Review: UOB Preferred Platinum Visa Card - The MileLion (2023)

Here’s The MileLion’s review of the UOB Preferred Platinum Visa, perfect for those of you with friends or family who simply tune out every time you start lecturing them on which card to use where.

Simply shove this card into their hands (or more accurately, add it to their mobile wallet) and send them on their way. This remains one of the most idiot-proof cards in the whole miles game, and an easy route to 4 mpd almost everywhere.

Review: UOB Preferred Platinum Visa Card - The MileLion (1)UOB Preferred Platinum Visa
🦁 MileLion Verdict
☑ Take It
☐ Take It Or Leave It
☐ Leave It

With 4 mpd on mobile payments, online shopping & entertainment, the UOB Preferred Platinum Visa is an absolutely essential card.
👍 The good👎 The bad
  • One of the easiest ways to earn 4 mpd almost everywhere
  • No minimum spend required
  • S$5 earning blocks and UOB$ merchants
💳 Full List of Credit Card Reviews

Overview: UOB Preferred Platinum Visa

Let’s start this review by looking at the key features of the UOB Preferred Platinum Visa.

Review: UOB Preferred Platinum Visa Card - The MileLion (2)
Apply
Income Req.
S$30,000 p.a.
Points Validity
2 years
Annual Fee
S$194.40
(First Year Free)
Min.
Transfer

5,000 UNI$
(10,000 miles)

Miles with
Annual Fee
NoneTransfer
Partners
  • SIA
  • Cathay Pacific
  • Air Asia
FCY Fee3.25%Transfer FeeS$25
Local Earn0.4 mpdPoints Pool?Yes
FCY Earn0.4 mpdLounge Access?No
Special Earn4 mpd on mobile payments, online shopping & entertainmentAirport Limo?No
Cardholder Terms and Conditions

The UOB Preferred Platinum Visa is the last standing member of the UOB “Preferred Platinum” series, which includes such luminaries as the Preferred Platinum AMEX (no longer available, sadly), and the Preferred Platinum Mastercard (no longer available, thankfully).

Review: UOB Preferred Platinum Visa Card - The MileLion (3)

All three cards have very different features, so don’t mix them up:

  • The UOB Preferred Platinum Visa earns 4 mpd on mobile contactless payments, and online shopping & entertainment
  • The UOB Preferred Platinum AMEX no longer exists, having been replaced by the UOB Absolute Card
  • The UOB Preferred Platinum Mastercard is best used for removing spinach and other debris from between teeth after you’ve used your UOB Preferred Platinum Visa to settle the bill

How much must I earn to qualify for a UOB Preferred Platinum Visa?

Review: UOB Preferred Platinum Visa Card - The MileLion (4)

The UOB Preferred Platinum Visa is positioned at the entry level, with a S$30,000 annual income requirement.

If you do not meet the minimum income requirement, it may be possible to place a S$10,000 fixed deposit with UOB to get a secured version. Contact your nearest UOB branch for more details.

How much is the UOB Preferred Platinum Visa’s annual fee?

Principal CardSupp. Card
First YearFreeFree, S$97.20 for 2nd onwards
SubsequentS$194.40Free, S$97.20 for 2nd onwards

The UOB Preferred Platinum Visa has an annual fee of S$194.40, which is waived for the first year. The fee for the first supplementary card is waived in perpetuity, with the second card onwards charged at S$97.20 per year.

Fee waivers are possible, but be warned that UOB’sdefault behaviouris toautomaticallydeduct your UNI$ come renewal time to cover the annual fee. When the time comes for renewal, you will either be charged:

  • 6,500 UNI$ for a full waiver
  • 3,250 UNI$ + S$97.20 for a half waiver

If you have sufficient UNI$ for a full waiver, the full waiver option will be automatically selected, and if you only have sufficient UNI$ for a half waiver, the half waiver option will be automatically selected. If you don’t have sufficient UNI$ for either, the annual fee will be billed in pure cash.

It’s up to you to monitor your statement and request a waiver when this happens. Look at the expiry date on your credit card- the month corresponds to the month your annual fee will be charged.

👍 Silver Lining
For what it’s worth, if UOB subsequently grants you a fee waiver, the reinstated UNI$ will have a fresh 2-year validity.

How many miles do I earn?

🇸🇬 SGD Spending🌎 FCY Spending➕ Bonus Spending
0.4 mpd0.4 mpd4 mpd on mobile contactless payments, online shopping & entertainment

Regular SGD/FCY Spending

The UOB Preferred Platinum Visa earns:

  • 1 UNI$ for every S$5 spent in Singapore Dollars
  • 1 UNI$ for every S$5 spent in foreign currency (FCY)

1 UNI$ is worth 2 airline miles, so that’s an equivalent earn rate of 0.4 mpd for both local and FCY spending.

All foreign currency transactions are subject to a 3.25% fee.

Mobile Contactless

UOB Preferred Platinum Visa Cardholders will earn 10X UNI$ per S$5 (equivalent to 4 mpd) onmobile contactless payments, whether in local currency or FCY.

