Here’s The MileLion’s review of the UOB PRVI Miles Card, which UOB likes to market as “the highest limitless miles card” in Singapore.
Over time, however, they’ve had to put more and more caveats on that claim, as competitors step up their game. The current iteration is something of a mouthful!
|“Highest limitless miles card” refers to the highest miles earn rate on general eligible spending in comparison with other comparable entry-level non-premium miles credit cards in Singapore that award miles with no minimum spend and no cap on miles earned, as of 1 June 2023.|
But fine. The earn rates are indeed market-leading, and UNI$ pool with other high-earning cards like the UOB Preferred Platinum Visa, UOB Visa Signature, and UOB Lady’s Card. And in an unexpected surprise, the airport limo benefit is one of the best in the market, beating more expensive “premium” cards!
The catch? You’ll need to put up with UOB’s penchant for hijinks, whether it’s punitive rounding policies, non-miles accruing UOB$ merchants, automatic UNI$ deductions for annual fees, and “first X” sign-up bonuses. For some people these are mere annoyances, for others they’re deal-breakers.
The question is: which side of the fence do you fall on?
|UOB PRVI Miles Card|
|🦁 MileLion Verdict|
|☐ Take It|
☑ Take It Or Leave It
☐ Leave It
|What do these ratings mean?|
|The UOB PRVI Miles Card offers high earn rates and an excellent airport limo benefit, though UOB’s shenanigans will keep you on your toes.|
|👍 The good||👎 The bad|
|💳 Full List of Credit Card Reviews|
Overview: UOB PRVI Miles Card
Let’s start this review by looking at the key features of the UOB PRVI Miles Card.
|Income Req.||S$30,000 p.a.||Points Validity||2 years|
|Miles with |
|FCY Fee||3.25%||Transfer Fee||S$25|
|Local Earn||1.4 mpd||Points Pool?||Yes|
|FCY Earn||2.4 mpd||Lounge Access?||No|
|Special Earn||6 mpd on Agoda, Expedia, UOB Travel||Airport Limo?||Yes |
|Cardholder Terms and Conditions|
The UOB PRVI Miles is issued across all three card networks: American Express, Mastercard, and Visa. Earn rates are the same for all, though the American Express version has two unique features:
- 20,000 bonus miles for spending at least S$50,000 in a membership year
- Complimentary airport limo transfers
I’ll discuss these in more detail below.
How much must I earn to qualify for a UOB PRVI Miles Card?
Once upon a time, the UOB PRVI Miles Card required an annual income of S$80,000. However, the requirement was gradually lowered, and today the card has been repositioned at the S$30,000 entry-level segment.
If you don’t meet the income requirement, you can place a S$10,000 fixed deposit with UOB and get a secured version of the card. Visit any UOB branch for further information.
How much is the UOB PRVI Miles Card’s annual fee?
|Principal Card||Supp. Card|
|First Year||Free||First 1 free, S$129.60 after|
|Subsequent||S$259.20||First 1 free, S$129.60 after|
While other general spending cards like the Citi PremierMiles and DBS Altitude carry S$194.40 annual fees, the UOB PRVI Miles is slightly more expensive.
Principal cardholders are charged S$259.20 per year, with the first year waived. There is a perpetual fee waiver for the first supplementary card, and a S$129.60 annual fee for the second card onwards.
Most general spending cards charge you an annual fee if you don’t hit a minimum annual spend, but award you some miles in return. With UOB, it’s the opposite:
- If you spend at least S$50,000 in a membership year on the UOB PRVI Miles AMEX, your annual fee will be waived and you’ll receive 20,000 miles. This will be credited in the form of 10,000 UNI$ within two statement periods from the card’s anniversary date
- If you miss the threshold, or if you hold the UOB PRVI Miles Mastercard or UOB PRVI Miles Visa, you’ll be billed the annual fee at the start of the second year with no miles to show for it.
Fee waivers are possible, but be warned that UOB’s default behaviour is to automatically deduct your UNI$ come renewal time to cover the annual fee. When the time comes for renewal, you will either be charged:
- 6,500 UNI$ for a full waiver
- 3,250 UNI$ + S$129.60 for a half waiver
If you have sufficient UNI$ for a full waiver, the full waiver option will be automatically selected, and if you only have sufficient UNI$ for a half waiver, the half waiver option will be automatically selected. If you don’t have sufficient UNI$ for either, the annual fee will be billed in pure cash.
