Here’s the Milelion’s review of the UOB Lady’s Card, Singapore’s first-ever dedicated card for ladies. Launched back in 1989, this card is reportedly found in the wallet of one in five Singaporean women, a figure that UOB expects to grow to one in three within the next five years.
If you’re reading this and have all the prerequisite, er, qualifications, you should definitely add yourself to that number.
|💳 tl;dr: ★★★★ (Lady’s Card)|
★★★★1/2 (Lady’s Solitaire)
|With the flexibility to change your bonus category every quarter, the UOB Lady’s Card can serve many roles in your wallet. What’s more, the Solitaire version comes with a S$3K monthly cap on 4 mpd, making it almost essential. If you’re a lady, you need this card.|
|The good||The bad|
|This UOB Lady’s Card review forms part of my collection of credit card reviews. I’m constantly adding new ones, and you can browse the entire collection here.|
Overview: UOB Lady’s Card
Let’s start this review by looking at the key features of the UOB Lady’s Card.
|UOB Lady’s Card | UOB Lady’s Solitaire|
|Income Req.||S$30,000 p.a |
|Points Validity||2 years|
|S$120,000 p.a (Solitaire)|
(Lady’s-First Year Free)
(Solitaire-First Year Free)
|Miles with |
|FCY Fee||3.25%||Transfer Fee||S$25|
|Local Earn||0.4 mpd||Points Pool?||Yes|
|FCY Earn||0.4 mpd||Lounge Access?||No|
|Special Earn||4 mpd on your choice of 7 categories||Airport Limo?||No|
|Cardholder Terms and Conditions|
Note that unlike the gender-egalitarian DBS Woman’s World Card, the UOB Lady’s Card is strictly for women only. Men cannot get this card, even as a supplementary cardholder.
Not all is lost, however. A simple workaround is for a wife to apply for the card and add it to her husband’s mobile wallet. He can then transact as if he were her- although they’ll have to share the monthly 4 mpd cap.
Do note that UOB actually has four different Lady’s Cards:
- UOB Lady’s Classic Card
- UOB Lady’s Platinum Card
- UOB Lady’s Solitaire Card
- UOB Lady’s Solitaire Metal Card
|There’s also a UOB Lady’s debit card, but we’ll ignore it here|
The UOB Lady’s Classic and Lady’s Platinum Cards are basically the same. They have the same annual fee (S$192.60), and each enjoys one quarterly bonus category (see below).
The UOB Lady’s Solitaire and Lady’s Solitaire Metal Card both enjoy two quarterly bonus categories (again, see below), but the Metal Card is slightly more premium.
It’s an invite-only offering with a higher annual fee (S$588 vs S$406.60), and has additional benefits courtesy of its World Elite Mastercard badge. These include one complimentary airport transfer and six complimentary lounge visits per year.
Do note that you can only hold one Lady’s Card at a time. If you’re a UOB Lady’s Card member and apply for a UOB Lady’s Solitaire, your existing card will be cancelled at the time of approval (and vice versa).
How much must I earn to qualify for a UOB Lady’s Card?
The UOB Lady’s Card is positioned at the entry level, with a S$30,000 annual income requirement. If you do not meet the minimum annual income, you can place a S$10,000 fixed deposit with UOB to get a secured version of the card. Visit any UOB branch for further details.
The UOB Lady’s Solitaire has a much higher income requirement of S$120,000, putting it in the so-called mass affluent tier. If you do not meet the minimum annual income, you can place a S$30,000 fixed deposit with UOB to get a secured version of the card.
How much is the UOB Lady’s Card annual fee?
|First Year||Free||First 1 Free,|
|Free||First 2 Free,|
|Subsequent||S$192.60||First 1 Free,|
|S$406.60||First 2 Free,|
The UOB Lady’s Card has an annual fee of S$192.60, which is waived for the first year. The fee for the first supplementary card is waived in perpetuity, with the second card onwards charged at S$96.30 per year.
