UOB is like one of those random hawker centres with a lot of stalls, but the majority of the patrons queue at 2 or 3 stalls. The UOB One Card is one of those famous credit cards thanks to its key proposition: a maximum of 5% cashback on everything, no need to futz about with different spending categories.
That’s not to say that attaining that 5% cashback 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.
- Up to 5% cash rebate on all spend for spend above S$2,000/month per quarter (up to 3.33% cash rebate for spend of $500 or $1,000 monthly)
- Up to 10% additional SMART$ rebate with UOB SMART$ Rebate Programme
Pros and cons of the UOB One Card
|Sign-up bonus of $80 cashback for new UOB applicants until 31 Mar 2018.||Minimum spend $600 in the first month. Limited to the first 600 applicants.|
|Spend $2,000 monthly for 3 months straight to get $300 quarterly payout (i.e. 5% rebate).||Must maintain consistent spending for the whole quarter.|
|Spend $1,000 monthly for 3 months straight to get $100 quarterly payout (i.e. 3.33% rebate).||Must maintain consistent spending for the whole quarter.|
|Spend $500 monthly for 3 months straight to get $50 quarterly payout (i.e. 3.33% rebate).||Must maintain consistent spending for the whole quarter.|
|Rebate is quarterly and fixed. You won’t get any more rebate if you spend over the $2,000 / $1,000 / $500 minimum spend.|
|Save up to 24% at SPC and 20.8% at Shell.||Assuming you get the maximum rebate of 5%.|
|Earn additional rebates at SMART$ participating merchants.|
|Entry-level minimum income requirement of $30,000 a year.|
|Annual fee waived for one year.||Annual fee of $192.60.|
The best cash rebate credit card in Singapore (maybe?)
First, the good: the UOB One Card is really the only cashback card in Singapore that will give you a 5% rebate on almost everything.
The significant exclusions are payments made to the government and charitable/religious organisations. So if you use your credit card to pay for stuff like traffic offense fines or to fill the coffers of City Harvest, it won’t count towards the minimum spend.
Interestingly, though, the Terms & Conditions do not mention common exclusions like insurance premiums or bills or even online gambling. Not to give you ideas or anything!
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 card. Sure it might not give you an impressive 10% rebate on dining or whatever, but at least you know you’ll definitely get some kind of cash payout at the end of the quarter.
Okay, now the bad: the “3.33% cashback” or “5% rebate” terminology can be rather misleading. It’s totally unlike other cashback credit cards, where the more you spend, the more cashback you get. Instead, you must hammer into your head that it’s a flat rebate. Whether you spend $2,000 or $10,000 every month, you still only get $300 at the end of the quarter. So don’t spend more than $2,000!
Also, because it’s a quarterly rebate, you need to be careful and make sure that your spending is exactly $2,000 (or $1,000 or $500) consistently every month in that quarter, or it will all be for naught. In that sense, the UOB One Card’s rebate system is rather unforgiving.
Other all-in-one cashback credit cards to consider:
I assume that you’re drawn to the UOB One Card because you spend in many different categories and can’t be bothered to manage multiple cards. Hence, you want “One Card” to rule them all.
Here are a couple of other all-purpose cashback 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: 7% on dining and 5% on groceries, online shopping, hospital bills and NETS FlashPay. Its $100 cap means you can spend up to $1,500 on this card.
- American Express True Cashback Card – Simple and straightforward credit card that gives you 3% cashback for the first 6 months 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 card depends on your expenditure. If you’re happy spending $2,000 a month, by all means go for the UOB One. If you spend less than that, the 3.33% rebate might not make all that expenditure tracking worth your while, so go for an all-purpose cashback card like the BOC Family Card instead.
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.
UOB One Card minimum income
Singaporeans & PRs: $30,000
UOB One Card annual fee
$192.60 (waived for first year)
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Tags: Credit Cards