Credit Cards

KrisFlyer UOB Credit Card Review (2020)

This is our review of the KrisFlyer UOB Credit Card issued in Singapore. It forms part of our series of credit card reviews, which are all 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 14th September 2020.

KrisFlyer UOB Credit Card
Card Small
1.2 mpd
general spend

3 mpd
SIA spend

3 mpd
dining & travel
APPLY HERE
KrisFlyer UOB Credit Card
Card Small

1.2 mpd
general spend

3 mpd
SIA spend

3 mpd
travel & dining
APPLY HERE

  Mainly Miles Says

The KrisFlyer UOB credit card’s one big benefit, an uncapped 3 mpd on a wide range of everyday transactions, has one big flaw – you’ll need to be very patient about seeing the miles in your account.

It does however potentially suit those who don’t want the hassle of a multi-card strategy for miles earning, additionally boasting fee-free transfers into KrisFlyer and some useful benefits when flying on Scoot.

  Pros   Cons
  • First year fee waiver
  • No transfer fee to KrisFlyer
  • 10,000 miles on annual renewal
  • Good for those who don’t want the hassle of multiple cards
  • Useful benefits for regular Scoot travellers
  • Only one miles transfer partner
  • Min. $5 spend to earn miles
  • $5 earning blocks adversely affect ‘real’ earn rate
  • No lounge access
  • 3-year expiry clock for most of your miles starts ticking almost immediately

  Eligibility


  • Minimum Age: 21
  • Minimum Income (Singaporean / PR): $30,000/yr
  • Minimum Income (Non-Singaporean): $40,000/yr

The KrisFlyer UOB credit card comes in at the entry-level $30,000 per year income requirement for Singapore citizens and permanent residents, making it widely accessible.

  Fixed deposit alternative


If you do not meet the minimum annual income requirement, you can still be considered for the UOB KrisFlyer credit card with a minimum fixed deposit of S$10,000, maintained with the bank until account closure.

  Annual Fees & Interest Rates


  • Annual Fee (principal): $192.60 (first year free)
  • Annual Fee (supplementary): $96.30 (first card free)
  • Fee Waiver: Technically none, though some are lucky

The annual fee for the KrisFlyer UOB credit card is fairly standard for low income general spend cards at $192.60, though it is waived for the first year.

One supplementary card is fee-free, with subsequent supplementary cards charged at S$96.30 per year.

UOB state that this card is not eligible for fee waiver in year two onwards. That’s mostly the experience our readers have had so far, with a few lucky exceptions.

If like most you have to pay the annual fee on renewal, you’ll also receive a 10,000 miles bonus (i.e. paying 1.93 cents per mile). We value KrisFlyer miles at 1.9 cents each (our upper limit to buy), so we would try to avoid paying the annual fee where possible, even with 10,000 miles thrown in.

Other fees and interest rates for the KrisFlyer UOB credit card include:

  • EIR: 26.9%
  • Interest-free period: 21 days
  • Minimum payment: 3% (capped at $50)
  • Late payment fee: $100
  • Cash advance fee: 8% (min. $15)
  • Overlimit fee: $40

  Sign-up bonus


Whether you’re an existing UOB credit card holder or not, you’ll get a 3,000 miles welcome bonus provided you spend at least $5.00 on the card within 30 calendar days of the card opening date (yes, just $5).

These miles will be credited directly into your Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer account, as this card is directly linked to your KrisFlyer membership.

In addition to the sign-up bonus for all customers applying for this card outlined above, if you’re a new UOB credit card customer you are eligible for an additional 7,000 miles when you spend a minimum of $1,500 within the first 30 days of the card account opening date.

To be eligible for this additional welcome bonus you must be among the first 200 new-to-UOB cardmembers who successfully apply online from 1st September to 30th September 2020.

As is often the case with UOB promotions – don’t count on it. You may or may not qualify for this conditional element. Terms and conditions are available here.

  Renewal bonus


On payment of the card fee at annual renewal you will receive 10,000 KrisFlyer miles. Most of our readers have reported being unsuccessful at having the annual fee waived for this card in year two, however for the few who did manage it the 10,000 KrisFlyer miles are then not awarded.

10,000 KrisFlyer miles are worth around S$190, so payment of the $192.60 annual fee for these miles is close to this valuation, at a cost of 1.93 cents each, even if you don’t place any value on the card benefits themselves.

