Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Pairing Your Maybank Amex with OCBC Titanium

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NOTE - OCBC Titanium has changed its policy and is now a 1% cash back for nearly everything, instead of 5% cash back for certain merchants. Some pros and cons, more cons for me for now. 

Maybank 2Card (Amex + Visa / MCard) still remains my first choice.

As I wrote in my previous entry about the best credit card option currently being Maybank, here is a usage strategy we're using to maximize our returns.

Firstly what you'd do is setup all your auto billing to OCBC Titanium. NOW if you are like me and your total autobill does NOT hit RM1,000 then the above table should be applied. If your autobilling hits RM1,000 with your OCBC card, my suggestion is to put your OCBC card aside (except for autobill payments) and use your AMEX all the way!. Autobilling includes Astro, TM, Unifi, TNB, Digi, - i.e utilities, which you'd expect 5% cash back. Both OCBC and AMEX cash back is capped at RM50, with AMEX still giving treat points with no cap.

Ok so now lets say your auto billing does not reach RM1,000, then lets get started on the below table.


*By preference, #1 being first preference.



Just a quick explanation on my reasoning.

Firstly for weekends, AMEX wins hands down, as you get 5% cash back on top of 5x treat points.

For electronic item purchases, read thru AMEX T&C, as it has got a good coverage for extended warranty. With this in mind, I'd suggest use your AMEX for anything that would come with a warranty that AMEX would provide an extended warranty on top of this (remember to keep your receipts, if in doubt call the customer service).

Obviously on weekday's for groceries, petrol and dining, use your OCBC to max out your 5% cash back. However for Jusco, just stick to AMEX as OCBC only gives 1% for Jusco Aeon (at least the one near me) instead of the 5%. I called to check and it seems this is due to Jusco AEON vendor code is deparmental store and not groceries.

For any other purchases on weekday, AMEX is better coz according to most reviews AMEX 5x treat points is close to 2.5% cash back, which is better then OCBC 1% for other items.

For online purchases, I am pretty reluctant to use my AMEX as, as last I checked, you DO NOT get a on-time-password sms'ed to you for verification like your Visa / Mastercard. So i fear more easily for fraudsters to target AMEX.

For overseas, as we know AMEX has a higher commission charged compared to Visa / Mastercard. So last choice. Here I'd be split between Maybank Visa / Mastercard against OCBC. You'd need to figure out which bank offers a better conversion rate ( just call and ask what's the current conversion rate). Also supposedly for OCBC Titanium you can still enjoy the cash back 5% for petrol, dining and groceries purchases overseas. 


Note I have tried to make the matrix as simple as possible. Do share any thoughts if there is a better strategy you can think of. 

This is an entry under Value Tips which has got quite a number of blog entries and sharings on how to make your money work best, and saving $$.  If you found this entry do like it / share in on FB or twitter and spread the word around.


Friday, January 4, 2013

Quick One - Increase your returns by 5x

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Here's a quickie blog post. The engine's hot and running, full of steam, so lets put in one more Value Tips Entry. If you maintain a minimum average of RM2,000 in your savings account at least for a month, then read on.

I've had a Maybank account for ages. Actively started using it as my pay went thru there. Never thought about it as something to consider seriously for 'savings'. Then I came across http://generationsxyz.blogspot.com/ a very informative blog. So how do you up your returns easily by ~5x? 

Here goes, most of us who have a Maybank Savings account started off with a Kawanku Savings account or a Savings Account-i. Here's a quick summary (as of date of this blog entry)

For KawanKu :

And above for Savings-i, source Maybank Savings-i  & Maybank Kawanku

So if you had anything up to RM10,000 the max you'd be getting is 0.4% per annum. Put simply, RM40 returns per year or a meager RM3.3 monthly.. Now if you had RM2,000 that would be RM8/year or less then RM1 per month.. Wow that is little.Probably can't cover your ATM withdrawal or yearly ATM card fees. So now HOW DO YOU INCREASE YOUR RETURNS BY 5x? Usually if it sounds too good to be true, I am doubtful, but from what I've experienced it is true

Just open up a Maybank2u Savers / Savers-i account. YES it sounds that simple and is simpler to do.
If you maintain RM2,000 min, you get an indicative return of 2.1% per month for the Islamic and 2.1% for conventional. That's 5x more right? 2.1/0.4 = >5x!





