Comparing the Maybankcard 2 Gold Card – American Express + MasterCard


SUMMARY OF FINDINGS: Maybankcard 2 Gold Card – American Express gives excellent returns via its 5% rebate for weekend spending and Maybank TreatsPoints. With even moderate spending timed to be done on weekends, you will easily cover back the RM50 Government Service Tax.

However, American Express charges higher rate on the business using it. So I suggest to only use it for big companies (e.g.Tesco, Jusco, Shell etc) and avoid using it on small businesses (e.g. family cafes) and charities (e.g. Barnabas Fund) as you will be basically transferring their hard-earned profits to the American Express company.

————————————–

The following may contain inaccurate data due to the vast amounts of calculations, choices and terms/conditions involved. If you spot any error, please inform me.

UPDATE: Sadly both the AmEx and Mastercard share the same total credit limit. So if your credit limit is RM5,000 and each card has reached RM2,400… You cannot swipe either card for a RM300 purchase!

The Maybankcard 2 Gold Card provides one American Express (AmEx) and one MasterCard (MasCa) credit card. Hereafter referred to as the 2card.

Among the extolled advantages, the two cards share one statement and – attractively – one Government Service Tax (GST) of RM50/year. This means that you can flexibly wield two different credit card lines without paying extra GST – although in Malaysia this is something of a moot point, as the question is more of where does accept AmEx and where doesn’t accept Mastercard. See bottom of post for a list.

The AmEx gives you 5x Maybank TreatsPoints which can be collected to redeem for products, cash vouchers – or even to negate the RM50 GST. Meanwhile, the MasCa only gives 1x TreatsPoints. So avoid using the MasCa whenever possible.

Using solely on the AmEx, you have to spend just RM2000 a year (RM166.67 a month) to get the 10,000 TreatsPoints needed to waive the RM50 GST. I’m quite certain anyone eligible for the card will spend more than that already on basic unavoidable expenditures such as petrol and grocery shopping,.

Furthermore, using AmEx on weekends gives ‘5% cash back’ in the form of a discount off your bill for the respective items. (I’ve tried it for buying petrol at Shell, and it really works.) Limited to RM50 a month though. You’d have to spend RM1,000 each month on weekends alone to reach the cash back limit, so it’s really more of an occasional small bonus.

UPDATE: In less than a year of using the AmEx, I have earned back far more in rebates than the RM50 government tax. Even though I often missed chances to use it (e.g. by shopping on a weekday instead of a weekend). Definitely worth it.

Membership is also free for life.

Altogether, looks pretty attractive right?

So the question is, are the 2card’s benefits better than alternatives?

For this exercise, I’m going to use my own ad hoc unit of measurement, PBR (Pay Back Ratio) which is a measurement of how fast each Ringgit of expenditure through a credit card pays back in the form of vouchers, rebates or etc.

The following calculations will exclude the weekend 5% cash back bonus which is limited to RM50/month for ease of comparison.

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VS. Citibank Gold Credit Card

Citibank’s gold cards give 3x Citi Reward Points that can be used to redeem stuff. Now obviously this seems much lower than Maybank AmEx’s 5x points – but when you average out the 5x AmEx and 1x MasCa, it comes to 3x anyway. Simple solution, use AmEx whenever possible.

So let’s go to the actual benefits in terms of cash. For ease of comparison, let’s use two basic items that anyone will be able to use – shopping vouchers and rebate on GST.

The best points-to-rewards ratio Jusco voucher from Citibank Gold is worth RM100 for 21,000 points. That’s a ratio of 100/21000 = 0.00476 PBR (higher PBR is better as it shows how much each reward point is worth). But don’t forget the 3x rate. The actual ratio is then 0.00366 x 3 = 0.01428 PBR (meaning you get back RM1 in vouchers for every RM70 you spend thru Citibank). Note that other versions of the card are different, for example AirAsia Gold card needs 27,300 points instead of 21,000! Laaaaaame.

The best ratio Tesco voucher from Maybankcard AmEx Gold is worth RM50 for 11,000 points. That’s 50/11000 = 0.00455 PBR, but the AmEx 5x rate makes it 0.00455 x 5 = 0.02275 PBR (meaning you get back RM1 in vouchers for every RM44 you spend thru Maybank Amex.).

So purely on shopping vouchers, Maybankcard AmEx is clearly the winner at 1.75x faster money back speed than Citibank Gold. Without factoring in 3x and 5x, Citibank Gold’s base voucher ratio is marginally better (and the AirAsia Gold is worse!).

