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 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):
|4900||Utilities (with effect from 1 August 2022)|
|5960||Direct Marketing – Insurance Services|
|6012||Member Financial Institution–Merchandise and Services|
|6050||Quasi Cash–Financial Institutions, Merchandise and Services|
|6051||Quasi Cash–Merchant (Non-Financial Institutions – Foreign|
Currency, Non-Fiat Currency, Cryptocurrency)
|6211||Securities–Brokers and Dealers|
|6513||Real Estate Agents & Managers – Rentals|
|6529||Quasi Cash-Remote Stored Value Load-Financial Institute|
|6530||Quasi Cash-Remote Stored Value Load-Merchant Rentals|
|6534||Quasi Cash-Remote Money Transfers|
|6540||Stored Value Card Purchase/Load|
|7349||Clean/Maint/Janitorial Serv aka Property Management|
|7511||Quasi Cash – Truck Stop Trxns|
|7523||Automobile Parking Lots and Garages|
|7995||Gambling – Betting, including Lottery Tickets, Casino Gaming|
Chips, Off-Track Betting, and Wagers at Race Tracks
|8211||Schools, Elementary and Secondary|
|8220||Colleges, Universities, Professional Schools and Junior|
|8244||Schools, Business and Secretarial|
|8249||Schools, Trade and Vocational|
|8299||Schools and Educational Services–Not Elsewhere Classified|
|8398||Organizations, Charitable and Social Service|
|9211||Court Costs including Alimony and Child Support|
|9223||Bail and Bond Payments|
|9402||Postal Services—Government Only|
|9405||Intra-Government Purchases—Government Only|
|9399||Government Services—not elsewhere classified|
In addition to this, payments with following transaction descriptions will also be excluded from earning rewards:
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|
|SCB Visa Infinite||1.4 mpd*|
|SCB X Card||1.2 mpd|
|Maybank Visa Infinite||1.2 mpd|
|*With min S$2K overall spend per statement month, otherwise 1.0 mpd|
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.