Is the Maybank eVibes the Best Student Credit Card? (2022 Review)

Shania Wong
PROMO: Get an American Tourister luggage worth S$230
Apply Now
on Maybank's website

Maybank eVibes Card

Apply Now
on Maybank's website
For a student card, the Maybank eVibes Card checks the most important boxes: decent cashback, no minimum spend requirement, and easy annual fee waivers. It could use a few improvements with contactless payments, but it’s still a good card for students or NSFs looking to work on their credit scores.

Pros

  • Easy-to-get fee waiver
  • One of the highest cashback rates (1%) for student credit cards
  • No cap on cashback
  • Extra 7% off Agoda bookings

Cons

  • Cannot use with Apple or Google Pay
  • Cannot double up as a public transport card
  • Low-income working adults are ineligible
  • iBanking platform isn't as developed and user-friendly as other banks’

Current Promotion

  • Get an American Tourister luggage worth S$230
    • Apply for a new Maybank eVibes Card and charge a minimum of S$150 for the first 2 consecutive months upon approval of your new Card.
    • In addition, you get to enjoy quarterly service fee waiver for the first 2 years.

The Maybank eVibes Card is a popular choice for students and NSFs to dip their toes into the world of credit.

But why?

Today, we’ll be going through and reviewing the Maybank eVibes Card and assessing whether it’s a good option for students and first-time credit card applicants:

Who’s Eligible For The Maybank eVibes Card?

Residential StatusSingaporeans or Permanent Residents 
Age18 – 30 years old
Annual Income Requirements
  • No minimum annual income requirements
  • Annual income should not exceed $30,000 (if any)
Additional Eligibility Criteria to Fulfill
  • Must be accepted/enrolled into any of these institutions
    • LASALLE, NAFA, NIE, NP, NTU, NUS, NYP, RP, SIT, SMU, SP, SUSS, SUTD & TP
  • Applicants must not be an existing Maybank Principal Credit Card member or CreditAble customer

Unfortunately, only students and NSFs enrolled into a tertiary institution can apply for this card.

And unlike the Standard Chartered Manhattan $500 card, working adults earning below $30,000 annually are not eligible for the Maybank eVibes Card.

The eligibility requirements are stricter for the Maybank eVibes Card, and you have to be enrolled into the above educational institutions to qualify for the card. 

Despite this, the Maybank eVibes Card remains a popular choice amongst local students and younger NSFs, due to the great benefits cardholders can reap.

Annual Fees, Credit Limit, and Other Charges

Annual FeesS$5 every quarter (waived if you charge to your credit card at least once every 3 months)
Credit LimitS$500 monthly credit limit
Minimum Monthly Payment3% of outstanding balance or S$20, whichever is higher + any outstanding amount due from previous statements
Overlimit Fee3%
Finance Charges
  • Interest-free period of 20 days from statement date
  • Effective Interest Rate: 25.9% per annum on outstanding balances, calculated on a daily basis until full payment is received
Cash Advance 
  • Cash advance fee per transaction is 5% of the cash advance or $15, whichever higher
  • Plus an interest charge of 25.9% per annum compounded daily, calculated on a daily basis on the amount withdrawn and the cash advance fee until the day payment is made in full
Late Payment ChargesS$80 or 5% of the minimum due, whichever is higher, if minimum monthly repayment is paid by due date
Foreign Currency Transaction Fee
  • 2.25% administrative fees for card transactions in USD
  • Up to 3.25% on all other currencies
  • All card transactions in Singapore dollars but processed overseas will be subject to an administrative fee of up to 1%

Overseas Retail Transactions

Despite the spending benefits on the Maybank eVibes Card, this card has very specific charges depending on where you shop online. For example, if you’re shopping on a Korean site and you pay in Korean Won, you’ll incur up to 3.25% in admin fees.

Overlimit Penalty

The $500 credit limit does not mean you’ll automatically be cut off from charging to the card — you’ll pay an overlimit penalty of S$15 on top of your excess spending if you exceed it, so keep tabs on your spending and stay within limits.

No Limit on Cashback

There is, however, no cap on your cashback earnings even when you spend over your limits. This means if you charge $1,000 to the card, you’ll get $10 cashback (but also incur the overlimit penalty).

Realistically, at 1% cashback with a $500 credit limit, the most you’ll get back each month is $5 — which is still better than the $1.25 on the SCB Manhattan $500 card.

Cashback and Other Benefits

Cashback
  • 1% on all retail spending
  • Not applicable for items such as:
    • Payment of annual fees, late fees, and other such forms of payment
    • Payment to insurance companies
    • Corporate/commercial transactions
    • Brokerage/securities transactions (e.g. cryptocurrencies, investments)
    • Top-ups to prepaid accounts (e.g. EZLink, YouTrip)
Ongoing Promotion
  • Receive S$50 cash credit when you spend S$150 within the first 2 months of getting your eVibes card
  • Enjoy quarterly service fee waiver for the first 2 years
Other Benefits
  • Up to 7% off accommodation bookings worldwide through Agoda
  • Access to Maybank Treats Rewards Program, in which you can exchange points for vouchers and products on the Maybank Treats Portal

How Easy Is It to Use the Maybank eVibes Card? 

1. Internationally recognised and accepted

Mastercard and Visa are the two most widely accepted cards in Singapore, which means you can use your card almost anywhere.

You’ll also unlock access to various Visa card benefits such as travel perks, rewards, discounts, merchant specific deals, and so on.

2. Cashback on all retail spending

As long as you’re using this card for your own leisure shopping, you’ll be entitled to the 1% cashback.

If you’re planning on using this card to pay for your bills, then the cashback system may not be as straightforward. You’ll need to check whether your spending falls under the list of eligible items. 

3. Monitoring of spending via the Maybank iBanking app

Cardholders can use the Maybank iBanking app to keep track of all spending. The app interface looks…well, ancient compared to that of other banks like DBS. Still, it serves its purpose for the most part.

Caveats of the Maybank eVibes Card

1. Cashback rules to note

  • GST doesn’t count for cashback calculations. 
  • Only transactions posted in the calendar month count towards the month’s spending and cashback. (That means if you bought something on the last day of the month but it only posted three days later, it counts toward the next month instead.)
  • You’ll forfeit all remaining cashback if you terminate the card.

If you’re looking for an all-in-one card for your commutes, this is going to disappoint. Unlike the other Maybank Mastercards or the CIMB AWSM card, the eVibes card can’t be used with SimplyGo. You’ll still need to bring your student MRT card while travelling.

3. Incompatible with Apple and Google Pay

Sadly, Maybank Cards in general are not supported by Apple and Google Pay. On the other hand, Samsung users will rejoice as this card works with Samsung Pay. 

The Bottom Line

With a high cashback rate (and no limit on the cashback), the eVibes card offers students and NSFs a way to save money while building their credit score.

The eVibes card is also low maintenance in that you can avoid the service fees if you charge to the card at least once every three months — and there’s no minimum spending to qualify for the cashback.Our verdict? For an entry-level card, the Maybank eVibes card is one of the better options in the market. You can always upgrade to a card with better benefits later on when you start working, so this card will tide you over in the meantime.