Moving on to GST rebate, Citibank lets you waive the RM50 tax for 10,000 points. That’s a ratio of 50/10000 = 0.005 PBR, factor in the 3x rate makes it 0.005 x 3 = 0.015 PBR (you get back RM1 in rebate for every RM66.67 spent). Again, note that other versions of the card are different, for example AirAsia Gold card needs 13,000 points instead of 10,000! Boooo!

Meanwhile, Maybank GST rebate is exactly the same ratio of RM50 tax for 10,000 points. That’s a ratio of 50/10000 = 0.005, factor in the 5x rate and it’s a stunning 0.005 x 5 = 0.025 PBR (RM1 rebate for just every RM40 spent)!

So again, the AmEx’s 5x again makes it 1.67x the money back speed as Citibank Gold’s 3x.

And don’t forget the weekend 5% cash back that AmEx offers you!

Furthermore, the number of Citibank branches seems much lower than Maybank ones. This comes into play when you want to pay your credit card bill. Without easy access to a Citibank branch and without a Citibank account, you either have to mail the cheque to Citibank (60 sen now) with risk of interception or getting lost, or else pay RM2 to GIRO transfer via online banking.

Using your likely existent Maybank account to pay your Maybank 2card online means zero fees. A small saving even over a year, but it contributes. Together with Maybank AmEx’s other benefits (5% cash back and 5x points), it’s overkill.

And finally, Citibank charges annual membership fee of RM195 and RM100 for supplementary, against Maybank AmEx’s free for life!

In practise it should be easy to get waived with points or plain old begging/threatening the customer service desk… But why add that hassle?

WINNER: Maybank AmEx

(UPDATE: Most or all insurance companies do not accept AmEx for auto-payment of policies. And since insurance policies tend to be large sums – especially for families – the 3x points of using MasCa under Citibank Gold becomes more substantial. Nevertheless, it’s quite unlikely IMHO that insurance expenditures will outstrip combined petrol, groceries and nonessential purchases for which the Amex 5x points can apply.)

————————————–

VS. Tesco RHB Credit and Debit Cards

Since we’re on the shopping=necessity theme, RHB has two contenders – Tesco Credit Card and a Tesco Debit Card.

First, the Tesco Credit Card. It gives you 2% cash back at Tesco at any time (0.02 PBR, get RM1 back for every RM50 in spending).

You also get 1 Tesco Clubcard point per RM2 spent at Tesco or ‘anywhere else’ (that is, 0.5x points earning ratio). Each Clubcard point is auto-converted into 1 sen (RM0.01) worth of Tesco vouchers by Tesco itself. The end result is a ratio of 0.01/2 = 0.005 PBR (get RM1 back for every RM200 in spending). You have to have the Tesco membership of course, which is like BonusLink or J-Card.

Apart from the Tesco stuff, you then also get RHB points at a 1x rate that can net you an RM50 Tesco voucher for 12,200 points (0.004098 PBR, RM1 vouchers for every RM244 spent) or the usual RM50 GST rebate for 10,000 points (ratio of 0.005).

Altogether, the Tesco Credit Card’s three benefits of 2% cash back, Clubcard points and RHB points means that you get a money return ratio of 0.02 + 0.005 + 0.004098 = 0.029098 PBR (get RM1 back for every RM34.37 spending).

It however charges a RM88/year fee after the first free year! So you need to spend 34.37 x 88 = RM3,024.56 yearly just for your savings to break even with your annual fee! Whatmore if you have a supplementary card at RM20 per year (another RM687.40 spending needed).

And don’t forget the usual RM50 GST, which can be waived for the usual 10,000 points as with the other card brands.

Moving on…

Second option is the Tesco Debit Card. This baby gets you 5x Clubcard points at Tesco and presumably 1x anywhere else. With the ordinary ratio being 1 Tesco Clubcard point per RM2 spent, 5x rate means 1 point per RM0.40 spent. Not being a credit card, you don’t get RHB points to redeem I think.

So we’re working with just RM0.01 vouchers for every Clubcard point, calculated to 0.01/0.4 = 0.025 PBR (get RM1 back for every RM40 in spending). Looks good by itself, but loses out to the combined three benefits of the Credit Card version.

And even the Debit Card has a fee! RM20 per year means you must spend 20 x 40 = RM800 annually for your savings to break even with the stupid fee. Throw in another RM400 spending for each supplementary card’s RM10 fee.

