[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.
|ANZ Travel Card||$200||10,000||2.00|
|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.