Great Eastern launches “Virtual Vacays” with staycation deals, free COVID-19 coverage and more

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Sightsee from your couch, snag hotel deals, get 60% off future travel insurance (plus free COVID-19 coverage), and win a Capitol Kempinski Stamford Suite staycation.

The following in a sponsored post by Great Eastern. All opinions and analysis remain those of The Milelion

While overseas travel looks out of the question for the rest of 2020, there’s still some catharsis to be had in making travel plans for 2021- provided they’re flexible, and you see them as gambles rather than guarantees. I personally find myself browsing award space, reading hotel reviews, and pawing through theme park crowd calendars during the idle moments of the day. 

If that’s not enough to keep the wanderlust at bay, how about a virtual vacation? That’s what Great Eastern is proposing, with its new UPGREAT Virtual Vacay campaign.

This lets you visit some popular destinations from the comfort of your home, earn bonus UPGREAT points when making hotel and activity bookings, and secure a hefty discount on future travel insurance needs. There’s even a free Personal Accident plan with COVID-19 coverage to protect you as you get out and about in Singapore during Phase 2.

Stamford Suite bedroom
Stamford Suite at Capitol Kempinski Hotel

To cap it all off, Great Eastern is running a giveaway for a Stamford Suite at the Capitol Kempinski Hotel (my best staycation so far), with three prizes to be won. Read till the end for more details!

Virtual Vacays

UPGREAT has curated a series of virtual tours to five destinations popular with Singapore travelers- Japan, New Zealand, South Korea, Taiwan, and Vietnam.

These short videos introduce you to some of the key attractions in each country, which is a useful starting point for itinerary planning. There’s an option to download the itineraries as well, if you prefer reading to watching. 

This isn’t just for exploring overseas- if you’re looking to visit parts of Singapore you’ve never been to before, you’ll find a handful of local itineraries that take you around Kampong Glam, Chinatown, and other charming little neighbourhoods. These come with useful maps, recommendations for restaurants, and must-do activities. 

Earn bonus UPGREAT points on staycation and travel bookings

Great Eastern runs two platforms- GETGREAT, its health and wellness app, and UPGREAT, a lifestyle rewards app. Both are free to join, and open to the general public. 

While Great Eastern customers enjoy special deals on UPGREAT, all users can earn UPGREAT points and redeem instant offers at a range of dining, shopping, health and lifestyle merchants islandwide. UPGREAT points can also be earned by purchasing selected Great Eastern insurance products, participating in GETGREAT fitness challenges, as well as online shopping and travel bookings. 

For the Virtual Vacay campaign, UPGREAT has partnered with rebates website Rebate Mango to offer upsized earnings on selected travel merchants. To browse the deals, download the UPGREAT app (Apple | Android) and tap on the “Shop & Earn” option on the homepage. 

You’ll then be shown a range of merchants and the UPGREAT points you can earn (per S$1 spent). 

You can currently earn 2x the usual UPGREAT points at the following travel merchants:

Merchant Earn Rate
(UPGREAT Points/ S$1)
Agoda 3 6 points 3 6 points
Hotels Combined 3 6 points
Expedia 3 6 points (for hotels only)
Withlocals 3 6 points 2 4 points 2 4 points
Rates accurate as of 8 October 2020 and are subject to change. For the most updated rates, always refer to the UPGREAT app

UPGREAT Points can be redeemed for a wide range of awards, such as:

Reward UPGREAT Points
S$5 Grab voucher 465
S$10 WhyQ/ GrabFood voucher 930
370 KrisFlyer miles 1,000
S$15 Grab e-voucher 1,395
S$20 FairPrice Online Voucher 1,800
S$20 Adidas e-voucher 1,940
S$50 Shell Voucher 4,400
S$50 Zalora Voucher 4,650

Now, as tempting as those KrisFlyer miles may look, I don’t think you should be taking that option, at least not for this promotion. 

