2022 Edition: Best Credit Cards for Electricity & Utilities Bills

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Opportunities to earn points on utilities bills are rapidly disappearing, but there's still a few options left.

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 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

What’s the MCC for utilities payments?

There are two ways an electricity retailer can bill you:

  • Direct
  • via SP Group

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 transaction will code as MCC 4900: Utilities- Electric, Gas, Heating Oil, Sanitary, Water

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.

 VisaMCAMEX
SP Group*
Geneco
PacificLight Energy
Senoko Energy
Sembcorp Power
Diamond Energy 
Keppel Electric 
Sunseap Energy 
Union Power 
*Also handles billing for Tuas Power

What cards should I use for utilities payments?

One unfortunate trend we’re seeing is the progressive exclusion of rewards points for utilities transactions.

Citibank and OCBC have long excluded utilities, and in recent years we’ve seen American Express, Bank of China, DBS and HSBC follow suit. UOB added utilities to its exclusion list from 1 August 2022 (except for the UOB Reserve), which leaves only Maybank and Standard Chartered. 

CardEarn Rate
Maybank Manchester United Card2.0 mpd + 3% cashback 
(on days where Man Utd win)
0.4 mpd + 1% cashback
(otherwise)
UOB Reserve1.6 mpd
SCB Visa Infinite1.0 mpd
(1.4 mpd with min S$2K spend/month)
SCB X Card1.2 mpd
Maybank Visa Infinite1.2 mpd
Maybank Horizon Visa Signature0.4 mpd
Maybank World Mastercard0.4 mpd
SCB Rewards+0.4 mpd (with X Card/ Visa Infinite)
0.29 mpd (otherwise)

All other cards will not earn points for utilities payments (note: the UOB One and UOB Absolute Cashback Card will continue to earn cashback for utilities, but we’ll ignore that since they’re cashback cards).

Other ways to earn points on utilities bills

 Admin Fee
Pay+Earn2.5%
2.25%
(use code MILELION to save S$30 off first payment)
2%

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, a Citi PremierMiles cardholder could use Citi PayAll to pay his/her bill, and earn up to 2.5 mpd till 31 July 2022. Given the 2% admin fee, this works out to buying miles at 0.8 cents each- very attractive in my opinion. 

Alternatively, consider topping up a GrabPay account with one of the following cards, then using the GrabPay Mastercard to pay your bill. You’ll indirectly earn 1.5/1.7% cashback, or 1.8 mpd depending on what card you have.

💳 Cards for GrabPay Top-Ups
CardEarn RateRemarks
AMEX SIA Business Card
Apply
1.8 mpdOnly for owners of SMEs
AMEX True Cashback Card
Apply
1.5% cashbackNo cap
UOB Absolute Cashback Card
Apply
1.7% cashbackNo cap

Surprisingly, you will earn GrabRewards points for utilities payments, as of the time of writing. 

Conclusion

Utilities is likely to go the way of insurance soon, as more and more banks add it to their exclusions list.

It’s not the end of the story yet though, and I hope this post brings some enlightenment on the options available to you. I’ll pull the plug on the electricity puns before I get charged.

Aaron Wong
Aaron Wong
Aaron founded The Milelion to help people travel better for less and impress chiobu. He was 50% successful.

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johnson
cheesecake

That’s sneaky! I never knew this. When did DBS amend the small print without informing customers?!

Zezima

mAXS Pay+Earn: Looks like you’ll be needing it, that is if you are willing to pay 2.5% fee (2.03 cpm).

Mark

Any idea when did they start doing this? I checked the fine print last time and made sure that I will earn points when I signed up. That’s around more than a year ago. Didn’t monitor after that.

LionDen

Love the way you peppered the introduction with the electrical terminologies. Nice work. Keep it up! 🙂

Adam

KFA and KFB also has a separate bonus 3mpd offer for SP services, giving you 4.2/4.1mpd. This is a separate offer from the iswitch and senoko energy offer, with a cap of 600 KF bonus miles ($200 spending)
(h/t Victor Lau on your fb page)

Michelle

CRV can also be used for online payment to get 4mpd, no?

Snookeredagain

darn! when did that happen.

unsexy

Do UOB prvi cards earn 1.4mpd on a regular basis paying via web/app?
Or is that only for the metal vi?

ian

Is there an error on the promo due date for Prvi Amex? I believe the promo ended in June.

Alvin

Hi, any updates to this list?

C K

I’m using my UOB VS for 4mpd (contactless payment at SP office over the counter) for my SP bills.

Salmon Lee

Amex has these offers every now and then, where you “save” that offer into your card, you get rebates of $1-2 or something like that after each utilities bill is paid using that card.

Wil

Sembcorp power do not accept amex

freedom

Given that you can buy miles at 0.8 cents/mile. Everyone should use UOB Absolute, 1.7% is more than 2 miles per dollar

Gio

Brilliant article and once again, very helpful. Thanks Aaron!

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