The Milelion Credit Card Omibus Week 3: UOB

The Milelion is running a new series that aims to profile every credit card available in Singapore. Each week we will cover a different bank. The appendix below will be updated weekly with hyperlinks as more banks are added, allowing you to navigate between weeks seamlessly

Week 1- OCBC
Week 2- DBS
Week 3- UOB
Week 4- Citibank
Week 5- ANZ
Week 6- American Express
Week 7- HSBC
Week 8- Standard Chartered


Week 3: UOB

I’m going to come right out and say I think UOB has one of the best card portfolios in Singapore for earning miles. It’s got a solid general spending portfolio (UOB PRVI series), an excellent specialised spending portfolio (UOB Preferred Platinum AMEX for F&B, Preferred Platinum Visa for online, UOB Signature for overseas) and they pool your points from various cards together making it easier to redeem (a practice that DBS also follows, but Citibank does not)

Points/Miles Cards

UOB PRVI Miles Cards

uobprvi

  • Annual Fee: $256.80 (AMEX, Visa, Mastercard) (First year fee waiver)
  • Income Req: $80,000 (Singaporeans & Foreigners)
  • Marketing Spiel: 1.4 miles per $1 of local spend, 2.4 miles for overseas spend, 3 miles for SQ/MI/Krisshop. 20,000 bonus miles with $50,000 annual spend
  • The catch: High income requirement, although they’ve been known to look the other way if you’re off by a little bit. Airport limo benefit has been drastically devalued
  • Sign up here for AMEX, here for Visa and here for Mastercard

Where to start? This is the series of cards that has consistently offered the best general spending earning ratios in Singapore for both overseas and local spend.

The main limitation of the portfolio used to be that it was only offered in AMEX, which suffers from a chronic lack of acceptance. When they launched the Mastercard version, it had a ridiculously high annual fee (upwards of $400 if i recall correctly- but remember that you should never be paying annual fees). That’s since been toned down to $256.80, on par with the AMEX version. Now that they’ve got the Visa and Mastercard versions with the same annual fee as the AMEX version, there’s really no point in having the AMEX version. I’d go with the Mastercard version, because (1) taxis do not take Visa and (2), the Mastercard version is a World Mastercard, which gives you SPG Gold status with a single stay at any Asia Pacific property

PRVI gives you 1.4 miles for local spend, 2.4 miles for overseas spend and 3 miles for spending with SQ, MI or Krisshop. They also used to have a limo benefit, but that’s been severely devalued now. You need to spend S$1,000 overseas within each qualifying quarter which entitles you to a S$45 limo rebate. That is, you spend the money first, get reimbursed later. Pass.

Until September, PRVI was having a sign up promotion that effectively let you buy miles at 1.7 cents each, which was a pretty tidy piece of business for you given the potential to redeem those miles at 4-5 cents each on business class travel. That promotion has since ended, but I’m sure it will soon reappear.

There’s an annual bonus of 20,000 miles if you spend $50,000 on the card. Whether or not this is worth it of course depends on your individual spending patterns, but if this is your general spending card it’s a nice bonus to have.

Yay or Nay: Yay, definitely

UOB Visa Signature Card

uobvisasignature

  • Annual Fee: $214 (First year fee waiver)
  • Income Req: $50,000 (Singaporeans & Foreigners) OR fixed deposit collateral of $20,000
  • Marketing Spiel: 4 miles per $1 on overseas spend, Paywave spend and online spend
  • The catch: Capped at first $2,000 spend each month, subject to $1,000 minimum monthly spend. Offer does not apply at merchants who issue SMART$. UOB’s interpretation of online transactions is not as generous as DBS’
  • Sign up here

I only recently discovered this card, and although there are catches to the 4 miles per $1 of overseas spend spiel, I think I can make it work.

If your job requires you to spend significant time overseas, you can engineer an easy 8,000 additional miles each month. Assuming you spend >S$1,000 per statement period, you can earn 4 miles per $1 on the first S$2,000 of overseas spend (after which you should switch back to a general spend card like the UOB PRVI Miles)

You also earn 4 miles per $1 for Visa Paywave transactions, but the fine print says that where UOB Smart$ are offered, this benefit does not apply. Quite a few Paywave merchants are also Smart$ merchants (eg Cold Storage), which limits the appeal of this somewhat.

Visa Signature is a higher tier of Visa, and owning this card makes you eligible for the UOB Visa Luxury Collection, a hotel booking portal which grants special benefits when you book through them, such as late check out, room upgrades, a US$25 F&B credit, free breakfast and wifi.

Yay or Nay: Yay, if your job lets you spend on your personal card overseas

UOB Preferred Platinum Card Account

 

cardface_preferred

  • Annual Fee: $192.60 (First year fee waiver)
  • Income Req: $30,000 (Singaporeans) & $40,000 (Foreigners) OR fixed deposit collateral of $10,000
  • Marketing Spiel: 4 miles per $1 on dining spend both local and overseas
  • The catch: Does not apply to hotel dining, and certain places you might think are restaurants aren’t really restaurants (eg Jones the Grocer). Only the AMEX version enjoys the bonus
  • Sign up here

The marketing material trumpets the fact that you get 2 cards, but you really should just put the Mastercard in the drawer and never use it. Either that, or use it to balance a table or cut lines of narcotics. That’s because the Mastercard is absolutely pointless. The AMEX is the entire point of this product- that’s what gets you the beefy 4 miles per $1 for restaurant spending.

