UOB One Card – MoneySmart Review 2020
The UOB One Card is hands down UOB’s favourite entry level credit card – especially for those with a UOB One account too. The credit card owes its fame to its key proposition: a maximum of 5% cash rebate on everything, no need to futz about with different spending categories.
That’s not to say that attaining that 5% UOB One Card rebate is easy. Far from it. In fact, you could say it’s downright onerous (or “One-erous”).
Let’s see whether the UOB One Card is worth the effort.
UOB One Card terms & conditions
|UOB One Card|
|Annual fee & waiver||$192.60 (waived for 1 year)|
|Supplementary annual fee||First supp card free, subsequently $96.30|
|Interest free period||21 days|
|Annual interest rate||25.90%|
|Late payment fee||$100|
|Minimum monthly repayment||3% or $50, whichever is higher|
|Foreign currency transaction fee||3.25%|
|Cash advance transaction fee||6%|
|Minimum income||$30,000 (Singaporean) / $40,000 (non-Singaporean)|
|Wireless payment||Visa payWave, Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, Android Pay, Mighty Pay, GrabPay, Google Pay|
How the UOB One Card works
The UOB One Card is UOB’s star entry level credit card that’s famous for giving you up to 5% cash back on almost everything you swipe the card on. That said, the “3.33% rebate” or “5% rebate” terminology can be rather misleading and you must hammer into your head that it’s a flat rebate.
The cash rebate is awarded quarterly based on 3 tiers of minimum spending. You will need to consistently spend at least $500, $1,000 or $2,000 for each month of the quarter to earn $50, $100 or $300 respectively at the end of the quarter. There is also a minimum criteria of at least 5 transactions per month.
Once you qualify for the quarterly rebate, you can enjoy an additional 5% rebate on Grab transactions (GrabFood, Grab Mart and rides excluding mobile wallet top-ups) and an additional 1% on Singapore Power utilities bills. The additional rebate is capped at $100 per month. That means you can earn up to an additional $2,400 in rebates in a year.
How to make the most of your UOB One Card
Put simply, it’s not enough to blow $6,000 on a Chanel handbag in the first month. In fact, you should avoid spending over $2,000 each month. Even if you swipe $10,000 on your UOB One Card every month, you still only get $300 at the end of the quarter.
Instead, you should be careful to make sure that your spending is exactly $2,000 (or $1,000 or $500) consistently every month in that quarter, or all your efforts will be for naught.
The 5 transactions must also be within your statement month, so if you swipe your 5th transaction too close to the last day, there’s a chance that it may not be counted (the retailer may not have posted it yet).
In that sense, the UOB One Card’s rebate system is really generous but rather unforgiving. The saving grace is that the UOB One Card is the only cashback card in Singapore that will give you cash rebates on almost everything. Considering if you consolidate your daily spend like groceries, petrol, utilities, recurring bills on this card, it should not be hard to achieve.
The significant exclusions are payments made to the government, educational institutions, stored value top-ups, and insurance premiums, which are exclusions aligned to most banks’ cards. So if you use your credit card to pay for stuff like traffic fines, university school fees, top up your YouTrip account or pay for monthly insurance premiums, it won’t count towards the minimum spend.
Who should use the UOB One Card?
If you have better things to do than to manage 9 different “specialty” cashback credit cards (one for online shopping, one for petrol, one for groceries, etc.) you’ll appreciate the convenience of this all-in-one cash back credit card.
With 5% on all spends, you know you’ll definitely get some kind of cash payout at the end of the quarter.
In short, pick the UOB One Card if you spend in multiple categories but can’t be bothered to manage multiple cards.
Alternatives to the UOB One Card
Here are a couple of other all-purpose cashback credit cards you might want to look into as well:
HSBC Advance Credit Card – If you don’t mind crediting your salary to a HSBC account, you can become an Advance customer and get pretty decent cashback on all spending, also regardless of spending categories. If you spend $2,000 to $3,500 a month you get 3.5%; if you spend less than $2,000 you get 2.5% with no minimum spend. There’s a really high cashback cap of $125 too!
BOC Family Card – Low effort because the minimum spend is only $500, but it still offers pretty good cashback on many categories: 10% on dining, 5% on selected retail, groceries, online shopping, hospital bills and NETS FlashPay. It has a $1,200 cap on cash rebates a year, though.
American Express True Cashback Card – Simple and straightforward credit card that gives you 3% cashback for the first 6 months (up to $5,000 spend) and 1.5% afterwards, no questions asked, no minimum, no cap. This is great for getting cashback without any hassle, but the tradeoff is a much lower cash rebate.
The best cash back credit card depends on your expenditure. If you do not wish to manage too many cards and has a pretty fixed monthly spend, go for the UOB One Card. If you play your cards right, this might be the most generous rebate card out there.
If you plan to spend more than $2,000, you won’t get any more returns on the UOB One Card, so consider the HSBC Advance or Amex True Cashback cards instead.
Convinced that the UOB One Card is the “One Card” to rule them all? Apply here.
What is your go-to cashback credit card? Share your recommendations in the comments!