Nerfed? SP GreenUp Tweaked From 17th June Onwards

SP GreenUP is an open secret for getting substantially discounted eCapitaVouchers. With a discount of 30%, it drastically improves the value of your Grab points, and makes STAR$ the only thing I redeem with my Grab points. I was therefore more than a little concerned when SP GreenUP announced a revamp to its programme starting from 17th June. Users who got a bountiful harvest of STAR$ in Grab’s recent 35% points back promo should also take note (it’s still available, at the time of writing).

Farming for leaves… again

Up until 17th June, you only need to grow your Plant once (guide here), and enjoy your perpetual Plant status and 30% discount on CapitaStar redemptions. Not anymore. From 17th June, your SP GreenUP Leaf Tier will be updated every cycle – a period of 3 months each.

Details of the new programme are brief, but this is what we know so far: in each cycle, if you collect fewer than 100 leaves, you will be downgraded to Seedling the next cycle. Between 100 and 399, you’ll be a Sprout the next cycle. You maintain your Plant status next cycle when you collect at least 400 leaves.

Plant TierLeaves RequiredDiscount
Seedling<10010%
Sprout100 – 39920%
Plant≥40030%

Once you collect enough leaves to progress to the next tier, you are automatically upgraded. Downgrades happen in the next cycle should you not collect enough leaves in the current cycle.

Seth
Seth

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Analysis

The good news is that the 30% discount rate is unchanged. Deals that are too good to be true often don’t last, and this is one very good deal that has stuck around for a while. SP GreenUP’s 30% discount drastically changes the value proposition for STAR$: each STAR$ goes from 0.1 cents each to 0.143 cents each, a dramatic 43% boost. It makes things like KrisFlyer → STAR$ conversion go from lousy to fairly sensible, and Amex CapitaCard from meh to pretty decent.

The main change is that SP GreenUP would soon require you to constantly farm for leaves if you want to continue enjoying 30% off your CapitaStar redemptions. It doesn’t sound like a very big deal, but as anyone who has done it before can attest, the process can be annoyingly troublesome. The user interface pauses and loads almost every time you press something, and while it’s a bearable endeavour to complete it once and be done with it, it’s a complete chore to have to do it every now and then.

More pessimistic analysis

My view – and it might be a paranoid one – is that I would personally convert as much STAR$ as I can into eCapitaVoucher now that I have the Plant tier. Annoyingly, there is an eCapitaVoucher cap of $999 and I have to spend down on my eCapitaVouchers to continue converting STAR$.

Keeping my STAR$ until I am ready to spend it does extend the expiry dates, but I have to weigh this benefit against the risk of potential devaluation. While the 30% rate has not changed, many reward programmes have done “soft nerfs” before – the advertised benefit isn’t changed, but the entire underlying value has been tweaked for the worst. For instance, 17th June might come with users finding leaves exceedingly difficult to collect, or even require activities that require expenditure to reach 400 leaves. I’m hoping the leaf collection mechanics remain largely the same, but perhaps I’m just being overly cautious.

In any case, it is also rather vague whether current Plant tier users would remain as Plant in the first cycle. I will update this article when the new programme hits, and let’s hope I’m worrying for nothing 🤞🏻

Update 17th June: Thankfully, not much has changed. Earning leaves is as easy (or as troublesome) as before.

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