Review: UOB Preferred Platinum Visa Card

Last Updated:

With its bonuses on mobile payments and online shopping, the UOB Preferred Platinum Visa is an absolutely essential card for miles collectors.

Here’s the Milelion’s review of the UOB Preferred Platinum Visa, the star of the “Preferred Platinum” family, and the easiest way to earn 4 mpd almost everywhere. 

Regardless of what misgivings you may have about UOB’s sign-up bonuses, S$5 earning blocks, automatic UNI$ deductions, overseas payment processor requirements and all manner of shenanigans, this card is a must-have for any miles collector. 

💳 tl;dr: ★★★★★
It’s hard to find fault with the UOB Preferred Platinum Visa and its 4 mpd on mobile payments, online shopping and entertainment. Simply put, it’s a must-have for any miles collector.
The good The bad
  • One of the easiest ways to earn 4 mpd almost everywhere
  • No minimum spend required
  • S$5 earning blocks and SMART$ merchants
This UOB Preferred Platinum Visa 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 Preferred Platinum Visa

Let’s start this review by looking at the key features of the UOB Preferred Platinum Visa. 

uob preferred platinum visa cardApply here
Income Req.
S$30,000
p.a 
Points Validity
2 years
Annual Fee
S$192.60
(First Year Free)
Min.
Transfer

5,000 UNI$
(10,000 miles)

Miles with
Annual Fee
None Transfer
Partners
  • SIA
  • Cathay
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 mobile payments, online shopping Airport Limo? No
Cardholder Terms and Conditions

The UOB Preferred Platinum Visa is part of UOB’s “Preferred Platinum” series, which includes such luminaries as the Preferred Platinum AMEX (no longer available, sadly), and the Preferred Platinum Mastercard (no longer available, thankfully). 

All three cards have very different features, so don’t mix them up:

  • The UOB Preferred Platinum Visa earns 4 mpd on mobile contactless payments, and online shopping & entertainment
  • The UOB Preferred Platinum AMEX earns 4 mpd on dining
  • The UOB Preferred Platinum Mastercard is useful for removing spinach and other debris from between teeth after you’ve used your UOB Preferred Platinum Visa/AMEX to settle the bill

How much must I earn to qualify for a UOB Preferred Platinum Visa?

uob preferred platinum visa income requirement

The UOB Preferred Platinum Visa 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. 

How much is the UOB Preferred Platinum Visa’s annual fee? 

  Principal Card Supp. Card
First Year Free Free, S$96.30 for 2nd onwards
Subsequent S$192.60 Free, S$96.30 for 2nd onwards

The UOB Preferred Platinum Visa 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.

Waivers are fairly easy to get in my experience, but UOB’s default behavior is to automatically deduct your UNI$ come renewal time to cover the annual fee. You can get this reversed if you call up, but the onus is on you to monitor your balance. Look at the expiry date on your credit card- the month corresponds to the month your annual fee will be charged. 

⚠️ Beware the auto UNI$ deductions!
Do note that UOB will automatically deduct 6,500 UNI$ from your account when the UOB Preferred Platinum Visa’s annual fee is due! It’s up to you to watch for this and request a waiver when it happens. 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
New-to-bank

The first 400 customers to apply from 1 July- 31 August 2020 and spend S$1,500 within 30 days of approval will receive S$150 cash credit

New-to-bank customers are defined as those who do not currently hold a principal UOB credit card, and have not in the 6 months prior to 1 July 2020 (Link | T&C)

Offers valid till 31 August 2020

How many miles do I earn?

🇸🇬 SGD Spending 🌎 FCY Spending ➕ Bonus Spending
0.4 mpd 0.4 mpd 4.0 mpd on mobile contactless payments, online shopping & entertainment

Regular SGD/FCY Spending

The UOB Preferred Platinum Visa earns 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. 

Mobile Contactless Spending

The UOB Preferred Platinum Visa earns a bonus 9 UNI$ for every S$5 spent on mobile contactless payments, or 4 mpd in total. 

