|The following is a sponsored post by Grab. The opinions and analysis are those of The Milelion.|
Grab has been teasing some new GrabRewards features for the past few weeks, and it’s finally taken the wraps off today.
With these changes, there are now more ways to keep, use, and earn GrabRewards points. Here’s the highlights:
- GrabRewards points will no longer expire, so long as you make at least one Grab transaction every six months
- New aspirational redemptions will be added to the GrabRewards catalogue
- GrabRewards is launching Challenges, a gamified mechanic that allows members to earn bonus points/vouchers by completing certain tasks
Let’s look at each of these more closely.
No more fixed expiry dates with activity-based points expiry
GrabRewards points used to have a 6-12 month validity, depending on when they were earned. For example, points earned between 1 January and 30 June would expire on 31 December, and points earned between 1 July to 31 December would expire on 30 June the following year.
From 1 July, your GrabRewards points will never expire so long as you have at least one eligible Grab transaction in a six month period. An eligible Grab transaction is one which earns GrabRewards points (e.g. GrabFood, GrabPay, most Grab rides). Ineligible transactions are those which don’t earn GrabRewards points (e.g. GrabHitch, buying a subscription plan or redeeming points).
If you don’t have any transaction in a six month period, your points will expire at the end of the sixth month after they were earned. For example, points earned on 3 January will expire on 31 July; points earned on 16 October will expire 30 April the following year.
As I wrote last year, I much prefer an activity-based expiry policy over a time-based one because it makes so much more sense. The company benefits from greater engagement (there’s more incentive for customers to regularly earn points if doing so can extend the life of their entire balance), and customers benefit from greater control over their points plus the ability to save up for aspirational awards.
With the new GrabRewards expiry policy, your points are effectively evergreen. Given the ubiquity of Grab rides and more than 15,000 GrabFood/GrabPay merchants in Singapore, it’s almost impossible to go six months without a single Grab transaction. Put it another way: anyone who doesn’t have a single transaction in a six month period is most likely a casual user who isn’t invested in the loyalty program at all.
Higher value aspirational rewards
The shift to activity-based points expiry also creates the possibility of saving up points for aspirational rewards, and in that respect the GrabRewards catalogue has been expanded with redemption options such as
- Cathay Platinum Movie Suites tickets- 15,000 points
- Nintendo Switch- 190,000 points
- Dyson Airwrap- 260,000 points
Naturally, these rewards will have a limited appeal. Many people may not see the point in saving up for a prolonged period to redeem a high value reward, and they’re free to continue redeeming points for smaller gifts like $5 Grab vouchers.
However, given that GrabPay is increasingly available at places with potential big ticket spending like electronics retailers (e.g Best Denki, Gain City), travel agencies, and private clinics, there’s a very real possibility that some users may find themselves with a sudden glut of points. I imagine it’s this group who the new rewards are targeted at. If nothing else, it’s simply more options to spend your points.
Unlock additional points and vouchers with Challenges
GrabRewards is giving an early peek into an interesting new feature called Challenges, a gamified rewards mechanic that awards users with points or vouchers for accomplishing certain tasks.
The launch challenge is called Chompian and is for transactions on GrabFood. Users who complete three GrabFood orders (minimum $15) get a $3 GrabFood voucher. Complete two more, and you get a $6 GrabFood voucher. Complete four more, and you get a $12 GrabFood voucher.
You’ll need to register to take part in a Challenge. Find it on the home screen, read the details, accept the challenge and you’re all set.
More Challenges will be rolled out in the weeks ahead with different rewards, covering other areas like transport, GrabPay and combinations of Grab services.
I think there’s good potential in this idea, especially when the rewards come in the form of points. Challenges are currently standard for all, but it’s not too difficult to envision personalized Challenges in the future similar to what IHG does with their Accelerate program.
A recap of GrabRewards tier benefits
It’s been a busy period for GrabRewards, with numerous benefits added over the past few months. To recap:
- In November 2018, GrabRewards started offering Booking.com discounts (including Genius status for Platinums) and special quarterly/monthly deals for Gold/Platinum members
- In April 2019, airport benefits like discounted lounge access and F&B were added, allowing elite members to access lounges for up to 55% off walk-in rates
- In June 2019, GrabRewards ran a GSS sale which included the opportunity to purchase 10,000 GrabRewards points for $10, and a 50% off promotion on KrisFlyer points transfers (yielding an effective price of 0.44 cents per mile)
Although some of these benefits apply program-wide, the best value is still reserved for those with elite status. As a reminder, here’s how many points you need to earn to qualify for GrabReward’s elite tiers:
|Points required in six month period*||300||1,200||4,500|
*Note that despite the changes to points validity, the GrabRewards elite qualifying period remains 1 Jan-30 Jun/ 1 Jul-31 Dec each year.
Based on the current earning rates and elite thresholds, here’s the minimum and maximum you’d need to spend in a six month period to hit each tier in GrabRewards.
|Minimum Spend *(Cumulative)||$60||$240||$570|
|Maximum Spend *(Cumulative)||$100||$400||$950|
*Assumes you pay with credit card or GrabPay
As Grab services and merchants become increasingly widespread, there’ll be progressively more avenues to attain elite status in the program. I’ve laid out a few scenarios below of how you could hit Grab Platinum in a six month (26 week) period
|Grab Rides||GrabPay||GrabFood||Time to Platinum|
The real key to earning Platinum status quickly is by using GrabPay as often as possible, because it has the highest multiplier. Be on the lookout for GrabPay merchants (and stack with Fave to triple dip).
The latest changes enable GrabRewards members to keep their points active for longer, and allow those flush with points to cash them out for higher value options. The new Challenges feature is definitely one to watch, and I can imagine some pretty interesting Challenges around festive periods.
Be sure to open up the Grab app and check out these latest features.
|Signing up for cards or making purchases through the links in this article may generate a referral commission that supports the running of The Milelion. Found this post useful? Subscribe to our Telegram Channel to get these posts pushed directly to your phone, or our newsletter (on the right of your screen) for the latest deals and hacks delivered to your inbox.|