It’s up to you to monitor your statement and request a waiver when this happens. Look at the expiry date on your credit card- the month corresponds to the month your annual fee will be charged.
|👍 Silver Lining|
|For what it’s worth, if UOB subsequently grants you a fee waiver, the reinstated UNI$ will have a fresh 2-year validity.|
New-to-bank UOB PRVI Miles Cardmembers who apply and get approved from 1-31 August 2023 will enjoy up to 45,200 bonus miles, split into:
- 20,000 miles for paying the first year’s S$259.20 annual fee
- 25,200 miles for spending S$1,000 per month for two consecutive months
New-to-bank customers are defined as those who:
There is no cap on the maximum customers eligible for either component. However, do note that you must be approved by 31 August 2023, so don’t leave your application till the last minute. And based on the comments for previous articles, some customers who applied early in the month were not able to receive approval by the end, though it’s impossible to tell whether this is the exception or the rule.
The S$2,000 minimum spend will earn:
- 2,800 base miles, if spent locally @ 1.4 mpd
- 4,800 base miles, if spent overseas @ 2.4 mpd
UOB assumes the latter scenario in its marketing, which is why you’ll see claims of a 50,000 miles sign-up bonus (45,200 bonus + 4,800 base) on its website.
How many miles do I earn?
|🇸🇬 SGD Spend||🌎 FCY Spend||⭐ Bonus Spend|
|1.4 mpd||2.4 mpd||6 mpd on Agoda, Expedia, and UOB Travel|
UOB PRVI Miles Card members earn:
- UNI$3.5 for every S$5 spent in Singapore Dollars
- UNI$6 for every S$5 spent in foreign currency (FCY)
1 UNI$ is worth 2 airline miles, so that’s an equivalent earn rate of 1.4 mpd for local spending, and 2.4 mpd for FCY spending.
This is the highest earn rate for any general spending card at the S$30,000 income level, but be warned! You might be earning less than you think on smaller transactions, thanks to UOB’s nasty rounding policy (more on that below).
|💳 Earn Rates for General Spending Cards|
(income req.: S$30K)
|Cards||Local Spend||FCY Spend|
|UOB PRVI Miles||1.4 mpd||2.4 mpd|
|HSBC TravelOne Card||1.2 mpd||2.4 mpd|
|DBS Altitude||1.3 mpd||2.2 mpd|
|OCBC 90°N Card||1.3 mpd||2.1 mpd|
|Citi PremierMiles||1.2 mpd||2 mpd|
|StanChart Journey||1.2 mpd||2 mpd|
|AMEX KrisFlyer Ascend||1.2 mpd||2 mpd*|
|AMEX KrisFlyer Credit Card||1.1 mpd||2 mpd*|
|BOC Elite Miles||1 mpd||2 mpd|
|KrisFlyer UOB Credit Card||1.2 mpd||1.2 mpd|
|*In June and Dec only, otherwise 1.1 mpd|
All overseas transactions are subject to a 3.25% fee, so using your UOB PRVI Miles Card overseas represents buying miles at 1.35 cents each.
Unfortunately, there’s another UOB quirk here. While other banks define overseas transactions simply as those charged in currencies other than Singapore Dollars, UOB further requires that the payment gateway be overseas. As per the T&Cs:
For the avoidance of doubt, card transactions made overseas but effected/charged in Singapore dollars and online transactions effected in Singapore dollars or in foreign currencies at merchants with payment gateway in Singapore will not be treated as overseas transactions and will earn UNI$3.5 per S$5 spend
In other words, if you’re shopping on an online website which bills you US$100 (~S$140), but processes the payment within Singapore (Hotels.com is an example), you’ll earn miles at the local spending rate of 1.4 mpd.
How do you know where the payment processing is done? You don’t. This is something you’ll just have to learn as you go along, by tracking your points carefully.
UOB cardholders (with the exception of UOB PRVI Miles AMEX, which does not participate in the UOB$ scheme) will not earn any UNI$ at UOB$ merchants.
