Review: UOB EVOL Card – OCBC FRANK and DBS LiveFresh Have Company

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.

Card details

ProviderUOB
TypeConditional cashback
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
TrackingTransactions posted in statement month
ApplyHere

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 🤷🏻‍♂️

Seth
Seth

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Triplets separated at birth

If the online/contactless categories look familiar to you, it should; this is essentially inspired by OCBC FRANK which in turn is a near-clone of DBS LiveFresh.

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.

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Sign-up bonus

UOB
EVOL

New to UOB cards

Get S$300 cashback if you are among the first 100 New-to-UOB customers to make a min. spend of S$1,500.

Alternatively, get S$150 cashback if you are among the first 100 New-to-UOB credit card customers to make a min. spend of S$1,500.

Valid till 30th September 2021

At the time of writing, UOB’s promo is typical of the bank: first X new cardholders who successfully completes the conditions without giving any indication of how many have qualified. If you are a new to UOB customer and want this card, I would apply for the UOB Absolute first which currently has a sign-up promo for all new UOB customers, then apply for this card.

Conclusion

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.

The good:

  • Nearly the highest cashback rate of 6.67%
  • Easy to fulfil requirements: nearly anything

The bad:

  • 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

The ugly:

  • 8% cashback is… rather misleading. Would it be so difficult to just make a 7% card and call it that?

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★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
9 Stars of Sethisfaction

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