Banking Credit Cards

Link UOB PRVI Miles, Visa Infinite cards to KrisFlyer UOB account and earn a bonus 6 mpd (but…)

You can earn a bonus of up to 6 mpd by linking your UOB PRVI Miles or Visa Infinite cards to the KrisFlyer UOB deposit account, but really, there's no reason to.

One of the unanswered questions when UOB launched the KrisFlyer UOB Credit Card was what this meant for the UOB PRVI Miles portfolio. After all, these two cards seemed to be targeting the same customer profile- wouldn’t there be cannibalization?

KrisFlyer UOB Credit CardUOB PRVI Miles
Income Req$30K$30K
Annual Fee$192.60$256.80
Local Spend1.2 mpd1.4 mpd
Overseas Spend1.2 mpd2.4 mpd
Specialized Spend3 mpd on SIA-related transactions
3 mpd on online shopping & travel, dining and transport with min $500 spend on SIA-related transactions
10 mpd on Kaligo, 7 mpd on selected airlines with Expedia, 7 mpd on Agoda, 7 mpd on UOB Travel, caps apply
FCY Fee3.25%3.25%
Renewal Miles10KNone- AMEX version offers 20K miles with $50K annual spend
Transfer PartnersSIASIA, Cathay

It’s still unclear what the long-term plan for the PRVI Miles cards is, but in the meantime, UOB has decided to link them (along with the UOB Visa Infinite cards) to the KrisFlyer UOB Deposit Account.

Earn up to a bonus 6 mpd on your spending

Here’s how it works. If you hold one of the following cards…

  • UOB Reserve
  • UOB Visa Infinite Metal
  • UOB Visa Infinite
  • UOB Privilege Banking
  • UOB PRVI Miles (AMEX, Mastercard, Visa)

…and open a KrisFlyer UOB account with a min $1K balance, you can earn a bonus 5 mpd (or 6 mpd with a salary credit of ≥$2K/month) on your card spending.

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So, for example, if I hold a UOB PRVI Miles card, credit my salary to the KrisFlyer UOB account and spend $1K locally in a month, I will get:

  • 700 UNI$ (equal to 1,400 KrisFlyer miles) from my card
  • 6,000 KrisFlyer miles (credited directly to KrisFlyer account) from my bank account

On paper, that’s fantastic- $1,000 of spending earns me 7,400 miles, or a jaw-dropping 7.4 mpd. What’s the catch?

You earn virtually 0 interest

Whatever money you put in the KrisFlyer UOB account earns you almost 0 interest. No matter what your balance is, you’ll earn a flat rate of 0.05% interest per year.

Before you complain about that, just remember that it used to be worse- when the KrisFlyer UOB account first launched, it paid 0 interest!

“Ok,” you say. “So the interest is terrible, but I’ll make it up through the bonus miles.” If that’s your thought process, well…

The bonus miles are capped at 5% of your MAB

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A bonus of 6 mpd sounds too good to be true, and in a way, it is. The maximum bonus miles you can earn is capped at 5% of your monthly average balance (MAB).

Calculating MAB

For example, if your MAB is $20K, you can earn a maximum of 1,000 bonus miles (5% of 20K) each month. That means you’ll exhaust your bonus cap after spending just $167 (1,000/6 mpd).

Your total return for the month is then:

  • 1,000 bonus miles (~$20)
  • $0.83 of interest (0.05% X $20K divided by 12)

That’s a pretty dismal return, considering that you could generate much more interest (all in cash) with one of the hurdle accounts like the OCBC 360 or DBS Multiplier.

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Remember our earlier example of spending $1K per month on the UOB PRVI Miles card and getting 6,000 bonus miles? For you to actually earn the full 6,000, you’d need to have an MAB of $120K in your KrisFlyer UOB Account.

$120K, earning 0.05% interest per year. It’s just crazy.

Conclusion

What I can’t understand about the KrisFlyer UOB account is why it penalizes its customers twice. First, there’s hardly any interest, and second, you can’t even make up the lost interest through miles because of the cap.  Whatever bonus miles you earn would be more than offset by the loss of interest, and the 5% cap is just too punitive to make it a viable offering.

The UOB PRVI Miles card, in and of itself, is an excellent all-round workhorse. But there’s really no need to pair it with the KrisFlyer UOB account.

Apply for a UOB PRVI Miles Card in SingSaver’s Battle of the Cards and get $50 cash upon approval for both new and existing UOB customers. Plus, get a further $50 cash if the card you pick gets the most applications! Valid till 12 May, see more details here
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cheesecake
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cheesecake

Typical UOB.

Ed
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Ed

“The UOB PRVI Miles card, in and of itself, is an excellent all-round workhorse”

Disagree.. I just cancelled the card in view of other cards with better mileage/$ spend.

YC
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YC

Do the caps stack – eg if you have the UOB krisflyer debit, UOB Krisflyer credit and UOB privi, does your bonus then get capped at 5% x 3 = 15% of MAB? That would make it a much more interesting proposition

Milefan
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Milefan

It IS UOB after all – this is the only bank that consistently declines to waive the fees for my JCB card (which, if you’re a J-Pop fan, is the only Singapore credit card that iTunes Japan accepts). I agree with your previous analysis on the UOB VI Metal card – it is pretty useless – will be dumping when the card anniversary date’s due. When I think of UOB, the joget will inevitably come to mind – sometimes they take a few steps forward with a promising product, then they shoot themselves in the foot in taking a few… Read more »

Hady
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Hady

Combined with grab for 3mpd, of total 9mpd, that’s quite lot

John
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John

If i have uob prvi and uob kf credit, will this 2 card be automatically linked to the uob depsoit account? Or only 1 card can be linked to earn the 6 bonus pts?