Two of Singapore’s most recognisable brands, Grab and Singapore Airlines (SIA), announced a partnership today to blend their products and offer rewards to customers.

The key part of the deal is that members of SIA’s KrisFlyer programme (the company’s frequent flyer service) will now be able to convert GrabRewards points into miles.

While enjoying an extra avenue to earn miles is nice, the reason it is notable is the agreement ties into Grab’s larger strategy around payments.

About a month ago, Grab announced it was opening up its payment service (GrabPay) to move beyond transportation.

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One of the most important tenants of this GrabPay push is to build up a rewards programme that becomes incredibly sticky for users (especially because riders can’t convert their points to cash). That is why it inks deals with companies like Zalora. If a user has GrabRewards points and was going to buy product on Zalora, they can get a 20 per cent discount essentially by taking enough Grab rides.

The deal with SIA fits into this strategy. Now SIA fans will be incentivised to use Grab because they get a tangible benefit besides a convenient ride to the airport.

Jason Thompson, the Head of GrabPay, expressed this in his statement:

“We are constantly making the Grab platform more rewarding for our customers. With GrabRewards, a dollar spent on Grab is more valuable than a dollar spent in cash.

“By integrating Grab’s and SIA’s loyalty programmes, customers can look forward to using their points when they plan for their next holiday. This partnership is a significant recognition by one of the most prestigious airlines in the world and I’m incredibly excited about what we’re going to achieve together,” he said

The Grab convenience pitch

The other pitch made in the announcement is convenience.

SIA customers will be able to book a ride to the airport (not from though) up to seven days in advance.

While it’s nice for the rider, it also makes life easier on the driver who can plan around one guaranteed fare a few days ahead of time.

The app will automatically list the airport as a destination, so users will just need to enter the pick-up point and the time.

The service will be available in Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

““We are thrilled to bring more convenience to our customers on the ground and in the air through our new partnership with Grab, while also offering KrisFlyer and GrabRewards members the opportunity to convert points to miles and redeem them for award flights or flight upgrades,” said Campbell Wilson, the SIA Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing in a statement.

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Finally, if people enter the code GRABSQ into the promo code function from October 9 to November 9, they will be entered into a raffle to win business class tickets to Hong Kong.