If you enjoy dining out, you may well be holding on to a hefty Chope$ balance right now.
That’s because Chope suspended all Chope$ redemptions back in April 2020, just before the circuit breaker started. At the time, Chope reassured users that redemptions would resume in November 2020, and they could still earn Chope$ during this period. They just couldn’t redeem them. Well, November has come, and ChopePerks redemptions are back once again.
The problem? Chope has taken a sledgehammer to the program, increasing the cost of dining awards by 150%, and filling the rewards catalogue with extremely underwhelming (dare I say, pointless) third-party redemption options.
To top it all, this update came without any notice. There was no opportunity to redeem your Chope$ at the old rates and all redemptions going forward will be as per the new rates.
ChopeDeals discount codes
Prior to the circuit breaker, Chope$ could be redeemed for ChopeDeals discount codes at the following rates:
|Chope$ (C$)||ChopeDeals discount code||Minimum spend|
Effective immediately, Chope only has one denomination of ChopeDeals discount code ($10). The price? 1,000C$, up from 400C$ before. That’s a 150% increase, and to put it another way, if you had 1,000C$ in your account before the circuit breaker, their value would have fallen from $30 to $10.
A Chope reservation currently earns 100C$-175C$, depending on your ChopePerks tier, so you’ll now earn $1-$1.75 per reservation versus $3-$5.25 before.
It goes without saying that ChopeDeals redemptions have taken a turn for the worse, but is there any hope for Chope’s other redemption partners? Sadly not, and in fact, most of these should be actively avoided.
For example, Chope will let you redeem 250C$ for $7 off on a minimum spend of $15 with Shopee (for new users only). But why would you pay for that when you can enjoy exactly the same deal with:
- CIMB (CIMBNEW7)
- Citibank (CITINEW7)
- DBS (DBSNEW15)
- HSBC (HSBC7NEW)
- Maybank (MBNEW7)
- Standard Chartered (SCNEW7)
- UOB (UOBNEW7)
- Singtel Dash (DASHNEW7)
Alternatively, you could pay 500C$ to get a 2-month basic plan with the electric car rental company BlueSG. But, then again, the same offer is available for free to:
- SAFRA members (BSGSAF20)
- UOB cardholders (BSGUOB20)
Need more examples? Chope will charge you 3,100C$ for the right to subscribe to a 40GB GOMO by Singtel plan @ $20/month for the first 6 months.
But, as you may have guessed by now, it’s possible to get an even better offer on GOMO’s website for free. Customers who use the HEART40 code will get the exact same offer for 12 months, with an extra 10GB of data thrown in during the first month for good measure.
I think you get the idea by now — the vast majority of the third party rewards on Chope’s platform are nothing more than new user acquisition codes that you could get for free elsewhere. So, it makes little sense to spend your Chope$ on any of these.
What alternatives are there to Chope?
ChopePerks’ devaluation means that your Chope$ have permanently lost value, and you’ll probably find it much less enticing to make reservations via the platform.
But, in many cases, you won’t have much of a choice. Chope’s dominant market position means it won’t be easy to switch elsewhere, especially if you want the convenience of making reservations online.
Where possible, however, it’s worth exploring alternative reservation platforms. For example, booking through Eatigo can save you significant money (up to 50%), especially if you’re willing to dine during off-peak times.
Alternatively, Quandoo runs a loyalty scheme of its own, which awards 100 points for a reservation, 25 points for a review and 500 points for referring a friend. 1,000 points is worth $15 cashback (transferred to your bank account), so that’s like earning $1.50 per reservation. You can also stack Quandoo reservations with Shopback to earn a bonus $0.80 cashback for each fulfilled reservation, yielding a total of $2.30.
Another option to consider is Hungrygowhere, where users earn HungryRewards for every fulfilled reservation.
The first reservation earns Hungry$1, the second Hungry$2 and so on, up till the 10th reservation. Once Hungry$15 has been accumulated, Hungry$ can be transferred to a Singtel Dash wallet at a rate of Hungry$1= $1 Dash credit. Dash credit can be spent via the Singtel Dash virtual Visa card, making it as good as cash.
What card should you use for dining?
Remember that there’s nothing stopping you from stacking reservation rewards with credit card rewards. By using the right card for dining, you can earn up to 4 miles per dollar (mpd), putting you closer to your next vacation.
Here’s my list of recommended cards for dining out.
|Credit card||Earn Rate||Remarks|
|UOB Lady’s Solitaire Card||4 mpd||Capped at $3,000 of dining each month; dining must be declared as quarterly 10X category|
|UOB Lady’s Card||4 mpd||Capped at $1,000 of dining each month; dining must be declared as quarterly 10X category|
|HSBC Revolution Card||4 mpd||Capped at $1,000 of dining each month|
|Maybank Horizon Visa Signature||3.2 mpd||Min $300 spend per month, capped at $4,286 per month|
|KrisFlyer UOB Credit Card||3 mpd||Min $500 spend on SIA Group merchants per membership year, no cap|
While it’s best practice for loyalty programs to provide advance notice of devaluations, there’s no law requiring it. So, while Chope’s unannounced devaluation stings, there’s very little recourse for its users. If anything, this should be a good lesson about the dangers of hoarding loyalty points. Points have no utility until they’re spent, so earn and burn — not keep and weep.
Read these next:
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