So what if we compare the two RHB Tesco Cards’ ratios against Maybank AmEx’s ratio?

First, we need to add in Tesco Clubcard ordinary points earnings to the AmEx, because you still get Tesco Clubcard points for your Tesco membership no matter how you pay the bill! So AmEx’s usual ratio of 0.02275 + 0.005 = 0.02775 PBR (get back RM1 voucher for each RM36.04 spending).

Now the comparisons:

RHB Tesco Credit Card = 0.029098 PBR
Maybank AmEx (Tesco vouchers) = 0.02775 PBR
Difference = 0.001348 PBR

To make up for the RHB Tesco Credit Card annual fee = 88/0.001348 = RM65,281.90 needs to be spent per year, after which the RHB Tesco Credit Card starts saving you money compared to Maybank AmEx

RHB Tesco Debit Card = 0.025 PBR
Maybank AmEx (Tesco vouchers) = 0.02775 PBR
Difference = -0.00225 PBR

RHB Tesco Debit Card NEVER saves you money compared to Maybank AmEx

And once again, this isn’t counting in AmEx’s 5% cash back which trounces the RHB Credit Card’s 2% cash back at Tesco only.

WINNER: Tesco RHB Credit Card if you’re hardcore Tesco-reliant and spend tens of thousands of Ringgit on groceries/electronics/furniture/etc every year. AmEx for normal people. If you plan on getting Maybank AmEx, the savings from having a Tesco RHB Card as well are almost impossible to realize!

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VS. OCBC Titanium MasterCard

The following is excerpted from My Credit Cards which has in-depth looks at various cards.

Comparison between Maybank 2 American Express Card and OCBC Titanium MasterCard

MBB 2 Amex gets 5X Reward Points Everyday, Anywhere and Anytime vs. OCBC TMC Nothing, Nil, None, Zero;

MBB 2 Amex Free Lifetime Annual Fees vs. OCBC TMC need to swipe 12 times;

MBB 2 Amex GST must pay (but with 5X points only need to spend RM2K to get 10,000 Treats Points to offset GST ) vs. OCBC TMC must pay but auto waived if spend RM10K annually;

MBB 2 Amex 5% cash back on weekends anywhere vs. OCBC TMC 5% cash back anytime but not everywhere;

MBB 2 Amex offers Travel Insurance vs. OCBC none; and last but not least

MBB 2 Amex overseas transactions are subjected to 2.5% Admin Charge but with 5X maybe this is acceptable vs. a lower overseas conversion rate with OCBC TMC (do note again that the RM50 cap which may limit the usefulness of OCBC Titanium MasterCard for overseas spending).

BOTH MBB 2 Amex and OCBC Titanium cash rebate is capped at RM50/month😦

So does the above comparison conclude that you should not get the OCBC Titanium? Not necessarily. It depends on your spending pattern.

If you don’t spend more than RM1,000 per month with credit cards then maybe no point getting the OCBC as Maybank 2 Cards consists of 2 in 1 i.e. you get AMEX with Visa or MasterCard. Therefore, in the event a particular merchant does not accept AMEX, you’ve still got the Visa or MasterCard as standby.

For the Maybankard 2 AMEX card, on weekends it’s like you get something equivalent to about 7.5% cash back for anything including Petrol (for your information if you spend your money at ESSO you get another 1.5% with Smiles Points and at 1U another 1% with the One Card). Click here to read my post – Cards to compliment your CC.

How did I get 7.5%? The 5X Treats Points (TP) you get for every Ringgit can be said to be equivalent to approximately 2.5% cash back based redemption of voucher(s). For example, 2,000 TP gets you a RM10 McD voucher, 10,000 TP gets you a RM50 Metro Jaya voucher and 20,000 TP gets you a RM100 Jaya Jusco Voucher. Click here to see Treats Points Catalogue for vouchers.

Before you go saying AMEX is not widely accepted, let me repeat here again that AMEX is accepted at ESSO/MOBIL, Guardian, Watsons, Caring, OTO, GIANT, Carrefour, Harvey Norman, Courts, All IT, DELL, TESCO, JAYA JUSCO, TGIF, FOS, Poh Kong, PappaRich, Pasta Zamai, Canton i, Air Asia, JetStar, Malaysia Airlines, DiGi, Maxis, Celcom, Assessment Tax (Cukai Pintu) and many other places and not necessarily only at high end luxury outlets.

