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If you love travelling but don’t want to spend your time in the local Bureau de Change, a multi-currency debit card could be the ideal solution for spending on the go.
One popular option in Singapore is the UOB MightyFX debit card, which lets you hold and spend money in multiple currencies - without paying high foreign exchange fees.
But how does it work and crucially, how much does it cost? We’ll give you the lowdown in our UOB MightyFX review below, as well as touching on alternatives such as the Wise international debit card.
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The UOB MightyFX is an online travel multi-currency debit Mastercard that lets you shop and spend money in 10 local currencies¹. It’s a handy alternative to changing money for students, shoppers and regular travellers.
You can use the card to make international payments online, withdraw cash from local ATMs and convert SGD to foreign currencies when exchange rates are favourable. You can manage your card and account on the move with the UOB Mighty app, and mobile wallets such as Apple Pay, Google Pay and Samsung Pay are supported.
Here’s how it works. When you open a UOB multi-currency account and then apply for MightyFX, a set of 10 foreign currency accounts will be opened for you - and the MightyFX card linked to your account. Then, when you spend on your card, the payment will be debited directly from the relevant MightyFX foreign currency account.
Let’s take a look at some of the many features and functions of this handy multi-currency card:
UOB MightyFX offers 10 foreign currencies¹:
- Australian Dollar
- Canadian Dollar
- Swiss Franc
- British Pound
- Hong Kong Dollar
- Japanese Yen
- New Zealand Dollar
- US Dollar
- Chinese Renminbi Offshore (unavailable for point-of-sale transactions, online purchases and overseas ATM cash withdrawals)
Once you’re approved, you can access all 10 currencies through your MightyFX account.
You can exchange between 10 currencies (and SGD) in the MightyFX app. You can either convert instantly - and your chosen amount from one foreign currency account will be credited into another - or set your preferred exchange rate and be alerted when it’s met. This means you can hang on to get the most competitive rate.
The exchange rate on Mighty FX from Singapore dollars is set by Mighty FX itself. The rate can typically be weaker than the interbank mid-market rate, which is what Wise uses on currency conversions. This may make your foreign exchange transaction more expensive than they need to be.
So, even if fees seem to be low or even non-existent, it’s always worth checking whether there’s a ‘hidden fee’ in the exchange rate.
FX debit is a feature in the MightyFX mobile app which when switched on, means that all card payments are automatically debited from the relevant foreign currency account.
It’s switched on by default, but you can turn it off. This will mean that all your international card transactions will be debited from your UOB base account - which could mean missing out on the fee-free advantages of MightyFX.
Now we come to the important question - how much does the UOB MightyFX card cost to use?
The first thing to know is that there’s an** annual fee of S$18**¹ to pay, but this is free for the first three years. It’s also waived when you make a minimum of 12 Mastercard transactions in a year.
|If you keep the FX debit feature switched on, you won’t pay any foreign exchange admin fees. But if you switch it off, payments will be debited from your base UOB account and you could be charged an international processing fee of 2.8% for currency conversion².|
If you lose your card, there’s a fee of S$20 to pay¹. There are also fees for ATM withdrawals, which we’ll look at in just a moment.
There’s no minimum deposit required to open a MightyFX account, or a minimum balance. However, there is a daily spending limit of S$1,000³.
The MightyFX card is a great option for withdrawing cash abroad, but there are a couple of crucial things to remember. First, you’ll need to pop into the app and make sure the relevant foreign currency account is funded with the amount you want to withdraw.
If you don’t have enough in the particular currency you’d like to take out, then the money will be pulled from your Singapore dollar account. If that is insufficiently funded, then the transaction will be declined at the ATM.
ATM withdrawals carry a S$5 fee per withdrawal if you use a non-UOB ATM overseas¹. There also may be additional fees by the foreign ATM bank as well.
Before you can get going with UOB MightyFX, you’ll need to first have one of the following UOB accounts:¹
- One Account
- Wealth Premium Account
- Privilege Account
- KrisFlyer UOB Account.
You’ll then be able to link your MightyFX account to this base account. You’ll need to meet the eligibility criteria of your chosen UOB account, including the minimum age limit (usually 18 or 21 years old).
Can’t wait to get your hands on your UOB Mighty FX card? Here’s how to apply¹:
- Online - if you are a Singapore citizen or permanent resident (PR), you can apply for MightyFX via MyInfo. You can use your Singpass digital identity details to log in and complete your application.
- Personal internet banking - for existing UOB current or savings account customers
- UOB branch - recommended for foreigners and new arrivals in Singapore. Make sure you take all relevant ID documents with you, including proof of address and your work or student pass.
And that’s just about everything you need to know about the UOB MightyFX debit card, including features, fees, exchange rates and more.
It could be a decent option if you’re planning a multi-destination overseas trip and want to avoid changing money all the time. Just remember to check the exchange rate, and consider alternatives before making up your mind. Bon voyage!
Sources used for this article:
- UOB Singapore - Mighty FX
- UOB Singapore - Card transactions in foreign currencies
- UOB Singapore - How do I adjust my debit card Visa/Mastercard spending limit
Sources checked on 4 June 2021
This publication is provided for general information purposes only and is not intended to cover every aspect of the topics with which it deals. It is not intended to amount to advice on which you should rely. You must obtain professional or specialist advice before taking, or refraining from, any action on the basis of the content in this publication. The information in this publication does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from Wise Payments Limited or its affiliates. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether express or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.
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