“Are you a member?” the restaurant staff asks.
“Is it free?” comes my reply.
Usually, it is. And that’s how, over the years, the penny-pincher in me has amassed a hefty stack of loyalty/rewards cards stamped only once before they expire. And don’t even get me started on the countless tenuous restaurant group memberships tied to my mobile number.
If my story sounds like yours, you might be wondering if there’s one dining reward programme to rule them all. Well, guess what! There are several. Here’s our guide to Singapore’s best food discount and reward apps in 2023, including Chope, The Entertainer, and Burpple Beyond.
1. Chope - best for restaurant dining and loyalty points
For many Singaporeans, homegrown app Chope is the OG restaurant reservation and dining deal app. Throw a stone in the restaurant scene in Singapore and you'll probably hit an eatery that's on Chope.
Chope has over 800 partners, ranging from ulu hipster cafes to fancy fine dining restaurants in snazzy hotels. And chances are, if you can reserve a table at a restaurant on Chope, you can also buy a 10 to 50 per cent voucher for it on the same platform.
Restaurant dining not your thing? What not everyone may know is that Chope also offers discount vouchers for takeaway food kiosks and dessert shops. These include Hollin, Windowsill Pies, Matchaya, and Udders, to name a few.
Despite its localised name (chope = the classic Singaporean method of reserving a table in a hawker centre/coffee shop by placing a packet of tissue on it), Chope is also extends its services to six other cities besides Singapore: Jakarta, Bali, Bangkok, Phuket, Hong Kong, and Shanghai.
That means you can plan your Asia food itinerary and "chope" the restaurant tables in advance from your app, plus save money and earn points while you're at it.
How do Chope discounts work?
The most important thing to remember about using a Chope restaurant voucher is that you need to make a reservation. Even if the restaurant is completely empty when you visit, you cannot use your voucher unless you have a reservation for that date and time slot (if any) in your Chope app. Here's the step-by-step process to purchasing and using a Chope voucher:
- Download the Chope mobile app. Chope also works on desktop, but you probably don't want to present your laptop screen to the restaurant staff to redeem your voucher.
- Purchase your voucher on Chope.
- If it's a restaurant voucher, make a reservation at the restaurant in advance. If it's a food kiosk that's takeaway only, you're off the hook.
- Visit the F&B outlet at your selected date and time. Let the staff know you're using Chope so they can advise you if certain items don't apply to your voucher, or if one item in the discounted set meal you purchased is not available for the day and has to be substituted with something else.
- To make payment, show the staff your Chope voucher in the app by going to Profile > My Vouchers. They'll input their unique pin to redeem it, and your bill is docked. Pay the remaining amount (if any), and you're done!
One thing we really like about Chope vouchers is that their cash vouchers can be used to offset the entire bill, after GST and service charge. So if your bill is $45 and service charge brings that up to $49.50, your Chope voucher applies to the $49.50, not the $45. If you purchased a $50 Chope cash voucher, your meal is completely covered.
Aside from cash vouchers, Chope vouchers also come in the form of one-for-one deals and discounted set menus, buffets and dishes. In these cases, if you only order the items included in these offers, you just use your Chope voucher and pay nothing more at the end of your meal.
Chope discounts - is there a catch?
Chope is pretty straightforward and upfront about their terms and conditions, but we know a lot of you don't read those lengthy paragraphs of tiny black text. So here are some things to look out for when purchasing a Chope discount voucher:
- Most Chope vouchers specify a particular F&B outlet. Buy the right voucher for the right branch, or you might find yourself crossing the island just for a single scoop of gelato.
- Most restaurants only allow vouchers to be used for dining in. The only time we can recall vouchers being allowed for takeaway or online food delivery was during the Covid-19 circuit breaker days.
- Different restaurants set different limits on the number of vouchers you can stack per bill/table. Some strict ones say you can only use one, but we've also seen some restaurants allow up to six vouchers per bill/table.
