OCBC 90 N Card Review

OCBC 90 N Card Review: Best for Travel and Overseas Spend

The OCBC 90 N Card is excellent for big spenders and travel miles chasers who want to earn cashback rewards on overseas spend. Cardholders get to enjoy paying no annual fee for the first year and the ability to earn miles and cashback at competitive rates on overseas spend, local spend and foreign currency spend. 

That said, airport lounge access and other perks are a little limited when compared to competitors, and other OCBC credit card options or competitor banks may offer better rates when you spend locally.

 

Key Features of the OCBC 90 N Card

  • Earn miles and cash rebates at excellent rates with the overseas spend, local spend, and foreign currency spend
  • Get 2.1 miles for every $1 worth of overseas spend and 1.2 bonus miles for every $1 you spend locally
  • Claim cashback instead of miles if you wish – available at rates of 1.2% rebates on local spending and 2.1% rebates on overseas transactions
  • Enjoy paying no annual fee for the first year and no conversion fees, either 
  • Redeem OCBC 90 N miles and/or rewards that never expire
  • Gain access to MasterCard airport experiences and exclusive STACK Marketplace deals

 

Perks and Limitations of the OCBC 90 N Card

All OCBC credit cards, competitor prepaid cards, and other travel-oriented credit cards will have their pros and cons – and the OCBC 90 N Card is no different. The key advantages and disadvantages of this card include:

OCBC 90 N Card Perks

  • Enjoy flexible “Travel$” rewards that can be redeemed as either miles or cash rebates
  • Earn miles and rewards with no caps or limits – and no expiry date
  • Claim an annual renewal bonus worth up to $100,000 or 10,000 miles
  • Pay no conversion fees on foreign currencies spending and transfer your points to KrisFlyer miles for free
  • Get big discounts on flight booking, hotel bookings, and other overseas spending with Booking.com and Expedia

OCBC 90 N Card Limitations

  • Cardholders earn points and miles at less competitive rates with a local spend
  • Lounge access to airport lounges is limited to discounts only
  • OCBC Bank won’t let you pool your points with other OCBC cards
  • There is no signup bonus currently available – only a renewal bonus
  • You’ll need to pay an annual fee of $192.60 to claim that 10,000-mile renewal bonus

 

What Benefits Do OCBC 90 N Card Customers Get?

OCBC’s 90 N Card offers a remarkably diverse selection of rewards and bonus miles to customers, with perks spanning across various spending categories. Let’s take a look at what you get in a little more detail:

1. Accommodation 

90 N Card customers can claim impressive discounts on hotel bookings made via participating websites, such as Booking.com and Expedia. That said, an OCBC voucher code may be required to redeem any foreign currency hotel bookings rewards.

2. Flights 

Cardholders can build up KrisFlyer miles and redeem flights as often as they wish using the OCBC 90 N Card. Better yet, any eligible flight booking transactions you make that constitute “overseas spend” will earn you 2.1 miles per $1. However, previous OCBC 90 N offers that once enabled customers to earn up to 8 miles per $1 on selected travel bookings were sadly discontinued earlier this year.

3. Shopping and Entertainment 

The good news is that OCBC 90 N Card customers do not have to hit any monthly minimum spend limits to earn miles and/or cashback on shopping and entertainment purchases. The not-so-good news is that, locally, cardholders will earn at a rate of 1.2 miles per $1 worth of local spend – which isn’t quite as competitive as the rate offered on overseas or foreign currency spend.

4. Miles 

The ability to earn miles at fantastic rates across a multitude of eligible transactions is the key selling point of the OCBC 90 N Card. As we have already outlined, miles chasers can earn 2.1 miles per $1 spend when spending in foreign currencies (with no conversion fees) and 1.2 miles per $1 spend on any eligible local spend, too.

5. MasterCard Airport Experiences 

The OCBC 90 N Card also offers customers access to eligible airport lounges all over the world through the MasterCard Airport Experiences scheme. Cardholders can gain lounge access at discounted rates of approximately $32 per person – but it’s worth noting that other OCBC credit cards and competitor prepaid cards tend to be a little more generous on the lounge access front, so be sure to shop around if this card feature is important to you.

 

What is the OCBC 90 N Card and How Does it Work? 