This is capped at S$1,110 per calendar month. Any spend in excess of this cap earns 0.4 mpd.

⚠️Why S$1,110?

UOB’s T&Cs state that “The total bonus UNI$ awarded to you from qualifying spend on Selected Online Transactions and Mobile Contactless Transactions is capped at UNI$2,000 for each calendar month“.

It’s the bonus UNI$ component (9 UNI$ per S$5) that’s capped, so the maximum spend that will earn 4 mpd is S$1,110.

The following contactless payment methods are eligible:

Payment MethodEligible?
Review: UOB Preferred Platinum Visa Card - The MileLion (5)
Review: UOB Preferred Platinum Visa Card - The MileLion (6)
Review: UOB Preferred Platinum Visa Card - The MileLion (7)
Review: UOB Preferred Platinum Visa Card - The MileLion (8)
Review: UOB Preferred Platinum Visa Card - The MileLion (9)Excludes MST
Review: UOB Preferred Platinum Visa Card - The MileLion (10)Tapping physical card

This makes the UOB Preferred Platinum Visa the Swiss Army knife of the miles & points game. So long as the transaction doesn’t run afoul of the UOB Rewards blacklist (e.g. education, government services, insurance – see below), you’ll earn 4 mpd. Dentist’s appointment? Hairdresser? Stationery shop? Mini-mart? Car repairs? If there’s a contactless payment terminal, 4 mpd is yours.

A few important points to note:

⚠️ Tapping the physical UOB Preferred Platinum Visa card at a contactless terminal will only earn 0.4 mpd instead of 4 mpd, ever since May 2020. Once you get your card, add it to your mobile wallet and put it in the drawer!

⚠️SimplyGo transactions (i.e. bus/MRT) will only earn 0.4 mpd, as they’re not considered mobile contactless transactions, even if paid with your mobile device

⚠️The UOB Preferred Platinum Visa will not earn any UNI$ at UOB$ merchants. UOB$ is UOB’s card-wide cashback programme and includes Cold Storage, Crystal Jade, Giant, Guardian, Starbucks and Toast Box, among others. For the full list, refer to this link.

Online Shopping & Entertainment

UOB Preferred Platinum Visa Cardholders will earn 10X UNI$ per S$5 (equivalent to 4 mpd) ononline shopping and entertainment, whether in local currency or FCY.

This is capped at S$1,110 per calendar month. Any spend in excess of this cap earns 0.4 mpd.Do note that cap is shared with mobile contactless payments.

Online shopping and entertainment covers the following MCCs:

CategoryMerchant Category Codes (MCCs)
Department and Retail Stores4816, 5262, 5306, 5309, 5310, 5311, 5331, 5399, 5611, 5621, 5631,5641, 5651, 5661, 5691, 5699, 5732-5735, 5912, 5942, 5944-5949, 5964-5970, 5992, 5999
Supermarkets, Dining and Food Delivery5811,5812,5814, 5333, 5411, 5441, 5462, 5499, 8012, 9751
Entertainment and Ticketing7278, 7832, 7841, 7922, 7991, 7996, 7998-7999

This includes online transactions at:

  • Department and Retail Stores: Amazon, Book Depository, Courts, Harvey Norman, Lazada, Qoo10, Shopee, and Taobao
  • Supermarkets, Dining and Food Delivery: Cold Storage, Deliveroo, FairPrice ON, foodpanda, GrabFood, WhyQ
  • Entertainment and Ticketing:Golden Village, SISTIC

However, I’d much rather use the DBS Woman’s World Card or Citi Rewards Card for such transactions, and save the UOB Preferred Platinum Visa’s 4 mpd cap for in-person contactless spending.

When are UNI$ credited?

Both base and bonus UNI$ are credited when the transaction posts, usually within 1-3 working days.

Base Points (1X)Credited when transaction posts
Bonus Points (9X)
Credited when transaction posts

How are UNI$ calculated?

Here’s how you can work out the UNI$ earned on your UOB Preferred Platinum Visa:

Base Points (1X)Round down transaction to the nearest S$5, divide by 5, then multiply by 1.0
Bonus Points (9X)
Round down transaction to the nearest S$5, divide by 5, then multiply by 9.0

Do note that UOB rounds your transactions down to the nearest S$5 before awarding points, which means a S$9.99 transaction earns the same as a S$5 one, and a S$4.99 transaction earns no points at all.

To illustrate the effect of rounding, consider the following:

Review: UOB Preferred Platinum Visa Card - The MileLion (11)UOB Pref. Plat VisaReview: UOB Preferred Platinum Visa Card - The MileLion (12)Citi Rewards
$520 miles20 miles
$9.9920 miles36 miles
$1560 miles60 miles
$19.9960 miles76 miles
$25100 miles100 miles
$29.99100 miles116 miles

If you’re an excel geek, here’s the formulas you need to calculate your points:

Base Points (1X)=ROUNDDOWN (X/5,0)*1
Bonus Points (9X)
=ROUNDDOWN (X/5,0)*9
Where X= Amount Spent

Don’t forget that UOB makes it super easy to check your points breakdown thanks to the TMRW app, which will show transaction-level points for the UOB Preferred Platinum Visa.

