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A workaround for paying bills with GrabPay Credits

When AXS/Grab made a sudden change 4 days ago to stop accepting GrabPay and GPMC as valid payment methods for AXS bills it created a huge issue for many credit card users who had topped up their GrabPay credits in anticipation of upcoming bills - an especially big problem for UOB One card users who would have stored up credits to hit the minimum monthly spends in preparation for upcoming bills.

We ourselves have been hit with this issue, and have been trying out over the past few days various different options to get around this, and are now excited to be able to share one workaround we have found and tested to get rid of excess GrabPay credits you might have accumulated while also paying your bills.

The answer is CardUp - but unfortunately it is not gonna be a free solution as CardUp charges its own set of fees, unlike AXS-Grab which allowed you to pay your bills with no extra charges.

Using CardUp to pay your bills

For those who are new to or unsure of what CardUp is and how they work, we have included a short introduction further below.

For those of you who are already CardUp users - the solution is pretty straightforward, use CardUp to pay your bills, with your GPMC (GrabPay MasterCard) as the payment credit card.

Screenshot from our own use of GPMC for insurance premium payment via CardUp

Using CardUp to make the bill payment will incur a transaction fee of 1.9/2.6%, but these fees would be more than offset by the 8.33/10% cashback you would have gotten if you were using the UOB One card, still netting you a neat overall cashback on your bill payments.

Having said that, this workaround still involves a cost, and depending on how much Grab Credits you have stored up it could also make sense to simply hold on to your Grab credits for now and spend it over time using GrabPay or the upcoming physical GPMC to fully capture any cashback or miles rewards without incurring unnecessary fees.

What is CardUp and how does it work

Screenshot from CardUp website

Simply put, CardUp is a online service that allows you to use your credit cards to make payments for bills that typically do not accept credit card payments, while getting credit card rewards at the same time. Types of bills that they cover include:

  • Rent & rent deposit
  • Helper salaries
  • Education/School fees
  • Payroll
  • Car loans, and more

These bills typically do not accept credit card payments, and even if they do they are usually excluded from credit card rewards, so being able to get credit card rewards from these payments is a huge plus point. If it sounds too good to be true … the answer is that these payments via CardUp do not come for free. CardUp charges a rate of 1.9-2.6% for Singapore credit cards, which means that you are basically “buying” your credit card rewards with these fees.

Screenshot from CardUp pricing page

CardUp accepts most Singapore credit cards (full list here), and will usually net you the baseline rewards earning rate, for example 1.2 MPD for the Amex Ascend/Citi PremierMiles/DBS Altitude.

One thing to note is that you should only use CardUp to pay for bills that are currently due and not prepay your bills to try to squeeze additional rewards out while making a transaction. This could lead to the bill being rejected by CardUp or the billing organisation, and it can be quite a hassle to get it refunded.

Summary

Because of the 2.6% fees charged (for all payments other than Rent), using CardUp to pay your bills is not a “free lunch” unlike the AXS-GrabPay method, but this can still be a very useful solution for those of you who are stuck with excess GrabPay credits and have upcoming bills that need to be paid.

While we wait and see what happens in the AXS-GrabPay saga, CardUp is definitely one alternative in the meanwhile for those who want to continue getting credit card rewards while paying your regular bills.

We will continue to keep you guys updated on how to get the highest rewards at the lowest cost! :smiley:

Your WhatCard team


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