New UOB rewards exclusions: Utilities, ipaymy and more

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No more UNI$ or miles for utilities and ipaymy from 1 August, as UOB tightens the noose further on its rewards programme.

UOB will be updating the terms and conditions of its UOB Rewards programme from 1 August 2022 to add new rewards exclusions. This is laid out in a circular posted to the UOB website today:

⚠️ UOB Circular
Please be informed that with effect from 1 August 2022:

  •  payments to IPAYMY*, RWS-LEVY, SMOOVE PAY, SINGPOST – SAM, Razer Pay and for utilities* will be excluded from the awarding of UNI$, cash rebates, and KrisFlyer Miles.
  • payments for medical/health services and doctors will be excluded from awarding of KrisFlyer Miles for KrisFlyer UOB Credit Card
  • payments to CardUp will be excluded from awarding of cash rebates on UOB One Credit Card

*Payments for utilities will still be awarded cashback for UOB One Credit Card. Payments to IPAYMY and payments for utilities will still be awarded UNI$ for UOB Reserve Card.

In short, there will be no more rewards for ipaymy transactions or utilities bills, except on the UOB Reserve Card. The KrisFlyer UOB Credit Card will no longer earn rewards for any medical-related transactions (even those at private healthcare facilities like Raffles Medical and Fullerton Healthcare). CardUp gets excluded from earning cash rebates on the UOB One Credit Card, but is otherwise unscathed. 

The fact that exclusions are not uniform across cards makes the already complicated UOB T&Cs even more of a minefield, but that’s UOB for you. 

UOB’s updated rewards exclusions

From 1 August 2022, UOB’s standard rewards exclusion list will read as follows (new additions in red):

MCCDescription
4829Wire Transfer/Remittance
4900
Utilities (with effect from 1 August 2022)
5199Nondurable Good
5960Direct Marketing – Insurance Services
6012Member Financial Institution–Merchandise and Services
6050Quasi Cash–Financial Institutions, Merchandise and Services
6051Quasi Cash–Merchant (Non-Financial Institutions – Foreign
Currency, Non-Fiat Currency, Cryptocurrency)
6211Securities–Brokers and Dealers
6300Insurance Sales/Underwrite
6513Real Estate Agents & Managers – Rentals
6529Quasi Cash-Remote Stored Value Load-Financial Institute
Rentals
6530Quasi Cash-Remote Stored Value Load-Merchant Rentals
6534Quasi Cash-Remote Money Transfers
6540Stored Value Card Purchase/Load
7349Clean/Maint/Janitorial Serv aka Property Management
7511Quasi Cash – Truck Stop Trxns
7523Automobile Parking Lots and Garages
7995Gambling – Betting, including Lottery Tickets, Casino Gaming
Chips, Off-Track Betting, and Wagers at Race Tracks
8062Hospitals
8211Schools, Elementary and Secondary
8220Colleges, Universities, Professional Schools and Junior
Colleges
8241Schools, Correspondence
8244Schools, Business and Secretarial
8249Schools, Trade and Vocational
8299Schools and Educational Services–Not Elsewhere Classified
8398Organizations, Charitable and Social Service
8661Organizations, Religious
8651Organisations, Political
9211Court Costs including Alimony and Child Support
9222Fines
9223Bail and Bond Payments
9311Tax Payment
9402Postal Services—Government Only
9405Intra-Government Purchases—Government Only
9399Government Services—not elsewhere classified

In addition to this, payments with following transaction descriptions will also be excluded from earning rewards:

  • AMAZE* TRANSIT*
  • BANC DE BINARY*
  • BANCDEBINARY.COM*
  • EZ LINK PTE LTD (FEVO)
  • EZ Link transport
  • EZ Link*
  • EZ-LINK (IMAGINE CARD)
  • EZ-Link EZ-Reload (ATU)
  • EZLINK*
  • EzLink*
  • EZ-LINK*
  • FlashPay ATU*
  • MB * MONEYBOOKERS.COM
  • NETS VCASHCARD*
  • OANDA ASIA PAC*
  • OANDAASIAPA
  • PAYPAL * BIZCONSULTA
  • PAYPAL * CAPITALROYA
  • PAYPAL * OANDAASIAPA
  • Saxo Cap Mkts Pte Ltd
  • SKR*SKRILL.COM
  • SKR*xglobalmarkets.com*
  • SKYFX.COM*
  • TRANSIT*
  • WWW.IGMARKETS.COM.SG
  • IPAYMY
  • RWS-LEVY
  • SMOOVE PAY
  • SINGPOST- SAM
  • Razer Pay