UOB TMRW: Get transaction-level credit card rewards points breakdowns

For the full list of formulas that banks use to calculate credit card points, do refer to these articles:

  • General Spending Cards
  • Specialised Spending Cards

What transactions aren’t eligible for UNI$?

A full list of transactions that do not earn UNI$ can be found in the T&Cs.

I’ve highlighted a few noteworthy categories below:

  • Charitable Donations
  • Education
  • Government Services
  • Insurance
  • Prepaid account top-ups (e.g. GrabPay, YouTrip)
  • Real Estate Agents & Managers
  • Utilities

What do I need to know about UNI$?

❌ Expiry↔️ Pooling✈️ Transfer Fee
2 yearsYesS$25 per conversion
⬆️ Min. Transfer✈️ No. of Partners⏱️ Transfer Time
5,000 UNI$
(10,000 miles)
348 hours

Expiry

UNI$ expire 2 years from the last day of each periodic quarter in which the UNI$ was earned. Each UNI$ period is calculated commencing from January to December of each calendar year. Expired UNI$ cannot be replaced or reinstated.

Pooling

UNI$ pool across cards.If you have 10,000 UNI$ on the UOB Lady’s Card, and 5,000 UNI$ on the UOB Preferred Platinum Visa, you can redeem 15,000 UNI$ at one shot and pay a single conversion fee.

It also means that you don’t need to transfer your UNI$ out before cancelling the UOB Preferred Platinum Visa, assuming it’s not your last UNI$-earning card.

Transfer Partners & Fees

UNI$ transfer to frequent flyer programs at a 1:2 ratio, with a minimum transfer block of 5,000 UNI$ (let’s ignore AirAsia, because converting points there is like throwing them away):

Frequent Flyer ProgrammeConversion Ratio
(UNI$: Partner)
Review: UOB Preferred Platinum Visa Card - The MileLion (13)5,000: 10,000
Review: UOB Preferred Platinum Visa Card - The MileLion (14)5,000: 10,000
Review: UOB Preferred Platinum Visa Card - The MileLion (15)2,500: 4,500

Transfers cost S$25 per programme, regardless of how many points are transferred.

UOB also has an auto-conversion option for KrisFlyer, which costs S$50 per year. UNI$ will be automatically converted on the last day of the calendar month, in blocks of UNI$2,500 (half the regular conversion block).

However, you’ll need to keep a minimum balance of UNI$15,000 (30,000 miles) in your account at all times, for reasons I don’t quite understand. UOB provides the following explanation, for what it’s worth.

This is to give card members the flexibility to convert the UNI$ to other items from UOB Rewards Catalogue. Card members can still choose to convert this UNI$15,000 to KrisFlyer miles by the one time miles redemption process through UOB Rewards Catalogue, subjected to S$25 conversion fee and must be in blocks of 10,000 miles.

You can enroll for the automatic conversion programme here.

Transfer Times

Based on my experience, most points transfers are completed within 48 hours.

If you need your points credited instantly, you can do so via Kris+. 1,000 UNI$ can be transferred to 1,700 KrisPay miles, which can then be transferred to KrisFlyer miles at a 1:1 ratio.

Review: UOB Preferred Platinum Visa Card - The MileLion (16)
S$5 for new Kris+ Users
Get S$5 (in the form of 750 KrisPay miles) when you sign-up with code W644363and make your first transaction

Transfers are immediate, but those 1,000 UNI$ would normally have earned you 2,000 KrisFlyer miles, so you effectively take a 15% haircut.

Therefore I wouldn’t recommend taking this option, unless you need a small top-up to redeem a flight, or have an orphan UNI$ balance (<5,000 points).

Summary Review: UOB Preferred Platinum Visa

Review: UOB Preferred Platinum Visa Card - The MileLion (17)
Apply

The UOB Preferred Platinum Visa may not be marketed as a miles card, but it’s one of the best out there.

Simply put, there’s no other card on the market that offers what the UOB Preferred Platinum Visa does (I suppose you could make a case for Amaze + Citi Rewards, though that involves two cards instead of one). Given the ubiquity of contactless terminals, this is pretty much a 4 mpd anywhere solution, making it suitable for those who struggle to memorize what card to use where.

Used judiciously, a cardholder could earn slightly over 53,000 miles per year with ~S$13,000 spending, equal to a one-way Singapore Airlines Business Class flight to Japan or South Korea.

The fact that UOB pools points makes the UOB Preferred Platinum Visa even more useful- it could be paired with the UOB PRVI Miles, UOB Lady’s Card or UOB Visa Signature, creating a card portfolio that earns 4 mpd on a large proportion of your overall spending.

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☐ Take It Or Leave It
☐ Leave It

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