2024 Edition: Best Credit Cards for Electricity & Utilities Bills

Earning miles on utilities bills in 2024? It's still possible, but the lights might go out soon.

Earning miles on utilities bill gets harder each year. It’s long been excluded on Citi and OCBC cards, and in recent times we’ve seen American Express, Bank of China, DBS, HSBC and UOB follow suit. 

It’s not quite impossible, as we’ll see in a moment, but with each year I update this article, the list gets smaller and smaller. 

💳 What’s the Best Card for…
❓ Overall Guide
✈️ Air Tickets
🌎 Amaze  💗 Charity
🍽️ Dining
🏫 Education 🥡 Food Delivery
🏨 Hotels ☂️ Insurance
📱 Kris+
⚕️ Medical Petrol 🚍 Public Transport
🛒 Supermarkets 🚰 Utilities  

What MCC do utilities bills code as?

There are two ways an electricity retailer can bill you:

  • Direct
  • via SP Group

If the electricity retailer bills you direct, you’ll receive two utilities bills: one from your electricity retailer, and one from SP Group (for water and waste).

If the electricity retailer bills you via SP Group, you’ll receive one utility bill that covers electricity, water, and waste.

Regardless of whether you pay direct or via SP Group, the transaction will code as MCC 4900: Utilities- Electric, Gas, Heating Oil, Sanitary, Water.

If, for whatever reason, you want to double confirm the MCC, there’s three ways of looking it up before making a transaction:

Method Ease of Use Reliability
HeyMax ●●●
📱 Instarem app ●● ●●
🤖 DBS digibot
●●●

And because I get so many questions about this, I should probably state that telco bills are not utilities. I get that the phone company can be seen as a utility, but it’s nothing of the sort- those code under MCC 4814.

What cards should I use for utilities payments?

One unfortunate trend we’re seeing is the progressive exclusion of rewards points for utilities transactions.

As of 2024, only Maybank, Standard Chartered, and selected UOB cards have yet to add it to their exclusion lists.

Bank Awards Points for Utilities?


Absolute, One, Reserve
All other cards

This leaves the following cards as options.

Card Earn Rate
Maybank Manchester United Card 2.0 mpd + 3% cashback 
(on days where Man Utd win)
0.4 mpd + 1% cashback
(otherwise)
UOB Reserve Card 1.6 mpd
SCB Visa Infinite 1.4 mpd*
SCB Journey Card 1.2 mpd
Maybank Visa Infinite 1.2 mpd
SCB Priority Banking Visa Infinite 1 mpd
Maybank World Mastercard 0.4 mpd
SCB Rewards+ 0.29 mpd
Maybank Horizon Visa Signature 0.24 mpd^
*With min. S$2K spend per statement month, otherwise 1 mpd
^If, for whatever reason, your utilities bill is in FCY, you will earn 2.8 mpd with a min. overall spend of S$800 per month.

If you’re a cashback user, then the UOB One Card and UOB Absolute Cashback Card continue to earn cashback for utilities too.

Bill payment services

If you’re willing to pay a fee in exchange for earning miles on utilities, then bill payment platforms like CardUp, Citi PayAll and AXS Pay+Earn are potential options.

Provider Fee Cost Per Mile
2.25% (code: GET225)
S$30 off first payment with code: MILELION 
From 1.38 cents
2.2% 1.22 cents
(till 29 Feb 24)
AXS Pay+Earn 2.5% From 1.52 cents

Each of the above methods has its advantages and drawbacks.

  • CardUp is open to cardholders from any bank, but does not support payments to the SP Group
  • Citi PayAll requires a hefty minimum spend of S$8,000 to trigger its promotional rate, but offers the cheapest miles you’ll find anywhere
  • AXS Pay+Earn has the highest admin fee, but doesn’t require any minimum spend, and supports payments to SP Utilities. 

Whether it’s “worth it” to buy miles at this price all boils down to how much you value a mile. The gold standard is of course to earn miles for free, though if banks keep cracking down, this may be the only option left.

Conclusion 

Just like education and insurance, it’s getting harder and harder to earn miles on utilities. It’s not the end of the story yet though, if you have a Maybank or StanChart card.

If you don’t, then unfortunately the only way around it is to pay a fee using a platform like CardUp or Citi PayAll. 

