1.4 local MPD and 2.4 overseas MPD on a $30,000 annual income requirement? Sounds a little too good to be true.
But that’s exactly what catches people’s eyes with the UOB PRVI Miles Cards.
It’s true that this card has a lot going for it, but there are also certain caveats you have to be aware of.
Let’s take a closer look at:
|Age||21 and above|
You can apply via the UOB website using Singpass MyInfo if you’re a Singaporean or SPR. Foreign applicants may submit an online application with supporting documentation.
Fees and Charges
|Annual Fees||S$259.20 (inclusive of GST) for a principal card with a one-year fee waiver. Two free supplementary cards; S$129.60 for subsequent cards.|
|Effective Interest Rate||26.90% per annum (minimum S$3)|
|Late Payment Charges||S$100|
|Minimum Monthly Payment||3% or S$50, whichever is higher|
|Foreign Transaction Fee||Up to 3.25%|
|Cash Advance Interest||28% per annum|
|Cash Advance Fee||6% of amount (minimum S$15)|
|Lost Card Liability||S$100|
The main point to note here is that despite the entry-level S$30,000 annual income requirement, the UOB PRVI Miles Card charges higher annual fees.
Question is, are those higher annual fees justifiable? For example, does it offer better perks than most entry-level travel cards?
We’ll look into that next.
Miles-per-Dollar (MPD) Earn Rates and Other Benefits
There are three versions of the UOB PRVI Miles Card: Visa, Mastercard, and American Express. Here’s a breakdown of what you’ll get:
|Local Spend||1.4 MPD|
|Foreign Spend||2.4 MPD|
|Travel Spend||6 MPD on major airlines and hotels worldwide via Expedia, Agoda, and UOB Travel (UNI$15 per S$5 spent)|
|Welcome Offer||Receive 50,000 welcome miles for new-to-UOB Credit cardmembers who pay 1st year Annual Fee and spend a minimum of S$1,000 per month for 2 consecutive months from card approval date. (Valid until 30 April 2023)|
|Loyalty Rewards (only for American Express Card)|
1.4 Local and 2.4 Overseas MPD
These miles earning rates are on the higher end of the market. You’ll only find such high MPD from travel cards like the Standard Chartered Visa Infinite Card, but you’ll need an annual income of S$150k just to qualify for that.
Read also: 7 Best Miles Credit Cards for Singapore
You’ll also get 2.4 MPD on transactions charged at overseas websites, though you’ll have to make sure the merchant’s payment gateway is actually outside of Singapore – otherwise, you’ll get the 1.4 local MPD instead.
The same applies for overseas transactions. Make sure you pay in the native currency when travelling, since Singapore dollar transactions that you make overseas will get the local MPD rate instead.
American Express Loyalty Awards
Unique to the AMEX version of the UOB PRVI Miles Card are the 20,000 loyalty miles and two complimentary airport transfers to Changi per quarter. Sounds great, right?
But wait – you need to accumulate S$1,000 in overseas spending per quarter for the “free” airport transfers. The 20,000 loyalty miles also need a minimum spend of S$50,000 per statement year.
That makes the S$30,000 annual income requirement a little misleading.
On the plus side, if you do spend that S$50,000 in a year, you’ll get an annual fee waiver on top of the 20,000 loyalty miles. That’s an extra S$256.80 in savings.
On the other hand, if you’re really spending S$50,000 a year, you might be better off with a card like the Standard Chartered Visa Infinite instead. You’ll pay higher annual fees (S$594), but you’ll get 1.4 local MPD and 3 overseas MPD along with luxury perks.
Complimentary Travel Insurance + UOB Travel Butler
You’ll also get complimentary travel insurance coverage of up to S$500,000 when you charge your full fare to the card. That’s on top of the 6 MPD you get for transactions on Agoda, Expedia, and UOB Travel, which makes it pretty decent if you already use these platforms.
UOB also provides a travel butler to assist with bookings.
Downsides of the UOB PRVI Miles Card
This is where all the fine print comes into play. Here are a few areas to take note of:
Miles Awarded in Spending Blocks of S$5
Taken at face value, the UOB PRVI’s MPD rates are above the market average. Sadly, there’s a catch: you’ll earn those miles in blocks of S$5 spending.
