Do you want to earn cashback on all your credit card purchases? Of course! Who doesn’t, right? But with all the many cashback credit cards in Singapore’s market that offer unlimited cashback, how do you find the best one for you?
UOB launched the UOB Absolute Cashback card during the pandemic when everyone had put their leisure plans on hold, and survival became more crucial. Thus, UOB introduced an unlimited cashback credit card to cater to more essential purchases.
While there are many cashback cards in today’s market, the UOB Absolute Cashback card is among the top contenders for being the best kind. Tagged as “Absolutely Simple,” it claims to offer a more straightforward solution to every purchase that you want to earn cashback. Now, let’s check if UOB Absolute Cashback can live up to your expectations and if you really can get cashback on everything.
Introduction to UOB Absolute Cashback Card
Standard Chartered Unlimited Cashback Card and American Express True Cashback Card started the unlimited cashback trend by offering 1.5% unlimited rebates. Then came Citi’s Cashback+ at 1.6%. And now, the UOB Absolute Cashback card has earned the top spot for being a no-frills card with the highest cashback rate among its competitors.
Key Features and Benefits
- 1.7% limitless cashback with caps, no restrictions, and no spend exclusions across daily spend
- A waived annual fee on the first year
- 15% off on petrol at SPC and Shell stations
- American Express Card privileges
- Up to 50% off on shopping, dining, and accommodation
- Enjoy VIP treatment across luxury hotels worldwide with your complimentary 2-year Tablet Plus membership
- Enjoy interest-free purchases with monthly installments using the UOB SmartPay
- Get instant cashback at merchant outlets with UOB$ and FavePay
How To Apply For The UOB Absolute Cashback card?
UOB also made the requirements easier for those interested in applying for a UOB Absolute Cashback card. You can either apply through forms in the bank or online via MyInfo using your Singpass account. Applying via MyInfo speeds up the process as information is already pre-filled, and you’ll only need to upload documents such as payslip and CPF statements.
You may even get additional offers if you apply via MyInfo.
The UOB Absolute Cashback card is available to Singapore Citizens (SCs), Singapore Permanent Residents (SPRs), and foreigners depending on certain conditions.
For Singapore Citizens and Permanent Residents, you should:
- Be at least 21 years old at the time of application.
- Have a minimum annual income of S$30,000 which translates to at least S$2,500 per month.
- Have a minimum deposit to a UOB bank account of S$10,000.
- Annual income requirement of S$80,000
Other terms and conditions:
- Annual Fee: S192.60, waived on the first year
- Supplementary Card Fee: first supplementary card free; S$96.30 for subsequent cards
- Interest-free period: 21 days
- Annual interest rate: 26.90%
- Late payment fee: $100
- Minimum repayment fee: 3% or S$50, whichever is higher
- Over limit fee: S$40
- Foreign currency transaction fee: 8% or $15, whichever is higher
- Valid ID or Identity proof (SCs and SPRs)
- Passport validity (for foreigners only)
- Work permit validity of at least six months (for foreigners only)
- Proof of billing such as utility or telco bill
- Latest original and computerized payslip
Pros and Cons
As we dive in further, let us check the UOB Absolute Cashback card’s Pros and Cons.
1. Cashback on your monthly expenses across many different categories. These categories include:
- Insurance premiums
- Wallet top-Ups
- School fees
- Hospital bills
- Utility bills
- Telco bills
- Rental payments
- Charity donations
- And many more
2. Since the UOB Absolute Cashback card is an AMEX card; you will also get exclusive privileges from being an American Express cardholder such as:
6-month FoundersCard membership where an elite status will receive:
- Caesars Rewards (Diamond)
- Hilton Honors (Gold)
- Marco Polo (Silver)
- Sixt (Platinum)
3. Live the World Privileges:
Complimentary travel insurance of up to S$500,000
Selected cardholders receive a two-year Tablet Plus Membership (valued at S$198) benefits such as:
- Free breakfast
- Hotel credits
- Airport transfers
- Guaranteed early check-ins and late check-outs
- Valet parking
- Welcome gifts
4. More discounts on dining, shopping, and local adventures
5. Earn double cashback when you use GrabPay. Plus, being an AMEX card, you don’t have to pay the S$1 transaction fee when doing GrabPay top-ups.
