This is our review of the OCBC Voyage card issued in Singapore. It forms part of our series of credit card reviews, which are all summarised on our dedicated Credit Cards page.
Dollar amounts refer to SGD, and ‘miles’ refer to KrisFlyer miles, except where stated. This review was updated on 30th August 2020.
on local spend
Mainly Miles Says
The OCBC Voyage card benefits from some nice perks, including a competitive local earn rate and flexible, fee-free transfers into KrisFlyer miles.
There are also complimentary airport limo rides for those spending over $5,000 per month, however the drawbacks include the bank’s new annoying $5 rounding policy for miles accrual, plus a limited selection of airport lounges compared to other cards in this high annual fee category.
- Minimum Age: 21
- Minimum Income: $120,000/yr
The OCBC Voyage card has a $120,000 per year income requirement for all applicants.
Annual Fees & Interest Rates
- Annual Fee (principal): $488
- Annual Fee (supplementary): $188
- Fee Waiver: $60k+ annual spend (regular), $30k+ (Premier)
The annual fee for the OCBC Voyage Visa card is high at $488, though this also gets you 15,000 bonus miles on sign-up and at each yearly renewal. On its own that’s not worth it – you’re paying 3.25 cents per mile which is way too high, but the card does come with some other useful benefits which may make up the value for you.
If you meet a minimum spend of $60,000 in your card membership year, you’ll currently be eligible for automatic annual fee waiver. Premier customers can unlock fee waiver with a reduced spend of $30,000. Any other fee waiver is on request from OCBC. If the annual fee is waived on renewal, the 15,000 bonus miles will not be credited.
You monthly statement shows how much more you need to spend in the current membership year to trigger automatic annual fee waiver on renewal.
Supplementary cards can be added to your account for an annual fee of $188 each, with the same waiver policy described above.
Other fees and interest rates for the OCBC Voyage card include:
- EIR: 26.9%
- Interest-free period: 23 days
- Minimum payment: 3% (or $50, whichever greater)
- Late payment fee: $100
- Cash advance fee: 8% (min. $15)
The current sign-up bonus for the OCBC Voyage Visa card is one of the following options:
- 15,000 miles for a $488 annual fee (3.25 cents/mile)
- 150,000 miles for a $3,210 annual fee (2.14 cents/mile)
For the 150,000 miles sign-up option, the entire bonus must be converted to KrisFlyer miles (you cannot hold them as Voyage Miles, see below).Fun fact: The OCBC Voyage card previously offered a 500,000 miles sign-up bonus option for a $10,000 annual fee, however this was withdrawn in August 2018.
The ‘enhanced’ sign-up bonus option (with 150,000 miles) was also reportedly being re-offered at annual renewal for some cardholders last year, though there is nothing in the terms and conditions about this so it is likely a targeted or temporary offer. You may or may not receive the option.
Regular earn rates
The OCBC Voyage Visa card earns:
- 1.3 miles for every $1 spent locally (i.e. transacted in SGD), and
- 2.2 miles for every $1 spent overseas (i.e. transacted in foreign currency).
These revised earn rates took effect in June 2020, with the card’s bonus earn rate for dining transactions (1.6 mpd) withdrawn.
If you are an OCBC Premier, OCBC Premier Private Client or Bank of Singapore Voyage cardmember, you’ll get higher earning rates of:
- 1.6 miles for every $1 spent locally (i.e. transacted in SGD), and
- 2.3 miles for every $1 spent overseas (i.e. transacted in foreign currency).
Bonus earn rates
OCBC Voyage cardholders can earn up to 7 miles per dollar for hotel bookings in foreign currency and 6 miles per dollar for SGD bookings at Agoda.
This is valid for bookings made before 31st July 2021, for stays through to 31st December 2021, via the following dedicated link:
Note that this promo is for prepaid bookings through Agoda, so be careful to shop around for the best price first. Initially you’ll earn at the regular 1.3 mpd (SGD) / 2.2 mpd (FCY) rates, with the bonus element awarded within two calendar months of your completed stay.
Full terms and conditions are available here.
OCBC awards Voyage Miles on all retail transactions, with the exception of the following:
- All card fees and charges, card annual fees, membership fees, renewal fees, balance transfer and charges incurred for any balance transfer facility, cash-on-instalment facility and charges incurred for any cash-on-instalment facility.
- Instalment payment plan, extended payment plan, income tax payment, interest, late payment charges, GST, cash advances, bill payments made via internet banking, and other fees and charges.
- Payment of funds to prepaid accounts and merchants who are categorised as “payment service providers”, which include (without limitation) EZ-Link, NETS FlashPay, eNETS, SAM, Transit Link and AXS.