UOB$ is UOB’s card-wide cashback programme and includes Cold Storage, Crystal Jade, Giant, Guardian, Starbucks and Toast Box, among others. For the full list, refer to this link.
I’ve written about some potential workarounds in the following post.
Bonuses with OTAs
UOB PRVI Miles Cardholders can enjoy 6 mpd on hotel and flight bookings with Agoda, Expedia and UOB Travel.
One caveat: all bookings must be made through special landing pages, and these tend to charge higher prices than publicly-available rates for hotels (though not always). Always compare prices before booking, and make sure you’re not overpaying for miles.
Fortunately, the same rule doesn’t apply for airline tickets, which tend to be more or less the same price as the official website (doesn’t hurt to check though!)
6 mpd with Agoda
|UOB x Agoda|
UOB PRVI Miles Cardholders will earn 6 mpd on hotel bookings with Agoda, when they book via the special UOB x Agoda landing page.
Bookings and stays must be made and completed by 31 December 2023, and all stays must be prepaid. Bookings where payment is made at the hotel will not be eligible for bonus miles.
6 mpd with Expedia
|UOB x Expedia|
UOB PRVI Miles Cardholders will earn 6 mpd on bookings with selected airlines and hotels, when they book via the special UOB x Expedia landing page.
The following airlines are participating. You won’t find Singapore Airlines or Cathay Pacific here, but THAI, Turkish Airlines and Qatar Airways might be useful for someone based in Singapore.
Bookings must be made by 30 April 2024.
6 mpd with UOB Travel
UOB PRVI Miles Cardholders will earn 6 mpd on bookings with selected airlines and hotels, when they book via the special UOB Travel landing page.
The following airlines are participating (note the inclusion of STARLUX– nice!):
Bookings must be made by 31 December 2023.
When are UNI$ credited?
UNI$ are credited when your transaction posts, which generally takes 1-3 working days.
How are UNI$ calculated?
Here’s how you can work out the UNI$ earned on your UOB PRVI Miles Card
|Local Spend||Round down transaction to nearest S$5, then divide by 5 and multiply by 3.5. Round down to the nearest whole number|
|FCY Spend||Round down transaction to nearest S$5, then divide by 5 and multiply by 6. Round down to the nearest whole number|
Unfortunately, UOB has one of the most punitive rounding policies in the game, which can adversely affect your earn rates especially on smaller transactions.
UOB first rounds your transaction down to the nearest S$5, divides it by 5, then multiplies the amount by 3.5 UNI$ (assuming it’s a Singapore Dollar transaction). This UNI$ figure is then rounded down again to the nearest whole number.
So imagine you spent S$9.99 on your UOB PRVI Miles Card. You might figure that’s 14 miles (S$9.99 @ 1.4 mpd), but…
- The S$9.99 is rounded down to S$5
- S$5 is awarded 3.5 UNI$
- 3.5 UNI$ is rounded down to 3 UNI$
You actually earn 3 UNI$ (6 miles), an effective rate of just 0.6 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 UOB PRVI Miles Card for small transactions that aren’t in S$5 blocks- in fact, the minimum spend required to earn miles is S$5.
|🚆 What about SimplyGo?|
If the minimum transaction to earn miles is S$5, then what’s the point of using the UOB PRVI Miles Card with SimplyGo?
Don’t worry: for Mastercard, SimplyGo transactions are batched and posted every 5 days, 21 transactions, or S$15, whichever comes first. For Visa, UNI$ are awarded based on the accumulated SimplyGo spending per calendar month.
So with the exception of extreme circumstances (e.g. where you take just 1-2 rides a month), you’ll definitely earn some miles.
This means that despite having a higher headline rate, you may earn fewer miles on the UOB PRVI Miles Card than the Citi PremierMiles Card depending on transaction size. Consider the following:
|UOB PRVI Miles|
Earn rate: 1.4 mpd
Earn rate: 1.2 mpd
|S$5||6 miles||6 miles|
|S$9.99||6 miles||11 miles|
|S$15||20 miles||18 miles|
|S$19.99||20 miles||23 miles|
|S$25||34 miles||30 miles|
|S$29.99||34 miles||35 miles|
|S$35||48 miles||42 miles|
|S$39.99||48 miles||47 miles|
If you’re an Excel geek, here’s the formulas you need to calculate points:
|Local Spend||=ROUNDDOWN (ROUNDDOWN (X/5,0) * 3.5,0)|
|FCY Spend||=ROUNDDOWN (ROUNDDOWN (X/5,0) * 6,0)|
|Where X= Amount Spent|
For the full list of formulas that banks use to calculate credit card points, do refer to these articles:
What transactions aren’t eligible for UNI$?
