Tue, 05 Jul 2022

  • Elite utu members can enjoy 30% more on their tax refunds and US$1,250 worth of welcome bonus utu miles
  • Convert utu miles to airmiles - Travel more, shop more, get your refunds rewarded, Repeat.

SINGAPORE, June 22, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- Continuing its mission to transform tax-free shopping worldwide, Singapore-headquartered travel tech start-up utu launched today a four-tiered utu Membership that upsizes tax refunds in 50 countries and with any existing Tax Refund forms issued by the shops and gives bonus utu miles. In doing so, utu puts the power of tax refunds into consumers' hands by rewarding their tax-free shopping abroad, kickstarting a positively multiplying travel rewards cycle.

With travel resuming worldwide, shopping tourism is coming back in full swing. According to the United Nations World Tourism Organisation, shopping is a major motivation for international travel. For shoppers, the amount of tax refund they can claim is a strong influencer when choosing their travel destination. However, most travellers receive only about 60% or less of the actual tax amount due to tax refunds operators' processing fees and other charges. Coupled with the cumbersome process and paperwork, many end up forgoing their tax refunds.

utu incentivises travellers to consolidate and claim their tax refunds, rewarding them with a 25% upsize on their refund amount in utu miles when they use the utu Tax Free Card, a virtual card created specifically to receive their VAT refunds. These utu miles can be converted by the shopper into the frequent flyer miles of their choice. utu has built up a wide variety of frequent flyer programme partners to choose from, such as Singapore Airlines' KrisFlyer, Emirates Skywards, Qatar Airways Privilege Club, Royal Orchid Plus and more. The utu Tax Free Card can be used in any of 50 countries where VAT/Tax refunds are available, including the shopping capitals of Paris, Milan, Rome, Dubai, Bangkok and Singapore.

Today's newly-launched membership programme further multiplies these rewards with a larger refund upsize and a welcome bonus utu miles reward even before you travel. Taking the Elite tier as an example, members get a 30% upsize on their tax refunds and a bonus US$1,250 worth of utu miles upon successful subscription, which can then be converted into 31,253 KrisFlyer miles. Here's how the utu Membership is upping the ante with even larger upsizes on members' tax refunds:

Membership Tiers

Annual Subscription Fee (USD)

Tax Refund Upsize

Joining Miles Award

(USD-equivalent)



Converted to

KrisFlyer Miles

Elite

$ 999

30 %

$1,250

31,253

Voyager

$ 499

28 %

$600

15,000

Explorer

$ 199

26 %

$230

5,751

Traveller

Free

25 %

$0

0

 

Ameer Jumabhoy, Co-Founder, utu, said, "Our goal is to surpass the status quo of the global tax refund system and give travellers the best value for their tax-free shopping abroad. The utu Membership will allow our users to not only get a better upsize on their tax refunds, but also receive bonus airmiles that can be channelled into their next trip abroad."

Sanjay Chinchwade, Chief Marketing Officer, utu, said, "With the utu Membership amplifying the rewards on the Tax-Free Card, utu is on track to change the way tax-free shopping refunds are handled and put the power of tax refunds into the hands of the consumer. The Membership launch is just one of many steps that utu is taking to deliver new value to shoppers in the travel ecosystem."

Media Enquiries

Jemima Huang

Associate, Progressive Communications on behalf of utu

Email: jhuang@progressive-comms.com

Tel: +65 9171 1042

About utu

utu (pronounced "you-too") is transforming tax-free shopping worldwide by empowering travellers with the freedom to obtain a higher VAT refund, something they have been unable to do until now. utu goes beyond digitizing refunds to re-engineer the tax-free shopping value chain, eliminating the impact of high fees levied on shoppers. The utu management team has deep domain knowledge in tax-free shopping developed over 25 years refunding VAT and GST worldwide. By bringing the worlds of refunds and rewards together, utu unlocks new value in the form of rewards from retailers, airlines, hotels and others. Founded in 2015 and headquartered in Singapore, utu's products can be used in over 50 countries.

For more information, visit www.utu.global or download the utu app at https://utu.global/get-the-app/.

Appendix: How It Works

Travellers who wish to enjoy higher tax refunds and Elite Membership benefits can take the following steps:

  1. Download the utu Tax Free mobile app and registering for the virtual utu Tax Free Card
  2. Subscribe to the Elite utu Membership (receiving an instant US$1,250 worth of bonus utu miles)
  3. Activate their utu Tax Free Card before their flight
  4. Shop at any store or brand on their trip to any of 50 countries where tax refunds are offered, including Singapore, France, Switzerland, Germany, South Korea, Thailand, the UAE, etc., and obtain the tax refund forms for their purchases
  5. When completing the tax refund forms or at a tax refund kiosk, enter their utu Tax Free Card number in the credit card field
  6. Enjoy a 30% upsize on their tax refunds claimed, which can be converted to airmiles of their choice

Download a high-res infographic here.

Appendix: Miles Conversion Table

Joining Miles Award

(USD-equivalent)

Emirates Skywards

Qatar Airways Privilege Club

Royal Orchid Plus

$1,250

41,669

41,669

31,253

$600

20,000

20,000

15,000

$230

7,667

7,667

5,751

SOURCE utu

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