UOB One Credit Card Review 2022: 10% Rebate, Many Strings Attached

Priscilla Lee
Updated:
PROMO: Get S$300 cash via PayNow
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on UOB's website

UOB One Credit Card

Apply Now
on UOB's website
If you can manage the complicated cashback calculations and high minimum spend, the UOB One Card offers up to 10% rebate to those who regularly shop at the participating merchants. Those on a budget are better off with a more versatile card, however.

Pros

  • Up to 10% cashback
  • Cashback for everyday expenses – groceries, Shopee, public transport, etc.
  • High petrol savings at SPC and Shell
  • Earn bonus interest when paired with UOB One Account

Cons

  • High minimum spend
  • Must hit minimum spend for three consecutive months to qualify for rebates
  • Very tight cashback caps
  • Low effective cashback rate

Current Promotion

Get S$300 cash credit via PayNow for the first 300 new-to-UOB credit cardmembers with a minimum spend of S$1,000 per month for 2 consecutive months from card approval date. (Valid until 31 December 2022) Click to apply.

Touted as the “most generous cashback card” in Singapore, the UOB One Credit Card offers up to 10% cashback on eligible transactions.

Compared to other 10% cashback cards, the categories here are also far more accessible. Shopee, Giant, SP utilities, and public transport, for example, likely appear on many of our credit card statements.

But look a bit deeper and you’ll find that there’s a complicated cashback system with this card. That leaves you wondering: just how generous is this card, really?

Read on to find out more about:

Eligibility & Fees

AgeAt least 21 years old
Minimum IncomeS$30,000 for Singapore Citizens and PRs; S$40,000 for foreigners.

Alternatively, a fixed deposit collateral of at least S$10,000.
Annual FeesS$192.60 (first year waived) for principal card with one free supplementary card
Effective Interest Rate26.9% p.a. (minimum S$3 charge)
Late Payment ChargesS$100
Minimum Monthly Payment3% of current balance or $50, whichever is higher, plus any overdue amounts
Overlimit FeeS$40
Foreign Currency Transaction Fee3.25%
Cash Advance Fees6% (minimum S$15 charge)
Cash Advance Interest28% p.a.
Lost card liabilityS$100

There’s no automatic fee waiver past the first year, but most UOB One cardholders have reported being able to call in for a waiver. 

Cashback, Discounts, and Other Benefits

Cashback
  • Up to 10% – Public transport, Shopee, Grab, Dairy Farm merchants (Cold Storage, Giant, 7-Eleven, Guardian, CS Fresh, Marketplace, Jasons, and Jasons Deli) and UOB Travel
  • Up to 4.33% – For SP utility bills
  • Up to 3.33% – For all other retail spend
Minimum SpendS$500 monthly for every month in a quarter, with minimum five transactions monthly
Quarterly Cashback CapTier 1: S$50
Tier 2: S$100
Tier 3: S$200
Other Benefits
  • Earn up to 3.6% interest p.a. when you combine your UOB One Account with the UOB One Credit Card
  • Complimentary Travel Insurance of up to S$500,000. Apply to activate your insurance coverage at least 5 working days before your trip.
  • Over 300 UOB cardmember deals on ShopUOB with merchants like Club 21, Courts, Taobao, and Lazada
Welcome GiftGet S$300 cash credit via PayNow for the first 300 new-to-UOB credit cardmembers with a minimum spend of S$1,000 per month for 2 consecutive months from card approval date. (Valid until 31 December 2022)

Earn Extra Interest With the UOB One Account

The bonus interest UOB advertises is a little misleading: yes, you can earn 3.6% interest, but only on the last S$25,000 of your first S$100,000 in the account. For amounts $75,000 and below, you’ll earn lower interest. All in all, you’ll earn an effective interest of 2.145% on the first S$100,000 in your UOB One Account.

Still, considering the low requirements for the bonus interest, this is still an excellent offer if you’re looking for a savings account + credit card combo. To qualify for maximum interest, you only have to:

  1. Spend at least S$500 on your UOB One Credit Card
  2. Credit at least a salary of S$1,600

Both of these sound doable. Other high-interest savings accounts have heavier requirements, like accumulating S$30,000 in eligible transactions (DBS Multiplier) or engaging with multiple products from the bank.

Read also: 5 Best High-Interest Savings Accounts for Singapore

How the Cashback System Works

Most cards have a base cashback rate, and then a minimum spend to meet to unlock the highest cashback.

We wish things were that simple with the UOB One Credit Card. Instead, it has:

  1. Three tiers of minimum spend
  2. A minimum requirement of five transactions per month
  3. A quarterly cashback cap
  4. Bonus cashback on select categories
  5. And a base cashback rate of 0.03% (far worse than other cards)

That explains the many complaints we hear about the UOB One cashback system being complex.

