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Your guide to earning miles paying your 2021 Singapore income tax bill

Income tax season in 2021 is spoiling us, with the ability to buy miles from just 0.8 cents each. Our definitive guide will help you score the best deal this year.

Updated: 16th September 2021

It’s that time of year again when the dreaded IRAS income tax Notice of Assessment lands on the doormat (or more likely these days by SMS or email inviting you to log on and download it). As with this time last year, we’ve started getting messages from readers asking what’s the best way to earn miles when paying the 2021 bill.

As always it boils down to analysing the methods to pay your income tax by credit card, though once again this is not a service offered directly by IRAS, even for a fee.

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The transaction must usually be arranged through your credit card issuer or a third-party card payments provider, who in turn will charge you a fee for the service, which unfortunately means the miles you accrue are not going to be free.

As with 2020, however, there are a range of valuable options to turn one of the year’s single biggest expenses into thousands of miles at a reasonable cost.

Your options

The options for paying your income tax this year are almost the same as in 2020. You can do so with one of six bank-specific facilities, if you hold one of their eligible miles-earning credit cards, or through the two major card payment providers, CardUp and ipaymy.

Provider Fee
2%
DBStrans.png 3%
HSBCtrans.png 0.5 – 1.5%
OCBCtrans.png 1.9%
SCtrans.png 1.6 – 1.9%
UOBtrans 1.7 – 1.9%
CardUp Trans 1.7 – 2.4%
ipaymy 1.75%

The options available to you depend on the credit card(s) you hold. Remember your income tax bill is typically payable within a month of your ‘Notice of Assessment’ (NOA) date, unless your NOA states otherwise, so there may still be time to apply for and receive a new credit card with a superior miles earning rate if you wish.

Note that BOC also allows income tax payment through some of its credit cards for a 1% fee, but does not award any points for the transaction, making it of little interest to our readers and not worth including in this article.



 


 

CardUp and ipaymy’s 2021 Income Tax offers

This year both CardUp and ipaymy have repeated their 2020 promotional income tax payment rate for those using a Singapore-issued Visa or Mastercard, at a competitive 1.75% fee.

CUTAX2021 Visa Card White Mastercard Card White 2.6% 1.75%
One-time IRAS income tax payment or the first payment in a recurring series with a Singapore-issued Visa or Mastercard.

ipaymy

TAX2021 Visa Card White Mastercard Card White 2.25% 1.75%
One-time IRAS income tax payment with a Singapore-issued Visa or Mastercard (can also be used as a one-off monthly GIRO settlement).

With the same fee for Visa and Mastercard holders, whether you use CardUp or ipaymy for an income tax payment probably depends on which one you have used previously, since you may not want to go to the hassle of opening a new account. We do not recommend one provider over the other, only the cheapest deal.

Additionally, CardUp also supports income tax payment using Singapore-issued American Express cards, with two discount codes available for new and existing customers paying by Amex at 2.2% or 2.4% fee, excluding the following cards (which retain the usual year-round 2.6% fee):

  • Amex Corporate card
  • Amex SIA Business credit card
  • DBS Amex cards
  • UOB Amex cards

AMEXTAX Amex Card White   2.6% 2.4%
One-time IRAS income tax payment of S$1,000+ with selected Singapore-issued American Express cards (existing customers)

AMEXNEWTAX Amex Card White   2.6% 2.2%
One-time IRAS income tax payment of S$1,000+ with selected Singapore-issued American Express cards (new customers)

ipaymy is not currently offering payment using American Express cards.

CardUp’s promotional rates are currently valid for income tax payments scheduled by 31st December 2021, for payment due dates between 1st May 2021 and 5th January 2022 inclusive.

ipaymy’s promotional rate is currently valid for a charge date on or before 31st December 2021.

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Both CardUp and ipaymy will also offer concessionary rates for large income tax payments. Email each provider directly for more details if you have a significant tax bill this year:

Best deals for your 2021 income tax payment

Let’s take a look at the cost per mile table, which once again we’ve split into four this year following positive feedback, depending on how good a deal we think you’re getting.

