ComfortDelGro partially reinstates 10% credit card surcharge for app payments

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From 1 January 2023, CDG has brought back the 10% surcharge for street hails paid with cards via the Zig app.

Comfort DelGro (CDG), Singapore’s largest taxi operator, has always had an uneasy relationship with the credit card companies. Just think back to 2013, when Visa severed ties with CDG over the latter’s continued imposition of a 10% credit card surcharge, a practice that had been ongoing since the mid-1990s. 

You’d think that a Fortune 500 company might have the upper hand in negotiations, but it was Visa which quietly backed down a few years later, citing the face-saving reason that surcharges had become less of an issue, thanks to booking apps that allowed fee-free payments.

And yet that very premise seems more shaky now that CDG has announced a reintroduction of the 10% surcharge on street hails paid through its Zig app. 

CDG reinstates admin fees for app payments

For context, CDG imposes a 10% credit card surcharge on transactions paid with a physical credit card in the taxi. 

However, CDG’s Zig app also offers a “Pay for Street Hail” function, which allows customers to flag a cab on the street (or hop into one at a taxi stand), pair their ride, and pay with a credit card.

Historically speaking, the 10% surcharge was waived for such payments, but CDG has reinstated it from 1 January 2023 (and since the surcharge is itself subject to GST, you’re effectively paying 10.8% extra).

There’s one exception: DBS/POSB cards. Cardholders will receive a 10% admin fee waiver for all ComfortRIDE options paid with DBS/POSB Mastercard or Visa Cards, up till 31 December 2023. No promo code is required; the admin fee is waived automatically. Do note that you will still be charged the admin fee if you choose a metered fare booking or Pay for Street Hail.

Earn up to 7 mpd on CDG bookings via Kris+

In any case, those making pre-bookings would be better off paying with Kris+. From now till 31 March 2023, Kris+ users will earn up to 7 mpd on CDG taxi rides booked via the Kris+ app. A S$0.30 surcharge applies, but that’s still acceptable in my book.

Kris+ offering up to 7 mpd on Comfort taxi bookings

Here’s a reminder of the best cards to use for CDG payments via Kris+ (they will code as MCC 4121). 

🎁  CDG Taxi Rides via Kris+
CardEarn Rate
DBS Woman’s World Card
4 mpdCap at S$2K per c. month
HSBC Revolution
4 mpdCap at S$1K per c. month
UOB Lady’s Card
4 mpdMax S$1K per c. month. Must choose transport as bonus category

UOB Lady’s Solitaire
4 mpdMax S$3K per c. month. Must choose transport as 10X category
KrisFlyer UOB Credit Card
3 mpdNo min. spend required

Even though the Citi Rewards Card will earn 4 mpd with the Zig app, you won’t earn 4 mpd when you pay via Kris+ because of the clause regarding in-app wallet payments. 

Not this again?

My way or the highway

Consumers will be understandably ticked at yet another twist in the CDG-credit card wars, given that unlike some countries, surcharges are very rare in Singapore.

Why does CDG persist with these? Simply put: because they can. With such dominant control over the taxi industry in Singapore, CDG has the wherewithal to do as it pleases, and if you don’t like it, tough- say goodbye to more than 60% of the market. 

Aren’t credit card surcharges illegal? Let’s be careful with our terminology. Credit card surcharges are not “illegal” in Singapore, in the sense that you can’t go to the police and file a report. They are, however, a violation of the service agreement that exists between card issuers and the merchant.

Surcharging remains prohibited outside the U.S. unless there is a local law or variance that requires merchants be permitted to engage in the practice.

-Visa International

Yet that hasn’t stopped bigger merchants from flexing their bargaining power. Back in September 2021, Amazon imposed a 0.5% surcharge on Visa card transactions, which remained in effect until a deal was reached in February 2022. YouTrip still imposes a 1.5% service fee on Visa credit card top-ups. And who can forget Singapore Airlines’ ill-advised attempt to add a 1.3% surcharge on Economy Lite fares back in 2018? 

