Cardup is a service that allows you to use your credit card to make payments for things like rental, income tax, condo management fees, insurance premiums and tuition fees, earning credit card rewards points in exchange for a 2.6% fee.
Cardup does not qualify for 10X with any credit cards (UOB PPV and DBS WWMC recently updated their T&Cs to exclude it), so under regular circumstances the best deal you can do is buy miles at 1.81 cents each (UOB PRVI @ 1.4 mpd, 2.6% fee).
If you’ve not used your UOB PRVI miles card with Cardup prior to 1 November you can earn 2.4 mpd capped at 40,000 miles (~$16,667 of spending). If you have, you earn 1.6 mpd without any cap. Full T&C here.
This promotion does not discriminate between new and existing Cardup users; rather, all that matters is whether you have used your UOB PRVI miles card with Cardup before. If you own a UOB PRVI Miles Visa and have used it with Cardup before, you can apply for a UOB PRVI Miles Mastercard to enjoy the 2.4 mpd rate. Remember that UOB pools your UNI$ anyway plus your first year annual fee is waived, so there’s no cost to you for doing this. Alternatively, you can apply for a supplementary UOB PRVI Miles Visa and use that for the payment, and you’d earn 2.4 mpd still. There are enough ways to get around the “never used the card for Cardup” restriction before, so no one should be earning at the 1.6 mpd level.
Both your Cardup payment and the Cardup fee (2.6%) earn points, so under this promotion you’re paying:
- @ 2.4 mpd- 1.06 cents per mile
- @ 1.6 mpd- 1.58 cents per mile
1.06 cents per mile is a fantastic deal, and I’d buy miles at that price in a heartbeat. At this price, it’s possible to buy a round trip economy award ticket to Bali for $159, for example. I guess the catch, if you want to call it that, is that the maximum miles you can buy at 1.06 cents is 40,000.
As a reminder, here’s how much it costs to buy miles in Singapore through other methods-
|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|
|iPayMy/Cardup with UOB PRVI||Payment Facility||50000||1.81||Unlimited|
|HSBC VI- Regular Customer||Welcome Gift||120000||1.86||35000|
|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|
|iPayMy/Cardup with DBS Altitude||Payment Facility||30000||2.11||Unlimited|
|OCBC Voyage- Option 2||Annual Fee||120000||2.14||150000|
|Citibank Prestige||Annual Fee||120000||2.14||25000|
|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
These rates are certainly much lower than the UOB PRVI Pay feature that lets you buy miles at 2 cents each. The key difference is that UOB PRVI Pay allows you to buy unlimited miles, whereas Cardup requires that you have a bona fide bill payment to make (well, in theory at least. I’m vaguely aware that it is possible to overpay certain account balances provided the recipient isn’t in the practice of refunding credit balances, and not all payments via Cardup need invoice documentation)
Moreover, if you have Cardup referral credit, your cost per mile is further reduced. If this is your first Cardup payment, you can use my code AARONW54 to get $20 off the fees. Otherwise, feel free to use any of the codes in the comments section here as well (but please don’t post referral links in the comments section of this particular article, so we can have all the codes in one place).
1.06 cpm is an amazing price, and even though the general rule is not to buy miles speculatively, I think I may make an exception for this.