A full list of transactions that do not earn UNI$ can be found in the T&Cs at Point 1(ii).
I’ve highlighted a few noteworthy categories below:
- Charitable Donations
- Government Services
- Prepaid account top-ups (e.g. GrabPay, YouTrip)
- Real Estate Agents & Managers
UNI$ will be awarded for CardUp transactions, but not ipaymy.
While Amaze* Transit* is on the exclusion list, this only affects transit-related transactions. UOB PRVI Miles Mastercard cardholders can pair their card with Amaze to earn rewards at the local spending rate of 1.4 mpd (since Amaze converts all transactions into SGD).
What do I need to know about UNI$?
|❌ Expiry||↔️ Pooling||✈️ Transfer Fee|
|⬆️ Min. Transfer||✈️ No. of Partners||⏱️ Transfer Time|
|3||48 hours (KF)|
UNI$ expire 2 years from the last day of each periodic quarter in which the UNI$ was earned. Each UNI$ period is calculated commencing from January to December of each calendar year. Expired UNI$ cannot be replaced or reinstated.
UNI$ pool across cards. If you have 10,000 UNI$ on the UOB Lady’s Card, and 5,000 UNI$ on the UOB PRVI Miles Card, you can redeem 15,000 UNI$ at one shot and pay a single conversion fee.
It also means that you don’t need to transfer your UNI$ out before cancelling the UOB PRVI Miles Card, assuming it’s not your last UNI$-earning card.
Transfer Partners & Fees
UNI$ transfer to frequent flyer programs at a 1:2 ratio, with a minimum transfer block of 5,000 UNI$ (let’s ignore AirAsia, because converting points there is like throwing them away):
|Frequent Flyer Programme||Conversion Ratio |
|5,000 : 10,000|
|5,000 : 10,000|
|2,500 : 4,500|
Transfers cost S$25 per programme, regardless of how many points are transferred.
UOB also has an auto-conversion option for KrisFlyer, which costs S$50 per year. UNI$ will be automatically converted on the last day of the calendar month, in blocks of UNI$2,500 (half the regular conversion block).
|Read Point 53-55|
However, you’ll need to keep a minimum balance of UNI$15,000 (30,000 miles) in your account at all times. This is a hefty working capital balance! Make what you will of UOB’s reason for this policy…
Why must a minimum balance of UNI$15,000 be kept KrisFlyer auto conversion programme?
This is to give card members the flexibility to convert the UNI$ to other items from UOB Rewards Catalogue. Card members can still choose to convert this UNI$15,000 to KrisFlyer miles by the one time miles redemption process through UOB Rewards Catalogue, subjected to S$25 conversion fee and must be in blocks of 10,000 miles.
Cardmembers who wish to make ad-hoc conversions can still do so, subject to the payment of the usual S$25 fee per conversion, in standard blocks of 5,000 UNI$ (10,000 miles).
Here’s the pros and cons of the automatic transfer scheme:
- Pay a single fee for 12 automatic conversions a year
- Reduces the minimum conversion block from 5,000 UNI$ (10,000 KrisFlyer miles) to 2,500 UNI$ (5,000 KrisFlyer miles)
- The 3-year expiry on your KrisFlyer miles starts as soon as they are converted. Had you kept your UNI$ on the UOB side, you’d enjoy two extra years of validity
- Ad-hoc conversions still cost you S$25
- Only balances in excess of 15,000 UNI$ are converted
- Effectively locks you into KrisFlyer, as opposed to UOB’s other transfer partners (you can still make ad-hoc conversions to Asia Miles between quarters, but it’s likely you’ll need to end participation in the Automatic Conversion Programme to acquire a critical mass)
Based on my experience, most points transfers are completed within 48 hours.