6. You’ll also enjoy additional lifestyle perks from UOB across a wide range of categories, including online shopping, retail, dining, and staycations.
1. Can’t be used for mobile contactless payments like:
- Apple Pay
- Samsung Pay
- Google Pay
- GrabPay (accepted by some only)
2. Some smaller merchants do not accept American Express cards. To check if cashback is eligible, check if merchants accept AMEX first.
3. UOB Absolute Cashback card’s annual fee is only waived in the first year. Whether the bank will waive yearly fees in the following years will depend on your spending. The high yearly fees may not be worth it for new professionals and those with low spending budgets. Find out more on the best credit cards in Singapore.
4. Cashback is not available on NETS transactions.
5. You can also easily track your expenses using the UOB Mighty Mobile app.
UOB Absolute Cashback card’s Reward Program
- S$1 cashback is equivalent to S$1.
- Cashbacks earned for the current month are credited to the principal card account and reflected on the following credit card statement.
- The supplementary cardholders’ spending is also calculated for cashback.
- Cashbacks are not convertible to cash and are non-transferable.
- Unused cashback will expire after two calendar years.
- Cashback earned is automatically forfeited when the account is closed.
Note, however, that there are also transactions not eligible for cashback, and these are
- NETS and NETS-related payments or purchases
- Cash advances
- Personal loans
- Balance transfers
- Installment payment plans
How UOB Absolute Cashback card Compares With Other Credit Cards In Singapore
Now, let’s compare the UOB Absolute Cashback card to its current competitors in the market:
|No Frills Cashback Cards||Cashback Rate||Waiver on Annual Fee||Welcome Bonus||Minimum Spend Limit||Cashback Cap|
|UOB Absolute Cashback||1.7%||One year free||S$150 cashback on first S$3,000 spend||Unlimited||Unlimited|
|Maybank FC Barcelona Visa Signature||1.6%||– Two years free |
– Annual fee waiver for annual spend of S$10,000
|No welcome offer on cashback||Unlimited||Unlimited|
|Standard Chartered Unlimited Cashback||1.5%||Two years free||S$250 cashback when you spend S$200 in the first 30 days||Unlimited||Unlimited|
|American Express True Cashback||1.5%||One year free||$120 CapitaVouchers when you spend S$500 in the first month||Unlimited||Unlimited|
All the cashback cards on the above table also require an entry-level annual fee of S$30,000. They also have pretty similar features, but not all work the same. Let’s check further how UOB Absolute pars with its competitors by comparing them further. As you can see, we’ve compared UOB Absolute Cashback with other cards that also offer no caps on its cashback and no minimum monthly spends. UOB tops its competitors with the highest cashback rate at 1.7%.
1. UOB Absolute Cashback card Vs. Citi Cashback+ Card
Both UOB Absolute and Citi Cashback+ have an excellent offer of no cashback caps and no minimum spend. However, with Citi Cashback+, you won’t get cashback when you pay your bills and insurance premiums.
Also, you can only redeem Citi cashback rewards in blocks of S$10, S$20, and S$50. You can redeem these rebates instantly by using Pay with Points or get a cash rebate via SMS.
On the other hand, Citi Cashback+ has the advantage of expiry of cashback since cashback earned does not expire. The downside is Citi Rewards are hard to utilize unless you often spend in their participating partners.
2. UOB Absolute Cashback Card Vs. Maybank FC Barcelona Visa Signature
Compared to the UOB Absolute Cashback card, Maybank FC Barcelona Visa Signature lacks on its welcome offer. However, their latest promo lets you get a Garmin Vivomove watch worth S$469 when you spend S$300 2 months after card approval. It also comes with perks for soccer lovers. But with the current restrictions on sports and travel, you won’t enjoy this perk yet.
