Last year, I blogged about how I used Citi PayAll to pay for my income tax and in the process, I earned 1.2 KrisFlyer miles per dollar. Long story short, the earn rate was 1.67¢ per mile.
CardUp is another option that can be used to pay for income tax as well as other payments. I have actually used CardUp back in 2017 but didn’t get around to blogging about it.
CardUp is basically a credit card enable-ment platform, which enables the payment or collection of big expenses using credit cards, in places where cards are not accepted today.
What is the catch for using their service?
Simple – an admin fee is payable. I get it – no ones likes to hear the word “fee” but wait, don’t leave yet!
Why do I go to so much trouble? Business class flights. Just before the craziness of 2020 hit us, my wife and I flew on business class yet again, to and from Bangkok on the year-end countdown. Experiences like that are unforgettable and best of part? The flights didn’t cost me an arm or a leg – just some miles.
Money Lego blocks
As a standalone service itself, CardUp may not seem like such an attractive option but remember, it’s all about the talent stack in order to play the “money Lego” game well.
I would like to think that I’m fairly lucky to have diverse interests, in particular in the areas of finance, technology and travel. No surprise that you see these blog posts categories in the menu bar huh?
With FinTech (“finance” + “technology”), traditionally silo-ed systems are increasingly being interconnected with one another.
- Credit cards allow us to earn rewards points when they are used for certain category of payments
- CardUp exists to enable payments where credit cards are not accepted
- GrabPay is a collection of cashless payment solutions
Even if you’re not interested in miles, you might want to go all the way to the end of the blog post where I’ll share with you a way to get a discount on your income tax!
Alright, moving on then. The next question is …
Why incur extra fees by paying with credit cards?
Credit card reward points! I have written a lot about how I collect and redeem miles in order to fly business class. You will find plenty of my KrisFlyer miles reports and trip reports on my blog.
Let’s begin with about a little simple math to start our day, shall we?
Let’s take the standard CardUp fee (2020) of 2.25% to base our calculations on.
- Income tax amount – $3,000.00
- CardUp fee @ 2.25% – $67.50
- Total amount payable – $3,067.50
- Number of miles earned @ 4 miles per dollar – 12,270 miles
Which is enough to pay for a one-way business class flight to either Bangkok or Bali (excluding fuel and taxes) if you use my handy guide for US$100 business class flights. Wait a minute. If you’re a savvy miles collector, you might have noticed the problem by now.
Unfortunately, most credit cards are not eligible for 4 miles per dollar. If the standard earn rate of 1.0 to 1.4 miles per dollar doesn’t interest you, perhaps 4 miles per dollar will?
The key to using CardUp is then to find a way to earn 4 miles per dollar, isn’t it?
Credit card + GrabPay card + CardUp
Remember the money Lego I mentioned earlier? Stacking the three separate services like Lego blocks will achieve the desired result we’re looking for.
4 miles per dollar is now within our reach!
Step 1: Top up GrabPay wallet
It is an open secret that some credit cards earn 4 miles per dollar when used to top-up GrabPay wallet. I noticed that there may be certain shadow restrictions put in place for large balances or top-ups with reference to Grabpay.
In any case, a few months before tax season arrives, it would be prudent to start beefing up the cash balance in GrabPay wallet.
Before I forget, make sure that you request for the physical GrabPay card as well because life is so much easier with it.
Step 2: Wait for notice of assessment
Once your official notice of assessment from IRAS arrives, you will be able to schedule a payment in CardUp.
A point to note is that you will only be able to schedule a payment that is exactly equivalent to the amount stated in your notice of assessment. I tried to schedule a payment that is less than that and was contacted by CardUp support to amend the amount.
It appears to be a tightening of regulations due to the fast-changing environment of payments landscape. So yes, step 1 is important to ensure that you have sufficient funds in your Grabpay wallet.
Step 3: Sign up for CardUp
You can Google search for referral codes that will give you $20 off on CardUp fees. I’m not going to include my referral code in this post because I don’t feel like doxxing myself LOL!
You can see from my CardUp screenshot (deleted some personal information there) that I last used it in 2017 as mentioned at the start of my blog post, and a second payment that was made just this year.
Step 4: Schedule a payment in CardUp
After logging in, click on Schedule Payment in the top menu bar to bring you the page where you can select what type of payment you want to make.
In my case, I selected “Taxes & Stamp Duty” since I was going to pay IRAS.
With the option selected, tapped the “Income Tax” radio button and the recipient information would be filled up automatically.
No action on my part is needed. All I had to do was to click “Next”.
In the next screen, enter the amount that you’re going to pay and once again, take note that it has to be the exact amount that is stated in your notice of assessment.
By default, the normal payment speed is selected. The express option is going to cost you a 0.3% fee.
As you can see, there is going to be a few days of lead time required for payment to be made so don’t leave it to the last minute!
Next step is to upload your notice of assessment in PDF format.
At the bottom, input the credit card that is going to be used for payment. In my instance, I input the details of my GrabPay card instead.
Don’t forget to Google search for a promo code! When I paid, I used MileLion’s promo code which had an amazing deal for 1.75% only.
And that’s it! Review and confirm the payment in the next page – we’re done!
I didn’t have to notify IRAS about anything. Simply seamless. Log in to the IRAS web portal and payment would be reflected automatically.
And this, my friends, is how we can pay income tax using credit cards (via CardUp) in Singapore.
Not a miles chaser
Why are you still reading?! OK I’m just kidding.
Turns out that there is a way to get a discount on income tax and it is briefly covered in my tweet below.
It involves signing up for the Crypto.com MCO Visa card and topping up GrabPay wallet using it for a few percent cash-back (mine was 3%). Unfortunately, the WireCard situation has put card issuance on hold so you might have to wait a little bit until they on-board another provider.
The difference between the cash-back and CardUp fees is how much we are able to benefit from it. Money Lego bricks, remember?
Follow me on Twitter and you will be able to get content like this before they materialize in the form of blog posts!
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Hello! I’m Kevin, Turtle Investor
At the age of 30, I am the personal finance blogger who laid claim to a negative net worth of minus $25,755.
Seven years later in 2019, I hit CPF Full Retirement Sum (FRS) of $176,000 without making a single cent of CPF top-up. More tidbits about myself here if you’re curious. My blueprint for financial independence can help give you a headstart in your own FIRE journey.
I am married to a lovely wife and that means dual income with no kids. In my free time, I chase miles so that we can fly in business class. My hobby is making pocket change off this blog and sharing everything I know with you!
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