Grab has announced an upcoming change to the GrabRewards program, which takes effect from 22 March 2021.
While GrabRewards members currently earn 2-4 points per S$1 depending on their tier, this will soon change to 1-6 points per S$1. This penalizes those who use credit or debit cards with GrabPay, while benefiting those who use their GrabPay wallet balance.
Half the points for credit/debit card payments; 50% more points for GrabPay
Here’s the current GrabRewards earning structure:
|Points per S$1 Spent
(Until 21 March 2021)
|GrabPay Wallet or Credit/Debit Card||Cash|
From 22 March 2021, you’ll earn points as follows:
|Points per S$1 Spent
(From 22 March 2021)
|GrabPay Wallet||Credit/ Debit Card||Cash|
- GrabPay Wallet users earn 50% more points per S$1
- Credit/ debit card users earn 50% fewer points per S$1
- There is no change for cash users, who will continue to earn no points
As a simple example, suppose I’m a GrabRewards Platinum and order S$10 worth of GrabFood, paying with my credit card. I’d normally earn 40 points on this transaction (plus whatever I get from my credit card), but from 22 March 2021, I’ll earn just 20 points. However, if I top-up my GrabPay balance and use the Grab Wallet to pay, I’ll earn 60 points from 22 March 2021.
It’s clear that Grab wants to incentivize users to top-up and maintain a GrabPay wallet balance, as opposed to using GrabPay as a “pass-through” for their credit or debit card. Instead of offering costly top-up bonuses (e.g top-up S$10 and get S$11), it’s much cheaper to dangle points as a carrot instead. We’ve seen them offer small points bonuses for top-ups in the past, and this is somewhat along the same lines.
Which cards earn points for GrabRewards top-ups?
If you want to continue using your credit card, the question then becomes: which ones still earn points for GrabPay top-ups?
Answer: Not a lot.
|Earn Rate (per S$1)||Remarks|
|AMEX True Cashback||1.5% cashback|
|AMEX SIA Business Card||1.8 HighFlyer points
|AMEX KrisFlyer Ascend||1 mpd||Capped at 5,000 miles until 10 May 2021. Registration required. More information here.|
|AMEX KrisFlyer Credit Card||1 mpd|
|AMEX KrisFlyer PPS Card||1 mpd|
|AMEX KrisFlyer Solitaire PPS Card||1 mpd|
|AMEX Centurion||0.63 mpd||Capped at 3,125 miles until 10 May 2021. Registration required. More information here.|
|AMEX Platinum Charge||0.63 mpd|
|AMEX Platinum Reserve||0.56 mpd||Capped at 2,778 miles until 10 May 2021. Registration required. More information here.|
|AMEX Platinum Credit Card||0.56 mpd|
|AMEX Rewards Card||0.56 mpd|
The Maybank Horizon Visa Signature supposedly earns 3.2 mpd for top-ups too, but I haven’t personally tested it.
Grab users who pay with credit and debit cards will earn 50% fewer points from 22 March 2021, while those who use their Grab Wallet balance will earn 50% more points.
A GrabRewards point is worth roughly 0.2 cents each, so the change doesn’t really affect the equation for me. I’ve always seen GrabRewards points as a “nice to earn”, rather than something that fundamentally shifts my purchasing decision.