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 Cathay Pacific’s Asia Miles scheme, though unfortunately points don’t credit there at the same ratio from your OCBC account as they would into the Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer programme.
Instead, OCBC expects its customers to take a 25% haircut on transfers into Asia Miles, compared to a KrisFlyer transfer, and we highlighted at the time that surely almost no one would be willing to do this while points from other cards on the market convert into Asia Miles at exactly the same rate as they do to KrisFlyer!
OCBC to Asia Miles 15% bonus
Between 1st November 2023 and 30th November 2023, those holding the following OCBC credit cards can transfer into the Cathay programme with a 15% Asia Miles 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
Under this offer, transferring a rewards quantity from OCBC that would give you 10,000 KrisFlyer miles will now give you 8,625 Asia Miles, instead of the usual 7,500.
That’s still doesn’t repair the damage of the original lousy conversion rate, and worse still the offer is capped at just 2,500 bonus Asia Miles!
You will need to meet the usual minimum transfer volume to Asia Miles of either 1,000 Voyage Miles, 1,000 90N Miles or 10,000 OCBC$ in order to be eligible.
For example, a transfer of 1,000 Voyage Miles during this promotion will see you receive 862 Asia Miles in your account once the transfer has been completed and the bonus element has credited, instead of the usual 750 points.
The bonus Asia Miles will be reflected as a separate transaction to the originally-transferred points in your Cathay account.
While the initial transfer should take only around one business day, the bonus miles will only be credited up to four weeks after the end of the promotion, which is by 28th December 2023.
Remember if you are going to transfer to take advantage of this offer, which seems unlikely among our eminently sensible readers, be sure to wait until 00:00h SGT tonight (1st November 2023), and make your transfer by 30th November 2023 23:59h SGT, to be eligible for the bonus miles.
Rather obviously, you must be enrolled in the Cathay 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.
Asia Miles never expire provided you earn or redeem at least one mile every 18 months. A transfer from OCBC to Asia Miles counts as earning activity.
Full terms and conditions for this transfer bonus are available here.
Is it worth it?
This deal merely inflates the lousy transfer ratio from OCBC to Asia Miles to a slightly-less-lousy one, which still doesn’t bring transfers to parity, for example, with a KrisFlyer or Flying Blue miles conversion.
With other cards on the market in Singapore transferring to Asia Miles at an identical rate to KrisFlyer, this option didn’t make sense before and it doesn’t make sense now.
Added to that, the upper cap of 2,500 bonus Asia Miles is rather pathetic, and large swathes of the Asia Miles programme itself were devalued last month.
That’s seen award costs hiked on many popular redemptions, like Singapore to Frankfurt in Business Class, which now costs 84,000 miles, a 20% increase on the formerly competitive 65,000 miles rate.
On the plus side, this is the third conversion bonus OCBC has announced since adding eight new transfer partners to its repertoire a few months ago, so hopefully there will be more of these to come in future.
Let’s just hope they’ll be a bit better than this one!
(Cover Photo: Beckett Pfahler)