The following mobile contactless payment methods are eligible:

  Eligible?


(does not include MST)
⚠️ Don’t use the physical card!

From 22 May 2020, tapping the physical UOB Preferred Platinum Visa card at a contactless terminal does not earn you 4 mpd. You’ll only earn the base 0.4 mpd. Once you get your card, add it to your mobile wallet and put it in the drawer.

Repeat after me: Anyone who uses their physical UOB Preferred Platinum Visa card needs to be slapped with a large trout (yes, I’m a child of the mIRC days)

This bonus makes the UOB Preferred Platinum Visa the swiss army knife of the miles & points game. So long as the transaction doesn’t fall afoul of the UOB Rewards blacklist (e.g education, government services- see below), you’ll earn 4 mpd. Dentist’s appointment? Hairdresser? Stationery shop? Mini-mart? Car repairs? If there’s a contactless terminal, 4 mpd is yours.

For the avoidance of doubt, both local and overseas mobile contactless transactions will qualify for 4 mpd, capped at a maximum of S$1,110 per calendar month. 

⚠️Why S$1,110?

UOB’s T&Cs state that “The total UNI$ awarded to you from qualifying spend on Selected Online Transactions, Contactless Transactions and/or Mobile Contactless Transactions is capped at UNI$2,000 for each calendar month”. This leads many to conclude the cap is S$1,000 (2,000/10×5).

Not true. In practice, the bonus UNI$ is what’s capped, i.e 9 UNI$ per S$1. Therefore the 4 mpd cap for each month is 2000/9×5= S$1,110.

Do be careful of SMART$ merchants, however. SMART$ is UOB’s card-wide cashback program, offering instant rebates at selected places. What’s wrong with instant rebates, you say? Well, you don’t earn any UNI$ at SMART$ merchants. 

SMART$ Merchants
Dining Groceries Insurance
  • BreadTalk
  • BreadTalk Cafe
  • Bread Society
  • Hard Rock Cafe
  • Polar Puffs & Cakes
  • Cold Storage
  • Giant
  • Jasons
  • Market Place
  • EQ insurance
  • UOI
Entertainment Petrol Shopping & Wellness
  • Cathay Cineplexes
  • City Tours
  • Shell
  • bYSI
  • Crocodile
  • Gordon Max
  • Guardian
  • Paris Miki
  • Winter Time

In other words, if you spent S$50 at Cold Storage, you wouldn’t earn the expected 70 miles (@ 1.4 mpd)- you’d earn a pathetic 0.3% rebate instead, or 15 cents. 

Mercifully, SMART$ merchants are only a problem for in-store purchases. Online transactions at SMART$ merchants (e.g Cold Storage) will earn UNI$ as per normal

SimplyGo transactions are not classified as mobile contactless transactions, even if paid with your mobile device. You’ll only earn 0.4 mpd here, so use a different card instead. 

Online Shopping & Entertainment

The UOB Preferred Platinum Visa also earns a bonus 9 UNI$ for every S$5 spent on online shopping and entertainment, or 4 mpd in total. 

The following categories are eligible: 

Category Merchant Category Codes (MCCs)
Department and Retail Stores 4816, 5262, 5306, 5309, 5310, 5311, 5331, 5399, 5611, 5621, 5631,5641, 5651, 5661, 5691, 5699, 5732-5735, 5912, 5942, 5944-5949, 5964-5970, 5992, 5999
Supermarkets, Dining and Food Delivery 5811,5812,5814, 5333, 5411, 5441, 5462, 5499, 8012, 9751
Entertainment and Ticketing 7278, 7832, 7841, 7922, 7991, 7996, 7998-7999

For those of you who don’t speak MCC, this includes online transactions at:

  • Department and Retail Stores: Amazon, Book Depository, Courts, Harvey Norman, Lazada, Qoo10, Shopee, Taobao, and surprisingly this
  • Supermarkets, Dining and Food Delivery: Cold Storage, Deliveroo, FairPrice ON, foodpanda, GrabFood, WhyQ
  • Entertainment and Ticketing: Cathay Cineplexes, Golden Village, SISTIC, Universal Studios Singapore

The list above is far from comprehensive. If you’re curious about which merchants fall under what MCC, you can always try entering the code on WhatCard and see what comes up. 

