The Travel Smart Rewards programme is one of the best kept secrets in Singapore. It’s free to join and you get paid for doing what you normally do anyway (i.e., ride the trains). All you have to do is sign up on their website and enter your name, email and Cepas card number (only adult EZ-Link cards, adult NETS Flashpay cards, University/Polytechnic/ITE concession cards, and Senior Citizen concession cards are eligible). Please note that only one card can be registered per user.
How do you earn points?
Once registered, the account will now track all your trips taken on board the trains whenever you use your registered card. You earn points automatically whenever you tap in and out. You can earn 1 point for every 1 kilometre traveled on the train during weekdays, and up to 6 points per kilometre if you travel during the uncongested hours. Weekends, however, don’t count. You can also get points by inviting your friends to join. In addition, some companies have teamed up with the Travel Smart Rewards programme to offer you even more incentives (you will need to ask your HR department to determine if your company is one of them). If your company is in on it, you will need to switch to your company email address, and then you will be able to join your company’s bonus incentive scheme.
What do the points give you?
- Option 1: Your points will allow you to “spin to win” cash rebates. Ten points equals one spin. Each spin will move your game piece in a “Snakes and Ladders” game board, where there are special spaces in which you can win anywhere from $1 to $200. You can choose to have your points automatically redeemed (this means that the computer will “spin” for you every week) or you can manually redeem your points if you like the feeling of control and you enjoy seeing your game piece move on the game board. If you have your points automatically redeemed, be sure to set your email preferences to notify you whenever you win something; otherwise, you will have to periodically check on their website to see how much you won.
- Option 2: You can also choose to do a “cash buyout” of your points. For this option, you can exchange 1000 points for $1. It’s straightforward and simple, but in my opinion, not nearly as fun and exciting as playing the spin game. But it’s a guaranteed return.
How do you credit the cash rebate to your card?
To redeem the cash rebate, you have to go to an add-value machine (these are the smaller purple machines, not the general ticket machines). Once there, place our card on the reader and choose the “other” option and then the “Insinc reward” on the bottom right hand corner (in green). The cash rebates that you’ve won usually takes a few weeks before they are made available to be claimed at the add-value machines. Any unclaimed cash rebates will expire after 3 months of non-collection, and will be donated to the community chest. There is an option on their website in which you can enter your bank account number, but since I left this part blank and chose instead to credit to my transit card, I have no personal experience as to how this works (e.g., how often they pay out, whether there is a fee, etc.). Their website is also a bit unclear about crediting to a bank account.
When I first signed up, within about 2 weeks, I won $4. It was a nice surprise because I had forgotten that I signed up for the programme; then, out of the blue, an email popped into my inbox telling me I won some money. Getting an email like that amid all the other emails demanding one thing or another from you, is always a welcomed surprise, except of course, if that email comes from a Nigerian prince who has his money locked up somewhere and needs your help to unlock it.
And just for joining, you get 250 points!!! More than $8 million has been paid out since the programme’s inception.