Credit Cards Spending

UOB Absolute Cashback vs Amex True Cashback – Which Is Better?

UOB Absolute Cashback vs Amex True Cashback

Last updated on September 23rd, 2021

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With the introduction of the UOB Absolute Cashback card, you may be wondering which cashback credit card you should get.

Both of the UOB Absolute Cashback and the Amex True Cashback cards are Amex cards. However, the main difference is the 0.2% cashback!

Here is a comparison between these cards to help you make a decision:

The difference between UOB Absolute Cashback and Amex True Cashback

The UOB Absolute Cashback card offers slightly more cashback (1.7% vs 1.5%) compared to the Amex True Cashback card. Apart from the rewards from UOB and Amex as well as the annual fees, there are not much differences between the two cards.

Here is an in-depth comparison between them:

Cashback reward

This is the amount of cashback that you will receive when making a transaction on each credit card:

CardCashback
UOB Absolute Cashback1.7%
Amex True Cashback1.5%

The UOB Absolute Cashback has a slightly higher cashback reward with an extra 0.2%. However, this may not really make much of a difference, unless you are spending a lot of money on the card.

Eligible transactions

The UOB Absolute Cashback card is attractive as it does not have any spend exclusions. This means that you can earn cashback even for these transactions:

  • Insurance premiums
  • School fee payments
  • Mobile or e-wallet top ups
  • Healthcare bills
  • Rental payments

Meanwhile, the Amex True Cashback categorises some transactions as being non-eligible for cashback.

For both cards, it seems that you are able to still earn cashback when you top up mobile wallets like GrabPay or Singtel Dash. However, you would not be able to withdraw your balance from these mobile wallets!

Here are some examples of the transactions that will not be eligible for cashback:

UOB Absolute CashbackAmex True Cashback
Cash advanceCash advance
Installment payment plansCredit Card Funds Transfer
Personal loansMonthly instalment
of EasyPay transactions
Fees / charges by UOBTop-ups to EZ-Link,
FlashPay or PayPal
NETS related transactionsTransactions with certain
Merchant Category Codes

No minimum spend or cap on cashback

There is no minimum spend required to earn the cashback on either card. Even if you make a $50 transaction with the card, you will still get the cashback reward!

Moreover, there is no cap in the amount of cashback you can earn. This is in contrast to the Standard Chartered Spree card, which has a cap at $60.

With no minimum spend and no cap, these cards are very flexible! Both of them can be used when you have maxed out the better rewards on other cards.

Cashback credit

The Amex True Cashback card is unique where you are able to earn your cashback in the same month’s statement. This allows you to immediately use your cashback to offset your bills!

However for the UOB Absolute Cashback, your cashback will only be credited in the following month’s statement.

This makes the cashback rewards that you earn with Amex slightly more tangible!

Payment Network

Both the UOB Absolute Cashback and True Cashback cards are under the Amex network. While it is not as widely accepted compared to other networks like Visa or Mastercard, Amex has been trying to expand its presence here.

Although this list is not exhaustive, it does show you some of the merchants that accept Amex cards.

Most established merchants should allow you to use your Amex card.

However, there may be smaller shops that may not allow you to use your card. In this case, you will not be able to make payments with your Amex card!

Moreover, there are certain merchants which only accept Visa or Mastercard. Here are some examples:

Eligibility

Both cards have the same eligibility criteria before if you are a Singapore resident or PR:

ConditionDefinition
Age21-65 years
Minimum Annual IncomeResidents and PR ($30k)

However, the minimum annual income requirement for expats is slightly different:

UOB Absolute
Cashback
Amex True
Cashback
Minimum
Annual
Income
$80k$60k

You will need a higher income as an expat to apply for the UOB Absolute Cashback card.

Other rewards

Besides the cashback reward, here are some other offers you can get with both cards:

UOB has their own privilege program

If you get the UOB Absolute Cashback card, you will be able to receive some privileges at certain stores. These categories include:

  1. Dining
  2. Travel
  3. Retail
  4. Transport
  5. Utility Marketplace
  6. Family and Wellness
  7. Wedding Privileges

However, based on the card’s terms and conditions, you will not be able to earn any UNI$ or SMART$.

The Absolute Cashback card is an Amex card too. As such, you are able to receive some benefits with Amex.

Amex has its own rewards program too

Amex also has a rewards program with more attractive offers. They are broken down into 4 main categories:

  1. Dining
  2. Travel
  3. Shopping
  4. Lifestyle

Amex has chosen to partner with SPC for petrol benefits.

Amex also has additional Travel Inconvenience and Travel Accident insurance benefits. These are underwritten by Chubb Insurance Singapore Limited.

If you want to enjoy these benefits, you will have to charge your entire fare to your True Cashback card.

Fees

Here are the fees that you’ll need to pay for either card:

UOB Absolute
Cashback
Amex True
Cashback
Annual Fee$192.60
(Waived for first year)
$171.20
(Waived for first year)
Annual Fee
(Supplementary Card)
$96.30
(First card is free)
$85.60
(First 2 cards are free)

While both cards offer a first year fee waiver, you can get 2 supplementary cards without any additional fees for the Amex True Cashback card.

Payment methods

For the Absolute Cashback card, you are able to use a wide variety of methods to pay your credit card bills.

However, if you do not have a UOB bank account, you are unable to transfer your funds via online banking. Instead, you can only use InterBank GIRO to pay your bills.

For the True Cashback card, it is slightly more complicated. You can still can use a bank transfer to pay your bills, but you can only use accounts from:

  1. DBS / POSB
  2. OCBC
  3. UOB

You can also use GIRO or cheque to make your payments.

Verdict

Here is a comparison between the UOB Absolute Cashback and the Amex True Cashback cards:

UOB Absolute
Cashback
Amex True
Cashback
Payment NetworkAmexAmex
Cashback1.7%1.5%
Cashback CreditNext monthImmediate
Minimum SpendNoneNone
Cashback LimitNoneNone
Other RewardsUOB Rewards (But no
SMART$ or UNI$)
Amex Rewards
Travel Accident and
Inconvenience Benefits
Annual Fee$192.60$171.20
Annual Fee Waiver1 year1 year
Bill PaymentAXS
Cash
GIRO
iBanking
Cheque
FAST (Only POSB / DBS, 
OCBC or UOB)
GIRO
Cheque

Both of these cards are really similar, so there is not much advantage one card has over the other.

I believe that the card that you should choose depends on your spendings and preferences.

For example, using the Amex True Cashback card may be more convenient if you want to repay your bills via FAST. This is especially if you do not have a UOB savings account.

You can also take a look at the rewards that are being offered by each card, to see which ones are more suited to your spending habits.

While the UOB Absolute Cashback offers an extra 0.2%, it is not that significant unless you are spending a huge amount on the card!

Conclusion

Both of these cards are very similar, so there may not be much advantages in choosing one over the other. Ultimately, you should choose the card that better suits your spending habits!

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New AMEX Credit Card Customer
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UOB Absolute Cashback

uob absolute cashbacl card

Amex True Cashback Card

amex true cashback card

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