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100524 How to Find Merchant Category Codes (MCC) in Singapore For Credit Card Users

How to Find Merchant Category Codes (MCC) in Singapore For Credit Card Users

profileJustin Oh


As much as we love spending on credit cards to earn cashback, miles, or rewards,

It’s not as straightforward as we might think as banks will not give you rewards on all transactions.

Source: Giphy

This is where Merchant Category Codes (MCCs) come in and why it is important for you to know the qualifying merchants and their respective MCCs for your credit card.

After all, you would not want to make a big-ticket purchase, only to find that it does not qualify for credit card rewards.

So here’s how you can make sure that your purchase qualifies for credit card rewards by identifying MCCs, plus a few methods that could help you take away the hassle of finding MCCs yourself!

Disclaimer: This is a non-sponsored article. The information provided by Seedly serves as an educational piece and is not intended to be personalised investment advice. ​Readers should always do their own due diligence and consider their financial goals before signing up for any products. MCCs are crowdsourced and based on information from banks and HeyMax.

P.S. We’re a little annoyed that people Google MCC code as MCC already stands for merchant category code but for the sake of SEO, we’ll be using the term MCC code.

TL;DR: Guide to Merchant Category Codes (MCC) Singapore

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Nonetheless, if you want to double-check if your purchase qualifies for credit card rewards, we have compiled a (non-exhaustive) list of the most popular MCC codes crowdsourced via the different banks’ MCC sheets and online sources:

What is an “MCC code”?

If you want to make the most out of your credit card, there are four numbers you need to know.

Commonly referred to as “MCC code” or the more proper abbreviation “MCC”, a Merchant Category Code is a four-digit number listed in the ISO 18245 standard for retail financial services.

This MCC is used to categorise a business by the types of goods or services it provides.

For the uninitiated, merchants that wish to set up a credit card payment system will need to first put in an application for a merchant bank account with the acquiring bank.

This MCC is important to companies as it is used to determine the interchange rate – the rate at which card networks like Visa, MasterCard, and American Express charge the merchant for its credit card payment service.

Typically, some merchants like charities, educational institutions, and government agencies are given a discount on the interchange rate.

As such, most credit cards do not give rewards for these types of transactions. Also, do note that the card networks assign the MCCs separately, so they may differ.

But generally, Visa and Mastercard have very similar MCC codes.

Why is it important to consumers?

Because before you make a big purchase eg online or offline, or are selecting which card suits you the best, you would be keen to know what kind of transactions qualify in what category.

An Example of MCC: OCBC 365

To show how this works in real life, let’s take the example of the OCBC 365 credit card:

With the card, you get five per cent cashback on dining.

But what constitutes as dining, you may ask?

Source: OCBC

Thus, OCBC refers to the MCC of the transaction. If your transaction’s MCC falls into any of the following categories, you can enjoy the bonus cashback.

As such, this list will help provide greater clarity on which types of merchants qualify.

How Do I Find My Merchant Category Code in Singapore?

Currently, there are three ways you can do so.


Source: HeyMax

HeyMax is a company that helps you earn extra miles and allows you to look up the MCCs on its website/app by entering the merchant’s name.

It is the most intuitive method thus far but may not be as reliable as the following methods.

For example, if you shop at merchants such as Shopee, Amazon, or Lazada, where transactions are processed under a range of MCCs, it will list the potential MCCs but cannot pinpoint which one.

Source: HeyMax

Another thing to note is that HeyMax uses the Visa API to look up MCCs. So, if you’re a MasterCard user, there is a slight chance that the MCC code may differ, but it’s not something you should worry about!

Amaze by Instarem

The next method is to use the amaze card by Instarem in combination with the Instarem app. It uses MasterCard’s API to look up MCCs but is a little more tedious to find out about the MCC code as Instarem’s focus isn’t about finding MCC codes.

To do so, you need to attempt a failed transaction. Yes, a failed one! There are two ways you can do so to force a failed transaction; by locking your card (Card -> Lock Card) and/or disabling online/in-store purchases (Card -> Manage -> Toggle off Online and In-store Purchase).

While either will work, I’d suggest doing both to double-confirm a failed transaction. After this, attempt to pay the merchant and check your Activity tab. The failed transaction will show the Merchant Category Code!

DBS Digibot

The last, most tedious, but accurate method is to use the DBS Digibot!

Like the amaze method, you must attempt a failed transaction with a DBS card.

With the DBS digibank app, temporarily lock a DBS card under More -> Payment Controls -> Toggle Card Lock.

Next, attempt a transaction with the merchant which will fail. Then, open up the digibank app again and tap the question mark on the top right of the screen. Scroll to the very bottom and tap on “Ask digibot”.

On the digibot page, tap the menu button at the bottom and select Credit Card ->Card Matters. Then, you should be able to check your credit card transaction and the failed transaction, together with the MCC.

