Game Over: Grab to Block AXS Transactions From 16th January 2023

Have bills on AXS to pay? Better start making payments because from 16th January 2023, Grab is going to remove the ability to use your GrabPay Card to make transactions via AXS.

AXS has been a way for people to earn card rewards on transactions that normally do not earn any card rewards, or even accept credit cards at all. From insurance to income tax, it was an easy affair to top up one’s Grab wallet using Amex True Cashback or UOB Absolute card (which itself is reducing cashback on Grab top-ups from 15th Jan) and pay for these bills to earn the cashback from the top-up.

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The use cases for GrabPay Mastercard have been disappearing over the past few years or so, with its demise even more rapid over the past few months. From slashing its rewards to almost nothing to blocking top-ups to other wallets, and UOB Absolute reducing cashback on top-ups to a mere 0.3%, the writing has been on the wall for some time.

It seemed like an exaggeration just a few weeks ago when I said GrabPay is dying, but this is truly the nail that seals its coffin.

What to do now?

It’s 13th January at the time of writing, and we have just a couple of days to do one last hurrah: top up your Grab wallets and pay your bills now for 1.5% cashback.

Unfortunately, there is a top-up limit of S$5,000 per day, and an overall S$10,000 spend limit per month. Also, UOB Absolute’s nerf takes effect on 15th January, and I feel that it is simply too risky to use UOB Absolute to top up now, and you should use Amex True Cashback.

If you have topped up with your UOB Absolute ahead of the nerf, do quickly offload your Grab credits now before the AXS limitation takes place.

Finally, do note that the interest rate environment we are in now means that there is a rather high opportunity cost in prepaying your bills. S$10,000 can generate about S$200 of returns these days with a 6-month t-bill, so do calculate accordingly whether it is worth paying off bills that are not due any time soon.

Alternatives

With AXS blocked, services like CardUp and ipaymy will become a lot more useful. It may not be as attractive as AXS given how AXS is free, but they still do offer opportunities for earning cashback and/or miles on your insurance, income tax, and other bills. There is a promo right now you can consider using for bills you are unable to pay with Grab.

Another alternative you can consider is HSBC EGA which gives you 1% cashback on your GIRO transactions. You can read about it here.

Parting words?

What are your parting words to GrabPay? Do leave them in the comments or Telegram group, and please keep it PG13.

Thanks to Adam for highlighting

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1 thought on “Game Over: Grab to Block AXS Transactions From 16th January 2023

  1. Why should people use Grab over other wallet apps when the only reward is that of using its own core services – namely GrabFood GrabExpress GrabRide?

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