One bright spark during the COVID-19 pandemic has been the willingness of folks to open their hearts and wallets to the less fortunate.
Giving.sg has seen a surge in donations over the past two years to various #SGUnited initiatives, and many more continue to volunteer their time and energy to relief efforts for migrant workers and the vulnerable.
If you’re privileged enough to be in a position to give, there’s no need to feel ashamed about asking which credit cards earn points. After all, from the charity’s point of view, getting S$100 less an admin fee is better than no donation at all.
|❓ How much admin fees do charities pay?|
Giving.sg partially reinstated transactions fees from 1 April 2022, after suspending them for two years due to COVID-19. The fee is now 1.8% (versus 3% pre-COVID).
Transaction fees will be waived till 31 March 2023 for:
While the vast majority of banks exclude charitable donations from earning miles and points, there’s still a handful of options left. In this post, we’ll look at the cards that make giving more rewarding.
|💳 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 MCC do charitable donations process under?
The MCC for charitable donations depends on the type of organisation you’re donating to. The two you’re most likely to encounter are:
- MCC 8398- Organisations, Charitable and Social Service
- Examples: Giving.sg, Give.asia, Ray of Hope
- MCC 8661- Religious Organisations
- Examples: giving to churches or temples
Transactions under these MCCs receive preferential interchange rates (the fee charged for accepting credit cards). This helps charities save on administrative costs, but also means the transaction is less profitable for the card-issuing bank. Consequently, banks tend to exclude donations from earning rewards.
What cards earn points/miles on donations to charity?
At the time of writing, American Express and Maybank are the only card issuers which still award points for charitable donations.
|Bank||Awards Points for Charity?|
This means you can use the following cards to earn rewards on charitable donations.
|Maybank Manchester United Card||2.0 mpd + 3% cashback |
(on days where Man Utd win)
|0.4 mpd + 1% cashback|
|AMEX HighFlyer Card||1.8 mpd|
|AMEX Solitaire PPS Credit Card||1.3 mpd|
|AMEX PPS Credit Card||1.3 mpd|
|Maybank Visa Infinite||1.2 mpd|
|AMEX KrisFlyer Ascend||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|
|AMEX Rewards Card||0.63 mpd|
|Maybank Horizon Visa Signature||0.4 mpd|
Cashback alternatives would include the UOB Absolute Cashback Card (1.7% cashback) or AMEX True Cashback Card (1.5% cashback). Should the organisation not accept AMEX, you can try the GrabPay Mastercard workaround (see next section).
Other ways to earn points on donations
(use code MILELION to save S$30 off first payment)
If you don’t mind paying an administrative fee to earn miles while donating to charity, AXS Pay+Earn, CardUp and Citi PayAll can be possible options.
For example, a Citi PremierMiles cardholder could use Citi PayAll to make donations, earning 1.2 mpd with a 2% admin fee. This works out to 1.67 cents per mile. Do be on the lookout for periodic promotions that can reduce the cost even further.
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|
Do note that you will not earn GrabRewards points for donations to charitable or religious organisations.
Even though it’s tricky to earn rewards for charitable donations, there’s still a few options left with American Express and Maybank. Alternatively, you can opt to pay a small admin fee to use a service like CardUp or Citi PayAll.
So continue giving to the extent you can, and let that be all the more rewarding for you!