Credit Cards

Maybank Family & Friends Card — MoneySmart Review 2019

The Maybank Family & Friends Card has always been quite a decent card in the cash back category, which is why I was surprised that Maybank tweaked its card benefits earlier this month — they actually made it better.

Most card revisions push me to cut my card in 2, but this one is actually an upgrade. Instead of coming up with more caveats, they made it easier for cardholders to earn cash rebates by lowering the minimum spend requirement and expanding the bonus cash back categories to include dining, telcos and more.

With that, the newly improved Maybank Family & Friends Card covers most ground for daily spending.

Here’s a summary of the latest card benefits.


Maybank Family & Friends Card terms & conditions

Maybank Family & Friends Card
Annual fee & waiver $180
Supplementary annual fee Free 
Interest free period 20 days
Annual interest rate 25.90%
Late payment fee 5% or $80, whichever is higher 
Minimum monthly repayment 3% or $20, whichever is higher
Foreign currency transaction fee 2.75%
Cash advance transaction fee 5% or $15, whichever is higher 
Overlimit fee
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% cash rebates

Before its revision, the Maybank Family & Friends Card was already quite a solid workhorse, giving you up to 8% cash back for key spending categories like groceries, public transport, petrol and (selected) food deliveries.

The only obvious gap was dining. Also, the spending requirement was a bit steep (min. $1,000 to enjoy the maximum 8% cash back).

However with the Sep 2019 upgrade, Maybank has lowered the minimum spend to $800 and made the spending categories more comprehensive.

Min. spend  Cash back (capped at $80) 
$500 to $799 5%
$800 & above  8%
Spending categories  What’s eligible 
Dining (New) All restaurants in Singapore and Malaysia 
Telcos & TV streaming (New)  All telcos and paid television, cable and radio services (e.g. Singtel, StarHub, M1, Netflix, etc) 
Groceries (Revised)  All grocery stores and supermarkets in Singapore and Malaysia 
Transport (Revised)  Contactless bus and all passenger transportation services in Singapore and Malaysia (e.g. taxi, Grab, GOJEK, etc) 
Petrol (Revised)  All petrol stations in Singapore and Malaysia 
Learning & Retail (No change)  Popular bookstore, Toys ‘R’ Us, Yamaha 

I like that Maybank plugged the dining gap with not just restaurants in Singapore, but Malaysia as well. In fact, almost all their bonus categories (dining, groceries, transport, petrol) cover Malaysia too. Although a 2.75% foreign transaction fee will be be charged for paying in Ringgit, the 8% rebate more than covers it.

Food-wise, it’s worthy to note that they removed the fast food delivery category, so your Foodpanda, KFC, McDonalds and Pizza Hut orders will no longer earn you bonus cash back.

They also removed the pharmacies (Guardian, Watsons, Unity), but it’s no big deal to me — you can just pick up your supplies at the supermarket instead.

The other new category is telcos and paid television services (like Netflix). It’s a welcome addition, especially since these are recurring costs.

The transport and groceries categories were enhanced to include all relevant merchants as well. Previously, the terms and conditions stated “leading” supermarkets and petrol kiosks only, which is slightly ambiguous.

How much cash back you earn on the above categories depend on how much you spend in that statement month. To earn 5%, the minimum spend is $500 (no change). However, to earn 8%, the minimum spend is now $800 (lowered from $1,000).

This gives the card a slight edge over its main competitor, the Citi Cash Back Card (min. spend $888).


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.

That said, if you spend enough of any one of the bonus categories, you may just be able to squeeze this card dry too. The cash back cap of $80 is a total cap across all categories, which means if you spend $1,000 but it’s only on say, dining and petrol, you can still earn the maximum $80 rebate.

This is much better than some other cards that have split caps, which limit how much you can earn in each category, making it harder for you to maximise your savings.

It’s also quite good for those who take a lot of taxi and private hire rides like Grab and GOJEK.

With the latest revisions, the only glaring gap is the online shopping, so this definitely isn’t suitable for couch potatoes who order their life supplies online. To be fair though, there isn’t a card that covers all these categories, plus online shopping. (Note: online supermarkets like RedMart, NTUC Fairprice On and etc are still eligible for 8% cash back under the groceries category.)

One thing to note though: although Maybank has MyInfo for their savings account applications, everything is manual for credit cards. You’ll need to download your notice of assessment from IRAS, and then submit your pay slip and NRIC details.

It’s not exactly a 15-minute thing, and is quite a bit more troublesome compared to other banks that allow you to retrieve your personal details via MyInfo using your SingPass.


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 2, and spend at least $300 in the first 2 months, you’ll receive a complimentary American Tourister luggage (worth $260).

Foreigners are eligible too, but the minimum spend requirement is $400 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.

If you’re chasing the free money some cards give you upon sign-up, then head over to the MoneySmart credit card comparison tool for the best deals.


Alternatives to Maybank Family & Friends Card

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

Citi Cash Back Card

Citi Cash Back Card

Card Benefits

    • 8% cash back at food & beverage outlets, food & groceries delivery (including Deliveroo, honestbee, RedMart)
    • Up to 20.88% savings at Esso and Shell, and 8% cash back at other petrol stations
    • Total min. retail spend of S$888/month, 8% cash back capped at S$25 per category (Dining, Grab, Groceries and Petrol)
    • For retail spend less than S$888 and/or other retail spend categories, 0.25% cash back is awarded, no cap on 0.25% cash back earned

    Citi Cash Back Card — This card offers a competitive 8% cash back on similar categories like dining, petrol and groceries, but loses out because the minimum spend is higher ($888) and the cash back is capped at $25 per category.

    OCBC 365 Credit Card

    OCBC 365 Credit Card

    Card Benefits

    • 6% cashback on local and overseas dining, everyday
    • 6% cashback on online food delivery e.g. Deliveroo and Foodpanda
    • Up to 23% fuel savings at Caltex stations
    • 3% cashback on local, overseas and online groceries e.g. Redmart, FairPrice Online and Honestbee
    • 3% cashback on local and overseas private hire rides e.g. Grab, ComfortDelGro, Ofo and Ryde
    • 3% cashback on online air, cruise, hotel and tour bookings e.g. Agoda and Airbnb
    • 3% cashback on recurring telco and electricity bills
    • 0.3% cashback on everything else

    OCBC 365 Card — This is another one that covers similar bases. However, the cash back is only 3% to 6% for the bonus categories, which is quite significant. The minimum spend requirement and cashback cap is the same.

    CIMB Platinum MasterCard — This card has a higher cashback of 10% for the same categories of dining and transport (petrol included). But don’t get your hopes up — the biggest dealbreaker lies in the $20 cash back cap for each category.


    What do you think of the Maybank Family & Friends Card? Tell us in the comments!


    Ready to apply for the Maybank Family & Friends Card? Sign up through MoneySmart now: 

    Maybank Family & Friends Card

    Maybank Family & Friends Card

    Card Benefits

      • Up to 8% cash rebate on groceries, shopping, dining, food deliveries, petrol, and entertainment spend
      • Up to 8% cash rebate on bus, train, and taxi rides
      • 8% or 5% cash rebate with minimum spend of S$1000/S$500 per month respectively. Cash rebate cap at S$600/year
      • Get 0.3% cash rebate on all other spend with no cap on cash rebates


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