Grab has become a household name ever since it beat Uber in the 2018 Southeast Asian ride-hailing price war, and even more so with its recent IPO.
It has since diversified its offerings with GrabInsurance providing insurance services, GrabInvest powering investments, and GrabFood satiating the hunger of millions.
Underpinning all these services is the native payment service, GrabPay. GrabPay Wallet allows easy top-ups from convenience stores in some countries and bank cards in others.
You can use the funds in GrabPay Wallet to pay for your daily Cai Png by scanning GrabPay’s QR code, pay for your shopping with the GrabPay card, and of course, pay for all Grab’s services.
With GrabPay’s high degree of penetration into the Fintech space in Singapore, it makes sense for all of us to at least understand how it works.
But like all deal-loving Singaporeans, let’s discuss 5 hacks you should know to make the best out of using GrabPay.
Update: From 14 October onwards,
1) QR transactions via the GrabPay Wallet will no longer reward you any GrabRewards Points. Instead, you will stand a randomised chance to win 25,000 GrabRewards Points.
2) GrabPay Card transactions will only reward you with 0.3% back in GrabRewards Points at F&B outlets. No GrabRewards Points will be awarded for everything else.
3) GrabRewards Points awarded for spending at Grab Services using the GrabPay Wallet remains the same.
Get cashback by topping up your wallet
The first question that pops into your mind when you read this heading might be: “Is this even allowed?”.
I get it, it doesn’t make sense for rewards to be given out when you are essentially transferring a balance from your credit card or bank account to an e-wallet.
We don’t get rewarded for moving cash from the ATM to our wallets do we?
GrabPay Wallet remains the only e-wallet to accept top-ups from American Express cards due to their higher fees compared to Visa and Master.
Virtually all Visa, Master cards do not offer rewards for e-wallet top-ups, but AMEX bucks this trend with some of their cards.
Cards like the AMEX Singapore Airlines Business Credit Card, AMEX True Cashback Card and the UOB Absolute Cashback Card (powered by AMEX) offer miles or cashback for your e-wallet top-ups.
Heck, AMEX even openly announces this in their Facebook advertisements.
The great thing about the True Cashback and Absolute Cashback is that they are entry level cards which anyone with an annual income of > S$30,000 can apply for.
Getting 1.5% / 1.7% cashback when topping up your GrabPay wallet on top of the GrabPay rewards you earn when transacting? Sweet.
Invest With No Minimum Amount
Grab has their own investment arm, GrabInvest that offers 2 main plans: AutoInvest and Earn+.
AutoInvest allocates $1 / $2 / $5 (your choice) into a select set of interest rate and money market funds every time a transaction is made on Grab. This form of micro-investing makes it effortless to gain exposure in the markets with free, unlimited withdrawals, and no brokerage fees. The projected return for this product is 1.18% p.a. .
Earn+ is a new Cash Management Platform (CMP) like Syfe’s Cash+ and Endowus’ Cash Smart. Earn+ invests in a select set of Short Term Bond Funds and Money Market Funds for a projected return of 2 – 2.5 % p.a. . It currently has the highest projected return out of all the CMPs on the market, so we shall see if they deliver on it. View my review on Grab Earn+ here.
Earn double rewards with FavePay
Fave is a rewards app that offers store vouchers at discounted prices, and cashback when you transact using their payment service FavePay.
Unlike GrabPay, FavePay does not allow users to store value in their wallets.
Whenever you make a transaction, FavePay debits the required amount either from your debit/credit card, or your GrabPay wallet.
FavePay gives you a variable percentage cashback that can only be used at the same merchant, usually ranging from 2.5% to 5% whenever you pay.
Taking into account the previous tip of earning cashback during your GrabPay Wallet top-up, the total amount of rewards you get will add up to around 4% to 6.7% when you use it as a funding source.
No, GrabPay no longer gives GrabRewards Points when FavePay debits an amount from it, RIP.
Pay your purchases later with PayLater
Buy Now, Pay Later payment schemes are so popular nowadays that companies like Atome, Rely, Hoolah are aggressively throwing money at consumers to gain market share. Even Shopee is doing the same
They offer rewards points and hefty discounts for all interest-free instalments, but may charge an expensive late fee if you miss a payment.
Grab’s PayLater takes a slightly different approach. It offers consumers two choices: Pay for your payment in 4 instalments and not earn any rewards, or pay it in full the next month and earn GrabRewards Points.
PayLater charges a comparatively lower admin fee (S$10) than the competition and allows monies to be debited from your GrabPay Wallet.
Remember we could earn cashback by topping up your GrabPay Wallet? If you do not care about GrabRewards Points, you are literally getting paid 1.5% – 1.7% to pay in installments. Talk about negative interest rates.
Enjoy a reduced fee with foreign currency purchases
Did you know that everytime you make a foreign currency purchase, your bank charges you a 2.8% to 3.25% fee?
To avoid this fee, many use multi-currency cards like YouTrip, Revolut and Wise to exchange and store foreign currencies.
But there is a caveat to this solution. You don’t get any rewards as you spend with those multi-currency cards. It then becomes a balance avoiding the 2.8% to 3.25% fee and obtaining card rewards.
The GrabPay card, which you can sign up for free, charges a flat 2% for all foreign currency purchases, much lower than the banks.
As 2500 GrabRewards Points are able to redeem a S$5 Grab voucher, a Platinum member that earns 6 GrabRewards Points will work out to a 1.2% cashback for every spend. But with the cashback you got from topping up your wallet, the total would offset the 2% fee you are paying for foreign currency purchases and net you up to 0.7% in overall cashback.
Like it or not, Grab is here to stay as it continues to dominate the ride-hailing market and capture a large market of the food-delivery space.
Its rapidly expanding Fintech Arm GrabPay is also making headways in mass adoption with their “Super App” that does virtually everything.
I hope the above-mentioned hacks ranging from cashback for top-ups to double rewards for FavePay payments will help you get more value out of your everyday use of GrabPay.
Are there any tips I missed out? Leave them in the comments below.
Derrick (Yip Hern) founded Tech Composition to provide valuable insights into the tech and finance world. He loves to scour the web for the best deals and embark on software projects during his free time, a typical geek, right?