What’s Our Real Cashback % From The OCBC 365 Credit Card

Even in this small island Singapore, the amount of credit cards available to one is staggering. For instance, UOB alone provides up to 16 types of credit cards! (I seriously wonder if UOB has ever granted these 16 cards to one individual.) And I wouldn’t be surprised if there are up to 100 different credit cards to choose from in the local market. 

Visa, MasterCard & Amex! I wanna own them all?

And seriously, I doubt there is a “best credit card” strategy out there, despite what many credit card experts say. In my view, a lot depends on:

  1. Which cards you can qualify for
  2. Expenditure patterns
  3. Type of rewards you desire
  4. Effort to track spending and card rewards

Since the My 15HWW household THINKS that we charge quite a bit of grocery expenditure and restaurant visits to our credit card, and that we prefer cashback rewards since there’s no need to track points and their expiry, we have used OCBC 365 Credit Card as our main credit card for the past 1 year. Simplicity matters to us.

Below is a diagram that re-iterates the benefits of this credit card:

The % rebates for each category is pretty enticing (and not surprisingly), are in big fonts. However, a key criteria (in smaller print… urgh) to qualify for those rebates is a minimum spending of $600. If one fails to chalk up $600 of spending, a flat 0.3% of cashback is awarded instead.

Needs a rethink now, eh?

But since OCBC allowed me to have a supplementary card (now you know who wears the pants in my house?) and considers both the main card and supplementary card’s spending in meeting that key criteria, we felt $600 shouldn’t be a problem.

Our Cashback

And it proved to be, as seen from the table below:

Month Cashback Received OCBC 365 Bills
Aug-14 $70.27 $2,521.68
Sep-14 $27.73 $1,959.26
Oct-14 $18.06 $798.58
Nov-14 $56.76 $2,000.11
Dec-14 $33.11 $1,414.47
Jan-15 $49.71 $1,609.08
Feb-15 $34.32 $998.50
Mar-15 $77.23 $1,617.99
Apr-15 $47.80 $1,446.98
May-15 $35.31 $1,064.18
Jun-15 $59.69 $1,686.32
Jul-15 $19.90 $757.88
Total $530.00  $17,875.00 
Average $44.16  $1,490.00 

To summarise, we really didn’t have any problems meeting $600 in a single month and the effective cashback rate for the past 1 year is 2.97%.

The bills were ridiculously high especially in some of the earlier months as we played on the safe side. Worrying that we might not be able to meet $600, we charged my mother-in-law’s salon and facial packages to the Mrs’ OCBC 365 Credit Card.

This also probably helps to explain why the cashback rate is below 3%. The negligible rebates from those package installments likely cancelled out the attractive weekend dining rebates of 6%. Since most of the expenditure came from our somewhat outrageous restaurant spending, groceries and telco bills.

Should We Change To Other Credit Cards?


But seriously, I am quite pleased. A 2.97% rebate is significant to us and helps lower our cost of living. Actually, I think of them as dividends coming from spending charged on a credit card. $1,500 in one year! And when paired together with the OCBC 360 Account (click here and here to find out more), the OCBC 365 Credit Card is part of a great package provided by OCBC.

I know some OCBC 360 Account holders prefer the (much cooler) FRANK Card but I am curious if most of them are getting close to a 6% rebate. We know it doesn’t really suit us since we don’t do much online shopping except for a Groupon buy once in a while. Gosh, we have never bought anything from Red Mart before.

Some people are touting the UOB One card as potential competition but since it’s rebates are capped at a maximum of 3.33%, I doubt there is really any value for us to switch.

How about you? Have you tracked the REAL rebates you are getting from your credit card? Do share with me if you happen to know of other great credit cards out there!


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    17 thoughts on “What’s Our Real Cashback % From The OCBC 365 Credit Card

    1. Pib

      I think the best deal now is probably the uob one card + uob one account. But the downside is that you probably need to be consistent in your spending in 3 months a row! Whichever card you choose, just stick to one and get the maximum benefits out of it! 🙂

      1. My 15 HWW Post author

        Hi Pib,

        I am curious why you think the uob one card + uob account can be the best deal. Any illustrations to share?

        1. pib

          Hi, you can check out this link if you are keen.


          I input numbers of $1500 credit card spend per month, $0 debit card spend, 2k salary credit and made more than or equal 3 giro transactions. You would get an interest of 1,616 SGD.

          However, having said this, you have to be really careful with UOB ONE account. The amount of credit card spend needs to be consecutive and they would use the billing date, not the transaction date (unless they have changed the rules…)

          In your case, you would also have to check with UOB if supp cards can count towards the 1.5k every month. If it cannot be counted, then the UOB one card is probably not the best offer for you.

