UOB Absolute Cashback Card — MoneySmart Review 2021

UOB Absolute Cashback Card — MoneySmart Review 2021

Now that life keeps throwing up curveballs (which Phase is Singapore in again?), I really appreciate simple, straightforward credit cards like the new UOB Absolute Cashback Card.

The UOB Absolute Cashback Card is one of several unlimited cashback cards on the market. These just give you a flat cashback rate on all spending — without minimum spending requirements, cashback caps and all that rot.

Among the unlimited cashback options, the UOB Absolute Cashback Card has the highest flat rate of 1.7%.

UOB logo
Cash Back on Eligible Spend
1.7%
Min. Spend per month
$0
Spend Exclusions
No

Should we all abandon our former allegiances for this new contender for the throne? Let’s find out.

UOB Absolute Cashback Card terms & conditions

UOB Absolute Cashback Card

Annual fee & waiver

$192.60 (first year waiver)

Supplementary annual fee

$96.30 (waived for first card)

Interest free period

21 days

Annual interest rate

26.9%

Late payment fee

$100

Minimum monthly repayment

3% or $50, whichever is higher

Foreign currency transaction fee

3.25%

Cash advance transaction fee

8% or $15, whichever is higher

Overlimit fee

$40

Minimum income

$30,000

Card association

American Express

Wireless payment

Eligible except mobile wireless payments

How the UOB Absolute Cashback Card works

The UOB Absolute Cashback Card is an unlimited cashback card that lets you earn a cool 1.7% cashback on all your spending, with no minimum spend and no cap. That’s it!

With this type of credit card, you really need just one — the credit card offering with the highest rebate.

Seriously though, this type of credit card is so simple that a kindergartener could figure it out. There isn’t anything complicated to figure out.

The UOB Absolute Cashback Card would be perfect if not for the fact that… it’s an American Express card. Nooo! Why?!

Don’t get me wrong, Amex is pretty widely accepted, but there are still a lot of merchants that only accept Visa or MasterCard, especially smaller businesses.

Read more: 5 Best Unlimited Cashback Credit Cards in Singapore (2021)

Aren’t there better cashback cards out there?

You bet. In a world of cashback cards dangling generous rebates like 8% or 6%, 1.7% can seem rather miserly in comparison.

But in my experience, those high cashback rates don’t always last. Here’s a cautionary tale:

When I first started earning enough to qualify for credit cards, I signed up for 7 credit cards and created a spreadsheet of all the benefits and minimum spending requirements. At times, I’d find myself stuck at the cashier counter trying to pull up the spreadsheet on my phone so I’d know which card to use.

Within a year, the banks started to change the credit cards’ terms and conditions, and all my research went down the drain.

So if you’re the kind of person who doesn’t like the hassle of tracking your expenses — or switching credit card strategy when the banks inevitably change their T&Cs — earning 1.7% on everything seems like a perfectly reasonable trade-off.

Who should use the UOB Absolute Cashback Card?

As the UOB Absolute Cashback Card offers cashback on everything, it’s a good multi-purpose card to use for all types of spending.

Let’s say you once relied on Citi Cash Back Card for their petrol and dining cashback. But due to staying home more, you haven’t been able to hit the $800 minimum monthly spending requirement.

Rather than forgoing your bonus cashback (or worse, being forced to overspend), you can switch your expenses to the UOB Absolute Cashback Card and at least 1.7% cashback without having to hit a minimum.

Unlike most credit cards, UOB Absolute Cashback Card has virtually no spending exclusions. So, you can earn 1.7% on your insurance premiums, school fees, e-wallet top-ups, utilities bills and even rental payments.

As there is no minimum monthly spending requirement, this card is suitable for anyone as a backup card for those days when no other card is useful.

UOB Absolute Cashback promotions

UOB is offering a welcome bonus of 5% cashback to new UOB customers who spend at least $3,000 by 31 July 2021. The bonus cashback of 3.3% (which is added to your base cashback of 1.7%) is capped at $99.

FYI, most of the other unlimited cashback credit cards offer similar promotions, and we’ve compiled them here:

Unlimited cashback credit card Welcome promo Regular cashback rate
Citi Cash Back+ Mastercard 4.5% in first 3 months (capped at $225) 1.6%
Standard Chartered Unlimited Cashback Credit Card 3.5% in first 3 months (capped at $150) 1.5%
American Express True Cashback Card 3% in first 6 months (capped at $150) 1.5%
UOB Absolute Cashback Card Additional $99 upon spending $3,000 by 31 July 2021 1.7%

Some of the other unlimited cashback cards do have better introductory offers — most notably the Citi Cash Back+ Card, at a generous 4.5% in the first 3 months.

Sponsored
Citibank logo
MoneySmart Exclusive
No Expiry on Cash Back Earned
Cash Back on Eligible Spend
1.6%
Min. Spend per month
S$0
Cash Back Cap
Unlimited
MoneySmart Exclusive:

Apply and spend $200 to get: $300 Cash PayNow OR Apple Watch SE (worth $419).
OR
Apply and spend $500 to get: $350 Cash PayNow OR Sony WH-1000XM4 (worth $499).

Valid until 26 Jul 2021

In addition, with the other credit cards, you also do not need to hit a minimum to take advantage of the welcome offer. The UOB Absolute Cashback Card, however, requires you to spend $3,000 in order to get the one-time bonus of $99.

Go ahead and sign up for one of the other cards if you anticipate a big ticket purchase and want to max out the welcome gift of bonus cashback. But for the long haul, you’ll probably earn more cashback with UOB Absolute Cashback than the others.

So is the UOB Absolute Cashback worth getting?

You can see from the above table that the UOB Absolute Cashback card isn’t necessarily the best in terms of their welcome promotion.

But welcome bonuses aside, we think this is a great credit card to have on standby. Its main advantage is offering cashback on almost all transactions — whereas most other cards have exceptions.

For example, the StanChart Unlimited card excludes stored value top-ups, school fees, tax payment and parking charges, while the Citi Cash Back+ excludes any bill payments, school fees, insurance premiums and transport-related transactions, amongst others.

The Amex True Cashback Card is as lax as the UOB Absolute Cashback Card, but then it offers 0.2% less cashback.

As mentioned earlier, the card’s main drawback is that it’s an Amex card, which means it might not be as widely accepted. But despite this disadvantage, the UOB Absolute Cashback Card is still a very solid card for everyday use.

UOB logo
Cash Back on Eligible Spend
1.7%
Min. Spend per month
$0
Spend Exclusions
No

Found this article useful? Share it with your friends and family.