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Amex is excluding GrabPay topup from credit card rewards from March (except for Amex True Cashback)

When Grab announced at the end of last year that it was launching a physical GrabPay MasterCard, it seems like that would mark the beginning of the end of the era of getting easy credit card rewards from various opportunities of using GrabPay to pay for daily expenses.

Last week we had reported that GrabPay can no longer be used to pay for AXS bills, and this week more bad news arrived - Amex cards will no longer give rewards for GrabPay topup starting 1 March 2020.

This change comes together with other updates to the T&Cs that Amex is making effective 1 March 2020, that they sent via email to cardholders this morning:

Email notification that was sent to existing Amex cardholders on 20 January

While the notification didn’t mention GrabPay, I went straight to look through the updated exclusion list once i saw this email and it unfortunately confirmed my worst fears in extremely explicit wording…

Above screenshot is for the Amex Singapore Airlines Cards which includes the regular Krisflyer Blue card as well as the Krisflyer Ascend, but the same exclusion was also added to Amex cards under the Membership Rewards program.

On the plus side, the same GrabPay exclusion term was not added to Amex True Cashback card, which means you can continue to get 1.5% cashback if you are using that card.

Based on the exact wording of the text, it would appear that only GrabPay top-ups would be excluded, and you can continue to get rewards if you use your credit card to directly pay for Grab rides on the app. This seems to be the case as there is no mention of any change to the policy of giving bonus 2.0 MPD for the Amex Krisflyer cards on the first $200 per month spent on Grab.

As predicted from last year, it was really a matter of time before credit card rewards from topping up GrabPay would be nerfed since GrabPay expanded to become an all-in-one super mobile wallet as opposed to simply a way to pay for Grab rides/GrabFood orders.

We fully expect to share more similar news in the coming weeks, will definitely keep you guys updated so you can continue to optimize your GrabPay topups on whatever opportunities are still remaining!

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Fyi. Grab is reducing its grabpay reward points per dollars on almost a same day. The feast is coming to an end soon.

Other than UOB One, what other cards are good for Grab top up left?

Hi @ORiN welcome to the community!

Based on best available knowledge (no guarantees here) you can still use:

  • Citi Rewards Visa
  • Maybank Horizon Visa
  • UOB Lady’s card
  • SC Unlimited
  • Amex True Cashback

Are there any cards that can be used for miles with Grab top-ups?

Might be the reason from grab rather than Amex. As Grab now competing to get digital bank license…

Even with a digital banking license, they would still be working with credit card companies.

I have been using the Maybank Horizon Visa Signature, so far in January it has still been awarding bonus miles for grab topup, but no guarantee how long this will last for given all the recent nerfs


I just checked the UOB One Card T&C. Additional 5% rebate is no longer eligible for Grab mobile wallet top-ups from 16 Mar 2020. However, MCC 7399 is not excluded from the list of exclusions so I presume Grab top-ups will still be eligible for 5% cash back (instead of 10% right now).

But the question is then is grab top considered a quasi cash. Cause that seems to be one of the exclusion criteria x. X