Tag Archives: apps

How does Comfort’s new CabRewards+ program stack up?

Comfort is the largest operator of taxis in Singapore (what’s a taxi, asked a millennial. What’s a millennial, asked a taxi) and they’ve been feeling the Uber/Grab revolution hard. They’re not going to the extent of introducing surge pricing yet, unlike other taxi companies (because when no-surge is your biggest advantage over Uber/Grab, it makes total sense to throw that away!), but they’re certainly looking at ways to drive ridership and loyalty.

Image result for cabrewards singapore

One of those ways is a rewards program. Comfort has been running its CabRewards program since 2014, which encouraged passengers to use cashless options to pay for cab rides.

But the rebate offered was just pathetic. You earned 1 Cabpoint for every $1 charged, and could redeem a $5 taxi voucher for 1,000 cabpoints. Yes, that’s not a typo. You got $5 back on every $1,000 spent. And you had to wait 14 working days for your voucher to be mailed to you. Now I know they would run these occasional promotions where they offered 3-5X the points, but with a base earning rate of 0.5%, it’s no wonder people didn’t really bother to sign up.

Well, Comfort has relaunched CabRewards as CabRewards+, now offering commuters the potential to earn double the points for every $1 spent and the option to earn points even if they pay with cash.

The system has been rejigged so you earn 2X cabpoints when you “continue your journey with a Comfort taxi after alighting from a bus or train”. This is upsized to 10X points earning promotion from now till 31 July, which means a 5% rebate. That’s certainly a lot better than before, but it comes with certain conditions-

You only earn 10X points if you use the same ez-link or NETS Flashpay card for CabRewards within 24 hours of a bus or train ride. The 24 hour window is obviously really generous and I imagine that’s a limited time thing as they’re probably trying to drive people to use taxis for last mile connectivity. So my guess is that after a while they’ll cut either the bonus, or the timeframe to earn said bonus, or both.

Note that if you use a taxi in isolation, you’re still earning the regular crappy 1X cabpoints, or a 0.5% rebate.

How does Comfort’s program compare with its main competitor, Grab Rewards? I wrote about the Grab Rewards program here, but the short answer is it depends.

Grab offers you a base earning rate of $1= 1 point, but has multipliers in place for GrabCar/GrabTaxi and GrabShare/JustGrab, meaning that you could earn up to 30 points per $1.

If you take a GrabCar/GrabTaxi, your rebate is 3.6-4.4% depending on your GrabRewards tier. But if you take GrabShare/JustGrab your rebate is anywhere between 6.8-8.3%. So Comfort’s rate of 5% is somewhat competitive, at least for the moment.

Of course, the question is how long Grab and Comfort will maintain their current promotional earnings. Comfort’s 10X promotion ends on 31 July, plus there’s the added condition that you need to have a bus/train ride on your Ez-link card in the 24 hours prior. Plus, you can’t use a credit card to pay, so there’s also the opportunity of lost miles/cashback. I don’t think Grab will retain their current bonus rates for too long either, because I think any rebate of >5% on something like this is not sustainable. So it will be interesting to see what the steady state rebate rates are like for both Grab and Comfort.

Over to you Uber. Loyalty program pls.

Epic Mileslife 4X dining promotion- up to 12 mpd until 9 July

Mileslife launched in Singapore a few weeks ago, giving you the opportunity to earn bonus miles on dining and other lifestyle spending.

They launched with a series of promotions, including 100 miles for linking an FFP to your Mileslife account, 1,500 miles for signing up through this link and spending S$39 within 30 days, and a 3X bonus on dining for miles, meaning that if a restaurant was ordinarily offering 3 mpd, you’d earn 9 mpd until 20 June.

Well, 20 June has come and gone, but here are two new offers:

(1) From 21 June to 7 July, you can enjoy 4X the miles when you dine at Mileslife merchants and pay using the Mileslife app. So if the regular miles earning rate is 3 mpd, you’ll get 12 mpd. 

(2) There’s a new promo code that applies to both existing and new users. Anyone who enters ML621 on the Mileslife app will get 500 bonus miles with their next purchase. This code is valid till 9 July, and you must spend within one month of entering the code.

You might like to know that Mileslife is launching travel package bookings on its app with 4X miles till 9 July. I’ve not looked at any of the deals in great detail, but it’s worth checking out if you’ve decided to use an OTA for your stay. As always, you should compare prices with other OTAs and ensure that you’re paying about the same price, and if not, that the bonus miles are worth the additional money.

Final point: Mileslife is a new platform and there will be teething problems. You’re going to meet staff who haven’t heard of the app, and there may or may not be wonky transactions that don’t post properly.  If that happens, I’d encourage you to reach out to the Mileslife team at [email protected] as they’ve been quite good at resolving problems and getting miles retrocredited.

Also, remember that Mileslife currently codes as a professional services purchase, so it will not earn 10X points with the DBS Woman’s World card. They’re working on getting a new MCC that will let you maximize your 10X online spending bonus, and I’ll update you when that happens.

You can use this link to download Mileslife, if you haven’t already done so.

PSA: Make your first Mileslife spend within 30 days to get your 1.5K miles bonus

A few weeks ago I posted about Mileslife, the app that allows you to earn bonus miles when spending at dining and other lifestyle merchants around Singapore.

As part of its launch publicity blitz, Mileslife is offering several miles earning promotions as well as a sign up bonus for new members. Those who sign up using my link get 1,500 miles (instead of the regular 1,000) after their first spend of S$39 at any Mileslife merchant (I also earn a referral bonus).

My understanding used to be that was that there was no time limit for this S$39 spend, but I’ve since learned that this needs to be done within 30 days of signing up. So, for example, everyone who signed up on the launch day of 1 June has until 1 July to make the S$39 spend to earn the 1.5K bonus miles.

If you’ve forgotten the date you signed up on you can check this in the Mileslife app. Just go to Account–> Vouchers. You’ll see at the bottom of the 1,500 miles voucher the expiry date (in this case, 1 July)

photo credit: Louis

It’s not ideal in one sense because it has the unintended consequence of penalizing those who signed up early and haven’t had a chance to use Mileslife yet. On the other hand, the 1.5K sign up bonus is meant to encourage early adoption of the platform and isn’t meant to last forever, so people who sign up later may not be able to get this offer either.

That said, Mileslife will be launching a new promotion this week after the current 3X miles on dining deal ends on the 20th, so there will be some significant incentives to make your first Mileslife spend soon if you haven’t already.