The 4 mpd is capped at a maximum of S$1,110 per calendar month, and shares the same cap with mobile contactless payments. 

When are UNI$ credited? 

Both base and bonus UNI$ are credited when the transaction posts, usually within 1-3 working days.

Base Points (1X) Credited when transaction posts
Bonus Points  (9X)
Credited when transaction posts

How are UNI$ calculated?

Here’s how you can work out the UNI$ earned on your UOB Preferred Platinum Visa: 

Base Points (1X) Round down transaction to the nearest S$5, divide by 5, then multiply by 1.0
Bonus Points  (9X)
Round down transaction to the nearest S$5, divide by 5, then multiply by 9.0

Do note that UOB rounds your transactions down to the nearest S$5 before awarding points, which means a S$9.99 transaction earns the same as a S$5 one, and a S$4.99 transaction earns no points at all. 

To illustrate the effect of rounding, consider the following:

  uob preferred platinum visa cardUOB Pref. Plat Visa citi rewardsCiti Rewards
$5 20 miles 20 miles
$9.99 20 miles 36 miles
$15 60 miles 60 miles
$19.99 60 miles 76 miles
$25 100 miles 100 miles
$29.99 100 miles 116 miles

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 (X/5,0)*9
Where X= Amount Spent

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:

  • Insurance
  • Education
  • Charitable Donations
  • Real Estate Agents & Managers
  • Government Services 
  • GrabPay top-ups

Don’t bother using the UOB Preferred Platinum Visa for CardUp/ipaymy/RentHero transactions, as no points will be earned.

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 Preferred Platinum Visa, and 5,000 UNI$ on the UOB Lady’s Card, 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 Preferred Platinum Visa, 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
(UNI$: Partner)
krisflyer logo 5,000: 10,000
asia miles logo 5,000: 10,000

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

Summary Review: UOB Preferred Platinum Visa

uob preferred platinum visa cardApply here

The UOB Preferred Platinum Visa may not be marketed as a miles card, but it’s one of the best out there. 

Simply put, there’s no other card on the market that offers what the UOB Preferred Platinum Visa does. Given the ubiquity of contactless terminals, this is pretty much a 4 mpd anywhere solution, making it suitable for those who struggle to memorize what card to use where.  

The UOB Visa Signature also offers 4 mpd on contactless transactions, but it requires a minimum spend of S$1,000 per statement month

Used judiciously, a cardholder could earn slightly over 53,000 miles per year with ~S$13,000 spending, equal to a one-way Singapore Airlines Business Class flight to Dubai, Istanbul, Osaka, Seoul, or Tokyo. 

The fact that UOB pools points makes the UOB Preferred Platinum Visa even more useful- it could be paired with the UOB PRVI Miles, UOB Lady’s Card, UOB Preferred Platinum AMEX, or UOB Visa Signature, creating a card portfolio that earns 4 mpd on a large proportion of your overall spending. 

So that’s my review of the UOB Preferred Platinum Visa. What do you think? 

Overall Score
★★★★★
Ratings Guide
5 Stars
★★★★★
An essential card for miles chasers, with few viable alternatives 
4 Stars
★★★★
A very good card, although other equally good alternatives may exist
3 Stars
★★★
A decent card to round out your collection, but not absolutely essential
2 Stars
★★
Very limited use cases, and outperformed by most other cards
1 Star

Paperweight. Use for picking teeth or ninja stars
Aaron Wong
Aaron founded The Milelion with the intention of helping people travel better for less and impressing chiobu. He was 50% successful.

Similar Articles

Comments

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
30 Comments
Oldest
Newest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Louis

Hi Aaron! I realised you put MST for Samsung Pay. May I know what is that?

