Miletize with your rental payments through iPayMy

[Addendum 21 Nov: iPaymy now offers a flat 2.6% service fee regardless of transaction size]

Before I went on my RTW trip I met up with the COO of iPayMy, a local startup that’s offering a new way of paying your rental. We had a good chat where she told me about what iPayMy was trying to do in Singapore, their value proposition and that I had a piece of loose spinach stuck in my teeth the whole time we were talking.

TL;DR version- iPayMy lets you pay your rent through your credit card subject to the following fees

  • 2.95% for rentals up to $5,000
  • 2.85% for rentals from $5,000 to $10,000
  • 2.75% for rentals from $10,001 upwards

At the end of the day this is a simple miles buying exercise. Let’s assume you’re using the HSBC Advance card which gives 4 miles per $1 on online transactions (which is really the right card to use for this). Your cost per mile is-

  • 0.74 cents for rentals up to $5,000
  • 0.71 cents for rentals from $5,000 to $10,000
  • 0.69 cents for rentals from $10,001 upwards

My understanding is that iPayMy will have the option to do partial payments across 2 credit cards, so you could use it to max out your DBS Woman’s World card $2,000 cap before putting the rest on another card, if you don’t have the HSBC advance. Suppose I did a combination of the DBS Woman’s World card and the UOB PRVI Miles Visa/MC (they don’t take AMEX now). The cost per mile is (assuming a minimum rent of $2,000 and 4 miles per $1 on Woman’s world and 1.4 miles per $1 on PRVI)-

  • 0.74-1.21 cents for rentals up to $5,000
  • 1.16-1.48 cents for rentals from $5,001 to $10,000
  • 1.43-1.57 cents for rentals from $10,001 upwards

I think the analysis shows that this is the best deal if you have a HSBC Advance card. If not your cost per mile goes up the more your rent is.

Of course you could have a situation where you had both the DBS Woman’s World card and the DBS Woman’s card and used the (separate) $2,000 cap on each to get 4 miles per $1 on the first $2,000 and 2 miles per $1 on the next 2,000, in which case your calculation would again change.

Remember that you can buy miles for as low as 1.62 cents through credit card annual fees , so iPayMy would be a cheaper option if you wanted to buy miles.

Card Fee Miles Cost /Mile
Citi Prestige $535 25,000 2.14
ANZ Travel Card $200 10,000 2.00
Citi Premiermiles $192.60 10,000 1.93
DBS Altitude $192.60 10,000 1.93
OCBC Voyage (snigger) $488 / $3,210 15,000 (Voyage) / 150,000 (Krisflyer)* 3.25/2.14
SCB Visa Infinite $588.50 35,000 1.68
HSBC Visa Infinite $488 30,000 1.62

I know some people will see this as a chance to do manufactured spending, but it’s against the T&C and probably not a good idea. Even if you could somehow get pass the paperwork and documentation requirements needed to set up a payment scheme, I believe there would be income tax implications. For example, if I dummy paid my friend $5,000 every month and he ibanked it back to me,  he’d be subject to tax on $5,000 of rental income.

So that’s the situation on the miles, which is really the part I’m most interested in . I suppose your ability to take advantage of this depends on the willingness of your landlord to set up with iPayMy, but given that the transaction fee is borne by you I can’t see why that would be an issue. In any case my understanding is that eventually iPayMy will evolve into a property management ecosystem where the both the tenant and landlord can upload relevant documents (eg repair bills) and keep in touch regularly. I’ve never rented a property before so I can’t comment on the usefulness of that.

Update: Correction, property owners do not need to sign-up to iPaymy to receive funds from tenants. They will simply receive the money in their bank account as normal. The tenant simply should ensure to process their rent payment with iPaymy at least 5 days ahead of the due date, to allow for the processing time period and avoid a late rent payment.

This isn’t something that everyone can take advantage of, but if you’re already paying rent and looking for more ways to buy miles this might be an option for you. What I’m hoping is that iPayMy does some sort of promotion where you can get the first month’s transaction fee waived. That would at least lower the barrier to adoption for a lot of people.

24 thoughts on “Miletize with your rental payments through iPayMy”

  1. I’ve been thinking about using one of these services, but I’m nervous about a startup like this disappearing with a months rent in their bank account. I couldn’t find any indication that ipaymy separates our money from their operational accounts, and they hold the cash for almost a week.

    “How soon will my landlord receive my rent payment?
    The Landlord will receive funds into their account up to 5 business days after your payment has been successfully authorised. ”

    Anyone know if there are any regulatory guarantees like the banks have with MAS?

