I've long been a Maybank customer. However main reason was that my pay goes through to Maybank and also my loans (mortgage and hire purchase) were with Maybank. Around 4 years back, I refinanced to Maybank since they had the most competitive rate. Same during my purchase of our car, I managed to get the best deal from Maybank, with my old MyVi getting Extended Warranty Program (EWP) and my recent Persona getting a good rate as well.
But recently I've come to view Maybank more then just my monthly payslip and loan bank. Its somehow transformed into my preferred mode of banking for nearly all my banking transactions. This happened early 2012, when I was travelling overseas, and my previous bank's credit card dissappointed me. I had reached my limit, but alas, I did not receive any SMS or call notifying me that I was near my limit, what more any courtesy to raise my limit. I was a platinum long term loyal customer. They were made aware prior to my traveling that I will be traveling. Luckily I was with a friend and he offered his c/card and I could pay back later. I obviously had a backup card from another bank but left it in the hotel.
Once I came back, I called the bank to voice my frustration and asked the Level 1 support to request their manager to call me to understand my frustration. Alas no one called me back. Then when I came back, it was the time many banks were coming up with alot of new credit card products, cash back or double reward points. I called my H bank, to request to replace my existing Platinum which had basic benefits with a cash back one, and was adviced 'why not apply for a new card with bank H and maintain my current card'. I said ok, as I can cancel my current card once I get my new card. And guess what, me being a loyal credit card customer with prompt (full) payment, for at least 8 years, was rejected. Well well, guess who just called Bank H to cancel the card. And when they asked why, they got a 10 minute lecture on loyalty.
I've come to realize that many banks focus too much on getting new customers, but way too little in retaining loyal customers. This to me is Marketing 101, which an MBA or business student would know, it is ALOT cheaper to retain customers then attracting new ones, but still many business fail to take the effort to retain a customer.
And with my cancellation of my H bank's C/card, it was time to look for an alternative. Frankly I never considered Maybank eventhough I've done many transactions there. And then thanks to genxyz's blog, which does a detail comparison of bank's credit Card, I came to the realization, that in reality, Maybank does offer the best credit card(s) in town. Here's a quick summary / comparison to credit card's that come close. Firstly OC.. Titanium card, you get 5% cash back on a number of key transactions including utilities, petrol, groceries (excluding Jusco though) and dining up to RM50 per month. So once you hit the RM50 limit (equivalent to spending RM1000 on 5% eligible transactions), any other transactions after you pass the RM50 gets you nothing. And then though not difficult to achieve you'd need to swipe 12x per year to avoid yearly fees. Besides the 5% capped at RM50 though there aren't many other benefits. And if you get a supplementary, your RM50 cap does not increase.
Then there are some other cards that offer 2x or 5x or 10x points, but usually with a catch, limited to very few categories, and a limited time. So here's where the Maybank 2 Card wins hands down.
Firstly and smartly they give you 2 cards, one American Express (AMEX) and another choice of Mastercard or Visa. So the concern that AMEX not accepted everywhere is not a big concern. Then they managed to make it into 1 set, meaning your government tax is also RM50 only instead of RM50x2. And lifetime fee waiver, no need to jump through hoops to be eligible.
Now here's the beauty, every swipe with your AMEX (this is a credit card ya, not charge card), except certain small limited vendors like city council and insurance e.g Etiqa - you will get 5x treat points! And its not a gimmick, sometimes when you get multiples of reward points the total reward point needed to redeem is usually ridiculously high. In this case they can't do that as they use the same system as other maybank cards, you just get 5x more. To put things into perspective, most banks require 10,000 to 14,000 points to offset your RM50 government tax. (OC.. Titanium offsets this free second year onwards if you use RM10k or something). So for most banks you'd need to spend RM10k to RM14k to get 10k - 14k points which you can offset. Where else for your Maybank 2 Card, you need to only spend RM2k on your AMEX, and you've garnered 10k treat points to offset your goverment tax. So same applies for collecting points to redeem the free gifts etc.
If you use your Maybank AMEX on weekends, all transactions are eligible for 5% cash back on top of the 5x treat points, up to a max of RM50 per month (shared with your supplementary). So yes there is a cash back limit here, but note that your points continue to accumulate, i.e no limit, so the cash back is a bonus.
Another thing is if you spend time reading the T&C, the travel insurance coverage and also purchase protection plan are pretty impressive, e.g buy a fan or electronic stuff, entitles you to an additional year of coverage on top of manufacture's coverage. Do read the T&C. I have not tried to make any claims yet so can't comment but its definitely a nice to have. Might even make me think that paying for SenQ's membership for extended warranty might not be that necessary??
Biggest question / concern is - AMEX is not widely accepted. True enough. That's why they give you a Master/Visa credit card as well. And interestingly AMEX is getting wider acceptance, e.g for Petrol stations; Esso, Mobile, Caltex and now Petronas. All major hypermarkets e.g Tesco, Jusco etc also accept. Dining some do some don't
Do note for overseas transactions, AMEX surcharge is slightly higher then Mastercard / Visa so that's when I use my Maybank Visa. I've noticed on average, Maybank does offer pretty good exchange rates when I've used cards from different banks. Best way is to call and ask what's the banks' current rates and then compare.
Happy swiping! You can also check out the Maybank FB App. For a suggestion on how best to utilize your cards and where and when to use if you own both the Maybank 2Card and OCBC Titanium, check out Pairing AMEX with OCBC Titanium