2021 Edition: What’s the best credit card for paying insurance premiums?

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Credit card rewards on insurance premiums may soon become a thing of the past. Here's the few banks which are still holding out.

Here’s the bad news: the days of earning free credit card points on insurance premiums are all but gone. Banks have progressively excluded this category from their rewards programs, leaving very few options for what can be a substantial recurring payment. 

What, you’re waiting for the good news?

Well, it’s technically not impossible to earn points here- the scope is just very limited, and you may need to pay a fee. 

💳 What’s the Best Card for…
This guide forms part of the “best card” series. Check out other category specific guides below, or the overall guide here.
💗 Charitable Donations | 🏫 Education | 🥡 Food Delivery | 🏥 Hospital Bills | ☂️ Insurance 
| ⛽ Petrol | 🚍 Public Transport| 🚰 Utilities Bills

Which insurers accept credit card payments?

aia insurance
Photo Credit: Straits Times

Here’s what I’ve managed to cobble together from the websites of some of the largest insurers in Singapore. It’s far from comprehensive, but should give you an idea of the options available:

 
AIA1
AIG  
Aviva  
AXA
DirectAsia  
Etiqa  
FWD  
Great Eastern  
MSIG  
NTUC Income2  
Prudential  
Sompo  
Tokio Marine  
1. Visa and AMEX can only be used for new application or addition of rider. 
2. For life insurance premiums, only the first premium can be paid via credit card. Cards not accepted for subsequent renewals or single premium

Do note that not all types of policies can be paid through credit cards, and additional restrictions may apply.

For example, AIA only accepts Mastercard for recurring payments; AMEX and Visa can only be used for new applications or additions of riders. NTUC Income only allows the first life insurance premium to be paid via credit card; subsequent renewals or single premium policies must be paid via other means. 

When in doubt, do check the accepted payment methods with your insurance agent. 

What MCC does insurance code as?

Insurance transactions will code under two main MCCs: 

  • 5960: Direct Marketing Insurance Services
  • 6300: Insurance Sales, Underwriting and Premiums
I’m pretty sure these two MCCs cover almost all insurance policies out there, but if you’d like, you can always use the Visa Supplier Locator to confirm it

Merchants assigned these MCCs typically pay a below-average processing fee, and banks are therefore less inclined to offer rewards on such transactions. 

Which credit cards earn rewards for insurance?

Very few. Here’s a snapshot of each bank’s policy:

  Awards Points?

Only for Chubb products purchased via AMEX


Visa Infinite & Horizon only

Prudential Platinum/ Visa Signature Card only

There are only three scenarios where you can earn rewards points when paying insurance premiums with your credit card. 

Scenario 1: Maybank credit cards

Maybank, amazingly enough, still offers TREATS points on insurance premiums with the Maybank Visa Infinite and Maybank Horizon Visa Signature.

The problem is: the Maybank Visa Infinite requires you to earn at least S$150,000 a year, which isn’t exactly mass market. The Maybank Horizon Visa Signature can be had with just S$30,000 income per year, but earns a paltry 0.4 mpd. 

Card Earn Rate for Insurance
Maybank Visa Infinite 1.2 mpd
(capped at S$3,000 per calendar month)
Maybank Horizon 0.4 mpd

Scenario 2: Standard Chartered Prudential Platinum/Visa Signature card with Prudential

The little-known Standard chartered Prudential Platinum/Visa Signature Cards explicitly state that rewards points are awarded on insurance premiums. 

The problem is, they don’t state whether this applies to all kinds of premiums, or just those from Prudential. For what it’s worth, the T&Cs of the card don’t list insurance as a blanket exclusion, so I’m hopeful it applies to all underwriters, but feel free to weigh in. 

In any case, you can definitely earn points on Prudential premiums, at a rate of anywhere between 0.29-0.6 mpd (this depends on whether or not you own a Standard Chartered Visa Infinite/X Card; read this post for more details).

Card Earn Rate for Insurance
Without SCB VI/X Card With SCB VI/X Card
Prudential Platinum Card 0.29 mpd 0.4 mpd
Prudential Visa Signature Card
0.44 mpd 0.6 mpd

Scenario 3: American Express Cards with Chubb

Back in March 2020, American Express updated their rewards T&Cs to exclude insurance premium payments, except those “purchased through American Express authorized channels”. In practice, this means only Chubb premiums will earn points on the AMEX KrisFlyer or AMEX Platinum credit cards. 

The AMEX True Cashback Card has been exempted from this change, which means you can earn 1.5% cashback on your insurance premiums if American Express is accepted (if not, see the GrabPay option below).

Alternative Options for Insurance Payments

The GrabPay Mastercard used to be the best option for circumventing rewards restrictions, at least back in the days when you could earn 4 mpd on GrabPay top-ups with the Citi Rewards Visa. That ended in July 2020, when GrabPay was reclassified by Visa as a quasi-cash merchant. 

However, GrabPay isn’t 100% dead yet. If you hold an AMEX True Cashback Card or AMEX Singapore Airlines Business Credit Card, you can still earn rewards on GrabPay top-ups, and then use your GrabPay Mastercard to pay the insurance bill:

  • With the AMEX True Cashback Card, you’ll get a 1.5% cash rebate
  • With the AMEX Singapore Airlines Business Credit Card, you’ll earn 1.8 HighFlyer points per S$1 (equivalent to 0.9 mpd)
In October 2020, American Express launched an AMEX Offer allowing KrisFlyer, Platinum and CapitaCard members to register and earn points/miles on GrabPay top-ups. If you managed to register your card, by all means go ahead and use it.

