Here’s The MileLion’s review of the KrisFlyer UOB Credit Card, a Singapore Airlines cobrand card for those who need wider acceptance than what American Express has to offer.
While its debit card brethren was decidedly dead-on-arrival, this card fares much better thanks to its bonuses on dining, food delivery, online shopping, travel and transport. While it’s not the absolute best to use in each category, it can be a decent option for those who (whisper it quietly) just want a single card solution.
|KrisFlyer UOB Credit Card|
|🦁 MileLion Verdict|
|☑ Take It|
☐ Take It Or Leave It
☐ Leave It
|What do these ratings mean?|
|The KrisFlyer UOB Credit Card may not top its class in each category, but its uncapped bonuses could come in very handy for big spenders.|
|👍 The good||👎 The bad|
|💳 Full List of Credit Card Reviews|
Overview: KrisFlyer UOB Credit Card
Let’s start this review by looking at the key features of the KrisFlyer UOB Credit Card
|Income Req.||S$30,000 p.a.||Points Validity||3 years|
(First Year Free)
|Miles with |
|FCY Fee||3.25%||Transfer Fee||N/A|
|Local Earn||1.2 mpd||Points Pool?||N/A|
|FCY Earn||1.2 mpd||Lounge Access?||No|
|Special Earn||3 mpd on SIA Group, dining, online shopping & travel, transport||Airport Limo?||No|
|Cardholder Terms and Conditions|
Be careful not to confuse the KrisFlyer UOB Credit Card with the KrisFlyer UOB Debit Card. The two sport similar designs and names, but the value proposition is altogether different.
|Credit Card||Debit Card|
|Min Income Req.||S$30,000||N/A|
|Base Earn Rate||1.2 mpd||0.4 mpd|
|Requires KrisFlyer UOB Savings Account?||No||Yes|
Simply put: if you earn enough to qualify for a credit card, there’s very little reason to even consider the debit card option.
How much must I earn to qualify for a KrisFlyer UOB Credit Card?
The KrisFlyer UOB Credit Card has an entry-level income requirement of just S$30,000 per year.
From now till 30 September 2023, new KrisFlyer UOB Credit Card applicants will receive a 25,000 miles sign-up bonus (plus up to 6,000 base miles) when they spend at least S$2,000 in the first 60 days.
This is broken down into:
|5,000 miles||S$5 on first trxn.||No cap|
|20,000 miles||S$2,000 in 60 days||No cap|
5,000 miles will be awarded to cardholders who make their first spend of at least S$5.
20,000 miles will be awarded to applicants who spend at least S$2,000 within the first 60 days of approval.
This offer is valid for customers who do not currently hold a principal UOB credit card, and have not cancelled one in the 6-month period before 1 August 2023.
How much is the KrisFlyer UOB Credit Card’s annual fee?
|Principal Card||Supp. Card|
|First Year||Free||1st free, S$97.20 for 2nd onwards|
|Subsequent||S$194.40||1st free, S$97.20 for 2nd onwards|
The KrisFlyer UOB Credit Card has an annual fee of S$194.40 for the principal cardholder, which is waived for the first year. The first supplementary card is free, but the second onwards will cost S$97.20 each.
Paying the principal card’s annual fee nets you 10,000 miles, which means buying miles at ~1.94 cents each.
How many miles do I earn?
|🇸🇬 SGD Spend||🌎 FCY Spend||➕ Bonus Spend|
|1.2 mpd||1.2 mpd||3 mpd on SIA Group, dining, online shopping, online travel, transport|
KrisFlyer UOB Credit Card members earn:
- 6 KrisFlyer miles for every S$5 spent in Singapore Dollars
- 6 KrisFlyer miles for every S$5 spent in foreign currency (FCY)
That’s an equivalent earn rate of 1.2 mpd for both.
