UOB keeping PRVI Pay fee at 2% until end of 2019

UOB is keeping the cost of PRVI Pay at 2 cents per mile until the end of 2019, after supposedly hiking the fee in March this year.

Since July 2017, UOB has been offering PRVI Miles cardholders a service called PRVI Pay. This “no questions asked” payment facility allows cardholders to generate as many miles as they want for a fee, subject only to their credit limit.

In mid-March 2019, UOB hiked the PRVI Pay fee by 5% from 2 to 2.1 cents per mile (cpm). But since then, they’ve sent some mixed messages about the fee hike:

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And now, UOB has made the decision to extend the 2 cpm rate until 31 December 2019, which means that for the majority of this year, we haven’t actually had to pay 2.1 cents at all (apologies to anyone who actually did!)

How does PRVI Pay work?

A quick refresher for those who need it:

Cardholders will earn UNI$2.5 for every S$5 they charge to PRVI Pay, equivalent to 1 mile per S$1 charged. A fee of 2% applies, and hence your cost per mile is 2 cents each. Remember that the UNI$ you earn can be converted into either KrisFlyer or Asia Miles, so you have options to choose from.

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Even though the number of miles you can buy is capped at your credit limit, there’s nothing stopping you from pre-paying your card account through ibanking, effectively “topping up” your credit limit.

How does this compare to other ways of buying miles?

The cost of buying miles in Singapore has fallen significantly over the past 12 months, so much so that I’ve revised my valuation of a KrisFlyer mile down from 2 cents to 1.8 cents each.

The table below summarizes your options for buying miles. Do keep in mind that not every method will be available to you, as some have income restrictions (e.g the SCB Visa Infinite’s tax payment facility requires a $150K p.a. SCB Visa Infinite card), and others require having particular types of payments (e.g. you can’t use RentHero unless you have a rental bill to pay).

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MethodIncome RequiredCPM
DBS Insignia + RentHero$500K1.07
SCB Visa Infinite Tax Payment$150K1.14-1.6
HSBC Visa Infinite Tax Payment$120K1.2-1.5
HSBC Premier MC Tax PaymentAUM: $200K1.25
Citi ULTIMA + PayAll$500K1.25
HSBC Visa Infinite Welcome Gift$120K1.39-1.86
SCB Visa Infinite + EasyBill$150K1.43-2.0
DBS Altitude + RentHero$30K1.43
Citi Prestige + PayAll$120K1.54
UOB PRVI Miles + CardUp (GET225)$30K1.57
Citi PremierMiles + PayAll$30K1.67
HSBC Visa Plat/Revolution Tax Payment$30K1.75
DBS Altitude/Citibank PremierMiles + CardUp (GET225)$30K1.83
OCBC VOYAGE Tax Payment$120K1.9
UOB Reserve VI Payment FacilityInvitation1.9
OCBC VOYAGE Payment Facility$120K1.9-1.95
Citibank PremierMiles, DBS Altitude, KrisFlyer UOB Card, OCBC 90N Annual Fee$30K1.93
UOB PRVI Pay Facility$30K2.0
UOB VI Metal Payment Facility$150K2.0
OCBC VOYAGE Annual Fee- Option 2$120K2.14
Citi Prestige Annual Fee$120K2.14
DBS Altitude Tax Payment$30K2.5
OCBC VOYAGE Annual Fee- Option 1$120K3.25

UOB PRVI Pay’s main advantage is that it’s a “no questions asked” facility- you don’t need an IRAS NOA, a tenancy agreement or anything of the sort to use it. So long as you have the credit limit, you can buy as many miles as you want.

However, there are cheaper “no questions asked” facilities out there, albeit with higher income requirements. OCBC VOYAGE cardholders (min income: $120K) can buy as many miles as they want for 1.9 or 1.95 cents each. UOB Reserve Visa Infinite cardholders (invitation only) can buy as many miles as they want for 1.9 cents each.

In that sense, UOB PRVI Pay (min income: $30K) provides the most accessible “no questions asked” facility on the market, but if you do indeed have a rental or tax bill to pay, you’re going to want to consider the following cheaper options instead:

RentTax
  • RentHero- 1.85% fee, buy miles from 1.14 cents
  • CardUp- 1.9% fee with code SAVERENT19, buy miles from 1.17 cents (or get $20 off your first payment with code MILELION)
  • Citi PayAll- 2% fee, buy miles from 1.25 cents
  • SC EasyBill- 2% fee, buy miles from 1.43 cents
  • SCB Visa Infinite- 1.6% fee, buy miles from  1.14 cents
  • HSBC Visa Infinite- 1.5% fee, buy miles from 1.2 cents
  • Citi PayAll- 2% fee, buy miles from 1.25 cents
  • SC EasyBill- 2% fee, buy miles from 1.43 cents
General note: Do not make the mistake of comparing admin fee % to determine which is the lowest cost option! For example, Citi PayAll has a fee of 2%, but when paired with the Citi Prestige card (1.3 mpd) can generate miles at 1.54 cents each. UOB PRVI Pay has a fee of 2%, but earns 1 mpd with the UOB PRVI Miles card for 2 cents each. Same fee, different cost. Always refer to the table above for the relevant workings

Conclusion

At 2 cents per mile, PRVI Pay isn’t the deal of a century. However, if you’re just short of UOB’s transfer block of UNI$5,000 (10,000 miles), this could be a way of “topping up”.

I’d certainly explore the other options available before resorting to this, but if you need miles and need them quickly, PRVI Pay is still way cheaper than buying miles from Singapore Airlines at about 5 cents each.

Aaron Wong
Aaron founded The Milelion with the intention of helping people travel better for less and impressing chiobu. He was 50% successful.

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