If you need your points credited instantly, you can do so via Kris+. 1,000 UNI$ can be transferred to 1,700 KrisPay miles, which can then be transferred to KrisFlyer miles at a 1:1 ratio.
|S$5 for new Kris+ Users|
|Get S$5 (in the form of 750 KrisPay miles) when you sign-up with code W644363 and make your first transaction|
Transfers are immediate, but those 1,000 UNI$ would normally have earned you 2,000 KrisFlyer miles, so you effectively take a 15% haircut.
Therefore I wouldn’t recommend taking this option, unless you need a small top-up to redeem a flight, or have an orphan UNI$ balance (<5,000 points).
Other card perks
Buy miles with UOB Payment Facility
The UOB Payment Facility is a “no questions asked” bill payment facility that lets you buy as many miles as your credit limit allows. The regular price is 2.3 cents, but we often see this cut to 2.1 cents during periodic promotions.
How it works is you specify how much you’d like to charge to the facility, e.g. S$5,000, and designate a bank account. UOB will then:
- Deposit S$5,000 into your designated bank account
- Charge S$5,000 to your card, plus an admin fee
- Awards UNI$ on the S$5,000 at a rate of UNI$2.5 per S$5 (the admin fee does not earn miles)
This gives you a total of 2,500 UNI$ (5,000 miles; the admin fee doesn’t earn miles). You take the S$5,000 they deposited to pay off your card bill, then your out of pocket cost is the admin fee. The miles divided by admin fee is your cost per mile.
My opinion is that 2.1 cents per mile is way too much to be paying in this current market. That said, the Payment Facility could be an easy way of topping off your UNI$ balance if you’re just shy of a 5,000 UNI$ transfer block.
Complimentary airport limo (AMEX only)
By spending S$1,000 in foreign currency (excluding phone, mail or online transactions) in a calendar quarter, cardholders receive two complimentary airport limo transfers to Changi Airport.
This is the lowest spending requirement of any card in Singapore, and even more generous than cards in the $120K segment.
|Income Req. ≥S$30K|
|UOB PRVI Miles AMEX|
|S$1K (FCY) per quarter for 2 rides||2 per quarter|
|Income Req. ≥S$120K|
|UOB Lady’s Solitaire Metal Card|
|None||1 per year|
(can be used worldwide)
|HSBC Visa Infinite|
|S$2K per month for 1 ride|
(First 2 [Regular] or 4 [Premier] per year are free)
|24 per year|
(includes free rides)
|S$12K per quarter for 2 rides||2 per quarter|
|S$12K per quarter for 2 rides||2 per quarter|
|Maybank Visa Infinite|
|S$3K per month for 1 ride||8 per year|
Limo services need to be booked at least 2 days in advance of travel. Your card will initially be charged S$45, which will be automatically reimbursed within two months after quarter ends, if the spending criteria is met. In other words, you can ride first, spend later- provided they both take place in the same quarter!
A maximum of two free rides can be booked per quarter.
Complimentary travel insurance
UOB PRVI Miles Cardholders who charge their air tickets to their credit card will be eligible for complimentary travel insurance. However, coverage does not kick in automatically; they must register via this link at least five working days before departure.
S$500,000 coverage for accidental death is included, as is S$50,000 coverage for emergency medical assistance, evacuation and repatriation (including due to COVID-19). However, there is no coverage for travel inconvenience like delayed, lost or damaged baggage, missed connections or flight delays.
Therefore, I’d highly recommend getting a proper travel insurance policy instead.
Terms and Conditions
Summary Review: UOB PRVI Miles Card
|🦁 MileLion Verdict|
|☐ Take It|
☑ Take It Or Leave It
☐ Leave It
The UOB PRVI Miles Card certainly has things going for it: the highest earn rates of any entry-level general spending card, UNI$ which pool, and a very generous airport limo benefit (at least for the AMEX version).
On the other hand, UOB cards present their own set of gotchas, like S$5 earning blocks, automatic UNI$ deductions for annual fees, non-miles earning UOB$ merchants…I could go on. It feels like you constantly need to be on your guard, and if that’s not the kind of relationship you’re looking for, then the UOB PRVI Miles may not be the right card for you (I’m much more willing to overlook these faults with the UOB Lady’s Card, UOB Preferred Platinum Visa and UOB Visa Signature, because of their 4-6 mpd earn rates).
So that’s my review of the UOB PRVI Miles Card. What do you think?