It’s a bit unusual to see a general spending card without an FCY spending bonus (although to be fair, the AMEX KrisFlyer cobrand cards don’t offer it for 10 out of 12 months!), and that puts it at the bottom of the pack.
|Cards||Local MPD||FCY MPD|
|UOB PRVI Miles||1.4||2.4|
|OCBC 90°N Card||1.3||2.1|
|AMEX KrisFlyer Ascend||1.2||2.0*|
|AMEX KrisFlyer Credit Card||1.1||2.0*|
|BOC Elite Miles||1.0||2.0|
|KrisFlyer UOB Credit Card||1.2||1.2|
|*June and Dec only, otherwise 1.1 mpd|
Do note that you will not earn any KrisFlyer miles when spending at UOB$ merchants, such as Cold Storage and Giant. However, by pairing the KrisFlyer UOB Credit Card with Amaze, you can circumvent this restriction.
List is subject to change, refer to website for latest info
|Retail and Services|
|Travel and Entertainment|
All overseas transactions on the KrisFlyer UOB Credit Card are subject to a 3.25% fee.
KrisFlyer UOB Credit Cardholders will earn 15 KrisFlyer miles for every S$5 spent (3 mpd) on SIA Group transactions (both online and offline), defined as:
- Singapore Airlines
This includes using your KrisFlyer UOB Credit Card to pay for taxes and surcharges on an award flight booked via KrisFlyer, or for add-on services with Scoot.
No minimum spend is required, and there is no cap on the maximum bonus that can be earned.
KrisFlyer UOB Credit Cardholders who spend at least S$800 on SIA Group transactions (excluding Kris+) in a membership year will earn 15 KrisFlyer miles for every S$5 spent (3 mpd) on the following transactions:
|Category||MCCs/ Transaction Description|
|Dining & Food Delivery||5812, 5813, 5814|
|Online Shopping||4816, 5262, 5306, 5309, 5310, 5311, 5331, 5399, 5611, 5621, 5631, 5641, 5651, 5661, 5691, 5699, 5732, 5733, 5735, 5912, 5942, 5944-5949, 5999, 7278 (only for Shopee, Lazada and Qoo10)|
|Online Travel||Agoda, Airbnb, Booking.com, Expedia, Hotels.com, Kaligo, Traveloka, Trip.com, UOB Travel|
|Bonuses apply to both local and FCY spending|
While you could earn 4 mpd on most of these transactions with other cards, the key advantage of the KrisFlyer UOB Credit Card is the absence of a cap. This makes it ideal for big ticket purchases that would bust the cap of other cards like the DBS Woman’s World Card or UOB Lady’s Card.
|⚠️ Evolution of minimum SIA Group spend|
The minimum SIA Group spend required to trigger the bonus earn rate has changed several times in the past.
If you’re unsure of your membership year, simply check the expiry date on your card. The month refers to the month your membership year begins; if the expiry date shows 02/25, for example, your membership year runs from 1st February to 31st January each year.
Dining & Food Delivery
|5812: Eating Places and Restaurants||Crystal Jade, Imperial Treasure, Paradise Dynasty, Deliveroo*, Food Panda*, GrabFood*|
|5813: Bars, Cocktail Lounges, Discotheques, Nightclubs and Taverns||Brewerkz, Harry’s, Jigger & Pony|
|5814: Fast Food Restaurants||Burger King, KFC, McDonald’s, Subway,|
|*Deliveroo, Food Panda and GrabFood may also code as MCC 5814|
Dining is defined as restaurants, bars, and fast food outlets. The bonus also applies to food delivery platforms such as Deliveroo, Food Panda and GrabFood.
Do note the exclusion of MCC 5462 (Bakeries) and 5499 (Misc. Food Stores), which would exclude some options like Boost Juice Bar, Crave, Chalk Farm, Famous Amos, and Grain. Restaurants within hotels may also not qualify for this bonus.
