Should you buy Grab’s Rewards Multiplier package?

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Misleading descriptions, a miserly cap, and a whole lot of opportunity cost. All yours, for S$9.99 per month.

If you’ve been exploring the Grab app, you may have come across something under the subscriptions section called the “Rewards Multiplier”.

The proposition is simple: Pay a flat fee of S$9.99 per month and earn 4X GrabRewards points, with a S$2 GrabFood and S$2 Grab ride voucher thrown in for good measure. 

It may sound enticing, but do some math and you’ll realise it’s better to just scroll past. 

How does the Rewards Multiplier work?

For a S$9.99 monthly fee (no minimum commitment required), Grab users will earn 4X bonus GrabRewards points on all their spending through the GrabPay Card and GrabPay Wallet during that month. 

Let’s pause there. When Grab says “4X bonus GrabRewards points”, they don’t mean 4X your usual earn rate. In other words, if you’re a Platinum member earning 6 points per S$1, you won’t earn 24 points per S$1.

What they mean is you earn a flat bonus of 4 points per S$1, on top of whatever regular points you usually earn. This should really be stated a lot more clearly, because I couldn’t find anything in the T&Cs or FAQs. I only learned about it by reading data points on HWZ and Telegram of people who found out the hard way. 

Here’s the total points that Rewards Multiplier subscribers will earn, depending on their GrabRewards tier: 

Points per S$1 with Rewards Multiplier
Tier Regular  Bonus Total
Member 3 4 7
Silver 3 4 7
Gold 4.5 4 8.5
Platinum 6 4 10

The 4X bonus (we should really stop using the “X”, since it’s very misleading) points are capped at S$1,000 of GrabPay Card or GrabPay Wallet spending per month. 

Subscribers also receive a S$2 Grab ride voucher and a S$2 GrabFood voucher. Both require a minimum spend of S$10, and you must pay the remainder with a GrabPay balance. 

Is it worth it?

Absolutely not. 

If you think Grab’s throwing in the S$2 Grab ride and GrabFood voucher just because they like you, think again. These vouchers are included because without them, the Rewards Multiplier package is a straight up sham.

Item Value
4,000 bonus GrabRewards points S$8
S$2 GrabFood voucher S$2
S$2 Grab ride voucher S$2
Total S$12
Cost of Rewards Multiplier S$9.99

Subscribers are capped at 4,000 bonus GrabRewards points per month, which is worth S$8 in Grab vouchers. In other words, it’s impossible to break even on points alone. You’d need to use at least one S$2 voucher to break even, and if you manage to use both, well congrats, you’re ahead by a whopping S$2. 

The deal gets even worse when you consider the fact you’ll need to spend S$1,000 through your GrabPay Card or GrabPay Wallet, which entails an opportunity cost in itself (because some of that spending could have been put on cards earning up to 4 mpd). 

What about minimizing the opportunity cost by making transactions that wouldn’t normally earn credit card rewards? Grab’s pre-empted you with the following exclusions list:

  • 5411 Groceries, Supermarkets
  • 8220 Tuition Fees & Government Services
  • 4900 Electricity, Gas and Water Utilities
  • 9311 Tax Payments
  • 6300 Insurance Sales, Underwriting, and Premiums
  • 5960 Direct Marketing- Insurance Service
  • 6540 POI Funding Transactions
  • 7299 Miscellaneous Personal services
  • 6012 Financial Institutions, Merchandise and Services
  • 7399 Business Services not elsewhere Classified
  • 6011 ATM Withdrawals
  • 8398 Charitable and Social Service Organizations
  • 6536 Money Send
  • 6537 Money Send Intercountry
  • 8299 Schools and Educational Services (Not Elsewhere Classified)
  • 8661 Religious Organizations
  • 8211 Elementary and Secondary Schools
  • 8244 Business and Secretarial Schools
  • 8249 Vocational Schools and Trade Schools
  • 8241 Correspondence Schools
  • 8062 Hospitals

On first glance, this looks very similar to the standard list of GrabRewards exclusions. But look closer, and you’ll see Grab has added supermarkets and utilities. You probably wouldn’t want to use the GrabPay Card for supermarket transactions anyway (since the HSBC Revolution is much superior), but utilities was a good option since it’s excluded by several banks.

With all these conditions, I simply can’t see why anyone would want to subscribe to the Rewards Multiplier package. 

Conclusion

Let’s recap: to come out on top with the Rewards Multiplier package, you’d need to spend S$1,000 on your GrabPay Card/GrabPay Wallet and take a Grab ride or make a GrabFood order. You’d also have to ignore that pesky little voice at the back of your head reminding you about all the miles you’re missing out on by spending with the GrabPay Card.

And even if you do everything right, you’ve benefitted by a grand total of S$2- much wow. I’d say that at S$9.99 per month, the Rewards Multiplier is overpriced by about S$10.

Can anyone else see a use for the Rewards Multiplier package that I’m missing?

Aaron Wong
Aaron founded The Milelion to help people travel better for less and impress chiobu. He was 50% successful.

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Adam

I think supermarket is excluded because you can already earn an extra 4 points per dollar under the GrabPay Accelerator promo anyway.

Don

You mean you don’t see the only ones coming out on top is grab and whoever have a hand in their coffers?

SPAC cough cough

Consumer X

Grab is just an epitome of what Corporate Greed and short-term opportunism is.

Just look at how they pushed ahead with Uber merger, how it stopped the monthly packages when Circuit Breaker came into effect, and the endless consumer price increases with the pretense that it is for the benefit of the drivers.

Warung Buffet

Yea – why has it become the responsibility of the customer to tip or help the driver.

the drivers are clearly their employees and human capital – grab should be paying for all these suggested tips and additional costs to ‘help ‘them

Terence

Exactly, fully agree. The only way to help the drivers actually is for the market to collectively refuse to tip, then Grab would have to actually pay them proper wages.

But going by the trend, it looks like our less economically informed will ruin it and bring us into the tipping problem the US is facing.

Obe

Can we sue them for misleading products and no proper TnC ?

dkdk

Grab Reward table
Platinum: 6 4 10.5

You need to edit the table.
6 + 4 = 10, not 10.5

H T

kek

Tom

It seems that Grab rewards points are some of the lowest value of any loyalty program on the street. Compared to credit cards which seem to run north of 1% (many considerably higher) the 0.2% for Grab is an outlier. I have accumulated Grab points in spite of, not because I try to – the only merit being to retain status for Grab rides at peak times.

Warung Buffet

grateful for your analysis of dodgey marketing offers

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