Uber/Grab

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

A dying industry's last ditch attempt to take on Grab and Uber.

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.

Advertising

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.

Advertising

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.

Advertising

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.

Advertising

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.

9
Leave a Reply

Please Login to comment
avatar
5 Comment threads
4 Thread replies
0 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
3 Comment authors
VinczDerethAaron Wongbus uncleSgdividends Recent comment authors
  Subscribe  
Notify of
WH
Guest
WH

personally, i can’t understand their target audience. the whole advantage of taxis in the past was door-to-door connectivity. if a commuter bothers to spend time and effort on public transport to save money, no way they would go and spend >$3 minimum just for last mile connection by taxi – not in singapore anyway where our public transport network is so developed.

and if someone was going to take taxi, he would have done so from the start…

SQtraveler
Guest
SQtraveler

Can’t blame them. They cannot head-on with grab or uber who is in blatant disregards to profit at the moment. That’s so much they can do now.

prawnless wonton
Guest
prawnless wonton

uber has a loyalty program with lazada via the LIVEUP membership. ride 9 times, 10th ride free

Vincz
Guest
Vincz

It’s not really free but $10 off on the 10th ride and you can’t choose when you want it unlike Grab. So if happens that there is are on-going promo when you taking the 10th ride, you cannot choose to activate the $10 discount later.

T
Guest
T

From 1 July all Grab services except Hitch and Shuttle will reward max 16x for using GrabPay, from the current 30x.

Sgdividends
Guest

Actually Uber is losing billions . I wonder how much billions is Grab losing . I really hate Grab for their customer service and actually I do really feel they suck in the sense that when ever they have a promo code, they jack up the price during that period.

bus uncle
Guest
bus uncle

milk it while it lasts. i dont get how either plan to make money rapidly either.

they’re funding our free or highly compensated rides with investor money. but the problem with this business is that i feel it doesn’t utilise economies of scale as the drivers are contractors and they dont buy high cost items like cars or insurance collectively.

it doesnt make sense that my daily ride has gone from $12 to $4 when they haven’t dramatically cut the costs of their operations.

Dereth
Guest
Dereth

“what’s a taxi, asked a millennial. What’s a millennial, asked a taxi”

Cracks me up bro! Hahahahahaaaaa….

%d bloggers like this: