Head-to-head: UOB Preferred Platinum Visa vs UOB Visa Signature

The UOB Preferred Platinum Visa and UOB Visa Signature often get mixed up. While they both offer 4 mpd almost everywhere, they're very different in other aspects!

If you’re looking to accelerate your miles collecting, but can’t be bothered to memorise which card to use when (you lazy bum), then the UOB Preferred Platinum Visa and UOB Visa Signature are probably the two best options.

Instead of burdening you with a list of bonus-eligible Merchant Category Codes (MCCs), both cards adopt a simpler blacklist approach for in-person spend: so long as a given transaction isn’t on the general exclusions list, you’ll earn 4 mpd when paying via contactless, simple as that.

This flexibility makes them a jack-of-all-trades solution: whether you’re dining out, getting a haircut, shopping for clothes or buying pet food, don’t think; just tap.

On the surface, the two cards have very similar value propositions. However, there are some crucial differences in that cardholders should take note of, which we’ll explore in this post. 

Annual fee & income requirement

 
  UOB Pref. Plat Visa UOB Visa Signature
Income Requirement S$30K p.a. S$50K p.a.
Annual Fee S$196.20
(FYF)
S$218
(FYF)

The UOB Preferred Platinum Visa has an income requirement of S$30,000 per year, the MAS-mandated minimum. The UOB Visa Signature has a slightly higher requirement of S$50,000 per year, a vestigial trace of its origins as a mass affluent card.

But any income requirement over S$30,000 is essentially arbitrary, and there have been many reports of successful applications from those who didn’t meet the UOB Visa Signature’s cut off. It never hurts to try.

In terms of annual fees, the UOB Visa Signature’s is slightly more expensive at S$218 versus S$196.20 for the UOB Preferred Platinum Visa, but again I wouldn’t worry about it. In my experience, getting an annual fee waiver is never an issue, so long as you’re periodically spending on the card.

Either way, remember that UOB’s default behaviour is to automatically deduct UNI$ to cover the annual fee, so the onus is on you to monitor your balance and request a waiver when that happens. 

Minimum spend & caps

 
  UOB Pref. Plat Visa UOB Visa Signature
Min. Spend for 4 mpd None S$1K per statement month
4 mpd Cap S$1.1K per calendar month S$2K per statement month

The UOB Preferred Platinum Visa awards 4 mpd on contactless spending, with no minimum spend required. The 4 mpd earn rate is capped at S$1,110 per calendar month.

❓ Not S$1,000?

The monthly 4 mpd cap on the UOB Preferred Platinum Visa is not S$1,000, as many people think. 

UOB’s T&Cs state that “The total bonus UNI$ awarded to you from qualifying spend on Selected Online Transactions and Mobile Contactless Transactions is capped at UNI$2,000 for each calendar month“.

It’s the bonus UNI$ component (9 UNI$ per S$5) that’s capped, so the maximum spend that will earn 4 mpd is S$1,110.

The UOB Visa Signature awards 4 mpd on contactless spending, provided a minimum local spend of S$1,000 per statement month is met. The 4 mpd earn rate is capped at S$2,000 per statement month.

Some people have difficulty understanding how the minimum spend for the UOB Visa Signature is computed, so I’ve written a detailed guide explaining how it works.

How does the UOB Visa Signature’s minimum spend requirement work?

Note also the difference between calendar and statement month.

The UOB Preferred Platinum Visa’s 4 mpd cap resets at the start of each calendar month, which is rather straightforward- just wait till the 1st to start spending again.

On the other hand, the UOB Visa Signature’s 4 mpd cap resets at the start of each statement month. This will differ from person to person. Generate your UOB eStatement and look for the statement date at the top right hand corner. This tells you what your statement month is; in the example below, it’s 13th to the 12th of the following month.

To illustrate, if my statement month runs from the 13th of each month to the 12th of the following month, then I could spend S$2,000 on 11th April and S$2,000 on 14th April, and still not bust the cap since each tranche of S$2,000 is in a separate statement month. 

To simplify matters, you can call up customer service and ask them to change your statement date to follow the calendar month instead.

⚠️ Posting date, not transaction date

Bonus caps are based on posting date, not transaction date.

For example, if I transact with my UOB Preferred Platinum Visa on 30th June and the transaction posts on 2 July, that amount will count towards July’s bonus cap, not June

Likewise, if my statement month ends on the 12th, and I transact with my UOB Visa Signature on 11th June and the transaction posts on 13th June, that amount will count towards the latter month’s bonus cap.

Posting may take up to three days from transaction date (but could also be the same day- it’s impossible to tell), so take note with transactions made towards the end of the calendar or statement month!

