offer the opportunity to buy 500,000 miles at one go (unless you have the super-exclusive UOB Reserve Card). Using the S$20 per 1,000 miles valuation, fly in Singapore Airlines Suites to Hong Kong (one-way) and Auckland (one-way) will only cost you S$750 and S$1,600 respectively.
5. VOYAGE Miles Redemption Options
|Redemption||Voyage Miles Required||Required Spend (2.3 VM)|
|S$10 Takashimaya Department Store Voucher||1,200||$522|
|S$20 Tangs Voucher||2,400||$1,043|
|S$50 VOYAGE Cash||6,000||$2,609|
|S$100 VOYAGE Cash||12,000||$5,217|
|Bang & Olufsen: BeoSound 1||120,000||$52,174|
|Bang & Olufsen: BeoSound 2||150,000||$65,217|
OCBC VOYAGE Cardholders will now be able to use VOYAGE Miles accrued on the card to exchange for things like vouchers, cash credits and physical items like Bang & Olufsen speakers - OCBC will probably be adding more items into the mix but needless to say redemption options such as these are a complete waste of VOYAGE Miles (read: KrisFlyer Miles). Do I want 120,000 KrisFlyer Miles (which will take me to Sydney and back on Business Class) or a brand new speaker? I'll take the former, thank you.
6. New Merchant Partnerships
OCBC VOYAGE Cardholders are now able to benefit from new merchant partnerships with Emporium Shokuhin Group and Summer Pavilion (The Ritz-Carlton, Millenia Singapore) just to name a few - for more information, please refer to the OCBC VOYAGE website.
The newly enhanced benefits for OCBC VOYAGE cardmembers are a welcome change to the credit card industry in Singapore. While one can definitely hope for a higher mile-accrual rate, the comparatively generous limousine transfers and and improved concierge service will definitely go a long way in retaining customers in years to come. Being able to purchase 500,000 VOYAGE Miles at S$10,000 a year is an extremely attractive benefit which will give any mile chaser a headstart in this game.