New UOB Lady’s Earn Rates: up to 10 Miles Per Dollar, But Here’s Why You Want 6 Instead

UOB Lady’s has had a good run – for some 13 months, it offered the highest earn rate of 6 miles per dollar amongst miles credit cards. Every party has to end, and aside from a brief one-month extension, the UOB Lady’s earn rate had to go back down to the usual 4 miles per dollar.

In a recent move, however, the bank has made it possible to get as much as 10 miles per dollar on the UOB Lady’s range of credit cards, though the she-devil’s in the details and here’s why it’s not as good as it sounds. Nonetheless, there may still be some value to be extracted from this.

UOB Lady’s

S$350 Cash credits: 
 The first 200 new-to-UOB credit card customers in May 2024 who successfully apply for an eligible UOB Credit Card between 1 May 2024 and 31 May 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. Click here for full terms and conditions.

Terms and conditions

15X UNI$ per dollar spent (6mpd) on selected category until 31st March 2024. Tap here for the review

Boosted earn rates tied to UOB Lady’s Savings Account

To get higher earn rates, you must maintain certain balances in your UOB Lady’s Saving Account (men can now apply too):

Monthly Average Balance in UOB Lady’s Savings AccountBonusUOB Lady’s Credit Card Earn Rate
Below S$10,000None4 miles per dollar
S$10,000 to S$49,999+ 2 miles per dollar6 miles per dollar
S$50,000 to S$99,999+ 4 miles per dollar8 miles per dollar
S$100,000 and above+ 6 miles per dollar10 miles per dollar

In short, maintain S$10,000 for 6 miles per dollar, S$50,000 for 8 miles per dollar, and S$100,000 for 10 miles per dollar. The catch? UOB Lady’s Savings Account gives a paltry 0.05% p.a. interest on the savings amount.

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Seth

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Opportunity cost vs bonus miles earned

Even with bank interest rates dipping recently, the opportunity cost of maintaining funds in a 0.05% p.a. account is pretty significant. We can calculate the amount of interest lost by putting funds in the UOB Lady’s Account to see how much the extra bonus miles are costing us.

Monthly Average BalanceInterest at 0.05% p.a.Interest at
3% p.a.
Interest at 3.5% p.a.Interest at 4% p.a.
S$10,000S$0.42S$25S$29.17S$33.33
S$50,000S$2.08S$125S$145.83S$166.67
S$100,000S$4.17S$250S$291.67S$333.33
Approximate monthly interest

If you can achieve a 3.5% p.a. rate for your funds, a S$50,000 balance will incur an opportunity cost of S$143.75 (S$145.83 – S$2.08). You do gain extra 4 miles per dollar on your spend with an 8 miles per dollar earn rate. For S$2,000 of spend you get 16,000 miles, of which 8,000 is a bonus because of your S$50,000 balance.

Would you give up S$143.75 for extra 8,000 miles? That’s giving up 1.80 cents per mile which is pretty pricey considering how you can often get miles cheaper with services like CardUp and ipaymy or the occasional Citi PayAll promo (subscribe for updates).

At S$100,000, your opportunity cost balloons to S$287.50 per month (S$291.67 – S$4.17). For S$2,000 spend, the additional miles you get is 12,000 miles. That translates into a 2.40 cents per mile cost and that’s more expensive than paying S$196.20 annual fees for 10,000 miles that quite a few miles cards offer. I typically don’t recommend paying annual fees for miles at this rate, so this is even more discouraged.

Sweet spot: S$10,000 balance may make sense to get 6 miles per dollar

While the S$50,000 and S$100,000 tiers can be ruled out, the S$10,000 tier is pretty interesting. At 3.5% p.a, the opportunity cost is about S$28.75 per month (S$29.17 – S$0.42) and you get 2 bonus miles per dollar spent. If you spent S$1,000 on your UOB Lady’s card or S$2,000 on your UOB Lady’s Solitaire card, you get additional 2,000 or 4,000 miles respectively.

S$28.75 for 2,000 miles is actually pretty fair at 1.44 cents per mile while S$28.75 for 4,000 miles is an excellent deal at 0.72 cents each. Buying each mile at 0.72 cents is something you should do as much as you can regardless of whether you fly business or economy class.

There are still some caveats that you should take note of.

Using UOB One? Don’t forget that interest tiers may mean that your opportunity cost is larger

If you are taking reference from the UOB One Account, don’t forget that amounts in the higher tiers get a lot more interest. The final tier of S$125,000 to S$150,000, in particular, gets an interest rate of 6% p.a. from 1st May 2024. This means that if you have S$150,000 in your UOB One Account and you’re thinking of diverting S$10,000 to the UOB Lady’s to get added 2 miles per dollar, your true opportunity cost is actually 6% p.a. on that S$10,000!

Your opportunity cost can thus be as high as S$49.58 (S$50 – S$0.42). This makes sense if you are maxing out the spend cap of UOB Lady’s Solitaire (S$49.58 ÷ 4,000 bonus miles = 1.24 cents per mile), but not if your spend is just S$1,000 (S$49.58 ÷ 2,000 bonus miles = 2.48 cents per mile).

Categories, UOB$ merchants and spend blocks still apply

Aside from the boosted earn rates if you pair the UOB Lady’s card with the account, the card is fundamentally unchanged. The upsized 6 to 10 miles per dollar earn rates apply only to bonus categories that you select, and miles are earned in form of UNI$ which can only be transferred to a few airlines. These are described in my review last year so you can read that for more info.

Conclusion: making use of this pairing strategically may make the most sense

At the end of the day, the simple way to balance the value equation is to:

  1. Reduce opportunity cost of your funds
  2. Make sure you have more spending on the UOB Lady’s Card

To achieve Condition 1, it means putting S$10,000 into the UOB Lady’s account only when you can’t really hit a high interest rate for these funds. For Condition 2, it would make a lot more sense to place your funds into the account on months where you are able to max out the S$2,000 spend cap of the UOB Lady’s Solitaire card.

On months you don’t hit a high amount of spend on your UOB Lady’s card, your funds can sit elsewhere to earn interest. There is of course a fall-below fee, but it’s only S$2 per month or a S$1,000 balance to avoid it. It’s a relatively small cost in the larger scheme of things if you do make use of the UOB Lady’s higher earn rates every now and then.

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