UOB Reserve Card or the Apple Card: Which one should I get?
Singaporeans are a very responsible lot, according to the latest statistics from market research company YouGov. According to their data, 73% of Singaporeans own at least one credit card, with only 10% owning six or more.
A very impressive 88% pay off their outstanding balance on time every month, with only 3% paying the minimum. The most popular purchases on credit cards in Singapore are travel, accommodation and food and drinks, showing that Singaporeans like to use their credit card for their fun leisure purchases.
Two big hitters in the Singaporean credit card market are the UOB Reserve Card and the Apple Card, both of which have received a lot of hype. So which is the best card for safe-spending Singaporeans? We’re going to weigh up the two to give you all the information you need to make a sensible decision.
UOB Reserve Card
The UOB Reserve card is more than just a credit card, it’s a membership into a world of exclusive privileges. Launched back in 2011 and shrouded in mystery, membership is by invitation only with a membership fee payable upon acceptance. If you feel you’re eligible you can contact the UOB concierge service to put your name forward.
Aimed exclusively at HNWIs, the invite list consists of those who bank privately with UOB, earn a minimum of S$500,000 per year or spend more than S$200,000 on personal credit cards per year. Those with a famous social/business profile will, of course, be considered.
The look and feel of the card itself are where the premium experience begins. It is made of Alpaca Silver, an alloy of copper, nickel and zinc that resembles stainless steel. So far, so sleek. Bear in mind that if you lose it, a replacement costs S$642.
Not only will you need to qualify, you’ll also need to stump up an annual membership fee of S$3852. For that, you get 50,000 UNI$ (100,000 miles) which doubles when you hit expenditure of S$250,000 within your first year.
The spending rate is an impressive 1.6/mpd for local transactions and a more pedestrian 2.0/mpd for international transactions.
You can buy miles for 1.9 cents, great for frequent flyers. The UOB Reserve card will also get you membership to the Internation Associate Club, a group of premium city, golf and country clubs across the world. You’ll also enjoy Gold status with Sixt car rentals, a dedicated travel concierge and air ticket upgrades and lounge access to make your journeys more comfortable. Spending S$5,000 on travel with UOB earns you the right to free airport transfers.
And whilst you’re kicking back at home in good old Singapore you can enjoy private club access to the Tower Club, China Club and Sentosa Golf Club. If you happen to stop by the China Club on your birthday, you’ll be treated to a bottle of champagne on the house.
Add to that a range of dining perks and special offers, hotel deals and luxury amenities and you’ll wonder how you ever lived without this card.
As with all things Apple, there is hype and then there’s iHype. Coming in Summer 2019, here’s what we know about Apple’s foray into finance so far.
Firstly, as well as your physical titanium card, your account is stored on your iPhone. This means no more having to mess around with lots of cards, and you can even start spending before your card arrives in the post.
As you would imagine, the app looks super sleek and user-friendly, with weekly and monthly spending summaries in the form of graphs and charts. Great for those of us that like to track our spending and see where our money is going. The programme will even sync with other functions such as maps, so you can view your spending by location.
The app handily categorises your spending by type, so if you’re frittering your money away on eating out or spending it all on clothes, the app will cheerfully keep you informed.
Apple is offering rewards for spending, and in a generous move, they are advertised to be unlimited. It’s called Daily Cash and you can spend it directly from your Apple Wallet. You get 3% back on everything spent with Apple, be it the Apple Store or iTunes. You get 2% every time you spend using Apple Pay and 1% on regular purchases on your Apple Card, say Apple Pay is not yet accepted.
For credit card newbies or the money-conscious, Apple’s handy data and graphics will keep you up to date on how much interest you’re going to end up paying if you don’t pay off your balance in full. They’ll even offer suggestions to help you clear your balance more quickly. With reminders that payment date is coming up sent straight to your phone, money management has never been easier.
Security is important to Apple, and as you’ll receive a notification each time you spend, it’s really easy to know if someone has access to your card. All you need to do is inform Apple with a few quick taps and life can proceed as normal.
The best thing about the Apple Card is that there are no fees. You don’t pay anything, from annual fees to international fees, this really is a great value card.
If you’re an HNWI looking to live the life of luxury as you travel the world and can meet the stringent criteria, there really is nothing like the UOB Reserve Card. But if you live amongst us mere mortals and want a card that will help you manage your spending with maximum convenience and minimum hassle, the Apple Card is a great option.