Here’s the bad news: the days of earning credit card points on insurance premiums are all but gone. One by one, banks have excluded this category from their rewards programmes, 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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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. 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, 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
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:
|Bank||Awards Points for Insurance?|
Only for Chubb products purchased via AMEX
Visa Infinite & Horizon only
Prudential Platinum/ Visa Signature Card only
There are only five scenarios where you can earn rewards points when paying insurance premiums with your credit card.
Scenario 1: Maybank Visa Infinite or Maybank Horizon Visa Signature
While the T&Cs of Maybank’s TREATS programme exclude insurance transactions, an explicit exception is carved out for the Maybank Visa Infinite and Maybank Horizon Visa Signature.
(d) Payments to insurance companies (does not apply to Maybank Visa Infinite for payments up to S$3,000 per calendar month and Maybank Horizon Visa Signature);
The problem is that the Maybank Visa Infinite requires a minimum income of S$150,000, not exactly mass market. The Maybank Horizon Visa Signature has an income requirement of just S$30,000, 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
The little-known Standard Chartered Prudential Platinum/Visa Signature Cards explicitly state that rewards points are awarded on insurance premiums.
It’s not clear whether they’re referring to all kinds of insurance premiums, or just Prudential specifically. 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.
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|
|SC Prudential Platinum||0.29 mpd||0.4 mpd|
|SC Prudential Visa Signature
||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 was 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).
Scenario 4: Via the GrabPay Mastercard
The GrabPay Mastercard can be a roundabout way of earning rewards on insurance premiums- provided you have a card that still earns rewards for GrabPay top-ups.
|💳 Cards for GrabPay Top-Ups|
|AMEX SIA Business Card
|1.8 mpd||Only for owners of SMEs|
|AMEX True Cashback Card
|1.5% cashback||No cap|
|UOB Absolute Cashback Card
|1.7% cashback||No cap|
What you do is top-up your GrabPay balance with one of the cards above, then use the GrabPay Mastercard to pay your premium.
Just remember that:
- You won’t earn any GrabRewards points for insurance premium payments
- Your annual transaction limit on the GrabPay Mastercard is S$30,000
Scenario 5: Pay a fee
If you’re willing to pay a fee in exchange for earning miles on insurance premiums, the following options are available.
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.
There’s not a lot of ways left to earn credit card points on insurance premiums, and I wouldn’t count on the existing ones lasting very long either. You’ll just have to make hay as long as you can.
Are there any other ways you know of earning points on insurance premiums?