As you may recall, Grab devalued both the earning and burning side of the GrabRewards program without notice back in July and set the internet ablaze. After netizens got all riled up, Grab offered a small token of apology by promising to keep the old redemption rates until 30 September 2018.
With Go-Jek entering the market any day now and other competitors such as Ryde in the market at the moment, Grab can’t afford to slack off and one way of differentiating itself is through its GrabRewards program.
Post-devaluation, the GrabRewards program has been rather lackluster in terms of the benefits which were being offered to non-Platinum members. GrabRewards Platinum members receive priority bookings as well as a dedicated support line, which comes in handy during peak hours when you are trying to get a ride back home. Gold and Silver members don’t enjoy an awful lot, apart from reduced redemption rates.
Other than that, there’s not really any other big lifestyle perks associated with GrabRewards which would incentivize users to make Grab a part of their daily life. Well, that’s about to change. Grab has announced changes to its GrabRewards program which will now include travel benefits for its members.
New benefits for GrabRewards elite members
Here’s an infographic from Grab detailing the new benefits for GrabRewards members:
Most of the new benefits which will be introduced are targeted at GrabRewards Gold and Platinum members more than Silver and Regular members.
Let’s break them down:
Preferential redemption rates on Grab discount vouchers
Effective 2 November 2018, there will be new “preferential redemption rates” for all Grab and GrabFood vouchers which is determined by your GrabRewards tier. For a S$5 Grab voucher to offset the cost of a ride or for use on GrabFood, here’s how many GrabRewards points it will cost:
- Regular members – 2,200
- Silver – 2,100
- Gold – 2,000
- Platinum – 1,900
But wait, these figures look familar…well it’s because these are the exact same number of points GrabRewards members needed for a S$5 Grab voucher pre-July 2018. Here’s an image showing the old GrabRewards program:
Although it is commendable that they have reverted to the old redemption structure, branding it as a new perk is kind of strange.
Redemption rates for other lifestyle items such as for food vouchers and IPL treatments (heh) should cost the same number of GrabRewards points regardless of your GrabRewards tier.
GrabRewards Gold members to receive special quarterly offers, Platinum members to get them monthly
GrabRewards Gold and Platinum members will start receiving curated rewards and experiences every quarter and every month respectively. GrabRewards Platinum members have already been receiving interesting offers over the past few months which included being able to redeem their GrabRewards points for a screening of Crazy Rich Asians and for tickets to a food carnival held at Sentosa. So it’s great to see Gold members will be receiving some love as well.
For the month of November 2018, this is what Grab is offering to its GrabRewards Platinum members:
To me, these offers are nothing to shout about, especially the 2nd offer that is being offered whereby you will only get a S$10 discount for first-time users of GrabFood. If they really wanted to reward GrabRewards Platinum members, the S$10 should be made available to all Platinum members and not just those who have not placed an order on GrabFood.
While the concept of offering special rewards to its highest tier members sounds good on the surface, I sincerely hope that December rewards would be much better.
GrabRewards Gold and Platinum members to enjoy discounts and benefits on booking.com
Here’s the part which I’m sure will interest everyone the most. Grab is introducing benefits for GrabRewards Gold and Platinum members on Booking.com. Just recently, Grab announced that you will soon be able to perform hotel bookings through Booking.com via the Grab app. So my guess is that this new benefit is building on the partnership Grab has established with Booking.com.
GrabRewards Gold members will be able to receive an 8% discount on all hotel bookings made on the dedicated Grab-Booking.com reservation page(which isn’t live yet), while GrabRewards Platinum members will be able to enjoy a complimentary upgrade to the Genius tier in Booking.com’s rewards program.
The Genius program works in a similar fashion to Expedia’s VIP program where members will receive a 10% discount on room rates as well as benefits such as complimentary breakfast and airport transfers at select hotels. Benefits vary by hotel and you can only find out what extra perks you will receive at a particular hotel only if you are booking as a Genius member.
This by far is one of the nicest benefits which will be offered when the new GrabRewards program officially goes live in the Grab app. GrabRewards Gold and Platinum members will be receiving a notification via the Grab app informing them on how to activate their Booking.com benefits soon.
I’m actually quite impressed overall with the steps Grab is taking to improve its GrabRewards program. Grab’s ecosystem is actually quite pervasive in our lives, with the majority of the people here still using Grab for their rides and with the rapid expansion of GrabPay merchants.
We all love traveling, and we all love discounts. With Grab offering booking discounts through its partner Booking.com, it seems to me that Grab is really trying hard to get even more users to adopt Grab for not just rides but for all aspects of their lives.
While I’m slightly disappointed Grab branded its preferential redemption rates for Grab vouchers as something “new”, we can only hope that the GrabRewards program gets even better in the future through the introduction of more lifestyle redemption options.
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