It’s clear that there’s one set of rules for the small fry, and another for the big boys.


CDG has reimposed a 10% surcharge for street hail bookings paid through its Zig app. This applies to all cards except DBS/POSB, which has managed to secure a waiver till the end of 2023. 

That’s good, because most miles chasers should be using the DBS Woman’s World Card to pay via Zig anyway (or, if making pre-bookings, do it via Kris+). Still, it points to the continued inability of card companies to reign in CDG. 

“We are very disappointed that we’ve not been able to remove or reduce the 10 per cent surcharge, after a longstanding discussion with ComfortDelGro. We continue to oppose the practice of surcharging.”

-Visa Country Manager (2015)

In a way, Visa’s approach reminds me of Apu in the Simpsons: “Hey! Hey! Hey! I have asked you nicely not to mangle my merchandise. You leave me no choice but to…ask you nicely again.”

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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29.4km in 24 minutes. Average ~74kmph that’s awesome


only prebooked fixed fare ride enjoy waiver of 10%. metered fare by taxi still incurr 10% admin afaik


Let’s just say, local companies have the most calculated way of doing business. UOB’s first xxx sign-up participants, CDG’s surcharge, and all these apps that require customers to jump through several hoops to earn a 2-dollar voucher that still come with a minimum spend.. just name a few. I always wonder how effective those promotions are.


CDG: Ride-hailing apps are stealing all our customers!
Customer: We want a taxi
CDG: No, go away.


Market Analyst: What are you doing to increase profitability
CDG CFO: Implemented new fees to increase our Net Profit
Ride Hailing App CFO: What dis metric you talking about?


Lack of consumer protections, not enough enforcement of unfair practices or unbalanced terms. That’s not even getting to the enforcement of it, which is left up to individuals unless the issue is so bad and widespread (and the industry is easy to pick on) that CASE chooses to get involved. That’s not saying that other countries get it exactly right (a few decisions in Australia still confuse me, like allowing CC surcharging on the apparent assumption that handling cash is costless) but enforcement is usually better. Since this website about flying, I did like in Aus how it was mandatory… Read more »


CC surcharging is to put pressure on CC charges. In all other countries, CC companies explicitly forbid sellers to pass the charges to the consumer, since it would make the option less attractive. In Australia it does get passed on, which is perceived as annoying but should in theory put pressure on this practice.


Still better than supporting scummy grab I suppose.


Sigh…….back to pay cash & having driver give change in cash. Regression


Oh that’s like use “Paylah in Zig” or “Cash in Hand”


This makes no sense to me. They should apply a surcharge for paying with cash. Much more overhead associated with cash management.

Robbie Fowler

Metered fare booking and Pay for Street Hail has a 10% administrative fee. The prevailing GST is applicable on the administrative fee.

It says pay for street hail have the 10% admin fee.

How come you are not charged?



Few days ago we used DBS credit card to pay for Street Hail.

10% Admin Fee was charged and NOT waived.


prebooked a cab via the app on the 3rd for an early Changi bound trip 4th morning. Once in the can the driver mentioned his system was not working and I needed to show the card again. Upon arrival in Changi, I saw the 10% admin fee. He first feigned ignorance but then immediately gave me the 10% in cash. I do feel he might have acted genuinely, but the coincidence was a bit striking.


CDGs the culprit here. Their payment systems are bad.


I used POSB everyday card to book for comfort cab and got charged for the admin fee. What gives? I thought you mentioned it suppose to be waived?


CDG making itself even more pointless. I’ve been here 2.5 years, and have probably taken 3 CDG’s in total. Completely irrelevant company.


The POSB/DBS waiver for 10% admin surcharge has ended on 31 Jan 2023.


I can confirm what you said to be correct.

Few days ago (Feb 2023) we used DBS credit card to pay for Street Hail.

10% Admin Fee was charged and NOT waived.




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