Eat, sleep, work, pay bills, repeat — that’s pretty much life in Singapore. But did you know you can pay many telco, medical and utilities bills by credit card and earn some cashback on them?
That allows you to take advantage of credit cards’ cashback benefits. In most cases you do need to sign up for a recurring bill payment standing instruction, but this is easy to do via internet banking or your card’s website.
Let’s have a look at which cashback credit cards are best for bill payments in Singapore.
5 best cashback cards in Singapore for recurring bill payments (2021)
|Cashback card||Cash rebate on bills||Min. spend|
|UOB One Card||Quarterly flat payout of $50 / $100 / $300||$500 / $1,000 / $2,000|
|Maybank Platinum Visa Card||Quarterly flat payout of $30 / $100||$300 / $1,000|
|Maybank Family & Friends Card||8% on telco, Netflix, Disney+, petrol, public transport||$800|
|OCBC 365 Card||3% on telco, electricity bills + petrol discounts||$800|
|UOB Absolute Cashback||1.7% on everything||None|
I’ve lumped these cards into 3 broad categories:
- UOB One, Maybank Platinum: These quarterly payout for charging the same amount monthly
- Maybank Family & Friends, OCBC 365 Card: All-rounded cashback cards explicitly offering bill rebates
- UOB Absolute Cashback Card: Cashback card with no minimum spending requirements
1. UOB One Card
The UOB One Card’s premise appears simple: Spend $500 (or $1,000 or $2,000) every month for 3 months straight, and you get a $50 (or $100 or $300) rebate at the end of the quarter.
Sounds really hassle-free, right? … Not so fast.
You do need to check UOB’s T&Cs to make sure your bills are not in the list of exclusions. Payments to government institutions, charitable/religious organisations, educational institutions and insurance premiums are but some of the more notable exclusions.
Also, if you make ANY bill payments via the AXS/SAM machine or website, it will not be counted towards eligible spend.
That said, the $500 minimum spend might still be doable if you consolidate all your other bills on this card. Telco, electricity, subscriptions and public transport spending all count towards the monthly spend. Make sure you make at least 5 transactions each month as well.
2. Maybank Platinum Visa Card
- Cash Rebates on All Local Spend
- Up to 3.33%
- Cash Rebate on Overseas Spend
- Cash Rebate Cap per quarter
Same same, but different: The Maybank Platinum Visa Card gives you a flat quarterly payout of $30 (vs. the UOB One’s $50) when you spend $300 (vs. the UOB One’s $500) each month.
The more relaxed minimum spending requirements means the rebate is easier to attain. This is a good one for those with lower monthly recurring expenses, or if you’re charging one of your bills to another card.
Note that there are still some exclusions, e.g. payments to government institutions, transactions via AXS or SAM, or even mobile wallet top-ups. However, Maybank’s T&Cs are a bit more relaxed than that of UOB’s.
3. Maybank Family & Friends Card
- Cashback on Groceries, Dining & Food Delivery and Transport globally
- Up to 8%
- Cashback on Data Communications, Online TV Streaming, Pets and Retail globally
- Up to 8%
- Cash Rebate Cap per month
The previous credit cards I mentioned are great if you are consolidating an entire household’s recurring bills on one card. But if you don’t have $300 or $500 worth of bills to charge on one credit card, then you might want to consider an all-in-one cashback card for all your unavoidable expenses.
Right now, one of the best all-rounders is the Maybank Family & Friends Card. Spend $800 a month on the credit card to get 8% rebate on your telco bills and paid TV (e.g. cable, Netflix, Disney+) subscriptions.
Though you don’t get rebates on your utilities and town council bills, the card more than makes up for it with rebates on petrol, public transport, groceries and dining.
4. OCBC 365 Card
Another all-in-one credit card to consider, especially if you’re banking with OCBC, is the OCBC 365 credit card.
With a rather high minimum spending requirement of $800, it’s more for breadwinners paying for the whole household. You can earn the advertised 3% rebate on all telco and electricity bills.
Similar to the Maybank Family & Friends Card, it also gives you rebates on other everyday essentials: 3% on groceries, public transport, Grab; 6% on dining and 5% petrol station transactions.
5. UOB Absolute Cashback Card
It seems like UOB has another card to upstage its UOB One Card — the UOB Absolute Cashback card. This card boasts 1.7% uncapped cashback with hardly any exclusions and no minimum spend.
But I did say “hardly any exclusions”… and they’re the usual: NETS transactions, instalment payment plans and personal loans (more conditions here). Still, the UOB Absolute Cashback card’s list of exclusions is considerably shorter than some of the other
This cashback card is Amex, instead of the usual Visa or MasterCard. If you manage to charge your expenses to merchants that accept Amex, it’s by far one of the best cards to have.
The only thing that comes close to such a generous cashback mechanism is the Citi Cash Back+ card, but bills are unfortunately excluded from this credit card.
What about rent, condo MCST fees, insurance, etc.?
While the above credit cards do give you decent rebates on things like utility bills and telco subscription plans, they do not cover common (and hefty) recurring expenses such as your rent, condo management fees, season parking and insurance premiums.
If you’re willing to pay a transaction fee, it’s possible to earn miles on these expenses with bill payment facilities like CardUp and Citi PayAll. Here are the main players in Singapore and their fees:
|Bill payment service||Type||Admin fee|
|Ipaymy||3rd party||1.89% (rent) / 2.25% (others)|
|Cardup||3rd party||1.85% (rent) / 2.6% (others)|
|UOB PRVI Pay||Bank||2%|
Notice that I’ve classified them into “bank” and “3rd party” platforms? Initially, this service was something offered only by 3rd party services like Ipaymy and Cardup. But these days, banks have started offering their own services.
Bank services like Citi PayAll only work with their own credit cards, so you’re limited by whatever miles or rewards cards the bank offers.
In contrast, Cardup et. al. let you make payment with virtually any credit card, so you can theoretically charge your rent to a better miles card than whatever Citi offers, for example.
However, banks do reserve the right to not award points or miles or rebates to such transactions (we often see Cardup and ipaymy on the list of exclusions in credit card T&Cs) so it’s I think it’s safer to opt for the bank’s in-house facility.
Finally, bear in mind that, like it or not, you’re essentially paying for miles — you will be paying quite a significant percentage of the transaction in fees. You should calculate if the value of the miles you get are worth the amount you pay.
Also watch: How Much Will You Save If You Switched From SP Services?
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