In March last year, UOB relaunched their Lady’s Card portfolio, giving the formerly unimpressive cards a very impressive makeover.
Gone were the minimum spend requirement and measly bonuses; in came the freedom to choose your bonus category and switch it every quarter.
It was a fantastic upgrade, and I’ve been advising everyone I know to include this card in their line up. Although applications are only open to women, there’s nothing stopping a guy from asking his wife/girlfriend/wife & girlfriend to apply, and spending on the card via his digital wallet.
UOB has upsized the “fashion” category for Q1 2020
UOB Lady’s Card cardholders can choose 1 (or 2, for the Solitaire) of 7 categories each quarter to earn 10X points (4 mpd):
- Beauty & Wellness
If you had chosen “fashion” as your bonus category for Q1 2020, then good news- in addition to the usual 10X at department and clothing stores, you’ll also earn 12X (4.8 mpd) at Lazada, Qoo10, and Taobao from 15 Jan -31 Mar 2020. UOB has confirmed that RedMart spending will be included as well
Unfortunately, by now it’s too late to switch your bonus category for Q1 2020, so if you didn’t choose fashion, well, better luck next time.
If it’s any consolation, this appears to be a frontloading of a subsequent month’s bonus, rather than a true additional bonus. What do I mean?
|2.1 If you have satisfied all of the conditions in Clause 1.3 above (each, an “Eligible Customer”), you shall be eligible to be awarded with the additional bonus 2X UNI$ on your spend subject to Clause 2.2 (the “Gift”). The Gift will be credited to your UOB Card account within 2 months after you have made the spend and reflected on your UOB Card statement.|
2.2 The maximum amount of bonus UNI$ you can earn in a calendar month will follow the prevailing caps in the Terms and Conditions for the UOB Lady’s Cards, namely:
My reading of the above T&C is that the additional bonus 2X UNI$ (0.8 mpd) is credited 2 months after the relevant spending has been made, and contributes to that particular month’s bonus cap.
|Update: UOB has clarified that despite the wording of the T&C, the bonus counts against the cap in the month of transaction. In other words, spending $500 in January means your cap for the rest of the month is 700 UNI$ (1,800- 900 bonus- 200 additional bonus)|
For example, if I spend S$500 on my UOB Lady’s Card at Qoo10 in January 2020, I’ll receive 1,000 UNI$ (2,000 miles) in January 2020. The remaining 200 UNI$ (400 miles) will be received by March 2020, and that means my 1,800 UNI$ bonus cap for that month will be reduced to 1,600 UNI$, or S$888 of spending.
|Jan 2020||Feb 2020||Mar 2020|
|Spend||S$500 at Qoo10||$0||$0|
|Points Received||100 base UNI$ + 900 bonus UNI$ (2,000 miles)||0||200 additional bonus UNI$ (400 miles)|
|Remaining Bonus Cap||900 UNI$||1,800 UNI$||1,600 UNI$|
In other words, I’m basically borrowing against the bonus cap of future months. If I regularly max out my 10X bonus each month, then this really isn’t anything special. However, if my spending is more lumpy, then this allows me to tap a future month’s bonus cap that I may not otherwise have used.
To put it another way- someone who regularly spends the full S$1,000 each month on the UOB Lady’s Card won’t find this promotion useful. But someone who spends S$1,000 in one month and then very little for the next couple of months will benefit from this.
So whether you see this as a genuine bonus or more UOB sophistry depends on your spending pattern.
What does this mean for the Citi Lazada card?
You may remember my previous post about the newly-launched Citi Lazada card, the self-professed card for avocado toast loving millennials. I’m on the record as being roundly unimpressed, and the UOB Lady’s Card promotion only deepens that feeling.
The only thing the Citi Lazada card had going for it was its 4.8 mpd on Lazada purchases (excluding RedMart). Everything else it did, another card could do better. And now with the UOB Lady’s Card 4.8 mpd promotion, there’s even less reason for women (or men who can indirectly get a Lady’s card via wife/girlfriend) to consider the Citi Lazada.
It doesn’t matter if you get a UOB Lady’s Card and only use it occasionally, because your UNI$ pool with other UOB cards. It does matter if you get a Citi Lazada card, because Citibank does not pool points. You’re therefore committing to spend a fair bit on the Citi Lazada card and its inferior earning rates, in order to avoid orphan points.
Although this isn’t a “true” bonus, I can see it being useful to a certain group of people. Even if online shopping isn’t your thing, it’s still worth considering the UOB Lady’s card as it’s the only option for 4 mpd on dining at restaurants where contactless payments aren’t an option.
It’s also a great way to earn 4 mpd on your hotel wedding banquet- simply declare “travel” as your 10X category and break your payments into S$1K/S$3K chunks each month.