UOB has launched a new promotion for its no-questions-asked UOB Payment Facility, which runs from now till 31 January 2023.
In theory, this is meant to be used for things like rent, taxes or insurance premiums. In reality, UOB doesn’t really care what you’re doing. You could be paying electricity bills or buying simp DAOs; 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|
This makes it a more flexible option than other payment facilities like Citi PayAll, even if the latter has a much lower cost per mile (currently just 0.8 cents).
UOB Payment Facility Promotion
From 14 April 2022 to 31 January 2023, UOB is offering a discounted admin fee on any amount paid through the UOB Payment Facility in either a one-time payment or 3 month instalment plan.
The fee ranges from 1.7 to 2.15% depending on which card you hold, and which scheme you opt for.
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 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$5.
Your cost per mile is basically the admin fee, e.g. 1.7% means 1.7 cents per mile.
UNI$ can be converted into miles with either Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer or Cathay Pacific Asia Miles, with a S$25 conversion fee.
|5,000 UNI$ = 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:
- Fill out the online application form for the UOB Payment Facility
- UOB charges your card for S$5,000, plus an admin fee of 1.9% (i.e S$5,095 total)
- 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
- UOB awards you UNI$2,500 (note that the admin fee does not earn UNI$), which is equal to 5,000 miles
- 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 2023, 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 isn’t it.
Citibank was previously offering an unbeatable 2.5 mpd for customers who charged at least S$5,000 to the Citi PayAll facility by 31 July 2022. This covered all sorts of payments, be it income tax, rent, insurance premiums, MCST fees, education expenses, utilities bills, or even family and friends for “services rendered”.
|Citi PayAll 2.5mpd Promo|
Even outside this promotion, the cost per mile through Citi PayAll is lower than UOB’s current offer.
|Card||Earn Rate||Cost Per Mile |
@ 2% fee
|Citi ULTIMA||1.6 mpd||1.25 cents|
|Citi Prestige||1.3 mpd||1.54 cents|
|Citi PremierMiles||1.2 mpd||1.67 cents|
Likewise, bill payment service CardUp is currently offering a 1.75% admin fee for income tax payments, which allows cardholders to purchase miles from just 1.07 cents each. Those paying rent will enjoy a 1.79% admin fee (buy miles from 1.1 cents each), while other payments can enjoy a 2.25% admin fee (buy miles from 1.38 cents each).
The catch with all these services is that you need to have an actual bill to pay. The UOB Payment Facility has no such complications, and doesn’t ask you for any documentary proof.
1.7-1.9 cents per mile is probably close to the ceiling of what you should be paying for miles, but if you just need to top up a small amount to get you to the next transfer block (UNI$5,000, or 10,000 miles), then this could be an option.
Income tax guide
You might be thinking of using the UOB Payment Facility to settle your taxes, but before you do that, you should really check out my annual income tax guide. There are many, cheaper ways of paying your income tax in 2022, so why pay more?
The UOB Payment Facility is now selling miles from 1.7 to 1.9 cents each, which isn’t the cheapest price out there- though it could be useful for topping up a UNI$ balance to the next transfer block.
If you have actual bills to pay, however, you might be better off exploring other options offered by platforms such as Citi PayAll and CardUp.