Is UOB One Card The Ultimate Cashback Credit Card?

As someone who is always on the lookout for the best credit card deals, I was intrigued when I heard about the UOB One Credit Card. With promises of up to 10% cashback on eligible transactions, it’s no wonder that this card has been dubbed the “most generous cashback card” in Singapore.

However, after doing some research, I found that there’s more to this card than meets the eye. The cashback system is complicated, and there are several factors to consider before deciding if this card is right for you. In this article, I’ll be delving into the eligibility requirements, fees, rewards, and downsides of the UOB One Credit Card to help you determine if it’s the best fit for your lifestyle and spending habits.

Eligibility & Fees

To be eligible for the UOB One credit card, I must be at least 21 years old and have a minimum income of S$30,000 if I am a Singapore Citizen or Permanent Resident, or S$40,000 if I am a foreigner. Alternatively, I can provide a fixed deposit collateral of at least S$10,000. The annual fee for the principal card is S$194.40, with the first year waived, and I am entitled to one free supplementary card.

The effective interest rate is 26.9% per annum, with a minimum charge of S$3. Late payment charges are S$100, and the overlimit fee is S$40. For foreign currency transactions, there is a fee of 3.25%. The cash advance fee is 6%, with a minimum charge of S$15, and the cash advance interest rate is 28% per annum. If I lose my card, I will be liable for up to S$100.

Although there is no automatic fee waiver past the first year, many UOB One cardholders have reported being able to call in for a waiver.

Cashback, Discounts, and Other Benefits

Earn Extra Interest With the UOB One Account

If you’re looking for a savings account that offers a credit card combo, the UOB One Account is an excellent option. With this account, you can earn up to 3.6% interest p.a. when you combine it with the UOB One Credit Card. However, it’s important to note that the bonus interest is only applicable to the last S$25,000 of your first S$100,000 in the account. If you have an amount of $75,000 and below, you’ll earn lower interest. Overall, you can earn an effective interest of 2.145% on the first S$100,000 in your UOB One Account.

To qualify for maximum interest, you only have to spend at least S$500 on your UOB One Credit Card and credit at least a salary of S$1,600. These requirements are quite reasonable compared to other high-interest savings accounts that have heavier requirements, such as accumulating S$30,000 in eligible transactions (DBS Multiplier) or engaging with multiple products from the bank.

In addition to the bonus interest, the UOB One Account offers other benefits such as complimentary travel insurance of up to S$500,000. You can also enjoy over 300 UOB cardmember deals on ShopUOB with merchants like Club 21, Courts, Taobao, and Lazada.

If you’re a new-to-UOB credit card customer, you can receive a welcome gift of S$350 cash credit with a minimum spend of S$1,000 per month for 2 consecutive months upon card approval. This offer is valid until 31 August 2023.

For cashback rewards, the UOB One Account offers up to 10% cashback for public transport, Shopee, Grab, Dairy Farm merchants (Cold Storage, Giant, 7-Eleven, Guardian, CS Fresh, Marketplace, Jasons, and Jasons Deli) and UOB Travel. You can also earn up to 4.33% cashback for SP utility bills and up to 3.33% cashback for all other retail spend. To qualify for these cashback rewards, you must spend a minimum of S$500 monthly for every month in a quarter, with minimum five transactions monthly. The quarterly cashback cap is tiered, with Tier 1 at S$50, Tier 2 at S$100, and Tier 3 at S$200.

How the UOB One Cashback System Works

The UOB One Credit Card has a cashback system that is more complex than most other cards. There are three tiers of minimum spend, a minimum requirement of five transactions per month, a quarterly cashback cap, bonus cashback on select categories, and a base cashback rate of 0.03%, which is lower than other cards.

The cashback tiers are based on the minimum spend and are divided into three tiers. The higher the tier, the higher the quarterly cashback cap and rebate percentage. To reach a cashback tier, you need to meet the minimum spend for three consecutive months in a quarter. If you spend $1,000 for the first two months but only $500 for the third, you’ll be at Tier 1, not Tier 2.

