Nerfed: Life after UOB One

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For the most part of 2019 until 16 March 2020, UOB One cardholders have been receiving a generous 10% cash back for GrabPay top-ups. By topping up 5 transactions of $400 every month with your UOB One card, you would receive $600 cash at the end of every quarter ($200/month). By using it with GrabPay’s prepaid Mastercard, you would essentially receive 10% cash back on any spending. What a dream it has been. My wallet has never been this thin.

Things are about to change as UOB have now come up with a new set of terms and conditions to explicitly exclude Grab top-ups from receiving cash back.


What to do with the card now?

My UOB quarter is ending early next month and I have made my last top-up that should still give me 10% cash back. Upon receiving the expected $600 cash back in April, I will be making one more Grab top-up of $600 with my UOB One card. Of course, I could spend the $600 with my UOB One on other items but moving the money to Grab makes it easy to spend exactly $600. Shortly after that, I will be calling UOB at 1800 222 2121 to cancel the card.

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And then there was one

Believe it or not, there are actually still a lot of cards that give you miles or cash back for topping up your Grab balance but most of them give you very small, base rates of cash back or miles and that makes it not worth the effort for me. One card, Citibank Rewards Visa, still gives me 4 miles per dollar for Grab top-ups up to $1,000.

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What’s next?

If you spend under $1,000 every month, nothing much has changed. Stick to your GrabPay Mastercard and Citibank Rewards and you are all set to receive maximum miles for most of your day-to-day spending.

If you consistently spend more than $1,000 monthly, I have just updated our page that shows the best cards for each category. Using the right cards for each category gives you at least 4 miles per dollar to get you to your goals quickly.

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8 thoughts on “Nerfed: Life after UOB One”

  1. Also, I forgot to mention. How did you get the 4 miles per dollar return on the GrabPay Mastercard? I can’t seem to figure this out. Also, I’m assuming come Mar 20, it will no longer receive 4 miles per dollar after the devaluation of rewards..

    Reply
  2. I have the GrabPay Mastercard but not the physical card. You mentioned on your best cards to use for each category that it can be used for contactless payments, but I’m failing to see how I can use that if I don’t have the physical card?

    Reply
  3. Any suggestions which bank account to use for a mileschaser? I just applied for UOB ONE account before this nerf was announced. Now I think I have trouble hitting $500 general spend a month when most of my txns are on 4mpd cards.

    Reply
    • I am looking into this as well. Unfortunately, it looks like most of these bank accounts require you to "waste" some of your spending with payment methods other than your specialized 4 MPD cards. For example, paying for utilities and telco bills via giro instead of credit cards.

      Reply

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