How I Planned A Unique Christmas Celebration With Grab
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A few weeks ago, our friends at Grab posed an interesting challenge: can someone plan a Christmas gathering using only Grab’s services?

As an active GrabPay user and more importantly, someone who was already in the midst of prepping a first Christmas gathering in two years, I was the best candidate. Given the large crowds seen in shopping malls recently, I’d already been planning on purchasing my gifts online and maximise my savings – so with the knowledge at hand, it was time to go shopping.

First and foremost, my wife and I set a budget of RM200 per gift for each guest coming to our small Christmas gathering: my parents, two of my closest friends, and my wife’s best friend. In secret, I also allocated another RM200 for a surprise present for my wife. Finally, I wanted to find ways to maximise savings and explore ways to stagger the payments in the coming months and ease any cash flow worries.

Maximising Savings With GrabPay Discounts

Thankfully, Grab is offering some festive cheer with its Year End Giftings discounts when you pay with GrabPay and PayLater by Grab:

1) 30% off capped at RM30 with no minimum spend with GrabPay – this is awesome because there is no minimum spend requirement and is valid for two transactions per user. By using both my wife and my GrabPay eWallets, we can enjoy this rebate four times and also collect GrabRewards that can be used to offset future payments or redeem items!

2) 30% off capped at RM50 with no minimum spend with PayLater by Grab – another fantastic option that will help us save even more if the merchant accepts PayLater. This deal is also valid for two transactions per user, and more importantly, would help stagger the payments to either next month or across four interest-free monthly installments.

As I got started, I came to realise a little-known fact – the list of merchants that accept GrabPay in Malaysia is surprisingly extensive. Grab lists thousands of online merchants from major retail outlets such as Senheng and All IT Hypermarket to hundreds of niche local sellers.

This figure may actually be larger – since iPay88 and GHL Systems, two of Malaysia’s largest payment gateways, also support GrabPay and PayLater as payment options, virtually any online merchant who uses iPay88 and GHL Systems are automatically a GrabPay and PayLater online merchant.

Let The Shopping Begin!

Item: SK II Pitera Power Kit
Merchant: Isetan Online
Purchase Price: RM242 (RM272 – 30% GrabPay discount capped at RM30 + free shipping)
Savings: RM30 (11%)

First on the shopping list was a gift for my wife who had gone through the roller-coaster of a year with me. Her gift this year was surprisingly easy – and I’m (fairly) confident she’ll love it. She has been talking about trying out SK II’s face care products for some time now, and thankfully, Isetan has an online store with a solid range of SK II products.

Being a complete rookie in beauty products, I opt for the safer choice – the Pitera Power Kit for RM272. I may not get to take advantage of the solid voucher codes for RM350 and RM700 spending at Isetan Online, but at least I get free shipping. I also got a RM30 discount from GrabPay’s Year End Giftings Deals, bringing the final price down to RM242. 

OK, a little above the RM200 budget but I’m sure she wouldn’t mind…

Item: FIFA 22 (Standard Edition) PS5
Merchant: Gamers Hideout
Purchase Price: RM244.90 (RM259.90 – 30% GrabPay discount capped at RM30 + RM15 shipping)
Savings: RM30 (10.9%)

Next, it was time to think of gifts for family and friends – some of whom we have reconnected over the last two years. Let’s start with Justin, a regional-level marketing manager who used to travel for work every other week. Over the last 12 months we reconnected via our favourite pastime back when we were students: playing FIFA on the PlayStation. With the latest FIFA 22 now out, may this tradition continue for another year!

Again, it’s a little above the RM200 budget, but one could argue that this is a gift for two, right?

Item: HiBlendr Juice Cup Pro
Merchant: HiBlendr
Purchase Price: RM154.99 (RM194.99 – 30% GrabPay discount capped at RM30 – RM10 rebate + free shipping)
Savings: RM40 (20.5%)

Then, it’s time to think of a gift for Elaine, my wife’s best friend. A recent mother, Elaine is the epitome of the modern mom – raising a child, having a career, and managing the home all at the same time. My wife and I both knew what we were getting her months ago – a HiBlendr Juice Cup Pro, a portable blender in the shape of a to-go cup. This device creates smoothies in just 40 seconds, capable of blending fruits and small ice. More importantly, it’s incredibly easy to clean. Perfect.

