Goodbye, GrabRewards Platinum

I'm no longer a GrabRewards Platinum member, but I can't say I'm losing too much sleep about it.

Here’s some food for thought.

I take roughly 1-2 Grab rides per day, and order GrabFood 3-4 times per week. Over the past six months, I’ve spent more than S$3,000 on the platform. I’d say that makes me a reasonably active user.

And yet my GrabRewards status is sinking like a stone. I recently dropped from Platinum to Gold, and it’s only a matter of time before I plumb the depths of Silver and, eventually, Member. 

This isn’t because GrabRewards has changed the qualification criteria for elite status- that’s remained untouched since July 2018. Rather, it’s because Grab has nuked its system for points accrual, so much so you could use Grab on a daily basis and still be nowhere closer to elite status. 

GrabRewards elite structure

As a quick refresher, GrabRewards has a four-tier elite system, starting at Member and maxing out at Platinum. Tier qualification is based on the number of points earned within a calendar half:

  • 1 January to 30 June
  • 1 July to 31 December
🚕GrabRewards Elite Qualification
Tier Points Req. Spend Req.*
Qualify | Requalify
Member N/A N/A
Silver 300 S$100 | S$100
Gold 1,200 S$400 | S$267 
Platinum 4,500 S$1,133 | S$750
*Spending required for qualification and requalification is different because earn rates are different between tiers. For example, a Silver member (3 pts/S$1) would need to spend S$400 to earn Gold (4.5 pts/S$1), but only S$267 to maintain it.

Status earned is valid for the rest of the calendar half, plus the following calendar half.

For example, if I accrued 1,200 points on 3 March 2022, I’ll enjoy Gold status till 31 December 2022. To requalify for Gold, I’ll need to earn a further 1,200 points between 1 July to 31 December 2022. 

The key thing to note is that GrabRewards elite qualification is based on points, not number of transactions. In other words, it’s all about the Benjamins (or Ishaks, I suppose, in the Singapore context) spent within the Grab ecosystem.

The problem is, the two have lost all semblance of a relationship in recent times…

GrabRewards earn structure

When doing the background research for this post, what was striking was the rate at which GrabRewards went south ever since the pandemic began: 

  • In March 2020, GrabRewards cut earn rates by up to 60%, and increased award prices by almost 40%
  • In March 2021, Grab cut the points earned by credit/debit card users by 50%, while increasing points for Grab Wallet users by 50%
  • In August 2022, Grab removed all GrabRewards points for credit/debit card payments
  • In October 2022, Grab removed all GrabRewards points for GrabPay Card transactions (except F&B), and introduced a gacha mechanic for in-store GrabWallet payments

In the space of just two and a half years, GrabRewards went from somewhat decent to dumpster fire (and that’s not even taking into account the non-GrabRewards nerfs, such as removing support for Revolut and other e-wallet top-ups, or nerfing AXS payments).

For those who even care, here’s the current earn structure.

🤣 GrabRewards Earning Structure
Tier GrabPay Card GrabPay Wallet
(In-store)
GrabPay Wallet (Online)* & PayLater
Member 1 (F&B)
0 (all other trxns.)
Random 3
Silver 3
Gold 4.5
Platinum 6
*Includes rides & deliveries

Transactions made with the GrabPay Card no longer earn any GrabRewards points at all, except F&B transactions which earn a miserly 1 point per S$1 (0.2% rebate). 

❓ F&B Definition
Grab defines F&B as a transaction with any of the following MCCs:
  • 5811- Caterers
  • 5812- Eating Places & Restaurants
  • 5813- Drinking Places, Bars, Taverns, Cocktail Lounges, Nightclubs and Discotheques
  • 5441- Candy, Nut and Confectionary Stores
  • 5451- Dairy Products Stores
  • 5462- Bakeries
  • 5814- Fast Food Restaurants

In-store transactions made with the GrabPay Wallet get a mystery box that contains a random number of points, ranging anywhere from 0 to 25,000. I wish I were kidding. On the rare occasions I’ve used GrabPay Wallet, I’ve got zero every time. 

The only other transactions which still earn points are:

  • Online GrabPay Wallet transactions
  • PayLater transactions
  • Grab rides & deliveries paid with GrabPay Wallet

I use a lot of Grab services, but never in the “right” way. My Grab rides and GrabFood are all paid using credit card, which earns no GrabRewards points. My GrabPay top-ups are invariably used for AXS (RIP) or GrabPay transactions (insurance, utilities etc.), neither of which earns GrabRewards points either.

Therefore, even though I’ve spent ~S$3,000 on Grab in the past six months, four times the S$750 theoretically required to requalify for Platinum, I’ve been downgraded to Gold. And frankly speaking, I’m probably going to get downgraded to Silver come 1 July 2023, since I’m not going to spend S$267 on Grab the way it wants me to. 

By 1 January 2024, I’ll be Silver, and assuming the GrabRewards programme is still around on 1 July 2024, I’ll have finally achieved the lofty status of Member. 

Am I missing out on much?

Is losing GrabRewards Platinum that big a deal? Probably not. 

🚕GrabRewards Elite Benefits
  Silver Gold Platinum
Points per S$1 3 pts 4.5 pts 6 pts
Priority Allocation
Priority Support

Platinum members do earn 33% more points than Gold, but given the highly restricted scope of earning (and low value of GrabRewards points), this can’t be said to be much of a perk.

Then there’s the vaguely-defined “priority ride allocation and customer support”. I can’t say I’ve had any more difficulty getting a Grab ride as a Gold member compared to my Platinum days, but with the ranks getting culled due to diminished opportunities for earning points, maybe the few remaining Platinums will have it better.