|4816: Computer Network/ Info Services||Godaddy, Twitch, Peatix|
|5309: Duty Free Stores||DFS, KrisShop, The Shilla|
|5310: Discount Stores||N/A|
|5311: Department Stores||Taobao, Isetan, Marks & Spencer|
|5331: Variety Stores||Muji, Mustafa, Miniso|
|5399: Misc General Merchandise||Iuiga, Japan Home, Comgateway|
|5611: Men’s Clothing||Benjamin Barker, Dockers, Superdry|
|5621: Women’s Ready to Wear||bYSI, Coast, Forever21|
|5631: Women’s Accessories||Bimba Y Lola, Chomel, Coach|
|5641: Children’s and Infants’ Wear||Abercrombie Kids, Cotton On Kids, Kidstyle|
|5651: Family Clothing||ASOS, Bossini, Desigual|
|5661: Shoe Stores||ALDO, Bata, Birkenstock|
|5691: Men’s and Women’s Clothing||Prada, G2000, Ezbuy|
|5699: Accessory and Apparel||LeSportsac, Crumpler, Esprit|
|5732-5735: Electronics, Music Stores, Computer Software||Apple, Audio House, MealPal|
|5912: Drug Stores and Pharmacies||Guardian, NTUC Unity, Watsons|
|5942: Book Stores||Book Depository, Kinokuniya, Books Actually|
|5944-5949: Jewelry, Watches, Toys, Camera, Gift Cards, Leather Goods, Sewing||Cartier, Action City, Canon|
|5999: Misc and Specialty Retail||Banana Republic, Amazon, eBay|
Online shopping will cover almost every major e-commerce merchant out there- Amazon, Ezbuy, Lazada, Qoo10, Shopee, and Taobao for instance.
You can also expect most major fashion retailers to be on this list, along with some unexpected ones like MealPal and hosting providers.
If there’s a merchant you like that doesn’t offer online shopping, one option would be to pair the card with Amaze, since Amaze turns all offline transactions into online ones. That could come in particularly handy if you’re buying an expensive handbag, for example (Louis Vuitton’s MCC is 5948).
|Online Travel||Agoda, Airbnb, Booking.com, Expedia, Hotels.com, Kaligo, Traveloka, Trip.com, UOB Travel|
While online shopping is broadly defined, online travel is relatively narrow.
UOB has a specific whitelist of OTAs which are eligible for 3 mpd, which includes all the usual heavy hitters like Booking.com and Trip.com. For obvious reasons, the KrisFlyer UOB Credit Card can’t explicitly let you earn bonus miles with any airline outside the SIA Group, but a simple workaround is to book via Expedia or UOB Travel.
|4111: Local Commuter Transport||BUS/MRT only|
|4121: Taxi and Limo||Grab, Gojek, Comfort|
Transport refers to Grab, gojek, Comfort and other taxi operators. It also includes SimplyGo transactions made on buses and the MRT.
Do note that you won’t earn any bonus miles (or base miles for that matter) if you use your card to top-up your EZ-Link balance, or pay at the General Ticketing Machines. You must tap your card (or phone, if you’ve added your card to your mobile wallet) at the gantry in order to qualify for the bonus.
When are KrisFlyer miles credited?
Base miles, and bonus miles from SIA Group transactions will be directly credited to your KrisFlyer account once per month.
It’s a very different story for the bonus miles from dining, food delivery, online shopping, online travel and transport transactions. Of the 15 KrisFlyer miles per S$5 spent:
- 6 KrisFlyer miles per S$5 (1.2 mpd) will be credited at the end of each calendar month
- 9 KrisFlyer miles per S$5 (1.8 mpd) will be credited two months after the end of the membership year, assuming you hit the specified minimum spend on SIA Group transactions
UOB calls the 1.8 mpd portion, with no small sense of irony, “Accelerated Miles”, and it’s one heck of a catch. It means you could be waiting up to 14 months to receive your bonus!
This delayed crediting arrangement gives rise to four problems. I’ve expounded on them in this post, but to summarise:
- You’re locked into the card, because all pending bonus miles are forfeited if you cancel.
- Reconciling bonus points will be a nightmare. It’s already hard enough to check transactions on a month to month basis. Imagine doing it for an entire year’s worth.
- Because your pending bonus miles take anywhere from 2-14 months to reach you, you’re especially exposed to devaluation risk. If Singapore Airlines announces an award chart devaluation, other cardholders can rush out to burn their miles before it happens. You can’t, because they’re in limbo.
