UOB KrisFlyer Savings Account – MoneySmart Review 2019
The UOB KrisFlyer savings account works in tandem with any one of UOB’s eligible cards to give you more miles. The promise is that you can increase your miles earn rate substantially, depending on the spending on your debit/credit card and the balance in your savings account.
But is it worth sacrificing higher interest rates offered by other savings accounts to earn more miles? Let’s find out.
How does the UOB KrisFlyer savings account work?
|UOB KrisFlyer savings account|
|Base KrisFlyer miles||0.4 miles per $1 spend|
|Bonus KrisFlyer miles||Up to 6 miles per $1 spend (with salary credit)|
|Nationality||Singaporeans, Singapore PRs, Foreigners|
|Minimum monthly average balance (MAB)||$1,000|
|Bonus miles cap||5% of MAB|
The UOB KrisFlyer account allows you to earn bonus miles, on top of what your other UOB miles debit/credit cards already earn. For every $1 spend on an eligible UOB card, you earn additional 5 miles. If you credit your salary (minimum $2,000) to your KrisFlyer savings account, you earn additional 6 miles per $1 spend.
The eligible UOB cards are the KrisFlyer UOB Credit Card, KrisFlyer UOB Debit Card, UOB Reserve Card, UOB Visa Infinite Metal Card, UOB Visa Infinite Card, UOB Privilege Banking Card and the UOB PRVI Miles Card.
If you already hold one of these cards, you can open a UOB KrisFlyer savings account with an initial deposit of $1,000, start spending on your card and immediately earn bonus miles. There is no further linkage or application required. KrisFlyer miles earned will be credited to your KrisFlyer membership account directly each month.
However, note that there’s a cap on how many bonus miles you can earn which is equivalent to 5% of your MAB. Here’s a table to illustrate how miles are calculated.
|Example 1||Example 2|
|Monthly card spend||$200||$1,000|
|Monthly Average Balance (MAB)||$5,000||$100,000|
|5% MAB Cap||$5,000 x 5% = 250 miles||$100,000 x 5% = 5,000 miles|
|Base KrisFlyer miles||$200 x 0.4 = 80 miles||$1,000 x 0.4 = 400 miles|
|Bonus KrisFlyer miles||$200 x 6 = 1,200 miles |
(cap at 250 miles)
|$1,000 x 5 = 5,000 miles |
(cap at 5,000 miles)
|Total KrisFlyer Miles earned||80 + 250 = 330 miles||400 + 5,000 = 5,400 miles|
|Effective Miles earn rate||330/200 = 1.65 miles||5,400/1,000 = 5.4 miles|
You can see that in order to achieve a higher miles earn rate, you need to have a higher MAB so as to have a higher bonus miles cap. To make the most out of the KrisFlyer UOB account, you need to work out the amount of card spend and MAB that will make sense for you.
Pitfalls of the UOB KrisFlyer savings account
The main pitfall of the UOB KrisFlyer savings account is the 5% MAB cap. With that cap, your MAB must be quite high in order to get a good mile earn rate. It probably isn’t wise to deposit that much money at 0.05% interest since there are many better savings accounts out there.
For a stash-only account where you won’t be crediting your salary, the Citi MaxiGain account or the CIMB FastSaver account are good options. Otherwise, read Your Savings Account Sucks, Here Are Some That Don’t – 2019 Edition.
If you don’t have that kind of money shown in Example 2 in the table above, it makes more money sense to identify which categories you spend more in and get the right air miles credit card.
For instance, the Citi PremierMiles Visa Card gives $1 = 2 miles on foreign currency spend, retail and online spending. If you’re a frequent Grab user, the AMEX Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Ascend Credit Card gives you 3.2 miles per $1 spent on Grab.
While the UOB KrisFlyer account definitely doesn’t hold up on its own as a good savings account, if you are okay with earning some miles rather than interests on your deposits, you can pair this with a good air miles credit card from UOB like the KrisFlyer UOB Credit Card.
One good thing about the UOB KrisFlyer account is that you can link it to the Mighty FX (available on the UOB Mighty app), which is basically a mobile money changer that you can use to change money at competitive rates (no admin fee). Converting at least $1,000 to a foreign currency earns you an additional 200 miles.
How to open a UOB KrisFlyer account
Still decide that a UOB KrisFlyer savings account is suitable for you? You can apply on UOB’s website.
It’s relatively easy as you can retrieve your personal information via MyInfo. For new UOB customers, applications submitted between 8.30am to 9pm will be processed instantly and your account will be opened on the same day. For existing UOB customers, you can apply easily via UOB’s iBanking platform and your account will be opened with 2 working days.
What do you think about the UOB Krisflyer savings account?