This is a very similar renewal bonus is offered by the Citi PremierMiles Visa and DBS Altitude cards, on payment of the same annual fee.

Do be aware there’s no hurry on UOB’s part to award you the renewal fee bonus miles. You’ll wait up to three months after your annual fee is paid before you see the miles in your KrisFlyer account (e.g. annual renewal fee paid mid-May 2020, 10,000 miles will credit by mid-August 2020).

This appears to be accurate based on our reader reports, with some renewing in May 2020 waiting until September 2020 to see the bonus miles in their KrisFlyer account.

  Regular earn rate


There’s nothing to get too excited about with the KrisFlyer UOB credit card’s earn rate for general spend.

  • 1.2 miles for every $1 spent locally or overseas, with the usual exclusions such as pre-paid card top-ups, gambling and insurance transactions.

This card earns higher miles rates in two other spend categories, as you’ll see below.

  SIA earn rate


As a co-brand product, the KrisFlyer UOB credit card earns a year-round uncapped enhanced rate on any SIA Group transaction.

  • 3 miles for every $1 spent on Singapore Airlines, SilkAir, Scoot or at the KrisShop.
You’ll earn 3 mpd on all SIA Group transactions with the KrisFlyer UOB credit card. (Photo: Lucas Wunderlich / Shutterstock)

Nothing’s out of bounds here, it includes pre ordering a Nasi Lemak for your upcoming Scoot flight, or simply paying the taxes and charges when booking a Singapore Airlines redemption ticket.

  Accelerated miles earn rate


Finally a wide range of spending will earn you 3 miles per dollar in the Accelerated Miles category.

  • 3 miles* for every $1 spent on dining, food delivery, online shopping / travel, and transport.

* Subject to charging a minimum of $500 to your card in a card membership year at Singapore Airlines, SilkAir, Scoot or the KrisShop

Let’s look at each of the accelerated miles categories in turn.

Dining

Card transactions made at establishments whose main business activity is classified as food and beverage and bearing one of the following Merchant Category Codes (MCCs):

Category Eligible MCCs
Eating Places and Restaurants 5812
Bars, Cocktail Lounges, Discotheques, Nightclubs and Taverns, Drinking Places 5813
(e.g. Zouk, Altimate, etc.)
Fast Food Restaurants 5814
(e.g. McDonalds, KFC, Burger King, Subway, etc.)

This is a very useful selection encompassing almost all dining options in Singapore, however other cards on the market earn more at these outlets, including the HSBC Revolution (4 mpd for contactless, see our review) and the Maybank Horizon Visa (3.2 mpd for local dining, see our review).

Pro Tip: Restaurants and bars in hotels are generally coded under a hotel MCC, not MCC 5812/3. These are therefore unlikely to qualify for the bonus rate.

Food delivery

Additionally the following online food delivery transactions will qualify for the bonus earn rate:

  • Grab Food
  • Deliveroo
  • foodpanda

Online shopping

A slightly vague title, this one mostly relates to using your card at fashion websites selling clothes, jewellery, accessories, bags and shoes as its main business activity.

The following Merchant Category Codes (MCCs) are included:

Category Eligible MCCs
Computer Network/Information Services 4816
Duty Free stores, discount stores, department stores 5306
5309
5310
5311
Variety stores, general merchandise stores 5331
5399
Clothing stores 5611
5621
5641
5651
5691
Accessory stores and shoe stores 5631
5661
Electronics sales and music stores 5732
5733
5735
Pharmacies, book stores 5912
5942
Clock, jewelry, watch and silverware stores 5944
Game, toy and hobby shops 5945
Camera and photographic supply stores 5946
Card, gift, and souvenir shops 5947
Leather goods and luggage stores 5948
Fabric, needlework and sewing stores 5949
Miscellaneous / specialty retail 5999

While many of these are ones you would expect to see in this category, like family clothing stores, shoe stores, men’s and women’s clothing stores and department stores, there are a few interesting ones in there which don’t really fit the “clothes, jewellery, accessories and bags” description like:

  • MCC 4816: Computer Network/Information Services (e.g. web hosting services or internet access)
  • MCC 5309: Duty free stores
  • MCC 5912: Drug stores / pharmacies (e.g. Watsons, Guardian, etc.)
  • MCC 5946: Camera and Photographic supply stores
  • MCC 5948: Leather goods and luggage stores

Remember that all transactions will still need to be made online to qualify, so an online purchase through the Watsons website for example will qualify for the Accelerated Miles rate (3 mpd), but if you use the card in store it will not (1.2 mpd).

