Update August 2022: read the 2022 edition here
Update April 2021: Note that this review was before the card was significantly nerfed
Tl;dr: Relatively easy way to score 8% off many daily expenses you already incur. This is a card worth getting.
It’s easy to overlook credit cards from the smaller banks in Singapore. While the OCBCs and UOBs of the world have the marketing dollars to push their cards to the masses, smaller ones like Maybank tend to be quieter about their products, even if they’re as excellent as the Maybank Family and Friends card.
The FnF card gives 5% for $500 of monthly spend, and 8% if you can hit $800, up to a total cashback of $80 a month, which is a maximum of 8% cashback on $1,000 of spend. That’s a pretty decent amount for 8% of cashback. 10% is A+ tier, and 8% makes a very respectable A tier.
Everyday categories with no sublimits
As far as conditional cards go, the spending requirement for FnF is also very simple. You get cashback on:
- Transportation (bus/train, petrol, ridehailing)
Dining at restaurants (eateries, fast food etc are excluded)
- Fast food and food delivery
- Data services (Singtel, M1, etc and Netflix)
These are categories that you probably already spend quite a bit on. What makes the card shine is also the fact that there are no annoying limits to each category which render cards like Citi Cash Back Card and CIMB Platinum Visa practically useless unless you fit squarely into their spending requirements (which nobody does).
As with most conditional cards, your rewards depend highly on your spending habits, but I would suppose the average working adult in Singapore spends at least $100 to $150 between bus/train and the occasional cab, $50 to $100 on mobile and broadband subscription as well as Netflix, and dine out to a tune of around $50 to $100 per month. This is easily around $300 clocked already, perhaps more if you’re more of a spendthrift.
One category that is a little iffy is the restaurants category. Places like McDonald’s, Starbucks, and perhaps even some high-end eateries don’t count. Unless your bill is really large, it shouldn’t really hurt that much; having a little non-qualifying spend doesn’t dilute your cashback that much (see the table a few paragraphs below).
Ways to clock $800
Once upon a time, all one had to do was to top up $1,000 to a certain other card, and instantly get 8% cashback on just about anything, but alas that game is over now for Mastercard, and Mastercard this card is.
Nevertheless, here are some ways I think would help you towards your $800 spending goal:
- Paying for your entire family’s mobile plans instead of leaving them on GIRO (~$150 – $200)
- Use your Singtel bill to top up your Dash ($200)
- Buy supermarket vouchers
Depending on your relationship your folks, I’m thinking that most mothers wouldn’t mind receiving household allowance in form of supermarker vouchers, but please check with them first before taking for granted you can get 8% off your contribution to your family. I don’t really think it’d be an issue since NTUC FairPrice vouchers are practically equivalent to cash for most households, and they come in nifty prepaid cards that you can top up which are way less troublesome than vouchers of fixed denominations.
Even if your family doesn’t spend a lot on groceries each month, there’s an argument to be made that hoarding vouchers at 8% cashback is a prudent thing to do. You get 8% on things you already spend on, and 8% on vouchers you will definitely use in the near future. Most cards that give above 5% usually don’t last very long, and I don’t expect this card to go unchanged over the long run.
It’s still pretty decent if your spend isn’t all in qualifying categories
Now let’s say you are still unable to clock spend on these categories, it’s not all that bad if you used your card like an unconditional card for other expenses to reach the minimum spending.
|Qualifying Spend||Non-Qualifying Spend||Cashback||Rate|
Hitting 8% on $600 of spending and a negligible 0.3% on $200 that doesn’t fall into any of the categories still gives 6.08%, higher than most cashback cards out there right now.
Sign up bonus
Family and Friends
Apply for a Maybank Credit Card and a CreditAble Account, make a min spend of $300 per month for 2 consecutive months, and receive:
- First 4,500 applicants: Samsonite Harts 68/25 Spinner (worth S$500)
- 4,501 onwards: S$100 cashback
Note that you do not need to use the Creditable Account if you wish, and can just meet the requirement using the credit card.
With a 10% cashback card around, does an 8% one has space? If your monthly expenditure is at least $2,800, more than the maximum of $2,000 per month for UOB One + GrabPay MasterCard, it’s an easy yes. 8% beats every other cashback card and even top-tier 4 mpd mile cards.
Even if you don’t spend all that much, taking a month to stock up on highly discounted supermarket vouchers and getting a free luggage isn’t the worst deal in the world. Also, let’s not pretend that the 10% cashback game would last for very long. The Family and Friends card comes with a rather generous 3-year fee waiver period, so there’s no harm signing up for it now. 8% is really good and you never know when it might come in handy when your expenses go up in a particular month.
- 8% cashback is a great rate
- Qualifying categories are typically incurred expenses
- No sub-limits for each category
- Getting 8% off public transportation when fares were raised by 7% feels good
- No Apple Pay (or Google Pay). Ugh
Overshadowed by 10% UOB One (which wouldn’t last long, right?)
Spending quite a bit at eating places before realising they’re not considered restaurantsRestaurants are no longer eligible 🙁
★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
8 Stars of Sethisfaction
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