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The UOB Preferred Platinum Visa (PPV) card was the very first credit card that I applied for after I started working.
After using it for the past 1.5 years, I figured I’d share my thoughts and experiences with anyone who wants to learn more about this card.
Today, I’ll tell you my 3 favourite and least favourite things about the UOB PPV card.
What Is The UOB PPV Card?
The UOB PPV card is a specialised miles card that is popular among miles chasers due to its ability to earn 4 miles per dollar (mpd) on a wide range of transaction categories.
It earns 4 mpd on almost all mobile contactless payments (ie payments made via Apple Pay and Google Pay) and online food, shopping, and entertainment transactions.
This makes it one of the most versatile cards for earning 4 mpd for mobile contactless payments as other similar cards tend to have restrictions on eligible categories.
However, the UOB PPV card only earns 0.4 mpd otherwise for transactions that are not eligible for earning 4 mpd.
The UOB PPV card is an entry-level credit card with an annual income requirement of S$30,000, so it is easily accessible to most working adults.
While it is commonly referred to as a miles card, the UOB PPV card actually earns points called UNI$, which can be converted to miles.
10 UNI$ are awarded for every S$5 of eligible spending, where UNI$ can be converted to airline miles at a rate of 5,000 UNI$ = 10,000 miles.
Here is an overview of the details of the UOB PPV card.
|Eligibility Requirement||S$30,000 annual income|
21 years old
|Annual Fee||S$194.40 (1st year waiver)|
|Earn Rate||4 mpd (mobile contactless, online food/ shopping/ entertainment)|
0.4 mpd (other spend)
|Monthly Spend Cap||S$1,110 for 4 mpd|
No cap for 0.4 mpd
|Miles Validity||2 years|
|Miles Transfer Blocks||5,000 UNI$ = 10,000 miles|
|Transfer Partners||SIA (KrisFlyer)|
Cathay Pacific (Asia Miles)
|Transfer Fee||S$25 / transfer|
What I Like About The UOB PPV Card
1: 4 Mpd On Almost All Mobile Contactless Transactions
The best thing about the UOB PPV card, and probably the biggest reason why anyone would want this card, is that it awards 4 mpd on almost all mobile contactless transactions.
Unlike many cards that only award bonus rewards for selected categories of transactions like shopping, groceries, or dining, the UOB PPV card looks past all of this.
Regardless of the category of your transaction, you’ll most likely be able to earn 4 mpd with the UOB PPV card, though the standard credit card exclusion categories like government services and education do apply.
This makes it one of the few, if not the only specialised miles card that is capable of earning 4 mpd on just about any transaction.
This is exactly what you should want when looking for a credit card to maximise your rewards-earning potential.
The catch here is that transactions must be paid via mobile contactless payments, ie Apple Pay or Google Pay, by physically tapping your mobile device.
But this shouldn’t really be an issue since mobile contactless payment is one of the most convenient modes of payment, and personally, is my preferred payment method.
2: Miles Pooling Across Other UOB Cards
Next, the miles (UNI$) earned from the UOB PPV card pool across miles earned from other UOB cards like UOB Lady’s card and UOB PRIVI Miles card.
This means that it’s possible to quickly rack up miles in the UOB ecosystem if you use several UOB cards to earn miles.
It also means that when the time comes to transfer your miles from your UOB rewards account to the frequent flyer program of your choice, you’ll only need to pay 1 transfer fee for all your UOB miles.
While I don’t take advantage of this benefit as I don’t use any other UOB cards, this is certainly something that would make me consider signing up for another UOB card in the future.
3: Easy Tracking Of Miles Crediting
The last thing I like about the UOB PPV card is that there is full transparency in the transaction history of your miles.
On the UOB TMRW mobile app, navigate to “Rewards+” > “My rewards” > “UNI$” to view the historical transaction of your UNI$ for the past 3 months.
There, you can see exactly which transactions earned UNI$ and how much UNI$ were earned.
You can even see when your UNI$ is deducted for any reason like annual fee waivers.
To my knowledge, UOB is the only bank that provides such a level of detail when it comes to miles crediting, though they may occasionally make mistakes in computing your due miles.
Other banks typically only tell you how many miles you earned in each statement but do not provide you with details as to which transactions earned how many miles.
Granted, this isn’t so much a benefit of the UOB PPV card specifically as it is of the UOB TMRW app in general, but it certainly makes using a UOB miles card better.
Hopefully, this is something other banks adopt soon.
What I Don’t Like About The UOB PPV Card
1: UOB$ Merchant & Online Exclusions
Earlier, I talked about how the UOB PPV card earns 4 mpd on almost all mobile contactless transactions.
I say “almost” because there are exclusions – and I’m not just referring to the standard credit card exclusions.
UOB has another rewards program aside from UNI$ (which is the points you earn to convert to miles) called UOB$.
How the rewards program works is that merchants that participate in the UOB$ program are not eligible for the UNI$ program.
In other words, UOB$ merchants award UOB$ instead of UNI$ and UOB$ cannot be converted to miles, so you don’t want to be earning UOB$ if you’re trying to collect miles.
UOB has been diligently expanding its circle of UOB$ merchants and now includes over 880 merchants islandwide.
In the past, prominent merchants included Cold Storage, Giant, Guardian, and Cathay Cineplexes.
Now, it also includes merchants under the BreadTalk group, Crystal Jade group, Starbucks, and others.
You can see the full list of merchants on the UOB website.
