Over the past couple of weeks or so, things like HDB season parking and road tax payments have not been getting Grab points. Such transactions are considered government services (MCC 9399), and Grab has listed them as excluded transactions for points. Interestingly, my 28th February payment for road tax still moves the tracker for Grab Power Up Challenge, although this might have changed anytime since then.
This change is a reversal from some time back in August or September 2021 where Grab did the opposite by allowing government services to earn points.
What works now for government services?
Despite not giving Grab points, topping up one’s Grab wallet with the UOB Absolute Card and Amex True Cashback card gets 1.7% and 1.5% cashback respectively, so that is still some reward for something that excluded by most credit cards.
Another alternative is prepaid wallet Friz which gives 1.75% instant cashback on nearly anything aside from e-wallet top ups and AXS transactions. There is a decent sign-up bonus currently: $5 for your first top up of $10 or more, and $20 after you reach at least $500 of spending. It can be added to Google Wallet for payments on the go, but unfortunately this option is not available for iPhone users.
You can also try CardUp or ipaymy for government organisations that accept payment via FAST. There is a service fee payable, but if you play it right with a UOB One Card, you can get 5% cashback that more than covers your service fee. This requires a regular, monthly amount to be spent with your UOB One Card, and you can see more here (mainly about mortgage, but works for just any payment that accepts FAST).
If it’s a one-off affair, using CardUp or ipaymy with my links/promo code gets you $30 off your first transaction’s service fee, and that means free cashback/miles for transactions under $1,150-$1,300 or so dollars.
Such expenses, like things such as insurance, are always going to be tricky to farm rewards on, and with this nerf, Grab joins Amaze which also recently added government services to its list of exclusions.
A few people have linked this change to Grab’s massive plummet in stock price:
That may well be the case, but I think rewards from Grab have been a declining affair since a while ago, and we can only hope the remaining goodies don’t go away too soon… Already, we haven’t seen pointsback the whole of this year 😥
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