To add an additional layer of confusion, the new rewards exclusions don’t affect all UOB cards equally:

  • UOB Reserve Card cardholders will continue to earn rewards for ipaymy and utilities
  • KrisFlyer UOB Credit Card cardholders will no longer earn rewards for MCC 8011 (Doctors) and MCC 8099 (Health Practitioners, Medical Services). This would exclude both telemedicine providers like DoctorAnywhere and Minmed (so take note if you’re doing a pre-departure test), as well as in-person providers (whether private or public)
  • UOB One Credit Card cardholders will no longer earn rewards on CardUp, but will continue earning rewards for utilities

For avoidance of doubt, the new exclusion on medical services only affects the KrisFlyer UOB Credit Card. While UOB previous added hospitals to its rewards exclusion list (for all cards except the UOB Reserve and UOB Visa Infinite Metal Card), it’s still possible to earn rewards at private medical clinics.

I personally use the UOB Visa Signature to pay (via contactless) for my annual Fullerton Health screening, earning a good-sized chunk of miles in the process.

Furthermore, CardUp transactions will continue to earn rewards for all cards except the UOB One Credit Card.

For example, you could use the UOB PRVI Miles Visa or UOB Visa infinite Metal Card to pay income tax via CardUp with a 1.75% fee, the equivalent of buying miles at 1.23 cents each (though you’d be better off with Citi PayAll!).

What cards can I use for utilities?

With MCC 4900 added to the blacklist, all utilities payments whether to SP Services or the rest of the OEM providers will be excluded from UOB rewards, effective 1 August 2022. 

It’s a shame, since UOB was one of the last few banks to offer rewards for such transactions. This leaves Maybank and Standard Chartered as the only miles-earning options left. 

💡 Best Cards for Utilities Bills
CardEarn Rate
SCB Visa Infinite1.4 mpd*
SCB X Card1.2 mpd
Maybank Visa Infinite1.2 mpd
*With min S$2K overall spend per statement month, otherwise 1.0 mpd

Conclusion

UOB’s new rewards exclusion categories will take effect from 1 August 2022, so take note if you’re currently using a UOB card for a recurring billing arrangement with ipaymy or your utilities provider. 

UOB cards are already complicated enough, thanks to their S$5 earning blocks, weird definition of “overseas transactions” (the payment processing must be done outside of Singapore), and the need to tiptoe around UOB$ merchants such as Giant and Cold Storage (a list that keeps growing!).

This doesn’t help things, though it still won’t stop me from recommending the UOB Preferred Platinum Visa and UOB Visa Signature- two cards which give an easy 4 mpd (almost) everywhere contactless payments are accepted.

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

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Abc

Garbage bank

Ben

I believe the mcc code for Utilities is 4900, not 4099

Fees

Yeah 4099 doesn’t seem to be a valid MCC. Wonder if UOB will change the T&Cs or will exclude 4900 even if it’s not explicitly excluded.

Fees

Rang UOB – checked the MCC on my regular FCY VS spend to 4 different suppliers and it’s all 4900. Way to go UOB, that’s about $15,000 less I’ll be putting through the card each year and $500 less in FX fees in UOB’s pocket. I’ll use Revolut instead.

TanKH

So if I go to a private clinic in a hospital like Mount Elizabeth and pay with uob ppv Will I still get 4mpd? 🤨

CSS

Guess i will stick with my UOB absolute cashback card for utilities… if all fail, still got Amex TCB.

4900

WAIT. UOB GAVE REWARDS FOR 4900? I was charging 1000+ a month to Grab when I could have just charged it to PPV?

Fees

Could only get 4mpd for MCC 4900 using PPV by using a mobile wallet at a payment terminal which was pretty hard with most suppliers. MCC 4900 wasn’t in the PPV online spend bonus category.

Jiajia

UOB excluded earning through AMAZE* TRANSIT. What does it mean? Does UOB transaction through amaze not earning miles?

Traz

this was from few months back, just mean topup at GTM using Amaze linked with uob cards is excluded

Wil

more than 10K in utilities spending every month .. now cannot earn any more points. Bye UOB!

ken

One card still got rebate for utilities

*Payments for utilities will still be awarded cashback for UOB One Credit Card. Payments to IPAYMY and
payments for utilities will still be awarded UNI$ for UOB Reserve Card.

May

Does Utilities also include the rest of the OEM retailers like Geneco

Wanderlust

Sorry! I’m quite a noob. Can i ask how do i find out the MCC code of the merchants? thanks!

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