- You can't stack vouchers with existing restaurant discounts. Meaning, you can't use your Chope voucher on that limited-time Hokkaido scallop pasta that the restaurant already has on a promotional discount.
- Most Chope vouchers can't be used on public holidays, their eve, and special occasions like Valentine's Day.
- Chope vouchers are non-refundable. So read all of the points mentioned above carefully before you buy a voucher you can neither use nor get a refund on.
- You need to make a reservation for restaurants. We know we've already said this, but we don't want anyone to be sotong and happily sit down, order, and happily eat without a booking. You'll then be caught in an awkward situation when making payment, because the restaurant staff can't redeem your Chope voucher without a reservation. (This is aAlso why we advise you to mention you're using Chope before ordering-you could plausibly make a reservation on the spot if the staff point this out.)
How does the Chope loyalty programme (ChopePerks) work?
Chope's in-app "currency" for their ChopePerks loyalty programme is Chope-Dollars (C$). You earn them each time you make and fulfil a reservation. Regular and Bronze members earn 100C$ for each reservation, while Platinum members get 175C$. You climb these membership ranks by hitting a certain number of completed reservations in a year.
If you're a serious Choper, look out for promo codes that Chope drops to earn up to an additional 200C$ per reservation.
So, you've earned a bunch of ChopeDollars. What can you do with them? You can use your ChopeDollars to redeem anything from FairPrice vouchers to movie tickets. Or, go the ultimate foodie route and redeem more ChopeDeals Discount Codes, starting at 600C$ for $5 off. These can be used to offset future Chope voucher purchases.
Admittedly, these ChopeDeals discounts aren't as good as they used to be a few years back-once upon a time, you could get a $30 Chope deal discount voucher with just 1,000C$ (it's now 2,600C$).
Back in the day, a friend of mine (pretty regularly) used that $30 discount on a $50 restaurant voucher that got him $100 in value at Wild Honey, essentially paying only $20 for a $100 voucher.
2. Eatigo - best for off-peak dining
Eatigo works best if your schedule is flexible. That's because all Eatigo discounts are tied to timing. When you select a restaurant, you'll see a range of discounts and the respective reservation timings they're available at.
Meaning, if you see "-40 per cent" and a smaller "17.30" above it, you can only get 40 per cent off your bill at 5.30pm on your selected date.
How do Eatigo discounts work?
If you're completely new to Eatigo, here's a step-by-step guide to get started.
- Download the Eatigo app and sign up for free. There are no membership tiers unlike for Chope and The Entertainer. Technically, Eatigo says you don't need to register to make a reservation, but from my experience, the app gets buggy if you don't log in.
- Browse the restaurants and make your reservation. If you have a particular date and time you want to see discounts for, you can set these in the search filter. Depending on the popularity of the restaurant and timing, some time slots may be sold out.
- Show up at the restaurant at your allocated time, and make sure the staff know you made a booking on Eatigo. This isn't a case of "it's a good idea to let the staff know". It's absolutely essential they mark your attendance in their system, because otherwise you'll be marked as a no-show and have problems applying the discount when paying the bill.
- Before ordering, check with the staff which menu items are excluded from the Eatigo discount.
- When making payment, show the restaurant staff your Eatigo reservation code. You can access this in the confirmation email or via the Eatigo app under News Feed. They'll then apply the discount to your bill. Voila!
Eatigo discounts - is there a catch?
Eatigo is probably the most straightforward dining discount app on this list. There's no membership fee, no coins or points to be earned, and choosing your discount is effectively the same action as making your reservation.
That said, here are some important things to note when using Eatigo:
- As we said before, don't just show up for your reservation. Make sure the staff know you showed up. This is essential to applying your discount when paying the bill.
- Since the best discounts are at the worst timings, we know everyone is going to show up late/early. Will the discount still apply? In our experience, most restaurants are nice about this and hold the table (and your discount) for you. But do this at your own risk. You know as well as I do that they have every right to give that table to someone else, especially if you're more than 15 minutes late.