Online travel

This one’s simple, any transaction made at the following websites, via the internet, using the card, will earn at the 3 mpd rate:

  • agoda.com
  • airbnb.com
  • booking.com
  • expedia.com
  • hotels.com
  • kaligo.com
  • traveloka.com
  • trip.com
  • uobtravel.com

Transport

The final 3 miles per dollar category is for bus / MRT journeys, GOJEK and:

  • MCC 4121: Limousines and Taxicabs (e.g. taxis, Grab rides)

  Accelerated miles catch


Given there is no cap on the bonus earn rates, there had to be another catch, right?

While ‘Base Miles’ (for your general spend) and ‘Singapore Airlines Miles’ (for your SIA Group spend) will post to your KrisFlyer account after your statement is published (around a month from transaction), initially the ‘Accelerated Miles’ are awarded each month at only 1.2 miles per dollar (the base rate).

Since you have all of your card membership year to make the minimum $500 spend with the SIA Group, there is no way for UOB to know whether (or when) you will achieve this threshold, if you haven’t done so already.

Therefore they have decided if you do meet the $500 SIA group spend requirement in your card membership year (and you’ll certainly want to in order to pick up 3 miles per dollar on the above transactions), the bonus miles will be credited to your KrisFlyer account two months after the end of the card membership year (i.e. in the following membership year).

That’s a very long time to wait, in some cases up to 14 months.

Given that your spending is probably evenly spread across the year, you’re waiting an average of 8 months to receive your bonus miles for each transaction in the Accelerated Miles category. People already complain about waiting 1-2 months for bonus miles to credit on other cards!

For example, if you receive your card in June 2019 and make a $500 charge at SingaporeAir.com straight away (though actually this can be anytime between June 2019 and May 2020), but your only transaction in the Accelerated Miles category with the card is, let’s say, a $1,000 Agoda.com booking on 15th June 2019, you’ll receive:

  • 1,500 KrisFlyer miles for your SingaporeAir.com purchase
  • 1,200 KrisFlyer miles for your Agoda.com transaction (base miles)

in July 2019, then:

  • 1,800 KrisFlyer miles for your Agoda.com transaction (bonus miles)

in August 2020! Hardly “Accelerated”, could it be much slower?

Promo.jpg
…in up to 14 months from now. (Image: UOB)

Does it force you to keep the card?


When this card was first launched, we surmised that this was a way to effectively hold you to ransom at annual renewal, since cancelling the card meant forfeiting the (pending) bonus miles owed to you in accordance with the card’s terms and conditions.

“To earn and receive KrisFlyer miles, your KrisFlyer UOB Credit Card must be valid, subsisting and in good standing at all times as determined by us and cannot be cancelled/closed for any reason. In the event that your KrisFlyer UOB Credit is delinquent, voluntarily or involuntarily closed or terminated or suspended for any reasons whatsoever before any KrisFlyer miles is credited to your KrisFlyer membership account, such KrisFlyer miles earned shall be forfeited and you shall not be entitled to any compensation or payment whatsoever.”

KrisFlyer UOB Credit Card T&Cs

What has actually happened according to reports from our readers is that provided you have met the $500 spend on SIA group transactions, Accelerated Miles are being credited around a month before your card’s renewal date.

That does give you the opportunity to cancel (assuming they won’t waive the annual fee, for example) and keep most if not all of your Accelerated Miles, though if you then make a large transaction in this bonus category in the final month of your card membership year (once Accelerated Miles have been credited) presumably you would forfeit miles from that spend by closing the account, so it’s not perfect.

Do also bear in mind that UOB might not pay out this component early for everyone, or in subsequent years, since there has been no official change to the terms and conditions.

UOB could still you to ransom here in future years if you want to be credited with the bonus miles.

How will you know it’s right?


A not-insignificant issue with the KrisFlyer UOB credit card is how you will reconcile the correct bonus points crediting from the ‘Accelerated Miles’ rate when it does (eventually) come through.

Accelerated miles are credited in one batch, and in some cases these may relate to transactions made 14 months earlier. At a minimum the transactions will already be at least two months old.