People complain that “it’s an AMEX and no one accepts AMEX”. But that’s sort of missing the point. Because no one accepts AMEX, AMEX has to offer better rewards just to get people to use it. You won’t find such a good offer with a Visa card (the Citibank Clear Platinum card gives 2 miles per $1 of dining but still that’s literally only half as good (I did not abuse the term “literally” here)) because they don’t have to. Everyone will use Visa anyway.

Remember that dining in hotels usually codes as “hotel” spend, so you won’t earn this bonus. There is a useful list here that lists down which restaurants people have successfully got the 4 miles per $1 spend at, and it’s well worth a read.

This card is positioned as an entry level card, which means that you only need the MAS-mandated minimum of $30,000 to apply for it. You’ll also earn 0.8 miles per $1 on general spend, which is the best rate you could get if you don’t qualify for a general spending card (eg the DBS Altitude Visa which starts upwards of $50,000)

Yay or Nay: Yay, definitely. The low income requirement means that if you can get a card, you can get this card. And all that dining spend will add up over the course of a year

UOB Preferred Platinum Visa

uob ppv

  • Annual Fee: $192.60 (First year fee waiver)
  • Income Req: $30,000 (Singaporeans) & $40,000 (Foreigners) OR fixed deposit collateral of $10,000
  • Marketing Spiel: 4 miles per $1 on online shopping and entertainment or Visa payWave
  • The catch: Capped at first $12,000 spend each year. Offer does not apply at merchants who issue SMART$. UOB’s interpretation of online transactions is not as generous as DBS’
  • Sign up here

This card is positioned in the same way as DBS’ Woman’s World Card. The main difference is that UOB is much more narrow in its interpretation of what constitutes an online transaction. With the DBS Woman’s World Card, I’ve got the online bonus for things as diverse as paying parking fines (it happens), paying membership renewal fees, paying for translation services, using Paypal to send money to other people, paying for movie tickets, paying for airline tickets etc etc.

I’ve never used the UOB Preferred Platinum Visa but there’s a reason for that. If you read HWZ (and this useful online google doc link here), you’ll realise that UOB disqualfiies airline tickets, paypal, eBay, Foodpanda, GV, bill payments etc from getting the bonus. To be fair, UOB does state that only “online shopping and entertainment” qualifies for the online spending bonus, but those terms are vague in a way that benefits the bank. Am I not entertained by renewing my ICPAS membership?

So if you’re determined to get the card, I won’t stop you, but don’t expect to earn as much online as you would from the DBS Woman’s World Card.

Yay or Nay: Yay if your income doesn’t allow you to qualify for the DBS Woman’s World card, but that said even the standard DBS Woman’s Card offers 2 miles per $1 for online spend plus a generous interpretation of “online”

UOB Lady’s Card/ Lady’s Platinum

uob card

  • Annual Fee: $128.40 for Regular (First year fee waiver), $192.60 for Platinum (First year fee waiver)
  • Income Req: $30,000 (Singaporeans), $40,000 (Foreigners) OR minimum fixed deposit collateral of $10,000. Same income requirement for Platinum and Regular
  • Marketing Spiel: 2 miles per $1 on taxis, department stores, overseas spend and online shopping
  • The catch: Only females can apply,
  • Sign up here for Regular, here for Platinum

Although nowhere as chio as DBS’ female offering, the UOB Lady’s Card has some redeeming value. Suppose you’re earning the bare minimum needed to get a credit card. The good general spending cards are not an option for you, given that they need income upwards of $50,000.

If you used the UOB Lady’s Card as a specialised spending card, you’d get 2 miles per $1 on taxi rides, local department stores, overseas spending and online shopping.

Which brings me to the confusing bit- UOB also offers the Lady’s Card in a Platinum version. While I’m sure the design is very fetching, I don’t see what difference exists between the two cards. They earn exactly the same bonuses on specialised spend, they require the same income (I thought they might be going the route of OCBC and saying hey let’s do a card that has a really high income requirement but offers shit benefits and people will still pay us because it makes them feel good!)

Like, seriously guys. I switch between tabs in chrome with the Regular version and the Platinum version open in 2 different tabs and the only thing that changes is the annual fee. So, ladies, UOB believes that you will be willing to pay $60 more per year (although you shouldn’t really be paying annual fees) for a card that says Platinum.

Note that unlike DBS’s egalitarian offering, the UOB Lady’s Card is only for female applicants.