- Eatigo discounts generally apply before service charge and GST. On this front, Chope vouchers win.
- If there's more than one restaurant outlet, Eatigo marks specific outlets with a "@" symbol. For example, "Spizza @ Jalan Kayu". Tip: Triple check your booking to make sure you've got the right branch!
- Some menu items are excluded from the discount. Drinks, desserts, and promotional set menus are almost always excluded.
3. The Entertainer - best for sharing your membership
The Entertainer is an all-in-one app that gets you one-for-one deals at restaurants, bars, spas, attractions, activities, salons, and fitness venues. Well, at least that's how they market themselves. As most of us know, The Entertainer's best deals are for food and drinks.
The Entertainer boasts 290 food and beverage merchants (compared to only 23 beauty & fitness ones and eight parked under attractions & leisure).
Their F&B partners range from snackables like Dunkin Donuts for carb-lovers to restaurants and bars like Hopscotch to get your booze fix. Each of these partners offers different kinds of deals, including one-for-one and percentage discounts.
How does The Entertainer work?
The Entertainer is a membership-based discount app. Here's how to get started:
- Download The Entertainer app.
- Sign up for a Premium or Lite membership. The Premium membership costs $78/year and gives you full access to over 1,300 offers at 300+ places in Singapore. The Lite membership is free, but you only get 200+ deals at 150+ places in Singapore.
- Visit the F&B outlet of your choice (reservations aren't required) and let the staff know you want to use The Entertainer. It's a good idea to double check with them which menu items are included and excluded in the deal before ordering.
- When it's time to make payment, tap the offer(s) you want to use, and let the staff enter their pin. You can use up to four offers at once for up to eight guests. Pay the remaining sum, all done.
Pro tip: The Premium membership option allows you to add up to two "family members" to share your offers. That means you can split the 1,300 offers three ways, and pay only a third of the membership price.
There's also a Global membership option priced at $248.83/year. It gives you access to all Premium memberships in UAE, KSA, Oman, Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait, Singapore, and South Africa.
That's not quite "global", but worth considering if you frequent these countries — especially since you can share the membership with up to four people under the Global membership plan.
The Entertainer discounts - is there a catch?
This is the part where we tell you important details that The Entertainer doesn't openly state, but that are essential to know so you don't feel cheated.
- Each offer can only be used once. When you're on a merchant's page, you'll see the list of available offers and their quantity. Think of each "offer" you see as an old-school paper voucher that gets shredded and tossed into the bin after use. For example, if you see "one-for-one Classic Pearl Milk Tea (two offers)", that means you can only get two sets of this one-for-one deal. After that, this bubble tea shop is pretty much dead to you on the app. But wait! There's good news…
- Offers get "refreshed" or changed every few months or so. Under each offer, you'll also see the date it's valid until. Past that date, the same offer might be refreshed or new offers might pop up.
- Merchants also come and go. On The Entertainer in 2023, you can see deals from Sharetea and Woobbee. On The Entertainer in 2024, maybe we'll see Chi Cha San Chen (and maybe we're just trying to manifest here).
- Each offer can only be applied to a specific outlet. On the list of places/merchants, each refers to a single outlet. That's why you see 15 listings for Harry's alone, which is great for convenience and for getting more available offers across all outlets. On the flipside, if you see only one Matchaya listed (sadly that is really the case at time of writing), you'll have to go to that one outlet to snag that deal (FYI it's the Paragon outlet, for fellow matcha lovers out there).
By default, your membership will auto-renew at the end of 12 months — yes, even if the subscription price changes by then. So if you sign up for the Premium membership, the first thing you should do is go into your app settings and turn off auto-renewal.
Wait, what's The Entertainer with HSBC?
The Entertainer with HSBC is a separate app from The Entertainer. Available only to HSBC cardholders, it's got a different set of deals and merchants across Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, London and UAE.
