Cancellation of monthly instalment on UOB credit card costs $150

Trapped by zero-interest 3 years instalment plan

I had used the UOB credit card ‘zero-interest’ 36 months instalment plan when I bought a $2700 Smart TV at Gaincity. The salesperson had suggested going for the max. My fee waiver had been rejected twice and I began to wonder if the instalment plan had something to do with it (ref. 1).

My guess was, as you start using the credit card services and unconsciously bound yourself with the credit card company with a long 3-years credit, you are doomed.

The ‘zero-interest’ instalment ended up costing me $400 service fee (for two years).

How to liberate yourself from the instalment or credit trap

If you don’t really need the credit provided by the bank/credit card, don’t get trapped. Pay in full.

I called UOB customer service (1800 222 2121) and got the following information.

  • Cancellation fee for termination of instalment plan is $150. This is cheaper than the yearly fee of $200.
  • To go about cancellation, just make payment in excess (inclusive of $150 cancellation fee) to your credit card
  • Call again to customer service
  • Then ask to cancel the instalment plan
  • To get through the call may take some time depending on the call traffic. Be patient.

Lesson learned from this case

Product salespersons may be ignorant, so don’t fall into a credit trap unnecessarily based on their unqualified suggestions. The cost can be high (especially the ‘hidden costs’).

For this experience, I have paid in access $400 fees + $150 penalty = $550 on top of the $2700. That is equivalent to 20% of the price of the TV.

After this episode, I can now decide to discontinue my credit card with UOB and start shopping for other service providers (e.g., OCBC, Maybank, POSB/DBS, Standard Chartered, CIMB, HSBC, NTUC, BOC, ICBC, and others, ref. 2).


  1. How to waive UOB credit card membership fee (
  2. Compare the Best Credit Cards in Singapore 2021 (

Phillip Capital Poems GTD, Cash, and fees

It is easy to open an account to invest in securities in Singapore. Register for an account in any stock broker, e.g., Phillip Capital. You will receive a CDP account (from SGX) and an online trading platform POEMS account.

Next, open a bank account for Electronic Payment System (EPS) and link it to POEMS. Install the apps on your phone and you can trade any time any where.

If you want to use your CPF to invest in securities, you can apply for CPF Investment Scheme (CPFIS), where you can invest securities using your ordinary account (OA) and special account (SA). Please note the cost-and-benefit of using CPF to invest, e.g., CPF provides yearly interest of at least 2.5% p.a.

POEMS allow you to add securities to watch list, add price alerts, and trade by limit order, and good to day (GTD). The commission fee is $25 per transaction per day (excludes other fees).

For successful purchase of securities with Cash, you have to pay within T+2. Payment is by bank transfer to Phillips Securities via EPS. It takes T+1 to effect the bank transfer.

It is convenient to buy via GTD, but the risk is that if you have multiple ‘partial completions’ to complete an order, especially in ‘sluggish’ counters, you will have to pay for multiple commission fees at $25 for each transaction per day. E.g., I had to pay $25 + $25 for two partial orders of 1000 units and 2000 units of securities (for a GTD limit order of 3000 units). What happens if I have 3 partial transactions? I will have to pay commission fee of $75.

I am still learning how to trade and currently only looking at SGX securities. There are other exchanges that I haven’t ventured.