American Express has announced that it will add public hospitals & healthcare facilities as well as polyclinics to its rewards exclusion list, effective 1 October 2022.
This was disclosed in an update that went out to cardholders yesterday, along with changes in account payment options, late payment charges and interest rates.
|Account Payment Options||With effect from 1 Oct 2022, American Express will no longer accept cheques as a form of payment for your Card Account. Please visit go.amex/sgwaystopay for more details on the ways you can pay your Card Account bills.|
|Late Payment Charges||With effect from 17 Oct 2022, Late Payment Fee will be revised from S$90 to S$100 per month for all American Express issued Cards in Singapore.|
|Credit Card Interest Rate Policy||Before 17 Oct 2022: If you have three or more defaults and/or one default which remains unpaid for two or more consecutive months in the last 12 months, we may adjust the interest rate applicable to your Card Account from 26.90% p.a. to 29.99% p.a. (subject to compounding). |
On or after 17 Oct 2022: If you have three or more defaults in the last 12 months, we may adjust the interest rate applicable to your Card Account from 26.90% p.a. to 29.99% p.a. (subject to compounding).
While it’s an unfortunate development, American Express cards will continue to earn rewards for transactions at private and non-profit clinics and hospitals.
Which hospitals are affected?
The following line was added to American Express’ rewards exclusion categories yesterday:
- Payments to public/restructured hospitals, polyclinics and other public/restructured
healthcare institutions and facilities (with effect from 1 October 2022)
|❓ What’s a restructured hospital?|
A restructured hospital is basically a public hospital.
As per the MOH: “The Government has restructured all its acute hospitals and specialty centres to be run as private companies wholly owned by the government. This is to enable the public hospitals to have the management autonomy and flexibility to respond more promptly to the needs of the patients.”
For avoidance of doubt, the AMEX True Cashback Card and AMEX HighFlyer Card are not affected by this change.
To understand the impact, it’s first necessary to understand how hospitals are organised in Singapore. Here’s a way of thinking about it:
(Excluded from 1 Oct)
|1. Bright Vision|
2. Jurong Community
3. Outram Community
4. Sengkang Community
5. Yishun Community
|Not-for-Profit||1. Mount Alvernia||1. AMK- Thye Hua Kwan Hospital|
2. Ren Ci Community
3. St Andrew’s Community
4. St Luke’s
|Private||1. Crawfurd |
2. Farrer Park
4. Mount Elizabeth
5. Mount Elizabeth Novena
6. Parkway East
7. Raffles Hospital
8. Thomson Medical Centre
Basically, anything in bold will no longer earn rewards with American Express cards (True Cashback and HighFlyer aside) from 1 October 2022.
American Express cards will also cease to earn rewards at any of the following specialist centres, which are classified as public institutions:
Finally, polyclinics have also been added to the exclusion list, namely:
I’ve further clarified with American Express that not-for-profit acute and community hospitals such as Mt. Alvernia and St Luke’s Community Hospital will continue to earn rewards.
American Express cards will also continue to earn rewards at private healthcare facilities, e.g. Raffles Hospital, Thomson Medical Centre, Fullerton Health and AsiaMedic.
Which cards still earn rewards for hospitals?
Hospital transactions (whether private or public) code as MCC 8062, which is excluded by Bank of China, DBS, OCBC (with exceptions) and UOB (with exceptions).
You will still be able to earn rewards with the following cards.
|UOB Reserve||1.6 mpd|
|Citi ULTIMA||1.6 mpd|
|OCBC VOYAGE||1.6 mpd@|
|UOB Visa Infinite Metal Card||1.4 mpd|
|SCB Visa Infinite||1.4 mpd*|
|AMEX Solitaire PPS Credit Card||1.3 mpd^|
|AMEX PPS Credit Card||1.3 mpd^|
|OCBC VOYAGE||1.3 mpd@|
|Citi Prestige||1.3 mpd|
|HSBC Visa Infinite||1.25 mpd#|
|AMEX KrisFlyer Ascend||1.2 mpd^|
|SCB X Card||1.2 mpd|
|Citi PremierMiles||1.2 mpd|
|Maybank Visa Infinite||1.2 mpd|
|AMEX KrisFlyer Credit Card||1.1 mpd^|
|AMEX Centurion||0.98 mpd^|
|AMEX Platinum Charge||0.78 mpd^|
|AMEX Platinum Reserve||0.69 mpd^|
|AMEX Platinum Credit Card||0.69 mpd^|
|*With min. spend of S$2,000 per statement month, otherwise 1.0 mpd|
^Excludes public hospitals
#With min. spend of S$50,000 in the previous membership year, otherwise 1.0 mpd
@Private hospitals only
American Express will add public hospital and polyclinic transactions to its rewards exclusion list from 1 October 2022, although non-profit and private hospitals and clinics will continue to earn rewards as per normal.
If you’re looking for alternatives, Citibank, HSBC, Maybank, and Standard Chartered cards still earn points for hospital transactions, whether private or public- for now!
That said, I have a sneaking suspicion that it’s only a matter of time before hospital transactions go the way of education expenses and insurance premiums in being excluded by virtually all card issuers.