    1. that’s a really good point and I don’t know what the answer is. I would imagine this is a very different arrangement from what the banks have with the MAS though.

    2. Hi Phil,
      I can confirm that the payment gateway (the third party iPaymy uses to process credit card transactions) is licensed by MAS.

      iPaymy is very excited to be the first in Asia to offer this rental payment service to tenants, and as a start-up we have partnered with reputable and established suppliers.

      Together we are all responsible for ensuring compliance with data security and can ensure that credit card details are not held by us but with our Payment Gateway.

      We securely store all personal data provided. In fact keeping personal data secure is at the core of our business. One of iPaymy’s Senior Advisors – Kane Lightowler is an expert in Cyber Security in Singapore.

      Recently Kane was consulted on Singapore Tonight regarding the Singapore Governments decision to limit internet access to public service to minimise the risk for cyber crime. Check out that interview (Kane is featured from 5 mins, 18 secs in) at: http://bit.ly/299373T.

  2. Also, is the payment processed in Singapore? Otherwise there may also be a 0.8% charge for Visa/Mastercard

  3. I just wanted to jump in and answer Phil’s question about MAS.

    I can confirm that the payment gateway (the third party we use to process credit card transactions) is licensed by MAS.

    We are very excited to be the first in Asia to offer this rental payment service to tenants, and as a start-up we have partnered with reputable and established suppliers.

    Together we are all responsible for ensuring compliance with data security and can ensure that credit card details are not held by us but with our Payment Gateway.

    We securely store all personal data provided. In fact keeping personal data secure is at the core of our business. One of iPaymy’s Senior Advisors – Kane Lightowler is an expert in Cyber Security in Singapore.

    Recently Kane was consulted on Singapore Tonight regarding the Singapore Governments decision to limit internet access to public service to minimise the risk for cyber crime. Check out that interview (Kane is featured from 5 mins, 18 secs in) at: http://bit.ly/299373T.

  4. Also, notice that HSBC Advance / DBS Woman’s card disqualifies Remittance / Money Transfer services. And DBS Woman’s only allows “retail spend”. Would this transaction really qualify?

    1. iPaymy provides an end-to-end Property Management platform that offers a suite of services related to managing your rental property easily and efficiently. Payment your rent with a credit card is just one of the many services that we offer.

      For example you can upload photographs of the condition of your apartment at the beginning of your lease (to minimise the potential for disputes later), set alerts to remind you when your air-conditioning servicing is due, or when your EP expires.

      With this in mind iPaymy is not a payment service provider or money transfer provider.

      1. Question is whether we can really get miles from Credit Cards spend. That’s the basis of why people would actually be willing to pay the transaction fee! It’s not about your company classifying it as payment service provider or money transfer provider, but what the credit card company deems you to be! Was wondering if iPayMy actually has consulted credit card companies to actually see if spending on iPayMy actually qualifies for any points/rewards?

        1. Valid question. It depends on whether the merchant shares a % with the banks in the form of transaction fees. If they don’t share anything, like Ezlink or Axs, expect banks to make one more change to their TnCs!

        2. I believe I asked the same question during my chat with the COO and was told that yes it had been verified to enjoy bonus points on hsbc/dbs woman’s card spend. I mean, that’s pretty much the core of their value proposition (and splattered out in big bold text on the website) so it’d be kind of defeating the purpose if it didn’t.

          1. Hi Sue,

            Can we confirm that if we spend on this using credit cards, they will be classified under”qualifying spend”? I am very interested to use it but wanted to triple-confirm. As Aaron mentioned, it would defeat the purpose of me paying the transaction fee and the banks not counting it as a “qualifying purchase”

          2. This sounds good if it truly is. Aaron, Sue, would you know if UOB Visa Platinum qualifies as well. I would like to combine this with DBS woman’s and not open another HSBC Advance accounts as my miles are already spread into a few accounts

    2. Yes I don’t think this would be allowed on credit cards as they increasingly narrow down things that constitute “retail spend” or “qualifying spend”.

  5. Many Singaporeans still stay with parents and give a monthly allowance. If this could be miletized that would be fantastic.

    1. Instead you can offer to pay some of their fixed costs such as utilities, broadband, mobile etc. Easy to get 4 miles on these expenses.

      1. Sue, would you be able to share your Merchant Category Code (MCC) so as to check whether exclusions apply?

  6. Would also like to know if any kind soul manage to get 4miles/$ via uob visa? Cos like others, I don’t wanna open an HSBC advance for this. Thx

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