Redeeming your UOB UNI$ - S$250 Voucher or Free Business Flight to Tokyo?

Collecting miles in the form of credit card points is an obsession - you've seen the articles I have written and if you know me personally, I barely use cash at all (unless the merchant doesn't accept credit cards - in which case I will probably walk away). Despite all the ridiculously bad service that I have gotten from UOB recently, I still use their cards religiously because it allows me to earn up to 10UNI$ per S$5 - this is equivalent to 20 miles per S$5. 

Redeem for Travel Getaways on UOB 

Redeem for Travel Getaways on UOB 

Redeeming your UOB UNI$ for KrisFlyer (or Asia) Miles is pretty fuss-free so long you have pre-completed the enrolment form (you only need to do this once). Do note that there is a S$25 surcharge each time you convert your UOB UNI$ to one of these mile options - you can only convert in blocks of UNI$5,000 (equivalent to 10,000 miles). If you are lucky (read: wealthy) enough to be a Privilege Banking or Reserve account member, this S$25 charge will be waived. What's interesting with the redemptions however are the options above the miles and before I go any further here's a quick summary of it: don't even bother

Business Class | Photo Credit: Singapore Airlines

Business Class | Photo Credit: Singapore Airlines

If I had to pick the worst redemption in the table above, it would undoubtedly have to be the 'Jetstar S$50 eVoucher' for UNI$4,000. Firstly, redeeming an eVoucher on Jetstar means you have to make the complete the rest of the purchase (assuming there is a balance) online - this implies that you will have to pay the ridiculous administrative charges for opting for a credit card payment. More importantly, UNI$4,000 is equivalent to 8,000 miles. For the sake of an example, compare the following two situations where you redeem for either:

  1. S$250 Jetstar eVoucher for UNI$20,000
  2. 40,000 KrisFlyer Miles for UNI$20,000 + S$25 Administrative Fee

The first option seems to be pretty lucrative but did you know that you can easily offset any purchase on Singapore Air with KrisFlyer Miles at a rate of 1,000 Miles = S$10? 40,000 KrisFlyer Miles would therefore be worth S$400 on purchases made on Singapore Air - you will continue to earn elite qualifying miles on these flights. More importantly, 40,000 KrisFlyer miles is more than sufficient for a one-way flight from Singapore to Tokyo on Business Class. Assuming you do the redemption online, you will only require 34,000 KrisFlyer Miles and S$34 (at the time of writing) - this flight would have costed you S$3,364 otherwise. 

Would you rather spend 20,000 UNI$ on S$250 eVoucher on Jetstar or would you rather pay S$59 (S$34+S$25) to get a complimentary business class flight from Singapore to Tokyo with 6,000 KrisFlyer miles to spare?