There are also some merchant-specific excluded MCC codes, including payments to charitable organisations and for utilities, insurance and education, plus payments to Singapore public hospitals. Grab top-ups are also excluded.
For a full up to date list of exclusions, see the card terms and conditions.
What about CardUp and ipaymy?
At the time of writing the OCBC Voyage card accrues miles normally at the local earn rate for both CardUp and ipaymy transactions, allowing you to accumulate miles on bill payments, monthly rental and income tax, among other invoices.
Remember to check the cost per mile based on the prevailing fee for your transaction type to make sure you’re ‘buying’ miles at a sensible rate when using card payment providers.
Are KrisFlyer miles credited directly?
No, in fact rather than being credited miles directly you’ll accrue ‘Voyage Miles’ for your regular spending on this card. These transfer to KrisFlyer miles at a 1:1 ratio, so for $10,000 of local spending (regular cardmember), you’ll net 13,000 Voyage Miles, which can be converted to 13,000 KrisFlyer miles.
Which loyalty schemes can I transfer into?
Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer is the sole frequent flyer program for OCBC redemptions. With the obvious exception of the KrisFlyer co-brand credit cards, that makes OCBC the only bank in Singapore not offering an alternative miles transfer partner, such as Asia Miles or Emirates Skywards (even UOB supports Asia Miles transfers!).
That’s a big drawback of the OCBC cards in our opinion, as we often top up our balances in these other programmes to give us oneworld and other partner redemption opportunities.
Be sure to bookmark our continually updated list of which banks transfer where for the latest range of options.
For the best range of transfer partners, look towards Citi, American Express or Standard Chartered cards.
↥ Is there a minimum transfer amount?
The OCBC Voyage card is almost completely unique in Singapore in allowing single miles to be transferred to KrisFlyer.
That’s right, you can transfer as little as 1 mile across, with no upper limit applied.
That means you can transfer exactly the number you need for a redemption, with no wastage. For example if you have 91,250 miles but you want to lock in a Singapore to London saver award in Business Class priced at 92,000 miles, just transfer 750 miles across from your Voyage Miles.
When do Voyage Miles credit?
Voyage Miles should reflect in your account once your transaction posts, which takes anywhere between one and three days.
You won’t have to wait until your monthly statement for the points to be added, so if you’re making a purchase to achieve a short-term top-up they should be available to you within a few days.
For example, a $1,000 local purchase on a Monday should see 1,300 Voyage Miles added to your rewards account by Thursday the same week, which you can then transfer to KrisFlyer.
The only exception is bonus Voyage Miles earned from the Agoda promotion, which credit within two months of your completed stay, and Voyage Miles earned from payment of the annual fee, which are credited to your account only on publication of the associated monthly statement.
Do Voyage Miles expire?
No they don’t, which is great because as you will probably know once transferred into KrisFlyer miles they will then only last for three years. That means no need to keep an eye on the expiration date at the OCBC side, just transfer to KrisFlyer when you need to.
Voyage Miles don’t pool
Unfortunately the Voyage Miles currency is unique to the OCBC Voyage card, so you can’t pool them with OCBC$ or Travel$ accrued on the Titanium Rewards or 90°N card.
As OCBC states in its terms and conditions “Voyage Miles cannot be transferred, assigned or carried on to any other card issued by OCBC Bank”.
Three OCBC rewards ‘currencies’
It’s probably a good time to mention that OCBC has three rewards ‘currencies’ across its miles earning credit cards, none of which combine with one another and all of which work slightly differently.
With this card you’ll earn Voyage Miles, which are the most flexible of all with 1:1 transfers into KrisFlyer in single point denominations, and no transfer cost. They also never expire.
Unfortunately as mentioned above if you hold other OCBC credit cards, you’ll have separate pools of non-combinable points, which are less flexible than Voyage Miles (though the Travel$ associated with the OCBC 90°N card are the most similar).
What is the transfer cost to KrisFlyer miles?
Here’s a great benefit of the OCBC Voyage card, transfer to KrisFlyer miles are free. That’s quite unlike other cards in Singapore, which typically charge $25 each time you transfer your points to KrisFlyer miles.
That means no need to wait around to accumulate a decent level of Voyage Miles before transferring to KrisFlyer to ‘dilute’ the fee to a reasonable level per mile, you can do so whenever you wish.
Just bear in mind as we stated above, once the miles are transferred into KrisFlyer you’ve got three years to use them, so unless you have an urgent need then it may be better to keep them as Voyage Miles for as long as possible.
How long do miles take to credit to KrisFlyer?
