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.
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.