Surprising no one, the UOB Lady’s – specifically the Solitaire version – takes the crown for Miles Card of the Year 2023. It’s not all roses though and this was a tougher pick that it seems, so let’s take a closer look at the miles card which has given the highest earn rate over the past year.
An alright 4 miles per dollar card
The UOB Lady’s cards were pretty normal before their big buff in March 2023, offering a standard 4 miles per dollar earn rate. Like its current iteration, you had to choose categories (1 for UOB Lady’s, 2 for UOB Lady’s Solitaire) in which you would earn 4 miles per dollar on spending.
Given that plenty of other 4 miles per dollar cards exist which give the same rate anywhere that accepts contactless payment (HSBC Revolution, UOB Preferred Platinum Visa and Citi Rewards paired with Amaze comes to mind), UOB Lady’s card didn’t exactly shine. Why even restrict yourself to 1 or 2 categories when you can get the same earn rate practically everywhere?
Big buff to 6 miles per dollar
It turns out that turning up a card’s earn rate by 50% does wonders in boosting its appeal. That’s exactly what happened in March last year during International Women’s Day where the card started to give a princely (princessly?) 6 miles per dollar earn rate.
Not only is 6 miles per dollar a lot better than every other miles card in Singapore which tend to give 4 miles per dollar at most, the Solitaire version also gives a very roomy cap of S$3,000 per month. Many 4 miles per dollar cards max out at just S$1,000 or so.
Works with UOB One account
Big earn rate aside, UOB Lady’s was even more coveted by men because it was curiously the only miles card that worked with the UOB One Account (spoiler: my pick for Bank Account of the Year). To get the best interest rates of 5% p.a. for UOB One, at least S$500 must be spent with an eligible UOB credit card. Among the picks were excellent cashback cards like UOB EVOL, but if you wanted a miles option, you could only pick UOB Lady’s – that is, if you were an actual lady. None of UOB’s other miles cards, not PRVI Miles, Preferred Platinum Visa nor KrisFlyer UOB cards worked.
Unlike DBS Woman’s World Mastercard which is opened to any gender despite its name, the UOB Lady’s card was strictly for female applicants. Men were naturally disappointed to miss out on the biggest earn rate for any miles card that worked with the best bank account around.
But not for long because Steph stepped in to help.
Opened to men from 30th June
A few months later, UOB opened up the card to men without much explanation (banks aren’t know to publicly explain the reasons behind why they do things). Perhaps they received one too many annoyed complaints from guys who wanted the card, or the fact that excluding an entire gender from a credit card product in this day and age seemed unnecessarily antagonistic, but I’m taking full credit for this change.
My theory is that someone high up in UOB saw “Steph” in my YouTube video’s thumbnail, wondered why their bank product was associated with that face, and decided to fix things so that their customer service would stop getting strange questions altogether.
Regardless of the reason, men could now apply, and everyone was happy. Well, mostly.
S$350 Cash credits:
The first 200 new-to-UOB credit card customers in March 2024 who successfully apply for an eligible UOB Credit Card between 1 March 2024 and 31 March 2024 (both dates inclusive) and spend a min. of S$1,000 per month for 2 consecutive months from their card approval date, will receive S$350 cash credit.
Terms and conditions
Unfortunately, the card can’t be said to be completely egalitarian after the gender requirement was removed since there was still segregation of card features based on income.
The version requiring S$30,000 annual income – named just UOB Lady’s – offered a choice of just 1 category with a monthly cap of S$1,000 for 6 miles per dollar. UOB Lady’s Solitaire, the higher-end card, allowed a choice of 2 categories with a significantly bigger monthly cap of S$3,000. This is the version that wins Miles Card of the Year, but also requires a S$120,000 income requirement.
Scattered reports note that UOB is pretty lax with the annual requirement, but I’ve also heard stories of it being more stringently enforced. This has left quite a few people with just the entry-level version which I feel to be a tad too weak to be called the best miles card of the year. 6 miles per dollar is better than most, but not when it only works with just one category of spend.
Nonetheless, if you managed to get the UOB Lady’s Solitaire, then congrats – it is an awesome card to use and my pick for the Best Miles Card of the Year. A S$3,000 monthly cap is probably sufficient enough for flights and hotel bookings under the Travel category, and having a second category for say dining makes earning miles so much easier compared to the one category limit of the entry-level UOB Lady’s card.
What lies beyond 29th February?
With the highest 6 miles per dollar earn rate over the past year, the UOB Lady’s Solitaire has been a great card to use for the past year. It picks up miles much, much faster than the 1.2 miles per dollar cards your clueless colleagues are using, and even outpaces 4 miles per dollar by a significant margin.
Like the DBS yuu card, however, the UOB Lady’s cards face a murkier future come 29th February 2024. The 6 miles per dollar earn rate is set to expire after Leap Day this year, and without the upsized earn rate the card would likely return to the obscurity it bounced back from. It very well might continue seeing use as the only miles card for UOB One, and at 4 miles per dollar would still be an okay backup card to use, but I think it’s safe to say that it wouldn’t be quite as alluring without its 6 miles per dollar earn rate.
Whether the card is just a one-year wonder or will continue to shine is entirely in the bank’s hands to decide, but you can of course stay subscribed for updates on what are the best cards to use in 2024, and check out the other winners for 2023.
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