GrabPay Rejects Insurance Premium Transactions On Credit Card Balances

Emma Lam

Emma Lam

Last updated 31 March, 2023

Paying insurance premiums with GrabPay balances (topped up using credit cards) is no longer allowed.

Previously, we were hit with the unpleasant news that American Express (AMEX) will be excluding GrabPay from credit cards like the AMEX True Cashback Card and AMEX Singapore Airlines Business Credit Card (AMEX HighFlyer Card) from 4 April 2023 onwards.

This means you can’t double dip in 1.5% cashback or 1.8 miles respectively through GrabPay top-ups with these AMEX credit cards anymore. By extension, this subsequently impedes your ability to earn rebates on medical bills, utility bills, and insurance premiums – although one of these is getting booted off the eligibility list earlier than expected.

Yes, if you haven’t heard, the GrabPay Card is now blocked from transacting insurance premium payments from balances topped up by credit cards. So for those of you who’ve diligently topped up your GrabPay wallet with a credit card, expecting to pay your monthly insurance premiums, you’ll need a new plan of action.

Overview: New updates to GrabPay exclusions

Before 4 April 2023
After 4 April 2023
Credit card
New MCC exclusion
Rebates earned on GrabPay top-ups
Rebates earned on GrabPay top-ups
AMEX True Cashback Card
MCC 6300: Insurance premium payments
1.5% cashback
AMEX Singapore Airlines Business Credit Card
1.8 miles per S$1 spend



But what does this mean exactly?

What happened to topping up GrabPay wallet with credit cards?


Source: @seexuanbin; adapted from MileLion

According to this user, his GrabPay wallet balance topped up with his AMEX credit card was denied for his monthly insurance premium payments. 

This comes as a shock to the community because it was a well-known credit card hack to stack credit cards with the GrabPay Card to earn on insurance premiums. Basically, this means:

  1. Top up your GrabPay wallet balance with a credit card.
  2. Use the GrabPay Card as an intermediary to pay off insurance premiums.

Popular unlimited cashback cards (e.g. AMEX True Cashback Card and UOB Absolute Cashback Card) and miles cards (e.g. AMEX HighFlyer Card) use AMEX as a payment network. 

Unfortunately, many insurance companies reject payments done through AMEX. They usually only accept Visa or Mastercard. Starting to get the picture?

Thus, since the GrabPay Card is a Mastercard, it was a godsend used to bypass this meddlesome restriction. So you could earn double the rewards by first earning cashback/miles on topping up the GrabPay wallet with your credit card, and then earning GrabRewards Points when paying through the GrabPay Card.

But why was this user’s insurance payment rejected? What new exclusion did Grab just sneakily introduce?

GrabPay rejects insurance premium transactions from non-transferrable balances

For context, there are two types of GrabPay wallet balances:

  • Transferrable: Local debit cards, bank accounts
  • Non-transferrable: Credit cards, foreign debit cards

The issue here is that GrabPay wallet top-ups with credit cards are classified as non-transferrable balances.

And based on this FAQ article, payments made to the following merchants from non-transferrable balances are no longer supported – with MCC 6300 (Insurance Premium Payments) being one of them.

This applies to payments towards e-wallet top-ups, AXS or the EZ-Link app too.

Source: Grab

For more details on MCC, refer to this article.

As a result, if you still want to use your GrabPay Card to pay for insurance, you’ll need to top up your GrabPay balance with a debit card instead.

So although the T&Cs do state that this new restriction only affects selected insurance providers, it seems that most major insurance companies have been struck down regardless.

Read more:
Debit Cards vs Credit Cards: Which Should You Use?
5 Signs It’s Time to Upgrade Your Debit Card to a Credit Card

What’s next for GrabPay?

So if you’ve recently topped up your GrabPay wallet with a credit card in order to pay your insurance premiums, what now?

You’re left with the option of using the balance for what it’s good for: paying for GrabFood, Grab rides, PayLater by Grab and other services within Grab’s interface.

Although reversing the top-up is possible by contacting customer service, this process could be quite troublesome and time-consuming.

The good news is that you can still use the GrabPay Card for utility bills and education fees.

Otherwise, you’re better off linking other cashback or miles cards directly to pay on Grab itself.



Although she struggles *slightly* in resisting good deals and sales, Emma is on a lifelong journey to understand what financial independence as a Z-llennial means. That said, her inner child is still very much alive… with animals and gaming being her weaknesses.


Use a personal loan to consolidate your outstanding debt at a lower interest rate!

Sign up for our newsletter for financial tips, tricks and exclusive information that can be personalised to your preferences!