Unlike other credit cards that allow customers to automatically rack up air miles or KrisFlyer miles as they spend, the OCBC 90 N Card works a little differently. Simply put, any points earned or accumulated using your 90 N Card will be initially credited in “Travel$”. You must then later redeem these for the gift of your choice. 

 

OCBC 90 N Card Rebate Program – Cashback on Overseas Spend and More

So, what can your Travel$ be redeemed for? OCBC’s key redemption categories include:

  • Air miles or KrisFlyer miles
  • Cashback or rebates
  • Retail vouchers are valid at participating stores.

Regardless of what you choose to do with them, your Travel$ will never expire and will not be subjected to conversion fees on foreign transactions, either. That said, there are a few caveats you’ll need to be aware of before you start spending and saving, such as:

  • Every 1 Travel$ has a $0.01 cash rebate or 1 KrisFlyer miles redemption value
  • You’ll need to use the KrisFlyer Miles Redemption Program if you wish to convert your Travel$ into KrisFlyer air miles
  • Your Travel$ cannot be transferred to any other OCBC Bank OCBC cards
  • Each month, any bonuses and rewards earnings accumulated will feature in your credit card statement

 

Overseas Spend – How Does OCBC’s Rewards Rate Compare to Other Cards?

Clearly, the OCBC 90 N Card is a great option for miles chasers who want to rack up recurring rewards and redeem miles with local and overseas spend. However, your earnings potential will always be dependent on your average minimum spending each month, as well as whether you spend more locally or on foreign currency transactions. The table below shows our estimated 2-year Singapore dollar value-to-consumer rate for the 90 N Card and some of its key competitors. Each example is based on an estimated monthly spend of $6,000. We’ll delve into more details regarding the key differences between some of Singapore’s best credit cards later in this review. 

Earnings Potential per 2 Years with a $6,000 Monthly Spend
OCBC 90 N Card $2,172
DBS Altitude Visa Card $3,174
UOB PRVI Miles Amex Card $2,821
Citi PremierMiles Visa Card $2,592
Standard Chartered Unlimited Cashback Card $2,370
American Express True Cashback Card  $2,045
CIMB Visa Infinite Card $1,367
OCBC Voyage Card $1,082
Market Average Earnings Potential = $1,566

 

Verdict: What Makes the OCBC 90 N Card Stand Out from the Crowd?

In our view, the OCBC 90 N Card has two key advantages over its competitors, and those are: its cap-free rewards earning potential and its unique flexibility when it comes to the number of different perks customers can redeem their Travel$ for. 

What’s more, 90 N Card customers typically benefit from a slightly higher than average miles earned per dollar rate on overseas spend, making this card a particularly good choice for frequent travellers. The table below compares the 90 N Card with some of its top competitors in a little more detail than we’ve looked at previously:

Overseas Spend Earnings Rate Annual Fee Costs Welcome Bonus  Standout Features
OCBC 90 N Card  2.1% $192.60 (first year card annual fees waived) N/A 2.1% rewards rate on overseas spend and no earnings caps
CIMB Visa Infinite Card 2.0% N/A N/A Unlimited 2% cashback rate on online spend, travel transactions and foreign currency spend
Citi Cash Back+ Card 1.6% $192.60 (first year card annual fees waived) $120 cashback welcome gift included Up to 6% cashback available at restaurants and cafes
American Express True Cashback Card 1.5% $171.20 New applicants can get $20 – $100 in CapitaVouchers with a $500 spend in their first month Unlimited 1.5% cash rebate potential, with boosted rates for big spenders
Citi PremierMiles Visa Card 2.0% $192.60  45,000 Welcome Citi Miles if you spend $9,000 in first 3 months  Excellent welcome bonus for big spenders
DBS Altitude Card  $1 = 2 miles on overseas spend $192.60 (first year waiver of card fee available) N/A Lots of lounge access perks for frequent travellers

 

As you can clearly see from the table above, regular travellers can earn miles at superb rates using the OCBC 90 N Card. That said, customers seeking frequent use of airport lounges might want to look into the DBS Altitude Card as an alternative, while anyone looking for a juicy welcome bonus will struggle to beat the superb deals offered by Citi at the moment.

