22nd April 2022 - 7 min read
Pay RM0.01 and get over RM300 in savings? That’s definitely something you’d flag as too good to be true, isn’t it? After a beta run in several cities for an introductory price of 99 sen per month and RM7.90 subsequently, the new GrabUnlimited subscription plan is now being offered for an introductory price of just 1 sen for new users and a new price of RM4.90 thereafter, while still promising the same potential savings of over RM300 each month.
After saving hundreds of Ringgit during Christmas using PayLater by Grab, we wanted to know if GrabUnlimited was indeed a plan that’s too good to be true – after all, you would be saving more than the cost of the subscription from your first GrabFood order, and everything else after that means pure savings!
Let’s first start by checking out the updated plan itself. Grab has been tweaking the subscription plan and for April, Grab updated its GrabUnlimited plan to be more affordable, and includes two types of vouchers: promotions of the month, and the standard subscription vouchers. For 1 sen in the first month (for new users) and RM4.90 for subsequent months, you get:
Totaling up the voucher values, you do indeed get a maximum savings of over RM300 – in fact, the total comes up to RM369. For 1 sen or RM4.90 per month, we can already hear you say…
Honestly, there aren’t any major red flags. We checked the T&Cs and shared the most important ones in the voucher descriptions above, and the other stipulations we found were minor ones. For example, the well-loved HOTDEALS feature is now exclusive only to GrabUnlimited subscribers – and the discounts are slightly lower from before. The max discount used to be RM12.50 with a minimum spend of RM25, and now the max discount is RM11.50 (RM8.50 + RM3 delivery) but with a lower minimum spend of RM20 as well, so this isn’t too big of a trade-off.
Despite this, even with the “normal’ subscription fee of RM4.90 per month, you still save money from your very first GrabFood order (if you order from the HOTDEALS merchants). Every order made after with any GrabUnlimited voucher is pure savings – so regardless of whether you are a heavy GrabFood user or just an occasional one, you would enjoy instant savings…it’s just a question of how much savings (which is naturally dependent on how much you order).
At the same time, the huge amount of free delivery vouchers you get also serves as an incentive to make a GrabFood order to satisfy your supper or snack cravings if you’re feeling lazy to run out to the store and grab a cup of boba or coffee. Each free delivery voucher is capped at RM3, which is just enough to fully cover the fee for shops around your neighbourhood; anything further will result in a reduced delivery fee (instead of “free”). So if something you really wanted to order in the past had a high delivery fee (because it was far away), the more affordable delivery could just do the trick.
So while it is true that you will be saving money by subscribing to GrabUnlimited, you’ll also be incentivised to spend more and essentially keep the ecosystem moving. By spending more on GrabFood merchants, businesses get more business through GrabFood – and of course, Grab also earns from commissions to its merchants, allowing Grab to continue funding promotions like GrabUnlimited.
Now that all businesses allow dine-ins and we are also able to move more freely, does something like GrabUnlimited still offer great value for the average Malaysian? Sure, you’d save money but at the same time it also tempts you into spending more…so we decided to test it out for ourselves.
As a WFH employee, I used to rely on GrabFood a lot in 2021, but earlier this year my wife and I have been doing meal preps on the weekends as a way to save time during lunch breaks (and save some money along the way). With GrabUnlimited, it gives us the option to mix it up and diversify our lunchtime offerings (trust me, meal preps can get boring after a few days of eating the same thing – I hope she doesn’t read this!)
After two weeks, we used up the four high-value GrabFood & Free Delivery vouchers for some lunches and one 38% GrabFood & Free Delivery voucher for an impromptu supper snack. And being “smart GrabFood users”, we of course made sure each order was as close to the minimum spend amount as possible to maximise savings. During this two-week period, we saved a total of RM60.50 (well, RM60.49 considering the 1 sen subscription price). Even if we took into account the RM4.90 subscription price, we’d still have saved RM55.60 – more than ten times the amount paid. I must say though, the RM3 free delivery vouchers definitely tempted us to spend on our neighbourhood makan spots whenever we felt peckish!
On a side note, a friend told me how his colleagues use GrabUnlimited to subsidise their weekly “Boba Thursdays” session. On average, each week’s order can come up to 8-10 cups, and with some creative splitting of orders, GrabUnlimited helps them save the equivalent of three to four cups each week. With each colleague owning their own GrabUnlimited subscription, the vouchers easily covered everyone’s orders for the entire month – in March alone the savings was close to RM200!
By now we’ve established that you’ll be saving quite a bit of money with GrabUnlimited, and because of that, it makes you question just how sustainable this model is. Over the past few months, we’ve seen Grab tweaking the subscription prices and vouchers a number of times, so it’s probably fair to say that Grab is also looking for the best formula that makes GrabUnlimited a sustainable feature for the business that’s also beneficial for their users.
Our theory is that there will be users who will not fully make use of the vouchers at their disposal. Conversely, those who maximise GrabUnlimited and aim for RM369 savings each month will also help Grab, as this also means more earning opportunities for their riders and orders for businesses (and thus keeping the ecosystem healthy).
Ultimately, Grab is aiming for a large enough subscriber base and a subscription offering that strikes the perfect balance between consumer incentivisation, earnings for partners, and business sustainability – so don’t be surprised if Grab further tweaks GrabUnlimited prices and voucher offerings in the future.
For now though, at just 1 sen and RM4.90 after, it’s definitely worth spending the nominal fee for GrabUnlimited – it simply makes sense regardless if you’re a heavy GrabFood user or not. You can always cancel your subscription and resubscribe without any penalty or fees before the next billing date. If you decide to cancel the plan and not renew the subscription, you can always repurchase it at RM4.90 whenever you need it.
Plus, now that it’s still the Ramadhan season, it’s probably the best time to explore GrabUnlimited!
Subscribe to our exclusive weekly newsletter and we’ll bring you the week’s highlights of financial news, expert tips, guides, and the latest credit card and e-wallet deals.
Stay tuned for what’s to come next in the personal finance world