It is therefore very difficult to check if the bonus miles awarded match what you expected.

Even if you’re super organised and have made a note of every qualifying transaction along the way, good luck trying to dispute bonus eligibility of a payment made over a year ago.

Imagine if there is at least one discrepancy on every monthly statement. You could be on the phone for hours!

The situation gets even more tenuous when considering some the ‘grey areas’, like not knowing exactly which MCC your merchant falls into.

You’ll want to be very sure your accelerated miles transactions fall into an eligible MCC to avoid disappointment having patiently waited for them to be awarded only to find they didn’t count.

  Eligible transactions


Eligible transactions on the UOB PRVI Miles card for miles earning are all retail purchases including recurring payments, with the exception of NETS and NETS-related transactions, 0% Instalment Payment Plans, SmartPay, personal loan, balance/funds transfers, cash advances, fees, interests, finance charges, late payment charges, annual fee charges, reversals, other financial charges.

The following transaction types are also excluded from miles earning:

All transactions which are classified under the following Merchant Category Codes:

  • 4829 Wire Transfer/Remittance
  • 5199 Nondurable Goods
  • 5960 Direct Marketing - Insurance Services
  • 6012 Member Financial Institution–Merchandise and Services
  • 6050 Quasi Cash–Financial Institutions, Merchandise and Services
  • 6051 Quasi Cash–Merchant (Non-Financial Institutions – Foreign Currency, Non-Fiat Currency, Cryptocurrency)
  • 6211 Securities–Brokers and Dealers
  • 6300 Insurance Sales/Underwrite
  • 6399 Insurance - Default
  • 6513 Real Estate Agents & Managers – Rentals
  • 6529 Quasi Cash-Remote Stored Value Load-Financial Institute Rentals
  • 6530 Quasi Cash-Remote Stored Value Load-Merchant Rentals
  • 6534 Quasi Cash-Remote Money Transfers
  • 6540 Stored Value Card Purchase/Load
  • 7349 Clean/Maint/Janitorial Serv aka Property Management
  • 7511 Quasi Cash – Truck Stop Trxns
  • 7995 Gambling - Betting, including Lottery Tickets, Casino Gaming Chips, Off-Track Betting, and Wagers at Race Tracks
  • 8211 Schools, Elementary and Secondary
  • 8220 Colleges, Universities, Professional Schools and Junior Colleges
  • 8241 Schools, Correspondence
  • 8244 Schools, Business and Secretarial
  • 8249 Schools, Trade and Vocational
  • 8299 Schools and Educational Services–Not Elsewhere Classified
  • 8398 Organizations, Charitable and Social Service
  • 8661 Organizations, Religious
  • 8651 Organisations, Political
  • 9211 Court Costs including Alimony and Child Support
  • 9222 Fines
  • 9223 Bail and Bond Payments
  • 9311 Tax Payment
  • 9402 Postal Services—Government Only
  • 9405 Intra-Government Purchases—Government Only
  • 9399 Government Services—not elsewhere classified

Miles are also not awarded for:

  • Stored Value Card Purchase/Load (including Grab mobile wallet top-ups)
  • Selected transactions on wire transfers
  • Payments to Non-Financial Institutions (e.g. crypto-currencies etc)
  • Payment of Funds to Prepaid Accounts (see T&C for full list)
  • All transactions or payments made at, via or to AXS

Notable exclusions for these cards are payments for education, Grab wallet top-ups, and insurance.

This list is subject to change, so check the KrisFlyer UOB Credit Card Terms and Conditions (section 1) for the latest information.

  Be careful of SMART$ merchants


UOB partners with some retailers to offer SMART$ rather than its usual UNI$ rewards points. This is effectively a ‘cashback’ scheme, offering a means to offset your next purchase with accumulated SMART$ (the rate is not attractive compared to miles earning).

Unfortunately, it also overrides KrisFlyer miles earning with this card. That means if you make an in-store transaction at a retailer which is part of the SMART$ scheme (e.g. at a Cold Storage outlet), you won’t earn 1.2 miles per dollar for your transaction.