Adam

Magnetic Secure Transmission

Syok

Aaron, why don’t you compare this with the new HSBC revo, I personally prefer HSBC revo though, just 5 dollar block and UNI$ makes me sick aldy~

Ray

Hi, would u know if SGH payment is considered govt services?

George

So what on earth happens with the ‘minimum balance of UNI$15,000′?
Is it just stuck there? When can you actually transfer it? I imagine only if/when you cancel the card?? Can someone confirm you can transfer this when you cancel the card?
Such a weird mechanism but how this works is the break or make of this card

ken

There’s a minimum spend of S$5 or it’s zero mpd

i find it challenging as my default GooglePay card as sometimes buy an item like a loaf of bread or a carton of milk and will earn nothing if less than $5

cards

Aaron do you know if the professional VISA cards are considered UOV PP Visa cards?

UOB issues platinum visa cards free for life to the professions below:

Reason for asking: Supplementary cards for the the professional cards are issued as PP Visa cards. Would stand to reason that the principal card is PP Visa as well???

Jackson

It really would be, considering that UOB Professional Platinum cards enjoy perpetual fee waivers as long as you transact with it once in three months. Please do look into it :3

cards

No need for transaction. I haven’t used it in 2 years and I’m still got the autorenewal principal card and the PPV supplementary card.

LANYC

Great Post — UOB never told me that PayWave no longer gets 10X. Maybe they forgot!

Bent

Physical paywave of the card does not get you the bonus 9x. Only Mobile contactless gets the bonus 9x.

txy

Hi Aaron,

You might want to take out Cathay Cineplexes from the Entertainment and Ticketing section of the MCC table, as it is a Smart$ merchant (which you’ve covered too). Just a suggestion in case people forget.

Cheers!

Freddy

Used the PPV card at Cathay website once. No UNI$, No SMART$. That was weird.

Cappy Hamper

I just got docked UNI$6,500 (=13,000 miles) as annual fee payment with my appeal for waiver rejected. Not sure how this card received 5 stars.

If you think you’re going to earn 4mpd with this card, you’re being misled. From $5 rounding to no option UNI$ deductions, I’m cashing out my remaining miles and canceling this card.

dk

The annual wavier is dependent on the bank afaik. Some only wavier if you are a big spender (to reward you), others waiver only if you don’t spend much (to keep you around longer). Try calling again for waiver and hope to get another operator who can help you to get it, is the best you can do. As for the $5 spending block, I would normally use this card to top-up Lazada/shopee wallet so it is easy to achieve that. This is why it is better to have multiple card and use another card when paying for things nowhere… Read more »

Jackson

My appeal for waivers have been rejected multiple times, but eventually pulled through after about 3 weeks of trying. Be sure you’re getting through to the CSO instead of sticking with the automated waiver hotline. Keep at it and hope for the best

Alys

with this card, whats the point of still working using uob prvimiles mastercard? The base earn miles rate would be the same isnt it?

Kelvin

Clearly not the same. Read the article how much base you will get! Privi mc is good for place without contactless payment.

Last edited 3 months ago by Kelvin
Bent

Privi Master is a generic miles card since it earns 1.4mpd. But given that most places do accept contactless payments, I’d think usage of this card would be quite minimal (at least personally for me).

Aent

That’s only true for people who spend less than $1k monthly. Remember PPV has a cap.

Guest

PPV base rate is just 0.4mpd, however you can pool your points between both cards and to round up your block of 5k UNI$ for redemption.

Jerry

is the cap shared with supp card?

Chris

Hi Aaron, thanks for this amazing article. One question, if I spend SGD 100 on 31 Aug, and posted on 01 Sep, will this contribute the the cap of Aug or Sep? Thank you.

Ken

Which card would u recommend at smart$ merchants? Thanks

CREDIT CARD SIGN UP BONUSES

Advertisment

Featured Deals

Advertisment

Follow us

6,566FansLike
2,641FollowersFollow

RECENT COMMENTS

TAGS