UOB Payment Facility selling miles from 1.7 cents each

From now till 31 January 2022, buy miles with your UOB credit card from 1.7 to 1.9 cents each, no questions asked.

The UOB Payment Facility is a no questions asked way of buying miles through your credit card.

In theory, it’s supposed to be for recurring bills, rent, taxes or insurance premiums. In reality, UOB doesn’t really care what you’re doing. You could be paying electricity bills or purchasing male enhancement products- so long as it’s within your credit limit, it’s fine with them. When they say “pay anything”, they really mean it.

UOB Payment Facility

UOB is now offering a limited-time discount on the UOB Payment Facility, which further lowers the cost of buying miles. 

UOB Payment Facility Promotion

From 1 December 2021 to 31 January 2022, UOB is offering a discounted admin fee on any amount paid through the UOB Payment Facility in a one-time payment.

The fee ranges from 1.7 to 1.9% depending on the card you hold:

💳 UOB Payment Facility
 One-time3 mth12 mth
UOB Reserve1.9%
1.7%
2.1%2.6%
UOB Privilege Banking Card2.0%
1.8%
 2.15% 2.65%
UOB Visa Infinite2.0%
1.8%
 2.15% 2.65%
UOB Visa Infinite Metal2.0%
1.8%
 2.15% 2.65%
UOB PRVI Miles
(all versions)
2.0%
1.9%
2.2%2.7%

All payments made via the UOB Payment Facility earn a flat rate of UNI$2.5 for every S$5 approved, regardless of card. This works out to 1 mpd, with the usual caveat that your transaction is rounded down to the nearest S$5. In other words, a S$1,009 payment earns the same UNI$ as a S$1,005 payment, so do all your charging in blocks of S$5.

Your cost per mile is basically the admin fee, e.g 1.9% means 1.9 cents per mile.

Remember, you’re buying UNI$, not miles per se, so you can choose between Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer or Cathay Pacific Asia Miles. 

FFPConversion Ratio
5,000 UNI$ = 10,000 miles
5,000 UNI$ = 10,000 miles

The full T&Cs of this offer can be found here.

How does the UOB Payment Facility work?

To illustrate, let’s say you hold a UOB PRVI Miles Card and want to buy 5,000 miles. Here’s how the process works:

  1. Fill out the online application form for the UOB Payment Facility
  2. UOB charges your card for S$5,000, plus an admin fee of 1.9% (i.e S$5,095 total)
  3. UOB deposits S$5,000 cash into your designated bank account. The bank account need not be with UOB; you can choose any bank in Singapore
  4. UOB awards you UNI$2,500 (note that the admin fee does not earn UNI$), which is equal to 5,000 miles
  5. Your net out of pocket cost is the admin fee of S$95, for which you received 5,000 miles. Your cost per mile is therefore 1.9 cents each

Applications are processed within 10-12 working days. For the abovementioned offer, your application must be approved by 31 January 2022, so don’t leave it till the last minute to apply. 

Is it worth it?

If you’re looking for the absolute cheapest way to buy miles, this ain’t it. 

Citibank has been splashing out cash on its bill payment service Citi PayAll throughout the year, and at one point you could buy miles from as little as 0.8 cents each. There’s also monthly flash deals where they throw in some extra GrabFood or CapitaVouchers.

Citibank frequently runs flash deals on its Citi PayAll service

Heck, even outside these promotions, the cost per mile through PayAll is lower than UOB’s current offer. 

CardEarn RateCost Per Mile @ 2%
Citi ULTIMA1.6 mpd
1.25 cents
Citi Prestige1.3 mpd
1.54 cents
Citi PremierMiles 1.2 mpd
1.67 cents

The catch with Citi PayAll is that unlike the UOB Payment Facility, you need to have a bona fide payment to make. 

Supported payments include:

💰 Citi PayAll: Supported Payments
  • Tax
  • Insurance
  • Rent
  • Education Expenses
  • Condo MCST Fees
  • Electricity Bills
  • Misc. Payments (storage, donations, parking, renovations, wedding expenses, goods & services invoices)

The “miscellaneous” category is temptingly broad. For example, you can make payment for “travel expenses” or “transport fees”, neither of which requires the submission of any supporting documentation (although Citi does reserve the right to request it subsequently).

However, the Citi PayAll T&Cs do state the following: 

Further, you hereby represent and warrant that you shall not, in connection with your use of the Service:
(a) use the Service other than exclusively for the types of Payments and Payees we allow;
(b) send money to yourself or recipients who have not provided you with goods or services (unless expressly allowed by us);

So in short, there needs to be some sort of exchange of goods or services to use PayAll, and that in turn creates tax obligations.

For example, if you’re thinking about renting out a bedroom from your wife and paying her via PayAll, she would have to declare such income to IRAS on her annual filing (that said, there’s no tax payable if total chargeable income falls below S$20,000). 

On the other hand, the UOB Payment Facility has no such complications. It’s the most straightforward way to buy miles without involving a third party.

Conclusion

UOB’s offer of 1.7 to 1.9 cents per mile is far from the best price you can get, although some may find it useful for topping up their UNI$ to the next transfer block (remember, each transfer must be in batches of 5,000 UNI$). 

Otherwise, you’re better off exploring other options offered by platforms such as Citi PayAll and CardUp, although those do require a bona fide payment. 

Aaron Wong
Aaron founded The Milelion to help people travel better for less and impress chiobu. He was 50% successful.

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dkdk

This is the legitimate way to get krisflyer elite gold before Feb 2022 if you met the following conditions (all)

1) you don’t have enough cc points for miles
2) you don’t have (enough) payments to make
3) you don’t want to spend on things you don’t need just to accumulate cc points

It would be well worth the elite gold status for the travellers. Looks like a desperate move though lol

Also, such a pity that this only came after the bonus krisflyer miles promo ended..

Tom

This won’t get hit with cash advance fees?

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