Earn from your spending with OCBC 365 and FRANK

Coftea , 8 Comments

Guest post by Coftea

Even with the recent changes to OCBC 360 savings account, the ability to earn up to 2.25% of your money (capped at 60k) still makes it a top choice to put your money into it. While reviewing the policy changes, it was also a good idea to review my expenditures and see how I can better make use of OCBC credit card offerings.

Why look at OCBC offerings?

The 360 account entitles you to 0.5% bonus if you are able to spend at least $500 on OCBC credit cards. These cards include 365, Titanium, Platinum, FRANK, Robinsons, Plus! and Best Denki. With the bonus equivalent to interest in a normal savings account, it makes sense to consolidate my spending and get the bonus. The 365 and FRANK cards are my top picks because simply, they offer cashback. Cashback are instant and hassle free. I don't like points, miles or credits which have often expired before I am able to make my claim.

Additionally, I seldom visit brick and mortar shops anymore. Robinsons and Best Denki card are pointless. I also don’t travel enough to make the full use of miles card like Titanium. Frequent travelers might want to take a look at their new Voyage card, which promises to award you with miles for all return flights, including budget.

Update: FRANK has revised its benefits from 1st Oct 2015. Please see this post for details on the changes and some alternatives to an online spending card.

What are the cashback offered?

Frankly speaking, we spend money 365 days a year. Wouldn’t it be awesome if we can get money back on our spending? That’s precisely what the cashback offered for these two cards promise. Let’s compare the 365 and FRANK benefits side by side.

365 FRANK
Minimum spending $600Include one-time and recurring spending $500Include one-time spending only
Dining 6%Weekend locally3%Weekday locally and Overseas 0.5%
Online Shopping 3% 6%
Groceries 3% 6%
Buy online
0.5%
Otherwise
Buy online 3% 6%
Transport 0.3% 6%
Rebate on Nets Flashpay Auto Topup $50, capped at $6
Telco Bills 3% 0.5%
Petrol 18.3%
5% cashback after 14% upfront discount for Esso and Caltex including station, loyalty programme and card discount.
0.5%
All others 0.3% 0.5%
Capped amount $80
Absolute cap
$60
For 6% transactions only. No cap for 0.5% cashback.

It is obvious that the two cards have their own strengths and complement each other. I like the rebates on recurring bills on 365, which covers life necessities like groceries, telco and petrol. Whereas on the FRANK, it is more for one time purchases. The 6% online shopping cashback is truly a gem for someone like me who embraces online shopping. Think airplane and hotel bookings, Qoo10, Lazada, Taobao and Amazon, coupled with emergence of sites sharing their commissions back to consumers like Shopback, online shopping has never been easier and cheaper. FRANK elevates online benefits to a new level.

Are the rebates too good to be true?

Precisely, which is why it is important to understand two important caveats to the cashback. Firstly, a minimum spending is required to get the full rates. On the 365, you will enjoy the stated cashback with a minimum spend of $600, else the rates fall back to a meagre 0.3%. It is $500 on the FRANK with rates falling back to 0.5% otherwise. It must be noted that FRANK doesn't add recurring bill payments to the minimum spending.

Secondly, there is an amount capped to the rebates. 365 has an absolute cap of $80, which means that once it is reached, no further cashback will be given. With average cashback at 3%, that translates to cashback on spending up to $2666 on 365. FRANK is more lenient in this aspect, which caps $60 for transactions that are entitled 6%, and any additional spending will still be entitled to 0.5%. Simply, the first $1000 eligible spending on FRANK will get 6% and any further amount will get 0.5%.

Caveats, hidden in hard to find T&C are common across all credit cards that offer cashback. I find that the requisites imposed on OCBC cards seem to be more straight forward and easier to achieve. As comparison, UOB One card, a strong competitor in cashback, needs you to meet their spending requirements consecutively for 3 months before giving you a quarterly cashback.

How will I use them?

My strategy will be to prioritise spending such that the minimum $600 on the 365 will be reached. All recurring bills will be charged to it. I’ll not only use it for my visits to NTUC, Sheng Shiong and Giant, but also ad-hoc small purchases over a month.

FRANK is reserved for online purchases, but if my spending cannot reach $500, I’ll stick with 365 as I can still get 3% cashback on it. Remember that FRANK only gives 0.5% when the minimum spending is not fulfilled. However, if my online spending can exceed $500, I will definitely use FRANK. This applies even if the minimum spending on 365 is not reached. Why? If I have already charged $500 to 365 and need to spend a further $600 online, using FRANK gets you more.

