UOB is offering customers holding five of its credit cards the opportunity to generate unlimited miles from 1.7 to 1.9 cents each through the UOB Payment Facility, with a discounted fee applicable for payment applications approved between now and 31st December 2022.
This is an extension of the bank’s offer launched in April this year.
While there are cheaper ways to generate miles through your credit card, with regular offers from Citi PayAll (including this recent one at 0.8 cents per mile) and the payment providers like CardUp and ipaymy, UOB literally allows you to “pay anything” using this method, which makes it one of the most flexible options to consider if you need a top-up.
UOB will simply transfer the requested amount to your bank account – whatever you need it for.
UOB Payment Facility promotion
For payment applications approved between now and 31st December 2022, UOB is offering a discounted administrative fee for one-time payments through its UOB Payment Facility (which also used to be called PRVI Pay, for the PRVI Miles cards).
Here’s how the fee and cost per mile works out, for each of the eligible cards.
UOB Payment Facility Promotion
|Card||Fee||Cost per Mile|
UOB Privilege Banking
UOB Visa Infinite
UOB Visa Infinite Metal
UOB PRVI Miles
(Visa / MC / Amex)
You’ll notice the cost per mile (cents) in each example is the same as the fee percentage. That’s because instead of tapping into each card’s miles earning rate for retail spend, all UOB Payment Facility transactions will be awarded with UNI$2.5 for every S$5 of the approved amount charged.
That’s equivalent to 5 miles per S$5 (1 mpd), but be careful. Unlike the usual S$5 rounding blocks we’re used to sticking to with UOB cards, it’s more optimal to make payment requests in S$10 denominations in this case, because UNI$2.5 (for a S$5 block) will round down to UNI$2.
UNI$5 (for a S$10 block), however, will remain intact (no round-down).
- a S$105 payment will earn 21 x 2.5 = 52.5 UNI$ (rounded down to 52), which is 0.99 mpd
- a S$110 payment will earn 22 x 2.5 = 55 UNI$ (no round-down), which is 1 mpd
Full terms and conditions for this promotion are available here.
Here’s how the UOB Payment Facility works for a typical payment, at the 1.9% promotional fee under this offer using a UOB PRVI Miles card.
- $5,000 home improvements invoice arrives
- Apply for $5,000 via the UOB Payment Facility
- UOB transfers $5,000 to your bank account
- UOB charges $5,095 to your credit card ($5,000 + 1.9% fee)
- UOB credits 2,500 UNI$ to your reward account (5,000 miles)
- Effective purchase rate $95/5,000 = 1.9 cents per mile
You can transfer UNI$ to KrisFlyer miles or Asia Miles at the same ratio.
Remember, you don’t even need to have a home improvement invoice to pay, or even produce. Provided you have a sufficient credit limit, UOB will do this “no questions asked”.
Application processing time is 10-12 working days.
Is it a good deal?
As our regular readers will know, we value KrisFlyer miles at around 1.9 cents per mile. It’s the upper limit at which we would be willing to ‘buy’ miles, in order to be comfortable that we will achieve at least that valuation or more when redeeming them.
You’ll notice that in this offer you are ‘buying’ KrisFlyer miles for exactly 1.9 cents each ($95 / 5,000) with the PRVI Miles cards.
It isn’t a terrible deal, but it is right up at the ceiling level where we think anyone should be ‘buying’ KrisFlyer miles, with the possible exception of a relatively small amount to achieve a specific redemption.
That means this offer won’t be of enormous interest to many of our readers, unless you know you will achieve outsize value for your KrisFlyer or Asia Miles stash.
Lower costs per mile are regularly offered for payments through the likes of Citi PayAll (0.8 cents per mile via a recent promotion), ipaymy and CardUp, especially when bonus promotions are running.
The beauty of the PRVI Pay scheme though is that you can pay any bill you like (even if you don’t actually have a bill to pay) by simply requesting an amount to be transferred from your credit card to your bank account for the appropriate one-time fee.
In essence, although the cost per mile is relatively high, the flexibility is also very good.
The top-up option
While the headline rate isn’t heart-racing, this can be a good way of topping up your miles to the nearest 10,000 prior to making a transfer, so that you don’t end up with a small leftover amount.
That’s because you must transfer UNI$ to frequent flyer miles in 10,000 miles (5,000 UNI$) batches.
For example 24,500 UNI$ = 49,000 KrisFlyer miles, but you’d only be able to transfer 40,000 due to the transfer block rule.
Asking UOB for a $1,000 payment through the Payment Facility will cost you $19 with this offer using a PRVI Miles card, but generates the extra 1,000 miles (500 UNI$) required to shift the full 50,000 miles across to KrisFlyer in one block.
Buying miles at 1.7 to 1.9 cents each is far from the most competitive cost available, so this promotion won’t be of interest to most of our readers.
One nice benefit of the UOB Payment Facility is when you’re just looking to top up your miles balance to clear the next redemption threshold, but can’t wait to meet the next ‘block’ through your normal spending. This will often be at relatively low cost if you’re only short by a few miles.
In cases like that, this “no questions asked” option might just save the day.
(Cover Image: Shutterstock)