Making Sense of Grab's Monthly Subscription Passes - Flat-Fare Ride and Short Commute

In case you are not aware, Grab has quite recently launched two new subscription passes on top of the GrabClub passes. Targeted at regular Grab users, the brand new Flat-fare Ride Pass and Short Commute Pass offers potential discounts to users who understand their own traveling habits. There are two versions in each one of these plans and the only differentiating factor is the number of ride vouchers - light and heavy gives you 10 and 20 ride vouches respectively (and you have 30 days from the date of purchase to use them).

Click HERE to download a cheat sheet to help you decide which plan suits you best!

Photo Credit: Grab

Photo Credit: Grab

Flat-Fare Ride Pass - Good for Long Distance or Surge-inclined Areas

Light Plan: S$49 a Month | Heavy Plan: S$89 a Month

With each one of these new passes, riders are given either 10 ride vouchers (light plan) or 20 ride vouchers (heavy plan) that they can use over a period of 30 days - these vouchers will require manual application so you have the flexibility of deciding when to use them for maximum value. With the Flat-Fare Ride Pass, each ride will be capped at S$12 regardless of what the actual fare is so long the cost of the ride exceeds S$12. However, additional tolls and surcharges such as ERP or Sentosa Entry Charges will be levied on top of that S$12. in other words, you can think of these vouchers as a protection against surges and fares (much better than that ridiculous Rain Insurance from Droplet).

While it is easy to focus on the S$12 flat fare, one must remember the cost of acquiring these vouchers. As shown in the table above, depending on whether you opt for the Light or Heavy version of the Flat-Fare Ride Pass, you are essentially looking at either a fixed rate of S$16.90 (Light) or S$16.45 (Heavy) before additional tolls and surcharges if applicable.

In order to decide whether this plan is suitable for you, consider the lowest possible price on your most common route. For the sake of illustration, consider the following example where a person travels from Jurong West to Changi Airport on a daily basis - the ride will typically cost S$32 when there is no surge (a lot more during high-demand periods!) and if a person leaves home at approximately 8AM, he or she will most likely incur S$2 in ERP charges. Assuming the person takes 20 rides each month, purchasing the Flat-Fare Ride Pass (Heavy) can potentially result in S$369 of savings each month - the average cost per ride goes from S$34 to S$18 (down by 47%!).

It is therefore very important for you to work out the math in order to decide whether this plan will save you money - you should only get this plan if your rides are typically over S$21 (before ERP and surcharges). It is also worth noting that you will not be able to use vouchers from the Flat-Fare Ride Pass on GrabCar Premium, GrabShuttle, GrabHitch, GrabTaxi, GrabAssist, GrabExpress and GrabWheel services.

Short Commute Pass - Good for Shorter Distance and Regular Users

Light Plan: S$59 a Month | Heavy Plan: S$109 a Month

The Short Commute Pass is slightly more expensive than the Flat-Fare Ride Pass and it is priced from S$59 a month. The Short Commute Pass offers S$10 off ride vouchers (10 vouchers for light and 20 vouchers for heavy) that you can utilise as you deem fit. This means to say that you are not required to utilise your S$10 off vouchers on say a $6 ride but you will have to exhaust them within 30 days from the date of purchase.

In order to decide whether this plan is suitable for your, you should consider the average price of your Grab rides - if they are generally quite high (e.g. above S$22) then the Flat-Fare Ride Pass would be better for you. However, if your rides typically average between S$10 and $21, then the Short Commute Pass may be something you should consider if you take it frequently enough. The ride vouchers from the Short Commute Pass offers a flat S$10 off the final ride price (before additional tolls and surcharges are levied upon) so calculating the potential value from these vouchers is quite straightforward.

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As shown in the table above, the Heavy version of the Short Commute Pass offers more discount per ride the maximum savings is capped at S$4.55 per ride.

To put things simply, if your rides average between $10 and and S$21, you are better off with the Short Commute Pass but if your rides are typically S$21.10 or higher, you should be better off with the Flat-Fare Ride Pass.

Stacking with SCORE and LiveUp Benefits + Credit Card

The terms and conditions of the aforementioned subscription plans state the following:

The passes are non-transferable, and cannot be used in conjunction with other Grab promotions or offers (e.g. Ride Rewards).

Please note that GrabRewards Points are not awarded along with the purchase of these subscription plans.

It is unclear at this point whether using any of these vouchers from the Flat-Fare Ride Pass or the Short Commute Pass will trigger the 20% discount vouchers that come with the SCORE membership but I do believe it will be applicable. If you would like to know which credit card to use with Grab in order to save more money, check out my guide to saving money on Grab rides.