Yay or Nay: Nay. DBS’s offering is way more attractive

Cashback/Co-branded Cards

UOB Delight Card

delight-card

  • Annual Fee: $85.60 (First year fee waiver)
  • Income Req: $30,000 (Singaporeans) & $40,000 (Foreigners) OR fixed deposit collateral of $10,000
  • Marketing Spiel: 8% rebate at Cold Storage, Market Place, Jasons, Giant, Guardian, 10% off house brands, 3% rebate on contactless payments
  • The catch: You need to spend >=$800 on this card to qualify for the 8% SMART$ rebates, fall short and you’d earn only 3% or 0.3%. Earning SMART$ means no UNI$
  • Sign up here

This card is squarely targeted at brands in the Dairy Farm Group, including Cold Storage, Market Place, Jasons, Giant and Guardian. Obviously, there’s no reason to use it outside these places because your rebate drops to 0.3%.  The catch (and there is always a catch with rebate cards), is that the rebate scales as follows

  • Spend $800 or more per month you get 8%
  • Spend between $400 and $799 and you get 3%
  • Spend less than $400 and you get 0.3%

Note that this spending can be on anything- and that’s the catch. It’s unlikely you will spend $800 on groceries, so to meet that $800 you’re going to have to do some spend elsewhere, which attracts the pathetic 0.3% rebate. So UOB is giving with one hand and taking away with the other. Your actual rebate will be some blended figure between 0.3% and 8%, depending how you split that $800.

Again, this card is more for those who have decided that miles isn’t for them and are happy with cashback instead. You also get 2X bonus tapformore points when you use this card, but that’s arguably of limited use, as shown here.

Yay or Nay: Nay, unless you’ve decided miles aren’t for you

UOB One Card

uobone

  • Annual Fee: $128.40 (First year fee waiver)
  • Income Req: $30,000 (Singaporeans), $40,000 (Foreigners) OR minimum fixed deposit collateral of $10,000
  • Marketing Spiel: “The most generous rebate card in Singapore”
  • The catch: Only it’s not
  • Sign up here

Cashback cards are, well, bad. Banks are loathe to part with cash, after all. So all cashback cards will have big catches that undermine their otherwise glossy brochures.

In the case of the UOB One card, rebates are given each quarter. There are 3 targets you can hit- $500, $1,000 and $2,000. If you spend a minimum of $500 each month, you get 3.33% cashback on the $1,500 you spent during the 3 month period.

If you spend a minimum of $1,000 per month, you get 3.33% cash back on the $3,000 you spent during the 3 month period.

If you spend a minimum of $2,000 per month, you get 5% cash back on the $6,000 you spent during the 3 month period.  In all cases, you need to make a minimum of 3 transactions per month. The maximum cashback you can get per month is $100.

This interacts with the UOB One Account to give you up to 3.33% interest on savings. I can’t be bothered to work this out, suffice to say I think the OCBC 360 is still a better proposition.

Look, the fact of the matter remains that cashback cards suck and their marketing is downright misleading (the online calculator for UOB One rebate asks you to input your monthly spend by category, then shows you your annual savings, only noting in small print that those savings are annual). For those reasons alone I’d say stay far away, you can do better.

Yay or nay: Hell nay

Singtel-UOB Platinum Card

uobsingtel

  • Annual Fee: $192.60 (First year fee waiver- free card if you charge your Singtel bill to it)
  • Income Req: $30,000 (Singaporeans) & $40,000 (Foreigners) OR fixed deposit collateral of $10,000
  • Marketing Spiel: Up to $360 cash rebate on Singtel bills, Singtel vouchers worth up to $300 each year, 12 free Dataroam passes, no annual fee for Singtel customers
  • The catch: Like all things Singtel, the card promises much and delivers little. Put it one way- to enjoy those amounts promised in the marketing spiel, you’d have to spend a ridiculous amount on your phone bill
  • Sign up here

I have a hatred for Singtel that burns with the fury of a thousand blazing suns. It could be because they signed me up for that stupid colour-me-tones without my consent, and said “enjoy your free trial! by the way we’ll start charging you $4.28 a month after 30 days unless you opt out”. That is a colossal dick move, even for Singtel. And, by the way, was also illegal.

It could be because they had the cheek to produce this Rome-a-phobe video, mocking people who were scared of using roaming and conveniently overlooking the fact that people were afraid of this because telcos like Singtel would gouge you for every second you used your phone outside the country. And yes, they made fun of people who had the common sense to buy a local sim in order to save money.

singtelsucks

Kiss my ass, Singtel.

Anyway, on to their awesome card. It offers cash rebates on your phone bill of “up to $360 a year” omgwtfbbq11one!.  That is, if your monthly phone bill is $500 and up. I don’t know about you, but if my phone bill each month is $500 and up you can bet I’d be worried about a lot more than cash rebates. If your phone bill is in the much more reasonable $50-$100 range, you get $1. Yup, $1. Don’t spend it all at once!

Next, Singtel will give you Singtel vouchers depending on your total annual spend with the card. That sounds amazing, and generous, I hear you say. How much would they offer?

Well, an annual spend of $12,000 gives you $100. And $24,000 gives you $300. That works out to be a 0.83% to 1.25% rebate, which again can only be used with Singtel.

But wait! What’s this? Singtel offers you free Dataroam passes. Dataroam is Singtel’s way of saying “hey! Why bother to get a local sim card which gives you local calls + data when you can pay us $15 to $30 a day to get a Dataroaming plan (and by the way we’ll still charge you full price on calls kthxbye)”

If you spend $800 in a calendar month, you get 1 free pass worth $15. Which means that if you go to any country in the $30 bracket (eg the UK, the UAE, the USA, Spain) , you’ll still be out of pocket by $15. You’d really be so much better off getting a free sim card before you go.  But you’d really hate being called a romeaphobe wouldn’t you.

