OCBC has just entered the market today with a brand new travel credit card that you will want to get your hands on, as quickly as possible. The 90°N (pronounced as 90-degree north) Card from OCBC introduces a brand new Travel$ rewards currency that never expire - cardholders will also be able to convert them in 1,000 blocks and most importantly, they will never have to pay any conversion fees for miles! To celebrate the launch of this card, approved cardholders will get to enjoy an accelerated earn rate of up to 8 miles per dollar from now until 29 February 2020 across select categories.
Base Earn Rate of OCBC 90°N Card
The S$30,000 income requirement for the new 90°N Card puts it within reach for most working adults. Positioned as a card to inspire travel to even the most unfamiliar places, the new travel credit card from OCBC offers an earn rate of 1.2 Travel$ (which converts into 1.2 miles) per S$1 of eligible spend. Eligible non-SGD transactions will earn 2.1 Travel$ per S$1 and there will be no minimum spend or maximum cap on what a cardmember can earn.
Being able to earn 1.2 Travel$ and 2.1 Travel$ on SGD and non-SGD transactions on the OCBC 90°N Card puts this card ahead of competition - the DBS Altitude Card and the Citi PremierMiles Visa Card both offers a slightly lower earn rate at 1.2/2.0 and a cardholder will have to pay S$25 with each conversion. As mentioned earlier, holders of the new OCBC 90°N Card will not have to pay any conversion fees when they choose to convert their Travel$ into miles.
Flexible Redemption Options
The OCBC 90°N Card offers flexible redemption options on the OCBC Rewards Portal and the Travel$ accrued on this card may be converted into miles (at the time of writing, Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer is the only airline partner), cash credit or vouchers depending on what your preferences are:
1,000 Travel$ = 1,000 Miles
1,000 Travel$ = S$10 in Cash Credit
1,300 Travel$ = S$10 in Vouchers
|Category||Travel$ Required||Value||Local Spend Required||Effective Cashback (SGD)||Foreign Spend Required||Effective Cashback (Non-SGD)|
Travel$ earned on the OCBC 90°N Card convert into KrisFlyer miles at a 1:1 rate (i.e. 1 Travel$ = 1 KrisFlyer Mile) and as mentioned earlier, Travel$ can be converted freely into KrisFlyer miles in 1,000 blocks. If you are not at all interested in miles and would like to use this card for cash and vouchers only, you should be able to tell (based on the table above) that redeeming your Travel$ for cash credit puts you in a better position. A S$10 voucher will require 1,300 Travel$ while a S$10 cash credit will only require 1,000 Travel$ (30% less!) - the former is more restrictive while the latter can be used to offset any charge that you put on the card for less!
Welcome Bonus - Spend S$5,000 within 3 Months
To celebrate the launch of the OCBC 90°N Card, new to card customers (you must not hold any OCBC credit cards from the last 6 months) will get a S$50 statement credit upon card approval and they will also be able to earn a welcome bonus of 7,000 Travel$ (which converts into 7,000 miles or S$70 in statement credit) for spending S$5,000 within 3 months from the card approval date. Applying on the start of a new calendar month will give you slightly more time to hit the minimum spend required to trigger the welcome bonus.
|Card Approval Date||Minimum Spend Cut-off Date|
|27 August 2019||30 November 2019|
|01 September 2019||31 December 2019|
If you hold an existing OCBC credit card or you have held one in the last 6 months, you will also be able to take advantage of a smaller welcome bonus of 3,000 Travel$ (which converts into 3,000 miles or S$30 in statement credit) for hitting S$5,000 within 3 months from the card approval date. Obviously the welcome bonus for existing customers is not much to shout about but the launch bonuses that I will cover next is something that you will definitely want to pay special attention to.
8 Miles per Dollar (No Cap) on Select Travel Expenses - until 29 February 2020
From now until 29 February 2020 (cheers to the leap year ahead for an extra day of benefits!), enjoy up to 8 Travel$ per S$1 on your OCBC 90°N Card - there is no minimum spend required and no caps to the number of Travel$ you can earn during this period.
|Category||Travel$ per S$1|
|Launch Bonus (until 29 February 2020)|
|Agoda, Expedia, Airbnb, Millennium Hotels and Resorts, Mr & Mrs Smith||8|
|Overseas Spend (Non-SGD)||4|
|Singapore Airlines Group (including SilkAir and Scoot)|
|DFS, The Shilla Duty Free (Changi Airport)|
|Base Earn Rate|
|Local Spend (SGD)||1.2|
|Overseas Spend (Non-SGD)||2.1|
Now your eyes are not playing tricks on you - all approved cardholders will be able to earn 8 Travel$ (yes, that's 8 miles per dollar) per S$1 on eligible transactions made on Agoda, Expedia, Airbnb, Millennium Hotels and Resorts as well as Mr & Mrs Smith until 29 February 2020.
4 Miles per Dollar (No Cap) on Non-SGD Transactions and Select Merchants - until 29 February 2020
As if that is not enough, all eligible overseas spend (non-SGD) charged to the OCBC 90°N Card will also earn 4 Travel$ per S$1. What that means to say is that regardless of spend category (so long it does not fall under one of the excluded MCCs), all approved cardholders of the OCBC 90°N Card will earn 4 miles per dollar on all non-SGD transactions from now until 29 February 2020!
Additionally, all eligible spend charged by the following merchants to the OCBC 90°N Card will also earn 4 Travel$ per S$1 until 29 February 2020:
Singapore Airlines Group (including SilkAir and Scoot)
AirAsia and Jetstar
DFS and The Shilla Duty Free (Changi Airport)
Netflix and Spotify
World Mastercard Perks
The OCBC 90°N Card is a World Mastercard which means cardholders will get to enjoy exclusive offers and benefits provided by Mastercard - this includes access to over 1,000 airport lounges (chargeable) provided by LoungeKey via the Mastercard app.
Annual Fee and Income Requirement
OCBC is currently offering a first year fee waiver for the OCBC 90°N Card and with an income requirement of S$30,000, there is no reason not to get this card. Subsequently, the annual fee of the OCBC 90°N Card is S$192.60 (including GST) and cardholders will receive 10,000 Travel$ upon payment of the annual fee each year.
With the introduction of a travel credit card and a brand new rewards currency that does not expire, OCBC appears to be serious about the 90°N Card. The 1.2/2.1 base earn rates of the OCBC 90°N Card are comparable to similar cards in the market but the launch bonus of up to 8 miles per dollar with no cap and minimum spend makes it an easy sell.
Even though the OCBC 90°N Card does not come with complimentary airport lounge visits each year (and that is perhaps the biggest drawback when you compare it to competing cards in the market) but the increased earn rate on non-SGD transactions (2.1 versus 2.0), as well as the absence of conversion fees (from Travel$ to miles) make it a comparatively-attractive card to hold.
If you do have overseas trips planned for the year ahead and would like a credit card that will give you the most miles for your expected spend, the OCBC 90°N Card is truly a strong contender in this space. Offering 4 miles per dollar on all non-SGD transactions charged to the card before 29 February 2020 is an extremely generous offer since the only other real competition is the UOB Visa Signature. The competing credit card allows you to earn up to 4 miles per dollar for foreign currency spend between S$1,000 and S$2,000 per statement period but the maximum cap and minimum spend (as well as S$5 rounding issues) makes the UOB Visa Signature a less worthy card when compared to the OCBC 90°N Card.
Sign-up here: OCBC 90°N Card