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Humanising Finance
August 2017

3 tips to choosing the best credit card

With so many credit card offerings from countless banks, choosing the right one can be a tedious endeavour ending in confusion. Here are some useful tips to help you apply for the card that best suits your lifestyle and needs!
1. Cash rebates versus points/rewards
If you're someone who hates keeping track of the number of points you have accumulated, you should choose a cash rebates or cash back card. For instance, with the Maybank Platinum Visa Card, it's like having a 'permanent discount' every time you shop, and the rebates you earn for some, if not all transactions, will be automatically credited to your account and used to offset your statement every month.

Cash rebates cards usually offer rebates at places you frequent for daily necessities, and thus they are also commonly referred to as shopping credit cards. For example, the Maybank Family & Friends Card gives up to 8% cash rebate on various everyday expenses such as transport (bus, train and taxi), grocery shopping at supermarkets and refuelling at petrol stations in Singapore and Malaysia.
On the other hand, if you're the type who likes to exchange your points for air miles, shopping/dining vouchers, discounts and gifts, then opt for a points/rewards card. You can earn points for every dollar you spend on the card, with most banks offering accelerated points when you spend at specific merchants or on certain categories.

In fact, a smart way to earn miles is to consolidate all your expenses onto the card that gives you the highest earn-rate for daily spending. The Maybank Horizon Visa Signature Card, which was recently named the 'Best Air Miles Card' at the Her World Nu You Credit Card Awards 2017, has an attractive earn-rate, including 8X Maybank TREATS Points (equivalent to 3.2 air miles) for every dollar spent on dining, petrol, taxi, hotel bookings via Agoda.com/horizon and 5X TREATS Points (equivalent to 2 air miles) for every dollar spent on travel-related expenses.
2. Look out for special perks
  • Travel privileges

Most Singaporeans travel regularly for leisure or work. For those who like to travel in comfort, you may want to pick a card that gives you access to experiential travel perks. Some cards, for instance the Maybank Horizon Visa Signature Card, offers complimentary access to selected airport lounges, so you can relax before getting on a flight.


Those who prefer to travel in style can consider the Maybank World Mastercard, which offers perks such as complimentary use of JetQuay, the five-star private terminal at Singapore Changi Airport. Revel in VIP treatment including having a JetQuay host personally attending to your travel formalities and being chauffeur-driven to the boarding gate in a buggy!

  • Golf privileges
Golf enthusiasts may want to check out the Maybank World Mastercard, which has been awarded as the Best Golf Card in Singapore for the third consecutive year at the Her World Nu You Credit Card Awards. Principal Cardmembers enjoy complimentary green fees at 79 participating world class premium golf clubs across 15 countries with a minimum spend of S$1000 on the card. Those who just want to cross the border for a short golf getaway, can enjoy exclusive golf deals and promotions at The Els Club Malaysia.
3. Understand the fees and charges
Besides credit card perks, it's also important to take a close look at the various card fees before you apply for one. Below are some of the key ones to take note of.
  • Annual fees

Most credit cards will come with an annual fee, which can vary widely. This may be complimentary for the first year, but it will be automatically charged to your credit card account annually thereafter, and you will need to contact the bank to check if this can be waived.

  • Late fees

Late fees will be incurred when you do not repay the minimum sum on time. Most credit cards require that you repay 5% of the minimum payment due or S$50, whichever is higher, if the minimum monthly repayment is not made by the due date.

  • Interest levied on outstanding debt

If your outstanding balance is not paid in full by the payment due date, you will lose your entitlement of interest-free credit for your purchases. Interest will be calculated based on your daily outstanding balances from the date each transaction was effected or the statement date. New purchases after the statement date will also attract interest immediately.

Always pay the credit card debt in full. If you pay only the minimum sum monthly, you will be paying interest on your rollover balance. This interest will be compounded if you continue to roll over your outstanding balance month after month.

  • Overseas transactions in foreign currencies

Transactions overseas charged in a foreign currency will be converted in Singapore dollars in your card statement. The foreign exchange rates used to convert these transactions into local currency may vary day-to-day and from bank to bank, with fees being around 2.5% to 3%.

Some overseas merchants may automatically offer you payment in Singapore dollars but the converted amount often comes with an average market mark-up of at least 3%. Such transactions also come with an additional cross-border fee of up to 1%, meaning you could end up paying 4% in charges in total. So, always opt for payment in foreign currency on your card.

It's important to choose a credit card that suits your lifestyle. Check out our different Maybank Cards at our website or call our customer relationship executives on 1800 629 2265 (1800-MAYBANK) for advice.
Always wanted to find out more about a finance-related issue? Email us at: corporateaffairs@maybank.com.sg
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