Monday, October 15, 2007

Credit Card Annual Fees / UOB Visa Infinity

I like to apply for credit cards whenever I can. The idea is to apply as many as possible, and then only use one card the whole time to accumulate the loyalty points. Some friends tell me, however, that that is a bad idea because they will then spend a lot of money if they have many credit cards. I don't have this problem because I don't see how having many credit cards is related to the amount of money I spend shopping. Anyway, from what I've seen so far, DBS's Esso card is good for petrol discounts, Citibank's is good for dining discounts, HSBS' is useful for reducing the price of a movie ticket by $1, Standard Chartered's is nice for taking off 15% off the Singapore Marathon fees, and UOB's is good for a 13% discount on vPost shipping charges. There is just no excuse whatsoever not to apply as many cards as possible to take advantage of all possible discounts. (Actually the way I see it, these are not really 'discounts'; it's just that those who don't take advantage of such things are 'paying extra'.) Now, the above will only make sense if you don't pay the annual fees. The banks usually waive the annual fee charges for one or two years. In the third year, people either ask for a waiver by calling customer service, or they cancel the card. There is just no reason to pay any annual fees unless one really likes the credit card in question and refuses to part with it. So this past week, I received yet another nice invitation to apply for this UOB Infinite card. The application package is very pretty, and I feel the card seems suitable for me as I, too, 'appreciate the finer things in life', particularly if they're not too expensive. (Click below for bigger pictures.) Here are the usual 'privileges'. The one about 'on the house dining at Hyatt' looks interesting... (Could I just waltz in and get free food?!) So I took out my pen to fill in the application form, and my eyes nearly popped out! The income requirement is SGD$350,000 per annum. I don't even earn 10% of that. But that's OK. There are many people who earn that amount, and they should go ahead and apply. But look at the next line. The annual fee is S1500! Which astute rich person in his or her right mind would be willing to pay anything, let alone $1500, just for the annual fee?! Then again, it's understood that a phone call can quickly write off that fee, so everything will be fine eventually. If you appreciate the finer things in life and want to apply, just reply below, and I will send the form to you. ;p

18 comments:

DK said...

Too bad I don't qualify for the card too. Sigh.

jeffyen said...

haha... maybe you will qualify in a few years' time!

Focus said...

I've got the card without any subscription but it's really nothing special. I find that the discounts are usually the same as the platinum/signature.

The only thing that I think stands out is they indeed ask you to partake in the "finer" things in life like getting invites to attend Maserati carshowroom opening, sINCERe watch launches, fashion shows etc.

But the question is..are u prepared to spend on those useless stuff.

Even the concerge service is a generic number that will get you to a cust svc officer... .. travel plans u dont get anything cheap too..

So all in, watever credit card u have ..does not matter.. aLl that matters is ..are you willing to spend? :)

jeffyen said...

Focus, I think you're right to say that 'there's nothing really special' about the different kinds of cards. It's just marketing. The exception would be discounts or the exchanging of loyalty points for substantial rewards like airline tickets for those who spend a lot of money. Then, maybe, we may say that the type of cards we have becomes more significant (due to the sort of discounts/rewards given.)

And no, I'm not prepared to spend (on useless stuff) because I don't feel that there's a correlation, nor causation, between the type of card/number of cards I have, and the amount of money I'd spend. ;)

Martin said...

Does anyone know for infinite must spend how much to get fee waive?

Nicolas said...

HK$40K, I was told. I like this card, the Asiamiles conversion rate is unbeatable.

Nemesis said...

There is a catch on this card. Other cards rewards is uni$1 for $5. but this one is uni$5 for $10. Of cos if you spend $9, then nothing. But that even higher than the signature uni$2 for $5.

Anonymous said...

I feel that having the platinum/signature card would be better than having the infinite. Plus very little people know about this infinite card although it is so special and that uob is always advertising.

Anonymous said...

as in advertising the UOB signature

Nicolas said...

I have both the Platinum and the Infinite.

The Infinite is better because:

- rewards points have no expiry date

- no monthly cap on rewards points to asia miles conversion

- concierge hotline is direct dial i.e. no pressing of numbers before you reach the UOB officer

- concierge service has better attitude and faster response. Platinum service is like Gold service.

- higher reward point conversion rate

- when I was in US and Europe, some hotels and restaurants, when they see this card, give you a second glance.

Anonymous said...

i just got this card for free. i will try it out but i think the American Express Platinum Charge card offers better service. try calling customer service number for anything, Amex is excellent.

Wealthjourney said...

After successfully waivering the fee for 2 straight years, I have been charged $1.5k for the annual fees.
Anyway, they have also rejected my request for another waiver 'coz I think they know I don spend enough. :P

martin, the min. spending to get fee waiver is around SGD$60k.
Oh well, guess I will just stick with the normal cards. I have not found any real usage for the card as I am not really a high spender. Living quite a frugal life....

Anonymous said...

I have the UOB Infinite and AMEX Centurion. Comparing both.... UOB Infinite sucks...I tried the customer service recently to see both reaction on one issue which was to help me secure a room that faces the F1 track for the F1 race in Singapore. I wanted only a room which has a good view of the track so that my family can watch the race from the room while listening to the sound of the F1 race live and after the race there would be no rush to go home with the crowd. As I have tried to secure rooms myself but all of them were fully booked let alone a room beside the track. I called both cards....and guess what, UOB staff just took my request and simply called me back an said they were not able to satisfy my need. I see it as not even trying hard at all. While, Amex called me at least 6-8 times to offer different rooms at different hotels.

I think one issue like that above shows the difference in service.

Anonymous said...

can you send me the application form for the UOB infinity card at fatbum8@hotmail.com.

thks

Anonymous said...

This card is by invitation only. Don't you get it? :P

Anonymous said...

Generically you will get this card with min $500K fixed deposit with UOB as well. I got mine this way and no annual fees has been charged eversince I threatened to remove my fixed deposit. :)

Anonymous said...

i am currently holding a uob visa infinite card. Had DBS Treasures card before that. Honestly, the infinite card has far better perks than Treasures. Customer service at Treasures also sucks. That said, Infinite card perks are often not updated. I was in Taipei recently and i called for a free hot spring spa room as an Infinite card member. I was told the rooms are all booked but i refused to give up and went to the spa resort nevertheless. I went in as a walk-in customer and they have tons of rooms available. Was pretty pissed and lodged a complaint but i never received any reply. Pretty crap.

Max NG said...

Interesting. Do send me the invite from UOB if you don't want it. Email me at max.ng@gateway-law.com and I'll liase with you directly. Thanks!