Guide: Using Citi PayAll For Paying Bills and Buying Miles

This site has talked a lot about Citi PayAll over the past couple of years or so, and for good reason too. Citi has been pushing this service for a while now with attractive promos that are quite hard to ignore.

Here’s a guide for those who are not so familiar with the service.

What is Citi PayAll

Citi PayAll is a service that is similar to CardUp or ipaymy. Such services allow you to pay for things that you normally cannot pay for with a credit card to earn rewards. Examples of things you can use these services for include insurance premiums, income tax payments, or vendors that only accept bank transfers.

You pay a fee for such services, and in return, you get credit card rewards. For cashback cards, you make a net profit if your earn rate is larger than the fee paid. For miles, you are essentially paying the fee in exchange for miles.

Unlike CardUp or ipaymy, Citibank’s service is limited to only Citibank credit cards.

How to use Citi PayAll

You can set up Citi PayAll payments within the Citibank mobile app.

Tap Payments Tab → Citi PayAll → Start using Citi PayAll → Setup Citi PayAll and follow the onscreen instructions to make payment.

You need the receiving party’s bank and bank account number.

Note that you can only use up to 95% of your Citibank credit limit per month on Citi PayAll transactions.

What can you pay for with Citi PayAll

Citi lists the following as transactions you can make:

  • Tax (income tax, property tax, other tax types and composition fees to IRAS)
  • Insurance premium payments
  • Rent
  • Education Expense (school fees, enrichment fees, tuition fees, course fees)
  • Condominium Management Fee
  • Miscellaneous (Renovation, wedding expenses etc.)

The Miscellaneous category seems like a catch-all for just about any payment you wish to make as long as you know the other party’s bank account number. Unlike CardUp and ipaymy which both require invoices at the time of payment, Citi so far has not asked for such details.

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Fees and rewards

Citi PayAll offers two options: a fee-paying option that gets you rewards, and a no-fee option that does not come with reward. The no-fee, no-reward option doesn’t really do much aside from letting you pay your bills a little later.

The fee-paying option, on the other hand, let you get miles at a price. Effectively, the cost you pay for miles is the fee divided by the earn rate of the card you use. Currently, the fee stands at 2.2%, and this was recently revised upwards from the previous 2%.

CardEarn RateCost Per MileAdditional Rewards
Citi ULTIMA1.6 miles per dollar1.375¢
Citi Prestige*1.3 miles per dollar1.69¢Airport limo benefit
Relationship bonus*
Citi PremierMiles1.2 miles per dollar1.83¢
Citi Rewards0.4 miles per dollar5.5¢
*Citi Prestige gets more miles with relationship bonus; see below

Example: a S$1,000 transaction would cost S$22 in fees and earn you 1,300 miles with your Citi Prestige card. Each mile hence costs 1.69¢ (S$22 ÷ 1,300).

Fee-paying Citi PayAll transactions are also eligible spend for things like sign-up bonuses. Notably, Citi Prestige’s airport transfer benefit counts Citi PayAll transactions as part of the spend requirement to qualify for free rides to and fro the airport. PayAll transactions also count for Citi Prestige’s relationship bonus, but more on that later.

My advice: the rates for buying miles outside of promotional periods aren’t the best and one should wait for promos that come every now and then.

Citi PayAll Promos – worth it?

From time to time, Citibank has been offering promos that significantly increase the earn rates.

Refer to the current ongoing promo until 29th February 2024 for promo analysis.

For the ongoing promo until August 2023, the earn rate has been boosted to 2.2 miles per dollar transacted through Citi PayAll.

Buying miles at around 1 cents is good value in my books. Miles can be easily used for 1 to 1.25 cents each, and even more when promotions happen.

This rate also makes business class flights more affordable than paying cash. A return trip to Istanbul via Singapore Airlines’ business class costs 113,000 KrisFlyer miles. Buying each mile at 1 cents each means that your flights only cost S$1,130 (not including tax)!

Note that minimum spend applies so read the article for more details.

What is the best card to use (during promotional periods)?

Outside of promotional periods, the best card to use would obviously be the Citi card you have that offers you the highest earn rate.

During promotional periods, the cards tend to have the same earn rates making them more or less equal, though using Citi PayAll on some cards are more advantageous than others.

Even when the earn rates are equal, Citi Prestige is the best card to use for Citi PayAll transactions:

  1. More miles upfront
  2. Relationship Bonus Points
  3. Free airport limousine transfers

More miles upfront

For Citi PayAll promos, you get the base earn rate of your card when the PayAll transaction is posted, and the bonus miles is credited months later, usually around 16 weeks from the end of the promotion.

This means that if you use a Citi Rewards card for a S$1,000 transaction, you get only 1,000 points upfront (400 miles), and have to wait months for the remaining 4,500 points (1,800 miles) to be credited. Citi Prestige will get 3,250 points (1,300 miles) up front, followed by 2,250 points (900 miles) months later.

Relationship Bonus Points

Citi Prestige also has Relationship Bonus Points which gives you bonus points at the end of the year. This means that while the current promo gives you 2.2 miles per dollar across Citi’s points cards, using Citi Prestige on PayAll gets you even more miles beyond that earn rate.

Tenure with Citibank Singapore Limited0-5 years6-10 years>10 years
With Citigold/Citigold Private Client relationship+0.06 mpd+0.08 mpd+0.12 mpd
Without Citigold/Citigold Private Client relationship+0.02 mpd+0.04 mpd+0.06 mpd

The banking relationship with Citi counts other products like bank accounts you have with the bank. Interestingly enough, I had a bank account with Citibank in early 2010s which I closed back then, and I still qualified as a customer >10 years category. My Citi PayAll transactions over past year got additional 0.06 miles per dollar.

Free airport limousine transfers

I’ve mentioned this perk often enough, but for those who are new, you can use Citi PayAll transactions to meet the S$12,000 requirement to get free airport transfers with your Citi Prestige.

Citi PremierMiles vs Citi Rewards

If you don’t have Citi Prestige, Citi PremierMiles is the next best pick. You also get more miles upfront so you can use them sooner, and the points earned by your Citi PremierMiles are non-expiring. Citi Rewards’ points do expire in blocks, so that is another reason why you might not want to use Citi Rewards for Citi PayAll.

Nonetheless, if you already points on your Citi Rewards, using Citi Rewards for Citi PayAll when there is a promotion isn’t the worst. It all gets 2.2 miles per dollar anyway.

Frequently asked questions

Q: Does the Citi PayAll promo affect the 10X earn rate of Citi Rewards?

No. It does not. Your 10X points earn rate is completely unaffected by Citi PayAll.

Q: Can I pay my spouse/uncle/child/mistress using Citi PayAll

You can pay anyone as long as you have their bank details, but do read through Citi PayAll’s terms and conditions.

Q: Does non-fee paying Citi PayAll transactions count towards sign-up promo spend requirement?

No. Only fee-paying Citi PayAll transactions count.

Q: According to the Citi PayAll promo terms and conditions, Citi Rewards can earn a lot more points!

Citi Rewards card earns a low base earn rate compared to the other Citi cards, so when there are PayAll promotions, it is awarded the most bonus points so that it earns the same rate as the other cards.

Q: Does Citi PayAll allow income tax installments?

You have to setup GIRO with IRAS first then pay using Citi PayAll before the GIRO deductions take place.

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