To put things into perspective, if you had RM10,000 your returns per annum would be 10,000*2.1% = RM210. Or monthly RM17.5. Now if you maintained RM2k, RM42 per year or RM3.50 monthly. Decent to at least cover your transactional chargers. The plus point is it is based on daily rest and paid out monthly, so if you can't maintain the minimum for the whole year, you still get paid 2.1% for whatever months you do maintain a min of RM2,000. Also I prefer the M2u Savers-i because firstly it's Islamic, and secondly it still gives a 'nominal' 0.4% if you can't maintain min RM2k versus the conventional where you get a 0% it seems.

Note there are some limitation, which to me is manage-able, e.g no passbook all online. You can easily transfer from this account to your still active KawanKu savings. I haven't checked if this account is accesible thru MEPS ATM (non Maybank). If from Maybank ATM, choose Lain-Lain Akaun/ Amaun and select amount and account if you want to withdraw from here.


So now the big qs - soalan cepu emas. How do you setup this m2u savers account. Sorry to disappoint you but its too easy.

How do I apply for m2u Savers-i?

To apply m2u Savers-i, please follow these few simple steps:
  1. Log-in to Maybank2u.com
  2. Click Apply Online at Maybank2u.com secured site homepage
  3. Select Account Type = Personal Savings Account, Product Type = m2u Savers-i & click the Continue button

    Source : http://www.maybank2u.com.my/mbb_info/m2u/public/faqQuestion.do?cntKey=ACC01.12&faqId=ACC01.12-M2USavers-i&faqChPath=/mbb/FAQs/01-Personal Banking/FACC-Accounts&faqKey=206549#206549.

    Happy savings. This is just a rather simple way to make your hard earned money work harder for you. Do share your thoughts on this.
     

Thursday, January 3, 2013

SSPN Tax Relief vs Higher Div rates outside

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So in my previous post, I wrote on how to reduce your taxable income, especially starting 2012, the government has increased SSPN taxable relief to RM6,000. So then we started to discuss, if you can get better returns outside, say 5% compared to say SSPN gives 3% dividend, does it still make dollar sense to go for this tax relief.

If you google like from SenseOfMoney, the average div (simple averaging) is 3.56%. So let's do a comparison to see what % of dividends you should expect from other sources if you decide to not invest in SSPN. Let's assume SSPN pays out 3.5%. The RM6,000 tax relief is from 2012 to 2017. Believe after that would reduce down to RM3,000 or extended. So to keep things simple, we shall calculate based on saving RM6,000 yearly in SSPN from 2012 to 2017 with returns of 3.5%.

 *Note one key assumption to the below calculations is that the tax relief savings you get, you save back into your SSPN (to keep it simple). Now  if you save the tax relief savings into a higher yield vehicle, this should translate into higher total savings.

If you're in the 19% tax bracket, your compounded returns with the above assumptions should be RM48,405 (RM48k):


To have comparable returns from external sources that don't give you the tax relief on your RM6k savings, you'd need to find a vehicle that gives you 8.5% per annum on average:


Now, for those big buck earners, who've reached the highest taxable bracket; 26%, your compounded returns for a yearly savings of RM6k would be RM51k.



 To have comparable returns from external sources that don't give you the tax relief on your RM6000 savings, you'd need to find a vehicle that gives you 10.5% per annum on average:






Remember though that SSPN when compared to bonds, FD, mutual funds and so on has certain difference i.e withdrawal requirements, capital guaranteed and so on. So take this into considerations too, e.g. the flexibility you require with your hard earned money, and the amount of cash you have.

If you notice anything that doesn't quite seem to add up, please leave a comment. This in based on my own understanding and calculations. 
 

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