Those holding the OCBC Titanium Rewards card in Singapore will no doubt be grateful for one of the product’s biggest selling points – the ability to earn a 4 mpd rate on selected online and in-store retail transactions, with an upper spend cap of S$13,335 per year.
That makes the card great for big-ticket purchases in categories like furniture, electronics and department store spend, which has been unique to the OCBC Titanium Rewards since the Citi Rewards cards shifted to a monthly spend limit for 4 mpd transactions back in October 2018.
Unfortunately from 1st November 2023, OCBC is changing the rules for this card and shifting to the more commonly-seen monthly spend cap for bonus transactions, while at the same time tweaking the categories eligible for this higher bonus earn rate.
Here are the details.
Monthly bonus cap from 1st November 2023
For spend made from 1st November 2023, OCBC Titanium Rewards cardholders will now have their bonus 4 mpd spend capped at 10,000 OCBC$ per calendar month, rather than the previous 120,000 OCBC$ per card membership year.
|Period||Bonus OCBC$||Spend equivalent|
|Until 31 Oct 2023||120,000
per membership year
per membership year
|From 1 Nov 2023||10,000
per calendar month
per calendar month
That means the maximum spend in the 4 mpd category will be S$1,110 per calendar month, compared to S$13,335 per card membership year.
The 4 mpd (10x OCBC$) rate for spending in bonus categories on the Titanium Rewards cards within specific Merchant Category Codes (MCCs) is currently capped at 120,000 bonus OCBC$ per card membership year (53,340 miles or S$13,335 of annual spending in these categories).
This is being amended to 10,000 OCBC$ per calendar month. That’s S$1,100 of spending per month, severely impacting your ability to take advantage of the higher earning rate for a large one-off purchase.
It also effectively reduces the realistic annual bonus points cap for this card. While before it was relatively easy to hit the annual 120,000 OCBC$ cap, then stop spending on the card, from November 2023 you would have to transact exactly S$1,100 in the bonus categories in each calendar month 12 times in a row, something you are highly unlikely to be able to achieve precisely, even with careful planning.
Effectively this guarantees OCBC will have to shell out fewer points overall to Titanium Rewards customers each year.
How the changes work with your card anniversary date
If your OCBC Titanium Rewards card anniversary is in November 2023, your 120,000 OCBC$ earning window will end on 31st October 2023 and you will then shift to the 10,000 OCBC$ cap from 1st November 2023.
However, if your card anniversary date is in December 2023 or later, you’ll potentially be able to enjoy a higher overall cap during the card membership year, because you’ll be tapping some of the annual 120,000 OCBC$ limit and some of the 10,000 OCBC$ monthly limit.
For example, if your card membership year is 1st January to 31st December, you’ll actually get a 140,000 OCBC$ membership year limit, structured as follows.
|1 Jan 2023 – 31 Oct 2023||120,000 OCBC$|
|1 Nov 2023 – 30 Nov 2023||10,000 OCBC$|
|1 Dec 2023 – 31 Dec 2023||10,000 OCBC$|
In this example, if you haven’t reached the 120,000 OCBC$ cap for the card membership year yet, you still have until 31st October 2023 to do so. You’ll then get a further 10,000 OCBC$ bonus cap per month in November and December 2023.
Bonus category tweaks from 1st November 2023
The OCBC Titanium Rewards cards currently offer bonus 10x OCBC$ (4 mpd) earning on a range of specific Merchant Category Code (MCC) spend, plus spend at specific named retailers, regardless of their MCC.