Naturally, no two people will ever have the same spending habits or unique credit card needs, meaning it’s important to think carefully about what you’re looking for in a cashback or air miles card before signing up for whichever option looks most attractive at first glance. 

The CIMB Visa Infinite Card offers no annual fees and some superb earning potential on overseas spend, while the American Express True Cashback Card is excellent for customers who want to really ramp up their cash rebate potential and claim tons of vouchers as a welcome bonus. That said, we still think OCBC’s 90 N Card is a great option for most travel lovers. The card’s flagship 2.1% earnings rate on overseas spending can really go a long way if you’re willing to push it that extra mile.

 

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OCBC 90 N Card Alternatives in Closer Detail

Let’s take a brief look at the pros and cons of some of the OCBC 90 N Card’s top competitors:

1. CIMB Visa Infinite Card

Annual Fee: N/A

Sign Up Bonus: N/A

Best For: High-spending travellers

The CIMB Visa Infinite Card offers customers boosted 2% cashback rates on travel and overseas spend, but you’ll need to hit a hefty minimum spend requirement of $2,000 to benefit. Cardholders also get 3x free visits to airport lounges annually and tons of other luxury benefits, including free travel insurance.

Pros:

  • No annual fee
  • Earn unlimited 2% on travel and overseas transactions
  • Earn 1% in unlimited rebates on general spend

Cons:

  • Overseas earning potential is more limited than with the OCBC 90 N Card
  • CIMB Visa Infinite isn’t quite as flexible either
  • No signup promotion is currently available 

 

2. Citi Cash Back+ Card

Annual Fee: $192.60 (first year waived)

Sign Up Bonus: $120 cashback welcome gift

Best For: Frequent diners

Citi is currently offering new Citi Cash Back+ Card customers a tantalizing welcome gift of $120 cashback as they spend – and this comes on top of the card’s already generous 6% cashback rates available at selected restaurants and cafes. Customers also get to enjoy great rates on online groceries and fuel spend, too.

Pros:

  • Excellent cashback rates on dining, grocery spend and more
  • Enjoy up to 20.88% fuel savings with Esso and Shell
  • Get an annual fee waiver for the first year

Cons:

  • Spending categories can be a bit confusing
  • There is an $800 minimum spend requirement to get maximum cashback
  • The OCBC 90 N Card offers more flexibility, particularly when traveling abroad

 

3. American Express True Cashback Card

Annual Fee: $171.20

Sign Up Bonus: $20 – $100 CapitaVouchers available to new customers with up to $500 minimum spend

Best For: Big spenders who want boosted rates

The American Express True Cashback Card is an excellent alternative for anyone who wants to earn big during their first 6 months of sign up by seriously splashing out. Cash rebates, which are usually earned at a flat rate of 1.5%, are doubled to 3% for customers who max out their spending to $5,000 – enabling up to $150 in bonus earnings. That said, lower spenders might want to look elsewhere for a more suitable credit card option…

Pros:

  • Annual fees are a little lower than average
  • Big spenders get to enjoy boosted rates during the first 6 months
  • Unlimited 1.5% rebates and Amex benefits available thereafter 

Cons:

  • No annual fee waiver is currently available
  • OCBC offers a higher unlimited overseas rate
  • A spend-based welcome bonus won’t suit everyone 

 

4. Citi PremierMiles Visa Card

Annual Fee: $192.60

Sign Up Bonus: 45,000 miles if $9,000 is spent within 3 months

Best For: Attractive welcome bonus

The Citi PremierMiles Visa Card offers a fairly basic 1.2 miles per $1 spend earnings rate on local transactions, ramped up to 2 miles per $1 on any overseas spending. This means it’s not quite as competitive as what OCBC is offering. That said, Citi’s welcome bonus is truly top-tier if you’re willing to spend big in those first 3 months.

Pros:

  • Unrivalled welcome bonus for big spenders
  • Competitive miles earning rates
  • Two free airport lounges visits

Cons:

  • Rates are slightly better with OCBC and other competitors
  • Annual fee waiver option not advertised
  • Perks are prioritized over cashback

 

5. DBS Altitude Card

Annual Fee: $192.60 (first year waiver available)

Sign Up Bonus: N/A

Best For: Lounge access and other perks

Frequent travellers will love the fee-free DBS Altitude Card, which offers an incredible selection of luxury travel perks. Customers get 2 free airport lounge visits per year, complimentary insurance, discounts on green fees across Southeast Asia, and more. That said, you’ll need to hit a relatively high $25,000 annual spend to access that first year annual fee waiver.

