Earning credit card reward points at the Australian Tax Office and other government agencies has long been a challenge for savvy frequent flyers, with the banks gradually reducing the points earned on those transactions.
Add to that the credit card surcharges that many institutions charge, and you’ll quickly see why it’s just often not worth pursuing the points when paying off those type of bills.
But one new solution to this problem is going through a third-party payment provider. These platforms usually settle your bills via BPAY, offering full reward points when you pay them for the service via credit card in exchange for a small fee.
Enter Sniip, a Brisbane-based fintech which now offers stellar rates when paying bills with an American Express card, which are often the highest-earning cards on the market.
What is Sniip?
Sniip is a payment platform that allows you to pay personal and household expenses with any type of credit card, all through one easy app. In 2021, the fintech partnered with Amex to offer a flat 1.5% fee for its services, in line with using Visa and Mastercard.
How does Sniip work?
Here are the steps to start using Sniip.
- Download the Sniip App from Google Play or the Apple App Store
- Register for an account or login
- Under ‘Wallet’, ensure you have a valid payment method set up
- Tap on the blue ‘+’ icon to add a new bill. You can scan it, add the details manually or sync your email account
- Enter the payment amount and the due date, then tap ‘Add Bill’
- Confirm all details are correct. If needed, you can set up a payment reminder through the app and add attachments.
- Tap ‘Pay’ to pay now or ‘Schedule’ to schedule the payment for later, either as a one-off sum or broken into instalments.
- Once the funds are cleared from your credit card, Sniip will make the BPay payment to your biller, which may take up to 3 working days.
Pay bills and other expenses via BPay, even when credit cards aren’t usually accepted
Sniip utilises a mobile app to scan your bills and make payments. As long as your biller accepts BPay payments, you can use Sniip to pay those invoices with a credit card and earn reward points.
This applies even if the biller doesn’t accept American Express cards, or in extreme examples, any type of credit card at all. That’s because you pay Sniip with your credit card to earn points, and Sniip then pays your biller via BPay to settle your amount owing.
This could be one way to earn even more reward points on transactions where you wouldn’t normally earn anything.
Pay ATO and government agencies to earn points, even when your credit card doesn’t normally permit it
Typically, American Express reduces its points earn on ATO and other government-related transactions down to a low 0.5 or 1 point per A$1 — that’s a big drop when some cards usually earn up to 2.25 points per dollar!
Rather than pay the ATO’s 1.45% Amex fee and earn a reduced number of points, Sniip’s proposition is to pay them a 1.5% fee instead and earn the full potential of your American Express card.
Comparison of Sniip’s fees to other payment providers
Let’s say you’re an individual that owes a tax bill of A$5,000 to the ATO, and you want to maximise the points on your American Express Platinum Charge card or your Qantas Premier Platinum Mastercard.
Here are some of the scenarios that could occur, taking into account payment fees and the value of points earned according to our proprietary points calculator.
|Payment fee for this option||Fee paid on the transaction||Points earned||Value of points earned||Overall result|
|Direct ATO payment||BPAY||0%||A$0||0 MR points||n/a||No points earned|
|Qantas Premier Platinum||0.73%||A$36.50||0 Qantas Points||n/a||Lose A$36.50|
|Amex Platinum||1.45%||A$72.50||5,000 MR points||A$60||Lose A$12.50|
|Payment through Sniip||Qantas Premier Platinum||1.50%||A$75.00||5,000 Qantas Points||A$95||Earn A$20 in value|
|Amex Platinum||1.50%||A$75.00||11,250 MR points||A$135||Earn A$60 in value|
Analysis of the results: Sniip vs ATO
Qantas Premier Platinum
With the Qantas Premier Platinum, you’d earn 0 points directly at the ATO (since the card doesn’t award points on those transactions), and 5,000 Qantas Points through Sniip in exchange for a 1.5% fee.
That’s just okay, it’s certainly nothing to write home about since the points earn rate on that card is not exceptionally high.
American Express Platinum Card
With the American Express Platinum Card, you could earn a reduced 5,000 points if paying the ATO directly, for a 1.45% fee. But pay just a bit more for the 1.5% fee at Sniip, and you’ll unlock your card’s full earning potential.
That’s 2.25 Membership Rewards points per dollar spent, which more than doubles your haul to 11,250 points for a A$5,000 transaction.
The true value of Sniip lies in its new 2021 partnership with American Express that sees it offer a reduced 1.5% fee for Amex transactions. While equal to the Visa/Mastercard fee, using the right American Express card could really open up your points-earning options.
Add to that most credit cards offer up to 55 days interest-free on regular payments, it makes sense to funnel some of your bigger bills through a service like Sniip to maximise rewards and boost your cashflow.
To get started, visit the Sniip website and be prepared to download the app to Android or iPhone.
Point Hacks has no affiliation with Sniip.