Bonus points and rounding

 
  UOB Pref. Plat Visa UOB Visa Signature
1X Base Points Awarded at time of trxn. Awarded at time of trxn.
9X Bonus Points Awarded at time of trxn. Awarded the following month

UOB rounds transactions down to the nearest S$5 before awarding points, which can lead to lost points on every transaction. A S$9.99 transaction earns the same number of points as a S$5 transaction, and a S$4.99 transaction earns no points at all!

But the impact on the UOB Preferred Platinum Visa is different from the UOB Visa Signature.

With the UOB Preferred Platinum Visa, both the base 1X points and bonus 9X points are awarded at the time the transaction posts. 

💳 UOB Pref. Plat. Visa
Spend Rate Calculation
Base 1 UNI$ per S$5 Round down transaction to nearest S$5, then divide by 5 and multiply by 1. Round down to the nearest whole number
Bonus 9 UNI$ per S$5 Round down transaction to nearest S$5, then divide by 5 and multiply by 9. Round down to the nearest whole number

With the UOB Visa Signature, the base 1X points are awarded at the time the transaction posts, and the bonus 9X points are awarded the following statement period.

💳 UOB Visa Signature
Spend Rate Calculation
Base 1 UNI$ per S$5 Round down transaction to nearest S$5, then divide by 5 and multiply by 1. Round down to the nearest whole number
Bonus 9 UNI$ per S$5 Sum up all eligible transactions (including cents), round down transaction to nearest S$5, then divide by 5 and multiply by 9. Round down to the nearest whole number

When calculating the bonus to award, all unrounded eligible transactions will be summed up. The consolidated figure is then rounded down once to the nearest S$5 before the 9X points are calculated. This means less “wastage”, because rounding only takes place once, as opposed to on each transaction.

In other words, rounding is more benign for the UOB Visa Signature Card, compared to the UOB Preferred Platinum Visa.

For more details on this quirk, refer to the article below.

Is UOB’s points rounding policy as bad as it seems?

UOB$ merchants

 
  UOB Pref. Plat Visa UOB Visa Signature
Earn Rate at UOB$ Merchants 0 mpd 3.6 mpd

UOB’s T&Cs state that UNI$ are not awarded for transactions made at UOB$ merchants like Cold Storage, Giant, Guardian and Starbucks, so the advice has always been to avoid using UOB cards at such merchants.

However, it’s not so straightforward. As it turns out, the difference in bonus points mechanisms (see previous section) also affects how UNI$ are earned at UOB$ merchants. 

With the UOB Preferred Platinum Visa, you earn no UNI$ at UOB$ merchants, period (since the base and bonus post together, and 9X of nothing is still nothing).

With the UOB Visa Signature, you don’t earn the base 1X UNI$ at UOB$ merchants, but you do earn the bonus 9X UNI$. This works out to 3.6 mpd, and while that’s not as good as 4 mpd, it’s certainly a lot better than zero. 

Refer to the article below for more details.

Confirmed: UOB$ merchants qualify for bonus miles with UOB cards

Definition of contactless payments

 
  UOB Pref. Plat Visa UOB Visa Signature
Physical Card
Mobile Wallets

While both the UOB Preferred Platinum Visa and UOB Visa Signature award 4 mpd on contactless payments, there is a crucial distinction in definition.

With the UOB Visa Signature, you can either tap the physical card, or digitise it into a mobile wallet (Apple Pay, Fitbit Pay, Google Pay and Samsung Pay) and tap your phone to pay.

With the UOB Preferred Platinum Visa, you must digitise the card into a mobile wallet and tap your phone to pay. Transactions made by tapping the physical card will not earn bonus miles, effective 22 May 2020.

Other bonus categories

 
  UOB Pref. Plat Visa UOB Visa Signature
Other Bonus Categories Online trxns. on shopping, electronics, supermarkets, food delivery, entertainment Petrol, foreign currency spending

While 4 mpd on contactless spending is the big draw for both the UOB Preferred Platinum Visa and UOB Visa Signature, both cards have other bonus categories that can be equally useful.

The UOB Preferred Platinum Visa earns 4 mpd on online shopping and entertainment, defined as:

Category MCCs
Department and Retail Stores 4816, 5262, 5306, 5309, 5310, 5311, 5331, 5399, 5611, 5621, 5631,5641, 5651, 5661, 5691, 5699, 5732-5735, 5912, 5942, 5944-5949, 5964-5970, 5992, 5999
Supermarkets, Dining and Food Delivery 5811,5812,5814, 5333, 5411, 5441, 5462, 5499, 8012, 9751
Entertainment and Ticketing 7278, 7832, 7841, 7922, 7991, 7996, 7998-7999

This includes Amazon, Qoo10, Lazada, Redmart, FairPrice, Golden Village, SISTIC, Food Panda, Deliveroo and GrabFood, among others. 

