If you’ve ever had the misfortune of dealing with a hefty hospital bill, you don’t want to compound the pain by paying with the wrong card.
Sadly, banks are starting to turn the screw on this category- some exclude it altogether, others allow it on certain cards only, still others only award points for private hospital bills. Long story short, it’s much harder to earn rewards for this category than it was five years ago.
Nonetheless, you’re not completely out of options…
|💳 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.|
|💗 Donations | 🏫 Education | 🥡 Food Delivery | 🏥 Hospital Bills | ☂️ Insurance | ⛽ Petrol | 🚍 Public Transport| 🚰 Utilities Bills|
How are hospitals classified?
Before we talk about MCCs, it’s important to understand how hospitals are classified in Singapore. Here’s how the MOH organises things:
|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
|❓ What’s a restructured hospital?|
You may also come across the term “restructured hospital”. This is basically a public hospital.
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.”
The following specialist centres are also classified as public institutions:
Why does the classification matter? Because it affects the hospital’s MDR (Merchant Discount Rate- the fee paid to accept credit card payments).
In general, public and non-profit hospitals pay lower MDRs, while private facilities pay higher. The lower the MDR, the less profit the banks make on a transaction, and the less likely they are to offer credit card rewards.
What MCC do hospitals code as?
Hospitals (and Polyclinics) generally code as MCC 8062 (Hospitals), regardless of whether they’re public or private.
There is no comprehensive list of which hospitals code as what. However, there’s a quick and easy way of checking the MCC before spending, as I’ve highlighted in this post.
What credit cards earn rewards for hospital bills?
Here’s the list of banks which still award points for hospital transactions.
Private & Non-profit only
|All other cards||✓|
Private & Non-profit only
|VOYAGE & Premier Visa Infinite||✓|
|All other cards||✕|
|Reserve & Visa Infinite Metal Card||✓|
|All other cards||✕|
With that in mind, here’s the cards you should be using.
|Card||Earn Rate for Hospitals|
|Citi Rewards+ Amaze||4 mpd|
|AMEX HighFlyer Card||1.8 mpd|
|UOB Reserve Card||1.6 mpd|
|Citi ULTIMA||1.6 mpd|
|UOB Visa Infinite Metal Card||1.4 mpd|
|SCB Visa Infinite||1.4 mpd*|
|OCBC VOYAGE||1.3 mpd@|
|AMEX Solitaire PPS Credit Card||1.3 mpd^|
|AMEX PPS Credit Card||1.3 mpd^|
|Citi Prestige||1.3 mpd|
|OCBC Premier Visa Infinite||1.28 mpd@|
|AMEX KrisFlyer Ascend||1.2 mpd^|
|HSBC Visa Infinite||1.25 mpd#|
|SCB X Card||1.2 mpd|
|Citi PremierMiles||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^|
|^Private and non-profit hospitals only|
@Private hospitals only
*Min S$2K spend per statement month
#1 mpd if first year or if previous year spending <$50K
Do note that if you’re paying your hospital bills via HealthHub, the DBS Woman’s World Card still awards 4 mpd for such transactions (since HealthHub does not code as a hospital).
The GrabPay workaround
The GrabPay Mastercard can be a roundabout way of earning rewards on hospital bills, provided you have a card that still earns rewards for GrabPay top-ups.
|💳 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|
|0.3% cashback||No cap|
Simply top-up your GrabPay balance with one of the cards above, then use the GrabPay Mastercard to pay the bill. Keep in mind this will not work if you’re paying via AXS, since AXS transactions were blocked on 16 January 2023.
While it’s increasingly tricky to earn rewards for transactions at hospitals, the good news is that it’s not impossible. So long as you’re visiting a private facility, there’s still numerous cards out there which will treat it as regular retail spending.
It gets a bit messier once we look at public hospitals though, with banks increasingly carving out exclusions for this group. In that case, the GrabPay Mastercard workaround will at least let you earn some miles or cashback in the process.