Yay or Nay: Nay. MyRepublic cannot become the 4th telco quickly enough

Metro-UOB Platinum Card

uob metro2

  • Annual Fee: $192.60 (First year fee waiver)
  • Income Req: $30,000 (Singaporeans) & $40,000 (Foreigners) OR fixed deposit collateral of $10,000
  • Marketing Spiel: 20% off in your birthday month, 10% savings otherwise, 5% Metro$ Rebates
  • The catch: If you’re an occasional department store shopper you’d be much better off with the Citibank Rewards Card
  • Sign up here

Another department store-bank tie up, the Metro card goes up against other cards like the OCBC Robinsons or the DBS Takashimaya. Which one you shop at more will dictate which side you take in this fight, but as for me, I’m sticking to the Citibank Rewards Card, which gives me 4 miles per $1 spent at any of these stores.

Yay or nay: Nay

UOB Professionals Platinum Card

uob professional

  • Annual Fee: None. Perpetual fee waiver.
  • Income Req: $30,000 (Singaporeans) & $40,000 (Foreigners) OR fixed deposit collateral of $10,000
  • Marketing Spiel: The card tells people you have an above-average level of education
  • The catch: The card is also completely worthless
  • Sign up here

This is quite possibly one of the most amusing cards ever, because I can’t figure out what the point is. This card is positioned at members of

  • Alumni Association
  • Institute of Singapore Chartered Accountants (ISCA)
  • Law Society of Singapore
  • Singapore Medical Association (SMA)
  • The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA)

If you fall into one of the above categories, I salute you. You’ve clearly done great things in your life. And you deserve a better card than this.

Apart from offering a perpetual fee waiver, this card does absolutely nothing. Nothing. Zilch. Nada. It’s quite telling when the best the marketing material can come up with is “enjoy UOB dining privileges” and “earn UNI$” (at a rate of $1=0.4 miles), things you could do with any UOB card.

Yay or Nay: Nay, unless they offer a Stonecutters version.

UOB UnionPay Platinum Card

uobunionpay

  • Annual Fee: $192.60 (First year fee waiver)
  • Income Req: $30,000 (Singaporeans) & $40,000 (Foreigners) OR fixed deposit collateral of $10,000
  • Marketing Spiel: 2 miles per $1 on overseas spend
  • The catch: 2 miles per $1 only if you spend a minimum of $2,000 per month
  • Sign up here

I was unconvinced about the value proposition of a UnionPay card until I went to China and found that some places, amazingly, wouldn’t take Visa even.

If you travel a lot to China it can be useful to have a UnionPay card. Obviously if China’s not on your map then skip this card entirely. There is a bonus on overseas spend but it’s subject to a minimum of $2K spending per month, and you could do much better with the PRVI Miles cards.

Yay or Nay: Potentially yay if you travel to China a lot, but use it only because of its greater acceptance, not for overseas earning bonuses

UOB JCB Platinum Card

uob jcb

  • Annual Fee: $64.20 (First year fee waiver)
  • Income Req: $30,000 (Singaporeans) & $40,000 (Foreigners) OR fixed deposit collateral of $10,000
  • Marketing Spiel: 5% rebates at Medi-Ya, Muji and UNIQLO, 3% department store rebate, special Japan-related promotions
  • The catch: If you’re not a big Japanophile this won’t be of much interest to you
  • Sign up here

I don’t know an awful lot about JCB, but I imagine they are to Japan what UnionPay is to China- an alternative to the AMEX Visa Mastercard trifecta.

The rebates of 5% are decent at UNIQLO, Muji and Meidi-Ya, if you shop there enough for this to be worthwhile. 3% rebates at all “major department stores” is probably less attractive, circumvented by the much more attractive Citibank Rewards Card with its 4 miles per $1 offering.

You can double your SMART$ at certain merchants like Coffee Bean, Bengawan Solo, Sephora, EpiCentre, Caltex and Cathay. Remember that earning SMART$ disqualifies you from receiving UNI$.

Yay or Nay: Personally, lya desu. But YMMV

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90 thoughts on “The Milelion Credit Card Omibus Week 3: UOB”

    1. Haha I aim to please. You know writing that singtel uob thing made me realise how much I hate singtel. I think that deserves a full article…

    1. You know what I just realised that…and it worries me. They might be planning a relaunch with a new design, or they might be doing what they did to the uob virtualpay amex and not accepting any new applications. Hmmmm. Let me see what I can find

      1. I suspect UOB might retain the Preferred Plat Amex and perhaps pair it with the Preferred Plat VISA Card:

        Existing UOB Preferred Platinum Cardmembers

        Application of the Preferred Platinum American Express Card can be made at no extra cost.

        Source: http://www.uob.com.sg/personal/cards/credit/uob_preferred_platinum.html

        Logically, ‘exisiting Preferred Platinum Cardmembers’ here SHOULD refer to customers with the Preferred Plat VISA card. Anyone with the Preferred Plat MC should already have the Amex version since it’s in a pair; hence, not logical for it to refer to exisiting Preferred Plat MC holders.

        1. that’s an interesting thought and you may be on to something. Let me dig around and see whether I can get to the bottom of this. I can’t figure out the point of the PP Mastercard though- it’s completely pointless.