We know the question on your mind: Is it free? Yes! All HSBC Visa Infinite & HSBC Premier Mastercard credit cardholders get the Premium offers, while all other HSBC credit cardholders get the Standard offers. Don't confuse these offers with the Premium and Lite membership of the non-HSBC Entertainer app — these are completely different schemes.
|HSBC Visa Infinite & HSBC Premier Mastercard credit card||Other HSBC credit cards|
|Type of offers||Standard and Premium offers||Standard offers|
|1-for-1 F&B offers in Singapore||200+ merchants (3 offers merchant)||150+ merchants (2 offers merchant)|
Like the classic Entertainer app, The Entertainer with HSBC also gets you beauty and lifestyle deals. On top of that, you'll also get hotel offers in over 180 countries.
To activate your Entertainer with HSBC app membership, check your inbox for an email from HSBC within two weeks from your card opening date. They'll give you a nine digit VIP Key to activate your complimentary account. Otherwise, contact their customer care at 1800-HSBC NOW (1800-4722 669) or (65) 64722 669 if you are overseas.
4. Burpple Beyond - best range of 1-for-1 deals islandwide
Most of us know Burpple, that popular food review website and dining guide that practically functions like a mothership for Singapore's huge foodie community. In 2018, Burpple launched Burpple Beyond-and no, it has nothing to do with vegetarian burger patties.
Burpple Beyond is Burpple's response to those great one-for-one deals on The Entertainer. In total, a full Burpple Beyond membership ("Premium") will get you 2,400+ one-for-one deals at 600+ places, i.e. four deals you can use at each restaurant. If you opt for the Lite membership, you'll get access to the same range of restaurants, but get half the number of deals-so that's two deals per Beyond outlet, making for a total of 1,200+ deals.
How does Burpple Beyond work?
Burpple Beyond works very similarly to The Entertainer.
- Download the Burpple app. There's no separate Burpple Beyond app (so that they can entice you with their Beyond deals while you're browsing community reviews).
- Sign up for the membership of your choice. The Premium membership costs $99/year, while the Lite version will set you back by $49/year. Burpple wants everyone on board their Premium plan, so the Premium membership is almost always on discount.
- Head down to the restaurant you've been eyeing, no reservation required. As usual, we recommend you check with the server which menu items are available for the Burpple Beyond deal before you order.
- When making payment, let the restaurant staff redeem the Beyond deal(s) in your Burpple app. You can use up to four deals at once for up to eight guests. Make the final payment, and that's another discounted meal conquered!
Do note that Burpple Beyond comes with the same caveats as The Entertainer. Namely, each offer can only be used once, offers change every few months or so, and new merchants are added every month or so (though old merchants might be lost along the way too).
The Entertainer vs Burpple Beyond - which is better?
In the battle of the one-for-one dining apps, the biggest comparison point that jumps out at us is the number of restaurants available for the lower membership tier. Burpple Beyond's Lite membership gets you access to the same range of restaurants as its Premium version.
For about half the price of the Premium plan, Beyond's Lite plan halves the number of deals redeemable at each restaurant. Comparatively, The Entertainer's Lite membership halves the number of restaurants from 300+ in the Premium plan to 150+ in the Lite version.
That said, can we really complain about The Entertainer's Lite membership when it's free? In fact, price wise, The Entertainer's Premium membership ($78/year) is more affordable than Burpple Beyond's Premium membership ($99/year).
Let's take a closer look at the numbers. Here's a summary if you've forgotten them:
|Membership||The Entertainer||Burpple Beyond|
Dollar for dollar, Burpple Beyond is the clear winner. Their Lite version gets you twice the number of restaurants and almost as many deals as The Entertainer's Premium plan.
However, the best thing to do is scour both The Entertainer's and Burpple Beyond's merchants and see which has more restaurants you want to visit. Pick the app that you know you'll use more — make your discounts work for you!
5. Fave Singapore - best for vouchers
Remember Groupon Singapore? If you're wondering what happened to bygone group buy platform, Fave happened.
