Credit Cards Deals News

UOB Payment Facility hikes fees from February – act now for a discount

From 1st February, you'll be charged a higher fee to use UOB's no-questions-asked "pay anything" facility for generating unlimited miles, but a promotional rate is still available till 31st January.

If you’re a regular user of UOB’s Payment Facility to generate unlimited miles through your credit card, on payment of an administrative fee, there’s some bad news in store with the bank increasing the applicable charge for this service on most of its cards from 1st February this year.

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However, the good news is that not only is there one months’ notice before the changes kicks in, but also that UOB has extended its promotional discounted fee for these payments by a month, through to 31st January 2023, the day before the regular rates are increased.

That means you’ll still be able to generate miles with this no-questions-asked “pay anything” method for the rest of this month if you wish, at a rate of 1.7 to 1.9 cents each.

What’s changing?

From 1st February 2023, UOB will increase the regular admin fee for the Payment Facility applicable to most of its cards, with the exception of the UOB Reserve, as shown in the table below.

UOB Payment Facility Fee Changes
From 1st February 2023
(one-time payment)

Card New Fee
From 1 Feb
Cost per Mile
From 1 Feb

UOB Reserve
1.9%
1.9%
(no change)
1.9 cents
(no change)

UOB Privilege Banking
2.0%
2.2%
2.0 cents
2.2 cents

UOB Visa Infinite
UOB Visa Infinite Metal
2.0%
2.2%
2.0 cents
2.2 cents

UOB PRVI Miles
(Visa / MC / Amex)
2.0%
2.3%
2.0 cents
2.3 cents

This now pushes the regular cost per mile for most of these cards from 2 cents up to 2.2 to 2.3 cents – unlikely to be of interest unless only a relatively small top-up is needed to achieve a specific redemption or transfer block you have in mind.

UOB Reserve cardholders can breathe a sigh of relief, with the 1.9% fee for the Payment Facility using that card remaining the same after the change.

UOB PRVI Miles cardholders are the worst affected, since those cards are being separated out from the rest of the family, with a uniquely high fee of their own at 2.3%.

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Significant increases are also being applied to the options to pay over 3 months or 12 months in equal instalments, though these were never great value before and will be even less so from February, with the fee increasing to 4.6% in some cases! For the full table of changes, see here.

Promotional rates have been extended

As you may recall, back in October 2022 UOB extended an offer with a discounted administrative fee for one-time payments and 3-monthly instalment payments through its UOB Payment Facility (which also used to be called PRVI Pay, for the PRVI Miles cards).

This deal was due to end on 31st December 2022, but with this new rate increase on the cards from February the bank has decided to extend the offer, which is now good for unlimited approved payments between now and 31st January 2023.

Here’s how the fee and cost per mile works out, for each of the eligible cards.

UOB Payment Facility Promotion
till 31st January 2023
(one-time payment)

Card Promo Fee
Till 31 Jan
Cost per Mile
Till 31 Jan

UOB Reserve
1.9%
1.7%
1.9 cents
1.7 cents

UOB Privilege Banking
2.0%
1.8%
2.0 cents
1.8 cents

UOB Visa Infinite
UOB Visa Infinite Metal
2.0%
1.8%
2.0 cents
1.8 cents

UOB PRVI Miles
(Visa / MC / Amex)
2.0%
1.9%
2.0 cents
1.9 cents

This may be a good time to use the benefit, since we don’t know what kind of offers UOB may roll out in future for this scheme, though it would be reasonable to expect we may not see fees this low offered again by the bank, given the newly hiked regular fee structure from 1st February.

Cost per mile and optimum rounding

You’ll notice the cost per mile (cents) in each example is the same as the fee percentage. That’s because instead of tapping into each card’s miles earning rate for retail spend, all UOB Payment Facility transactions will be awarded with UNI$2.5 for every S$5 of the approved amount charged.

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That’s equivalent to 5 miles per S$5 (1 mpd), but be careful. Unlike the usual S$5 rounding blocks we’re used to sticking to with UOB cards, it’s more optimal to make payment requests in S$10 denominations in this case, because UNI$2.5 (for a S$5 block) will round down to UNI$2.

UNI$5 (for a S$10 block), however, will remain intact (no round-down).

For example:

  • a S$105 payment will earn 21 x 2.5 = 52.5 UNI$ (rounded down to 52), which is 0.99 mpd
  • a S$110 payment will earn 22 x 2.5 = 55 UNI$ (no round-down), which is 1 mpd

Full terms and conditions for the extended promotion through 31st January 2023 are available here.

Example

Here’s how the UOB Payment Facility works for a typical payment, at the 1.9% promotional fee under the extended offer using a UOB PRVI Miles card.

  • $5,000 home improvements invoice arrives
  • Apply for $5,000 via the UOB Payment Facility
  • UOB transfers $5,000 to your bank account
  • UOB charges $5,095 to your credit card ($5,000 + 1.9% fee)
  • UOB credits 2,500 UNI$ to your reward account (5,000 miles)
  • Effective purchase rate $95/5,000 = 1.9 cents per mile

You can transfer UNI$ to KrisFlyer miles or Asia Miles at the same ratio.