  1. Oh and 1 more thing about the UOB VISA Signature card – the UNI$ earned cannot be combined with UNI$ earned from other UOB cards if you intend to convert them to cash rebates:

    “Cardmembers can use UNI$ earned from spending on their UOB Visa Signature Cards to redeem for Cash Rebate. Redemption for Cash Rebate can be made at the conversion rate of UNI$4,000 = S$100 via UOB Island of Rewards. UNI$ earned from spending on Cardmember’s other UOB credit cards cannot be used to redeem for Cash Rebate.”

    http://www.uob.com.sg/assets/pdfs/personal/cards/tnc_signature_5per_reb.pdf

    1. great spot. but if you’re converting UNI$ to cash rebates that’s just a very, very bad deal. Every time you use a cashback card, a baby kitten dies somewhere

      1. True, if you are looking at the value of UNI$/KFM. Problem with me is I’m not the sort who likes to be waitlisted. I like instant confirmation of my air tickets. Haha. What I did recently was charge my BA tickets amd hotels to my Privi Amex and then converted my UNI$ into $600 cash rebate. Again, not the optimal value compared to redeeming miles on Biz class.

        1. OMG. So many kittens died.

          PRVI miles amex conversion for S$100 is 7300UNI$. Meaning u spent 43,800UNI$ into S$600, yes? Thats 87,600 KF miles, a little shy of one return trip FIRST class ticket to Tokyo (S$8,167).

          After deducting taxes of S$65 (dun ask why it’s that cheap for SIN-NRT), the value is still above S$8K, as opposed to getting S$600 rebate..

          Oh well, to each his own.

          1. heh. but UNI$4000 is a S$100 rebate. That UNI$4000 could be 8,000 miles, which if redeemed for biz class would be $320 of value. Heck, even if you redeemed it for economy you’d be getting $160 thereabouts. It’s just painful to throw that away. But granted, as Art said if you value certainty then there’s a case for going that route. Not for me though. think of the kittens!

        1. Just checked. I have 4000 ++ uni$ from visa signature. Can only redeem with 5000 uni$. I have stopped using uob one for some reasons and that card doesn’t give uni$. I need to apply another card to top up the uni$ to meet the threshold. Guess preferred platinum visa will be the one. Great discussions from u all 🙂

  2. Hello you wrote that the preferred plat visa has minimum $1000 monthly spend but I can’t find it in the t&c, is it written somewhere I’ve missed?

  3. Check with u. What’s the best non-amex card for dining? Can be any bank. Seems like only Amex cards can yield 4 miles per dollar? Thanks.

  4. hi i wanted to ask about credit scores/ credit reports! on a whim and falling for all the marketing spiel, signed up for way too many cards than i actually need. does that do anything to hurt a credit score/ will cancelling most of them be anything harmful? thx!

    1. that’s a great question. I’m not a specialist on this, but these guys seem to be- http://blog.moneysmart.sg/credit-cards/4-myths-credit-cards-hurting-financially/

      read 4th point: When you first get approved for a card, your credit score might drop a little, as the overall age of all the credit facilities open to you is one factor. A new card lowers the average age and will thus have a slightly negative effect on your credit score. The bank will also check your credit report when you apply, and each inquiry gives your credit score a little hit.

      However, in the long term a new credit card can actually improve your credit score. Remember how borrowing a lower percentage of the total amount of credit offered to you is a good thing? A new credit card raises your available credit amount, so assuming you don’t go nuts and start spending like there’s no tomorrow, your credit score could well improve.

    2. just ran a credit score on myself- AA despite having 18 credit cards open. I think it is really about whether you pay off in time and in full. And cancelling credit cards might lower the average age of your credit facilities, so unless they’re charging you annual fees I’d rather keep it open

  5. Aaron! UOB is terminating the Preferred Platinum Amex (our favourite dining card and my first ever cc) as of the end of the month and switching us to UOB Prvi Miles World Master instead. I just received a call from the CSO..

    1. Oh wow. I’m overseas now but got 2 missed calls from UOB and was wondering what that was about. Any more details? They’re not issuing any new cards, or they’re going to take away existing cards even? Sounds like the latter.

    2. OK i just called them. they say that from 1 oct they “demarketed” the cards, meaning they won’t issue any new ones. but for those who already have it, status quo is unchanged “for now”, you will still continue to earn the same benefits (ie 10x on dining) until further notice.

      sounds ominous

      1. Yes, I just spoke to them again. Apparently they are only replacing the Pref Plat Account Master (the one we don’t use) with a Prvi Miles World Master free of charge. The good old Amex would be retained!

  6. Hi,

    Currently, I’m using the UOB ONE card together with the UOB ONE account.

    I track my monthly spending and stop using the card once it hits $500 and leaving only $50,000 in the ONE account and paying 3 bills through GIRO setup. My salary is still credited to OCBC 360 though.

    I’m getting around $101.25 of interest every month ($50,000 * 2.43% ) / 12 months. Plus getting $16.67 ($50/3) of rebate.

    So essentially, I’m getting $117.92 out of $500 spending which work out to become 23.5% which isn’t a bad deal.

    1. Hey Jack- I’m not too familiar with the UOB ONE account, I do know that if you play it right you can get some value out of it. I’m not sure it’s mathematically correct to say that the return is based on $500 spending though, because the majority of that interest is coming from your UOB ONE account which you’ve put $50k into. Still, i think your example shows there can be some good value if you’re able to pair it with the one account.

