Ever since July when Bank of China unveiled their BOC elite miles world Mastercard, it has become the talk of the town among the flyer community in Singapore.
With promotional rates of 2 miles per dollar for local spend and 5 miles per dollar for overseas spend (until 31 Dec 2018), it is easy to see why everyone is so excited for this as a general spending card.
Where as most competing banks are offering earning rates of between 1 to 1.4 miles per Singapore dollar spent.
Of course, once this hits next year the earning rate will drop to 1.5 mpd for local spend and 3 mpd for overseas spend.
But this is still higher than any other card out there currently, and as such, signing up for this was a no brainer for us.
The biggest downside to this is probably the customer service and the internet banking facilities seem to be very underwhelming compared to what we are used to with the local banks in Singapore.
Not to mention, the seriously lengthy amount of time it took to actually received the card.
It was a staggering almost 3 months wait for it.
So now it is finally here, let us show you what comes along with it.
BOC Elite Miles Review
So before we dive into the actual credit card package and the contents, let us run through what are the benefits that you will receive with the BOC elite miles card.
- 2 miles per dollar for local spend (which will fall to 1.5 mpd after 31st December 2018)
- 5 miles per dollar for overseas spend (which will fall to 3 mpd after 31st December 2018)
- 4 complimentary access to Plaza Premium lounges worldwide in a year
- Mastercard Flight Delay Pass – you and up to 3 traveling companions can relax in a LoungeKey airport lounge worldwide if you flight is delayed for 2 hours or more
- Chance to win Singapore Airlines return economy ticket to Bangkok
What are the card requirements?
- Annual fee is $190, but this will be waived for the first year
- Supplementary cards are at $95
- Locals and permanent residents require annual income of S$30,000
- Expats will be double that at S$60,000
Pretty standard fare here, with the annual income requirements putting it in the same bracket as other cards like the DBS Altitude, UOB Priv Miles and the Amex branded KrisFlyer blue.
Now everything sounds very fine and dandy here, but there are a few other things to be wary of.
- Foreign currency transactions will incur a 2.5% fee
- Miles are awarded in BOC reward points. 3 BOC points is equivalent to 1 mile
- There is a conversion fee for miles at S$30 plus tax
- You will have to convert your miles to either Singapore KrisFlyer or Asia Miles in blocks
- 30,000 BOC points = 10,000 KrisFlyer miles
- 18,000 BOC points = 6,000 Asia Miles
- BOC reward points will last up to 18 months
On the other hand, there are other points that are notable with this card over its competition.
- Transactions are not rounded to the nearest dollar so even cents will count towards accruing points
- Overseas spending is determined by the currency you are charged in, so as long as you are charged a foreign currency this constitutes as overseas spending
Here is what will come in your long awaited package.
A folder with all the documents included.
A pamphlet showing the benefits of the card.
The rest include terms and conditions for the return ticket to Bangkok contest, important information, agreement and terms and conditions.
Last but not least, a pamphlet showing off the BOC elite miles reward programme.
It shows other ways to redeem your points.
For example, 15,000 points for a $30 Harvey Norman voucher or 10,000 points for a $20 Tangs gift card.
Let’s be real here, these are just a sideshow to the actual points so we would not recommend wasting any of your hard earned points on this.
Unsure which card to use? Meet ValueChampion
With an increased awareness of the benefits of earning miles through credit cards, banks are becoming ever more so competitive, increasing their range of offerings and changing their terms occasionally. That is why ValueChampion can help consumers quickly and easily navigate through the myriad of cards on offer to see what suits them. Their breakdown of cards by categories: purpose, within the bank and travel helps you find the right card easily.
If you are reading this only at this point, it might be too late to get your BOC elite miles card to enjoy the promotion. But even at the normal earning rates it is still better than its competitors out there. As said earlier, it took almost 3 months for us to get our card. Even at this point, if you were to go to the BOC website, you will hardly be able to find any information about the credit card. The only link now would be a page to download the PDF form for your miles redemption. Not to mention the rather high block of miles to redeem each time. So if you can contend with those issues, it is a no brainer to apply for it considering that the first year fee is waived as well.