- Your miles will age at different rates. Some will be credited each month and start their 3-year expiry countdown immediately, the rest will follow in 2-14 months
UOB will argue that this is necessary because there’s no way of knowing, at the point of transaction, whether the cardholder will go on to hit the specified minimum spend required for the bonus. But there surely has to be a better way of doing this, because the current mechanism holds you hostage- cancel your card early, and lose your bonus!
Now all that having been said, there was a pleasant surprise for KrisFlyer UOB Credit Card members in May 2020, when many found their bonus miles crediting ahead of schedule.
I can’t say if this was accident or design, or whether cardholders can expect this to happen every year. All I’ll say is this isn’t a card for those who want their miles sooner rather than later.
How are KrisFlyer miles calculated?
Here’s how you can work out the KrisFlyer miles earned on your KrisFlyer UOB Credit Card.
|Local & FCY Spend||Round down transaction to nearest S$5, then divide by 5 and multiply by 6|
|Bonus Component||Round down transaction to nearest S$5, then divide by 5 and multiply by 9|
Since all transactions are rounded down to the nearest S$5, the minimum spend required to earn miles is S$5. Anything less than that earns nothing!
A simple illustration. Suppose you spent S$9 on your KrisFlyer UOB Credit Card. You might figure that’s 10.8 miles (@ 1.2 mpd), but in reality:
- The S$9 is rounded down to S$5
- S$5 is divided by 5 and multiplied by 6 to yield 6 miles
You actually earn 6 miles, yielding a mere 0.67 mpd.
This is an extreme example, of course, and the effect of rounding gets smaller as your transaction size increases. But it’s exactly why you should think twice about using your KrisFlyer UOB Credit Card for small transactions that aren’t in S$5 blocks.
To show how rounding affects you, let’s compare the KrisFlyer UOB Credit Card to the Citi PremierMiles Card. On paper, both of them earn the same 1.2 mpd on all local spending. In reality, however, the Citi PremierMiles performs much better because of its favourable rounding policy.
Earn rate: 1.2 mpd
Earn rate: 1.2 mpd
|S$5||6 miles||6 miles|
|S$9.99||6 miles||11 miles|
|S$15||18 miles||18 miles|
|S$19.99||18 miles||23 miles|
|S$25||30 miles||30 miles|
|S$29.99||30 miles||35 miles|
|S$35||42 miles||42 miles|
|S$39.99||42 miles||47 miles|
If you’re an Excel geek, here’s the formulas you need to calculate points:
|Local & FCY Spend||=ROUNDDOWN (X/5,0) *6|
|Bonus Component||=ROUNDDOWN (X/5,0) *9|
|Where X= Amount Spent|
For the full list of formulas that banks use to calculate credit card points, do refer to these articles:
What transactions aren’t eligible for KrisFlyer miles?
A full list of transactions that do not earn KrisFlyer Miles can be found in the T&C. I’ve highlighted a few noteworthy categories below:
- Charitable Donations
- Government Services
- GrabPay top-ups
- Real Estate Agents & Managers
- SPC Service Stations
The KrisFlyer UOB Credit Card will earn miles for CardUp transactions, but not ipaymy.
What do I need to know about KrisFlyer miles?
|❌ Expiry||↔️ Pooling||✈️ Transfer Fee|
|⬆️ Min. Transfer||✈️ No. of Partners||⏱️ Transfer Time|
|N/A||1||Automatically transferred each month|
The KrisFlyer UOB Credit Card credits KrisFlyer miles directly to your account on a monthly basis, with no conversion fees.
This is a mixed blessing. On the one hand, you save on the usual S$25 conversion fee that most banks charge. On the other, direct crediting means the 3 year expiry countdown starts immediately. Contrast this to non-cobrand cards where you enjoy “two validities”: one on the bank side, and one on the airline side.
In case you were worried, cancelling your KrisFlyer UOB Credit Card has no impact on KrisFlyer miles already in your account.
Other card perks
Instant KrisShopper Insider status
|KrisShopper Insider status|
KrisShopper is KrisShop’s free-to-join loyalty programme, and awards a bonus of 2-4 mpd on KrisShop purchases depending on membership tier.
