How does the ability to earn miles, cashback or rewards points on bills and tax payments sound? Find out the nitty gritty details about charging such payments to your credit card.
As much as the truth hurts, nobody can escape paying their income taxes or bills. With the upcoming income tax season fast approaching, you might be left wondering if such payments can be ‘milked’ in the world of credit card rewards such as cashback, rewards points or miles.
The good news is that there are ways to make income tax payments, property tax payments, rentals, bills and more with credit cards and yet snag those precious credit card rewards. But of course, most of them warrant processing fees.
Read on to find out which platforms are available and which one could be your best bet.
Comparison at a glance: Citi PayAll, SC EasyBill, CardUp and Amex Automatic Bill Payment Service
|Citi PayAll||SC EasyBill||CardUp||Amex Automatic Bill Payment Service|
Payments made to:
|Processing fee per transaction||Fee will be disclosed during application||Fee varies depending on the type of payment selected. It will be disclosed during application||From 2.25 per cent for all Visa, Mastercard and UnionPay cards, and 2.6 per cent for all American Express Cards||N/A|
|Ability to make recurring payments||Yes||No||Yes||Yes|
|Types of rewards you can earn||Miles, Citi ThankYou Points or cashback||Cashback, 360° reward points or bonus interest||Miles, rewards points or cashback||Amex Membership Rewards Points, STAR$®, cashback or KrisFlyer miles|
1. Citi PayAll
Citi PayAll is available to those with Citi credit cards — Citi Rewards Card, Citi Lazada Card, Citi Cash Back Card, Citi Cash Back+ Card, Citi PremierMiles Card, Citi Prestige Card and Citi ULTIMA Card (by invitation only).
Depending on the credit card you hold, you can earn miles, cashback or rewards points on expenses that you normally can’t earn rewards on, such as enrichment fees, school fees, insurance premium payments, income tax, property tax, parking fees, utility bills, wedding expenses, donations and more at a fee.
Citi PayAll lets you specify your payment due date(s), too.
What’s the maximum amount you can transact via Citi PayAll? You may use up to 95 per cent of your available credit limit, subject to maximum permissible monthly limit of:
- Rent, Education & Miscellaneous: $30,000
- Electricity & Condominium Management Fee: $30,000
- Insurance: $200,000
Keen on trying out Citi PayAll during tax seasons? You can apply for Citi PayAll at your own convenience via the Citi Mobile App.
Just a heads up, Citi runs promotions from time to time for new and existing Citi PayAll customers, so definitely do a quick research and read the fine print before committing to set up transactions via Citi PayAll.
2. SC EasyBill
SC EasyBill is Standard Chartered Bank’s rendition of Citi PayAll. It lets Standard Chartered credit cardmembers earn cashback, 360° reward points or bonus interest when they make eligible payments to insurance companies, education institutions, IRAS and more through their credit card.
Similar to Citi PayAll, the one-time processing fee that applies for each SC EasyBill transaction is non-refundable.
According to Standard Chartered Bank, the processing fee is not a fixed amount. It varies according to the SC EasyBill facility chosen during the application process.
Anything particularly interesting about the SC EasyBill’s supported payments?
Under the ‘Education’ category, fees pertaining to day care centres, activities like dance, music, cooking, gardening, painting, language and even yoga classes are eligible. Fees related sports activities involving an instructor are eligible, too.
Our only gripe? There isn’t any option for recurring payments at the moment. This can be inconvenient for those who would like to make monthly SC EasyBill payments for things like insurance premiums, rental payments and educational service related payments!
CardUp is not a bank but it lets individuals and businesses earn credit card rewards when they make payments such as taxes, rents, miscellaneous payments, payroll and more through their credit card – at a fee.
For those who are wondering, CardUp accepts all major credit cards. All CardUp payments are eligible to earn the base earn rate of miles, cashback and points so long as users hold one of the major credit cards listed.
While there’s no separate set up fee to use CardUp, take note that for most types of payments, the processing fee that applies to each transaction starts from 2.25 per cent. Here’s a quick rundown of the processing fees:
- From 2.25 per cent for all Visa, Mastercard and UnionPay cards
- From 2.6 per cent for all American Express Cards
Also, CardUp runs promotions from time to time. Regardless of the type of payment you are looking to make via the platform — rent, insurance premiums, income tax or even recurring payments in general — it doesn’t hurt to do a quick search on CardUp’s website to see if there are ongoing promotions or not.
Besides being super transparent about their fees, as a consumer, I appreciate the fact that I can earn rewards on my entire payment made through CardUp, including the processing fee, no less. That’s definitely a unique selling point for CardUp.
4. Amex Automatic Bill Payment Service
American Express Automatic Bill Payment Service is a unique one amongst the crowd: there’s no fee for using the service and American Express customers can look forward to earning cashback, Membership Rewards points, STAR$® or KrisFlyer miles on their bill charges.
All you have to do is arrange automatic bill payment with your American Express credit card, kick back and enjoy earning those rewards.
While the American Express Automatic Bill Payment Service is attractive and convenient in and of itself, the number of companies that welcome such regular payments are rather limited at this time. They include:
- Pure Yoga
- Fitness First
- Evolve Mixed Martial Arts
- Singapore Recreation Club
If you are keen on setting up the automatic bill payment service, complete the form and send it back to American Express via post, fax or a secure email. Give it around two to six weeks for your application to be processed.
Should you use such services?
The main reason why some would opt to fork out processing fees and charge their bills, insurance premium payments, income taxes and property taxes to their credit cards is because they are chasing credit card rewards, typically miles.
These are payments that have to be made anyway, but are not eligible for garnering rewards unlike regular retail transactions.
Essentially, those who use Citi PayAll, SC EasyBill, or CardUp are paying an extra fee to ‘buy’ miles, cashback or rewards points that could be potentially earned on such payments. It’s definitely convenient; whether or not it’s cost effective, that’s an entirely different story.
If you choose to go ahead and ‘buy’ your credit card rewards through such means, definitely do your homework and keep an eye out for promotions to bring down the cost of utilising such services.
This article was first published in SingSaver.com.sg.