Spend that $600 on 365
Current spending with 365$500
Future spending with 365$600
Total spending on 365$1100
Entitled cashback (average, requisites met)3%
Total cashback ($1100 * 3%)$33.00

Spend that $600 on FRANK
Current spending with 365$500
Future spending with FRANK$600
Entitled cashback on 365 ($500 * 0.3%) (requisites not met)$1.50
Entitled cashback on FRANK ($600 * 6%)$36.00
Total cashback$37.50

FRANK is also a NETS Flashpay card with auto-topup facility, providing much convenience to use it in public transport and vehicle's IU unit. Topup amount is fixed at $50 each time and 6% cashback is up to 2 top-ups per month. Again, the minimum spending comes into play. 6% will turn into 0.5% if I cannot meet the criteria. I’m currently using Citibank SMRT card which entitles me up to 2% SMRT$ rebates and I’m getting around 1.5% currently (minimum spending not met). Therefore, I’ll keep FRANK as an option for transport only when I know I’m eligible for the 6% cashback.

What to do next?

As you see, getting the most out of your credit cards requires discipline to track your expenditures. Truth to be told, I’m lazy. But I want more money. So my 3 broad approaches to wise spending is:

Make savings work harder
Get the easy bonuses from 360 account. Credit salary, make 3 bill payments and spend $500 with the account.

Consolidate recurring bills
Setup recurring payment instructions to 365 card or 360 account, meet the requirements, get bonuses and cashback while having better visibility on my expenditures.

Maximise rebates
This is the tricky part. Small one time purchases to 365. Big online extravagance to FRANK. If minimum spending is achieved on FRANK, use it as Ezlink card and also consider shopping groceries online.
These OCBC offerings may not cater to your specific needs and it is always wise to keep a lookout on the competition. UOB One account and One card has just joined in the fight. DBS, where are you?

Coftea

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8 comments:

  1. Hi Jes,

    Great write up about how to synergize these products together!

    I use the 360 account + Frank to milk out all the cash benefits that I can get. I probably do too much online shopping to admit publicly, haha!

    I did get another credit card to "maximise" my cashback. It is the CIMB Visa Signature. However, I realized that to hit the next card's minimum qualifying spending is hard. My spending is kind of in the middle no-man's land zone. Enough to hit the requirements for one, but not enough for both. I just keep it in my wallet as a spare now, I only use Frank!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi GMGH,

      It's written by my guest blogger and not me but I think this is a timely post because I forgot to check my spending sometimes and missed out on the rebates. Like spend too much on one card when I could have earned from 2 cards :(

      I didn't know men also like online shopping.. You can buy clothes online?

      Delete
  2. Hi Jes,

    If i pay my telco bill via their official website, do i get 6% rebate?
    Last time i tried to pay using 365, able to get 3%, even it's not recurring bill.
    Great review!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hi Jeff,

    Thanks for stopping by and sharing!

    Under Frank's T&C, it is stated that transactions for subscription and recurring payments are excluded. I guess we can't do that unfortunately. 365 explicitly states cash back for telco bills, so it's great to know paying via telco's website works too. I always thought of doing it via a credit card giro.

    Link to Frank T&C:
    http://www.frankbyocbc.com/assets/pdf/TNC-FRANK-Cash-Rebates-Rewards-Programme.pdf

    ReplyDelete
  4. Any reasons not to use the OCBC NTUC Plus! that is specifically for groceries purchase? I have their NTUC membership. And find it ease to use for groceries.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Des,

      There is no reason not to use the OCBC NTUC Plus! card of course. However, only the spending in NTUC gets the rebates. You would still have to spend at least $400 outside of NTUC to qualify, and these outside spending do not qualify for the high rebates.

      For me, I shop frequently in Sheng Siong, dining and online shopping, so it makes sense to have a more all rounder card. Hope this makes sense! Ultimately, it really depends on your own spending. Thanks for dropping by :)

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  5. Hi Jes,

    Thanks for your reply. I just applied 365 credit card and intending to cancel my Frank card. As the Frank caters more for youngster lifestyle and I am getting old thesedays. Thank you for comparing the cards and share with us.

    I like to consolidate and use 365 instead of the NTUC Plus! card. I am not using NTUC Plus! outside of NTUC. Can I confirm that both 365 and NTUC Plus! give the same amount of rebate when use in NTUC?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Des,

      OCBC Frank is more for people who love to do online shopping, so you might be right that it is for youngsters.

      FOR NTUC Plus! card, the rebates can be higher up to 12%, but you must spend at least $400 outside of NTUC. However, if you are not spending outside of NTUC, then their rebates is only 2 LinkPoints (1.33%). This is lower than OCBC 365 at 3% but for OCBC 365, you have to spend a minimum of $600. Hope this helps in your decision!

      Delete