          Disclaimer: I am not working for UOB and I do not have commission, though I would like to have some. 😉

          1. My 15 HWW Post author

            Hi pib,

            Under a similar scenario that you put in, $60,000 in an OCBC 360 Account would generate $1320 of interest. If I spend $1,500 a month on the OCBC 365 Credit Card and receive 3% of cash back, that’s another $45 a month. 12 months and it will be $540.

            Add them up and it’s $1,860.

            In this case, isn’t OCBC’s package better?

            1. My 15 HWW Post author

              Hi pib,

              Even if I had used $50k, OCBC’s package would add up to $1,640, which is higher than $1,616.

              Granted, there will be instances whereby UOB is a better deal. But my gut feel is that for most people who can satisfy the 3 criteria, OCBC is likelier the superior package.

    2. Mickey J

      Unfortunately, I’m not entitled to most of these benefits because I don’t fit into the bank’s criteria of a good customer. I spend too little each month to make them money.

      1. My 15 HWW Post author

        Hi Mickey J,

        That’s a good problem to have. If you have no need/want for the spending, no amount of cashback is worth the extra spending.

    3. Jes

      Hi 15HWW,

      Actually Pib is right, you would stand to gain more from UOB One Card with a flat 3.33% cash back for consecutive 3 months of $500 spending. If $2000 spending for 3 consecutive months, it would be 5%! Even better. They don’t care about the type of spending, which means your MIL’s salon and facial can also be counted. Just something for you to consider unless you are talking about pairing it with OCBC 360, that’s another story 🙂

      Enjoy your week ahead!

      1. My 15 HWW Post author

        Hi Jes,

        My view is that the 3.33% cashback is very hard to achieve. Consistency across 3 months is very rare and would require quite a detailed level of monitoring to make it happen. And we have never hit $2,000 of spending for 3 consecutive months to enjoy the much higher 5% rebates.

    4. GMGH

      Hi Mr 15HWW,

      Nice study! 😀

      The thing I don’t like too much about the UOB One card is how the cashback rebate is lumpy.

      If monthly spending is $1490, quarterly rebate is only $100 in the 2nd tier and that translates into only 2.24% rebate for you, which is about $10 less cashback per month for you.

      OCBC’s structure is less confusing, more flexible and not any less rewarding than UOB the way that you seem to be doing it.

      1. My 15 HWW Post author

        Hi GMGH,

        I have to agree with your conclusion. I guess UOB’s package would only be better for those who are not employees or earning below $2k a month.

    5. Alicia

      i jus came across your blog and found it really useful as i am thinking of getting the 365 card/ acc. I didnt know that sup card spendings also contribute to the $600 per month…

      personally i have the UOB one card and at the moment, i may continue with it instead of applying for the 365… reason being that 365 does not allow for insurance rebate… (correct me if i’m wrong). also i charge my town council to UOB one card which can earn me rebate of 3% but if I’m going to charge it to 365, it will not earn me any rebates, right?
      UOB also accepts ALL spendings but 365 is dependent on SOME categories of spending only.. which makes it confusing and tiring to keep track..

      but knowing that supplementary card also contributes to the $600 for OCBC 365, it is possible that my husband and i can own BOTH the UOB card and the OCBC 365 card.. thanks !

      1. My 15 HWW Post author

        Hi Alicia,

        Thanks for your kind comments.

        If I don’t remember wrongly, the supp card can be added to the $600 to qualify for the cashback. However, you can’t take the supp card’s spending to clock the minimum needed to trigger the 0.5% for the OCBC 360 account.

        Or at least that was what I was told when we signed up for the cards.

        Best to check with the bank before you implement your strategy! 🙂

    6. K

      I use the OCBC 360 with Frank card as the principal card 🙂 My effective rebate is 3.32%. I don’t have much retail spending and most of the charges come from online shopping/ travel bookings/ online bill payment (Telco) & NETS-ATU. Even shopping on Guardian can be online. I guess u spend a lot more on dining 🙂

      1. My 15 HWW Post author

        Hi K,

        I am probably still a tech dinosaur but the wife is exploring buying some stuff on Red Mart. We shall see. However, if I am not wrong, Frank Card has changed its benefits and it does appear that the effective rebate will be reduced?

    7. K

      Yes, sadly so 🙁 Currently contemplating moving expenditure to OCBC 365 (mainly to retain 0.5% on OCBC 360) or SCB Singpost card for 7% rebate of all online transactions 🙂