OCBC has a new bonus offer for its 90°N cardholders, worth 2.5 miles per dollar spent in foreign currency transactions between now and 30th June 2022, capped at the first S$2,000 spend during the promotion period.
This allows cardholders to net up to 5,000 miles from these purchases, rather than the usual levels of 4,000 miles (90°N Visa) or 4,200 miles (90°N Mastercard), though that unfortunately means only a maximum of 1,000 bonus miles are on offer.
The bonus is paid in OCBC Travel$, which never expire but only transfer to KrisFlyer miles on the frequent flyer programme side.
This deal could come in useful if you’re a 90°N cardholder planning overseas travel during the upcoming peak June school holiday period.
How it works
No registration is required for this promotion, so all OCBC 90°N cards are automatically eligible, with no minimum spend in force.
Initially you will earn your 90°N card’s base miles for these overseas and dining transactions as usual, with the difference between that level (either 2 mpd or 2.1 mpd) and the total earn rate of 2.5 mpd topped up as bonus miles, which will be awarded within two calendar months after the end of the promotion period.
That means the bonus will be credited by 31st August 2022 at the latest.
Eligible FCY spend during the promotion is defined as:
- any foreign currency retail transaction (including face-to-face or online purchases)
- not specified as “excluded transactions” in Clauses 1.4 to 1.6 of the Terms and Conditions (Mastercard / Visa)
Foreign currency bonus
The OCBC 90°N cards normally earn 2 mpd or 2.1 mpd on foreign currency transactions.
During this promotion, that’s topped up (regardless of the specific 90°N card you hold) to 2.5 mpd for any spend within the S$2,000 cap.
FCY Spend Promotion
|Card||Base Miles||Bonus Miles||Total Miles|
|2.1 mpd||0.4 mpd||2.5 mpd|
|2.0 mpd||0.5 mpd|
The OCBC 90°N cards charge a 3.25% transaction fee for foreign currency spend, the equivalent of ‘buying’ miles at 1.37 cents each using the card at 2.5 mpd, accounting for a 0.3% ‘spread’ over money changer currency rates (for a worst-case scenario).
Other cards to use for FCY spend
While 2.5 mpd is a nice rate to pick up for transactions in foreign currency, there are some other cards to consider for overseas spend.
|UOB Visa Signature||4.0 mpd||Capped at S$2,000 spend per statement cycle, but subject to S$1,000+ FCY spend in the same statement cycle.|
|SCVI||3.0 mpd||Uncapped, but subject to a minimum spend (in any category) of S$2,000 in the same statement cycle.|
|UOB PRVI Miles||2.4 mpd||Uncapped|
Remember you’ll also earn up to 4 mpd with the following cards on FCY transactions in specific spend categories, though upper caps are in force per month (or in each statement cycle).
4 mpd Cards
|Citi Rewards||4.0 mpd||At department stores, shoe stores, clothing stores and on all online transactions (except travel and hotel spend).
Cap: S$1,000 per statement cycle
|DBC WWMC||4.0 mpd||For all online transactions.
Cap: S$2,000 per calendar month
|HSBC Revo||4.0 mpd||For online or contactless spend on travel (e.g. airline / hotel), department stores, clothes, transport.
Cap: S$1,000 per calendar month
|OCBC TR||4.0 mpd||At department stores, shoe stores, clothing stores and electronic stores.
Cap: S$12,000 per card membership year
|UOB Lady’s||4.0 mpd||With spend in your selected quarterly bonus category (e.g. dining, fashion, etc…)
Cap: S$1,000 per calendar month (Lady’s) or S$3,000 per calendar month (Lady’s Solitaire)
|UOB PPV||4.0 mpd||On all mobile contactless transactions, and for spend at department stores, shoe stores, clothing stores, electronic stores, on dining spend, entertainment like cinemas and at supermarkets.
Cap: S$1,110 per calendar month
Make sure you’re exhausting some or all of these superior options before committing to this OCBC 90°N offer for FCY spend between now and the end of June 2022.
S$5 rounding for miles earning
Don’t forget that OCBC credit cards award miles only for S$5 spend blocks, so you may earn less than 2.5 mpd under this promotion, especially for smaller transactions.
For example an FCY charge which ends up on your statement after currency conversion at S$14.95 will be rounded down to S$10 (25 miles under this promotion), equivalent to just 1.67 mpd.
The rounding issue becomes much less of an impact for larger transactions, for example a S$94.95 charge will be rounded down to $90 (225 miles), equivalent to 2.37 mpd.
Once your overseas transactions exceed S$100 (after conversion to SGD), the rounding issue becomes almost negligible.
Don’t allow merchants to use DCC!
Whatever you do, don’t fall into the merchant’s trap of accepting Dynamic Currency Conversion (DCC) at the point of sale when making overseas purchases – especially during this promotion.
DCC is where the merchant will offer for you to pay in SGD, instead of local currency. This offer is not being made by your bank or card network.
Apart from the fact that DCC is a scam (you’ll pay more every time, and the only one who wins is the merchant), if your transaction is charged in SGD you won’t qualify for the 2.5 mpd under this promotional offer, and will instead earn at your card’s local earn rate.
Always insist on paying in the local currency of the country you are transacting in.
Terms and conditions
Full terms and conditions for this promotion are available here:
OCBC is offering all its 90°N cardholders a very decent 2.5 mpd on transactions made in foreign currency, up to a maximum of S$2,000 spend in this category between now and 30th June 2022.
That covers the peak school holiday month, when many of our readers are heading overseas for family breaks, so it could come as good timing for you.
Remember there are still cards with better FCY earn rates out there, especially in the 4 mpd category for spend in specific categories, so do be sure to exhaust those options before reverting to this offer if you can.
Also don’t head overseas, perhaps for the first time in a long time, without forgetting about the DCC scam – which only makes merchants richer. Always pay in the local currency of the country you’re in when offered the option, especially with offers like this one in play.
(Cover Photo: Robert Bye)