The official line is “approximately 21 working days”. That’s probably the worst transfer time between credit card reward points and KrisFlyer miles in the whole of Singapore.
The good news is – it doesn’t actually take that long at all. A few data points show that transfers from Voyage Miles (or OCBC$ if you hold the Titanium Rewards card / Travel$ if you hold the 90°N card), take just 24 hours.
Our most recent transfer from OCBC$ to KrisFlyer met the 24-hour turnaround (transfer requested 12.30pm on a Wednesday, credited to KrisFlyer by 11.30am on the Thursday).
That’s actually one of the faster points to miles transfer times in Singapore.
That means OCBC conversions even make it into our Instant and quick ways to transfer miles to KrisFlyer rundown (also featuring Amex and Citi, for the sake of completeness).
Since June 2020 a big drawback of OCBC credit cards is that reward points are awarded for every $5 block of spending charged to your card. Any amount charged is rounded down to the next $5 denomination.
That means unless your spend hits a $5 denomination exactly – the bank always wins.
“As an illustration, a customer who spends an amount between S$10 and S$14.99 in a single transaction can earn 23 Voyage Miles (i.e. 11.5 miles per block of S$5 spent). However, a customer who spends S$4.90 in a single transaction, or who spends S$2.50 in one transaction and S$2.50 in another transaction, will not be awarded any Voyage Miles.”OCBC
When you are charging smaller amounts, it begins to have a big impact on the effective miles per dollar rate you are actually earning for the transaction.
|Voyage Miles awarded|
|Local Spend||FCY Spend|
One cent can make all the difference here, and to truly optimise the maximum number of Voyage Miles earned, you should plan your spending in $5 blocks especially at the lower transaction levels (e.g. $5 / $10 / $15).
Try to avoid falling just below a $5 block if possible, or only exceed a $5 block by a small amount.
The impact becomes less important with higher amounts, for example let’s say you make a local transaction with your OCBC Voyage card as follows:
- $244.99 – 312 Travel$ awarded (312 miles / 1.27 mpd)
- $245.00 – 318.5 Travel$ awarded (318.5 miles / 1.3 mpd)
As you can see falling 1 cent short of a $5 block size in this case isn’t significantly affecting your miles per dollar rate in the same way that a $9.99 vs. $10.00 spend is.
↥ Minimum spend to earn points
Since any amount in Singapore dollars is first rounded down to the next $5 denomination, $5.00 is the minimum transaction amount to earn any reward points using the OCBC Voyage card.
Smaller transactions, including those converted from foreign currency into SGD which are subsequently charged to your card account at less than $5, will not earn any points.
FCY fee / cpm overseas
OCBC used to charge a 3% fee for credit card transactions in foreign currency, however this was increased to 3.25% in December 2019.
That makes it a fairly average card to use for overseas purchases, with a cost per mile of 1.56 cents. There are still some better cards to focus your FCY spending on, including the UOB PRVI Miles and HSBC Visa Infinite options.
Cost per mile on overseas credit card transactions by card
(Best to worst, August 2020)
|Card||Fee||Miles per $||Cost per mile|
(Step up rate)
(Jul & Dec)
|UOB PRVI Miles||3.25%||2.4||1.43¢|
|Maybank Horizon Visa||2.75%||2.0||1.48¢|
|DBS Altitude Amex||3%||2.0||1.60¢|
|DBS Altitude Visa||3.25%||2.0||1.71¢|
* 3 mpd earn rate for the SCVI card is subject to a minimum spend of $2,000 (any currency) in the same statement cycle.
** Step up earn rate for HSBC VI is only applicable from year 2 of card membership onwards, provided you spent at least $50,000 in the previous year.
Cost per mile also accounts for an additional 0.3% ‘spread’ over money changer currency rates, though this doesn’t apply to all banks and all foreign currencies, so is a worst-case scenario.
However as you can see the OCBC Voyage card does come in cheaper on a cost per mile basis than the Citi PremierMiles and the DBS Altitude cards.
Any flight, any time redemptions
Here’s an interesting angle to the OCBC Voyage Miles scheme, rather than transfer them to KrisFlyer you can use them to book revenue flight tickets directly – with any airline.
As these are not redemption tickets, award availability is not necessary, and you will earn the normal airline frequent flyer miles and relevant status credits from the ticket purchased using Voyage Miles (they are basically converting Voyage Miles into cash at a specific rate for you in this case).
It sounds too good to be true and that’s where the downside comes in – the value of the miles isn’t that great when they are used this way. It’s more of a ‘cashback’ scheme, and based on reports the value does not always ‘fix’ at the same rate for different bookings.