Pros:

  • Superb luxury travel perks
  • Lounge access and green fees benefits
  • First year annual fees waived for high spenders

Cons:

  • Annual fee waiver requires a high annual spend
  • Travel-oriented perks won’t suit everyone
  • Best miles earning rates are reserved for online bookings and prepaid bookings / prepaid accounts only

OCBC 90 N Card Reward Exclusions – Lower Rates on Local Spend and Other Important Considerations

We’ve already mentioned that customers who intend to use their 90 N Card when spending locally will earn points at a lower rate than those who predominantly use their card for overseas spend. On top of this, it’s also important to note that there are a number of ineligible purchases that are excluded from points-earning potential entirely. 

The following transactions do not fit the criteria for cash rebates and rewards with the OCBC 90 N Card:

1. Bank Fees

OCBC credit cards such as this one exclude all kinds of card fees and local banks fees from rewards. This goes for any renewal fees, annual fees, balance transfer fees, and cash on instalment facility charges, too. What’s more, any fees and charges related to any cash advances, instalment payment plan and extended payment plan, late payment fee costs, and income tax payment fees also fall under the “bank fees” definition.

2. Bill Payments and Transfers

Any bill payments made via AXS, internet banking, prepaid account, or prepaid cards will also be excluded from card promotions. Utility bill and income tax payment costs are also deemed “bill payments and transfers” under OCBC’s latest terms, as are any instalment payment plan or debt repayment-related charges.

3. Payments To Institutions 

If you make any payments or donations toward charities, religious organizations, political groups, or similar institutions, these transaction types will also be considered ineligible for earning any rewards. Trading platforms, government institutions and services, insurance underwriting, and premiums also fall under this category.

4. Miscellaneous Payments

It’s also worth noting that OCBC excludes a number of miscellaneous payments from its promotions, too. Such transactions include parking lot and parking meters payments, gambling, real estate agent transactions, and any purchases of non-durable goods.

 

OCBC 90 N Card Eligibility Criteria – Annual Fee, Membership Fees and Other Fees Explained

By now, the OCBC 90 N Card might sound like the perfect credit card for you – but don’t forget that all credit cards have stringent eligibility requirements that you’ll need to meet before you can successfully apply. The key criteria you’ll need to fulfil before submitting an application for the 90 N Card online or using OCBC’s mobile app, are:

Minimum Age

  • 21 years old

Minimum Income Requirement

  • $30,000 for Singapore Citizens and Permanent Residents (PRs)
  • $45,000 for foreigners 

You’ll also need to make sure you are 100% happy with the following fee structure, and any membership fees or other fees charged by the bank:

  • Annual Fees – $192.60 (first year’s annual fee waived for new customers)
  • Annual Interest Rate – 26.88%
  • Interest-Free Period – 23 Days
  • Supplementary Cards Fee – $96.30
  • Late Payment Fee – $100
  • Cash Advances Fee – $15 or 6%, whichever is highest 
  • Minimum Monthly Payment – $50 or 3%, whichever is highest

 

OCBC 90 N Card – Our Final Verdict

If you have a high overseas spend and want to rack up KrisFlyer miles or rewards points quickly and efficiently as and when you travel, the OCBC 90 N Card is probably a good fit for your spending and saving needs. 

That said, airport lounge access with OCBC is a bit limited compared to what competitors are offering, and other local banks and financial institutions might have alternative cards available that allow you to earn points at better rates on local transactions if you shop around. Click here to find out the best credit cards in Singapore. 

If you do decide to apply for an OCBC 90 N Card, just keep in mind that:

  • Points earning rates with this card are much higher on overseas transactions than local spending, which won’t suit everyone
  • You can save big on your first year’s annual fees and any conversion fees with this card
  • There are no caps on how many Travel$ you can earn, and redemption options are broad and varied
  • You’ll need to meet the eligibility criteria and annual income requirements before you can apply
  • It’s always important to compare the market and think carefully about your unique needs beforehand

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