I’m not going to delve into the minutia of rewards points or PBR (yet).

————————————

Where American Express is Accepted in Malaysia

Do feel free to comment with your first hand accounts of where else in Malaysia AmEx was accepted.

Paying Telekom and Tenaga Nasional bills thru Maybank2u online bill payment!
Most major hotels
Shell
Tesco
Jusco
Steam (digital download games)
Barnabas Fund – however not encouraged as AmEx charges them more, which means you’re getting more reward points by depriving the persecuted needy.
Direct2Drive (digital download games)
Sushi King
Guardian
Black Canyon
Ipoh Specialist Hospital
Pizza Hut dine in
Kenny Rogers
MPH book stores
Watsons
Baskin Robbins
Carrefour
Courts Mammoth
Caltex
Borders
Kenny Rogers
Auntie Anne’s
Interflora
Cold Storage
Video Ezy
Nando’s
Pamuri 100 Yen
Parkson
Berlin’s Bierhaus
Giant

Where American Express is REJECTED in Malaysia

Do feel free to comment with your first hand accounts of where else AmEx was NOT accepted.

KFC
Petronas
Secret Garden (Ipoh dining – contact number is outdated, use 052410412 instead)
Good Old Games (digital download games)
Pizza Hut online ordering
David’s Diner Ipoh
Toys ‘R’ Us
Burger King
Sakae Sushi
Papa John’s

In conclusion, for a responsible and fiscally aware person, annual membership fee-less and high PBR cards like Maybankcard AmEx are actually profitable rather than sinking you into a hole of constantly increasing debt.

And that’s all I got for now. Feel free to comment.

45 Responses to “Comparing the Maybankcard 2 Gold Card – American Express + MasterCard”

  1. amex Says:

    great information about amex……its so useful
    tnxxxxxx

  2. AskChong Says:

    You are very good in analysing…. I just sent my application yesterday.

  3. jshjx Says:

    i couldn’t use my amex at petronas. -.-

  4. Scott Thong Says:

    Really? Adding to the list…

  5. ed Says:

    wow.. good info.. suppose going to get American Express® Gold Credit Card, with 5x reward point also.. after read tru… for sure get Maybankard 2 Gold Card .. 1 for daily use.. 1 for back up..

  6. Aegen Lee Says:

    May i know, can i get any cash back / rebate at Shell by using my MaybankCard 2 card ?

  7. Scott Thong Says:

    Hi, confirmed that I got 5% discount off my monthly bill for the Shell petrol that I pumped using American Express on a weekend.

  8. snigapoe Says:

    pump petrol on weekend will get 5% rebate + reward point too?

  9. Scott Thong Says:

    Yes, you get both 5% cash back and 5x Treats points.

    And also, you get Bonus Link / Smiles etc from your petrol loyalty card! (Just remember to swipe it first).

    Basically for any major business line (Jusco, Tesco, Shell, etc), presenting the loyalty card followed by paying with AmEx gives you loyalty points, 5x Maybank Treatspoints, and 5% discount from the AmEx expenditure on that weekend.

  10. Aiman Says:

    Thanks a lot for the info…i already apply for those cards, now, waiting for the result…u make me feel better when read this wonderful article….

    Thanks!

  11. Lim Says:

    Thanks for the detail analysis.
    How about the 5% cash rebate on weekend if I spend at Kedah? Is it only applicable on Friday & Saturday or Saturday&Sunday?

  12. Lim Says:

    Thanks for the detail analysis.
    How about the 5% cash rebate on weekend if I spend at Kedah? Is it only applicable on Friday & Saturday or Saturday&Sunday?

  13. Scott Thong Says:

    Haha… I haven’t tried, but I suspect it will still be only Sat and Sun.

  14. oks Says:

    can we get 5% rebate on weekend for online shopping such as Amazon?

  15. Scott Thong Says:

    I’m not sure about Amazon in particular, but so far I think I have gotten rebate on international online stores like http://store.steampowered.com/

  16. Tazz Says:

    Hi Scott, great extensive review! Quick question, the rebate for fuel – is it just for Shell or any gas stations? Just for weekends? I have an mbb 2 card but mine is amex/visa. Hv been using amex quite a lot since I saw I’m getting rebates. Just not sure if it’s just for fuel or for any purchases durg wknd. Thanks!