Here’s how the list looks including the changes coming up from 1st November 2023, with some additions and deletions in store from that date.
|Eligible MCC List
|Eligible MCCs||Example Merchants|
Computers, Computer Peripheral Equipment, Software
|Apple, Best Buy, Challenger, Dell, Best Denki, Gain City, Harvey Norman, Prism+|
Duty Free Stores
|King Power, KrisShop, Lotte Duty Free, Shilla Duty Free|
|Isetan, Marks & Spencer, Metro, Takashimaya, TANGS|
Men’s and Boys’ Clothing and Accessories Stores
|Benjamin Barker, Christian Louboutin, Edit Suits, Timberland|
Women’s Ready to Wear Stores
|bYSI, Her Velvet Vase, In Good Company, Klarra, Mothercare, Yacht 21, Zara|
Women’s Accessory and Specialty Stores
|Hermes, Love Bonito|
Children’s and Infants’ Wear Stores
|Cotton On Kids, Kiddy Palace, Kids21, Pupsik Studio|
Family Clothing Stores
|ASOS, Burberry, Club 21, Uniqlo|
Sports Apparel and Riding Apparel Stores
|Adidas, Lululemon, Nike, On Running|
|ALDO, Charles & Keith, Foot Locker, Cole Haan, Onitsuka Tiger, Skechers|
Men’s and Women’s Clothing Stores
|G Star Raw, G2000, H&M, Prada, Pull & Bear, Suitsupply, Zalora|
Miscellaneous Accessory and Apparel Stores
|CarouPay, Chanel, Cotton On, Ferragamo, Qoo10, Reebonz|
Sporting Goods Stores
|Decathlon, FILA, New Balance, Outdoor Life, PUMA|
Leather Goods and Luggage Stores
|Bottega Veneta, Bynd Artisan, Coach, Louis Vuitton, Rimowa, Zero Halliburton|
|Eligible Merchant List
^ Except transactions that fall under MCC 5411, including Amazon Fresh
* Except Shopee Pay transactions under MCC 5262
The loss of computer and electronic stores like Apple, Harvey Norman and Best Denki, plus specific merchants Courts and IKEA falling by the wayside, is disappointing as these were often useful places to make big-ticket purchases (though those too will no longer be possible).
Some useful additions include Duty Free Stores, which includes KrisShop and KrisShop via Kris+ purchases. There are also some sports and luggage stores added to the list, plus specific pharmacies Guardian, NTUC Unity and Watsons.
However, do note that smaller pharmacies like Woods Pharmacy and Essentials Pharmacy code under MCC 5912 and are not included in the card’s 4 mpd bonus earn category, since that MCC is not on the list and the merchants are not named specifically.
Get both cards for double the bonus cap
The OCBC Titanium Rewards card comes in both a Blue and a Pink version, which are otherwise identical to one another.
It’s possible to get both cards (or a second card, if you currently only have one), effectively doubling your bonus category spend cap.
Under the current annual cap that means you’ll get 4 mpd on S$26,670 of spend (S$13,335 x 2), and under the new monthly cap you’ll get 4 mpd on S$2,220 of spend (S$1,110 x 2). You just have to be careful to switch to the second card after hitting the cap on the first one.
Remember, there’s no annual fee for either card for the first two years, and after that provided you churn $10,000+ of spending through each one per year, you won’t ever be charged one.
Between now and 31st October 2023, you can get a new OCBC Titanium Rewards card with a gift via SingSaver as a new-to-bank customer, as outlined below.
Apple Watch SE (Gen 3) (worth S$271.50)
S$180 cash via PayNow
Terms and conditions for this sign-up promotion are available here.
Revised terms and conditions
Here are the old and new terms and conditions documents for the OCBC Titanium Rewards cards, plus a link to the bank’s FAQs document regarding these changes.
The most disappointing aspect of these changes to the OCBC Titanium Rewards cards from 1st November 2023 is undoubtedly the shift from an annual bonus cap to a monthly one, eradicating its use for big-ticket purchases like furniture and electronic goods.
This was the card’s main selling point and differentiator in the market, so the change significantly damages its appeal.
OCBC is also removing computer and electronics stores from the earning list, plus stores like Courts and IKEA, where many of these big-ticket purchases were inevitably made.
Gone will be the days of rocking up at IKEA and buying S$13,000 worth of stuff for your house using your OCBC TR card, netting 52,000 miles in the process. The monthly cap for bonus spend will be S$1,110, and IKEA is also scrubbed from the bonus list!
The good news is you’ve still got until the end of October 2023 to use up your 120,000 OCBC annual cap before the monthly limit kicks in.