Card payments company CardUp rolled out its 2020 income tax payment offer last week, allowing new users to pay a fee of as little as 1.89% when making their 2020 income tax payment.
Since then we’ve seen a number of shifts in the market, including a 1.75% offer from ipaymy, a 25% bonus miles deal from Citi for its PremierMiles card and a reduction in the service fee when using Standard Chartered’s EasyBill service for IRAS payments.
This week CardUp has launched a special offer for Mainly Miles readers, allowing them to pay their income tax bill with most Singapore-issued Visa and Mastercards at a 1.75% rate, matching the best available on the market, valid for payments between now and 23rd June 2020.
1.75% fee for Mainly Miles readers
This discounted fee is now available if you’re paying your income tax by Singapore-issued Visa or Mastercard with the exception of cards issued by:
- Standard Chartered
Payments must be scheduled before 23rd June 2020.
|One-time IRAS income tax payment with a Singapore-issued Visa or Mastercard.|
Excluded Cards: Citi, Standard Chartered (2.25% fee applies)
Full terms and conditions can be found here.
This offer has the potential with some 1.6 mpd local earn rate cards to allow you to ‘buy’ miles of 1.07 cents each, a market-leading rate.
Even general spend cards at lower rates, like the BOC Elite Miles (1.5 mpd) come in at 1.15 cents per mile in cost terms.
What about the MM189TAX20 and MM199TAX20 codes?
CardUp informed us today that a few of you have already settled your income tax bill using the previous MM189TAX20 (1.89% fee) and MM199TAX20 (1.99% fee) codes over the last few days.
Don’t worry if you did!
The CardUp team will be in touch with you to offer additional discounts to make up for the difference in the fee you paid already, compared to this new 1.75% special reader rate.
2.4% fee for American Express Card Members
CardUp is continuing to offer a discounted fee if you want to use your Singapore-issued American Express card to pay your income tax bill, at 2.4% (usually 2.6%).
Exceptions this time are:
- American Express Cards issued by DBS Bank Limited
- American Express Cards issued by United Overseas Bank Limited
- American Express Corporate Card
- American Express Singapore Airlines Business Credit Card
Payments must be scheduled before 23rd July 2020. Full terms and conditions can be found here.
|One-time IRAS income tax payment with a Singapore-issued American Express card.|
Excluded Cards: Amex Corporate Card, Amex Singapore Airlines Business Credit Card, Amex Cards issued by DBS and Amex cards issued by UOB (regular 2.6% fee applies)
Enter code AMEXTAX24 to take advantage of this offer.
2.25% on other Visas / Mastercards
If you wish to use a Citi or Standard Chartered Visa or Mastercard credit card to pay your income tax bill, you can pay a 2.25% fee under CardUp’s ongoing promotion for all payments made between now and the end of June 2020.
Enter code GET225 to take advantage of this offer.
Cost per mile
Here’s how the cost per mile stacks up for some popular miles-earning Visa and Mastercard credit cards in Singapore.
|2020 Income tax payment
Visa / MC via CardUp
|Card||Miles per S$1||Cost per mile
|UOB PRVI Miles||1.4||1.23¢|
(from 1 Jun)
|DBS Altitude Visa||1.2||1.43¢|
(until 31 May)
There’s some value here too for American Express cards, with the Platinum Charge card currently boasting a double miles promotional rate between now and 20th July 2020.
|2020 Income tax payment
Amex via CardUp
|Card||Miles per S$1||Cost per mile
|Amex Platinum Charge||1.56*||1.50¢*|
|Amex KF Ascend||1.2||1.95¢|
|Amex KF Blue||1.1||2.13¢|
* Until 20th July 2020
As you can see you’ll want to avoid using the Amex KrisFlyer co-brand cards if you can – the cost per mile is too high to guarantee good value from your miles in most cases.
How to pay
The process is straightforward, to pay your income tax bill first select the ‘Taxes & Stamp Duty’ icon.
You then need to enter your payment amount as per the outstanding tax balance as shown in your IRAS Statement of Account.
Remember paying through CardUp is a one-off tax payment offer, so you won’t be able to pay IRAS by monthly GIRO instalment this way.
Next you’ll have to select your tax due date. Note that specific fixed periods are used each month depending on your IRAS bill due date to allow your payment to be processed in sufficient time, as explained here.
Your payment reference number is automatically pulled from the NRIC number registered on your CardUp account. This prevents any erroneous payments to the wrong tax accounts not tied to your own NRIC.
You are also required to upload an up-to-date copy of your Statement of Account, showing your Name, NRIC, Outstanding balance and date of outstanding balance for CardUp to verify your payment.
Finally it’s the all-important PROMO CODE, where you can enter one of the codes above – MM175TAX20 for eligible Visa and Mastercard payments and AMEXTAX24 for eligible Amex payments.
Remember you’ll be looking to use one of the following promo codes when making your payment if you can:
Or GET225 for a Citi or Standard Chartered Visa / Mastercard payment (2.25% fee).
Other income tax payment methods
Before you take the plunge with CardUp, there are a number of other methods for earning miles when paying your income tax by credit card, some of which offer a lower cost per mile and/or offer you the flexibility of monthly GIRO payment.
Our full analysis of the income tax payment options available this year will be updated soon to reflect this new CardUp promo for Mainly Miles readers.
ipaymy had already launched its 2020 income tax payment offer with the same fee of 1.75% for both new and existing users.
There are some different card exclusions and inclusions here, so whether CardUp or ipaymy make the most sense for your income tax payment depends which card you’re holding or wish to settle your IRAS tax bill with this year.