The UOB Lady’s Solitaire has an annual fee of S$406.60, also waived for the first year. The fee for the two supplementary cards is waived in perpetuity, with the third card onwards charged at S$192.60 per year.
|⚠️ Beware the auto UNI$ deductions!|
|Do note that UOB will automatically deduct 6,500 UNI$/10,000 UNI$ from your account when the UOB Lady’s/Lady’s Solitaire annual fee is due! It’s up to you to watch for this and request a waiver when it happens- be sure to check your e-statement. If you have insufficient UNI$, you will be charged in cash.|
What sign-up bonus or gifts are available?
UOB veterans will know that the bank is fond of adopting “first X to do Y will get Z” language in its T&Cs. How do you know you’re still in the first X? You don’t. You simply do Y and hope that Z will show up later.
Unfortunately, this is par the course for UOB sign-up offers. With some limited exceptions, they all follow this format, and you’re just going to have to decide if you want to roll the dice.
Here’s the current sign-up bonuses available:
|🎁 Current Sign-Up Bonuses/Gifts|
The first 400 customers to apply from 11 May-30 June 2020 and spend S$1,500 within 30 days of approval will receive S$150 cash credit
|Offers valid till 30 June 2020|
How many miles do I earn?
|🇸🇬 SGD Spending||🌎 FCY Spending||➕ Bonus Spending|
|0.4 mpd||0.4 mpd||4.0 mpd on your choice of 7 categories|
UOB Lady’s Card and Lady’s Solitaire both earn 1 UNI$ for every S$5 spent in Singapore Dollars or foreign currency (FCY).
1 UNI$ is worth 2 airline miles, so that’s an equivalent earn rate of 0.4 mpd for both local and FCY spending.
All foreign currency transactions are subject to a 3.25% fee.
Before March 2019, there was absolutely no point getting a UOB Lady’s Card. Despite its female-friendly marketing, the product itself was a dumpster fire, earning just 2 mpd on shopping and taxi rides provided cardholders spent at least S$3,000 per month, and capped at S$5,000 per month.
Then all that changed. UOB gave the Lady’s Cards a makeover, an all of a sudden they became must-haves for the fairer sex.
UOB Lady’s Card and Lady’s Solitaire members earn a bonus 9 UNI$ for every S$5 spent in Singapore Dollars or FCY on their choice of bonus categories. That’s an equivalent earn rate of 4 mpd, capped at S$1,000 (Lady’s Card)/ S$3,000 (Lady’s Solitaire) per calendar month.
UOB Lady’s Card members can pick one bonus category, while Lady’s Solitaire members can pick two.
|(1) Beauty & Wellness||5912, 5977, 7230, 7231, 7298, 7297||Discount, Mass and Drug Stores, Cosmetics Stores, Barber and Beauty Shops, Health and Beauty Spa, Massage Parlors|
|(2) Dining||5811, 5812, 5814, 5499||Caterers, Eating places and Restaurants, Fast food restaurants and food deliveries|
|(3) Entertainment||5813, 7832, 7922||Bars, Taverns, Lounges and Nightclubs, Motion Picture Theatres, Theatrical Producers and Ticket Agencies|
|(4) Family||5411, 5641||Grocery stores, Children and Infants wear store|
|(5) Fashion||5311, 5611, 5621, 5631, 5651, 5655, 5661, 5691, 5699, 5948||Department Stores, Men’s and Boy’s Clothing and Accessories Store, Women’s Ready-to-wear Stores, Women’s Access and Specialty, Family Clothing Stores, Sports and Riding Apparel Stores, Shoes Stores, Men’s and Women’s Clothing Stores, Miscellaneous Apparel and Accessories Shops, Luggage and Leather Stores|
|(6) Transport||4111, 4121, 4789, 5541, 5542||Local Commuter Transport, Taxi, Cabs, Limousines and Travel Service, Service Stations and Automatic Gas Dispensers|
|(7) Travel||Credit card retail transactions made at major airlines and/or hotels with their main business activity classified as flights and/or hotels only|
|Even though UOB Lady’s Solitaire members can pick 2 bonus categories, their monthly 4 mpd cap is S$3,000 in total. Note that you can only hold the Lady’s Card or the Lady’s Solitaire at any one time|
These categories can be changed every calendar quarter– a fantastic feature, because it means this card can be different things to you at different times.
