Beware the Ides of March: Things to Do Before Good Stuff Go Away With February

A month woefully short even with its extra day this year, February feels like the last month of the good stuff we have enjoyed so far. March is coming, and nerfs are afoot.

Top up your Grab now

The biggest rainclouds that loom would be the various changes and nerfs happening to GrabPay in March, specifically on the card rewards you get on Grab top-ups.

What you can do now

If you have a UOB One card, my previous article lays out the options you have. If you are an Amex cardholder, you might want to maximise your opportunity to earn miles on it now while you can.

Also, Maybank is running a promotion this month that also surprisingly includes Grab top-ups, so that’s something before the stormy weathers ahead.

Having secured your top-up rewards, you can slowly use the Grab credits at your own pace, but remember that you will only get 4 Grab points per dollar in future. Should you have any large purchases in the near future that can be paid for using GrabPay QR or GrabPay MasterCard, now is the time to make those purchases to get 10 Grab points for every dollar before the drastic 60% cut happening on 2nd March.

Redeem your Grab vouchers now

Not only is the earn rate being nerfed, redemption of ride discounts is also made more expensive. $5 GrabFood/ride vouchers are going from 1,900 to 2,500, and $10 ones are going from 3,600 to 5,000. Larger denominations of $15, $20 and $25 are also going away.

What you can do now

Depending on your usage habits, you should redeem some of the ride vouchers now, especially those of higher value if you need more expensive rides or food deliveries, and they’ll be good until 30th June.

90°N cardholder? Suica and AirBnb – do it now

I’m surprised that OCBC has not announced any kind of extension to OCBC 90°N’s various high earn rates which expire on 29 Feb. 8 mpd on AirBnb was really awesome – I clocked almost 100,000 miles for a long-term rental – but you won’t even get the 4 mpd for the other things like flights or foreign spending, or even Netflix once March arrives.

What’s the plan, OCBC – a plain 1.2 mpd with no upside? Ugh.

What you can do now

If you have confirmed trips overseas and have a preference for AirBnb, now it’s the time to lock in your accomodation.

Also, if you are going to Japan and have a relatively modern iPhone, you can consider topping up a virtual Suica card now for 4 mpd. Every iPhone from the 2017 iPhone 8 and iPhone X onwards has Suica capabilities built in. (Update: Suica take about 5 days to post, so you may be too late 😢)

Remember, the 4 or 8 mpd is for posted transactions, so if you spent it on 29th Feb, the transaction is not likely to get bonus miles. Yikes.

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Not yet a Citi and/or StanChart card member? Get your sign-up bonuses now

Time to plug some promos again, and it’s truly because I’ve not seen such attractive rewards. I’ve always gotten $30 to $100, so I’m really envious of those who get to enjoy such great promos if they haven’t already gotten themselves a Citibank or StanChart card.

What you can do now

If you don’t have Citibank credit cards, applying for the new Citibank Cashback+ gives you a whopping $350 via PayNow.

If you don’t have Standard Chartered credit cards, applying for one of the four cards gives you a set of AirPods on top of $80 cashback credited to your card. I recommend the Spree card which also gives you 2% cashback on Grab top-ups at the moment.

If you already have these cards, you still get $30 for getting another Citibank card, and $70 ($50 via PayNow, $20 via cashback) for another StanChart card. Pretty generous for literally 10 minutes of work.

My friend’s friend already got the AirPods!

Useful for playing all the sad songs when March arrives 😢

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