Yesterday was Star Wars Day, and it looks like UOB took that whole “May the 4th be with you” thing very seriously. No sooner had it launched the rather good UOB Absolute Cashback Card than it
killed the younglings restored balance to the force by canning the very awesome UOB Preferred Platinum AMEX.
Existing cardholders will have received the following eDM, informing them of the UOB Preferred Platinum AMEX’s impending demise come 1 July 2021.
Thank you for supporting UOB Cards. We wish to inform you that the UOB Preferred Platinum American Express® Card Programme will be replaced with our new UOB Absolute Cashback Card Programme from 1 July 2021 onwards.
Under the UOB Absolute Cashback Card programme, you will enjoy 1.7% limitless cashback on your spend, with no minimum spend, no cap on cashback and no spend exclusions.
A first year annual fee waiver of S$192.60 (including GST) will apply under the UOB Absolute Cashback Programme.
UOB Preferred Platinum AMEX discontinued from 1 July
From 1 July 2021, the UOB Preferred Platinum AMEX will be replaced by the UOB Absolute Cashback Card “to bring you greater benefits”, in the words of UOB.
While physical card replacement will only start from 1 July, the UOB Preferred Platinum AMEX effectively becomes a UOB Absolute Cashback Card on that date. In other words, existing cardholders will earn 1.7% cashback instead of 4 mpd on dining/0.8 mpd on all other transactions, regardless of whether they’re still holding a UOB Preferred Platinum AMEX, or whether they’ve received a replacement UOB Absolute Cashback Card.
Any UNI$ earned on the UOB Preferred Platinum AMEX will remain untouched, with their two year expiry policy intact. All GIRO arrangements will remain unaffected.
The full list of FAQs can be found here.
Eulogy: UOB Preferred Platinum AMEX
Truth be told, the UOB Preferred Platinum AMEX was always living on borrowed time ever since it was demarketed back in 2015. Despite this, it still remained available for a while through applications via SMS, then through applications via paper form. But eventually UOB shut down the card printing machine, and the door was well and truly closed.
While I always feared the worst, the UOB Preferred Platinum AMEX soldiered on. The 4 mpd on dining was capped at S$6,000 in 2017, but I never spent anywhere near that much anyway. What’s more, existing cards were renewed like clockwork- I even received a replacement card as recently as February last year.
In retrospect, I suppose you could say the UOB Preferred Platinum AMEX received six additional years of life, and though I’m sad to see it go, at least there are alternatives.
What cards can I use for dining?
The good news is that there’s still a wide range of cards that can be used to earn 4 mpd on dining.
|UOB Pref. Plat. Visa
|Cap S$1.1K per c. month. Must use mobile payments
|UOB Visa Signature
|Min S$1K Max S$2K per s. month. Must use contactless
|Cap S$1K per c. month. Must use contactless
|UOB Lady’s Card
|Cap S$1K per c. month
|UOB Lady’s Solitaire
|Cap S$3K per c. month
|^C. month= Calendar Month | S. month= Statement Month
*Must declare dining as your quarterly 10X category
I’m personally in favor of getting a HSBC Revolution, which allows you to conserve the very flexible 4 mpd cap on the UOB Pref. Plat. Visa and UOB Visa Signature for other types of transactions.
As a reminder, the HSBC Revolution has just extended its S$200 sign-up bonus until 30 June 2021. New-to-bank cardholders who spend S$500 in the first 1-2 months of approval will receive S$200 cashback; an excellent offer for an excellent card.
While there’s certainly a lot to like about the UOB Absolute Cashback Card, I fail to see how it’s a replacement for the UOB Preferred Platinum AMEX. The two cards appeal to very different users, and it’s pretty much chalk and cheese.
Come to think of it, this isn’t the first time we’ve seen a great dining card join the dark side of cashback- the same fate befell the excellent HSBC Advance, which at one point awarded 4 mpd on online spending, dining and entertainment transactions with no cap. What an age to be alive!
In the cold light of day it’s comforting to know that there are alternative cards to use for dining, so the demise of the UOB Preferred Platinum AMEX shouldn’t hamper your miles collection strategy too much. That said, this was one of the first cards I applied for when I started collecting miles in 2015, and it’ll always hold a special place in my heart.
Any UOB Preferred Platinum AMEX stories to share?