Brilliant credit cards have a few things in common – they are easy to use, applicable everyday and give consumers the power to choose. With that in mind, I officially declare my new favourite cashback credit card – the UOB One Card.
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Switching from CIMB Visa Signature
Many good things do not last long. After CIMB changed the terms and conditions of their generous 10% cashback Visa Signature card in July, which made me a happy camper for four months – receiving a total of almost $500 worth of cashback from them also thanks to their signup bonus – I have been struggling to find a replacement card that offered a similar level of rewards for my spending habits.
What I liked about the CIMB Visa Signature was that it had been offering a whooping 10% cashback for online, contactless, groceries and F&B spend, up to a cap of $100 per month.
As those four categories are my most frequently used categories for my daily expenditure, it was very easy and it was almost certain to unlock the $100 per month cashback after hitting the minimum spend of $600.
With that out of mind and out of sight, I went hunting for a new credit card.
Understanding my monthly spending habits
I track my monthly spending, so I know that I spend roughly between $800-$1000 per month across food, online (Grab, Lazada, AliExpress), travel and groceries (FairPrice, Cold Storage).
I wanted to find a card that does not require a high minimum spend as I do not want to overspend, but at the same time I wanted something that gives me good value for spending my money!
Cashback vs Miles
While this endless debate has no clear winner, for me, a cashback card wins most of the time as I prefer seeing instant cash back at the end of every month. Miles cards are good for big ticket purchases or building up towards a long-term business class ticket to your dream destination. But for me, if the cashback card offers a good rebate, I’d take it any day!
Settling in on the UOB One Card – the most generous credit card
Understanding my preferences above and spending habits, I went searching the web for good sign up bonuses, scoured pages of reviews only to settle on the UOB One Card, opened alongside a new UOB One Account. They are two separate but complementary products, let me illustrate why.
The UOB One Account is a high interest savings account, similar to the DBS multiplier and OCBC 365 account. The UOB One Card, however, is a credit card designed to give Singaporeans generous rebates on all spend on the card.
How generous? Up to 10%, but typically between 3.33% to 5%.
Before we discuss further about how we can get 10% rebates, let us look at some of the key features of the UOB One Card.
Up to 5% cashback on all spend
To enjoy the full 5% cashback, you’d need to spend $2000 a month, with a minimum of 5 transactions a month, for 3 consecutive months (one quarter), to get $300 at the end of the quarter. For a more realistic expenditure spending if you’re a fresh graduate like me, expect a more conservative $50 or $100 cashback per quarter if you spend $500 or $1000 monthly for 3 consecutive months – which is 3.33% cashback. Still beats most of the unlimited cashback cards offering 1.5%!
The beautiful thing about the UOB Card is that you can spend on almost any category of transactions, from dining, travel to groceries, online and shopping. They all clock towards your minimum spend and they all enjoy 3.33%-5% cashback.
However, like most other credit cards, payments to charity, the government and gambling/trading platforms are not eligible for cashback.
Another 5% cashback (i.e. up to 10%) on Grab transactions
If you love using FavePay or GrabPay like me, and occasionally take advantage of their rewards programme and free cashback from Fave, you will be delighted to know that UOB One Card gives another 5% rebate when you pay with GrabPay using GrabPay credits, or use it for Grab rides and GrabFood.
Thanks to the UOB x Grab partnership announced late last year, this tie-up between the a financial services giant and rising tech behemoth has given consumers like us opportunities to benefit.
The beautiful thing about this whole thing is that it’s very easy to do and it’s FREE.
If you shop and dine at many places that accept FavePay or GrabPay, you can first reload your Grab Wallet with your UOB One Card before paying, and that means your bill is instantly 5% cheaper! Combine this with Fave’s store cashback for even more savings! Oh wait, don’t forget, you get another 3.33% to 5% cashback for hitting the minimum spend in that month!
Take a look at this example above, if you spend $500 a month on your UOB One Card every month, out of which $100 per month is via Grab/GrabPay, then you can enjoy 3.33% * $500 * 3 months = $50 plus 5% * $100 * 3 months = $15.
$65 back every quarter that’s easy to hit. That’s not bad! But what if you don’t know how you can spend that $500?
Here’s what I do to easily hit $500 monthly.
Use GrabPay or FavePay everywhere if possible
The simplest one is to dine or shop where they accept either FavePay or Grab Pay. This is increasingly common – Gong Cha, Liho, Twelve Cupcakes, Pastamania etc. They all accept GrabPay. The full list is here.
If the shop accepts FavePay, that’s even better! Because you can link GrabPay with Fave, you can deduct your Grab credits directly from Fave, and that earns you both cashback and Grab reward points! To read how to do it, check out this link.
Shop on Qoo10 and Cathay Cineplexes – pay with GrabPay
Qoo10 and Cathay Cineplexes now accept GrabPay as a payment method if you buy your stuff online. This is brilliant news, as you can now use GrabPay as an intermediary in between your UOB One Card and the merchant to double dip the rewards (i.e. enjoy two times the rewards with the same transaction)! Of course, don’t forget to ShopBack for triple dipping 🙂
The ultimate hack: Pay your bills on AXS with GrabPay
This one is the best, and I’ll save it for the last.
Many people don’t know it yet, but the AXS app recently opened GrabPay as a payment method for paying your bills! Now, if you have any Singtel, M1 or Starhub bill, or you have an income tax, road tax, condo fees or parking sermons, you can pay with GrabPay on the AXS app, clock towards your monthly minimum spend, and earn cashback at the same time!
You can even pay your insurance premiums via AXS and GrabPay! Not kidding.
There you have it… my new favourite credit card
Of course, I have to disclaim that unless you have similar habits like me, you should not be applying for this card. There are hundreds of other cards that offer similar rewards, or miles that might make you happier. The DBS Woman’s World Card is another terrific credit card offering 4 miles per dollar on the card.
However, if you’re a fresh graduate in Singapore or if your spending habits are similar to mine and you are a use-one-card-for-everything kind of person, then the UOB One Card might be the best credit card that could delight you in many areas… until they change the T&C.