GrabPay is one of Southeast Asia's most popular electronic wallets and payment systems created by Grab.
Consumers can create a GrabPay Wallet and link to their credit or debit card so that they can make payments online and through the Grab app on their phone. Furthermore, you can order a GrabPay MasterCard debit card to pay at thousands of merchants worldwide.
With the numerous advancements and new features added to the GrabPay platform weekly, we help you stay up-to-date about the power of GrabPay.
Why use GrabPay?
There are several reasons to use GrabPay over existing payment methods.
- Convenience – you don't have to bring cash or cards with you as GrabPay is widely accepted and can be used to pay for many services
- Accumulate GrabRewards points – eligible payments can earn GrabRewards points
- Redeem GrabRewards points – use those points for instant cash back or goods and services
- Double-dip credit card rewards – certain AMEX cashback cards like the UOB Absolute Card will still reward cashback for topping up the GrabPay Wallet
- GrabPay deals – some merchants may offer promotions for checking out with GrabPay
- Automatically invest – eligible transactions may be automatically invested from as little as $1 turning your spending into a saving habit
Two of the most useful features about GrabPay are the GrabPay Wallet and GrabPay Card, so we will walk through both in greater detail.
The GrabPay Wallet is a digital wallet to store preloaded funds. There are limits on how much money you can spend, send or hold in your balance under the Payment Services Act to protect users and to minimise misuse.
GrabPay Wallet balance and transaction limits
|Unverified GrabPay Wallet||Fully Verified GrabPay Wallet|
|Type of transaction||Unverified GrabPay Wallet||Fully Verified GrabPay Wallet|
|Single transaction (spend) limit||S$1,000||NA|
|Annual transaction (spend) limit (Based on the calendar year, resets on January 1st)||S$5,000||S$30,000|
|Top up limit||S$1,000||S$5,000|
|Type of transactions||Max Amount|
|Single transaction limit||S$5,000|
|Daily transaction limit||S$5,000|
|Monthly transaction limit (Based on the calendar month, resets on the 1st of every month)||S$10,000|
|Annual transaction limit (Based on the calendar month, resets on January 1st)||S$30,000*|
|Daily transaction count (Number of transactions per day)||20|
|Daily ATM withdrawal limit||S$1,500|
|Monthly ATM withdrawal limit||S$5,000|
- Direct charges to the credit/debit cards or other wallets linked to your GrabPay are not counted against your transaction limits
- Topping up your GrabPay wallet does not count against your transaction limits
- Verification will enhance limits and can be done by anyone above 15 years old using MyInfo. Since it is tied to your identity, you may only hold one GrabPay account at one time
GrabPay Wallet top-up methods
There are several ways to top-up your GrabPay Wallet, including:
- Credit and debit cards – most cards exclude these top-ups from earning rewards. Top-ups made by credit cards cannot be transferred to other wallets or to the bank account.
- PayNow VPA – this is a unique Virtual Payment Address introduced by PayNow to securely send or receive funds while keeping your existing PayNow registration. Linking VPA to GrabPay Wallet is required.
- Banking QR Code – an alternate PayNow transfer which you can upload the QR code to your scan-to-pay feature on the banking app
- Bank Transfer – another transfer method from bank accounts but using FAST
- Linked Bank Account – once your bank accounts are linked, you can top up your GrabPay Wallet without entering your online banking details
- Earn+ – you can use up to 90% of the available withdrawal amount in your Earn+ plan to top-up your GrabPay Wallet
What can you do with funds in GrabPay Wallet?
GrabPay Wallet funds can be used for payment services like:
- Pay at merchants using Scan to Pay – supporting PayNow and SGQR QR codes
- Transfer to another GrabPay Wallet using their mobile number
- Transfer to a bank account or your PayNow account
- Transfer to another e-wallet service like Wise or Revolut
- Request money using a QR code or via a payment link
- Remit money to the Philippines to the recipient's GrabPay wallet
It can also be used for financial services like:
- Automatically investing into AutoInvest or Earn+
- Purchase insurance for ride cover
We will cover Grab investment services in another article – stay tuned.
