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Maybank Family & Friends Card review: Can it help you get the most out of your daily spending?

Maybank Family & Friends Card review: Can it help you get the most out of your daily spending?
PHOTO: Unsplash

The Maybank Family & Friends Card has held its position as one of the best cards in the cash back category since 2019. If you're looking for a credit card to get the most out of your daily spending, the Maybank Family & Friends Card covers the most ground.

Here's a summary of the card benefits:

Maybank Family & Friends Card terms & conditions

Maybank Family & Friends Card
Annual fee & waiver $180, waived for first three years
Supplementary annual fee Free 
Interest free period 20 days
Annual interest rate 25.90 per cent
Late payment fee five per cent or $80, whichever is higher 
Minimum monthly repayment three per cent or $20, whichever is higher
Foreign currency transaction fee 3.25 per cent
Cash advance transaction fee five per cent or $15, whichever is higher 
Overlimit fee eight per cent+ excess over credit limit
Minimum income $30,000 (Singaporean) / $60,000 (non-Singaporean)
Card association MasterCard 
Wireless payment MasterCard PayPass, Samsung Pay, Maybank Pay 

Maybank Family & Friends Card benefits — up to 8 per cent cash rebates

Before its 2019 revision, the Maybank Family & Friends Card was already quite a solid workhorse, giving you up to 8 per cent cash back for key spending categories like groceries, public transport, petrol and (selected) food deliveries. Also, the spending requirement was a bit steep (min. $1,000 to enjoy the maximum eight per cent cash back).

Since then, Maybank has lowered the minimum spend to $800 and made the spending categories more comprehensive.

Min. spend  Cash back (capped at $125, $25 per category) 
$0 to $799 0.3 per cent
$800 & above  Eight per cent
Spending categories  What’s eligible 
Dining  Restaurant dining, Foodpanda and Deliveroo globally
Data communication & Online TV streaming  All telcos and paid television, cable and radio services (e.g. Singtel, StarHub, M1, Netflix, etc) 
Groceries  All grocery stores and supermarkets globally  
Transport  Petrol stations, contactless bus and train rides, taxi, Grab/GOJEK rides, other passenger transportation services and automotive related services globally
Online fashion Fashion purchases made online
Retail & Pets POPULAR Bookstores, Toys ‘R’ Us, Yamaha Music, Mothercare, Kiddy Palace, pets and veterinary related services globally
Entertainment Bars, clubs, cinemas, and other ticketing agencies globally
Pharmacy Guardian, Watsons, Unity, GNC, other drug stores and pharmacies globally
Sports & Sports Apparel Sporting goods and apparel, country clubs and memberships globally
Beauty & Wellness Massage parlours, health & beauty spas and barber shops globally

It's worthy to note that Maybank's spending categories extend beyond Singapore. In fact, almost all their categories cover globally. Although a 3.25 per cent foreign transaction fee will be charged for paying in foreign currency, the eight per cent rebate does more than cover it.

Running my monthly expenses through my mind, Maybank's spending categories are comprehensive in covering almost all the monthly recurring costs and then some. You can even earn bonus cash back when you take your pet to the vet!

How much cash back you earn on the above categories depend on how much you spend in that statement month. Spending anything below $800 will only earn you a measly 0.3 per cent.

To earn eight per cent, the minimum spend is $800. Considering the card's wide arching spending categories, hitting the minimum spend should be fairly easy.

Who should sign up for the Maybank Family & Friends Card?

As its name suggests, the Maybank Family & Friends Card is mainly targeted at families. If you're the responsible adult who pumps the car, does the groceries and pays for the meals and bills, then you'll get the most mileage out of this piece of plastic.

However, the card does have split caps of $25 per category, which limit how much you can earn in each category, which makes it slightly more tedious for you to maximise your savings. But as they say, the good things in life don't always come easy.

The melodramatics aside, Maybank has made it pretty seamless for customers to keep track of their spending with the Maybank TREATS SG app.

It's also where you can indicate your preferred cash back categories. The app also has a benefit optimiser function which tracks your spending and cash back every month.

A thing to note, however, is that you can only change your preferred spending categories once every year. So, before you get clicking, be very certain of which categories the bulk of your monthly expenditure falls into. There's no turning back — for 12 months!

Maybank Family & Friends Card promotions

Currently, there is a sign up promotion for new Maybank customers who apply for any Maybank credit card and a CreditAble loan.

If you sign up for those two, and spend at least $300 in the first two months, you'll receive a complimentary Samsonite Harts 68/25 Spinner luggage (worth $550).

Foreigners are eligible too, but the minimum spend requirement is $350 instead. The sign up promo is only applicable to the first 4,500 applicants. If you're late to the party, you'll receive $100 cash credit instead.

It's not the most competitive sign-up promotion — many other cards and banks offer cash incentives, which trump this any day.

But then again, this shouldn't really matter. If you actually want to use the card because it suits your spending habits, then the freebies are just icing on the cake.

Alternatives to Maybank Family & Friends Card

Here are some alternatives to the Maybank Family & Friends Card:

Citi Cash Back Card

This card offers a competitive eight per cent cash back on similar categories like dining, petrol and groceries.

However, the cash back varies from category to category. For example, you only get a lower six per cent rebate on dining. Like the Maybank Family & Friends Card, the minimum spend is $800 and the cash back is capped at $25 per category.

OCBC 365 Card

This is another one that covers similar bases. However, the cash back is only three per cent to six per cent for the bonus categories, which is quite significant. The minimum spend requirement and cash back is capped at $80 per month.

CIMB Platinum MasterCard

This card has a higher cashback of 10 per cent for the same categories of dining and transport (petrol included). But don't get your hopes up — the biggest deal breaker lies in the $20 cash back cap for each category.

This article was first published in MoneySmart.

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