Choosing the right card and the right method is easy with our definitive table of options

The formula is simply the fee divided by the number of miles you will receive, to generate a cost per mile.

Bear in mind that for both CardUp and ipaymy you will also earn miles on the fee itself, which is accounted for in the calculation. That’s not the case when you use the bank-specific or Citi PayAll payment methods, where the fee element will not earn miles. For example:

Here’s our definitive list of your credit card income tax payment options for 2021. Simply start at the top (lowest cost per mile), and work your way down the table until you find a credit card you hold or wish to use.

Updated 16th September 2021

Excellent cost per mile

You can ‘buy’ miles paying your income tax by credit card from between 0.80 cents and 1.32 cents each this year, an excellent rate for most of us, using the following methods.

Card Method Fee Mpd Cost
per
mile
BOS Voyage CardBOS Voyage This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is New2.pngCardUp Trans 1.7%
(promo)
1.6 1.04¢
Premier Voyage Card 2OCBC Premier Voyage This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is New2.pngCardUp Trans 1.7%
(promo)
1.6 1.04¢
CardDBS Insignia ipaymy.png
CardUp Trans
1.75% 1.6 1.07¢
BOS Voyage CardBOS Voyage ipaymy.png 1.75% 1.6 1.07¢
Premier Voyage Card 2OCBC Premier Voyage ipaymy.png 1.75% 1.6 1.07¢
$UOB Reserve CardUOB Reserve ipaymy.png
CardUp Trans
1.75% 1.6 1.07¢
image_standard-chartered-visa-infinite@2x02.pngSCVI Direct.png 1.6% 1.4* 1.14¢*
HSBCviNEW.pngHSBC VI
Step up
Direct.png 1.5% 1.25** 1.20¢**
Card VisaUOB PRVI Visa ipaymy.png
CardUp Trans
1.75% 1.4 1.23¢
Card MCUOB PRVI MC ipaymy.png
CardUp Trans
1.75% 1.4 1.23¢
CardUOB VI ipaymy.png
CardUp Trans
1.75% 1.4 1.23¢
image_standard-chartered-visa-infinite@2x02.pngSCVI ipaymy.png
CardUp Trans
1.75% 1.4* 1.23¢*
Citi Ultima Trans.pngCiti ULTIMA ipaymy.png
CardUp Trans
1.75% 1.6 1.07¢
CardHSBC Premier Direct.png 0.5% 0.4 1.25¢
Card.jpgOCBC Voyage This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is New2.pngCardUp Trans 1.7%
(promo)
1.3 1.29¢
Card.jpgOCBC Voyage ipaymy.png 1.75% 1.3 1.32¢

* 1.4 mpd earn rate for the SCVI card is subject to a minimum spend of S$2,000 in the same statement cycle as your income tax payment. The income tax payment does count towards the minimum.
** Step up earn rate for HSBC VI is only applicable from year two of card membership onwards, provided you spent at least S$50,000 in the previous year.

Still worth considering

As miles purchase rates fall into the 1.43 – 1.9 cents range (1.9 cents being our upper limit to buy), they may still be worth considering if you are comfortable with these levels and can’t take advantage of the options outlined above.

Card Method Fee Mpd Cost
per
mile
OCBC 90°N This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is New2.pngCardUp Trans 1.7%
(promo)
1.2 1.39¢
CardMC2019Citi PM Visa / MC ipaymy.png
CardUp Trans
1.75% 1.2 1.43¢
Altitude Card.jpgDBS Alt Visa ipaymy.png
CardUp Trans
1.75% 1.2 1.43¢
KrisFlyer UOB ipaymy.png
CardUp Trans
1.75% 1.2 1.43¢
OCBC 90°N ipaymy.png 1.75% 1.2 1.43¢
CardX Card ipaymy.png
CardUp Trans
1.75% 1.2 1.43¢
Card2019Citi Prestige 2% 1.3
1.51¢
CardX Card Direct.png 1.9% 1.2 1.58¢
Card2019.pngCiti PM Visa