The bonus cashback you get depends on your tier. For example, if you’re only at Tier 1 or 2, you won’t get the extra 1.67% rebate at Shell. You’ll also only get a maximum of 8.33% cashback at Shopee, Grab, and Dairy Farm merchants. Even if you hit Tier 3 and qualify for 10% cashback, you won’t get 10% cashback on all $2,000. Since your quarterly cashback caps out at $200, your maximum effective cashback is just 3.33%.

The UOB One Credit Card has a base cashback rate of 0.03%, which is lower than other cards. The card also has a quarterly cashback cap, so even if you hit Tier 3 and qualify for 10% cashback, you won’t get 10% cashback on all $2,000. Your maximum effective cashback is just 3.33%, which is not as generous as it seems.

Your effective cashback rate drops the more you spend past the minimum. You’ll get optimal rebates if you hit the $500, $1,000, or $2,000 minimums almost exactly. It can be a lot of effort to track spending for a whole quarter, and just one miscalculation can easily cost you three months of effort.

It’s also important to note that only transactions posted during the statement month count toward that month’s minimum requirement. If you charge to the card two days before the end of the statement month but the merchant only posts the transaction three days later, you’re out of luck.

In conclusion, the UOB One Cashback system is complex and requires careful tracking of spending. While the cashback rates may seem generous, the quarterly cashback cap and minimum spend requirements make it difficult to maximize your rewards.

How Does This Card Compare To Others?

Maybank Family & Friends Card vs UOB One Credit Card

When comparing the Maybank Family & Friends Card to the UOB One Credit Card, the Maybank card offers higher cashback at a lower minimum spend. It allows you to choose the categories you want rebates in, with many that overlap with UOB One’s high cashback categories. However, the S$25 cashback cap per category means you have to spread your spending across five categories to reap the benefits of this card.

OCBC 365 Card vs UOB One Credit Card

The OCBC 365 Card has a decent cashback with no cashback cap per category, which allows you more flexibility. If you spend a lot on dining and petrol, this may be your go-to card. It also grants at least two years of fee waivers, which means instant savings of S$192.60.

OCBC Frank Card vs UOB One Credit Card

If you don’t usually spend a lot with your card, the OCBC Frank Credit Card is a great alternative to the UOB One Credit Card. With only S$600 minimum spend per month, you can still earn more cashback than with the UOB One. However, this card may not be for you if you’re looking for savings on petrol. It also grants two years of fee waivers, which means instant savings of S$192.60.

Overall, if you want rebates on categories that your other credit cards don’t offer, the UOB One Credit Card is only worth it if you max out every chance you get to earn cashback. The Maybank Friends and Family Card, OCBC 365, and OCBC Frank Credit Card are fair contenders with higher monthly caps. None of them require cardholders to meet a quarterly minimum spend.

Downsides of the UOB One Credit Card

1. No Travel Perks

I must say that the UOB One Credit Card doesn’t offer many travel perks. Although the card provides additional cashback on UOB Travel, it has several restrictions. The bonus cashback rate doesn’t apply to online flight bookings, which means you can only avail of this benefit for tour packages, travel insurance, and car rentals. Additionally, there are no travel perks like complimentary lounge access, airport transfers, or free hotel stays. The key benefit of this card is the cashback, and that’s all you’ll get.

2. Cannot Earn UOB UNI$

Unlike other UOB cards, such as the UOB Lady’s Card, Platinum Visa Card, and Visa Signature Card, the UOB One Credit Card doesn’t allow you to earn UNI$ to redeem rewards. This is a significant downside of the card, especially if you’re looking to earn rewards points.

Who Would Benefit From This Card?

If you’re someone who already has a UOB One Account and is looking for a credit card to go with it, this card might be a good choice for you. Additionally, if you’re interested in earning rebates on SP utilities and public transport, this card could be a good fit. Finally, if you’re able to track your expenses and spend almost exactly $500 on the card each month, you might benefit from this card. However, if you typically spend more than $2000 a month, this card may not be as worthwhile for you.