For example: You charge a S$14.90 lunch to the card. Your S$14.90 lunch will be rounded down to the nearest multiple of S$5, which means you’ll only earn 14 miles for the first S$10 of your lunch (or 0.94 MPD, in other words).
This shortfall is less pronounced if you mainly put large transactions on this card. But if you’re charging a series of smaller transactions over time, you’ll lose out on a lot of miles.
Read also: The 7 Best Miles Credit Cards for Singapore
No Miles from Merchants in the UOB$ Programme
On top of avoiding smaller transactions, you’ll also have to watch out for merchants in the UOB$ Programme. With these participating merchants, you won’t get the 1.4 local and 2.4 overseas MPD – instead, you’ll get a set amount of cashback.
The list of merchants includes places like Giant, Cold Storage, and Cathay Cineplexes, so it can get difficult to keep track of all 650+ participating merchants. In the case of Giant and Cold Storage, you’ll get a sad 1% cashback with a minimum spend of S$50, which is a lot worse than the 1.4 local MPD.
Not Enough Travel Perks
With the exception of the “free” Changi airport transfers (AMEX only) and travel insurance coverage, the UOB PRVI Miles Card doesn’t offer many travel perks. For a travel card, this is quite a letdown.
In contrast, cards like the Citi PremierMiles Card offer two complimentary airport lounge passes every year and up to S$1 million in insurance coverage. The UOB KrisFlyer Card gives you priority check-in, extra baggage allowance, and standard seat selection on Scoot.
At the very least, UOB should extend the complimentary Changi airport transfers across all three cards.
Loyalty Rewards Not Available to All Cards
Since you only get the 20,000 loyalty miles with the AMEX version of the card, there’s no incentive to spend S$50,000 a year if you’re on the Mastercard or Visa versions. Even the annual fee waiver is only available to AMEX cardholders.
UOB PRVI’s MPD Ratio vs Those of Other Cards
|Credit Card||Local Spend||Overseas Spend||Travel Spend|
|UOB PRVI Miles Card||1.4 MPD||2.4 MPD||6 MPD for airline and hotel spend via Agoda, Expedia, and UOB Travel|
|Citi PremierMiles Card||1.2 MPD||2 MPD||10 MPD for travel spend at Kaligo and 7 MPD at Agoda|
|DBS Altitude Card||1.2 MPD||2 MPD||10 MPD for hotel transactions at Kaligo and 6 MPD on flight/hotel transactions at Expedia 3 MPD on online flights and hotel transactions(capped at S$5,000 per month)|
|Maybank Horizon Visa Card||3.2 MPD for dining out, petrol, public transport, Grab, taxi rides, and Agoda bookings||2 MPD||2 MPD|
|UOB KrisFlyer Card||3 MPD for dining, food delivery, transport, travel, and online shopping (with S$500 minimum yearly spend on SIA) 1.2 MPD all other spend||3 MPD for travel bookings with SIA group|
The Maybank Horizon Visa Card tops the chart when it comes to local MPD, but the UOB PRVI Miles Card is still competitive compared with other entry-level cards in the market. The UOB PRVI’s 2.4 overseas MPD is also a clear winner.
Even though the UOB KrisFlyer Card offers 3 MPD on everyday expenses, you’ll have to spend at least S$500 yearly on SIA brands to qualify. Failing that means you’re back to 1.2 MPD: worse off than the UOB PRVI Miles’ 1.4 MPD.
While UOB PRVI Miles’ 6 MPD for travel spend is pretty favourable, the Citi Premier Miles and DBS Altitude Card are offering even better deals. Still, it’s worth doing a comparison across participating online travel portals (namely Agoda, Kaligo, Expedia, and UOB Travel) to determine which one offers more savings.
Who Would Benefit the Most From This Card?
- Business travellers or families who charge at least S$50,000 to the card per year
- Shoppers who prefer AMEX over Visa or Mastercard
- Travellers who often use platforms such as Agoda and Expedia for bookings
- Those who regularly go overseas with family and incur large travel expenses