Review: Dash Rewards

Singtel Dash has just released its rewards programme, Dash Rewards. Just in time since the Grab game recently got a lot worse without top-up rewards? Perhaps. Let’s see what Dash Rewards has in store for us.

Earning Dash points

As with every loyalty programme, Dash Rewards offers you points when you spend. There are three tiers: Silver, Gold, and Platinum.

You earn 2, 4, and 6 points per dollar spent at the Silver, Gold, and Platinum tiers respectively. Singtel is calling it Double Reward Points, which makes me wonder if this is a promotional rate that would halve in future.

Points are credited to your account the next day – a glacial pace given how Grab Rewards does it instantly. I’m no expert on human psychology but I’m sure the lack of instant gratification dampens users’ enthusiasm for this programme somewhat.

Also, Dash QR merchants are not nearly as ubiquitous as Grab ones, so your best bet is using the Dash Virtual Card where cards are accepted, or one of the increasing number of hawker centres that accept Dash as one of the QR payments. There are plenty of places that accept Grab QR payments but not cards, and you would be unable to use Dash at such outlets.

You also gain 100 points per remittance via Dash, and while it’s not a service I am familiar with, it may be worth something for those who use this service.

Tier promotion

To rise to a Gold member, you need to spend between $50 to $299 within a single month. $300 and above gets you Platinum membership.

Once you get promoted to the next tier, you will remain at the tier for six months. If you fail to meet the spend amount for all six months, you will be demoted in the 7th month. Here is where the terms and conditions get a little confounding: what does “failing to maintain the minimum spending requirements on a monthly basis during the six (6) months grace period, will result in the grace period to be re-counted again”?

Taken literally, I gather it means that your six-month grace period is reset every time you fail to meet your spending requirement, resulting in a permanent grace period if you continually do not meet the spending requirement of each tier. This is ridiculous of course, and I think the terms and conditions need to be edited for clarity.

Redeeming your Dash points

Each Dash point is worth 0.2 cents across Dash Rewards’ redemption catalogue – a variety of usual suspects like Grab, foodpanda, and fast food vouchers. This translates into a 0.4%, 0.8%, and 1.2% cashback rate for the 2, 4, and 6 points earn rate of the different tiers.

While this compares favourably While Grab allows you to use your Grab points as cash since you can offset QR payments using their points, that does not seem to be the case for Dash, which makes Dash points less versatile than Grab.

Earn cashback by transferring money to your friends! Get $5 to start.

Funding your Dash Wallet

While the maximum earn rate of 1.2% cashback pales in contrast to even the lowest of cashback cards which offer 1.5%, Dash wallets can be topped up using your Singtel postpaid bill, which you can then pay off using a card like Maybank FnF for 8% cashback, or most 4 mpd cards for a healthy amount of miles.

A Singtel postpaid subscriber could thus earn 8% + 1.2% cashback on his Dash spending up to a maximum of $200 per Singtel account per month.

Alternatively, another source of funding for your Dash Wallet could be funds from your Dash EasySave account. Withdrawing cash from that incurs a 70-cent fee, but withdrawing money into your Dash account is free.

Forget about using any other card for rewards as Dash has long been excluded from card rewards.

Use code DASH-L72MK when you sign up for Dash. I’m not sure whether you get any sign-up reward, but you can try, and it goes towards supporting this site!

Conclusion

Dash Rewards isn’t terribly exciting, but it does work well for Singtel postpaid users with a 8% + 1.2% earn rate even if it’s capped at a relatively low $200 per month.

Unfortunately, there isn’t much of a compelling reason for non-Singtel subscribers to use this. If you are at a place that accept credit cards, even the lousiest of cards give you 1.5% in cashback, not points. If you can’t use cards, you can still earn up to 3% cashback with Grab payments when you top up with Amex True Cashback. Can you find a place that accepts Dash and not Grab? I’d like to know.

The good:

  • Singtel subscribers get to earn high cashback when they top up their Dash wallets with their bill, and pay off their bill with a high earn card
  • Max earn rate of 6 points per dollar is higher than that of Grab’s 4 points

The bad:

  • Dash QR merchants are quite rare
  • Inability to use points to offset payments
  • Low top-up amount of $200 monthly via Singtel bill
  • Non-Singtel users don’t benefit much from using Dash

The ugly:

  • Being stuck in a situation where you don’t have enough points for what you want, and unable to use those you already have

★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
5 Stars of Sethisfaction

+ ★ ★ (if you’re a Singtel postpaid subscriber)

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