It’s the time of the year again when you open your letter box and you realise you have to pay your income taxes to IRAS again. If you have our loyal reader, you would have referred to our previous post in 2015 on “What’s the best payment method for IRAS income tax in Singapore Version 2” . Looking at most of my peers, GIRO seems to be the favourite option since the use of credit cards for income tax payment means paying a minimal fee of 0.5% (provided you have sufficient funds to open up a HSBC Premier Account) and getting a miserable return in terms of rewards points. What’s more, GIRO is interest free and you may earn extra interest on the amount for the many months ahead.
Now, just a week ago, Cardup has finally broken through all barriers and now allows you to use your favourite credit card to pay for income tax. Never heard of Cardup? It is one of the 9 startups backed up the UOB’s FinLab accelerator programme (see article here). And they are one of the 2 companies in Singapore currently offering the use of credit cards for payment of daily necessities such as rent, condo maintenance fees, tuition fees and even insurance! Yes, all insurance payments do not earn any points, miles or rebates unless you are a Great Eastern client using the OCBC GE Cashflo Credit Card (which offers a 1% rebate only).
Of course, the savvy consumer in you will ask, what’s in it for the company? In order for them to provide the service, they charge 2.6% transaction fee. Indeed, 2.6% may sound a lot at first glance, but did you know that all MasterCard and Visa transactions carry a sales charge? (That’s why taxis charge an admin fee of 10% when you pay through credit card but that’s downright extortion). So what are the best credit cards to use at the moment for payment of your above expenses?
i) For the miles savvy
In order to maximise your returns, the best card to use is one that can give you 4 miles per $1 and that is none other than UOB Preferred Platinum Visa. There were other cards that were giving out 4 miles per $1 previously under this website but these transactions have since been removed as “online spending”. Of course, you may say that this UOB PP Visa may exclude Cardup as “online spending” in due time, but did I already mention that UOB is one of this startup’s supporters? One thing to note though, there is a cap of 48000 miles (or $12000 spending) for this credit card, so for the high income earners, you may need to use other cards to make payment.
ii) For the cashback chasers
Of course, some people prefer to have cold hard cash back so there are 2 cashback/rebate credit cards that are best suited for this programme – the UOB One Visa credit card and the Bank of China Family Card.
- Bank of China Family Visa Card
- Gives 5% rebate for online purchases
- Capped at $100 per billing cycle (Meaning you can only spend $2000 a month)
- UOB One Visa
- Rebate varies from 3.33-5%, need to maintain that tier of spending per month for a quarter
- Spend either $500 or $1000 a month for a quarter (minimum 5 transactions – gone up from the previous 3 transactions!) to get $50 or $100 rebate (that’s 3.33% rebate)
- To get $300 rebate, you need to spend $2000 a month for a quarter to get the 5% rebate
So far, I’ve had a positive experience with Cardup, and their support staff had been pretty responsive to my queries and when my first transaction was not properly set up. If you are keen to try Cardup, use the promo code “IVANC88” when you schedule a payment. For instance, if you want to pay your income tax through Cardup, you will arrive at the page below, so key in the promo code “IVANC88” and you will receive a $20 discount off the Cardup fee when you make your first transaction!