Alternatively, if you’re willing to pay a fee in exchange for earning miles on insurance, the following options are available. 

  Fee Cost Per Mile
Pay + Earn 2.5%  1.52-2.50 
2.25% (use code: GET225)
Get S$20 off first payment of ≥S$1K with code: MILELION 
1.38-1.83
2% 1.25-1.67
(only for Citi cards)
2% 1.43-2.00
(only for SC cards)

Citi PayAll is currently sending out some incredible targeted promotions for its PayAll service, which offers a 1% fee to existing customers, or two fee-free payments to new customers. This lets you pay your insurance premiums while buying miles from as little as 0.42 cents, well worth checking out. 

Whether it’s “worth it” to buy miles all boils down to how much you value a mile. The gold standard is of course to earn miles for free, but if banks keep cracking down, this may be the only option left. 

Conclusion

While there’s precious few ways left to earn credit card points on insurance premiums, some still exist. I wouldn’t count on them lasting forever though, so there’s no time like the present to make hay. 

Are there any other ways you know of earning points on insurance premiums?

Aaron Wong
Aaron founded The Milelion with the intention of helping people travel better for less and impressing chiobu. He was 50% successful.

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WJ

Hi Aaron,
How do you make payment for Tokio Marine premiums via Visa/MC? Is there a link that you can share? Thanks

WJ

Thanks. I was figuring out how to use Visa/MC to pay for my recurring TM premiums.

Belinda

I was thinking to use HSBC Revolution card to pay online. However axs-estation do not have HSBC credit card as a selection.

S.A

I believe it is only for the first premium only. I also ask this qns before from my TM agent.

QRC

Does GPMC work with CardUp and IPM?

Adam

Yes it doss

H L

Great article about IP update, looking forward updated article for tuition fee for poor parents.

Austin

Great Eastern does not accept Grabpay MC card to pay for my 1st year life insurance. but when i switch to bank MC card, it goes through.

Daniel

Same here, second this comment.

Derek

Hi Aaron,
Just sharing, I actually emailed to DBS & Citi to check if they award points/miles if insurance payment made through CardUp Platform but their reply was that no points/miles will be awarded.
In the end, I tried using SCB EasyBill function @ 1.9% fee instead.

Cass

Hi Aaron, may I know if the new CitiRewards Mastercard earns the same as the visa? Will I still get 4mpd if I top up grabpay?

Kelvin

Earn the same BUT Visa and Master is different. You won’t get anything on top up grappay with a mastercard!

Mazie Doh

Hi Aaron,

Thanks for this summary.

I did some google search, and actually I found seems that Amex True Cash Back currently still considers the insurance premium as the eligible transaction. (amex.co/SGexclusions)

Could you please confirm or did I miss something?

If it’s true, given that I might have 10000 SGD pending premium in next few weeks, should I go for this Amex True Cash Back credit card?

Thanks

Refer to:

amex.co/SGexclusions

https://www.americanexpress.com/content/dam/amex/sg/campaigns/pdfs/true-cashback-card.pdf

https://www.americanexpress.com/content/dam/amex/sg/benefits/SGexclusionsjan20.pdf

Last edited 1 year ago by Mazie Doh
Alan

https://www.maybank2u.com.sg/iwov-resources/sg/pdf/cards/horizon-benefits-privilege-tnc.pdf

Please see the terms and condition on Maybank Horizon card. Insurance premium is excluded. Not sure whether it is a recent change. Can the admin please verify

Ben K

So from this, I gather that T Points are awarded for the VI card, up to $3000 per calendar month?

ben

OCBC Great Eastern Cashflo have recently changed their terms. no more points i believe and they charge you for amortizing payments

Jessie

Fyi, I paid for insurance (first time sign up premiums) using Horizon recently, checked statements for next 2 months and zero Treat Points to date.

Leon

You can use Horizon to top up Grabpay card to get points and use it to pay for insurance directly or through Cardup. Which insurer?

Last edited 8 months ago by Leon
S K

Amex cards (KF, Platinum and Capitacard) are still giving rewards for GrabPay topup as well, and there is an ongoing campaign. Does that not count?

Vice

I guess the Amex offer is targeted and for a limited time, therefore not included as a solution in the long term.

kkong

campaign until 10 May 2021 and quota by $5k. but with $5k , at least it is a solution for most of people for this year insurance.

Adam

Interestingly enough, the Prudential cards also have 10X for foreign currency transactions so you could potentially use this card as a substitute for the Rewards+, or as an alternative once you max out the cap on Rewards+.

Ian

Hi Aaron,
How about Cigna international insurance plan? Since it charges in USD, is it considered an overseas spendings and would go well with SC Rewards+ or PRVI?

Max

Manulife not included?

J C

hi aaron. grabpay mastercard cannot be used to pay insurance bill via AXS online (see error message below). are u referring to other payment modes?

“Transaction Failed
Your payment card is not accepted. Please try again or use another card.”

J C

oic! good thing i have not tried to load all the money into grabpay phew

Gerry

I think it does I just did it last night!

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