Uber and Grab might be the best things that have happened to Singapore’s transport. More commuters are choosing to get their transport through mobile apps than the conventional method of flagging for a taxi.
It is common to think that companies like Uber and Grab are much cheaper than a taxi when there is no surge multiplier applied. However, there are hidden costs involved which are unknown to some Singaporeans. Uber has been charging you an additional fee on top of your fare. This fee will not be reflected on your e-receipt, but stated on your bank statement because it is the transaction fee charged overseas.
The charges you get for your transactions depend on what kind of credit card company you are using. For Visa it is 0.8%, while for MasterCard, it is 1% of your bill.
Uber’s additional charge is likely to irk some passengers. However, it is a lesson to learn that we have to read the terms and conditions carefully. These charges often go unnoticed, especially for those who do not look at their bank statements closely.
Notice how we are charged differently for the same ride.
The additional transaction fee applies to UberEATS as well (see picture below).
This is the e-receipt sent to us.
This is what we see in our bank statement, with the additional $0.07.
Does Grab Do It?
Grab does not do it because they are more of a local company unlike Uber, which is an American firm. Grab was founded in Malaysia, but their headquarters is in Singapore.
Grab charges exactly what you see on your e-receipt
If you are really against paying the credit card fees, perhaps paying by cash would be a better option for you. However, the fee charged for the transaction is very minimal for Uber.
Customers should always read the fine print before they get
pissed off surprised when they see the additional charges in their credit card statements.
This is found at the bottom of your Uber e-receipt
As Uber payments are charged overseas, the credit card company (i.e. Visa or MasterCard) will charge an international transaction fee to credit card issuers that will be passed on to us, the cardholder. While credit card companies say that such charges are normal, it will be more transparent to customers if an approximate transaction fee is made known to the customer based on the estimated fare.
If you are wondering how online credit card payments work, you can check out this video:
With Uber’s option to pay by cash, you can now avoid the transaction fee. Many of us are used to paying using our cards with Uber, while taxis are usually paid in cash.
Many of us like the convenience of going cashless, and simply ending our Uber ride without having to fumble for cash, and getting change.
It would be terrific if transport companies like Uber and Grab make their charges much clearer and easier to find on their websites. The breakdown for the relevant charges should be listed out clearly and consumers should be informed of the possible extra charges after each ride if they charge their carfare to their credit cards.
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