Pro Tip: Don’t worry about forgoing KrisFlyer miles online at the likes of Giant, Cold Storage and Jasons with your UOB KrisFlyer credit card. The SMART$ scheme only applies to in-store purchases, with online transactions excluded from that programme, so you’ll earn 1.2 KrisFlyer miles per dollar as usual.
Your KrisFlyer UOB credit card won’t get you 1.2 miles per dollar at several supermarkets in Singapore. (Photo: Heartland Mall)

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 your KrisFlyer UOB credit card if you make an in-store purchase at a merchant in this list, as you’ll get no miles or points whatsoever.

 Are KrisFlyer miles credited directly?


Yes. As this is a Singapore Airlines co-branded card, the miles accrued are automatically transferred to your KrisFlyer account at each monthly statement.

KF Logo trans

Remember that KrisFlyer miles expire three years after they are earned, and with this card you don’t have the added protection of keeping them ‘alive’ for longer (or forever in some cases) in a credit card points scheme before transferring into your KrisFlyer account.

The expiry clock is ticking almost from day one.

  What is the transfer cost to KrisFlyer miles?


There is no cost associated with UOB’s automatic transfer of miles into your KrisFlyer account with each monthly statement.

Transfers are effectively instant, though you have to wait for each monthly cycle. Intermediate transfers (e.g. two weeks into your statement period) are not available, even for a fee.

Of course as outlined above any transfer from the ‘Accelerated Miles’ earning will happen an average of 8 months after the applicable transaction (min. 2 months, max. 14 months).

  When do miles credit?


You will earn miles in one monthly block for transactions posted to your account within each statement period.

Note that it can take one to three days for a transaction to post to your card account, meaning those made towards the very end of your statement period may only reflect in the subsequent statement.

That means potentially waiting a month longer than you expected for the miles to credit into your KrisFlyer account, worth bearing in mind if you’re making a large transaction with the intent to top-up your KrisFlyer balance (remember, intermediate transfers are not supported).

Can I transfer miles into other loyalty schemes?


No. Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer is the sole partner with this card and you can only use it to accrue miles in this scheme, unlike other UOB credit cards which also allow transfers to Asia Miles.

  Instant free transfer to KrisFlyer miles via KrisPay


You can also link your UOB Rewards and KrisPay accounts and instantly transfer as little as UNI$1,000 into KrisPay miles.

The transfer ratio is 1:1.7 (e.g. UNI$1,000 = 1,700 KrisPay miles).

You won’t want to be using them there due to the awful value against purchases of 0.67 cents per mile, but you can immediately transfer them 1:1 into your KrisFlyer account as KrisFlyer miles.

As you’ll notice this is a 15% ‘hit’ on the usual UNI$ to KrisFlyer transfer rate, so it’s only of interest if you need a small amount to meet a specific redemption threshold, or have a small balance ‘stuck’ in UNI$ (less than 5,000), which you aren’t going to be adding to in future.

You shouldn’t be using this as your regular UNI$ to KrisFlyer transfer method, as it effectively devalues your miles earning rate to 1.02 mpd for general spend and 2.55 mpd for bonus category purchases.

There are two golden rules to be aware of, firstly you’ll have to move any points transferred from UNI$ to KrisPay into KrisFlyer miles within seven days, otherwise they are stuck in KrisPay (where you definitely don’t want them).

The second is just as important, you cannot use any of the KrisPay miles you have earned from your UNI$ transfer for any KrisPay purchase, no matter how small, as that automatically renders the entire transfer stuck in KrisPay until they then expire.

The golden rule therefore is to transfer in to KrisPay, then transfer straight out to KrisFlyer. Even with that seven-day window available, our advice is don’t wait.

  Miles rounding


KrisFlyer miles are awarded per whole $5 of spend on this card, as with other UOB credit cards.

  • Base Miles: 6 miles for every S$5 spent (equivalent to 1.2 mpd)
  • Singapore Airlines Miles: 15 miles for every S$5 spent (equivalent to 3 mpd)
  • Accelerated Miles: 6 miles for every S$5 spent (equivalent to 1.2 mpd), plus a further 9 miles for every $5 spent (equivalent to 1.8 mpd) two months after your next membership year starts, with a minimum required spend of S$500 on SIA Group transactions in the current membership year

This rounding issue really affects small transactions the most, as you’ll have to hit the next $5 ‘block’ to increase your miles earning each time. For example a $9.99 transaction is considered $5 for miles accrual.

In the general spend (Base Miles) category that’s not earning you 1.2 miles per dollar at all, it’s 0.6 miles per dollar (so use another card for a transaction like that).

