Asia Miles Credit Cards KrisFlyer

Credit Card Review: UOB Preferred Platinum Visa (2020)

Cover Watch SS

Here’s our review of the UOB Preferred Platinum Visa (PPV) card, which forms part of our series of credit card reviews, all of which are summarised on our dedicated Credit Cards page.

Dollar amounts refer to SGD, and ‘miles’ refer to KrisFlyer Miles, except where stated. This review was updated on 7th October 2020.

Fast Facts

Card3

Annual fee: $192.60/yr (first year free)
EIR:
26.9%
Sign-up bonus:
None
Local & overseas earn rate: 0.4 miles per $1
Bonus categories earn rate:
4.0 miles per $1

Foreign transaction fee:
3.25%
Minimum age:
21
Minimum income:
$30,000/yr (Singaporean / PR)
Minimum income:
$40,000/yr (Foreigner)

APPLY HERE

Annual fee

The annual fee for the UOB PPV card is $192.60, however this is waived for the first card membership year.

Sign-up bonus

There is no current miles sign-up bonus for the UOB PPV card, however new applicants between 1st March and 30th June 2020 are entitled to a $150 cash credit subject to a minimum spend of $1,500 within 30 days from the card approval date.

As usual with UOB, it’s limited to the first 800 new-to-bank cardholders to meet the spend threshold, so don’t count on getting it (they won’t even tell you if the promotion is fully taken up).

ADVERTISEMENT

Earning rates

The UOB PPV earns:

  • 0.4 miles (1 UNI$ per $5) for every $1 spent both locally and overseas (i.e. transacted in foreign currency)
  • 4 miles (10 UNI$ per $5) for every $1 spent on bonus category transactions – selected online purchases and all mobile* contactless transactions, capped at $1,110 spend per calendar month across both categories

* Note: Mobile contactless transactions only include those made on mobile devices using Apple Pay, Android Pay, Fitbit Pay, Google Pay, Samsung Pay and UOB Mighty.

No minimum monthly spend applies for the 4 miles per dollar earn rate to take effect.

Why $1,110?

The terms and conditions document for the UOB PPV card states that “The total UNI$ awarded to each Cardmember from qualifying spend on Selected Online Transactions and Mobile Contactless Transactions is capped at UNI$2,000 for each calendar month”.

That would lead you to conclude that the maximum eligible spend per month in these categories is $1,000 (2,000 UNI$ / 10 UNI$ x $5).

In fact it’s applied a different way than the T&Cs suggest. It’s the bonus UNI$ which are capped, not the total amount awarded. That means only the additional 9 UNI$ awarded in these categories are capped (at 2,000 UNI$).

The maximum you therefore spend each calendar month is 2,000/9 = 222 ‘blocks’ of $5, which is $1,110 (222 x 5).

Until mid-2017 the bonus spend cap was UNI$24,000 per annum, however it was then changed to UNI$2,000 per calendar month. Sadly that makes earning a large volume of miles for a ‘big ticket’ purchases impossible.

Selected online transactions

The first category for the enhanced earn rate of 4 miles per dollar using the UOB PPV card is for “selected online transactions”. UOB advertises this as “shopping for clothes, shoes, bags, electronic items, books or even paying for the latest app, movie tickets and your fast food delivery order online”.

Delivery Steps 1 (foodpanda)
Foodpanda deliveries are included in the 4 mpd category. (Photo: Foodpanda)

The actual eligibility for these purchases being awarded the enhanced earn rate is based on the Merchant Category Code (MCC) of the retailer, which must fall under one of the following:

Department Stores and Retail Stores
MCC Description MCC Description
4816 Computer network/information services 5732-
5735
Electronics sales, computer software, music stores
5306
5309

5310
5311
Duty Free stores, discount stores, department stores 5912
5942
Pharmacies, book stores
5262
5331
5399
Online marketplaces, variety stores, miscellaneous general merchandise stores 5964-
5970
Direct marketing (catalog / telemarketing)
5611
5621
5641
5651
5699
Clothing stores 5992
5999
Florists and miscellaneous / specialty retail Stores
5631
5661
Accessory stores and shoe stores
Supermarkets, Dining and Food Delivery
Entertainment and Ticketing
MCC Description MCC Description
5811
5812
5814
Caterers, restaurants, fast food restaurants,  7278
7832

