2017 Credit Card Review Part 2: UOB

2017 Credit Card Review Part 2: UOB

In this second part of our card review, we will discuss the UOB credit cards. Click here for our last review about the Citibank cards.

UOB offers many more credit cards than Citibank, but half of UOB’s cards are co-branded one. Co-branded cards tend to offer average value, and this is not an exception in UOB’s case. As such, we will skip those cards in this review.

Apart from those, there are 3 reward cards and 3 cash back cards.

TL;DR – Miles chaser, get the UOB Preferred Platinum and UOB PRVI Visa/Mastercard. Cash back chasers, get the UOB One card.

Here’s a quick break down for you:

Miles Chaser

UOB Preferred Platinum Visa

The unique feature of this card is the 4 miles/ S$ earn rate on Paywave merchants (provided they don’t earn smart$). Some supermarket chains are smart$ merchants that don’t earn uni$. Uni$ are the rewards that converts to miles. This feature is useful, because there are times when we aren’t sure if an outlet is considered a departmental store for us to use the Citibank Rewards cards.

This card also earns 4 miles/ S$ on online transaction, but excludes airline, travel and transport. Now I say this will effectively rule out our major expenses, which are typically holiday trips. Still, there is a cap of 24k uni$ per calendar year, so that works out to $12k spend per year, if each transaction earn max earn rate.

Pros: i) Max earn rate of 4 miles/ S$ on Paywave merchants
Cons: i) Restrictive online transaction

 

UOB Visa Signature

UOB Visa Signature

Possibly the only card in the market that offer 4 miles/ S$ spend on foreign currency transaction, it also requires a minimum spend of $1000 before that earn rate kicks in. This minimum S$1k spend can be mixed with Paywave merchants, as the card also gives maximum rewards on that.

Depending on your travel location and duration, spending $1k may or may not be a problem. A week or two in US, Europe or Australia wouldn’t be a problem, but a weekend in KL or Bangkok may be a challenge in meeting that minimum spend criteria. If you think only one end is limited, there is also a maximum spend before you only earn the base rate. So the magical range between $1k and $2k.

Pros: i) Best card in market foreign currency transactions ii) Max earn rate of 4 miles/ S$ on Paywave merchants
Cons: i) Range of S$1k and $2k to earn max rewards

 

UOB PRVI Miles (Visa/Mastercard/AMEX)

UOB PRVI cards

This card comes in three version: the Visa, Mastercard and AMEX. These are generic spend credit cards, that get you 1.4 miles/S$ on just about any local currency transaction (see exclusions here), and 2.4 miles/S$ on foreign currency transaction. There is also no cap on the reward points earned.

In our opinion, the best card if you intend to hold only one card for all spend. DBS version for a generic spend card are the altitude cards, but earn rates are lower at 1.2 miles and 2 miles.

Pros: i) Best generic spend card in the market ii) No cap on reward points earn
Cons: i) Not necessarily the best card for type of spend

 

Cash Back Chaser

UOB One card

This is probably the most generous and simple to understand cash back card. Unlike the multitude of cash back cards in the market that requires different type and amount of spend, or cash back that is capped by type of spend, this card is simple: a) minimum no. of transactions each month for the quarter and b) minimum spend each month for the quarter. As usual, there are exclusions to the spend. The cash backs are only given out on a quarterly basis and you’ll have to maintain the charging pattern on a quarterly basis as well. Link this to the UOB One savings account, and stand to earn more interest on the saings account. A close competitor will be the OCBC 365, and if you’re certain on your spend type, you may want to consider that.

In a nutshell: 1) 5% cash back for minimum S$2k spend per month for the quarter 2) 1.67% to 3.33% for spend between S$500 and $2k spend per month for the quarter.

Pros: i) Easy to understand ii) Very few restrictions and requirements iii) Option to earn more on savings account
Cons: i) Maintain spending pattern consistently ii) Cash backs only given quarterly

 

UOB YOLO

There is no doubt this card is made for the younger crowd (Your parents use the term YOLO?). Weekend dining and entertainment gets 8% cash back till 30 June 2017 (6% thereafter), 3% on weekday dining and entertainment and 3% cash back on online travel and fashion. Pretty generous, but requires a minimum charge of S$600 each month. Cash back is capped at S$60. As an example, if all your charges are weekend dining/entertainment, you can spend $1k before the cap is reach, and if its all weekday one plus online travel/fashion, it will be S$2k.

Pros: i) Good cash back rates for weekend dining (promotional preiod only)
Cons: i) Minimum spend is potentially high

 

UOB Delight

What’s so delightful about this card? On the surface, a 8% rebate for major supermarket chains and 3% rebate for Visa Paywave/Nets Flashpay Auto top-up/Recurring bills sounds like a pretty decent deal. Not to mention that many credit cards exclude Nets Flashpay and EZ link auto top-up from getting any rebates. On closer examination, 8% only applies on meeting a S$800 spend across all transactions for the month. And that 3% only applies on meeting a S$400 spend across all transactions for the month. To complicate matters, there is a cap of S$50 on that 3% rebate and no cap on that 8% rebate.

So what does this mean? To be sure, $800 could be easily met for families consolidating the spend on the card. But the point is, Citibank Cashbank may serve a better proposition in this case, although we note that the minimum spend is then S$888 before maximum rebate kicks in.

Whichever makes a better credit card is pretty dependent on how likely you’re going to meet those minimum spend, and what type of spend you will make.

Pros: i) 8% rebate on supermarket chains is good ii) No cap on rebates for supermarket spend
Cons: i) Relatively high required minimum spend

Stay tune for part 3 on DBS cards!

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