Grab does a backflip on its ride rewards and loyalty update

Grab has switched back to its previous Grab ride rewards loyalty system.  Grab sent notifications through its app this morning, informing of the ride rewards points returning to its usual rate and that users who took rides between 20-23 July will be refunded the remaining points. The notification addressed that points to level up in the membership tier will be lowered and there will be increased benefits for using GrabFood and GrabPay.

In addition, users in the Platinum and Gold membership level will be able to earn points at a faster rate. Grab has said that it is aiming to be an “everyday app”. The notification also added that despite the changes in its rewards system, the ride-hailing firm is “committed” in rewarding users in their daily transactions.

Grab said it will be engaging more F&B, entertainment and travel services in its rewards system. It has added that it is working to provide long-term benefits for its Platinum users.

In a statement it said, "We recently updated our GrabRewards membership tiers and our policy for earning and redeeming GrabRewards points on the Grab app. We note that there has been some initial unhappiness about the recent changes, as point earnings for some verticals were reduced, and wanted to explain and provide the reasons for the changes to our customers."

The brand explained that GrabRewards "is a unique loyalty programme for small everyday transactions", in comparison to other loyalty programmes in the market that reward larger spends, such as those of airlines.

"Since its launch 1.5 years ago, we’ve continued to learn and iterate the programme including better segmenting point earnings for different services and payment methods, and adding more platinum member benefits and more partners," it said, adding:

We acknowledge that customers would appreciate time to adjust to the changes.

The brand added that effective 24 July at 8am until 30 September, GrabRewards members can claim ride reward points at the previous rates. Customers who have purchased Grab ride rewards based on the new rates will have the difference in points refunded.

The statement also added that last Friday’s change is part of a phased refresh that allows the company to expand the GrabRewards programme across the breadth of Grab services available and open more benefits for higher tier members. Grab explained that "this sets the foundation for [it] to introduce more exclusive perks for Platinum and Gold users after Q3".

Customers can also earn and use GrabRewards across all Grab services, including transport, food delivery and mobile payments.

"We balanced the reduced points earned on certain transport verticals with higher points earning rates for Platinum members for newer Grab services, such as GrabFood and GrabPay offline in-store purchases," it said.


For reference, the redemption rates for ride rewards are:

  • $5 ride rewards (1900 points for Platinum, 2000 points for Gold, 2100 points for Silver, 2200 points for Member)
  • $10 ride rewards (3600 points for Platinum, 3800 points for Gold, 4000 points for Silver, 4200 points for Member)
  • $15 ride rewards (5400 points for Platinum, 5500 points for Gold, 5800 points for Silver, 6000 points for Member)
  • $20 ride rewards (7100 points for Platinum, 7400 points for Gold/Silver/Member)
  • $25 ride rewards (8800 points for Platinum, 9000 points for Gold/Silver/Member)

When, Grab initially changed its GrabRewards loyalty programme, there was a massive pushback from netizens with netizens criticising the changes in Grab’s credit multiplier system when it came to its rewards points. Several loyalty players Marketing spoke to said that while Grab has made some good moves such as giving customers choice to earn points on Grab Food and in-store purchases, the reduction in points earned through Grab rides is, however, not a very welcoming move for members. In all likelihood, the move could have been seen as Grab looking to optimise its loyalty program cost where its initially high earn rate was simply a strategy to attract more customers to the Grab platform.

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