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Citibank offering free and discounted Cardup payments till 31 Oct

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Citibank is offering free and discounted Cardup payments for cardholders

It’s been a hard couple of months for miles chasers using Cardup. First, DBS modified its T&Cs such that payments with the Woman’s World card no longer earned 10X points. Then UOB followed suit for its PPV. To my knowledge, there do not exist any 10X earning opportunities for Cardup right now.

In certain situations, however, it can still make sense to use your general spending cards with Cardup. Cardup levies a fee of 2.6% on all transactions, which means that paying with a general spending 1.4 mpd card like the UOB PRVI Miles is the equivalent of buying miles at 1.86 cents each.

Do note, however, that Cardup requires you to have a bona fide transaction before you can use their platform (eg a condo bill, a school fees invoice, a rental agreement) and you can’t use it as a way of generating unlimited miles (for that, consider using the UOB PRVI Pay feature which lets you generate unlimited miles at 2 cents each).

Citibank and Cardup are now running a promotion for Premiermiles (Visa only)Prestige and Ultima cardholders:

  • The first 300 new users with the code CITIFIRSTFREE will enjoy a waiver of all Cardup fees (max transaction: S$5K)
  • Existing users and new users after the 300 codes have been exhausted can enjoy a 2.1% promotional Cardup fee with the code CITI21

This promotion is valid on eligible payments made up to 31 October 2017. The T&C for the promotion defines eligible payments as the following

  • income tax
  • rent and rental deposits
  • insurance
  • school fees
  • condo fees
  • season parking

I imagine the 300 zero-fee vouchers will be snapped up pretty quickly, and if you’re in the position to use one you definitely should. But is the 2.1% promotional rate worth jumping on?

Here’s how the math works out for the three different cards

*edit: have been reminded that the Cardup fees themselves earn miles, so the calculations get adjusted accordingly

For your reference, here are the different options available for buying miles in Singapore and how much each will cost. 1.31-1.75 cpm seem like decent prices to buy miles, assuming you don’t qualify for any of the other methods listed below.

MethodTypeImplied Income ReqCents Per MileAnnual Limit
SCB VI Tax Payment- >$2K p.mPayment Facility1500001.14Tax bill
HSBC VI IRAS Payment- >$50K p.a (1)Payment Facility1200001.2Tax bill
HSBC Premier MC IRAS Payment (2)Payment Facility300001.25Tax bill
HSBC VI- Premier CustomerWelcome Gift1200001.3935000
HSBC VI IRAS Payment- <$50K p.aPayment Facility1200001.5Tax bill
SCB VI Tax Payment- <$2K p.mPayment Facility1500001.6Tax bill
SCB VIWelcome Gift1500001.6835000
HSBC Visa Plat/Revo Tax PaymentPayment Facility300001.75Tax bill
Citibank PM AmexAnnual Fee800001.7815000
HSBC VI- Regular CustomerWelcome Gift1200001.8635000
iPayMy/Cardup with UOB PRVIPayment Facility500001.86Unlimited
UOB Reserve VI "Pay Anything"Payment FacilityInvitation1.9Unlimited
Citibank PM VisaAnnual Fee500001.9310000
DBS AltitudeAnnual Fee300001.9310000
OCBC Voyage- Option 3Annual Fee1200002500000
UOB PRVI PayPayment Facility500002Unlimited
OCBC Voyage- Option 2Annual Fee1200002.14150000
Citibank PrestigeAnnual Fee1200002.1425000
iPayMy/Cardup with DBS Altitude/Citibank PM VisaPayment Facility300002.17Unlimited
DBS Altitude- Tax PaymentPayment Facility300002.5Tax bill
OCBC Voyage- Option 1 (3)Annual Fee1200003.2515000
Buy from Singapore Airlines (4)Stupid05.51Unlimited

(1) The HSBC website says that $1=0.4 miles for tax payment facility, but I have received reports that VI holders have received 1/1.25 mpd as per their relationship bonus
(2)  The income requirement to get a HSBC Premier MC is $30,000, but you need $200K in deposits to open a HSBC Premier account
(3) OCBC Voyage Option 1 involves paying $488 to get 15,000 Voyage miles. These can be converted to Krisflyer miles at a 1:1 ratio but are technically more valuable than Krisflyer miles as they can also be used to pay for revenue fares at a fixed value per mile.
(4) SQ charges US$40 per 1,000 miles purchased. Price shown here is reflective of current exchange rates. The only way I could justify paying this is if I needed the miles right this minute, as SQ will credit them instantly

It’s unfortunate that the Citibank Rewards card isn’t covered under this promotion, but we can only hope it’ll make an appearance in the future. Such a promotion is definitely a move in the right direction, however, insofar as it implies that banks are starting to see Cardup as a legitimate business partner instead of something to be excluded under their T&C.

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7 Comments on "Citibank offering free and discounted Cardup payments till 31 Oct"

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For those who are eligible but have not applied for the Citi Prestige. This might be a good time as Citi is running a promo for 29k miles for $20k spent. Assuming I can use the cardup offer to meet the min spent. I can potentially get 80k miles at 1.06 cents.

Side track question: what are the categories of spending that citi premier miles card excluded for miles earning? I tried to find it online but could not find the information on Citibank website

Thanks thanks

“Type: Stupid”
Epic hahaha

Hi Aaron, Just want to report back. My MCST bill just came today, and I remembered this post and decided to try Cardup. Just for laughs, I tried the CITIFIRSTFREE promo code. Surprised that it still works. Either sign ups from Citibank customers have been really bad for Cardup, or the limited-to-first-300-users clause was simply to motivate people to sign up quickly. Cos, you know, FOMO. Not sure if anyone is still following this post, but I was also offered a $20-off for both referrers and referrees promo code at the end of the process — please feel free to… Read more »

I tried this morning with CITIFIRSTFREE for the income tax and it still worked. Guess it was total new for most of the Citi PM and prestige customers.

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