Credit Cards UOB

UOB PRVI Miles adding new exclusions: no more miles for GrabPay top-ups or insurance

From 16 March 2020, UOB will make some changes to the PRVI Miles cards, affecting insurance and GrabPay top-ups.

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)

MCC Description
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
8241 Schools, Correspondence
8244 Schools, Business and Secretarial
8249 Schools, Trade and Vocational
8299 Schools and Educational Services–Not Elsewhere Classified
8398 Organizations, Charitable and Social Service
8661 Organizations, Religious
8651 Organisations, Political
9211 Court Costs including Alimony and Child Support
9222 Fines
9223 Bail and Bond Payments
9311 Tax Payment
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. 

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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.

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“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.

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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.

Conclusion

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.

Do remember that two UOB PRVI Miles promos will be ending soon- the 3 mpd on Klook transactions will be ending on 29 February 2020, as will the 4.4 mpd on SimplyGo.

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Christian

Hi, can I assume that the removal of miles earning on the PRVI Mastercard for RentHero transactions will also apply to CardUP?

The CardUp Team

Hi Christian – CardUp spend will not be affected, and you will continue to earn miles on your UOB PRVI cards (as well as on all other miles cards) on your rental payments through our platform. Hope this clarifies!

Z

Hi Aaron, in your article you were wondering if there’s an implication that Grabpay top-ups on the Mastercard and AMEX versions will still continue to earn points. Apparently these have already been excluded. The T&Cs say (on page 2) that “With effect from 30 November 2019, UNI$ will no longer be awarded for any payment made to… (ii) Stored Value Card Purchase / Load (including Grab mobile wallet top ups on UOB PRVI Miles American Express Card and UOB PRVI Miles World Mastercard))”

Raymond

What other cards to use for grab card top up?

phister

Probably can expect the other Visa cards to follow suit very soon, or is this just a reactionary move from UOB to stem the bleeding from their CC portfolio due to Grabpay topups….

Cramer

All these pointless unsustainable costs. The start ups need to learn how to make money eventually. Next to cut benefits should be Revolut and Youtrip.

O

What is the current cap for grabpay topup for UOB Prvi Miles Visa? Woud like to maximize the grappay topup before the exclusion.

Adam

Uncapped. Only limited on Grab’s side.

Joseph

“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….”

AIA, AIG, AXA, Chubb

JYP

Hi Aaron, would u consider doing a piece on medical expenses? It’s a chance for large amount accrual albeit an unfortunate event save childbirth I know DBS should will be out regardless private or govt Citi confirms okay for private Sc cso gives ok for private but I haven’t tested for myself UOB so far ok for private but I’ve only tried on ppv and vs, but I’m not sure about prvi since they have their own set of t&c For the prvi amex that’ll make it easier to hit the $50k point to trigger annual fee waiver and the… Read more »

Andykoh

Like to know this too!

No rewards

6513 Real Estate Agents & Managers – Rentals (wef 16 Mar 2020)

Holiday booking sites like homeaway.com and several others code as MCC 6513. Be warned that banks will take the FCY fee and award no points.

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!
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