Grab PayLater is a financial services offering by Grab for flexible payments similar to most Buy-Now-Pay-Later (BNPL) services – by activiating PayLater, you can split your payment into 4 monthly instalments or consolidate your Grab expenses and pay them in one bill the next month.
To be eligible for this service, you must be above 21 years old, be on a Silver or above GrabRewards tier member, and have used either credit or debit card for at least 3 Grab transactions.
PayLater Instalments offers you to split your bill into 4 monthly instalments and pay 1/4 upfront at no cost, no interest and no minimum spend. You also get 1.2% rebates in GrabRewards.
However, if you miss a payment, your PayLater account may be suspended, and the cost to reactivate is $10.
The other way to use PayLater is something called PayLater Postpaid, which can be used for Grab services to consolidate payments for Grab services and purchases from online partners on a monthly basis, interest-free with no minimum spend.
At the end of the month, your transactions will be consolidated into a single bill that you can settle using your GrabPay balance before the due date.
Merchant adoption of Grab PayLater has been slower compared to its competitors like Atome, Hoolah and FavePay Later. However it is expected to increase over the next few months.
The GrabPay Card is a prepaid Mastercard that lets you spend your GrabPay Wallet balance online, in-stores and overseas at most Mastercard acceptance points, as an extension of your GrabPay wallet.
By doing so, you have the ability to spend funds in your GrabPay Wallet in more places, funds are deducted directly from your wallet balance.
Paying with the GrabPay Card also extends the following benefits:
- Earn GrabRewards points
- Double GrabRewards points with every purchase when you link to Samsung Pay
- Complimentary Mobile Phone Protection coverage for accidental phone damage or theft when you pay your monthly phone bills with the GrabPay card
- Complimentary E-Commerce Purchase Protection coverage if the item does not arrive, malfunctions due to physical damage during delivery, or the wrong item is delivered
- Complimentary Mastercard® Flight Delay Pass for free lounge access in the event your pre-registered flight gets delayed by 2 hours or more
- Access to exclusive Mastercard Priceless deals and GrabPay partner deals
- Real-time payment notifications when you pay
- Enhanced payment security with a numberless physical card
GrabPay card can be used to:
- Pay for online or in-store purchases at any merchant that accepts Mastercard
- Pay for Grab services overseas especially if you travel in SEA
- Save on FX fees and other charges when paying overseas
- Withdraw money from overseas ATMs
- Pay for public transport
- Add your card to Samsung Pay to earn double the rewards points with every purchase
Taken together, this means GrabPay is emerging as the de facto payment ecosystem for SEA, with seamless integration across mechants, payment gateways, consumers and other financial service providers.
There are some limitations for the GrabPay card:
- Unable to pay if the merchant does not support Mastercard
- Unable to pay if the merchant is involved in cryptocurrency trading, lottery, sports betting, drug or tobacco stores and other restricted MCCs
- GrabPay card does not support adding to Apple Pay or Google Pay
- GrabPay card does not work for domestic ATM withdrawals
GrabPay Card for overseas transactions
GrabPay card works for overseas transactions as well, but for FX transactions that are made in currencies other than SGD will be charged a non-refundable processing fee of 2%.
For cross border transactions in SGD made overseas, you will be charged a non-refundable processing fee of 1%. Examples are an ecommerce merchant located overseas but charging in SGD.
GrabPay, Grab PayLater and GrabPay card transactions may be eligible for up to 2% rebates in Grab Rewards depending on your tier. Typically, the base rebate would be between 0.6% to 1.2%.
There are 4 member tiers – Member, Silver, Gold and Platinum – which you can unlock once you have accumulated the number of points needed for each tier. Depending on your tier status, you will be entitled to a host of exclusive benefits.
