UOB has posted some updates to the T&Cs governing the UOB PRVI Miles cards, which take effect from 16 March 2020.
These updates add the following rewards exclusion categories (in red)
|4829||Wire Transfer/Remittance (wef 16 Mar 2020)|
|5199||Nondurable Goods (wef 16 Mar 2020)|
|5960||Direct Marketing – Insurance Services (wef 16 Mar 2020)|
|6012||Member Financial Institution–Merchandise and Services|
|6050||Quasi Cash–Financial Institutions, Merchandise and Services (wef 16 Mar 2020)|
|6051||Quasi Cash–Merchant (Non-Financial Institutions – Foreign Currency, Non-Fiat Currency, Cryptocurrency) (wef 16 Mar 2020)|
|6211||Securities–Brokers and Dealers|
|6300||Insurance Sales/Underwrite (existing exclusion for UOB PRVI Miles Visa and UOB PRVI Miles World Mastercard; wef 16 Mar 2020 on UOB PRVI Miles American Express Cards)|
|6399||Insurance – Default|
|6513||Real Estate Agents & Managers – Rentals (wef 16 Mar 2020)|
|6529||Quasi Cash-Remote Stored Value Load-Financial Institute Rentals (wef 16 Mar 2020)|
|6530||Quasi Cash-Remote Stored Value Load-Merchant Rentals (wef 16 Mar 2020)|
|6534||Quasi Cash-Remote Money Transfers (wef 16 Mar 2020)|
|6540||Stored Value Card Purchase/Load|
|7349||Clean/Maint/Janitorial Serv aka Property Management (wef 16 Mar 2020)|
|7511||Quasi Cash – Truck Stop Trxns (wef 16 Mar 2020)|
|7995||Gambling – Betting, including Lottery Tickets, Casino Gaming Chips, Off-Track Betting, and Wagers at Race Tracks|
|8211||Schools, Elementary and Secondary|
|8220||Colleges, Universities, Professional Schools and Junior Colleges|
|8244||Schools, Business and Secretarial|
|8249||Schools, Trade and Vocational|
|8299||Schools and Educational Services–Not Elsewhere Classified|
|8398||Organizations, Charitable and Social Service|
|9211||Court Costs including Alimony and Child Support|
|9223||Bail and Bond Payments|
|9402||Postal Services—Government Only|
|9405||Intra-Government Purchases—Government Only|
|9399||Government Services—not elsewhere classified|
The exclusion of MCC 6513 (Real Estate Agents & Managers- Rentals) means that RentHero transactions will no longer earn points, so be sure to change your billing arrangement if you’re using a PRVI Miles card here.
Rental payments via CardUp are processed under a different MCC and are not affected.
MCC 6300 (Insurance sales) may come as a surprise to some- wasn’t this always an exclusion category for the UOB PRVI Miles cards anyway? It was, for the Visa and Mastercard versions (those got excluded in 2015). However, it wasn’t for the AMEX version; although one wonders which insurers actually accept AMEX card payments.
UOB has added some verbiage in the T&Cs further clarifying the exclusion categories:
| With effect from 16 March 2020, UNI$ will no longer be awarded for:|
(i) selected transactions on wire transfers, payments to Non-Financial Institutions (e.g. crypto-currencies etc);
(ii) insurance payments on UOB PRVI Miles American Express Card;
(iii) Grab mobile wallet top-ups on UOB PRVI Miles Visa Card;
(iv) quasi-cash and more.
It’s interesting that UOB only excluded GrabPay top-ups on the Visa version specifically. This seems to imply that top-ups on the Mastercard and AMEX versions will still continue to earn points.
|Update: I’ve just been reminded that the MCC for GrabPay top-ups on Mastercard and AMEX cards was changed last year to 6540, which would be excluded from points anyway. So don’t count on earning this either.|
However, if you look at page 2 of the T&Cs (thanks @Z), you’ll see that GrabPay top-ups were excluded on the AMEX and Mastercard versions from 30 November 2019 already.
“But why would you top-up your GrabPay account with a general spending card if you’d earn the same base points by directly paying at the merchant?”
Good question. Perhaps the merchant doesn’t accept credit cards (e.g hawker centre), or perhaps the merchant is on a rewards exclusion list. If you’re trying to pay insurance or government bills, for example, you’d earn 0 points paying directly with your general spending card. Topping up your GrabPay account and then using your GrabPay Mastercard lets you circumvent this restriction.
If there’s no such considerations, however, then you’re right- it’s simpler to make payment directly. Even if you were trying to frontload your spending for a sign up bonus, it’s a lot less risky to buy NTUC or Cold Storage vouchers instead (because it’s possible the bank may exclude GrabPay top-ups from qualifying spending).
The ground beneath GrabPay top-ups is rapidly disappearing, with AMEX cards and the UOB ONE set to nerf points for top-ups come March, and many other banks having already turned off the rewards spigot.
So long as credit card points can be earned on GrabPay top-ups, it’s not an either/or proposition between credit cards and GrabPay. But when that ceases, then customers will have a decision on their hands- and with the upcoming GrabRewards meganerf, it’s hard to see them choosing GrabPay.
No big surprise that GrabPay top-ups are being restricted on the PRVI Miles Visa, and with Mastercard and AMEX transactions processing over MCC 6540, I think it’s goodnight for top-ups on PRVI Miles cards.
The exclusion of insurance payments from earning points on the UOB PRVI Miles AMEX is no big loss, primarily because I can’t think of an insurance provider that takes AMEX.