Remember, you don’t even need to have a home improvement invoice to pay, or even produce. Provided you have a sufficient credit limit, UOB will do this “no questions asked”.

Application processing time is 10-12 working days.

Is it a good deal?

As our regular readers will know, we value KrisFlyer miles at around 1.9 cents per mile. It’s the upper limit at which we would be willing to ‘buy’ miles, in order to be comfortable that we will achieve at least that valuation or more when redeeming them.

You’ll notice that in this offer you are ‘buying’ KrisFlyer miles for exactly 1.9 cents each ($95 / 5,000) with the PRVI Miles cards.

It isn’t a terrible deal, but it is right up at the ceiling level where we think anyone should be ‘buying’ KrisFlyer miles, with the possible exception of a relatively small amount to achieve a specific redemption.

That means this offer won’t be of enormous interest to many of our readers, unless you know you will achieve outsize value for your KrisFlyer or Asia Miles stash.

Lower costs per mile are regularly offered for payments through the likes of Citi PayAll (0.8 cents per mile via an April 2022 promotion or 1.1 cents per mile currently ongoing), ipaymy and CardUp, especially when bonus promotions are running.

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The beauty of the PRVI Pay scheme though is that you can pay any bill you like (even if you don’t actually have a bill to pay) by simply requesting an amount to be transferred from your credit card to your bank account for the appropriate one-time fee.

In essence, although the cost per mile is relatively high, the flexibility is also very good.

The top-up option

While the headline rate isn’t heart-racing, this can be a good way of topping up your miles to the nearest 10,000 prior to making a transfer, so that you don’t end up with a small leftover amount.

That’s because you must transfer UNI$ to frequent flyer miles in 10,000 miles (5,000 UNI$) batches.

For example 24,500 UNI$ = 49,000 KrisFlyer miles, but you’d only be able to transfer 40,000 due to the transfer block rule.

Asking UOB for a $1,000 payment through the Payment Facility will cost you $19 with this offer using a PRVI Miles card, but generates the extra 1,000 miles (500 UNI$) required to shift the full 50,000 miles across to KrisFlyer in one block.

This may even be worth considering once the fee structure increases from 1st February 2023, provided your top-up is relatively small.

Summary

UOB is increasing the regular fee applicable to most of its credit cards for its Payment Facility from 1st February 2023, including a painful increase from 2% to 2.3% for PRVI Miles cardholders.

However, UOB Reserve cardholders will maintain their 1.9% rate, even after the change.

In a slight reprieve, UOB has extended its promotional fee schedule for the Payment Facility through to the day before the increase takes effect, so you can still buy miles at 1.7 to 1.9 cents each until 31st January 2023 if you wish, though those rates still won’t be of interest to most of our readers.

One nice benefit of the UOB Payment Facility is when you’re just looking to top up your miles balance to clear the next redemption threshold, but can’t wait to meet the next ‘block’ through your normal spending.

This will often be at relatively low cost, if you’re only short by a few miles, and doesn’t actually change markedly even with these increased fees. In cases like that, this “no questions asked” option might still just save the day.

In the meantime, take advantage of the lower rates until 31st January if it makes sense for you, since we don’t know what kind of deals UOB may push out for the Payment Facility in future.

(Cover Photo: UOB)

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5 comments

  1. Hi Andrew. Thank you for the head-up. There was no mention how card holders can apply for the UOB Payment Facility. Do you happen to know if the card holders can apply online or have to call the hotline. Thank you.

  2. The above article completely misses the *huge* opportunity available until end January. And that opportunity is NOT buying at $19/1000 – it is buying at around $5/1000 to $6/1000. How? By using the 12 month option at 2.7%. While you need a spread sheet to work it out, over the 12 months, you can now earn around 3.8% on UOB’s money until it has to be repaid. Once you remove the interest you have earned from the 2.7% fee you have paid, you will have a net cost per mile of between $5 and $6/1000. There is some forward interest rate risk, but you can hedge most of that by placing 50% of the funds you receive in a 6 month FD at 3.85%. The only thing that suprises me is that this outstanding offer has been sitting there for the taking for so long, and even now, they are leaving this outstanding offer available until end January. The rise to 4.60% subsequently completely “kills” it, as the net cost per mile over 12 months is then over $24/1000 unless there is another large rise in interest rates.

    1. To add further, the $19/1000 option is not $19/1000 either. If you time the transaction to occur at the start of your new credit card cycle, you can hold UOB’s money for around 48 days until it is due to be repaid. So, consider $10,000 earning 3.8% for 48 days in SCB e$saver. That is $49.97 interest. You pay $190 fee. Your net cost is $190-$49.97=$140.03 or $14/1000. That is over 25% less than the “headline” rate of $19/1000. But anyway, why would you opt for this, when you can chose the 12 month option and hold UOB’s money for much longer and reduce your cost to under $7/1000?