Here is the takeaway:
- Pay using GrabPay when possible for highest rewards rate (between 0.6% to 1.2%)
- Get an additional 0.8% back when spending on dining and takeouts, fitness club memberships, streaming subscriptions, online games and telco bills
Points earned can be redeemed for several categories of rewards:
- Redeem vouchers (e.g. CapitaStar, Zalora, Sheng Shiong) and gift cards (e.g. Amazon) from the Grab Rewards catalog
- Redeem for good and services from the Grab Rewards catalog
- Use points to offset against deliveries and in-store payments
- Use points for donations to charity
- You can earn additional GrabRewards points by converting from Citi ThankYou Rewards with no admin fee or waiting time
- Points may never expire and keep accumulating, so long as you will make 1 point-earning Grab transaction within the next 3 months of your last transaction
- Not all transactions will earn GrabRewards points, an updated list can be found here
GrabPay spending strategy
We've identified the best strategies to maximise the benefits of your GrabPay card.
#1 – Use selected cards for topping up GrabPay for additional cashback
We like several credit cards for topping up your GrabPay Wallet.
American Express True Cashback Card
- 1.5% unlimited cashback with no min. spend
- Get double the cashback at 3% on first S$5,000 spent within the first 6 months
- Can be combined with the GrabPay Mastercard for double-dipping of 1.6% cashback + Grab Points
UOB Absolute Cashback Card
- 1.7% unlimited cashback with no min. spend and no restrictions
- Get access to American Express card privileges, including a complimentary FoundersCard membership
- Can be combined with the GrabPay Mastercard for double-dipping of 1.6% cashback + Grab Points
#2 – Pay selected transactions with GrabPay card
For selected transactions like public transport and telco bills, not many cards in the market award huge spending benefits. Using the GrabPay card offers up to 3.7% cashback for these transactions with no minimum spend.
#3 – Double-dip with Crypto.com Card
Crypto.com cardholders can also top up their card using the GrabPay card with no fees and get additional cashback based on their Crypto.com card tier for supported merchants.
For example, users on the Royal Indigo or Jade Green tier (3% cashback before 1 June 2022) can stack with the UOB Absolute card for a total of 4.7% cashback.
#4 – Double/triple-dip with ShopBack Pay
You can link GrabPay or your Crypto.com Card with ShopBack for additional rewards on selected merchants.
- 100% cashback on your first payment with Shopback Pay capped at $5
- Earn additional 2% to 20% cashback when paying with ShopBack Pay at select merchants
#5 – Double-dip/triple-dip with Fave
Similarly, you can link GrabPay with Fave for additional rewards on selected merchants.
Fave has broader merchant support compared to ShopBack Pay – it is accepted at over 6,000 partner merchants across Singapore, such as food and beverages, beauty and entertainment joints, and food courts where credit cards are not accepted.
However, Fave has restrictions on adding the Crypto.com Card to the app, so the alternative is to connect your Crypto.com card using FavePay CardLink, which allows customers to earn partner cashback through a tap or swipe of their card at participating FavePay CardLink partners.
#6 – Send funds to Revolut or Wise and withdraw to bank account
Send funds to Revolut or Wise and thereafter withdraw into your bank account.
This technically creates a possible exploit where you can earn free 1.7% cashback on GrabPay top ups and then withdrawing to your bank account, using the free cash-advance to repay your credit card debt in 3o to 60 days.
*Do not do this too often as it can lead to account suspension
#7 — Send funds to Earn+ and get paid to borrow
If you don't need the funds immediately, you can deposit funds into GrabInvest Earn+, which lets you earn 2% - 2.5% annually invested into a low-risk, diversified portfolio that is managed by Fullerton Fund Management and UOB Asset Management.
You can withdraw funds in Earn+ to your GrabPay Wallet instantly and use it anywhere, anytime for your favourite Grab services, or at merchants that accept the GrabPay Card. You can also withdraw the funds to your bank account using step #6.
#8 – Utilise GrabPay promos for upsized rewards
GrabPay occasionally runs promotions for upsized rewards, e.g. additional 5% back in GrabRewards Points as long as you pay using GrabPay Wallet, GrabPay Card or PayLater.
Details about these promotions can be found in-app.
GrabPay is slowly growing to be one of Singapore and Southeast Asia's most popular payment option with its diverse use cases and consumer benefits. For Grab, consumer data about spending patterns is valuable, as it allows them to tailor promotions, marketing campaigns and ads at a more targeted manner.
Could it be a win-win? Only time will tell.
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