This article is written in collaboration with OCBC Bank. Views expressed in the article are the independent opinion of DollarsAndSense.sg.
In today’s global landscape where air travel is becoming more affordable and budget airlines are offering competitive airfares, frequent travelling has become a norm. People in Singapore are now travelling once every few months, as opposed to every few years.
For frequent travellers, it makes sense to get in on the miles game to make your spending work for you. For every dollar that you spend on your credit card, you are rewarded in the form of miles. These miles can be used in the future to redeem a flight on business class, first class or even suites class to an exotic destination of your choice.
But with so many different kind of travel cards available in Singapore, how can you choose which is going to be the right airmiles card for you to accumulate the miles that you need on both the local and overseas spending that you are going to be making?
With avid-travellers in mind, OCBC Bank recently launched the OCBC 90°N Card. For those who love to travel, here are 6 reasons why the OCBC 90°N Card fits into your wallet perfectly for the globe-trotter in you.
#1 Spend In Foreign Currency To Earn 4 Miles Per Dollar
Spending using our credit card overseas these days has become more common. Not only is it safer to travel with less cash being carried around, but you can also earn miles on your overseas spending.
The usual earn rate for the OCBC 90°N Card is 1.2 mile per dollar (mpd) on local spending and 2.1mpd on overseas spending. This is comparable to most other credit cards in Singapore. However, OCBC 90°N Card users will be glad to know that from now till 29 February 2020, they will be able to earn 4mpd (instead of the usual 2.1mpd) on all overseas spend.
While this incentivises miles lovers to use the OCBC 90°N Card for their spend overseas, it is not limited to those who are travelling overseas. You can also spend in foreign currency and earn the 4mpd even from Singapore, by paying for products online using foreign currency.
Do note that you will incur foreign exchange mark-up of 3%. However if you are looking to accumulate miles, this is still a very good mile earn rate of 0.75cent/mile. If you were to use your OCBC 90°N Card overseas but charge in SGD, you will still earn the base rate of 2.1mpd.
#2 Earn Extra Miles On Your Travel Spend
These days, many people prefer to plan their own holiday to make the trips more personalised. This means planning the entire trip, from the flight booking, to the booking of accommodation and planning of the itinerary yourself, through the use of the apps and websites available online.
Usually, the cost of flights and accommodation make up the bulk of the travel expenditure. A savvy miles-chaser would choose to use the right credit card that gives him or her extra rewards for travel bookings for flight and accommodation.
From now till 29 February 2020, you can earn 4mpd on your flight booking on popular airlines, including both budget airlines as well as full-service carriers, such as Singapore Airlines, Scoot, SilkAir, AirAsia, Jetstar.
You will also earn 8mpd on your accommodation booking with Agoda, Airbnb, Expedia, Mr & Mrs Smith and hotels under the Millennium Hotels and Resorts. Using any OCBC credit card at Millennium Hotels and Resorts also entitles you to 20% off the Flexible Rate for all properties.
Do note that for both Agoda and Expedia, you must book via the unique URL – agoda.com/ocbc90n & expedia.com.sg/ocbc90n to enjoy the special 8mpd promotion for selected properties and airlines. Miles earned will be awarded within 2 months from the date that customer departs the property. Terms & Conditions can be found here.
#3 Get Rewarded For Your Shopping And Entertainment
When we travel on a budget airline, we often have to bring along some form of entertainment. This could be music on your phone, movies you downloaded, digital books on your Kindle and more.
Many of us use Spotify today for our music needs and the company has recently hit 96 million paid subscribers – are you one of them? If you are a paid user of Spotify, you will be glad to know that using the OCBC 90°N Card to pay your Spotify bill will earn you 4 miles per dollar. Netflix subscribers will also earn 4 miles per dollar when paying your Netflix bills using the OCBC 90°N Card
Even at the tail end of your trip, you get rewarded with additional miles for your spending. Many of us purchase alcohol, cosmetic products and more at duty free shops at the airport. The OCBC 90°N Card rewards you for your duty free shopping with 4mpd at DFS and Shilla at Changi before 29 February 2020. This comes right before DFS is taken over by Lotte from June 2020.
#4 A Card That Can Be Held For The Long Term
One of the issues when it comes to banks having their own currencies for credit cards is that there is often an expiry date, which pushes you to travel sooner than you want to so that the miles don’t expire.
You might also incur costs to convert the currency into miles that can be used. If this currency can only be converted in large blocks, you run the risk of having leftover miles in your account, which goes to waste if you don’t spend enough to hit the next block for conversion.
With the OCBC 90°N Card, OCBC introduced a new currency – Travel$. Travel$ is a rewards currency that has multiple perks:
– Travel$ never expire
– Can be converted in small blocks of 1,000 miles
– No conversion fee
#5 A Good Plan B If You Ever Decide To Go For Cashback Instead
For those who are still undecided between chasing the miles life or to go for practical cashback dollars on your credit card spending, you’ll be glad to know that even if you choose the OCBC 90°N card to earn miles today, you still have the option of changing the Travel$ you earn into cash rebates.
This cash rebates is at a rate of 1.2%. While a 1.2% cashback is nothing extraordinary, it does come close to other cashback cards that gives 1.5% cashback on all purchases, with no minimum spend.
This means that your efforts to earn Travel$ will not go to waste even if you decide in the future that you no longer want to accumulate miles!
#6 Complementing Your OCBC 360 Account
Lastly, to sweeten the deal for those that are currently using the OCBC 360 Account, having the OCBC 90°N Card helps to satisfy the Spend category where you have to spend at least $500 on an OCBC credit card. This enables current OCBC 360 Account users to have the option to concurrently accumulate the spend they need to earn bonus interest while also earning miles.
Applying For The OCBC 90°N card
To apply for the OCBC 90°N Card, you need to be at least 21 years old and earn an annual income of S$30,000 and above for Singaporeans and PRs, or S$45,000 and above for foreigners.
Similar to the annual fees of many credit cards, the OCBC 90°N Card has an annual fee of $192.60 a year. The first year will be free and you can get 10,000 miles when you pay your annual fee in the second year.
Find out more about the OCBC 90°N card here.