For example, if you’re shelling out for an expensive beauty package this quarter, pick “beauty & wellness”. If you’re going on an overseas trip, pick “travel”. There’s no other card in Singapore that gives this kind of flexibility.
|💍 Interlude: The Wedding Plan(ner)|
The UOB Lady’s Solitaire can also be extremely useful for couples planning to get married who don’t have access to sign-up bonuses.
Step 1: You each get a UOB Preferred Platinum Visa and a UOB Visa Signature. The lady also gets a UOB Lady’s Solitaire and declares “travel” as the bonus category.
Step 2: Each month, you pay off S$9.2K of your wedding banquet, split into S$1.1K on the UOB Preferred Platinum Visa x2 (via contactless), S$2K on the UOB Visa Signature x2 (via contactless), and S$3K on the UOB Lady’s Solitaire x1. This nets you 36.8K miles (remember, “travel” includes local hotels too, under which your banquet is charged) per month.
Step 3: Rinse and repeat.
Although you normally need to look out for SMART$ merchants with UOB cards, it appears that the UOB Lady’s Card is an exception (thanks @ XYZ).
Cardholders have reported still receiving the bonus 9X points for transactions at SMART$ merchants, an earn rate of 3.6 mpd.
UOB runs periodic promotions for the UOB Lady’s Card, which provide a further boost on top of the usual 4 mpd:
- From Jan-Mar 2020, cardholders who chose fashion as their bonus category could earn a further 0.8 mpd on Lazada, Qoo10 and Taobao, for a total of 4.8 mpd
- From Jul-Sep 2020, cardholders who choose dining as their bonus category can earn a further 0.8 mpd, for a total of 4.8 mpd
When are UNI$ credited?
The base 1 UNI$ per S$5 is credited when the transaction posts, usually in 1-3 working days. The bonus 9 UNI$ per S$5 is credited by the end of the calendar month after the transaction.
|Base Points (1X)||Credited when transaction posts|
|Bonus Points (9X)||Credited by the end of the following calendar month|
How are UNI$ calculated?
Here’s how you can work out the UNI$ earned on your UOB Lady’s Card:
|Base Points (1X)||Round down transaction to the nearest S$5, divide by 5, then multiply by 1.0|
|Bonus Points (9X)||Sum all eligible transactions (including cents), round down total to the nearest S$5, divide by 5, then multiply by 9.0|
Even though UOB rounds your transactions down to the nearest S$5 before awarding points, the way in which the Lady’s Card calculates points means you will still earn something on transactions smaller than S$5. That’s because eligible transactions are summed up before bonus points are calculated.
To illustrate, suppose you make three transactions on your bonus category in a month- S$4.50, S$15 and S$20. Here’s how many points you’ll earn:
|Base Points (1X)||Bonus Points (9X)|
|S$4.50||0||(4.5+15+20) round down to nearest 5, divide by 5 and multiply by 9|
A total of 70 UNI$ will be earned, or 140 miles. Notice how the S$4.50 transaction earns no base points, but still counts towards the aggregated bonus points calculation.
If you’re an excel geek, here’s the formulas you need to calculate your points:
|Base Points (1X)||=ROUNDDOWN (X/5,0)*1|
|Bonus Points (9X)||= ROUNDDOWN (Y/5,0)*9|
|Where X= Amount Spent, Y= Total Eligible Spending|
For the full list of formulas that banks use to calculate credit card points, do refer to these articles:
What transactions aren’t eligible for UNI$?