7841
7922
Cinemas, DVD rental stores, theatres and ticket agencies
5333
5411
5441
5462
5499
8012
9751
Supermarkets, food stores, confectionary stores, bakeries 7991
7996
7998
7999
Tourist attractions / exhibits, amusement parks, aquariums, zoos

This list includes the following merchants in the Online Retail Stores category:

  • ASOS (MCC 5651)
  • Amazon (MCC 5964)
  • Amazon Prime (MCC 5999)
  • Courts (MCC 5732)
  • Harvey Norman (MCC 5732)
  • Lazada (MCC 5311)
  • Qoo10 (MCC 5699)
  • Shopee (MCC 5699)
  • Uniqlo (MCC 5651)

Food delivery includes:

  • Deliveroo (MCC 5499)
  • Foodpanda (MCC 5499)
  • GrabFood (MCC 5499)

Overseas online spend in foreign currency is included, within the correct MCC categories (e.g. a department store in Sydney).

Note: ipaymy, CardUp and RentHero payments do not earn UNI$ with this card, even at the basic earn rate.

Mobile contactless transactions

The major benefit of the UOB PPV card in our opinion is the 4 miles per dollar rate on mobile contactless (e.g. Apple Pay, Google Pay).

“Earn rewards faster with up to UNI$10 per S$5 on mobile contactless transactions when you tap and pay securely and conveniently with your mobile wallet.” UOB

Mobile contactless transactions made overseas with your UOB PPV card in foreign currency are also included in the offer.

PayWave (Visa)
Remember you must physically tap your mobile device to qualify for a mobile contactless transaction. Tapping the card itself will not earn any bonus UNI$. (Photo: Visa)

The crucial point is that you’ll only achieve the bonus 4 mpd earn rate by waving your mobile device against the Visa payWave reader when making your purchase. Waving the card itself or making magnetic stripe transactions will not be eligible.

You will therefore need a mobile device (smartphone or smartwatch) with near field communication (NFC) capability to earn the bonus rate in this category, though almost all mobile phones these days have this function. Most of us have probably already switched to mobile wallets like Apple Pay or Android Pay for contactless payments with cards like the UOB PPV.

Pro Tip: Once the UOB PPV is stored in your mobile wallet, leave the physical card at home. That way you won’t mistakenly tap it, and given that it’s only good for selected online and mobile contactless transactions there should be no need to physically carry it in your wallet anyway.

This bonus miles category is exclusive to mobile contactless transactions, made via:

Apple Pay Apple Pay
Android Pay

Android Pay

Fitbit Pay

Fitbit Pay

Google Pay

Google Pay

Samsumg Pay

Samsung Pay

UOB Mighty

UOB Mighty

Apple Pay UOB 2
Apple Pay is one of the ways to use your UOB PPV for 4 mpd. (Image: UOB)

Once you have your UOB PPV card, these are the instructions you’ll need to follow to add it to your mobile wallet:

Be careful of SMART$

UOB partners with some retailers to offer SMART$ rather than UNI$. This is effectively a ‘cashback’ scheme, offering a means to offset your next purchase with accumulated SMART$.

Unfortunately, it overrides the UNI$ scheme. That means if you make a mobile contactless in-store transaction at an otherwise valid retailer which is part of the SMART$ scheme (e.g. Apple Pay at a Cold Storage outlet), you won’t earn 4 miles per dollar for your transaction.

Pro Tip: Don’t worry about earning SMART$ instead of UNI$ online at the likes of Giant, Cold Storage and Jasons with your UOB PPV card. SMART$ only apply to in-store purchases, with online transactions excluded from that programme, so you’ll earn UNI$ as usual.

Marketplace Tanglin
Your UOB PPV card won’t get you 4 miles per dollar at several supermarkets in Singapore, even if you make mobile contactless payment

You can view a list of UOB SMART$ merchants here. Be careful of the following:

  • Cathay Cineplexes
  • Cold Storage
  • Giant
  • Guardian
  • Jasons
  • Marketplace
  • Shell

Don’t use this card (i.e. using mobile contactless payment) if you make an in-store purchase at a merchant in this list, as you’ll get SMART$ instead of 4 miles per dollar in the form of UNI$.

ADVERTISEMENT

Posting date, not transaction date

For spend in the two bonus categories, it’s the date the transaction is posted to your account not the date the transaction was made that determines which calendar month it is apportioned to.

For example a 31st July transaction which posts on 1st