For example, earning 6 UPGREAT points per S$1 on Agoda, even when stacked with a 4 mpd card, would yield 6.2 mpd total. It’s possible to get 10 mpd on Agoda instead by using the DBS Altitude or DBS Woman’s World Card. However, if you were to turn those UPGREAT points into Grab vouchers, your effective rebate based on 6 UPGREAT points per S$1 would be about 6.5%- none too shabby. 

UPGREAT points do not expire, and can be transferred among Great Eastern customers with no admin fee. 

👍 Convert OCBC points and other currencies to/from UPGREAT
UPGREAT is also part of the STACK rewards platform, which allows users to interconvert OCBC$, Travel$, VOYAGE Miles, My Millennium points and Robinsons$ Rewards

Free COVID-19 coverage and 60% off travel insurance for 2021

As Phase 2 rolls on and more social activities resume, we’re all going to be out of the house more often. While there’s no doubt relief at things getting back to “normal” (or whatever “normal” is supposed to look like now), it wouldn’t hurt to have some extra peace of mind. 

From now till 31 December 2020 (or until all free policies are taken up), Great Eastern is giving away 2,500 complimentary GREAT Value Protect plans*. These offer the following coverage for one year: 

  • S$20,000 in case of Death or Total and Permanent Disability due to accidents
  • Coverage of S$10,000 for death due to Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19)
  • S$100 hospital cash payout per day (up to 14 days) if you are hospitalised for COVID-19, accident, food poisoning, dengue fever, Yellow Fever or Zika

Get your free GREAT Value Protect plan here

 It’s really free, and registration is extremely straightforward. Each person is entitled to a maximum of one plan, and you must be aged between 18-64 years old (both ages inclusive) to qualify. The full T&C can be found here.

While overseas travel obviously isn’t on the cards now, it’s never too early to start making plans. To that end, Great Eastern is offering 60% off Travel [email protected] single trip insurance plans* purchased from 1 January 2021 onwards.

Secure your 60% discount on Travel Insurance here

To enjoy this discount, simply fill up the registration form in the link from now to 31 December 2020. A 60% off voucher will be sent to your UPGREAT app, and can be used towards your next Travel [email protected] purchase (a maximum of 2,500 vouchers can be redeemed) in 2021. 

It’s a zero-risk way of locking in a discount on future travel insurance needs, so why not take a minute to register? 

Capitol Kempinski Staycation giveaway

Capitol Kempinski Hotel
Capitol Kempinski Hotel

To mark the launch of the UPGREAT Virtual Vacay campaign, Great Eastern is giving away three staycation packages for a Stamford Suite at The Capitol Kempinski Hotel

This contest runs from now till 31 October 2020, and is open to all Singapore residents aged 18 and above who have an UPGREAT account. 

To participate:

  1. Post a photo of your favourite travel memories with a single creative caption (100 words or less) telling us both (i) your favourite travel memories, and (ii) what you miss most about the travelling experience
  2. Include one (1) hashtag: #UPGREATvacay
  3. Tag 3 friends on the post
  4. Set the Instagram and/or Facebook account to ‘Public’
  5. Submit the URL of your Instagram and/or Facebook post and other contest entry information as required to the designated online form (the “Entry Submission Form”), in accordance with the instructions on the Entry Submission Form, which may be accessed here

Judging will be completed by 13 November 2020, and winners announced within 14 days after that on the GETGREAT and UPGREAT Facebook page


UPGREAT’s Virtual Vacay campaign has a little something for everyone. 

Browse a few of the vacation itineraries to see what 2021 will (hopefully) have in store, earn some bonus rebates on your hotel bookings (even if they’re just for Singapore), and pick up a free Personal Accident plan with COVID-19 coverage while you’re at it. 

Don’t forget to take part in the Capitol Kempinski Hotel giveaway too- it’s a really fantastic prize, so get creative! 

*Protected up to specified limits by SDIC
Aaron Wong
Aaron founded The Milelion to help people travel better for less and impress chiobu. He was 50% successful.

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