You’ll need to call up to find out what they will quote you in Voyage Miles for the revenue ticket of your choice.
Generally Voyage Miles appear to be worth anywhere between 1 cent and 2.5 cents per mile when used this way, often a lot poorer value than a KrisFlyer saver redemption, so you’ll almost always want to transfer into KrisFlyer to achieve better value if you can.
Remember though the flexibility offered is not to be totally discounted. Some frequent flyer schemes, like British Airways Avios, allow their gold status members to ‘force’ a redemption where one isn’t available by paying double the number of miles required, provided commercial (cash fare) availability exists for a seat in that class on that flight.
In a sense, that’s what you’re doing here, paying more miles (perhaps 50-60% more according to online reports) for the flexibility you don’t always get from KrisFlyer due to redemption availability constraints.
Whether that represents acceptable value is up to you. Remember to account for the elite status miles and/or PPS Value you’ll earn on these tickets, which you won’t receive on a KrisFlyer redemption.Pro Tip: If you do use your Voyage Miles to purchase air tickets directly through OCBC, don’t pay the taxes and fees this way. Only use the miles to offset the base fare, otherwise you’ll be getting just 0.5 cents per mile value for the taxes element. That’s worse than KrisPay!
What else can Voyage Miles be used for?
OCBC allows you to redeem Voyage Miles to offset your statement balance at either 5,000 miles for $50 credit or 10,000 miles for $100 credit. That’s equivalent to a very poor 1% cashback, so definitely isn’t worth considering.
Other voucher-based redemption options are even worse value at around 0.8 cents per mile (e.g. $10 Robinsons voucher for 1,200 miles).
It’s also possible to trade your Voyage Miles through OCBC’s STACK programme into other ‘currencies’, however the conversion ratios are terrible and with 1-mile transfer blocks into KrisFlyer there should be no need even to spend any orphan points this way.
The OCBC Voyage card has unlimited access to Plaza Premium airport lounges.
That sounds great, however there are only around 100 Plaza Premium lounges worldwide, with some glaring omissions for our readers based in Singapore, including:
- No lounges at Changi Terminal 3 (SIA’s main base)
- No lounges in Bali, Manila, South Korea or Japan
- No lounges in the USA, and only two useful ones in Europe (for SIA passengers)
This certainly limits the use of this benefit, which pales into insignificance compared to the unlimited Priority Pass lounge benefit with the Citi Prestige card or the unlimited LoungeKey access with the HSBC Visa Infinite (including access for up to five supplementary cardholders at no additional cost).
On the plus side we do find Plaza Premium Lounges are quite good, including one of our favourite third-party lounges at Changi in Terminal 1.
A guest allowance was previously part of the lounge access deal for OCBC Voyage cardholders, however this was removed in August 2019.
Supplementary cardholders are also entitled to Plaza Premium lounge access, though again no guest allowance is included.
Lounges at Singapore Changi Airport are:
The full list of available lounges under the OCBC Voyage programme is available here.
Free airport limo rides
For every $5,000 you spend locally or overseas on your OCBC Voyage Visa Infinite card, you’ll be entitled to a free airport limo transfer. The service is actually available to or from Changi Airport, Seletar Airport, Harbourfront Ferry Terminal or Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal.
The benefit is capped at two free rides earned per calendar month (i.e. at $10,000 spend). One nice benefit with this card is that each ‘earned’ ride is then valid for 3 months. For example if you earn 2 free rides in January and 2 in February, you could then take all 4 of those in March.
Trips are organised by calling Voyage Exchange at least 24 hours in advance. This entitlement is not transferable and cardholder must be present for each service.
You can book the service before meeting the spend requirement, for example if you take a single airport ride in early January but then go on to meet the spend threshold later that month, the ride will be free.
If you don’t meet the spend requirement, $45 will be charged to your VOYAGE Card for each ride taken but not qualified for. A $12 midnight to 6am surcharge applies.
Customers should receive an SMS in the second week of every month, if they have met the eligible spend in the previous month. No SMS will be sent when there are no complimentary limo rides earned in the previous month.
Full terms and conditions are available here.COVID-19: OCBC is extending the validity of any limo rides earned through the Voyage card, or those that expired on or after 1st January 2020, until 31st December 2020.
We have a full dedicated rundown of which credit cards provide airport limo service, if you wish to compare cards.
Voyage Payment Facility
The OCBC Voyage has had a longstanding income tax payment facility, allowing you to pay your annual IRAS Notice of Assessment and accrue miles for the transaction.
