No one gets ex-static about paying electricity bills, but seeing as how they keep the lights on, it doesn’t hertz to know watt card you can use to earn miles.
Now, you could take the path of least resistance by paying through GIRO, but I’m of the opinion that anyone who ohmits to earn miles on this should be grounded.
I have no volt in the matter, sadly.
What’s the MCC for utilities payments?
There are two ways an electricity retailer can bill you:
- via SP Group (for Best Electricity, Ohm, Tuas Power)
If the electricity retailer bills you direct, you’ll receive two utilities bills- one from your electricity retailer, and one from SP Group (for water and waste).
If the electricity retailer bills you via SP Group, you’ll receive one utility bill that covers electricity, water, and waste.
Regardless of whether you pay direct or via SP Group, the MCC used will be 4900.
|SP Group payments are not classified as government transactions|
What payment methods can I use?
It used to be that those who wanted to pay their SP bills via credit card would have to trek down to the customer service centre and pay in person (they could pay via Masterpass on AXS, but no points would be earned).
It was only in 2017 that the SP Utilities app started accepting credit card payments, and even then, only from DBS. We had to wait till 2019 (!) for the app to accept credit cards from all other banks.
Here’s a summary of the payment methods available for each retailer.
|*Also handles billing for Best Electricity, Ohm, and Tuas Power|
What cards should I use for utilities payments?
Here’s the options currently available:
|AMEX KrisFlyer Ascend||3.2||For iSwitch & Senoko Energy, until 31/8/20. Capped at S$300. Reg. required. Other providers earn 1.1/1.2 mpd|
|AMEX KrisFlyer Credit Card||3.1|
|UOB PRVI Miles Mastercard & Visa*||3.0||Until 31/7/20, min S$2K max S$3.5K on selected transactions. Reg. required|
|AMEX Platinum Charge||1.56||Until 20 Jul 20, after which 0.78 mpd|
|UOB Visa Infinite Metal Card||1.4|
|UOB PRVI Miles AMEX||1.4|
|SCB Visa Infinite||1.0/1.4|
|KrisFlyer UOB Credit Card||1.2|
|SCB X Card||1.2|
|*Excludes Union Power|
|AMEX KrisFlyer cardholders may also have been targeted for a bonus 3 mpd for the first S$200 spent on SP Utilities|
For the SCB X Card, do note that while utilities transactions will earn base points, they will not count towards sign up bonus spending (a moot point, since there’s no sign up bonus offered right now).
Cards which do not award points on utilities payments
The T&Cs of the following cards explicitly exclude utilities payment from earning points:
- BOC Elite Miles World Mastercard
- Citi PremierMiles
- Citi Prestige
- Citi Rewards
- DBS Altitude
- DBS Woman’s World Card
- HSBC Revolution
- HSBC Visa Infinite
- OCBC 90N
- OCBC VOYAGE
Make ad-hoc payments, not recurring
With the exception of cards which explicitly allow you to earn points on utilities payments (e.g AMEX KrisFlyer cards, UOB PRVI Miles), it’s better to use your card for ad-hoc payments instead of signing up for a recurring billing plan.
The latter may be more convenient, but some banks (e.g SCB) may exclude recurring bill payments from earning points.
Other ways to earn points on utilities bills
If your card explicitly excludes utilities payments from earning points, a workaround is to use a bill payment service instead. This will incur an admin fee, so think of it like buying miles.
For example, CardUp users with the BOC Elite Miles Mastercard will pay a 2.25% admin fee (use the code GET225, or MILELION for S$20 off your first payment) and earn 1.5 mpd, effectively buying miles for 1.47 cents each. Similarly, a Citi Prestige cardholder will pay a 2% admin fee and earn 1.3 mpd, effectively buying miles for 1.54 cents each.
I hope this post brings some enlightenment on the options available to you, and I’ll pull the plug on the electricity puns before I get charged.
I’ve updated the What Card guide to reflect the latest promotions.