One question I get asked very often is about using credit cards for bill payments.
Now, intuitively you won’t be able to pay for a credit card bill with another credit card. Because this would create a wonderful cycle where I could
(1) Pay my DBS Altitude Card bill with my UOB PRVI Miles card and earn miles on my PRVI
(2) Pay my UOB PRVI Miles Card bill with my DBS Altitude Card and earn miles on my DBS Altitude
(3) Etc, etc
To be fair, people are trying to do this all the time (ie earn points from thin air). It’s called manufactured spend. It’s when you find a way of using your card, but not paying any money. For a while it was apparently possible to do this in Singapore via Qoo10 (no longer possible, I tried!).
For some reason, Banks consider recurring bill payments to be transactions not worthy of earning points .From the T&C of DBS, for example
2.5 DBS Points will not be awarded for AXS and SAM terminals/online/iBanking bill payment transactions, fund transfer transactions, cash advances, annual fees, interest, late payment charges, all fees charged by DBS, instalment payment plans, preferred payment plans and other miscellaneous charges imposed by DBS (unless otherwise stated in writing by DBS).
From the T&C of UOB’s PRVI Miles card
UOB PRVI Miles World MasterCard and PRVI Miles Visa Cardmembers will also not earn UNI$ for the following transactions: Bill Payment Establishments registered under the following MCC: 6300 Insurance Underwriting, Premiums 6399 Insurance – Default
However, most of the major banks eg UOB, DBS, Citibank, ANZ have their own bill payment schemes which allow you to earn points for certain recurring bill payments. These cover certain merchants, mainly telcos and town councils.
One important point to note about these bill payment services is that you need to register in order to get your points. Suppose I use my UOB card to pay my M1 phone bill online through M1’s online portal. I will not earn any points. To repeat: the only way to earn points on paying my M1 phone bill with my UOB card is to register via the UOB Bill Payment Service
As a general note- the options you have do appear to vary by card issuer, eg DBS and ANZ do not appear to have Singtel, only DBS has MSIG, only Citibank has ACE etc.
DBS Woman’s World Card
According to Lionel on the comments, it is possible to earn 4 miles per $1 when you use your DBS Woman’s World Card to make bill payments for telcos online. I wouldn’t be surprised if this were the case, given how generous DBS is in their interpretation of “online spend” for this card. the T&C for the UOB Preferred Platinum Visa and the Citibank Rewards card explicitly exclude any bonus awarded for online bill payments.
Citibank Rewards Card
What is interesting is that with the new e-AXS machines it is possible to make payment for pretty much any bill using your credit card, and earn the corresponding online bonuses. See this thread on FT for more details, but to summarise
– MasterPass wallet account has to be registered
– Email address and password are required to login to MasterPass
– Able to pay for all bills except for credit card, loans and HDB eServices
Also, if you’ve got an IRAS bill to pay, ANZ offers the ability to pay your bill and earn points. That said, I don’t think it’s a great deal- you pay a processing fee of 1% and you earn 0.5 miles per $1 on your ANZ Travel Visa Signature card. 0.5 miles is perhaps worth 2-2.5 cents, so even though you are coming off 1-1.5 cents better in this scenario I still don’t like the idea of having to pay ANZ for the privilege of giving them more swipe fees.
Personally, I have never used any of these options. My company pays my phone bill, I’m still living with my parents so the utilities bill isn’t my concern, and my insurance premiums I pay in 1 lump sum each year to save a bit of money. But if you’re in a situation with lots of monthly recurring bills, this might be useful.
Does anyone know of any other schemes that let you earn points for paying bills?
cover photo by theeerin