Update March 2022: updated for 2022 and included point on UOB$ programme
The UOB YOLO Card was as awkward to use as its name was (aside from the good old days of being a Grab top-up card, ahem). There was a difference between spending on the weekends and weekdays, and it was only for dining, entertainment, and Grab expenses. Now that our weekdays and weekends are blurred with lockdowns and pandemics, it’s also timely that UOB is revamping the YOLO card to something that is even more awkward sounding. Thankfully, the new EVOL card that YOLO has become is a lot easier to use.
|Earn Rate||– 8%* on mobile contactless payments or online purchases|
– 0.3% for all other spend
|Conditions||– Minimum spend of $600 per month|
– Mobile contactless (e.g. Apple Pay)
– Online purchases
|Limits||– $20 cashback on mobile contactless|
– $20 cashback on online purchases
– $20 on all other transactions
|Tracking||Transactions posted in statement month|
The newly revamped EVOL card doesn’t require you to spend specifically on things like dining, but it now awards its high earn rate on mobile contactless and online purchases. Together, these two categories represent essentially almost any kind of spend you can imagine, given how commonplace contactless payments are accepted in Singapore. Take note that you need to add the card to your phone’s wallet to qualify as tapping your card does not give you the 8% earn rate.
*About that 8%
Many cards advertise high cashback rates that end up not so attractive after all due to a string of unrealistic conditions, and UOB EVOL is unfortunately a little disingenuous about the cashback it’d earn. The maximum cashback earned on contactless is $20, which is $250 of spend. This is the same for the online category. This means that you would max out the 8% cashback on $500 of spend, shy of the $600 required.
You would then have to spend an additional $100 that attracts 0% cashback. Or a pitiful 0.3%, if you use the physical card like it’s the early 2000s. Either way, your cashback yield is a tad below 8%: 6.67% to 6.71% at best.
6.67% is nearly 7%. And 7 is nearly 8, I guess 🤷🏻♂️
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Triplets separated at birth
OCBC FRANK is better than DBS LiveFresh in almost every way: higher cashback rate, higher limit of cashback earned, and it is more permissive with the things it gives cashback on.
UOB EVOL, too, offers DBS LiveFresh a compelling reason to switch: get the same $40 cashback a month by spending $600 instead of $800. EVOL is decidedly less ambitious in trying to dethrone OCBC FRANK. It does offer a higher earn rate, but the max cashback of $40 is lower than FRANK’s $50, so higher spenders might go for FRANK instead.
UOB$ Programme… what an annoyance
UOB has recently introduced its UOB$ Programme which offers different cashback rates for different merchants. Such merchants’ spending would be excluded from UOB EVOL’s high cashback rate, which is a very annoying thing. Now, instead of just using your UOB EVOL to make spending at anywhere that accepts contactless payments, you have to check whether the place you are spending at is a UOB$ merchant. If so, you would getting the prescribed cashback amount instead of your usual EVOL earn rate.
Given how most of the merchants give less than 6% cashback (some like Giant only giving a pathetic 1% and only if a certain spend amount is made), this is not a good feature for people using UOB EVOL.
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Terms and conditions
Get 6.67% effective cashback on $600 of spend each month!
High earn cashback cards are always welcomed, pandemic or not, and UOB EVOL is a great one. The cap is a little low, but for people who don’t spend all that much anyway, 6.67% cashback on nearly anything is a really good rate.
- Nearly the highest cashback rate of 6.67%
- Easy to fulfil requirements: nearly anything
- It’s becoming more common, but it doesn’t mean we can’t list sub-limits as a bad thing
- Counts eligible spending by posting date rather than transaction date
- $40 of monthly cashback is relatively low
- UOB$ merchants have their own cashback rate
- 8% cashback is… rather misleading. Would it be so difficult to just make a 7% card and call it that?
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