In 2017, Fave acquired Groupon and rebranded it as an all-in-one lifestyle app brimming with discount vouchers for food, beauty, fitness, shopping, and a whole category just for massage.
The range of vouchers you can buy on Fave is immense, and sometimes even surprising — did you know Fave even offers vouchers for services? Yup, anything from air-conditioning repair to pregnancy photoshoots.
How does Fave work?
Fave has a simple mechanic:
- Download the Fave app (its free!).
- Sign up for an account with Facebook, Google or your phone number. Like Chope and Eatigo, Fave is free to use, so there's no need to purchase a membership plan.
- Browse and buy discounted vouchers online.
- If it's a restaurant voucher, you may need to call ahead and make a reservation with the Face Receipt ID in the Fave voucher you want to use.
- Redeem your voucher in-store.
Looking at steps one to three alone, Fave vouchers work just like Chope vouchers. But the reservation bit is where things get a little tricky.
Fave discounts - is there a catch?
For all of you out there who aren't going to read the fine print on your Fave vouchers, here are some important things to note:
- Usually, a reservation is required for dining in.
- Don't make a reservation using another platform. That means you can't buy a hotpot voucher on Fave and then hop over to Chope to reserve a table at the same restaurant. On some vouchers, Fave makes this extra explicit: "Voucher is not valid conjunction with reservation made through external platforms."
- Even if Fave doesn't include the line above, they always state that you should call the number provided to make a restaurant reservation. Give them your name, reservation date and time, and Fave Receipt ID in your Fave voucher. For those of you used to Chope's system where you don't need to provide this info in advance, take note!
- You must make a reservation at least a day in advance. No showing up at the restaurant and quickly trying to make a reservation on the spot for a time slot within the next 15 minutes.
- Restaurant vouchers meant for one pax (e.g. a dinner buffet voucher for one pax buffet) cannot be shared with other people.
- Not all Fave vouchers can be used at all partner outlets. For example, if you buy a KOI voucher for a classic bubble milk tea, it may not be redeemable at every single one of the many KOI outlets in Singapore. Check before you buy!
What is FavePay?
Fave's e-payment method is called FavePay. It's not a mobile wallet so you don't need to top up and store value; you simply link it to your credit card.
This can be quite useful for earning cash rebates in the online transaction department because it is charged to Fave, not the dining establishment. For example, if you've maxed out your rebate quota for dining, but have "space" to earn for online shopping, you can get cashback using Fave.
How does cashback on Fave work?
The best thing about Fave cashback is that it's automatically applied. Note that this is not the same as loyalty points, such as Chope Dollars, and there's no need to dig through a catalogue of rewards to redeem a reward. Instead, the next time you make a purchase on Fave, the app will automatically use your cashback for you to offset the final price you pay. Nifty!
The one word of warning we have about Fave cashback is to know what type of cashback you're getting. There are not one, not two, but three types of Fave cashback — and the first two look almost the same. Here's a breakdown:
- Face Cashback: The best kind of cashback on Fave, because it can be used on anything in the app-FavePay, FaveDeals, or eCards.
- Fave e-Cashback: This can be used to offset FaveDeals or eCards, but cannot be used for FavePay transactions.
- Partner Cashback: The most limited kind of Fave cashback, in that it can only be applied to a specific store. For example, if you accumulated partner cashback on Fave for BreadTalk, it can only be used to offset purchases from BreadTalk.
Summary of food discount and dining apps
|Number of restaurants||Membership||Reservation required?|
|Chope||800+||Free||Yes, book via the Chope appfor restaurants|
|The Entertainer||150+ (Lite) or 300+ (Premium)||Free (Lite) or $78/year (Premium)||No|
|Burpple Beyond||600+||$49/year (Lite) or $99/year (Premium)||No|
|Fave||Hundreds, but we don’t know the exact figure||Free||Yes, book via phone call and provide voucher details in advance for restaurants|