Let’s start with the cashback tiers:

Min. SpendQuarterly Cashback CapBenefits
Tier 1Spend S$500 monthly across at least 5 transactions for the whole quarterS$50
  • 3.33% rebate on all retail spend
  • 4.33% rebate at SP Utilities
  • 8.33% rebate at Dairy Farm merchants, Grab, Shopee, SimplyGo, and UOB Travel
Tier 2Spend S$1,000 monthly across at least 5 transactions for the whole quarterS$100
  • Same as Tier 1 benefits
Tier 3Spend S$2,000 monthly across at least 5 transactions for the whole quarterS$200
  • 3.33% rebate on all retail spend
  • 4.33% rebate at SP Utilities
  • 5% rebate at Shell
  • 10% rebate at Dairy Farm merchants, Grab, Shopee, SimplyGo, and UOB Travel

The higher the tier, the higher your quarterly cashback cap and rebate percentage. Simple enough so far, right?

Here’s where it becomes a bit of a headache:

  1. You only reach the cashback tier when you meet the minimum spend for three consecutive months in a quarter. Say you spend $1,000 for the first two months but only $500 for the third: you’ll be at Tier 1, not Tier 2.
  2. The bonus cashback you get depends on your tier. For example, if you’re only at Tier 1 or 2, you won’t get the extra 1.67% rebate at Shell. You’ll also only get a max of 8.33% cashback at Shopee, Grab, and Dairy Farm merchants.
  3. Even if you hit Tier 3 and qualify for 10% cashback, you won’t get 10% cashback on all $2,000. Since your quarterly cashback caps out at $200, your max effective cashback is just 3.33% – not quite so “generous” after all.
  4. Your effective cashback rate drops the more you spend past the minimum. You’ll get optimal rebates if you hit the $500, $1000, or $2000 minimums almost exactly.

For some of us, it’s a lot of effort to track spending for a whole quarter. Just one miscalculation can easily cost you three months of effort.

On top of that, only transactions posted during the statement month count toward that month’s minimum requirement. If, for example, you charge to the card 2 days before the end of the statement month but the merchant only posts the transaction 3 days later, you’re out of luck.

How Does This Card Compare To Others?

Given the effective cashback of 3.33%, it seems like this card is only worth it if you want rebates on categories that your other credit cards don’t offer.

Here’s a quick comparison of the UOB One Credit Card to alternatives:

Card TypeMinimum SpendCashback RangeCashback CategoriesCashback Cap
UOB One CardS$500 per month for a quarter 0.03% to 10%10% for public transport, Grab, Shopee, Daily Farm merchants, UOB TravelS$200 per quarter
Maybank Family & Friends Card S$800 monthly0.3% to 8%8% on Transport (including petrol and public transport), Dining & Food Delivery, Groceries, and seven other categoriesS$125 per month, S$25 per category
OCBC 365 S$800 monthly0.3% to 6%6% on dining and online food delivery; 5% on fuel spendS$80 per month
OCBC Frank Credit CardS$600 monthly0.3% to 6%Online and app spending (including Grab), in-store mobile and foreign currency spendingS$75 per month, S$25 per category

If you max out every chance you get to earn cashback, the most cashback you’ll be entitled to is around S$66 per month (even if you’re at Tier 3). This makes Maybank Friends and Family Card, OCBC 365, and OCBC Frank Credit Card fair contenders with higher monthly caps.

And none of them require cardholders to meet a quarterly minimum spend.

Maybank Family & Friends Card vs UOB One Credit Card

Maybank’s card is a nice “family-friendly” alternative. It offers you the ability to choose the categories you want rebates in, with many that overlap with UOB One’s high cashback categories.

The S$25 cashback cap per category means you have to spread your spending across five categories to reap the benefits of this card. Still, it offers higher cashback at a lower minimum spend.

OCBC 365 Card vs UOB One Credit Card

OCBC 365 has decent cashback with no cashback cap per category. This allows you more flexibility. If you spend a lot on dining and petrol, this may be your go-to card.

OCBC Frank Card vs UOB One Credit Card

The OCBC Frank Credit Card is great if you don’t usually spend a lot with your card.  With only S$600 minimum spend per month, you can still earn more cashback than with the UOB One. However, this card may not be for you if you’re looking for savings on petrol. 

Cashback aside, the other cards also grant at least two to three years of fee waivers (two years for OCBC cards and three years for Maybank), which means instant savings of S$192.60 to S$385.20. But if you’re confident in getting a waiver for your UOB One Credit Card, then this may not be much of a concern for you.

Downsides of the UOB One Credit Card

Besides the downsides already mentioned, here are a couple other points to note:

1. No Travel Perks

Even though UOB One offers extra cashback on UOB Travel, it comes with a number of exclusions. Oddly, the bonus cashback rate doesn’t apply to online flight bookings. That means you’re left mainly with tour packages, travel insurance, and car rentals.

There are also no travel perks like complimentary lounge access, airport transfers, or free hotel stays. The cashback is the key benefit you’ll get for this card. 

2. Cannot Earn UOB UNI$

Unlike other UOB cards like the UOB Lady’s Card, Platinum Visa Card, and Visa Signature Card, this card doesn’t allow you to earn UNI$ to redeem rewards. 

Who Would Benefit From This Card?

With the way UOB has redesigned this card, it’s no longer as worthwhile – especially not for those who spend S$2,000 a month.

Instead, we’d recommend this card for:

  • Those who already have a UOB One Account and want a credit card to go with it
  • Those looking for a card to earn rebates on SP utilities and public transport
  • Those who can track their expenses and spend almost exactly $500 on the card each month