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).
- 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
- 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
- Citibank PM Visa (1.2 mpd)-
1.75 cpm1.71 cpm
- Citibank Prestige (1.3 mpd)-
1.62 cpm1.58 cpm
- Citibank Ultima (1.6 mpd)-
1.31 cpm1.29 cpm
*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.
|Method||Type||Implied Income Req||Cents Per Mile||Annual Limit|
|SCB VI Tax Payment- >$2K p.m||Payment Facility||150000||1.14||Tax bill|
|HSBC VI IRAS Payment- >$50K p.a (1)||Payment Facility||120000||1.2||Tax bill|
|HSBC Premier MC IRAS Payment (2)||Payment Facility||30000||1.25||Tax bill|
|HSBC VI- Premier Customer||Welcome Gift||120000||1.39||35000|
|HSBC VI IRAS Payment- <$50K p.a||Payment Facility||120000||1.5||Tax bill|
|SCB VI Tax Payment- <$2K p.m||Payment Facility||150000||1.6||Tax bill|
|SCB VI||Welcome Gift||150000||1.68||35000|
|HSBC Visa Plat/Revo Tax Payment||Payment Facility||30000||1.75||Tax bill|
|Citibank PM Amex||Annual Fee||80000||1.78||15000|
|HSBC VI- Regular Customer||Welcome Gift||120000||1.86||35000|
|iPayMy/Cardup with UOB PRVI||Payment Facility||50000||1.86||Unlimited|
|UOB Reserve VI "Pay Anything"||Payment Facility||Invitation||1.9||Unlimited|
|Citibank PM Visa||Annual Fee||50000||1.93||10000|
|DBS Altitude||Annual Fee||30000||1.93||10000|
|OCBC Voyage- Option 3||Annual Fee||120000||2||500000|
|UOB PRVI Pay||Payment Facility||50000||2||Unlimited|
|OCBC Voyage- Option 2||Annual Fee||120000||2.14||150000|
|Citibank Prestige||Annual Fee||120000||2.14||25000|
|iPayMy/Cardup with DBS Altitude/Citibank PM Visa||Payment Facility||30000||2.17||Unlimited|
|DBS Altitude- Tax Payment||Payment Facility||30000||2.5||Tax bill|
|OCBC Voyage- Option 1 (3)||Annual Fee||120000||3.25||15000|
|Buy from Singapore Airlines (4)||Stupid||0||5.51||Unlimited|
(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.