Back in July this year, OCBC added eight new frequent flyer and hotel loyalty programme partners to its previous single offering for those converting points from their credit cards in Singapore, fulfilling a long-awaited promise to improve transfer options for its customers in late 2022.
Among the new entrants was the IHG One Rewards scheme, with points crediting at the same ratio from your OCBC account as they would into the KrisFlyer programme, in that example.
OCBC to IHG 50% bonus
Between now and 31st October 2023, those holding the following OCBC credit cards can transfer into the IHG One Rewards programme with an uncapped 50% bonus:
- OCBC Titanium Rewards Credit Card
- OCBC 90°N Card
- OCBC Voyage Card
- OCBC Premier Voyage / Premier Private Client Voyage Card
- Bank of Singapore Voyage Card
You will need to meet the usual minimum transfer volume to IHG One Rewards of either 1,000 Voyage Miles, 1,000 90N Miles or 10,000 OCBC$ in order to be eligible, with no upper cap on the bonus points.
For example, a transfer of 1,000 Voyage Miles during this promotion will see you receive 1,500 IHG points in your account once the transfer has been completed, instead of the usual 1,000 points.
The bonus points may be reflected separately to the originally-transferred points in your IHG One account statement, as two transactions, but both will be credited at the same time.
Transfers take up to one business day, but are usually completed even more quickly than that.
Rather obviously, you must be enrolled in the IHG One Rewards programme in order to transfer your OCBC points across and participate in this promotion. If you’re not a member yet, you can join for free here.
IHG One Rewards points never expire for Elite Members (i.e. Silver Elite or higher). For basic Club members, points will expire after 12 months if there’s no account activity, which means you need to earn or redeem at least one point before the expiry date, to refresh your entire balance for a further year.
Full terms and conditions for this transfer bonus are available here.
Is it worth it?
IHG One Rewards points needed to redeem hotel stays are largely based on dynamic pricing, where the cash price for the stay determines the number of points needed, though not at exactly the same ratio for all properties on all dates.
Generally, the value is in the order of around 0.7 Singapore cents per point, in most cases we’ve seen.
In the above example, a transfer of 1,000 VOYAGE Miles will normally net you 1,000 KrisFlyer miles, worth around S$18, or 1,500 IHG One points during this promotion, worth around S$11.
As you can see it’s still not a particularly great deal, even with a 50% bonus in play, though it may help you with a relatively small top-up if there’s a redemption you have your eye on that you fall slightly short of.
Do bear in mind that it is possible to achieve better than 0.7 Singapore cents per mile when redeeming IHG points,.
A some luxury properties, like those in the Maldives and central London, valuations well north of 1 Singapore cent are definitely achievable, but remember these are hardly mainstream.
On the flip side there are also poorer value deals than 0.7 Singapore cents too, so it’s a case of carefully crunching the maths to ensure you’re redeeming at the higher-value end, where possible.
Don’t forget the 20% bonus to Flying Blue miles
This IHG offer comes at the same time both HSBC (T1 card) and OCBC are offering a 20% bonus on transfers to the Air France-KLM Flying Blue programme, as we recently reported.
This allows you to redeem Malaysia Airlines Business Class from Singapore to Kuala Lumpur for as little as 8,334 Voyage Miles / 90N Miles transferred (or 21,000 OCBC$ transferred).
Why? Because with the immediate 20% bonus that will net you 10,000 Flying Blue miles, enough to redeem this award, plus S$79 in taxes – your ticket to a pre-departure Changi T1 Oneworld lounge safari.
That includes the fantastic Qatar Airways Premium Lounge in Terminal 1, which has a strict entry policy meaning you’ll have to be departing on a Oneworld carrier in First or Business Class to get past the door.
OCBC is offering a 50% transfer bonus from its credit card points to the IHG One Rewards programme this month.
The fact that this doesn’t really give you better value than a conversion to KrisFlyer, for example, just highlights how lousy the year-round ratio to this partner is in the first place!
Nonetheless, it is possible to achieve better than average value with some IHG points redemptions, and for a small top-up to unlock a stay you’re a little shy of, this bonus could prove a very helpful leg-up, if you’re flush with OCBC points.
In many ways though, you’d be better to consider a transfer to Flying Blue miles with a 20% bonus also running this month, opening up the possibility to redeem a Business Class flight from Singapore to Kuala Lumpur on Malaysia Airlines for the equivalent of 8,334 KrisFlyer miles + S$79.
This will unlock access to a swathe of excellent Oneworld lounges at Changi Airport, like the Qantas, BA and Qatar options, which are all worth a try if you haven’t stepped outside your SIA “comfort zone” before.
(Cover Photo: IHG)