KrisFlyer miles awarded
Card Small
Charge
(SGD)
Base Miles SIA Spend
$4.99 0
(0 mpd)
0
(0 mpd)
$5.00 6
(1.2 mpd)
15
(3 mpd)
$9.99 6
(0.6 mpd)
15
(1.5 mpd)
$10.00 12
(1.2 mpd)
30
(3 mpd)

One cent can make all the difference here, and to truly optimise the maximum number of miles earned, you should plan your spending in $5 blocks especially at the lower transaction levels (e.g. $5 / $10 / $15).

Try to avoid falling just below a $5 block if possible, or only exceed a $5 block by a small amount.

The impact becomes less important with higher amounts, for example let’s say you make a local transaction (Base Miles 1.2 mpd rate) with your KrisFlyer UOB credit card as follows:

  • $249.99 – 288 miles awarded (1.15 mpd)
  • $250.00 – 300 miles awarded (1.2 mpd)

As you can see falling 1 cent short of a $5 block size in this case isn’t significantly affecting your miles per dollar rate in the same way that a $9.99 vs. $10.00 spend is.

Minimum spend to earn miles


UOB awards KrisFlyer miles per whole block of $5 spent. That means $5.00 is the minimum charge in a single transaction to earn miles (any number of individual transactions at $4.99, for example, will earn you nothing).

Smaller transactions, including those converted from foreign currency into SGD which are subsequently charged to your card account at less than $5, will not earn any miles.

For sub-$5 transactions, consider the DBS Altitude card (see our review) with a $1.67 minimum spend to earn miles, or the Citi PremierMiles card (see our review) with a $1 minimum spend.

  FCY fee / cpm overseas


The KrisFlyer UOB Mastercard charges a foreign transaction (FCY) fee for purchases made in currencies other than SGD at 3.25%.

Earning just 1.2 miles per dollar for general overseas spending, that’s certainly not a good idea as the miles earned are costing you 2.86 cents each compared with what you could be spending using cash overseas.

Several credit cards in Singapore are far better for general overseas spend, like the UOB PRVI Miles card (see our review) earning 2.4 miles per dollar with a 3.25% fee, an equivalent cost of just 1.43 cents per mile.

The exception of course is transacting in one of the 3 mpd bonus categories, for example payment to an online clothes shop in Sydney charged in AUD, or an Expedia hotel booking in London charged in GBP.

In these cases the cost per mile becomes a much more attractive 1.14 cents.

SIA Group transactions in FCY also mean ‘buying’ miles at this same competitive rate, for example paying the taxes and fees on a Cape Town to Singapore redemption ticket, charged in ZAR.

  Bonus miles if you open a KrisFlyer UOB Deposit Account


UOB is advertising a great headline rate here for those opening a KrisFlyer UOB Deposit Account for their savings, offering a 6 miles per dollar bonus rate if you save and credit your monthly salary to the account, which sits alongside your credit card account and also links to your KrisFlyer account.

Savings Bonus.jpg

The catch is that bonus miles are capped at 5% of your monthly average balance, calculated as follows:

  • The sum of each ‘day end balance’ in your KrisFlyer UOB account for that month, divided by the number of calendar days in that month.

For example, if you have a monthly average balance of $100,000 in the account, your bonus miles are capped at 5,000 miles for that month (100,000 x 5%).

You’ll get about $4 of interest each month at the (measly) 0.05% p.a. rate this account attracts, but 5,000 KrisFlyer miles are worth about $95 against future Singapore Airlines redemptions for most of our readers, so in effect you’re getting about $99 additional value per month in this example.

Provided you credit your salary (and therefore earn 6 miles per dollar bonus miles), you’ll only have to spend $833 per month on the credit card to earn the 5,000 bonus miles. If you don’t credit your salary it would be a $1,000 spend in this example (at the 5 miles per dollar bonus rate).

Is it worth it?

We’re definitely not going to explore a full analysis of how much interest you can earn on your money in Singapore. There is a range of accounts and if you had $100,000 worth of savings you can definitely achieve a much better return than 0.05% per annum, perhaps even outweighing the bonus KrisFlyer miles on this account.

Cash (in interest) is ultimately flexible as it can of course be used for anything, while KrisFlyer miles are very restrictive, so attaching a 1.9 cent per mile value in this case (since you are forgoing cash interest to obtain the miles instead) isn’t necessarily a sensible strategy for everyone.

