Touted as one of the best cashback cards, the Maybank Family & Friends Card offers rebates in many categories. Better yet – it’s generous enough to offer the same rewards when you spend overseas.
Unlike most other cards, this one allows you to choose the categories you want 8% cashback on. There are ten available categories, which means this general spend card is flexible enough to see you through the seasons.
But past all that, are there downsides or additional costs you need to be aware of? Let’s take a closer look at the card to find out more about:
- Eligibility requirements
- Fees and charges
- Cashback and other benefits
- How does the cashback compare?
- How to maximise cashback
- Who would benefit the most from this card?
|Age||21 and above|
You can apply via the Maybank website using Singpass MyInfo if you’re a Singaporean or SPR.
Malaysian and foreigner applicants may submit their online applications with supporting documentation.
Fees and Charges
|Annual Fees||S$180 with a three-year fee waiver for the principal card. Two free supplementary cards.|
|Effective Interest Rate||25.90% per annum|
|Late Payment Charges||5% or S$80, whichever is higher|
|Minimum Monthly Payment||3% or S$20, whichever is higher|
|Overlimit Fee||3% of the credit limit plus the excess over the credit limit|
|Foreign Currency Transaction Fee||Up to 3.25%|
|Cash Advance Interest and Fees||5% or S$15, whichever is higher|
This card offers lower interest rates and fees when compared with similar entry-level cards like the Citi Rewards Card and DBS Altitude Card.
Here’s a quick look at the differences:
|Fee Type||Maybank Family and Friends Card||Citi Rewards Card||DBS Altitude Card|
|Annual Fee||Three year waiver||One year waiver||One year waiver|
|Interest per annum||25.90%||26.90%||26.80%|
|Cash Advance Interest and Fees||5% or S$15, whichever is higher||6% or S$15, whichever is higher||8% or S$15, whichever is higher|
|Late Payment Charges||5% or S$80, whichever is higher||S$100||S$100 for outstanding balance above S$200|
Cashback and Other Benefits
|Minimum spend||S$800 monthly. 0.3% base cashback if minimum spend is not met.|
|Cashback||8% globally on your choice of five categories out of 10 available options:|
|Cashback caps||S$125 per month, S$25 per category|
The Maybank Family & Friends Card is one of the rare few that offers high rebates for both local and overseas transactions. This is useful in a pinch, like if you happen to be travelling and don’t have a multi-currency account with all the funds you need.
Read also: Best Multi-Currency Accounts for Singapore
You’ll incur up to a 3.25% foreign transaction fee on overseas spending, but the 8% cashback offsets it.
8% Cashback for Groceries
If you and your family often cook at home, this card offers one of the highest rebates for groceries. Eligible merchants include:
- NTUC FairPrice/Finest/X-tra
- Cold Storage
- Market Place
- Sheng Siong
- Don Don Donki
- HAO Mart
- Amazon Fresh
The CIMB Visa Signature Card tops Maybank’s offer with 10% cashback, but has a lower cashback cap (S$20) compared to Maybank’s $25. That means CIMB gives you 10% cashback for up to S$200 in groceries, whereas Maybank gives you 8% cashback for up to $312.50 in groceries.
Both require S$800 in minimum spend, so you’ll have to decide which fits your lifestyle better.
The first 5,000 approved applicants (first-time cardholders) will get a pair of American Tourister Linex 66/24 Luggage TSA (worth S$336), or an AirPods (3rd generation) with Lightning Charging Case (worth S$261.40), or S$200 cashback. when they charge S$600 for each of the first two consecutive months after approval.
The catch? You don’t know whether you’re among the first 4,500 applicants. You just have to apply, spend, and hope you get lucky.
But if you’re not amongst the first 4,500 applicants, don’t fret. You’ll still receive a S$100 cash credit.
Maybank offers discounts and exclusive deals from a list of partner merchants. However, the list pales in comparison with Citibank’s and UOB’s, which comprise an extensive range of popular brands, retail outlets, travel-related discounts, dining privileges, and even utility providers.
What might make up for it are Maybank’s regional privileges, giving cardholders discounts when dining in major hotels across Southeast Asian countries and medical services in Malaysia.
How Does the Cashback Compare?
|Card||Monthly Minimum Spend||Cashback||Highest Cashback Category||Monthly Cashback Cap|
|Maybank Family and Friends||S$800||0.3% to 8%||8% on your choice of five categories||S$125|
|UOB One||S$2,000||3.33% to 10%||10% for public transport, Grab, online shopping, daily essentials, travel||S$100|
|UOB EVOL||S$600||0.3% to 8%||8% on online shopping, mobile contactless spend||S$60|
|OCBC 365||S$800||0.3% to 6%||6% on dining, online food delivery and 5% on fuel spend||S$80|
Even though the UOB One Card offers higher rebates, cardholders need to spend at least S$2,000 to unlock the privilege. This may be challenging for some.
With the most eligible categories and second highest cashback, the Maybank Family and Friends Card seems like the best option for the more budget-conscious.
Downsides of the Maybank Friends and Family Card
This is a pretty basic card, so it’s inevitable that it doesn’t include a whole lot of benefits to cover a range of user profiles. Here are a few things you may want to note:
1. Cashback Strictly Limited to Eligible Merchant Category Codes
10 categories eligible for cashback? Well, not quite. Eligible transactions are still limited to merchants classified under Maybank’s list of Merchant Category Codes.
That means if a merchant happens to use a different MCC from what Maybank recognises, you may get a sad 0.3% cashback instead of 8%. For example, Shopee and Lazada transactions don’t count, even if you’re buying clothes from the two platforms and think they’d fall under “Online Fashion.”
The best way to avoid this is to check in advance that the card covers the places you regularly shop at.
2. Requires Some Micromanagement / Expense Tracking
$25 cashback cap per category isn’t much, to be honest. That amounts to $312.50 per category – a number that’s easy to exceed, particularly if you’ve got a family to feed and clothe.
To make the most of this card, you’ll have to track your spending per category. Thankfully, Maybank makes this easy to do via their app.
3. Not a Card Worth Travelling With
Even though the card’s homepage shouts “Earn 8% cashback globally,” it’s not a card you want to travel with. Considering most people who travel for business or leisure tend to spend a fair amount, you’ll quickly hit the S$25 cashback cap per category.
The Maybank card might come in handy in an emergency, but you’d be better served with cards like the DBS Altitude instead (2-3 MPD on overseas purchases and up to 10 MPD on travel-related spending).
How to Maximise Cashback
There are three rules to take note of to maximise your cashback:
Rule 1: Spend at least S$800 per month with the Maybank Family & Friends Card to qualify for 8% cashback
Rule 2: Make sure the places you transact with fall under Maybank’s approved Merchant Category Codes
Rule 3: Spend no more than S$312.50 per category on your five selected categories. (The Maybank app displays your expenses by category.)
This card works best when you have other cards to swap to for transactions not covered under Maybank’s Merchant Category Codes – or with an unlimited cashback card if you’ve hit the cashback cap per category.
Who Would Benefit the Most From This Card?
- Those who subscribe to digital streaming services and/or telcos such as Disney+, Netflix, Starhub, Singtel, M1, Circles.Life, or MyRepublic. There aren’t many other cards that offer high cashback on streaming and telcos.
- Those who spend at least S$800 across their five selected categories