UOB Absolute Cashback Card Review: All That It Promises to Be?

Shania Wong
Updated:
PROMO: Get S$300 cash via PayNow
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on UOB's website

UOB Absolute Cashback Card

Apply Now
on UOB's website
UOB touts its Absolute Cashback Card as having the best unlimited cashback rate, and it’s upheld that reputation so far. With almost no spending exclusions, this is a must-have card for insurance premiums, GrabPay top-ups, healthcare bills, and more.

Pros

  • Highest cashback rate in the market
  • No minimum spending
  • Almost no spending exclusions
  • Access to UOB and AMEX privileges

Cons

  • No fee waivers after the first year
  • Low cashback for low spenders
  • AMEX not as widely accepted as Mastercard or Visa
  • Not compatible with mobile contactless payments

Current Promotion

Get S$300 cash via PayNow when you spend a minimum of S$1,000 for 2 consecutive 30 day periods from the card approval date. (Valid until 31 December 2022) Click to apply.

Sometimes, large bills are unavoidable. Taxes, hospital bills, or a grand wedding celebration – it would be great to have a card that takes some of the sting out of parting with your hard-earned money.

The trick is in finding a card that gives you rebates on almost everything. 

But that’s exactly what the UOB Absolute Cashback Card promises.

It boasts the highest unlimited cashback rate in town with no spending exclusions, but how true is that? Are there any hidden fees and conditions?

Today, we’ll be reviewing the UOB Absolute Cashback Card and giving our verdict based on: 

Eligibility Requirements

Age21 and above
IncomeS$30,000 and above for Singapore Citizens and PRs; S$40,000 and above for foreigners with a valid visa

Pretty standard as far as requirements go. If you can’t meet the minimum income requirements, you may be able to use a Fixed Deposit of at least S$10,000 as collateral instead.

Fees and Charges

Annual Fees
  • Principal Card: S$192.60 inclusive of GST (waived for the first year)
  • Supplementary Card: First card free. S$96.30 for subsequent cards
Effective Interest Rate26.9% (min. charge of S$3)
Late Payment ChargesS$100
Minimum Monthly Payment3% or S$50, whichever is higher
Overlimit FeeS$40
Cash Advance Fee8% per transaction, subject to a minimum fee of S$15.
Cash Advance Interest Rate28%
Foreign Currency Transaction Fee3.25%

The fees and charges for this card are on par with other entry-level offerings.

You’ll only get a one-year fee waiver with this card. Thereafter, you’ll have to call in to get a waiver, which you’re more likely to get if this card sees regular use.

Cashback, Discounts, and Other Perks

Cashback
  • Unlimited 1.7% cashback
  • No minimum spending or spending exclusions
Other Benefits[/list]Enjoy AMEX benefits at specific merchants (e.g. 30% off Booking.com and complimentary travel insurance)
UOB lifestyle privileges at merchants around the world (e.g. Haidilao Hot Pot, Deliveroo, and foodpanda)[/list]
Ongoing PromotionsGet S$300 cash via PayNow when you spend a minimum of  S$1,000 for 2 consecutive 30 day periods from the card approval date. (Valid until 31 December 2022)

Fuss-Free Cashback System & Eligibility

Gone are the days when you had to keep track of monthly minimum spending – at least with this card. Almost all your spending is eligible for the 1.7% unlimited cashback, so there’s no need to scrutinise Merchant Category Codes here.

Still though, 1.7% cashback is a far cry from the 8-10% you’ll get with capped cashback cards like the Maybank Family & Friends Card. You’d have to spend a whopping $7,353.94 to get the same amount of cashback as the Maybank Family & Friends Card, which only needs $1,562.50 in spending to max out your S$125 cashback.

Bottom line? If you’re not a big spender, you’re usually better off with a cashback credit card that matches your spending habits. But this is still a good card to have handy on the rare occasion that you expect to exceed your cashback caps.

Cashback Categories

While most unlimited cashback cards would exclude categories like insurance premiums, the UOB Absolute Cashback Card does not. Feel free to use this card for expenses such as: 

  • Insurance premiums
  • E-wallet top ups (GrabPay wallet top-ups, anyone?)
  • Rental payments
  • Utilities and telco bills
  • Healthcare bills

One thing to note though: paying these large bills by instalment won’t qualify for cashback. You’ll have to pay the bills in full to be eligible.

And needless to say, buying your Toto or 4D with this card will not grant you any cashback. 

Pro Tip: If you’re worried about merchants not accepting AMEX, you can always top up your GrabPay wallet using this card. Since the GrabPay Card is a prepaid Mastercard, you’ll get the 1.7% cashback on top of one of the most widely-accepted credit card associations.

Read also: GrabPay Card Review 2022: Is It Worth Getting?

How Does The UOB Absolute Cashback Card Fare Against Other Unlimited Cashback Cards?

Here are a few of the other popular unlimited cashback card options in Singapore: 

  • Standard Chartered Unlimited Cashback Credit Card
  • AMEX True Cashback Card
  • Maybank FC Barcelona Visa Signature Card
  • Citi Cash Back+ Mastercard
Cashback Credit CardBase Cashback RatesWelcome BonusNotable ExclusionsAnnual Fees
SC Unlimited Cashback Card1.5%Up to S$220 additional cashback when you spend S$200 as a new cardmember
  • Recurring payments
  • Insurance premiums
  • Prepaid card or account top-ups
$192.60 (waived for 2 years)
American Express True Cashback Card1.5% 3% cashback within the first 6 months of membership or up to $5,000 spendingInstalment plansS$171.20 (waived for 1 year)
Maybank FC Barcelona Visa Signature Card1.6%Samsonite luggage when you spend S$350 for two consecutive months as a new cardmember
  • Payments to government (e.g. taxes)
  • Insurance premiums
  • Prepaid card top-ups
S$120 (waived for 2 years)
Citi Cash Back+ Mastercard1.6% 6% cashback on up to S$3,000 spend in the first two months for new cardmembers
  • Bill payments
  • School fees
  • Payments to government (e.g. taxes)
  • Insurance premiums & other institutional payments
  • Prepaid card or account top-ups
S$192.60 (waived for 1 year)
UOB Absolute Cashback Card1.7% Get 10% cashback for new-to-UOB Credit CardmembersBank FeesS$192.60 (waived for 1 year)

Overall, the UOB Absolute Cashback card is the best option when it comes to spending exclusions and cashback rates. It also comes with a great welcome offer, granting new cardmembers a bonus 5% cashback rate on your first S$3,000 spending. 

If you’re looking for an unlimited cashback card with the lowest annual fees, then the Maybank FC Barcelona Visa Signature Card may be a better option. Not only does it come with the lowest fees and a two-year fee waiver, but you’ll also get an automatic annual fee waiver when you charge at least S$10,000 to the card every year.

Who This Card is Best For? 

If you’re all about maximising cashback, the UOB Absolute Cashback Card is a good one to keep handy. Combine this card with a high capped cashback card like the CIMB Visa Signature and you’ll get rebates for almost every bill.

Otherwise, this is also a great card if you’re looking for a simple, fuss-free cashback card. With barely any spending exclusions and no minimum spending requirement, you won’t have to micromanage your expenses.