Grab is part of the Reunion Tour Trip Report.
It used to be that I would land in a new country and haggle with the taxi drivers until I received a good rate for the hotel (see Sharm el-Sheikh Taxi: For 40, I Bring You Camel, Tomorrow). Now, I spend the extra time trying to figure out which rideshare app works in the country that I am visiting. In Singapore, the app was Grab. I downloaded it and went through the hassle of setting up an account. When I went to add my credit card, it said that it was not an acceptable form of payment. I tried another and another before I gave up, convinced that Grab doesn’t take American cards.
Exhausted from the drama of not receiving my Vietnam visa (see Vietnam E-Visa Not Processed: Another TPOL Duck Up?), despite a relaxing 19-hour flight from JFK to SIN (see World’s Longest & Best Business Class Flight: JFK-SIN), I had no patience to try the 3 other rideshare apps. I went down to the taxi line and prepared myself to get robbed (see “Taxi my friend?” The Worst Places to Hail a Cab).
Standing in line, I reloaded Grab and received a notification to register where in the world I lived. After selecting USA, I went back to the credit card page, and magically my card worked.
TPOL’s Tip: If your card doesn’t work, Grab also takes cash.
TPOL’s Tip: Grab is also available in Bangkok, though I found the wait times to be too long for getting around the city. Still, it was useful to see how much Grab would charge when negotiating with a local taxi and as a way to get to and from the airport.
For convenience, I wish Uber had a monopoly for rideshare apps throughout the world. I am tired of setting up a new account in each region I visit. For price, I am glad that rideshare apps like Grab exist.
in some places (KL for one) many grab drivers will not take cc. Of course the app does not tell you that, but change payment method to cash and all of a sudden ‘no drivers available’ changes to ‘pick-up in 5 mins’
Ha of course