UOB ONE Credit Card Review: Revamped For The Better
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The UOB ONE was originally a cashback credit card that required cardholders to do a little strategising when spending due to its different weekday and weekend cashback rates that ranged from 0.2% to 5%. Following a revision that came into effect starting from 1 August 2022 after UOB’s acquisition of Citi’s consumer business in Malaysia, however, it has transformed into a more rewarding card that is much more convenient to use.

Now offering up to 10% cashback for four categories of essential expenses, we’ll take a look at how the UOB ONE has been tweaked to be more appealing to cardholders today.

Cashback rewards for everyday spending

Like many credit cards in the market, there are two variants to the UOB ONE card: in this case, the Classic and the Platinum. Both offer 10% cashback for four categories of expenses – namely petrol (including Setel CardTerus transactions), groceries, dining, and Grab transactions (including GrabPay reloads) – if you meet a minimum monthly spend (RM500 for Classic and RM1,500 for Platinum). This is in addition to an unlimited cash rebate of 0.2% for all other retail purchases.

If that sounds familiar, that’s because the UOB ONE cards are identical versions to the Citi Cash Back Cards, which will no longer be issued once UOB fully migrates Citi’s existing consumer base in Malaysia (which is expected to be completed by November this year).

That’s great news for all consumers, as the UOB ONE offers compelling cashback rewards for everyday spending. UOB ONE Classic cardholders will be entitled to 10% cashback on petrol, grocery, dining, and Grab transactions if they hit a minimum monthly spend of RM500 and above, with a cashback cap of RM10 per category. Should you fail to meet the minimum spend requirement, you will only earn a tiny 0.2% cashback. Here’s a table to sum up the UOB ONE Classic card’s cash rebate benefits:

CardCashback (< RM500 min spend)Cashback (≥ RM500 min spend)Cashback cap
UOB ONE Classic0.2% cashback for petrol, groceries, dining, and Grab transactions10% cashback for petrol, groceries, dining, and Grab transactionsRM10 per category (RM40 in total)
 0.2% cashback for other retail purchases0.2% cashback for other retail purchasesUnlimited

From this, you can then deduce that the effective cashback rate of the UOB ONE Classic card stands at 8% (not taking into account the unlimited 0.2% cashback for other retail purchases) – which is pretty generous!

Meanwhile, the higher-tiered UOB ONE Platinum also offers 10% cashback for petrol, grocery, dining, and Grab transactions – but at a higher cap of RM15 per category. Of course, this also means that the minimum spend requirement is higher as well, at RM1,500 and above (following a revision in March 2023). If you do not meet the requirement, you’ll still only earn cashback at the rate of 0.2%:

CardCashback (< RM1,500 min spend)Cashback (≥ RM1,500 min spend)Cashback cap
UOB ONE Platinum0.2% cashback for petrol, groceries, dining, and Grab transactions10% cashback for petrol, groceries, dining, and Grab transactionsRM15 per category (RM60 in total)
 0.2% cashback for other retail purchases0.2% cashback for other retail purchasesUnlimited

In terms of the effective cashback rate, the UOB ONE Platinum is a little less rewarding than the Classic, as it stands at a lower 4% (also not inclusive of the 0.2% cashback offer).

Other than cash rebates, UOB ONE cardholders are also entitled to a few other privileges, including discounts at for travel, dining, health & beauty – among other things. You can also tap into three-month easi-payment plans at 0% interest for medical and overseas expenses, up to RM1,000 and RM3,000 respectively.

A great first credit card

With its current benefits and relatively low spend requirement, the UOB ONE card – particularly the Classic version – is an especially great card for young working adults or fresh graduates whose main expenses are daily necessities. The Classic’s low income requirement of just RM24,000 a year (or RM2,000/month) make it accessible even to most first-jobbers.

At a maximum of RM40 cashback a month for the UOB ONE Classic, cardholders can earn up to RM480 in savings a year – almost as much as what you’ll spend on the card each month! Meanwhile the Platinum version could yield a maximum of RM720 a year in cashback – though the lower effective cashback rate means you’ll also be spending more each month.

However, the cards do come with annual fees that eat into the cashback rewards. The UOB ONE Classic has a RM120 annual fee, while the Platinum version’s annual fee is RM195. If your monthly spending earns you the full cashback amount for either card, the annual fee will shave quite a considerable amount of cashback rewards you earn over the course of a year. Do check with customer service if this can be waived.

If there is one limitation, it is with the Grab-related cashback category. With many credit cards these days opening up cashback rewards for e-wallets (and for online transactions in general), this card is somewhat lacking in that regard.

It is nonetheless a tiny inconvenience, of course, as it can always be overcome by complementing this card with a different cashback card that offers cashback for other categories, such as the Affin Duo cards as well as the Hong Leong Wise (which included a new “Online” cashback category covering Lazada, Shopee, Grab, Touch ‘n Go eWallet, and more in October 2021).

Verdict: An instant Classic

With its high effective returns and low spending requirement, the UOB ONE Classic mirrors our previous conclusion of the Citi Cash Back Gold Card: this is one of the best cashback credit cards in Malaysia. It offers cashback for everyday spend (no weekend/weekday requirements), coverage for essential spending categories, and accessible income requirements.

At a time when prices of everyday goods have been going up, having cashback cards like the UOB ONE Classic in your wallet certainly helps manage the effects of inflation.

You can apply for the UOB ONE Classic and UOB ONE Platinum card here.

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