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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johnson
cheesecake

That’s sneaky! I never knew this. When did DBS amend the small print without informing customers?!

Zezima

mAXS Pay+Earn: Looks like you’ll be needing it, that is if you are willing to pay 2.5% fee (2.03 cpm).

Mark

Any idea when did they start doing this? I checked the fine print last time and made sure that I will earn points when I signed up. That’s around more than a year ago. Didn’t monitor after that.

LionDen

Love the way you peppered the introduction with the electrical terminologies. Nice work. Keep it up! 🙂

Adam

KFA and KFB also has a separate bonus 3mpd offer for SP services, giving you 4.2/4.1mpd. This is a separate offer from the iswitch and senoko energy offer, with a cap of 600 KF bonus miles ($200 spending)
(h/t Victor Lau on your fb page)

Michelle

CRV can also be used for online payment to get 4mpd, no?

Snookeredagain

darn! when did that happen.

unsexy

Do UOB prvi cards earn 1.4mpd on a regular basis paying via web/app?
Or is that only for the metal vi?

ian

Is there an error on the promo due date for Prvi Amex? I believe the promo ended in June.

Alvin

Hi, any updates to this list?

C K

I’m using my UOB VS for 4mpd (contactless payment at SP office over the counter) for my SP bills.

ROB

does UOB Visa Signature still give 4mpd now ?

Salmon Lee

Amex has these offers every now and then, where you “save” that offer into your card, you get rebates of $1-2 or something like that after each utilities bill is paid using that card.

Wil

Sembcorp power do not accept amex

freedom

Given that you can buy miles at 0.8 cents/mile. Everyone should use UOB Absolute, 1.7% is more than 2 miles per dollar

Gio

Brilliant article and once again, very helpful. Thanks Aaron!

Cee

Hi Aaron, thanks for writing all these ‘Best card for….’ articles. They truly are helpful. Just want to check if the UOB AMEX still offers 1.7% cashback. Should be 0.3% yes?

Roger

Hi. See utilities can be paid via Citi PayAll. How do you pay a SP group in this way. I looked at my SP bill and there are no bank details to make the payment which need to be input on Citi PayAll? Anyone done this.

Roger

Doh! Just figured it out.
I should have selected electrical bills but picked utility bills.

Yang

thanks for this! i had the same issue previously. cheers

CSS

Card up seems to exclude SP services.
Time to update this article

Anonymous

Might it make sense to just use the UOB Absolute Cashback Card directly instead of through GrabPay? 1.7% cashback is better than the 0.3%. Not like you can use the Grab points for much now.

CCW

Along the same lines, I don’t believe there are anymore credit cards that earn points for Town Council S&CC?

Zezima

As of now only AXS Pay+Earn supports town council S&CC at 2.03 CPM for 1.2 MPD cards.
CardUp and Citi PayAll does not support town council transactions as of now.

Last edited 1 year ago by Zezima
JosephT

Its on Citi PayAll, just setup today

CCW

Sad. I’m debating whether it’s justifiable paying the 2.5% fee on AXS

JD

So Amex Highflyer direct doesn’t yield any points for Utilities anymore?

Volt babe

Please update the ‘what card do I use table’ – it’s a god send!

Volt babe

Shocking

Prefer Deliveroo

If you have HSBC EGA account, you can still earn 1% in cashback from spending but no points.

Anon

Seven (!) electrical puns in one article. Outdone yourself you have good ser

solsetur

Do the miles still apply for recurring transactions in SP app? (My first first guess is no)

Lincoln

Frankly, it’s only good option is UOB One Credit Card.
4.33% – SP Services bill
3.33% – Other Utilities bills

Alternatively, it’s GrabPay MasterCard, if u can hit the monthly Challenge.
GPMC Challenge, diff acc, diff min spend and reward points.
eg. Spend min $250, Get 3500 GrabReward Points ($7).
so = 2.8%

tested on 12 Feb 2024, SP Services bill is counted for the Challenge.

Last edited 3 months ago by Lincoln
Himynameis

i’m using UOB 1 CC for SP Services as well. thanks for sharing on the GPMC Challenge details.

James

What about OCBC 365 card? It says it gives 3% cashback on “recurring electricity bills”. Is there a trick in the fine print?

Thanks.