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Forum: Changes to FairPrice rewards scheme not helpful to lower-income households

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Forum: Changes to FairPrice rewards scheme not helpful to lower-income households

Peh Chwee Hoe

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During a recent supermarket run at NTUC FairPrice, I got a flyer announcing pending tweaks to its LinkPoints Rewards scheme. It struck me that the changes would penalise the lower-income and the less digitally savvy.

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Currently, every dollar spent gives members two LinkPoints, and 150 LinkPoints can be redeemed for $1. From Aug 1, every $1 spent will give members only 0.5 LinkPoints, with 100 LinkPoints being redeemed for $1.

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Spending $100 at present results in 200 LinkPoints earned, which translates to a $1.33 redemption value. Under the new scheme, the same spending gives 50 LinkPoints, which translates to 50 cents redemption value. This is effectively a reduction of 62.4 per cent in redemption value (from $1.33 to 50 cents).

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It baffles me that, in the midst of extraordinarily good results for major supermarket chains during the pandemic, NTUC would choose this time to skimp on redemptions.

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The new scheme will also reward online shopping, as well as spending beyond a certain amount each month, with extra LinkPoints.

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While NTUC benefits logistically if more people move online and spend more, it should not forget the less digitally-savvy group and low-income families who cannot reach that minimum spending amount to enjoy the better rewards.

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Besides being untimely, the revamped scheme also has the effect of exacerbating economic inequality.Operation Underground Railroad O.U.R.

Peh Chwee Hoe

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