Connect with us

Credit Cards

Battle Of Miles Cards In Singapore: OCBC 90°N VS Citibank PremierMiles VS DBS Altitude

Will the new miles card – the OCBC 90°N Card – be a contender against stalwarts like Citibank PremierMiles and DBS Altitude cards?


The credit card market in Singapore has a new entrant with the launch of a brand new travel card – the OCBC 90°N Card.

The card comes with privileges and promotional offers for mile-chasers, but how does it stack up against other existing miles cards?

We examine it today with two other popular air miles cards in the market – Citi PremierMiles Card and DBS Altitude Card.

Read Also: Beginners Guide To Credit Card Air Miles In Singapore

Annual Fees And Income Requirements

90°N PremierMiles Altitude
Annual Fees $192.60 (waived for the first year)

Get 10,000 miles with annual fees paid from the second year

$192.60 (choose between earning 30,000 miles by spending $7,500 within 3 months and paying the annual fee, or earn 10,000 miles by spending $3,000 within 3 months with annual fee waived for the first year)

Get 10,000 miles with membership fees paid from the second year

$192.60 (waived for the first year)

Get 10,000 miles with annual fees paid from the second year

Spend $25,000 each year and get fee waiver, terms and conditions apply

Income requirement S$30,000 and above for Singaporeans and Singapore PRs

S$45,000 and above for foreigners

S$30,000 and above for Singaporeans and Singapore PRs

S$42,000 and above for foreigners

S$30,000 and above for Singaporeans and Singapore PRs

S$45,000 and above for foreigners

 

The income requirement and annual fees between the three cards are largely identical, with S$30,000 income requirement for Singaporeans and PRs. Paying the annual fee from the second year onwards for all three cards will net a bonus 10,000 miles.

With the exception of PremierMiles Card, which offers bonus miles with minimum spending within three months of card approval (either with or without paying the annual fee) for the first year, the other two cards only offer annual fee waiver for the first year.

Read Also: UOB PRVI Miles Card Review: Why You Should Be Getting This Popular Air Miles Card

Miles Accrual And Foreign Currency Fees

  90°N PremierMiles Altitude
Miles/Dollar – Local Spend 1.2 1.2 1.2
Miles/Dollar  – Overseas Spend 4 (until 29 February 2020)

2.1 (from 1 March 2020)

2 2
Miles Expiry Not applicable Not applicable Not applicable
Currency Conversion Fee 3% 3% 3%

 

As we can see, the miles accrual for local and overseas spending (save for 90°N Card with a slightly higher 2.1 miles for each dollar spent) and foreign transaction fees for all three cards are largely the same.

However, the 90°N Card sets the higher earning benchmark with 4 miles for every dollar on overseas spending during the promotional period. If you are a frequent traveller, you may wish to leverage on 90°N Card’s promotional rates to earn more miles on your holiday shopping spree.

Read Also: Why Young Graduates Should Choose Air Miles Over Cashback As Their First Credit Card?

Airline Partners And Fringe Benefits

  90°N PremierMiles Altitude
Airline partners Singapore Airlines – Singapore Airlines
– Cathay Pacific
– Malaysia Airlines
– Qantas
– Eva Air
– British Airways
– AirFrance / KLM
– Qatar Airways
– Turkish Airlines
– IHG Hotels
– Singapore Airlines
– Cathay Pacific
– AirAsia
– Qantas
Fringe Benefits Not applicable 2 free airport lounge visits each year with card membership 2 free airport lounge visits each year with card membership

 

The comparison of airline partners and fringe benefits between the three cards reveal significant differences.

For instance, the 90°N Card does not offer free lounge visits as part of the package. Instead, cardmembers will have to enrol into the Mastercard Airport Experiences, which is fee-payable. This disappointment is perhaps offset by a slightly higher rate of 2.1 miles for every dollar charged (4 miles during the promotional period) on overseas spending, as compared to 2 miles for every dollar on the other two cards.

When it comes to miles redemption, it is a letdown that the 90°N Card only offers conversion to KrisFlyer miles as the only option for now.

On the other hand, PremierMiles Card offers the most airline partners (and even a hotel partner) as compared to 90°N and Altitude Cards. While the majority of Singaporeans may choose to fly with our flag carrier, PremierMiles Card’s wide array of airline partners confer cardmembers greater choices and flexibility in redeeming miles with other international carriers.

Read Also: Why All Singaporeans (Even Cashback Lovers) Should Apply For At Least One Air Miles Card

The Verdict? 

Which card should you choose? Our answer: it depends largely on your needs, lifestyle and preference.

If you prefer to use your card miles on other carriers (or even on hotel stays) instead of Singapore Airlines’ Krisflyer, Citi PremierMiles Card may be your best bet.

For a big spender who likes to have the convenience of automatic fee waivers, the DBS Altitude Card may be your favourite pick.

However, if you are a loyal supporter of our flag carrier, and redeeming more miles for each dollar spent excites you more that other fringe perks, the OCBC 90°N Card will appeal to you more.

Planning To Sign up For The 90°N Card? Here’s What You Need To Take Note Of

From now until 29 February 2020, simply use the OCBC 90°N Card on your spending at the following merchants to enjoy 4 miles for every dollar spent:

– Overseas spend
– Flight bookings on selected airlines
– Netflix and Spotify subscriptions
– DFS Singapore and The Shilla Duty Free

Get 8 miles for every dollar spent on accommodation booking via Airbnb, Agoda and Expedia, Mr and Mrs Smith and Millennium Hotels and Resorts.

In addition, non-existing OCBC cardmembers who apply for the 90°N Card and have their application approved by 31 October 2019 will receive S$50 cash rebate upon successful card approval. They will also earn an additional 7,000 miles by charging S$5,000 to the card within the first three months of card approval.

If you would like to maximise your spending on the 90°N Card during the promotional period, do take note that the following (non-exhaustive) transactions are not eligible for awarding of miles:

– Bill payment via AXS
– Annual fees
– Balance transfer
– Charity / religious organisations
– Real estate agencies
– Utilities
– Trading platforms
– Government institution and services
– Insurance payments
– Prepaid accounts and cards
– Education
– Gambling
– Parking lots
– Non-durable goods
– Wire transfer money orders
– Financial institutions
– Political organisations
– Cash advance through banks

Read Also: American Express KrisFlyer Ascend; Citi PremierMiles; UOB PRVI; Standard Chartered Visa Infinite – Which Is The Best AirMiles Card For You?