Tag Archives: insurance

Is Cardup another route to unlocking 4mpd?

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. 

One additional clarification that people may find useful is that Cardup payments can be split across multiple cards so you can max out your bonus exactly on one before moving to another.

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: [email protected] 
iPayMy: [email protected]

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]


Insure your rental car for less (update: now with global plans for Singapore residents!)

(Note: This is a mirror post. If you want to ask questions/leave comments, please do so on the original post here)

Update: In addition to the plans below, Worldwideinsure has started offering their car rental insurance to residents of any country again!  This lets you avoid having to buy a different plan each time you travel to a different country

The price and coverage is detailed below. The single trip here refers to a 3 day trip, but the annual plan might be worth it too if you travel a lot. The Deluxe plan costs 3 GBP a day, and the annual plan just under 60 GBP so do the math and see what makes sense. I’d definitely spring for the Deluxe plan given that the excess reimbursement is high at 50,000 GBP.

The policy is underwritten by Amtrust Europe and you can name up to 3 other people on the certificate provided you live at the same address. Meaning that if you and your spouse are travelling, you can list your spouse as the additional driver on the rental agreement and if he/she gets into an accident while driving, you can claim insurance notwithstanding the fact the car was hired in your name.

If anyone wants to read the exact policy wording, you can do so here

With this plan there’s really no need to look at country specific plans, but please read below if you want to explore some other options

Driving holidays are fun, but whenever I’m behind the wheel of a rental car I always have a certain paranoia that something will happen to the car, resulting in a huge inflated repair charge (online horror stories of people getting 4 figure bills for a small scratch come to mind) The best solution, as always, is insurance. But if you were to buy the insurance offered by the car rental company (called LDW/CDW), that’s easily an extra US$10-30 dollars per day. Which over a 1-2 week rental really adds up.

So what’s the alternative then? Third party rental car insurance. Although some third party rental car insurance sellers offer worldwide plans, Singaporeans are not eligible to apply for these. Therefore you’ll need to select the appropriate plan based for what region you’re going to. When I go to the States, I use InsureMyRentalCar (underwritten by Chubb), which offers both daily and single trip coverage. insuremyrentalcar On their website, I got the following quotes

  • 2 days- $10
  • 3 days-$15
  • 4 days and up- $36

This covers you for damage to the car up to US$50,000 with no deductible. They also include US$5,000 to cover accidental death and dismemberment. The maximum coverage period is 30 consecutive days. Note that this will cover you plus anyone who is named as an authorized driver on the rental contract. That is, if you’re holidaying with your significant other and both your names are on the rental contract, the insurance will cover incidents arising from either of you driving the car. However, the insurance holder (i.e. you) must be the one making and paying for the rental.


If you’re going to Europe, try icarhireinsurance . If you’re a non EEA resident, the only plan you’re eligible for is the Excess Europe plan, which is £2.99 per day (3 day minimum) or £39.99 per annum. This features £6,000 excess cover and covers damage to things like windscreens, tyres, roof and undercarriage that regular CDW/LDW doesn’t


If you’re going to Australia, the only option I have found so far is Hiccup. A 5 day plan costs you AUD$84.50 with AUD $4,000 and zero excess. I’m not sure why insurance options in Australia are so expensive- that’s a point worth researching. I’ll update this if I find a cheaper option for Australia.

(EDIT: Cle on the comments has found out that the default excess that car hire companies in Australia charge is pretty low, at least for Avis and Budget- $2,915 and $2,750 respectively. If you have travel insurance, most plans cover $1,500 worth of rental car damage (do check the wording of your specific policy though). Meaning that whatever happens you’re out of pocket maybe $1,500 at most. Not pretty, but far from disastrous too. If you want to sleep better you can always go with Hiccup, even though it’s not cheap it’s cheaper than $1,500 of damage.


Remember that some rates you book with car rental companies already include CDW/LDW. Before you buy any 3rd party insurance for your rental car, be sure to check if this applies to you.

Credit card travel insurance compared

One of the little-known perks of credit cards is that if you charge your air tickets to them, you get complimentary travel insurance for the duration of your trip. It’s my belief (and the belief of the wise men on HWZ) that you should not rely on this as a primary form of travel insurance. I usually buy an annual plan from DirectAsia which seems to be the cheapest, although my advice in general is to look for direct insurance (ie. not those sold through Banks on behalf of 3rd party companies like MSIG etc) because it’s cheaper, ~$235-$295 for an annual worldwide policy and no middle man.

Nonetheless, what I’ve realised is that not all Banks offer the same level of coverage. Some offer Personal Travel Accident Insurance. Others offer Flight Inconvenience Insurance. Apparently that’s not the same thing- the first covers things like losing a limb or dying overseas, the latter covers things like delayed baggage and missed connections.

I’ve tried to build this into something that makes sense- although I think you should just use this as a ballpark range (ie to say that Bank A in general offers better coverage than Bank B) and if you need the specifics click on the policy documents and read them carefully.

insurance coverage


  • DBS has straight up the worst coverage of any bank. Their travel insurance (if you can call it that) only covers death or permanent disability. Lose your bag? Passport stolen? Missed a connecting flight? SOL.
  • OCBC’s coverage seems rather anemic compared to others- especially on the overseas medical reimbursement limit. To be fair, I could simply have misread the T&C so if anyone feels this is wrong let me know
  • I’d say that Citibank and ANZ (both underwritten by AIG, coincidentally or not) have the best coverage in terms of quantum
  • It’s important to note that even within individual banks, coverage differs- i.e DBS Altitude cards have higher coverage limits than the DBS Black card
  • None of these policies appear to cover rental car excess so you might want to consider one of these options


cover photo by Ralf Κλενγελ