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.
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|This guide forms part of the “Best Card” series. Check out other category specific guides below, or the overall guide here.|
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Which insurers accept credit card payments?
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:
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:
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
(only for Citi cards)
(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.
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?