Heck, Grab’s even removed the airport benefits, not that they were great to begin with. Platinum and Gold members used to get “preferential rates” for lounge access, advertised as 55% and 40% off list prices if I remember correctly. But who needs this, when you can enjoy free lounge access via so many credit cards out there?

Therefore, unlike losing my Marriott Platinum status, I’m not shedding too many tears about this. The GrabRewards programme is simply not compelling enough to make me change my behaviour, and at that point you really need to ask yourself: why even bother running it?

Conclusion

My GrabRewards Platinum status evaporated on 1 January 2023, and I’m guessing I’m not the only one. It’s not that the qualification requirements have changed, but rather that Grab’s earn rates and channels have been nerfed into oblivion.

Still, this is probably the status I feel the most indifferent about losing. Grab Platinum has virtually nothing in the way of perks, and even if it means waiting a minute or two longer for a ride, it’s not worth jumping through the hoops Grab wants you to. 

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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Choon Yuan

Most of the time, gojek and Tada fees are lower than grab for the same distance. You might want to consider Gojek who seems to have amass the same size of driver pool in SG as Grab

Sean

Stopped using Grab a couple of years back now, when they consistently tried to charge me waiting fees because drivers had “arrived” at my condo guardhouse – not at my designated pickup point, which was well inside – and so did not start the ride <3 minutes.

Never had this issue with Comfort.

Yup

True, likely they pressed arrived even before the guardhouse. Same for places like ION and Taka where there is a long queue into the pick-up, they always press arrived from the junction outside and it takes them more than 3 minutes to get to you. Either you walk outside and board the car without them coming in or risk arguing with CS about the waiting fees. Grab drivers are well aware of this and prefer to press early so the customer looks for the car instead of them driving up to the customer.

Philip

Only passenger can recognise the car no. The driver don’t recognise the passenger it is fair that passenger need to look out for the car. Thanks. It’s a long term issue for pickup/drop off places like ION, Taka, Paragon, always very long que during peak hour & worst if near festive season… Can jam as long as 10 minutes. During these period the PHV apps will give higher incentives for no. of trips done. So unless PHV apps can come out a solution to solve this issue if not most driver will just cancel this places order. Remind u, If… Read more »

Khgan

Problems lie with your in-house security – acting like warlords, they are merely paid workers doing a simple check to make sure genuine riders and drivers doing delivery and pick up – nothing great but acting as though they rule over every thing coming in 😭

CSS

Been back with comfort the last couple of years.
Now is better as they tie up with Kris+

Anon

Flagging a taxi is sometimes cheaper…

Yukinochan

Can’t seem to flag any nowadays.

Vern

Could you share what cards you use for grab rides n grabfood? 🙂

C M

Not to mention their subscription package, which had covered $5 Grabfood delivery fee (iirc) and then it become $4 and now this month, just $3. $3 can’t cover anything much these days with the average delivery fee being more than $3, AND they still maintained the same minimum spend of $15 in order to get that $3.

Also don’t forget the increase of platform fee to $0.40 recently.

The golden days of Grab are over.

Anti grab

Boycott grab lol

Lim Chun Hui

The grab mystery gift has also change recently and is only valid for QR code that is only for grab. If you buy food with SG QRcode, you get zero point. Once I use finish all my balance with grab, I will change to others payment.

Phil

Thanks for writing this. Despite using Grab every week I just realised I have been demoted, haven’t earned a point since August, and my stash is about to expire!

Bruno

Grab rides in Thailand and Cambodia paid on CC still got me full points.

Ryan

Quick word to also say that there’s no soft landing, I recall it being explicitly stated that if you didn’t get enough points in the requalification period, you could theoretically drop 2 tiers or more. (eg you could drop from Platinum to just Member Tier if they accrued 0 points in the next qualification cycle).

As a working adult it’s trash so I’m not losing sleep even if I drop eventually to member tier. For students, maybe it’s ok on the virtue that little rewards is more than no rewards.

Gary

Hi Aaron,

Is it worth converting all my GrabPoints to KrisFlyer Miles? Would love to hear your thoughts on the most valued item to redeem.

Panini

Hello, I’m not Aaron but I can try to help a bit. Using Grab’s rate of 2000 points to 200 KF miles, that equates to “buying” KF miles at about 2 cents per mile since 2000 points is worth about $4sgd. Although it is up to you to decide what a value of a mile is, many people here stick to the rule of thumb of buying at 1.5 cents per mile. In that sense, 2 cents is a bit steep and you’d be better off using the points to take Grab rides instead. Personally I’m using my Grab reward… Read more »

Taxi driver

Selected merchants will reward you with points using grab Mastercard.

Stanley

Totally agree. Grab rewards are so crappy now. Had this jiggly feeling it was bad. Thanks for making it clear

Khgan

The way things are going – Grab is going Crabs!

Anon

Grab Essentially wanted to stop double dipping..

A O

Just top up the wallet before spending, its not difficult and a no brainer

Jibby

Grab sucks, been cutting down on it’s use

Bob C

I could not agree any less, yes I do hope the Grab CEO is reading this. Grab is definitely going downhill by being too ‘greedy’, eventually it’ll lose its customers who feels they are no longer appreciated so why patronise? For rides, there are definitely options out there with their crazy ridiculous surge, for food delivery there are also more choices. Sorry Grab, you will find it’s no longer easy to ‘grab’ our money…

John Doe

Grab thinks everyone is a clown willing to jump through all the hoops to earn that miserable 1 point.

JT91

ohhh ! so i cant get point by paying utility bill anymore? been thinking to setup for my new grab card… since i stopped using due to fraud and card blockage last sept..

Charles

Agree.. I don’t even feel any perks for being platinum. Priority ride is auch a joke..

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