Update 20/1/17: So there have been some lively discussions on the comments and a lot of uncertainty about which cards do and don’t earn 10X on Cardup and iPayMy.
All I can say is that Cardup earned me 10X points when I used my DBS Woman’s World Card to make a payment back in November 2016. I have not tested any of the other cards mentioned here and can only go on what I’m hearing from other people. And I’m hearing a lot of conflicting things. I think the main takeaway from this should be: YMMV. Although it’d be amazing if we could get the certainty of 10X, at the end of the day it’s up to the banks what categories they want to give this on.
In any case, I’d prefer that the comments not become an advertising space for any platform, so I’m going to close them at this point. If you have questions for the good people at Cardup or iPayMy, I suggest you contact them directly-
Cardup is another Singapore startup that’s looking to help you earn more miles on things you couldn’t normally earn miles on. Its model is conceptually similar to iPayMy in that in exchange for a small transaction fee (2.6%, the same across both platforms), you get the chance to use your credit card for merchants who normally don’t take credit cards.
As of today, you can pay rent, rental deposits, school fees (mostly international schools plus some preschools like EtonHouse), condo fees and insurance (AIA, Aviva, AXA, Manulife, Great Eastern and Tokio Marine) through Cardup. This will eventually be expanded to include HDB fees, income tax, school bus, mortgage payments and car servicing.
My experience using Cardup to pay my NUSS monthly membership fees was fairly painless. I just entered my membership details in the dashboard….
Provided my payment details…
And that was it. A few days later, I got an email notification that my payment had been processed.
Does it get 10X?
I suppose this is the question on everyone’s minds. I reached out to the Cardup team for some clarification and here’s their answer as to which cards earn 4mpd with Cardup
- UOB Preferred Platinum Visa- Yes
- Citibank Rewards- No
- OCBC Titanium Rewards- No
- DBS Woman’s World Card- Yes (edit: updated after Cardup team’s confirmation)
- HSBC Advance- No
But when I checked my DBS points statement (I did the transaction back in November), my 10X posted successfully. So I’m unsure now. Either it’s a new development that Cardup transactions don’t get 10X with DBS anymore, or there is some confusion even on the Cardup side about what does and doesn’t qualify (Cardup has since confirmed that 10X is possible with DBS WWMC)
You can also have a read of this thread on FT (see posts 6575 + 6549) where someone claims to have been in touch with the Cardup team and provides some FAQs for mile collectors.
Granted, these situations are always in flux (and banks can easily reclassify merchants if they want to) but given how fundamental the 10X points is to people like me when deciding whether to use such services, it is really to their advantage to try and establish some certainty here.
Addendum: iPayMy has been in touch to confirm that the following cards earn 10X rewards points with their platform: UOB PPV, Citibank Rewards, HSBC Advance, DBS Woman’s World Card
Of course, platforms like Cardup market themselves on more than just the ability to earn points. They talk about the convenience of being able to set up transactions once and never worry about them again and the ability to schedule payments in advance. I know iPayMy is trying to build a property management ecosystem where you can seamlessly upload documentation like repair bills and what not to your tenant, keeping a digital trail of all the information in one place. I’m sure some people may find that useful, but I’m not really sold on the convenience because (1) I don’t rent a place and (2) you can get all the convenience of one-time set up and never missing a payment with a GIRO arrangement
To me, the only thing that justifies paying a 2.6% fee is the ability to earn 10X/ 4 mpd. I’ve done the working before, but it bears repeating. If you can get 10X points, you pay-
2.6 cents= 4 miles or 0.65 cents per mile
If you’re earning regular spending rates of 1.4 mpd (UOB PRVI), you equation becomes-
2.6 cents=1.4 miles or 1.86 cents per mile
Is 1.86 cpm a bad price to buy miles at? No, insofar as it’s below the magical 2 cpm threshold we’ve talked about before. But remember that you could potentially be buying miles for less through annual fees.
|Card||Renewal/ Sign Up||Annual Fee (S$)||Renewal Bonus (miles)||Cost of 1 mile|
|DBS Altitude||Renewal||192.60||10,000||1.9 cents|
|ANZ Travel||Renewal||200||10,000||2 cents|
|HSBC Visa Infinite||Sign Up||488||30,000||1.6 cents|
|OCBC Voyage||Sign up||488/ 3,210||15,000/ 150,000||3.3 cents/ 2.1 cents|
|Citibank Premiermiles||Renewal||192.60||10,000||1.9 cents|
|Citi Prestige||Sign up||535||25,000||2.1 cents|
|SCB Visa Infinite||Sign up||588.50||35,000||1.7 cents|
0.65 cpm, however, is a very hard proposition to turn down. And that’s why this 10X or no 10X is so fundamental to my decision whether or not to use these services.
The thing about 10X cards is that they’re amazing if they give you 10X, and punitive if they don’t. Imagine if you paid for a Cardup/iPayMy transaction with a 10X card but ended up earning only 1X. Your effective cost then is
2.6 cents= 0.4 miles or 6.5 cents per mile!
So I can absolutely understand why people are paranoid about this. I think it’s important for both Cardup and iPayMy (and whoever else s intending to enter this space) to have, on their sites, a resource that’s updated monthly with whether or not transactions are qualifying for 10X. This would help nudge people who are still on the fence.
If you fancy your luck (or have a UOB PP Visa), Cardup is currently running a New Year promotion that offers a $0 fee on a user’s first payment (max $5,000). This is valid till 19 Feb and the first 250 users (promo code: Hello2017 (I do not earn anything from this link)).
Given the similarities between iPayMy and Cardup, one might be wondering which platform is “better”.
Assuming both iPayMy and Cardup qualify for the same 10X bonuses with the various online spending cards (something that has yet to be established), then the average miles collector should be indifferent between either platform insofar as they charge the same 2.6% admin fee.
Where these platforms will end up differentiating themselves will be on things like
- Lists of merchants each platform offers (eg Cardup lets you make insurance payments while iPayMy lets you pay car park charges)
- Platform rewards program (eg Cardup’s website talks about giving frequent users rewards like 1 month’s free rent, $50 school supplies vouchers)
- The ability to create a “rental ecosystem” and whether consumers find that useful (eg iPayMy’s creation of a property portal that allows tenants and landlords to upload documents to each other)
It should also be noted that both iPayMy and Cardup do not currently take AMEX but will be offering it soon. However, because there is no 10X online rewards card that comes in an AMEX variety, this isn’t really a concern for me.
[For the purposes of full disclosure I should mention that this site has worked with iPayMy before. However, given the number of questions I’ve been getting about Cardup, I felt it would be beneficial to readers to do an article on the topic. I did reach out to Cardup for clarification on some of the points in the article but all opinions are my own. Cardup offered to waive my first transaction fee on their platform, which I declined]