UOB Absolute Cashback Card nerfs GrabPay top-ups

From 15 January 2023, UOB Absolute Cashback Cardholders will only earn 0.3% cashback on GrabPay top-ups, instead of the current 1.7%.

While GrabRewards has been nerfed into oblivion, there’s still one crucial use case for GrabPay: bill payments.

So long as your credit card earns rewards on GrabPay top-ups, you can use your GrabPay balance to pay bills via AXS and effectively earn miles or cashback on them. The vast majority of cards exclude GrabPay top-ups, but there’s still three contenders left.

Well, two from 15 January 2023.

UOB Absolute Cashback Card nerfs GrabPay top-ups

From 15 January 2023, the UOB Absolute Cashback Card will reduce the cashback on GrabPay top-ups to 0.3%, down from 1.7% currently.

With effect from 15 January 2023, the cashback rate awarded for Grab mobile wallet top-up transactions will be revised to 0.3%.

The Terms & Conditions have been updated accordingly (under point 1(i)). 

For what it’s worth, the nerf doesn’t take place till 15 days after 2023 begins. That’s important, because your annual S$30,000 GrabPay transaction limit resets on 1 January 2023.

If you were so inclined (and if your credit limit permits), you could do one final burst of fire by topping up S$10,000 and spending it on future AXS bills, earning S$170 cashback in the process (you can’t do the full S$30,000 in a month, because GrabPay has a S$10,000 top-up limit per month).

That probably doesn’t make sense from an opportunity cost point of view, especially with interest rates going up every month, but well.

It’s a shame this is happening now, because MAS looks set to raise the annual transaction limit for e-wallets from S$30,000 to S$100,000 in the near future (or maybe that’s why UOB’s decided to do it now). Imagine being able to score a 1.7% discount on up to S$100,000 of income tax, MCST fees, insurance premiums, education expenses, season parking, utilities bills and more…

Which other cards earn rewards for GrabPay top-ups?

With the nerfing of the UOB Absolute Cashback Card, American Express will be the only issuer still offering rewards for GrabPay top-ups, and even then, just on two cards. 

💳 Cards for GrabPay Top-Ups
CardEarn RateRemarks

AMEX HighFlyer Card
Apply

1.8 mpdOnly for owners of SMEs

AMEX True Cashback Card
Apply

1.5% cashbackNo cap

Since the AMEX HighFlyer Card is only available to owners of SMEs, most people will have to switch to the AMEX True Cashback Card from 15 January 2023. This earns 1.5% cashback on everything, including GrabPay top-ups. 

At least for now. American Express already tightened the rewards for GrabPay top-ups back in August 2022, so who knows whether we’ll pass through 2023 unscathed?

Conclusion

From 15 January 2023, UOB Absolute Cashback Cardholders will only earn 0.3% cashback on GrabPay top-ups, down from the current 1.7%.

I suppose we should be thankful that UOB didn’t exclude it altogether, but that’s more or less what they’ve done. There will be little reason to use the UOB Absolute Cashback Card for GrabPay top-ups when you can earn 1.5% cashback with the AMEX True Cashback Card.

For now.

(HT: CC Gong)

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

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Jing Yi

That probably accounted for 80% of the card’s business…

Tessy

Cutting up the card nao!

Rach

ok time for card termination

Sumaiyah Abdul Kader

From what I understand, SCB Spree Card still allows for Grabpay Top-ups with 2% Cashbank, please review and confirm this?

Timothy

Is already written on their TnC, mcc 6540 is excluded from the issuance of cashback.

Last edited 1 year ago by Timothy

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