January 22

2024 UOB One Debit Card minimum balance, annual fees review

0  comments

When you think of an innovative bank, you might think of banks like DBS.

  UOB One Debit Card DBS Visa OCBC Frank
Minimum balance $500 monthly average, or $2 fall below fee will be charged No minimum balance needed $1000 monthly average, or $2 fall below fee will be charged
Cashback Highest cashback of 3%, if you spend with your SimplyGo, DFI Retail Group (Guardian, Giant, Cold Storage, 7-11 etc.), McDonald’s Minimum of $500 monthly spend needed, 3% cashback on things like SimplyGo 1% cashback
Queues for ATM Faster because you get to use OCBC ATMs too DBS ATM queues are fiendishly long with many aunty and uncles also queuing You get to use UOB ATMs too
Banking interface Very simple to use Confusing with many functions on the app Clean and easy to use
Loading time for app Fastest loading time of 2.95s to reach PayNow/bank balance page Second slowest at 4.67s Slowest loading time of 4.78s to reach bank balance page or PayNow page
Annual Fees $18, waived if there are 12 transactions in a year No annual fee No annual fee
Loading times of the different bank apps, with the fastest going to Wise, then Maribank. 
The loading=
Loading times of the different bank apps, with the fastest going to Wise, then Maribank. The loading time to reach the signed in page for GXS was one of the fastest, though it may be because there are relatively fewer functions for now.

But make no mistake.

The UOB One Debit Card is perhaps the most fuss-free card, and bank account I’ve experienced amongst the three big local banks.

Probably the best amongst the three local banks
Probably the best amongst the three local banks

One of the lowest minimum balances required

This is one place where DBS wins, where you can keep a balance as low as $0.

But UOB still asks you for $500 each month to maintain as an average balance.

For those who are more cash strapped (like me or who tend to roll over their debt and maintain the absolute minimum required – oh please don’t), this might be a helpfully low number.

It continues with their cashback

If you look above, you would see that spending almost anywhere is going to get you cashback.

Whilst they do say that you can only get cashback with a minimum spend of $500, I’ve spent way less every month, and continued to get my cashback.

Just don’t ask me how it’s calculated.

But if you spend on average $400-500 on places like the DFI retail group (Cold Storage, Giant, Guardian, 7-11 etc.) and also use the UOB Debit Card for your EZ Link SimplyGo, you should get reasonable cashback to the tune of a few dollars a month.

Their banking interface is again neatly thought out

If you’ve used enough banking apps, one of the biggest painpoints you would have experienced is around that of logging in each time you want to do a PayNow transaction.

If you’ve used DBS enough times, you would be sick and tired of the loading=
If you’ve used DBS enough times, you would be sick and tired of the loading logo of DBS Bank

You would have to Face ID, Touch ID, or key in your password/One Time Password.

It’s a royal pain in the butt, especially when there are times when you wonder why you can’t find the number you’re supposed to PayNow too.

Haven’t you saved the number? Is the number the right number with the right username? How do you know?

You’d probably have gone through multiple back and forths.

Cue UOB One, who seems to have thought through this. Instead of asking for your log-in details, or face verification each time you click the PayNow button, they let you select the person, key in the amount, before they ask for the verification.

Faster loading=
With UOB, there is no load. Click PayNow, and you immediately get to the screen where you can key in the payee. There’s even your most recent Payees that they remember. You then get the chance to confirm, only after keying in everything. It’s much faster that way.
With UOB, there is no load. Click PayNow, and you immediately get to the screen where you can key in the payee. There’s even your most recent Payees that they remember. You then get the chance to confirm, only after keying in everything. It’s much faster that way.

It’s neat.

And I like how well thought this process was.

It certainly didn’t waste my time.

And if you look at UOB’s loading time compared to the rest of the banks, it’s half that of the other banks.

Why?

A clean mobile banking experience

If you’ve entered the DBS app before, you would quickly realise there’s tons you can do with the app.

UOB doesn’t pretend that you can do tons with its app. Because after all, what do you really need to do on a banking app?

  1. PayNow or transfer to someone else’s bank account
  2. Check your balance
  3. Scan and pay the QR

The rest like bills, GIRO, standing instructions… you would probably be more comfortable using a big screen like the computer.

Their banking app is built on one of the fastest tech stacks

If you didn’t know, UOB is built with Silverlake Axis, a Malaysian fintech company that has deep expertise in mobile banking.

Compare this to the likes of DBS, where it’s almost a running joke that it’s not if, but when their banking systems break down.

Conversations with other computer engineers at DBS have revealed that often, their stacks are built on a mix of legacy and new systems, which results in compatibility issues, that result in their systems being more like a hodgepodge of different systems, than a well thought through strategy.

So much for being the “Best Bank in the World”.

Faster queues at ATMs

Sick of long queues? Stop using DBS then.
Sick of long queues? Stop using DBS then.

And if you’ve ever withdrawn money, you would have seen the many long queues at DBS ATMs.

That’s a thing of the past with the UOB Debit Cards.

You even get to cross share the use of OCBC banks.

It means you get your cash faster.

You can’t really get nice splits in spending categories

Perhaps one pain point is that you won’t get neat and tidy categorisation of your spending. Instead, if you’re familiar with the envelope budgeting method (where you assign an amount to each category such as Food every month), it won’t be that neat over UOB’s banking interface.

All you will get to download is an Excel spreadsheet listing all the transactions, and how much you’ve spent for each transaction.

You would have to manually sort them.

But it’s alright.

The UOB One Debit Card is still worth using, for its generous cashback, low minimum balance, and most importantly, its faster loading time.

Who wants to waste time queuing and waiting anyway?

I mean – DBS said ‘Live More, Bank Less’, and promptly hit customers with two shutdowns of its network. 

It might be worth exploring a bank that talks less, and lets you actually bank – when you need to.

Reliability with UOB, is understated. That’s why I’ve banked with them, since um… forever.

You might want to, too.

 


Tags


You may also like

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}

Get in touch

Name*
Email*
Message
0 of 350
Optimized by Optimole
>