A full list of transactions that do not earn UNI$ can be found in the T&C. I’ve highlighted a few noteworthy categories below:
- Charitable Donations
- Real Estate Agents & Managers
- Government Services
- GrabPay top-ups
Don’t bother using the UOB Lady’s Card for CardUp/ipaymy/RentHero transactions, as you’ll earn 0.4 mpd at best.
What do I need to know about UNI$?
UNI$ expire after 2 years, and pool across cards. If you have 10,000 UNI$ on the UOB Lady’s Card, and 5,000 UNI$ on the UOB Preferred Platinum Visa, you can redeem 15,000 UNI$ at one shot and pay a single conversion fee.
It also means that you don’t need to transfer your UNI$ out before cancelling the UOB Lady’s Card, assuming it’s not your last UNI$-earning card.
UNI$ transfer to frequent flyer programs at a 1:2 ratio, with a minimum transfer block of 5,000 UNI$.
|Frequent Flyer Program||Conversion Ratio |
Transfers cost S$25 per program, regardless of how many points are transferred.
UOB also has an auto-conversion option for KrisFlyer, which costs S$50 per year. UNI$ will be automatically converted on the last day of the calendar month, in blocks of UNI$2,500 (half the regular conversion block).
However, you’ll need to keep a minimum balance of UNI$15,000 (30,000 miles) in your account at all times, for reasons I do not understand. UOB gives the following explanation:
|Why must a minimum balance of UNI$15,000 be kept KrisFlyer auto conversion programme?|
This is to give card members the flexibility to convert the UNI$ to other items from UOB Rewards Catalogue. Card members can still choose to convert this UNI$15,000 to KrisFlyer miles by the one time miles redemption process through UOB Rewards Catalogue, subjected to S$25 conversion fee and must be in blocks of 10,000 miles
I call BS on this, but there you have it.
You can enroll for the automatic conversion program here.
Other card perks
The UOB Lady’s Solitaire Metal Card is a World Elite Mastercard, the highest tier of Mastercard there is. Members will be entitled to the following privileges, among other things:
- 1 complimentary airport limo ride, in any country where DragonPass offers service
- 6 complimentary lounge visits via LoungeKey
- Free Boingo WiFi subscription giving access to more than 1 million hotspots, including inflight internet on selected airlines
It’s also worth noting that unlike the UOB PRVI Miles, UOB Preferred Platinum Visa, UOB Preferred Platinum AMEX or KrisFlyer UOB Credit Card, spending on the UOB Lady’s Card will count towards bonus interest on the UOB One account. This makes it the only miles-earning vehicle you can pair with the account, and worth considering if you bank with UOB.
Summary Review: UOB Lady’s Card
The UOB Lady’s Card takes the traditional rewards card formula and gives it a unique spin. The ability to choose your preferred bonus category means this could be a dining card, a travel card, a shopping card, or something else, depending on your needs at the time.
The 4 mpd monthly cap of S$3K for the Solitaire is also significantly higher than any other rewards card out there, and can really help big spenders rake in the miles quickly. The card does come with a higher annual fee of S$406.60, but it can be waived for the first year at least. I’d love to hear some data points about whether fees can be waived subsequently, because as much as I love a high 4 mpd cap, I’m not sure it’s worth paying for.
It’s just a shame that the product is gender-specific, because it’s got such a wide range of use cases for miles chasers. If you’re a lady who’s into miles, this absolutely needs to be one of the cards you use.
So that’s my review of the UOB Lady’s Card. What do you think?
|An essential card for miles chasers, with few viable alternatives|
|A very good card, although other equally good alternatives may exist|
|A decent card to round out your collection, but not absolutely essential|
|Very limited use cases, and outperformed by most other cards|
|Paperweight. Use for picking teeth or ninja stars|