Merchant Category Code Singapore

Online Transactions MCC

Amazon.sg5999Miscellaneous and Specialty Retail Stores | Online Shopping
Aliexpress5964Direct Marketing–Catalog Merchants | Online Shopping
Carousell5999Miscellaneous and Specialty Retail Stores | Online Shopping
EzBuy5691Men’s and Women’s Clothing Stores | Online Shopping
Lazada5311Department Stores | Online shopping
RedMart (via Lazada)5411Grocery Stores, Supermarkets, Groceries
Qoo10.sg5399Miscellaneous General Merchandise Stores
Shopee5399Miscellaneous General Merchandise Stores
Taobao (App)5311Department Stores | Online Shopping
Taobao (PC Browser)5411Grocery Stores, Supermarkets | Online Shopping

Transport MCC

Comfort Taxi4121Taxicabs and Limousines | Taxis & public transport
Grab (Taxi Rides)
Ryde5734Computer Software Stores | Taxis & public transport
Ezlink6540POI (Point of Interaction) Funding Transactions (Excluding MoneySend) | Taxis & public transport
SimplyGo4111Transportation–Suburban and Local Commuter Passenger, including Ferries Taxis & public transport

Food Delivery MCC

GrabFood5499Miscellaneous Food Stores–Convenience Stores, Markets, Specialty Stores, and Vending Machines
FoodPandaMiscellaneous Food Stores–Convenience Stores, Markets, Specialty Stores, and Vending Machines
DeliverooMiscellaneous Food Stores–Convenience Stores, Markets, Specialty Stores, and Vending Machines

This also heavily depends on the payment processors that these online sites use and whether they register the correct MCC or not.

Shopping MCC – Clothing and Retail Outlets

Merchant ExampleMCCCategory
6IXTY8IGHT5631Women's accessory and speciality stores
Aldo5661Shoe stores
Bershka5691Men's and women's clothing stores
Bossini5651Family clothing stores
Crumpler5699Misc Apparel and accessory shops
Daiso5311Department stores
Dockers5611Men's Boys clothing and accessories stores
Forever215621Women's Ready to wear stores
Fox Kids & Baby5641Babies and Children's infants' wear stores
Hush Puppies5651Family clothing stores
Love Bonito5621, 5631Women’s Ready to Wear Stores, Women’s Accessory and Specialty Shops
Uniqlo5651Family clothing stores
Zara5621, 5691Women’s Ready-to-wear Stores, Men’s and Women’s Clothing Stores

F&B Dining MCC

Merchant ExampleMCCCategory
Domino's Pizza5811Caterers
Toast Box5812Eating Places and Restaurants
Brotzeit German Restaurant and Bar5813Bars, Cocktail Lounges, Discotheques, Nightclubs and Taverns - Drinking Places (Alcoholic Beverages)
McDonald's5814Fast Food Restaurants
Bengawan Solo5462Bakeries

Groceries MCC

Merchant ExampleMCCCategory
Boost5499Miscellaneous Food Stores (Convenience Stores, Markets, Specialty Stores, and Vending Machines)
Giant5411Grocery Stores, Supermarkets

Beauty and Personal Care MCC

Merchant ExampleMCCCategory
Watsons, Guardian Etc.5912Drug stores and Pharmacies

Electronics and Gadgets MCC

Merchant ExampleMCCCategory
Helpling5045Computers, peripherals and software
Challenger, Best Denki Etc.5732Electronics Stores
Alan Photo5021Office, Photographic, Photocopy and Microfilm equipment
Adobe Creative Cloud subscription5734Computer software store

Petrol MCC

Merchant ExampleMCCCategory
7-Eleven5541 Service Stations (With or Without Ancillary Services)
Shell Petrol Kiosks5542Fuel Dispenser, Automated

Telco MCC

Merchant ExampleMCCCategory
Singtel, M1, Starhub, etc.4814Telecommunication service including local and long-distance calls, credit card calls, calls through the use of magnetic-strip reading telephones and fax services

Utilities MCC

Merchant ExampleMCCCategory
Singapore (SP), Geneco, etc.4900SP Services | Electricity Retailers
CPF, HDB, Town Council, etc.9399Government Services

Insurance MCC

Merchant ExampleMCCCategory
-5960Direct Marketing Insurance services
AIA Insurance, Aviva, etc.6300 Insurance Sales, Underwriting, and Premiums (eg monthly or yearly premiums)

Do note that most credit cards exclude insurance premiums in their rewards calculations.

Hospitals MCC

Merchant ExampleMCCCategory
Singapore General Hospital, Mount Alvernia, Mount Pleasant, etc.8062Hospital and medical fees

Common Credit Card Exclusions

Merchant ExampleMCCCategory
GrabPay Top-ups, FEVO Mastercards, etc.6051Quasi Cash Merchants:
Prepaid top-ups
AXS Payments9399Government Services–Not Elsewhere Classified | Excluded
Ez-Link Top-ups6540POI (Point of Interaction) Funding Transactions (Excluding MoneySend) | Taxis & public transport

Try Your Best to Follow the MCC Codes

With lots of cards being nerfed recently, it’s really important to be very sure that you can earn credit card rewards, especially on big purchases like weddings or renovations!

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About Justin Oh
Your average Zillennial who is obsessed with anime, games, movies and of course, personal finance. Join me as I break down personal finance into easily digestible and fun bits!
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