Maximising PayLater Responsibly

Clearly, I’m on a roll at this point, but I’m also quite aware that at the halfway mark I haven’t yet utilised the PayLater discount offer that I was hoping to take advantage of.

I’ve used PayLater by Grab several times this year – mainly due to the huge rebates, but not after thoroughly reading its terms and conditions. Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) solutions have had quite a lot of heat when it was first introduced in Malaysia, mainly due to its relatively vague nature on how it charges its users. After all, if there are no fees or interest, how will the business even survive?

With PayLater, I remember being surprised that as long as you pay your installments on time, PayLater does not impose any late fees or interest charges. Furthermore, monthly installments are automatically deducted from the GrabPay eWallet or, if there isn’t enough balance, directly charged on one of your assigned credit or debit cards in the eWallet.

If for some reason, you still miss a payment, your PayLater account will be suspended to help prevent you from overspending. With an RM10 administration fee, you can resume using PayLater. This is different from other BNPL options in the market, which include late payment fees as well as monthly fixed interest charges that ultimately increases the cost of purchase.

Anyway, PayLater is usually my go-to payment option if the merchant supports it since I can enjoy the generous rebate during special campaigns like the Grab Year End Giftings Deal, and my credit card has been set to pay each installment automatically.

The Final Sprint

Item: Lego Creator Expert 10281 Bonsai Tree
Merchant: Zalora
Purchase Price: RM169.90 (RM219.90 – 30% PayLater discount capped at RM50 + free shipping)
Savings: RM50 (22.7%)

Up next in the list is Ryan, another old friend of mine who’s an architect by day and aspiring gardener by night. He’s also a huge Lego buff, and like Elaine before, both my wife and I had already planned on getting him a Lego set for Christmas. Specifically, the Lego Creator Expert 10281 Bonsai Tree, a collector’s item that had been out of stock for most of this year. Well, both Box of Bricks and Zalora have this model in stock – just in time!

In the end, I chose Zalora as it accepts PayLater. It’s a relatively small expense, so I just set it to be repaid next month. I’m happier at the fact that I saved more than 20% for this gift!

Item: GNC Cod Liver Oil Plus 90s – Buy 1 Free 1
Merchant: LAC (formerly known as GNC)
Purchase Price: RM157.30 (RM199.80 for 4 bottles – 30% PayLater discount capped at RM50 + RM7.5 shipping)
Savings: RM249.80 (31%)

Finally, it’s time to get something for my parents – and this is by far the easiest gift among all our guests. As practical retirees, they constantly give and consume a variety of supplements and multivitamins – so that’s what we’re getting them. And as a bonus, with the LAC (formerly known as GNC) website offering tons of items at steep discounts for Christmas, I’m sure they’ll get a kick out of hearing how much we saved for their gift!

Not only does the store have a buy 1 free 1 offer for the cod liver oil supplements for LAC members, we stacked it with Grab’s PayLater promo to shave another RM50 off the list, bringing the total savings to RM249.80 – more savings than our actual expense!

Double Dipping Rewards

So far, Grab’s year-end discounts have shaved hundreds of Ringgit off our gift expenses. In total, we spent RM969.09 – just below the RM1,000 total budget even though I secretly added an extra gift for my wife and went above budget for two of the gifts! More importantly, I saved RM399.80 thanks mainly to the GrabPay year-end discounts.

By splitting our payments across both my wife and my Grab accounts, we were able to enjoy the GrabPay year-end discounts. We would have saved a bit more if some of the merchants also supported PayLater, but that’s not in our control.

To maximise savings even further, I used the Maybank Grab Mastercard Platinum, a co-branded credit card that’s designed for heavy GrabPay users. In our review of the card, we shared that the best way to use this card is by topping up the GrabPay eWallet with the Maybank Grab Mastercard Platinum to earn 5 GrabRewards for every RM1 topped up, which will then earn 3 GrabRewards for every RM1 spent (the card also automatically boosts you to Grab Platinum membership tier, the highest tier that offers the best perks). 

By earning an effective 8 GrabRewards per Ringgit, the effective rate of return is 5% – or for my Christmas gift shopping spree, that’s an additional RM48.45 saved, bringing the total effective savings to an incredible RM448.25!

A Great Way To End The Year

It has been a challenging year for everyone, but being able to celebrate festivities with close friends and family has brought some laughter, joy, and optimism back into our lives – a great way to end 2021 and start the new year.

With that, we wish all our readers a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

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