News Flash: Grab Rewards Suck (& So Do These 5 Super Boliao Reward Schemes)

grab rewards

You must’ve heard about the recent Grab Rewards scandal. Car-hailing app Grab tried to do us dirty by sneakily changing their rewards scheme on the sly.

TL;DR: Grab Rewards points are now harder to earn and vouchers are more costly to redeem.

Basically, they realised that everyone was benefitting too much from Grab rides, and had no incentive to use their newer services, GrabFood and GrabPay (in-store). So what did they do? They slashed the Grab ride earnings by 60% to 80%, and bumped up the others by 20% to 100% for Gold and Platinum members.

Here’s a table comparison of the new and old Grab Rewards:

Old earn rate New earn rates
Grab rides (pay with GrabPay) $1 = 16 points $1 = 3 points (Silver) / 4.5 points (Gold) / 6 points (Platinum)
Grab rides (pay with cash) $1 = 8 points $1 = 1 point (Silver) / 1.5 points (Gold) / 2 points (Platinum)
GrabFood (pay with GrabPay) $1 = 5 points $1 = 3 points (Silver) / 4.5 points (Gold) / 6 points (Platinum)
Using GrabPay for in-store purchases $1 = 5 points $1 = 5 points (Silver) / 7.5 points (Gold) / 10 points (Platinum)

But that’s not all. The cost to redeem Grab vouchers has also increased for higher tier Grab Rewards members.

In the past, the higher your membership tier, the cheaper it cost in points to redeem Grab vouchers. Grab has now made the cost exactly the same for all tiers.

In a bid to justify their unpopular move, Grab has also lowered the requirements to climb the membership tiers. Genius.

Grab Rewards membership tier New points needed
Member 0
Silver 300 (previously 3,000)
Gold 1,200 (previously 9,000)
Platinum 4,500 (previously 19,000)

And now, after an outcry from their fans, they’ve decided to postpone the new Grab Rewards scheme until 1 Oct 2018. This way, riders have until 30 Sep 2018 to redeem their hard-earned points.

I’m sure riders appreciate the back flip, but it doesn’t change the fact that Grab tried to pull a fast one on us.

Grab Rewards are pretty shitty in my honest opinion, but if you disagree… Here are 5 similarly boliao rewards schemes for Singaporeans to waste your time on.


Spend $200 to redeem 1 more EZ-Link card

Just as you clock points for taking Grab, you too can earn points for taking the bus and MRT with EZ-Link Rewards. The earn rate is $1 = 10 points, which sounds pretty good since you kind of NEED to take public transport anyway, right?

Just wait till you see what passes for their “rewards”. Most of them are lame things like a CHANCE to win a staycation (100 points / $10) or another EZ-Link card (2,000 points / $200). The EZ-Link card has no stored value in it, by the way.

“Good” rewards like a free cup of LiHo bubble tea (600 points / $60) or free donut at Dunkin’ Donuts (300 points / $30) always snapped up fast.


Changi Rewards

Spend $1,000 for a measly $5 voucher

Singapore Changi Airport is may be the world’s #1 airport, but Changi Rewards is one of Singapore’s worst rewards programmes. You should sign up as a member just for the member perks like GST-absorbed prices and seasonal promotions, but if you’re looking to chase points for vouchers, forget it.

The earn rate is $10 = 10 points (for a regular member), and the rewards are incredibly expensive. You need 350 points ($350) to get 1 hour of free parking, and a whopping 1,000 points ($1,000) for a measly $5 Changi Rewards voucher.

If you want, you can convert your points into miles too. But there will never be a reason to – the rate is laughable. For every $3,000 spent, you earn 3,000 points, which converts to 500 miles.

The Gold and Platinum memberships have better earn rates, but you need to spend $4,000 and $8,000 respectively to get there. And it’s yearly thing, so you must keep spending or else you’ll be relegated to the commoner tier. Damn sian.


Muji Reward Programme

The $100 you spend to become a member will earn you 0 points

Ahh… Muji. Everyone’s favourite furniture and homeware store.

I admit, I’m a sucker for their minimalist stuff too – but my love for the Japanese brand sure isn’t blinding me from how useless the Muji rewards programme is.

You need to spend $100 in a single receipt to become a member, and this $100 won’t earn any points. Then, you don’t get any discounts, but instead, you begin earning points at $20 = 1 Muji Dollar, which is the equivalent of a $1 discount on your next bill.

As if it’s not hard enough to earn those cool Muji Dollars, you can’t redeem your points as and when you please. Your bill must be above $10 each time.

If you’re offended by this, please go and reflect (or tell me how to make this worth my while). Almost everyone I know loves Muji, but we all agree that the Muji Reward Programme stinks.


7-11 7-Rewards

Spend $40 to redeem 7-11 brand water

7 Eleven is the most non-MoneySmart convenience store chain to exist. Everything is marked up because they’re open 24-7.

If you’re one of those who’d crawl out of bed at 3am to grab a cup of Nissin tom yum cup noodles, then maybe you should download 7-11’s 7-Rewards app and start earning points.

… Actually, don’t bother. Each stamp is $4, and rewards can be redeemed using 10, 15 and 20 stamps ($40, $60 and $80 respectively). It wouldn’t be so bad if you got some discounts, but instead, you get snacks. I looked at the redemption table and I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry at the snack hierarchy.

In the lousiest tier (10 stamps, $40), you can redeem things like house brand water and potato chips. It gets progressively better, I suppose: 15 stamps ($60) can get you Pokka milk tea or Red Bull. But you know you’ve really made it in life when you spend $80 (20 stamps) to redeem a pack of Calbee Jagabee.

Get ready to flip your fringe and strut out of the store.


BreadTalk Rewards

Store credits in your card, only to pay the same price

I’m actually a huge fan of BreadTalk because I love the Hokkaido Snow Roll. But no matter how often I buy bread, it makes no sense for me to sign up for their rewards programme.

The biggest perk of the BreadTalk Reward programme is the welcome voucher: You get a 1-for-1 voucher that you can use on buns (under $2.10) or kopi (at Toast Box). You will receive this when you register for an account. If you want, you can also store value into the rewards card, or buy their bulk vouchers (e.g. $18.60 for 12 buns) via the mobile app.

For a free $2.10 bun, I doubt it’s worth the trouble. Personally, I wouldn’t buy a voucher for 12 buns, let alone set aside $20 to $100 to top-up a pre-paid roti card.

At first, I thought that storing value in the card would give customers some kind of discount, but NO. Sure, they have member-exclusive discounts on seasonal items (like the recent World Cup cakes) from time to time, but you pay the same price on most items.

Uhm, I’d rather not.

Do you think these rewards programmes are any good? Tell us in the comments below!