  17. Scott Thong Says:

    Any purchase will get the rebate, so any petrol station should apply. Usually it will only be rebated at end of month. You can see the rebate clearly in your statements.

  18. flipper Says:

    Really great review and comparison,
    I just have one question about the 5% weekend rebate. You’ll get the rebate instantly when you swipe or they give you the rebate in your next statement?

  19. Scott Thong Says:

    The rebate usually comes at end of the statement period. It will be clearly marked as Rebate.

  20. Noah Says:

    Just wanna ask on government new rules on credit card which person that earn lower than 36K per annum can only have cc from 2 issuer. In my case i have this maybank 2 cards and public bank visa crdt card. Question, is this maybank 2 card consider as single issuer or two issuer. Hope you can answer this Q since if it 3 i need to cancel one of the cards.

  21. Scott Thong Says:

    Maybank 2Card is considered one issuer, as both the AmEx and Mastercard share one govt tax and one credit limit.

  22. charlescsjwp Says:

    I can’t use MBB Amex everytime based on my spending pattern but MBB master only give be 1 TP (=0.5% rebates).

    Here is my suggestion logic to get max rebates if u reach or close to RM50 monthly rebates

    – weekday (choice of 5%, 2.5% and 1%)
    — if in OCBC 5% category then use OCBC master
    — if not in OCBC 5% category then use MBB AMEX when posible

    – weekend (choice of 7.5%, 5%,and 1%)
    — if merchant accept then use MBB AMEX
    — if not accect then use OCBC master

    Try to use the card that give u max rebates at that time.

    * beware on online transaction due to posting date.
    * I’m practicing to settle all balance on my monthly cr card statement

  23. Dye Says:

    AMEX also accepted at Carrefour and Courts Maammoth..
    I spend on grocery on weekend only to get rebate at end of month..plus get 5X reward points..Plus carrefour always have marked down price section which usually took place on weekend..
    Enjoy great2 saving..be smart when shopping!!

  24. ain Says:

    thanks for the info! i already received my card last week, but sadly not much online shopping accept amex. i really want the 5x treat points!

  25. Mat Kedah Says:

    I LOVE MY Maybankard 2 Card AMEX, spending using this card since Nov 2011, 1st Month on 1st Dec Rm50 Cash Rebate, 1st Jan 2012 another RM29.94 and this 1st Feb received RM 25.08..

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  27. FoxPass Says:

    For the AmEx, do you need to wait one month to be eligible for the cash back? If I’m the kind of person who pays back his bills immediately after using the card, will I get the cash back?

  28. Scott Thong Says:

    What it actually does it to cut your end-month bill by up to RM50. It usually is credited to me by the time the month’s payment is due.

  29. leoo Says:

    Hi, may I know that, the weekend refer to Sat ONLY? or Sat and Sun also applicable for the 5% cash rebates?

    Thx thx…

  30. Scott Thong Says:

    Sat and Sun also can get the rebate.

  31. Bill Says:

    Got my new Maybankard 2 Card and tried the Amex at Bhpetrol station at Jalan Kuching, not accepted!!!!

  32. Scott Thong Says:

    WHAT, useless BHP!

    Try other station or ask the counter to swipe for you. If really not accepted, I will add to the list above.

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  35. dianna Says:

    can i apply maybank american express card using my fix deposit as my pledge? is it accepted?

  36. dianna Says:

    can i use pledge to apply for maybank american express card?

  37. Scott Thong Says:

    No pledges of any sort needed. Maybe don’t even need to be maybank account holder. Just apply or call.

  38. yungu Says:

    it’s hardly to find any merchandise which accept Amex in rural.
    it looks like only petrol station are accept Amex.

    May I know where I can use this Amex in Batu Pahat, Johor?

  39. Scott Thong Says:

    Well I am not familiar with Batu Pahat. But from my list above of franchises that accept Amex, any that are in Batu Pahat should accept your Amex (Tesco, Jusco, Sushi King etc).

  40. Ram Says:

    Good info Scott. Thq

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  42. Jasmine Says:

    I am looking for a credit card. No idea which card or bank should I apply. Mostly, for Online Shopping, like itunes or any online purchase for clothing and etc. I would like to have prvleges like cinema, concert, flights and what not. Benefits for hospitals? Most important efficient customer service and low interest. ? Or moderate percentage of interest.And to pay bills for handphone and unifi. annual income: 30k. any suggestion?

  43. RJ Says:

    Amex is accepted at most petronas nowdays.

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