It has taken me quite a while to make the switch because of the hassle especially when I have many bank accounts. However as I foresee myself holding on to more cash (sitting on the fence waiting for something to happen), the hassle is worth it.

OCBC 360 is not new and many bloggers have already talk about it – do a search in my site. However the 360/365 is often confused (including myself) so just to be clear, OCBC 360 is a deposit account and OCBC 365 is a credit card. As OCBC 360 require you to spend at least S$400 across all your personal OCBC Credit Cards, many chose the 365 credit card because of its cashback benefits.

I have two objectives:

  • Achieve 3.05% per year on my first $50K for OCBC 360.
  • Maximize the cashback benefits for OCBC 365 Credit Card.

In the process, I will be able to streamline my bank accounts and consolidate my bills.

To allocate $50K, I will consolidate my Future and Emergency Fund into OCBC 360. I contemplated if I should use my War Chest and Luxury fund but decided not to so that I have clear visibility and control. Instead I will allocate a portion of my parents retirement and emergency fund into 360. For easy calculation, I set a ratio of 4:1.

Next I contacted my HR to credit my salary into the new account.It was quite easy if you know who handle your payroll else it is a good opportunity to get to know them. I filled up a few forms and submitted a print screen of my bank account.I also find it useful that the OCBC banker provided me with a Credit Salary Instruction and Giro Application form. These forms including the self return mailer are printed on a A4 sheet and I can easily make photocopies of them.

The tricky part is how to earn the other 2% interest. It will be easier if I list down all my current monthly bills and GIRO.

  • Income Tax: GIRO – POSB
  • Insurance (AIA): Citibank CC
  • Insurance (Aviva): GIRO – SCB Xtrasaver
  • Insurance (NTUC): GIRO – SCB Xtrasaver
  • Insurance (TM Asia Life): GIRO – SCB Xtrasaver
  • StarHub: SCB Xtrasaver
  • Singtel: SCB Xtrasaver

Just by moving my GIRO over to OCBC 360, I would have met the condition of making 3 unique bill payments.

My final step is to spend $400 on OCBC credit cards. Since I am on the topic of credit cars, I will do a quick comparison on my existing credit cards and decide which to use.

Credit Cards (Current Arrangement)

Manhattan

  • Primary Card for all transactions.

NTUC Plus

  • NTUC groceries and LinkPoints Merchants only.
  • supplementary cards for my parents for their groceries.

Robinsons

  • Robinsons group merchants only.

Citibank Dividend Master

  • AIA insurance premiums.

DBS Live Fresh

  • For DBS specific transactions.

With three cashback credit cards (including my new OCBC 365), it is not difficult to see that I prefer cash than points.

Citibank dividend was my first credit card when I started work and was the only cashback card at that time. It was also during this time that I started reviewing my insurance portfolio and being able to pay via credit cards, I used my dividend card. In order to enjoy the cashback benefits, I will have to accumulate $50 in one year else it will be forfeited. This was a deal breaker as many of their competitors will return your cashback on a monthly or quarterly basis. However, I will hold on to it to pay for my insurance because I can no longer use credit card to pay for my premiums.

OCBC 365 vs Manhattan

To enjoy the full cashback benefits of OCBC 365, I will have to spend S$600 a month. I do not drive and my only other fix bills are my Telco bills of S$200 per month. Hence it may be difficult to spend another S$400. However, OCBC 365 will still give me a cashback of 0.3%. Compared to the Manhattan of 0.5% cashback, this work out to S$1.20 (0.2%) difference for a S$599 bill. S$1.20 is not a lot and if I manage to spend S$600 or more, my Telco bills will enjoy a 3% discount. My other bulk spending are on Dining and online shopping, and this will earn me another 3%. That said, I will still hold on to my Manhattan Card because for expensive items like a wedding, furniture, electronics, luxury goods etc, its cashback of 3% (if you spend S$3,000 or more in a month, capped at $200 per quarter) is much more than the OCBC 365 0.3%.

As much as I would have wanted, there is no one card for all transactions Hence, it is important to know what I am spending on and cashback cap of each card so that I can plan my purchases accordingly.

Credit Cards (New Arrangement)

OCBC 365 (Primary Card)

  • Recurring Telco Bills and all other expenses.

Manhattan Master

  • For large purchase of S$3,000 or more.
  • If I have already spent more than S$600 in OCBC 365 and the purchase items does not fall into any OCBC 365 cashback categories.
  • If I have already reached OCBC 365 cashback capped of S$80 per calendar month.

NTUC Plus:

  • NTUC groceries and LinkPoints Merchants only.

Robinsons Visa

  • Robinsons group only.

Citibank Dividend Master

  • AIA insurance premiums and any other Citibank specific transactions.

DBS Live Fresh Visa:

  • For DBS specific transactions.

With my plan all worked out, my next step is to put it into action and complete it by next pay day. I hope that OCBC will not alter its terms anytime soon. With the impending rise in interest rates, there will be more competition and it will seem unwise for OCBC to reduce their interest rate. What do you think?