  7. Hi Aaron,

    It seems that your Omnibus series has only DBS and OCBC linked. You can try clicking from the ‘credit card’ dropdown from the top. Can you link all the banks for easier reference? Thanks!
    P.S, I can’t wait to see your updated credit card pocket guide!

    1. thanks for bringing that to my attention. i’m so absent minded these days. will fix it

      updated cc guide is coming…as soon as my graphic designer goes off strike! apologies, i think i’ll do a stop gap ugly table in the interim maybe.

    1. would you believe i never used that benefit? it’s annoying when they start sneakily taking away things without notice though.

  8. Worth noting that UOB Visa Signature Card is going to be discontinued and replace by priv miles card. I went to branch office to sign up for it and it is not available for signing up at branch office. It is still possible to get the card via online application while it last, I had just received it yesterday.

    1. yeah i’ve heard rumours of this. it’s interesting if it happens because the 4 miles /$1 on overseas spend was one of a kind and one of the reasons to concentrate spend on the uob portfoliop. maybe they’ve realised there’s no real competition in the space that the uob prvi miles can’t handle with 2.4 miles on overseas spend (dbs altitude for example is 2.0)

  9. Thanks for this (and the entire website actually). I’ve had a system of my own for the past 2/3 years and accumulated ~400K miles (which I’ve used about 120K of them).

    It’s getting harder to earn miles since I don’t get to charge much to them with my current job compared to the previous one, and this website is very handy :)! Nonetheless, I wanted to share what I’m using and seek your input:

    1. Dining
    UOB PP AMEX. Currently on POSB Everyday because of the $80/$160 rebate + 5% rebate.

    2. General Spend
    UOB PP VISA for all PayWave transactions. This is where I find your points to be quite interesting regarding SMART$. With PayWave, I should get 4 miles/$ unless the shop supports SMART$, but I noticed you don’t mention using PP VISA for miles. Is this because the number of SMART$ merchants is too much and one would often end up getting SMART$ instead of miles?

    UOB PRVIMILES Mastercard for all other spend.

    3. Online
    UOB PP VISA. But I’m changing to the Women’s card now after reading your website :P. Just applied!

    4. Shopping
    I used to use Citibank Rewards for most of my brick and mortar shopping but am in the same boat as you. Would prefer to consolidate all miles to a single or two banks at most.

    I was actually leaning towards everything UOB, but your points on the various DBS cards have made me review my current strategy again. Thanks again and Happy Holidays :)!

    1. hey man! thanks so much for reading and i’m glad you find this useful. let’s run through what you’ve said (400k miles is very impressive btw)

      1. Dining- pretty much on point here. UOB PP Amex so long as UOB gives 10X on dining. I don’t look at cashback cards in detail but if there is some target rebate you’re trying to hit during this period then by all means

      2. general spend- yes, exactly, here are a list of smart$ merchants- http://www.uob.com.sg/personal/cards/privileges/smartclub.html as you can see a lot of the big hitters, eg cold storage, giant, caltex, breadtalk etc are all smart$ merchants. so you’d need to compare vs this list of paywave merchants (http://www.uob.com.sg/assets/pdfs/personal/cards/full_listing.pdf) and see where there is no overlap. i suppose if you were really disciplined and committed you could identify a handful of paywave merchants who dont also participate in smart$, but that’s not something i’ve done. UOB PRVI for the rest is the right call

      3. dbs woman’s, all the way. because they’re more generous than UOB

      4. citibank rewards is technically the right card, but like you said it has the unintended side effect of creating orphan miles. it’s really for that reason that i’d just use a dbs/uob card, even though the bonus is smaller.

      remember that DBS has some very attractive sign up promos for its altitude line of cards so i’d really encourage you to look at those and see if you can make the minimum spending/maximise the initial sign up bonuses! happy hunting

  10. Thanks :)! Regarding your comments…

    1. What do you often do if the place doesn’t accept AMEX for dining? Citi Clear Platinum? It’ll then create the orphaned miles issue… For now I usually use PRVIMILES MC but am wondering if there’s a better way.

    2. I probably need to put more effort into this! Assuming most places for accept Pay wave, I wonder if using UOB PP VISA will earn me more than PRVIMILES even taking into account the SMART$ “issue”…

    3. Signed up and approved! Waiting for the card now!

    4. I actually used the Visa version recently and managed to get the free miles and all (I think it was at 6 miles per dollar for online travel bookings at one point). The Visa Altitude is still my goto card for online travel bookings. On a similar note, will the Woman’s MC earn 4 miles per dollar as well for online travel booking? I did some reading but the comments seem to be mixed, so Altitude seems like a safer bet for now.

    Definitely looking to get the AMEX version before April 2016 (that’s when the promotion ends according to DBS) for all the bonus miles! Haha. At the moment I just got my DBS live fresh and need to put $500 on it for the $80 rebate :P.

    Thanks again :)!

