Maybank Family and Friends Review: Still the Best Card for Cashback?

Priscilla Lee
PROMO: 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 + 1x chance to win your share of up to S$200,000 in prizes in our epic 101! Milestone Giveaway, plus a chance to win S$5,000 bonus cash each week
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on Maybank's website

Maybank Family and Friends

Apply Now
on Maybank's website
With an expansive list of eligible spending categories, the Maybank Family & Friends Card is one of the best cashback cards you’ll find. It’s not the best card for travel-related transactions, but it’s an easy go-to card for everyday expenses locally.


  • High cashback for both local and overseas spend
  • Different card designs available
  • Generous three-year annual fee waiver
  • Exclusive discounts in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines


  • S$800 monthly minimum spend
  • Eligible transactions must fall strictly under Maybank’s recognised Merchant Category Codes
  • Online shopping transactions not eligible for 8% cashback
  • No miles earning or travel perks

Current Promotion

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 with a minimum credit card spend and/or CreditAble account withdrawals every month of S$600 for 2 consecutive months from card approval date. (Valid until 31 December 2023). + 1x chance to win your share of up to S$200,000 in prizes in our epic 101! Milestone Giveaway, plus a chance to win S$5,000 bonus cash each week. (Valid until 20 December 2023) Click to apply.

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

Age21 and above
Income Requirement
  • S$30,000 for Singapore Citizens or Singapore Permanent Residents (SPR)
  • S$45,000 for Malaysia Citizens, in employment for at least 1 year
  • S$60,000 for other nationalities, in employment for at least 1 year

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 FeesS$180 with a three-year fee waiver for the principal card. Two free supplementary cards.
Effective Interest Rate25.90% per annum
Late Payment Charges5% or S$80, whichever is higher
Minimum Monthly Payment3% or S$20, whichever is higher
Overlimit Fee3% of the credit limit plus the excess over the credit limit
Foreign Currency Transaction FeeUp to 3.25%
Cash Advance Interest and Fees5% or S$15, whichever is higher 
Card ReplacementS$30

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 TypeMaybank Family and Friends CardCiti Rewards CardDBS Altitude Card
Annual FeeThree year waiverOne year waiverOne year waiver
Interest per annum25.90%26.90%26.80%
Cash Advance Interest and Fees5% or S$15, whichever is higher 6% or S$15, whichever is higher8% or S$15, whichever is higher
Late Payment Charges5% or S$80, whichever is higherS$100S$100 for outstanding balance above S$200

Cashback and Other Benefits

Minimum spendS$800 monthly. 0.3% base cashback if minimum spend is not met.
Cashback8% globally on your choice of five categories out of 10 available options:
  • Transport
  • Dining and Food Delivery
  • Groceries
  • Data communication & streaming
  • Retail & pets
  • Entertainment
  • Online fashion
  • Pharmacy
  • Sports & sports apparel
  • Beauty & wellness
Cashback capsS$125 per month, S$25 per category
Other benefits
  • Select from three different card designs
  • Donate cashback to a charity of your choice
  • Maybank exclusive card promotions
  • Welcome gift worth S$550

Global Cashback

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
  • Giant
  • Market Place
  • Jasons
  • Sheng Siong
  • Don Don Donki
  • HAO Mart
  • RedMart
  • 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.

Welcome Gift

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.

Exclusive Promotions

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?

CardMonthly Minimum SpendCashbackHighest Cashback CategoryMonthly Cashback Cap
Maybank Family and FriendsS$8000.3% to 8%8% on your choice of five categoriesS$125
UOB OneS$2,0003.33% to 10%10% for public transport, Grab, online shopping, daily essentials, travelS$100
UOB EVOL S$6000.3% to 8%8% on online shopping, mobile contactless spendS$60
OCBC 365 S$8000.3% to 6%6% on dining, online food delivery and 5% on fuel spendS$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.

Read also: 9 Best Cashback Credit Cards for Singapore (2022 List)

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