3. UOB Absolute Cashback Card Vs. Standard Chartered Unlimited Cashback
The Standard Chartered Unlimited Cashback card has a lower cashback rate than the UOB Absolute Cashback card at only 1.5%. It also does not allow you to earn cashback on bills payments. And while it also offers a bonus cashback of 1.5%, this is capped at S$100 a month.
Further, this bonus cashback only applies if you have a minimum deposit of S$100,000 in your Unlimited$Saver account.
The Standard Chartered Unlimited Cashback card also has some significant advantages over the UOB Absolute Cashback card, like its two-year free annual fee and higher fuel savings of 22.61% when used at Caltex stations. You can also use it for various wireless payment channels.
4. UOB Absolute Cashback Card Vs. American Express True Cashback
Both cards are AMEX cards, and the only difference could seem to be 0.2% on cashback rates, with UOB having the slightly higher cashback. However, the AMEX True Cashback card limits its eligible categories. Some ineligible transactions are purchases and top-ups for EZ-link cards, as well as FlashPay or PayPal.
Compared to travel insurance perks, American Express True Cashback offers lower insurance of S$350,000 compared to UOB Absolutes S$500,000 travel insurance.
However, in terms of cashback redemption, with AMEX True Cashback, you’ll receive the cashback automatically within the same month.
Is the UOB Absolute Cashback card Right For You?
1. For households with high spending budgets across multiple categories
Compared to other cards with higher cashback rates, you’d probably think that the 1.7% is way too low. But, if you’ll check closely, you will find that cards with high cashback rates of 5% to 8% have caps and restrictions.
With high cashback cards (those that offer above 5%), cashback is also limited to specific categories, and you also need to qualify for a minimum spend requirement. Thus, you might be spending more than earning on its rebates. So, if you’re someone who spends low on groceries, transport, and food, high-maintenance cashback cards that offer high cashback rates aren’t for you.
If you go for the UOB Absolute Cashback card, you’ll get a uniform 1.7% cashback on all purchases, big or small. And, if you’ll carefully evaluate your spending habits, you may be able to see how this card can benefit you best.
The cashback feature is the best fit for households and professionals. Especially so if you have a monthly spending budget of S$2,000 and above, which can earn you S$400 plus annually. Find out more on the best credit cards in Singapore.
You can take advantage of the 1.7% unlimited rebates, which you can use across various categories, including health and wellness. Thus, you can earn an overall high cashback than the other cards depending on your monthly spending and budget.
2. As a secondary or supplementary card for AMEX merchants
The only downside to owning a UOB Absolute Cashback card is being an AMEX card. Visa and Mastercard remain to be the most accepted card by most merchants. So, you may find it quite challenging to find smaller merchants that accept AMEX.
To solve this, you can use your card to top up your GrabPay wallet. Use these funds to pay for your purchases via the GrabPay Mastercard. With this conversion, you’ll still be earning 1.7% cashback. So, if you’re okay with this, then the UOB Absolute Cashback card will still work best for you.
If you already have one or more cards, it may be time to add another by getting a UOB Absolute Cashback card. So if you anticipate that you’ll be spending more on a particular month, then use your card with higher rebate rates.
You can also use the UOB Absolute Cashback card as an alternative when you have already maxed out better benefits on other cards you own. This card will help you get the most of your purchases through its high-interest cashback and are most helpful with big-ticket purchases. And in the long run, you’ll be earning more rebates with the UOB Absolute Cashback card than other cards.
Getting a credit card would also mean you will need to start managing your debts. Find out recommendation on ways to become debt free.
Indeed, the UOB Absolute Cashback is best for unlimited cashback with no spend exclusions, with the fuss-free and generous 1.7% cashback on literally everything. And with their latest offer, you may even receive a S$100 welcome offer if you are among the top 100 new-to-UOB cardmembers. These enticing offers could quickly help you decide to make an excellent switch.
- If you can afford to maintain more than one card, the UOB Absolute Cashback card is also a sound backup card for days when you know that your spending budget is limited.
- The UOB Absolute Cashback card is a flexible, easy-to-understand card with little exclusion.
- Compared to the UOB Absolute Cashback card, all the cards are inferior when it comes to long-term spending.
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