Guide: Using ipaymy or CardUp for Paying Bills and Earning Card Rewards

This article is a guide on how to use payment services like ipaymy or CardUp to pay for bills and earn card rewards.

What is ipaymy or CardUp?

ipaymy and CardUp are competing payment services that serve similar purposes. Both companies allow you to use your credit card to pay for transactions that typically do not earn credit card rewards. You pay a fee for such services and in return earn your cashback or miles.

The overall gist to optimising the use of such services is thus to find cards with greater card rewards, and to use promo codes to decrease the service fees.:

Card Rewards – Service Fee = Net Gain

To begin using these services, you need to sign up for an account and I would encourage you to use my links below to get a fee waiver for your first transaction.

Lowering service fees with promo codes

Service fees are typically 2.25% for ipaymy and 2.6% for CardUp. If you are new to either service, you get your first payment free:

CardUp

ActivityReward
New user, use this first: sign up and use code SETHISFY Get S$30 off transaction fee ¹

(Free miles/cashback for a payment of about S$1,154!)
New or existing users: use code SETHTAX24Reduced 1.75% fee² for income tax payment
(Visa or China Unionpay only)
New or existing users: use code MCTAX24Reduced 1.99% CardUp fee³ for income tax payment
(Mastercard only)

Tap here for guide

Terms and conditions:

  1. Terms and conditions for SETHISFY
  2. Terms and conditions for SETHTAX24
  3. Terms and conditions for MCTAX24

ipaymy

Ongoing promo

Activity Reward
New user: sign up hereGet S$30 off transaction fee

(free miles/cashback for a payment of about S$1,333!)
Existing users: code TAX2024Reduced fee of 1.75% for income tax payment with a VISA card. Code can only be redeemed once

After signing up with the link, an email will be sent to you with the code.

Thereafter, there are also a variety of promo codes you can use to reduce the service fee. Currently, both services reduce the fee to 1.79% when you pay on a recurring basis.

From time to time, the services also have special offers and promos for existing users so stay subscribed to get updates on such.

Seth
Seth

Get up to S$740 bonus vouchers or 74,000 bonus miles on top of usual welcome offers!

Subscribe to the Telegram for more great deals and updates. Prefer email/WhatsApp? Tap here.

What can you pay for with these services

You can pay a variety of invoices and bills. This could be things like income tax, or a renovation invoice from your interior designer who doesn’t accept credit cards. There are a bunch of things you may not even know could be paid for with your card, such as mortgage and car loans.

  • Insurance
  • Rent
  • Taxes
  • Condo & MCST
  • Education
  • Mortgage Loans
  • Car Loans
  • And other miscellaneous payments

Generally, as long as you are paying a business and you have an invoice and the other party’s bank account number, you are able to make use of either ipaymy or CardUp for it. To the person/business you are paying, it looks just like a bank transfer so they do not need to specifically accept ipaymy/CardUp for your payment to go through.

Both services do take a couple of working days for your funds to be transferred to the recipient, so this is something you need to arrange with the receiving party.

What cards to use for these services?

ipaymy and CardUp are typically used as a means to purchase miles. If you pay a fee of 1.79% and get 1.5 miles per dollar on your credit card, your theoretical cost per mile is around 1.19 cents (1.79 ÷ 1.5).

The fee itself actually generates some miles, so the cost of per mile goes down. A S$1,000 transaction, for instance, generates $17.90 of fees.

Earn RateCard(s)Cost Per Mile (1.79% service fee)
1.6 miles per dollarDBS Insignia, Citi Ultima1.10¢
1.5 miles per dollarDBS Vantage1.17¢
1.4 miles per dollarUOB PRVI1.26¢
1.3 miles per dollarCiti Prestige, DBS Altitude, OCBC 90°N1.35¢
1.2 miles per dollarCiti PremierMiles, StanChart Journey1.47¢

Cashback cards can also be used with these services. As long as the cashback rate is higher than the service fee, there is some net gain.

CardNet Gain (1.79% service fee)Remarks
OCBC FRANKAround 1.39% on S$785.94 transactionMin spend of S$800 within the month with S$25 max cashback
Bank of China FamilyAround 1.39% on S$785.94 transactionMin spend of S$800 within the month with S$25 max cashback
Maybank Platinum VisaAround 1.60% on S$294.73 / S$982.42 / S$1,964.83 per month for a quarterMin spend of S$300, S$1,000 or $2,000 per quarter
StanChart ManhattanAround 1.23% on S$2,947.25 transactionMin spend of S$3,000 within the month. This card is no longer open to new applicants

The ideal amount to place on these cashback cards is to make it such that your transaction plus service fees meets the spend requirement of the cashback card exactly.

For instance, Maybank Platinum Visa gives S$100 of quarterly cashback if you can meet S$1,000 of quarterly spend per month for three consecutive months. Because the service fee of ipaymy/CardUp also count towards this S$1,000, you want to place S$982.42 instead. After a 1.79% fee, S$982.42 becomes a round S$1,000 which meets the Maybank Platinum Visa’s spend requirement. This gives you the most optimal earn rate since no amount is “wasted”.

To calculate the ideal amount to place on your card, just use the following:

Required Spend Amount ÷ (1 + Service Fee ÷ 100)

For example, Bank of China Family and Friends card requires S$800 of spend and you can get a 1.79% fee for CardUp. You would thus take S$800 ÷ (1 + 1.79 ÷ 100) which gives S$785.94.

Is it worth it for miles?

When it comes to using ipaymy or CardUp to buy miles, I would say that it is worth it if your card gives at least 1.4 miles per dollar and you can reduce the service fee to about 1.79%. When your cost per mile is around 1.26 cents or below, the cost of business class flights become lowered to the realm of pretty affordable luxury.

Personally, I am also using OCBC 90°N and ipaymy/CardUp to easily clock the spend requirement of my OCBC 360 account, so it is definitely worth it as I get significant amount of interest which offsets the fees, and I also get my miles.

Is it worth it for cashback?

For cashback, I think it is a pretty no-brainer thing to do. You can set and forget a recurring payment, say mortgage or car loan, and just get a small percentage of the payment back as cashback. With Maybank Platinum Visa’s recent change to include a S$2,000 tier, it is even more relevant to consolidate one’s recurring expenses to get ongoing savings with such a set up.

Frequently asked questions

Can I pay less than my mortgage/invoice amount?

Yes. Paying more, however, is usually not allowed.

Will CardUp/ipaymy transactions count towards sign-up promos’ spending requirements?

Refer to this article.

Can I use both new user promo to pay the same invoice?

Yes. Both services look like bank transfers to your recipient. You can pay a big transaction in one or multiple transfers (assuming your recipient does not mind).

Can I pay a friend/relative with CardUp/ipaymy?

Both services require invoices.

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