From now till 31 January 2024, KrisFlyer UOB Credit Cardholders can enjoy instant KrisShopper Insider status, which awards a bonus 2.5 mpd on all KrisShop purchases. Be advised, however, that this is only possible if you have not already signed up for KrisShopper.
|KrisShopper Tier||Qualifying Spend||Earn Rate|
|*Qualifying spend includes purchases on KrisShop.com, KrisShop on Kris+, KrisShop on KrisWorld, Inflight purchases on Singapore Airlines. Excludes GST, duties and delivery charges|
Registration is required, and can be done via this link. Status will be upgraded within three months of registration, and valid for a 12-month period following that. You will subsequently need to requalify through regular means, i.e. spending S$5,000 on KrisShop within a membership year.
The T&Cs of the status match can be viewed here.
Discounts for KrisFlyer Experiences
KrisFlyer Experiences is a platform that allows members to redeem their KrisFlyer miles for money-can’t-buy-experiences. We’ve seen F1 Sky Suites, a KrisFlyer cruise-to-nowhere and a specially-chartered points plane to Langkawi.
KrisFlyer UOB Credit Card members occasionally enjoy a 10% rebate on the number of miles required, which can be substantial depending on the experience. This is normally offered in limited quantity, so subscribe to The MileLion’s Telegram Channel and get alerted when new deals go live.
Miles extension perk
If you ever wanted an example of UOB’s fetish for complicated T&Cs, look no further than the miles extension perk.
Simply put, KrisFlyer UOB Credit Cardholders can enjoy a one-time 12-month extension for KrisFlyer miles earned between 1 January to 31 December 2021.
Not so simply put, they’ll have to jump through a whole lot of hoops. This involves sending a registration SMS from August 2023 to December 2024 (yes, 2023 and 2024!), and calculating how many of expiring miles came from the KrisFlyer UOB Credit Card specifically.
|Earn Month||Expiry Month||SMS submission period|
|Jan 2021||Jan 2024||Aug 2023 to Jan 2024|
|Feb 2021||Feb 2024||Sep 2023 to Feb 2024|
|Mar 2021||Mar 2024||Oct 2023 to Mar 2024|
|Apr 2021||Apr 2024||Nov 2023 to Apr 2024|
|May 2021||May 2024||Dec 2023 to May 2024|
|Jun 2021||Jun 2024||Jan 2024 to Jun 2024|
|Jul 2021||Jul 2024||Feb 2024 to Jul 2024|
|Aug 2021||Aug 2024||Mar 2024 to Aug 2024|
|Sep 2021||Sep 2024||Apr 2024 to Sep 2024|
|Oct 2021||Oct 2024||May 2024 to Oct 2024|
|Nov 2021||Nov 2024||Jun 2024 to Nov 2024|
|Dec 2021||Dec 2024||Jul 2024 to Dec 2024|
Keep in mind, this benefit is only available for up to 60,000 miles!
I’ll spare you the details, but if you want to understand just how convoluted this is, refer to the article below.
KrisFlyer UOB Account
The supposed “killer feature” of the KrisFlyer UOB Credit Card is its ability to earn a bonus 5-6 mpd when paired with the KrisFlyer UOB account. This sounds phenomenal, but I’d strongly advise you against it.
First of all, this account pays a measly 0.05% interest. With interest rates on the rise, that’s an almost derisory rate.
If you think you’ll make up the difference with miles, you should know that the KrisFlyer UOB account caps the bonus miles you can earn at a mere 5% of your monthly average balance.
For example, if you put S$50,000 inside the account, the maximum bonus miles you could earn each month is just 2,500 (5% of 50,000), which you’d hit after spending just S$500 on your KrisFlyer UOB Credit Card.
This means that unless you have a ridiculously high miles valuation figure, the opportunity cost is simply too high to be worth considering.
Fast track to KrisFlyer Elite Silver
The AMEX KrisFlyer Ascend has a fast track to KrisFlyer Elite Gold, but KrisFlyer UOB Credit Card members will have to settle for KrisFlyer Elite Silver.
Cardmembers who open their cards from 1 May 2022 and spend a minimum of S$5,000 on SIA Group transactions (excluding Kris+) within the first card membership year will receive an upgrade to KrisFlyer Elite Silver.