This facility was enhanced in April 2019, and now effectively lets you pay any bill (or just pay yourself, like UOB’s PRVI Pay facility) for a 1.9% or 1.95% fee. This can be a useful way to generate miles from your income tax payment or any other payments you need to make part way through the year.
Note that for any payments made through the Voyage Payment Facility only 1 Voyage Mile (convertible to 1 KrisFlyer mile) is awarded per $1 rather than the usual 1.3 or 1.6 mile rates.
Funds are credited to your specified bank account. In the case of income tax you must provide your income tax ‘Notice of Assessment’ with your application, then arrange the income tax payment to IRAS yourself.
For ‘other payments’ no evidence of needing the funds for anything in particular is required. The 1.95% fee here means a cost per mile of 1.95 cents each, unless you’re requesting a (rather unrealistic) $150,100+. Also note that for ‘other payments’ a minimum funds transfer of $10,000 is required.
Of course in all cases you must have sufficient credit balance to cover the total.
- Annual Income Tax Bill: $5,000
- OCBC 1.9% Fee: $95
- Total Payable: $5,095
- Miles Accrued: 5,000 (5,000 x 1.0)
- Cost per mile: 1.90 cents (we value KF miles at 1.9 cents each)
This is a good way to accrue miles at a reasonable cost, especially if you use the ‘other payments’ option to top up your KrisFlyer balance to meet a specific redemption level in a short time period (e.g. 10,000 miles will cost you $195 and only takes a few days).
For income tax payments however do note that the Standard Chartered Visa Infinite (SCVI) tax payment facility, which we detailed in our review here, comes out much better with a lower fee and higher miles earning rate – an equivalent cost per mile of 1.1 cents.
You can also refer to our latest update on the best options for earning miles paying income tax in Singapore which shows how the OCBC Voyage card stacks up against various options as there are some other cards offering a better ‘purchase rate’ here including a couple of CardUp methods.
In 2020 the excellent promotional fees of 1.75% offered by both CardUp and ipaymy both came out as attractive options using the OCBC Voyage card with an equivalent cost per mile of 1.32 cents.
Note that even once OCBC pay the total sum of your income tax bill into your bank account under this program, this does not compel you to then pay your income tax to IRAS in one lump sum if you don’t wish to. You can use the credited funds to settle the amount on your credit card statement (usually posted the following month), and then set up a GIRO to pay your income tax in interest-free instalments over the year as normal.
For a card charging a $488 per year annual fee – the OCBC Voyage Visa Infinite is a little light in terms of additional perks. Some of the key benefits which will be of most interest to our readers are:
- VOYAGE Exchange – personal concierge service. This can be helpful for arranging things like restaurant reservations, limo transfers or concert tickets.
- Complimentary travel insurance when you charge air tickets to your Voyage card. Full details here.
- 19% off fuel at Caltex, with no minimum spend.
- Visa Infinite benefits, including a fourth night free hotel deal.
- A selection of rotating hotel, shopping and dining offers, including specially priced stay packages and discounts.
No contactless option
Unlike most credit cards issued in Singapore, the OCBC Voyage does not have contactless payment ability (Visa payWave).
This is apparently due to the metal material the card is manufactured from (Duralumin), which does not allow embedding of a contactless chip.
You can however add the OCBC Voyage card to Apple Pay, Google Pay or Samsung Pay and then use it at payWave enabled terminals through your mobile device.
Terms and conditions
Here are links to the full terms and conditions applicable to the OCBC Voyage card and the OCBC Rewards programme.
The OCBC Voyage Visa Infinite has some nice features – especially fee-free transfers to KrisFlyer and flexible transfer blocks starting at just 1 mile.
The ability to buy a large chunk of KrisFlyer miles from the outset is a rather unique option some will find useful, as is the Voyage Payment Facility letting you buy almost unlimited miles from 1.9 cents each.
Potentially if you spend enough on the Voyage card, either in Singapore or overseas, you could get 24 complimentary airport limo transfers per annum, and for regular travellers that’s probably saving you over $300 versus a year’s worth of medium-distance taxi or Grab rides.
Fee waiver is also currently offered for those spending at least $60,000 per year, while the Voyage’s “any flight, any time” redemption option provides great flexibility even if it’s not always the best value way to use your miles.
Unfortunately OCBC’s recent move to $5 earning blocks makes this card unsuitable for many smaller transactions, the selection of airport lounges with unlimited access is poor, and for the vast majority converting into airline miles the bank still has only one transfer partner – KrisFlyer.
| 3.5 / 5
among high income general spend cards
OCBC Voyage Card
Links on Mainly Miles may pay us an affiliate commission.
(Cover Photo: OCBC)