Check our full analysis of all the options for your 2020 income tax payment before deciding which option to choose. You may have a card supported by CardUp but not ipaymy and vice-versa, where you can access a cheaper deal.
It may also depend on which company you already have an account with and use on a regular basis – some of you may not want to set up a new account.
Worth noting that this year ipaymy has no offer for Amex cards, so you’ll have to stick to CardUp for those.
Standard Chartered Visa Infinite
The Standard Chartered Visa Infinite card (SCVI) card still has by far the best deal we know of with an income tax payment processing fee of 1.6%, earning 1.4 KrisFlyer miles per S$1 spent, assuming you have at least S$2,000 of total spend on the card in the same statement month (including the tax payment itself), which is a condition of the higher earning rate.
For example, if you have a S$10,000 tax bill the fee would be S$160, with 14,000 miles awarded. That means paying 1.14 cents per KrisFlyer mile, which is a great deal as we value them at 1.9 cents each if used sensibly.
Better still, like with many banks Standard Chartered don’t pay IRAS directly, but instead they will credit the tax payment to your bank account in order for you to pay IRAS yourself. They simply charge the amount (plus the service fee) to your credit card.
That means you can pay your income tax by interest-free GIRO each month if you wish, and use the money Standard Chartered pay you simply to settle your credit card bill.
HSBC allows its Infinite cardholders the ability to pay a 1.5% fee when making income tax payments, while earning 1 mile per dollar for the balance owed. That’s a fairly competitive cost of 1.5 cents per mile.
HSBC will pay the income tax bill amount directly to your bank account, so you can then choose to pay IRAS in a lump sum or by GIRO as you wish.
The HSBC Revolution card enjoys the same benefit, for a very competitive fee of 0.7% but with a lousy earning rate of 0.4 miles per dollar for your income tax balance.
Still, this results in a 1.7 cents cost per mile, which you won’t achieve with this card through CardUp.
Another option here is the HSBC Premier Mastercard.
Yes it’s only 0.4 mpd earn rate, however the administrative fee is just 0.5% giving you a cost of 1.25 cents cost per mile.
Remember in this case you’ll earn a lot fewer miles in total though, so if you hold the BOC Elite Miles card for example it’s worth considering that even with a slightly higher cost per mile paying hour IRAS bill through CardUp is generating three times the number of miles.
HSBC Premier MC
As you can see the OCBC Voyage option is slightly more expensive in this example on a per-mile basis, but the number of miles you’re getting is quite significantly higher.
Indeed you’re getting enough miles here for a one-way Business Class saver award from Singapore to Bali, no chance of that with the HSBC Premier Mastercard option.
Citi cards are excluded from the CardUp promo, so you may wish to consider taking advantage of the bank’s own PayAll programme to settle your income tax bill directly with IRAS.
That’s especially true now that Citi is offering a 25% miles bonus for using its PremierMiles cards for these transactions between now and 31st July 2020, allowing you to ‘buy’ miles with that card for an equivalent 1.33 cents each.
With a 2% fee payable, you can unlock miles with some other cards at a cost of:
- 1.6 cents per mile (Citi ULTIMA)
- 1.54 cents per mile (Citi Prestige)
Do remember of course, it’s still cheaper to pay using those two cards through ipaymy’s 1.75% income tax fee offer (see the breakdown of costs here).
OCBC Voyage cardholders can pay their income tax at a 1.9% fee, though only 1 mile per dollar is awarded for these transactions.
This results in an unattractive 1.9 cents cost per mile, worse than you’ll achieve using this card through the CardUp platform at a 1.75% fee (1.43 cents per mile, or 1.32 cents per mile from 1 June 2020 as the card hikes its local earn rate to 1.3 mpd).
This direct method does however get paid straight to your bank account, allowing you to pay IRAS in a lump sum or by monthly GIRO instalment as you wish.
UOB PRVI Pay
UOB’s PRVI Pay facility allows PRVI Miles cardholders to make any payment to your bank account for any reason (you don’t even need to produce a bill or IRAS statement in this case) for a 2% fee, though you’ll only earn 1 mile per dollar for the transaction.
That means paying a flat 2 cents per mile, not a good rate to buy in our opinion and inferior to the rates you see above using this CardUp offer. The one advantage again with this method is that the cash gets paid directly to your bank account, so you can pay IRAS in a lump sum or by monthly GIRO instalment as you wish.
Not received your IRAS NoA yet?
Don’t worry if you haven’t received your bill yet and/or don’t have a ‘Notice of Assessment’ date showing at the online IRAS portal. NOAs are sent out between now and September 2020, so your tax liability may be in a later ‘batch’.
If your bill payment becomes due after late June 2020, we are hopeful that CardUp may extend its reader offer or provide an alternative.
A nice offer from CardUp, now matching the best available rate on the market to help you earn a stack of miles from one of the biggest payments of the year – the dreaded annual income tax bill.
Though CardUp doesn’t support monthly GIRO payments to IRAS, if you usually pay by one-time instalment then it’s an option well worth considering.
There are some alternatives to look at first, especially ipaymy’s same rate on a slightly different range of Visa and Mastercard options and Standard Chartered’s own plan for its SCVI cardholders, an unbeatable 1.14 cents cost per mile provided your income tax bill (or total spend) in the same payment cycle is S$2,000 or greater.
Do check what the best deal is before committing to a specific card or provider. We’ve also outlined some factors to consider other than just the cost per mile in our annual comprehensive analysis of options for your income tax payment.
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