What We’re Doing With UOB One

Because “The One” ring, get it? *crickets*

There are five stages of grief, and since news of the UOB One nerf first broke almost two weeks ago our Telegram group has experienced the whole gamut of emotions:

Denial
Anger
Bargaining
Depression
Acceptance

Switching to another card

The dust is settling, somewhat, as reward chasers do what we do: move on and find the next best thing to chase. Alternatives have been proposed and discussed, and you can see some of my suggestions here:

A few would be switching to other cards, with some 16% of UOB One users in our chat group indicating that they’d do so in a straw poll. Popular cashback cards like OCBC FRANK, DBS LiveFresh, and UOB EVOL seem, well, popular choices to go to for some disappointed UOB One users. Other solutions like GrabPay Mastercard seem popular too, and almost every other card does not have the cumbersome requirement of having to spend a consistent amount monthly for at least three months to get cashback.

A significant number don’t use UOB One at all

Almost half of the poll respondents don’t even use the UOB One to begin with. As popular as this card is, we do have many miles people in the group, and a good number of cashback people are perhaps looking at higher rates like 6 to 8% offered by other cards.

It doesn’t help that UOB is often stingy with their sign-up promos, often limiting goodies to one or two hundred people who are the quickest to sign up and put a sizeable amount of spend on it:

UOB One

👍🏼

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

For New-to-UOB Credit Card Customers: Enjoy enhanced cashback of up to 15% cashback on McDonald’s, DFI Retail Group , Grab, SimplyGo (bus and train rides), Shopee and UOB Travel transactions when you apply for a UOB One Credit card till 31 Mar 2024. Terms and conditions apply.

Get 3.33% base cashback if you spend $500, $1,000, or $2,000 a month for three consecutive months. Up to 6.67% additional cashback for Grab, Shopee, and Diary Farm merchants.

Other banks are giving away hundreds of dollars for their cards with far less spend required, and their gifts are guaranteed if you complete the requirements. UOB has so far been rather obstinate in the face of such competition, and this nerf would surely not do itself any favours in getting its flagship card out to more people.

Still using the card

But perhaps a testament to UOB One’s uniqueness in the cashback cards space, over 80% of UOB One users polled stated that they would continue using the card, even if some say they’d use it less. There’s still an impressive cashback yield of 8.33% achievable on $2,000 of monthly spend… if you spend heavily on things like Shopee, Grab, or Dairy Farm merchants that is.

Bonus merchants aside, UOB One still works in giving 3.33% for CardUp and ipaymy payment services, a rarity for high-earn cards. Maybe calling a 3.33% cashback rate “high earn” is a little stretching it, but most cards that still work for such services give at best 1.6% cashback, or 1.6 miles per dollar. Even UOB One’s reduced rate seems good in comparison to such numbers.

This has been the second significant nerf to UOB One in two years, the first being even more devastating by taking away 10% cashback on Grab top-ups. Did you know we could once top up $2,000 monthly into Grab, then get $600 after three months? I don’t know how mile chasers turned their noses at this back then and continued using 4 mpd cards, essentially buying their miles at a pricey 2.5 cents each because of the opportunity cost.

Most cards don’t survive beyond a single major nerf, let alone two. Yet, UOB One sees mostly continued use by its user base… and you can count me in as one of them. There are simply few other ways to earn cashback on my mortgage, or reach as high as 8.33% cashback on Grab, Shopee, Dairy Farm merchants (e.g. Giant, Cold Storage), and now SimplyGo for buses and trains.

Other banks may want to take note that there seems like there’s space here for more than just one card. Until then, most of us cashback people only have this one 🥲

my precioussss…… 🥲

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