Back in 2017 I wrote about the Visa Supplier Locator, an online tool that allows you to look up the MCC of any given business. This had incredible potential, not in the least because you could know in advance which credit card to use. The problem? It was only available in the USA.
I lost interest after that, but I’ve just learned that the Visa Supplier Locator has been extended to Singapore. At the risk of hyperbole, this could well be one of the most exciting developments in the Singapore miles and points game to date.
Visa Supplier Locator now available for Singapore
The Visa Supplier Locator is a dream come true.
All you need to feed it is two pieces of information: a location, and a supplier name. It then searches its database and shows you potential hits, together with the all-important MCC.
|💳 Do Visa and Mastercard use different MCCs?|
|With a few exceptions, Visa and Mastercard have very similar MCC codes. There may be a handful of cases where a merchant codes differently on one platform than another (for example, GrabPay top-ups code as 6540 for Mastercard, versus 6051 for Visa), but I wouldn’t get too worried about it. The vast majority of merchants should code the same.|
Suppose you wanted to know the MCC for a mobile phone shop, let’s say Red White Mobile. Put “Singapore” in the address box (ignore the dropdown options), then type “red white mobile” in the supplier name field.
That’s all you need. Scroll to the bottom, complete the CAPTCHA, and click search.
Beautiful. Just like that, we have their MCC: 4812- Phone Services & Equipment. It’s exactly the same process, whether you’re looking for restaurants or beauty parlors or dental clinics.
It even works for online merchants too. Suppose I wanted to check Shopee’s MCC…
…or Lazada’s. Note how they process under a range of MCCs, depending on what you’re buying.
A particularly good use case would be for medical services and hospitals. For example, I can see that Cordlife doesn’t code as a hospital (and therefore should continue to earn points with UOB cards from 1 February 2021).
I can even look up individual medical practices within a given hospital.
People keep asking what MCC different educational institutions code as. Now we know.
For all those asking whether RazerPay top-ups will earn points, here’s your answer.
And if you’re too shy to ask for this data point in The Milelion’s Telegram Group…
I could go on and on, but you get the picture.
Is there a catch?
I’ve noticed quite a few merchant addresses are obviously wrong. For some reason, the Visa Supplier Locator likes to give multiple businesses the same “Sundaram Tagore Gallery Pte Ltd 5 Lock Road Singapore” address. This begs the question: if the tool can pull the wrong address, could it be pulling the wrong MCC? I can’t rule it out, but most of the MCCs I’ve seen so far have made sense.
You may need to exercise some common sense though, as seen in this Deliveroo example. Deliveroo can’t possibly be coding as MCC 4215; a much more logical candidate is 5812 or 5814.
PayPal is an interesting search term. I know there isn’t a fixed PayPal MCC (it depends on what you’re buying), but I was hoping to get a listing of PAYPAL*MERCHANT NAME listings. Instead, I get results that don’t have PayPal anywhere in their name. Can someone figure out why this is happening?
Finally, there’s also the possibility that the familiar trading name may not be the same as the business name. For example, I can’t find a listing for Helpling, which leads me to believe their registered business name may be something else.
The Visa Supplier Locator is simply a treasure trove of data, and I’d encourage you to play around with it and familiarize yourself with the interface. This would save you a lot of MCC anxiety, especially before making a big ticket purchase.
What an incredible tool to have.