For avoidance of doubt, the 4 mpd cap is shared between these bonus categories and contactless spending. To illustrate, a UOB Preferred Platinum Visa cardholder who spends S$800 on contactless spending and S$500 on online food delivery will only earn 4 mpd on a maximum of S$1,110. 

The UOB Visa Signature earns 4 mpd on petrol and foreign currency spending, provided the following conditions are met:

  • Petrol: Minimum local spend of S$1,000 per statement month
  • Foreign Currency Spend: Minimum foreign currency spend of S$1,000 per statement month

For avoidance of doubt, the 4 mpd cap is shared between these bonus categories and contactless spending. To illustrate, a cardholder who spends S$1,800 on contactless spending and S$500 on petrol will only earn 4 mpd on a maximum of S$2,000.

Conclusion

Even though the UOB Preferred Platinum Visa and UOB Visa Signature have overlapping use cases, there are important differences where minimum spend, points calculation, contactless definition and other bonus categories are concerned.

If you’re a small spender, the UOB Preferred Platinum Visa is probably the better option due to its lack of a minimum spend requirement. Bigger spenders will benefit more from the UOB Visa Signature and its higher monthly 4 mpd cap. 

But of course, there’s nothing stopping you from using both. In that case, I’d highly recommend spending on the UOB Visa Signature first, before switching to the UOB Preferred Platinum Visa. The last thing you want is to hit the UOB Preferred Platinum Visa’s cap, only to realise you have just S$500-600 of spending left for the month which earns a mere 0.4 mpd on the UOB Visa Signature (as the minimum spend hasn’t been triggered).

UOB Preferred Platinum Visa vs UOB Visa Signature: Which do you prefer?

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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phister

If I’m just doing Paywave, the VS wins hands down as I hate pulling out my phone and selecting the PPV card on Google Pay (it isn’t the default payment method for me).

GeoY

i mean sure, if you are certainly spending above $1k that month. But anyways, Apple, Samsung Pay and some others works too, not just Google

Walder

For contactless transactions, do transactions in foreign countries and / or foreign currencies qualify for 4mpd for both cards? Thanks.

GeoY

I’ve read on other forums that ppl have tried it and it works, but personally I can’t confirm that. But based on the T&Cs, it should work.

WJH

For the UOB VS, do you know if the foreign currency spending can be shared as well? For eg: S$800 spend in foreign currency + S$800 in contactless spending; a total of S$1600 gets awarded 4mpd?

UOB

No.

George

If I made transactions with 9.50. Does 4.5 count towards 1110 or 2000 threshold?

rdtawac

does the UOB professionals card share the same features as the PPV?

David

Hi Aaron, thanks for the write up. I seem to recall the PPV monthly 4mpd limit being $1,110 (due to a quirk in the way the bonus UNI$ cap is calculated), rather than $1,000. Is this no longer the case?

David

Sorry, just saw that this has now been updated in the article. Thanks!

Bruno

I’d recommend the HSBC revolution to someone who wants the simplicity of one card. Especially if typical spend is under 1K.

Covers the most common categories both online + contactless with 4mpd, no UNI$ merchants or rounding rules, free HSBC entertainer account, and especially no need to look after annual fee waivers.

SYC

Hi, should I apply for 2 separate principal cards (me and partner) to maximise the caps or are the caps per cardholder (i.e. principal card at 2k plus supplementary card at 2k for the VS?)

CSS

I only use VS when travelling overseas as it is giving more miles for offline transaction (not all overseas merchant accepts contactless) like Dental in Bkk, hotels etc when charge in foreign currency than general card like PRVI.

Swen

I’m wondering if the article should be updated to mention that online recurring payments on UOB PPV do not give you the bonus points. I’m talking about recurring payments like Apple TV / HBO Go / YouTube Premium. LinkedIn still earns bonus points.

Hugo

I tried to apply online for PPV and the site gives error, in person at the branch and cannot sign up because it’s an older card. Anyone with the same issue seems like I can’t get the card XD

Yang ZiGuang

Hi , 

I am currently using UOB preferred platinum card. Reference to your website, this card allows users to earn 4 MPD. However , on my UOB app I cannot see this detail. Does it mean I need to translate the UNI$ to miles ? Kindly pls advise

Catfish

1UNI$=2 Miles

Dennis C

Odd perspective. Most use both and use VS when they have a big purchase that month and are sure to hit the minimum.

Hong

If I spend 2k on sgd paywave and 0 on fcy, do I get 4mpd on 2k?

Thanks

ian g

Yes.

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