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:
- 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.
|*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.
|Maybank Manchester United Card||2.0 mpd + 3% cashback |
(on days where Man Utd win)
0.4 mpd + 1% cashback
|UOB Reserve||1.6 mpd|
|SCB Visa Infinite||1.0 mpd|
(1.4 mpd with min S$2K spend/month)
|SCB X Card||1.2 mpd|
|Maybank Visa Infinite||1.2 mpd|
|Maybank Horizon Visa Signature||0.4 mpd|
|Maybank World Mastercard||0.4 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
(use code MILELION to save S$30 off first payment)
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|
|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|
Surprisingly, you will earn GrabRewards points for utilities payments, as of the time of writing.
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.