This is referred to as a “fast track”, but in reality is anything but. Qualifying cardholders will receive their status upgrade within 6 weeks from the last month of the first membership year. You could hit the qualifying spend on your first day, and still have to wait 13+ months to get your status!
Status earned through this “fast track” scheme is only valid for the first year; subsequently, you’ll have to requalify by flying at least 25,000 elite miles in a 12-month membership period.
All in all, it’s much ado about nothing because KrisFlyer Elite Silver has extremely weak benefits. Members receive:
- A 25% bonus on KrisFlyer miles
- Complimentary Standard Seat selection on Singapore Airlines and SilkAir
- Priority reservation waitlist
- Priority airport standby
- Discounted service fees
Forget about lounge access, priority boarding, priority check-in or additional luggage allowances. This is as basic as it gets.
KrisFlyer UOB Credit Card members enjoy the following benefits when flying Scoot:
|For principal cardholder||For companions |
(on same itinerary)
|Complimentary priority check-in and boarding||✔||✔|
|Additional 5kg luggage allowance with purchase of any baggage fare bundle||✔||✔|
|Complimentary standard seat selection||✔|
|One-time booking flexibility waiver||✔||✔|
None of these are anything to get excited about, really. There’s no free checked bag, only a 5kg upsize when you purchase a bag allowance, and even though the complimentary seat selection could have been useful, it’s limited to the principal cardholder only and not his/her travel companions.
I’d say the most useful benefit is the one-time free booking change, which can be made online up to 4 hours before departure. Fare differences may apply.
To enjoy these benefits, be sure to book your Scoot tickets via this dedicated portal.
KrisFlyer UOB Credit Cardholders enjoy a single-use promo code KFUOBKS2023 that gives S$20 off a minimum spend of S$120 (before GST). Unfortunately, there is an extensive brand exclusions list.
2x S$15 Grab voucher to/from Changi Airport
KrisFlyer UOB Credit Cardholders will receive a biannual S$15 Grab voucher valid for rides to/from Changi Airport.
This can be redeemed once per half yearly (i.e Jan to Jun/ Jul to Dec), with the promo code KFUOBCC. Redemptions are capped at the first 1,000 uses per month.
2x S$15 off Changi WiFi
KrisFlyer UOB Credit Cardholders will receive a biannual S$15 ChangiWiFi voucher.
This can be redeemed once per half yearly (i.e Jan to Jun/ Jul to Dec). Cardholders can generate a e-redemption code by SMSing KFUOBCC<space>16-digit card number to 77862.
Redemptions are capped at the first 1,000 uses per month.
Complimentary travel insurance
|Accidental Death||Medical Benefits||Travel Inconvenience|
|S$500,000||S$50,000 for medical evacuation||None|
You have S$500,000 coverage for accidental death or disablement, and S$50,000 for medical evacuation. There’s no coverage for medical expenses, or even travel inconvenience. Lost your luggage? Flight delayed? This policy won’t pay anything.
Since it’s woefully inadequate as your primary cover, you’ll almost certainly need to get separate travel insurance.
Summary Review: KrisFlyer UOB Credit Card
The KrisFlyer UOB Credit Card is most suited for:
- Those who want to use one card for everything
- Those who make big ticket spend
Regular readers will know I’m staunchly against (1), though if you insist on doing this nonetheless, then this would be the best card to do so. I can’t think of any other general spending card with so many different bonus categories: dining, food delivery, online shopping & travel and transport will cover the bases for a lot of people.
With regards to (2), a no-cap 3 mpd earn rate can be quite powerful indeed, especially if you’ve exhausted the cap on other 4/6 mpd cards (just be aware that of the 3 mpd you earn, 60% of it (1.8 mpd) will only arrive 2-14 months later). Just imagine earning an uncapped 3 mpd on an expensive electronics, jewellery or luxury goods purchase!
That, together with the opportunity to save a big chunk of miles on a KrisFlyer Experiences redemption, is enough to bump it into the Take It pile for me.
|🦁 MileLion Verdict|
|☑ Take It|
☐ Take It Or Leave It
☐ Leave It