    1. 1. Citi clear platinum is the “correct” card to use in terms of next best for miles earning (see my article on dining cards in SG- there’s something about HSBC too you might be interested in). however if consolidation is your main concern then it would make sense to use PRVI

      2. not quite sure i understand your point here, but yes. if you’re disciplined enough to use the PP Visa wherever smart$ are not issued then you will earn more over the long term. remember that uob pools all your points together so it’s not an issue having multiple uob cards and no issue of having orphan points

      4. yes, i can confirm woman’s world card gets 4 miles per $1 for online travel bookings. see this spreadsheet- a couple of exceptions
      https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AiJ5a9GayhmKdGhZbWNVQXQ1T3k4OWJKNWpNWDFwZmc&usp=sharing#gid=0

      1. 1. Yeah I’ll probably just go with PRVIMILES…

        2. Sorry I was just thinking out loud, haha. I was just wondering if UOB PP VISA with its 4 miles/$ for Paywave will earn me more miles even with all the SMART$ stuff, over say PRVIMILES…

        4. I’ve the same spreadsheet, think I got it from HWZ a couple of years ago! Thanks :)!

        Hope your year is off to a great start!

    1. this is awesome! I like that it’s mobile friendly so I can quickly check on my phone when I’m at a paywave merchant.

  11. Hi Aaron,

    UOB Prvi miles card currently has 8000 welcome miles for new members. Is it a good promotion to sign up now? Or should i wait?

    Assuming i should get it, should i get the mastercard or visa?

    Thanks!

    1. mastercard is better (for taxi acceptance (although visa will soon be accepted by taxis again) and for the SPG stay one night get gold offer)).

      do note that the 8k welcome miles has strings attached, it is limited to the first X sign ups. i hate this kind of promotion where you dont know beforehand whether you can get it. you might want to call UOB CS and check if they’ve hit their cap yet

  12. Hi Aaron,

    Quick check, are you aware of any spending cap on the UOB PP Amex? I don’t seem to find anything on their listed T&C (http://www.uob.com.sg/assets/pdfs/preferred_platinum_tnc.pdf)

    Am planning my wedding soon and was wondering what will happen if i book a restaurant (instead of a hotel) to host my banquet e.g. Peach Garden/Peony Jade/Huating?

    The potential miles earned from this card is really making me excited if there is no spending cap and if UOB recognises them as restaurant.

    1. there is no spending cap. what you’re proposing is interesting- just make sure that it’s really not part of a hotel, eg peach garden has an outlet in hotel miramar. during our office cny lunch last year i flirted with the office manager and she let me swipe 4k at imperial treasure to my pp amex 🙂

  13. Do you know if there are any restrictions on total no of Uni dollars earned? I have the Visa Signature, PP Visa as well as PP Amex. I know there are individual caps on Visa Signature (below 2k a mth) and PP Visa (below 1k a mth) but is there a yearly restriction on UNI dollars earned ?

    Also for the Visa Signature card, would foreign online spend qualify as overseas spend?

    1. there is no yearly restriction on UNI $ earned for an individual cardmember.

      for visa signature, foreign online spend qualifies as overseas provided the payment processing is not done in singapore. for example, paypal payments from an sg-based paypal account would not qualify even if they are done in forex. but a purchase from amazon.com would.

      1. Thank you! Love reading your blog! So do you think booking a ticket on expedia.co.uk qualify as a foreign spend?

        1. i dont want to tell you absolutely yes in the off chance that for some reason you don’t, but i cannot see any reason why it would not be foreign spend. just be sure you’re not redirected to expedia.sg which might happen if you book from an SG ip address

  14. Hi Aaron

    Would you be able to recommend the best card to pay for a $15k hospital bill? This would be paid upon hospital discharge at the counter but I am not sure if points will be given for such a transaction. I reckon UOB priv could be the card to sign up for since I don’t have it yet.

    1. Hi Cyndi. I’m sorry to hear about that and hope everything is alright. You will earn points on a hospital bill, they’re not under the excluded category. If there is any chance they let you split the amount onto multiple cards then you might want to get the AMEX rewards card for 13,333 miles upon $1,500 spend, plus $1,000 to your dbs altitude (and another $1,000 in the next month) to get 8,000 miles. it’s stretching it a bit too much to ask them to put things on 3 or more cards but you should be aware the amex reserve card has a spend $5,000 get 27,777 miles sign up offer (you need to pay the first year annual fee though) and i’m sure there may be some other new offers out there i’m not thinking of right now.

      if you need to put everything on one card then yes the uob prvi would be the right one.

  15. Hi Aaron,

    Somewhat off topic, and this might be just me finding a place to vent… but this IS the UOB Omnibus….

    Is it just me or is UOB’s customer service the worst? Anybody here actually had a pleasant experience talking to a UOB rep over the phone?

    Cheers.. Rant over

    1. i’m sure everyone has bad experiences with all the major banks. i can think of my frustration getting an annual fee waived or checking the application status of a card.

      i’ve found that AMEX has by far the best customer service in singapore. their cards are crap, yeah, but every time i’ve had to deal with an amex agent they’ve been excellent. wish the banks could follow their lead

  16. Hi Aaron,

    Just realised you have blogged so long about miles earning, but only yesterday i found out from one of my friend. You have done a great work and please keep your passion so that we can continue to benefit from your blog!