We’re not going to make a recommendation on whether using the KrisFlyer UOB Deposit Account alongside this card is worth doing or not. It’s important to be comfortable with the return you are getting on your savings and the calculation will depend largely how highly you realistically value KrisFlyer miles.

SIA Group airline privileges


KrisFlyer UOB credit card holders get some benefits when flying on Singapore Airlines, SilkAir and Scoot flights.

These are the additional card benefits relating to Singapore Airlines and SilkAir.

Fast Track to KrisFlyer Elite Silver Status

The KrisFlyer UOB Credit Card offers a fast track option to achieve KrisFlyer Elite Silver status, with a minimum spend of $5,000 in the SIA Group category (Singapore Airlines, SilkAir, Scoot or the KrisShop) during your first card membership year.

KF Silver Card

The offer runs for cards opened before 30th April 2021.

KrisFlyer Elite Silver benefits
  • 25% tier bonus on actual miles flown with Singapore Airlines and SilkAir
  • Complimentary ‘Standard’ seat selection when you fly in Economy Class on Singapore Airlines or SilkAir
  • 10% discount on other seat selection fees
  • Priority reservation waitlist
  • Priority airport standby
  • Waived or discounted KrisFlyer service fees

Unfortunately as you can see KrisFlyer Elite Silver doesn’t really get you much, and offers no complimentary lounge access even when flying Singapore Airlines.

Once again here UOB is, utterly confusingly, using a word with quite the opposite meaning to the one they presumably intended to use.

Ignore the fact for a moment that KrisFlyer Elite Silver status is basically useless, and concentrate instead on the term “Fast Track”. If you want it, it can happen quickly, right?

Wrong. Like the ‘Accelerated Miles’ (which are in fact vastly decelerated in our opinion), you will be waiting for some time to unlock this status tier.

You’ll have to wait for up to six weeks after the end of your first card membership year to get the upgrade.

That means even if you make the qualifying $5,000 spend in your very first week of card membership, let’s say by 1st October 2020, you will have to wait until at least October 2021 and possibly mid-November 2021 before you see that shiny silver card.

We believe it’s not only a waste of time, but it’s thoroughly misleading to call this “Fast Track”.

If you do go for it, your Elite Silver status (when you finally get it) will be valid for one year from the date of upgrade, after which time requalification is based on the standard KrisFlyer terms.

$20 KrisShop rebate

This card entitles you to a one-time $20 rebate off a KrisShop purchase of $100+ (before GST) per calendar year.

While the KrisShop does have some overpriced items (always shop around), there are some good deals too, so this should be a useful discount for most people.

Just remember if you do find a good price for an item you want on the KrisShop make sure to pay using cash, we’re not talking about using your KrisFlyer miles for the purchase, which gives you a terrible 0.8 cents per mile value.

This card is desperately thin on benefits when you’re flying Singapore Airlines or SilkAir (not even a single third party lounge visit has been thrown in), however it’s quite big on benefits when you are flying Scoot.

In fact it’s almost like a ‘Scoot Gold’ membership. Having said that, these benefits are the same ones that already extend to holders of the KrisFlyer UOB Debit card, so there’s nothing particularly new here.

Scoot Benefits New

In all cases the benefits listed below are only applicable if you make payment for your Scoot flight using your KrisFlyer UOB card through the dedicated portal on the Scoot site.

Where benefits extend to other members of your travelling party, they must also be on the same booking, paid for using your card.

Priority Check-in and Boarding

You and all members of your travelling party will receive complimentary priority check-in and boarding benefits for flights on Scoot.

Additional Baggage Allowance

You and all members of your travelling party who purchase a minimum of 20kg baggage
fare bundle, up to a maximum of 35kg baggage fare bundle, at the initial point of purchase will receive a complimentary 5kg upgrade for baggage allowance.

This benefit does not apply if the baggage fare bundle is added on after the initial purchase.

Standard Seat Selection

You (i.e. the principal cardholder only) will receive complimentary standard seat selection for flights on Scoot.

Booking flexibility waiver

You can receive a one-time booking flexibility waiver per itinerary on Scoot flights. This benefit is only available for the first change per flight itinerary, and for bookings that include the principal cardmember.

Note: When the card was first launched, name changes on the booking were possible (except for the principal cardmember), however this benefit has since been removed.