So if you’re looking to maximise your miles earning rate, you’ll want to avoid using your UOB PPV card at any of these UOB$ merchants, which can be a headache to remember.
Furthermore, while the UOB PPV card is generally a great option for offline transactions, the same can’t be said for online transactions.
The UOB PPV awards 4 mpd on a fairly limited range of online transaction categories like shopping, entertainment, and dining.
This includes online shopping, SISTIC ticketing, and food/grocery delivery.
However, this leaves out categories like private hire vehicles and travel, including hotel/flight bookings.
These are some essential categories of transactions that you probably don’t want to be missing out on 4 mpd for, especially since travel expenses tend to be expensive.
2: $5 Earning Blocks
Next, the UOB PPV awards miles only in S$5 blocks.
This means that when UOB tabulates how many miles you should earn for each transaction, they round it down to the nearest S$5 and go from there.
So, any transaction smaller than S$5 earns no miles, a S$9 transaction earns the same amount of miles as a S$5 transaction, and so on.
The implication is that transactions that are not an exact multiple of $5 end up earning fewer miles than you’d otherwise expect based on the calculation of 4 mpd.
To be fair, this is really only an issue if the majority of your expenses are small such that the constant rounding down of your transactions ends up eroding your miles earning rate.
As the transaction amount goes up, the impact of rounding down the transaction is reduced.
At the end of the day, you’re probably not missing out on too many miles due to $5 earning blocks.
But it definitely leaves you feeling like you’ve been shortchanged every time you earn fewer miles due to this especially when cards like HSBC Revolution and Citi Rewards award miles by the dollar instead.
3: Short Miles Validity
Finally, the UOB PPV card has a relatively short miles validity period.
Miles earned by the UOB PPV card are only valid for 2 years, starting from the end of the quarter they were earned.
This means that you’ll need to transfer out your miles to the frequent flyer program of your choice at least once every 2 years.
If you haven’t earned a significant amount of miles during these 2 years, the transfer fee incurred might not be so worth it.
Objectively speaking, I think 2 years is a decent amount of time.
I’ve personally accumulated a fair amount of miles so far, so it’ll be a non-issue for me once the 2-year mark hits.
But subjectively speaking, a validity period of 2 years is on the lower side.
The Citi PremierMiles and DBS Altitude cards earn miles that never expire.
This makes the 2-year validity period of the UOB PPV’s miles seem shorter.
UOB sure knows how to come up with ways to make their customers feel like they’re getting the short end of the stick.
How To Maximise 4 mpd With UOB PPV
With all that’s been said, here is a cheat sheet on how to utilise the UOB PPV in the best way possible:
- Offline spending: mobile contactless payments only (ie Apple Pay, Google Pay, etc.)
- Online spending: shopping, food, and entertainment payments only
- Transactions >S$5 only
- Avoid UOB$ merchants
Remember that for offline spending, the UOB PPV only earns 4 mpd for mobile contactless payments – never pay with its physical card!
As soon as you receive your card in the mail after applying for it, add it to all the mobile wallets you use and leave it in the drawer.
For online spending, the UOB PPV is quite limited in the categories it earns 4 mpd for, so take note to only use it for the specified categories.
No points are awarded for transactions <S$5, and points are only awarded in blocks of S$5 spent.
Finally, avoid UOB$ merchants as they do not award miles.
This can be more difficult since the merchant list is always subject to change, but an easy way to check it is to bookmark the full list of merchants on the UOB website.
After 1.5 years of using the UOB PPV card, my verdict is that it’s a useful addition but not the most essential card to own.
I should caveat this by saying that this is my opinion as a fresh grad who has reasonably low monthly expenses.
Let me explain why.
Each of these cards has a monthly spend cap of ~S$1,000 per month to earn 4 mpd, and my average monthly spending is well below S$1,000.
In other words, I almost never need to use all 3 cards in any given month.
Very few of my expenses would fall under transactions that don’t earn 4 mpd with either of these 2 options, which means there is little incentive for me to need to use the UOB PPV card.
This is especially so considering that both other options have more favourable rounding calculations for awarding miles and longer miles validity periods as compared to the UOB PPV.
Furthermore, each of these 2 options has a niche that the UOB PPV doesn’t have and that I take advantage of more frequently.
For HSBC Revolution, it awards 4 mpd on travel-related expenses like flight and hotel bookings.
It is the only card among the 3 that does, so whenever I need to make travel-related bookings, HSBC Revolution is the card I’ll choose to use.
Check out my review of the HSBC Revolution card here!
It also incurs the lowest fees for foreign currency transactions, so it will be my go-to expenditure card when I’m overseas or need to make foreign currency payments.
Check out my review of the Citi Rewards card here!
Meanwhile, the UOB PPV’s niche of being able to earn 4 mpd on almost any mobile contactless transaction is something I make use of less frequently.
Sure, I get to earn 4 mpd on my bi-annual trip to the dentist or the occasional miscellaneous transaction that doesn’t quite fall under the most common categories.
But this isn’t enough for me to feel like it’s a card I need to have at this stage of my life.
Instead, it’s a card that’s nice to have, knowing that I can earn 4 mpd on almost any transaction.
Now, if my monthly expenses are such that I consistently spend upwards of S$1,000 or even S$2,000, I can see the UOB PPV being a much more essential card to own.
That’s because I’ll want to have it to spread out my expenses and maximise the ways I can earn 4 mpd every month.
What do you think of the UOB PPV card? Let me know in the comments below!