2023 Edition: Best Credit Cards for Charitable Donations

Giving is its own reward? Well...yes, but all the better if you can earn some miles in the process! Here's the cards which still reward donations.

If you’re privileged enough to be in a position to give, there’s no need to feel ashamed about  asking which card earns you some miles in return. 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). 

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.

If you’re uncertain about the MCC of a particular organisation, you can look it up easily via the Max tool. 

Max: Look up any merchant’s MCC

What cards earn points/miles on donations to charity?

At the time of writing, Maybank is the only card issuer which still awards points for charitable donations, along with selected American Express cards.

BankAwards Points for Charity?
Except Platinum Charge and Centurion

This means you can use the following cards to earn rewards on charitable donations.

CardEarn Rate
Maybank Manchester United Card
2.0 mpd + 3% cashback 
(on days where Man Utd win)
0.4 mpd + 1% cashback
(otherwise)
Maybank Visa Infinite1.2 mpd
amex centurionAMEX Centurion0.98 mpd
AMEX Platinum Charge0.78 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)- but this assumes that AMEX is accepted. 

Other ways to earn points on donations

ProviderFeeCost Per Mile
2.2%1 cent^
(with current promo)
^Min. spend of S$8,000 required on all Citi PayAll transactions during promo period

At the moment, charitable donations are only supported by Citi PayAll. CardUp, SC EasyBill and AXS Pay+Earn do not support this feature. 

A maximum of S$30,000 worth of donations can be made through Citi PayAll per calendar month, and with the current ongoing promotion, you’ll earn 2.2 mpd with a 2.2% admin fee, buying miles at one cent each. 

Is it worth paying the admin fee? It all depends on how much you value miles.

Conclusion

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 Citi PayAll.

So continue giving to the extent you can, and let that be all the more rewarding for you!

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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Ah Seng

I can confirm a plain vanilla donation on http://www.giving.sg does not get points for Citi Premiermiles card. Donated last month

JJ

Workaround for Community Chest Donations with tax deduction using GPMC: Donate via their website (https://www.comchest.sg/) and select Paypal as the payment method (GPMC is rejected when using the credit card payment method). Grabpay points are also awarded.

Anon

Can confirm SCB X card gives points for one-off donations via giving.sg, as well as church online tithing.

Steve

Works for Maybank F&F card too

J

Hi, has anyone tried and confirmed the Lazada workaround with the OCBC Titanium and Citi Rewards cards?

anon

I just made a donation to giving.sg via grabpay mastercard. It went through and I earned points for it. I’m not sure if it worked because I already had the money in my grabpay wallet (did not need to pull from a card).

anon

I’m so sorry for the wrong info!! Grab worked for give.asia but not giving.sg 🙁

Anthea

Anybody tried the Lazada workaround?

Heiji

Just tried paying GiveAsia with GrabPay Card. It get declined and contacted CS said like below.

Thank you for your details. As per our terms & conditions, GrabPay wallet cannot be used for political, religious, spiritual, charitable and non-profit organizations of any kind. https://www.grab.com/sg/terms-policies/payment-rewards/

Glen

Do we know if Maybank platinum visa can get Cashback for donations to overseas charities?

Girl Eat World

Successfully donated and earned miles on the Amex krisflyer. an interesting thing to note is that Amex doesnt charge extra 1% for the benevity platform, unlike Visa.

Girl Eat World

Successfully donated via Amex krisflyer and earned 1.1 mpd. Interesting thing to note is that Amex doesnt seem to charge the extra 1% charged by Benevity donation platform. I donated with visa last week and got charged 1% extra

Wei

Need to update/ delete the section on using Amex/ UOB Absolute card to top-up GrabPay.

Max_Heng

AMEX Krisflyer Card –
Exclusions: Transactions relating to education and other non-profit purposes (including charitable
donations) (with effect from 1 October 2023)

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