    I’m going to Perth for vacation this coming August. I booked my flight ticket previously before i get to know this site, by using DBS Altitude (phew~). So i still have my hotel booking to settle in two to three months time. I’m thinking to get either Citi Premiermiles or UOB Privi cards for this booking (well, to earn the rocket miles and kaligo miles.. =P).

    If i’m not mistaken, previously UOB Privi did offer the “pay annual fee and get miles”.. but now seems they cancelled it. Do you think it is still worthwhile to get UOB Privi ($256 annual fee vs no miles), compared with Citi Premiermiles($194 annual fee vs 10000 citi miles)?

    1. thank you sir! i’m glad you at least used the right card to get your tickets. it’s also a good idea to look at kaligo for the 10 miles per $1 for citi premiermiles and uob prvi (but do compare kaligo rates with elsewhere and see if the slight premium you pay for kaligo is worth it).

      i would say that uob cards have a better overall portfolio, in that uni$ pool together, so by having uob prvi, pp amex, pp visa and visa signature you can really build a lot of miles very fast with careful planning of your spend. there’s no reason why you can’t also get the citi premiermiles if you just want to pay the annual fee to buy miles. the problem though with citi is that there aren’t great pooling opportunities. citi premiermiles earns points that are separate from the other citi cards (TY points). i’ve read that you can call customer service to ask them to pool when you redeem so you only pay 1 fee but haven’t tried before.

      if you’re just interested in buying miles through annual fees, you might want to consider other cards like hsbc/sc visa infinite. i’ve written something about it here

      http://milelion.com/2016/04/08/standard-chartered-visa-infinite-buy-miles-1-7-cents/

  17. HI Aaron

    I am quite confused with the UOB Privi Card T&C.

    It says 3 miles on all spend but under the T&C, it states “. Bonus UNI$ is capped at UNI$1,800 (equivalent to 3,600 miles) per Qualified Cardmember. ” Does this essentially mean that only $1.2K spend will earn the 3x miles since $1.2 spend x 3 miles = 3,600 miles and you still need to be within the top 2000 spenders in each period to qualify. Hardly sounds like an attractive sign up bonus dont you think?

    For spending on the Priv Card in foreign currency e.g. Amazon, will we get 2x miles?

    Thanks

  18. Hey Aaron
    Do u happen to know for the uob preferred platinum is overseas dining applicable to 4 miles per dollar? How about uob preferred visa… Will paywave overseas also be eligible for 4 miles per dollar?

      1. i can confirm overseas dining will get 10x for the amex. it said so in the marketing materials back when they were still promoting the card.

  19. Aaron – I do not have any uob cc yet but am thinking of getting some of them.

    If I were to use the cards overseas for 4 miles / dollar:
    – Use priv (min 1k foreign, max 2k)
    – Use PP Amex (not visa) for dining (this might be good for local weddings as long as it checks out to be non-hotel rather than overseas when we have no idea, and we get 2 miles / dollar anyway on other cards)

    I assume none of these uob cards give you bonus miles for annual fees (I don’t see any).

    1. Or if PP Amex is not avail for non uob cardholders like me, then the next best is the Visa Signature as an alternative for general spend including dining

    2. yeah what you say makes sense. uob cards dont give bonus miles for annual fees but if you spend 50k on the UOB PRVI Amex you get 20k miles

    3. i can’t find it now but i recall some time back there was a joining promo for uob where you could pay the first year fee and get X number of miles. i believe that was ~2 cents per mile but can’t find the link now annoyingly.

  20. Hi Aaron
    When u spend overseas with uob visa signature via paywave… Is that considered a foreign currency txn or a paywave txn? If it is considered paywave then it won’t be eligible for 10x uni$?

    1. interesting question. i do not know. my guess is that foreign currency trumps paywave, but only one way to find out. i base this on the DBS WWMC s.o.p where your amazon purchases (online, 10X) trump the fact that they are in foreign currency (3X).

  21. Hi Aaron… If I make a payment at SIA website in foreign currency any ideas if it will be given 10 times uni$ if I use UOB Visa Signature? 🙂

  22. Hi Aaron. I hope your trip is going well. Would you know whether apple pay payments using uob credit cards qualify for the same amt of bonus miles? eg paying with apple pay with uob preferred platinum visa = pay wave payments and will qualify for 4miles to a dollar?

  23. HI Aaron,

    Regarding the UOB Preferred Platinum Visa Card do you think that UOB have changed the T&C?

    I just read that “The 10X UNI$ for online and Visa payWave transactions is capped at UNI$24,000 for both
    categories per calendar year. After which, 1X UNI$ will be awarded for every $5 spent. ”

    Does this mean that we can only spend $2400 a year?

          1. I was wondering if we could use this PP VISA for payment at SPC? Since SPC is not a SMART$ merchant, and UOB awards 10x UNI dollars for using Paywave for PP Visa. If this combo is factual, then its another milestone for SPC users.

            *Shell is a SMART$ merchant, not applicable.

  24. hey Aaron, you wrote that the UOB PP Visa has a cap of 12,000 a year on the 10x UNI$. But i read on the site and T&Cs that:

    The total UNI$ awarded to each Cardmember from qualifying spend on Visa payWave and online transaction is capped at
    UNI$24,000 for each calendar year.

    If my calculation is correct, that’s a mere 2.4k spend , and 9.6k miles a year?

    Did I miss something?

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