You can make one flight date/time change per booking online up to 4 hours before departure with no change fees.

If you are changing to a flight with a higher fare, the fare difference will apply. Note that connecting journeys with partner airlines are not eligible for this benefit.

No lounge access


When this card was first launched it was possible to take advantage of the Mastercard benefit allowing complimentary use of Quayside single trip service at JetQuay Changi Airport. This was valid for the principal cardholder and up to one companion traveling on the same flight, but only if you were one of the first 100 to book per calendar month (among all Mastercard holders).

Unfortunately Mastercard stopped offering this benefit on 31st October 2019, leaving the KrisFlyer UOB credit card with no complimentary lounge access benefit.

Singapore Airlines doesn’t even thrown in any complimentary lounge passes for its KrisFlyer Gold Lounge with this card. (Photo: Singapore Airlines)

That’s disappointing, given that free lounge access is available with the following similar cards:

  • Citi PremierMiles: 2 x Priority Pass visits / year
  • DBS Altitude: 2 x Priority Pass visits / year

Other benefits


Two Grab rides ($15) to or from Changi Airport

In each calendar year you’ll be entitled to two Grab Promo Codes worth $15 and valid for a trip either to or from Changi Airport. Only one promo code can be applied in each six-month period (i.e. Jan-Jun and Jul-Dec).

Use code KFUOBCC and set your KrisFlyer UOB card as the primary payment method in the Grab app to take advantage. This benefit is limited to the first 1,000 redemptions per month, so if it’s fully redeemed you’ll have to try again in a subsequent month.

$15 off ChangiWiFi

Cardmembers get two ChangiWiFi e-cash redemption codes worth $15 each per calendar year. Like the Grab offer, each redemption code must be redeemed half-yearly (i.e. one in Jan-Jun and one in Jul-Dec), and is limited to the first 1,000 redemptions per month.

Note that ChangiWiFi is not the Wi-Fi connection at the airport, which is free to use, but is a router you can rent for your overseas trip to stay connected.

  Terms and conditions


Here are links to the full terms and conditions applicable to the KrisFlyer UOB credit card.

 KrisFlyer UOB Credit Card T&C
 7,000 miles Sign-up Bonus T&C

Our summary


The biggest selling point of the KrisFlyer UOB Credit Card, an uncapped 3 miles per dollar rate on a variety of useful transactions, is its biggest downfall too.

Forcing customers to wait up to 14 months and possibly remain signed up to the card for another year to receive the bonus miles is not only a ridiculous wait, and potentially holds you to ransom.

What UOB has actually been doing according to our reader reports is award the Accelerated Miles component before the annual card renewal date, giving you the opportunity to keep the bonus miles and cancel the card if you wish, a much better system.

Unfortunately the terms and conditions don’t obligate them to do this in subsequent years, so you might still be stuck with an annual renewal fee if you want to see the bonus miles for ‘Accelerated Miles’ transactions.

While the 3 miles per dollar bonus earn rate is attractive, do be aware that several of the bonus categories can earn the same or 4 mpd with other existing cards on the market.

For example for Singapore Airlines and Scoot tickets you can use the DBS WWMC (read our review) for 4 miles per dollar (capped at S$2,000 per month), while for online travel spend the HSBC Revolution card (read our review) will also get you 4 miles per dollar (capped at S$1,000 per month).

For those who prefer not to hold multiple cards and juggle their spending between them, the KrisFlyer UOB Credit Card is actually not a bad proposition, but the ridiculous structure of the bonus miles award means you must be prepared be patient, and might even be forced to keep it.

If you fly Scoot regularly there are some worthwhile benefits there, including change flexibility. Other benefits are a little on the light side, in particular an unfortunate lack of any lounge access benefit.

Our Rating
3 / 5
among general spend cards

KrisFlyer UOB Credit Card
Card Small

APPLY HERE

Best in class: A must-have for the miles earner in Singapore
Excellent: A leader in its category with few if any downsides
Very good: Drawbacks largely outweighed by the positive aspects
Good: Useful benefits despite some poor features vs. other cards
Average: Worth considering but not an essential addition to your wallet
Conflicted: Some benefits but much better cards exist in the same category
Poor: Few benefits worth having
Very poor: Almost no benefits, not recommended
Awful: Not worth considering

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(Cover Photo: Jeremy Bishop)

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