17th May 2021 - 3 min read
*Note: Affin Bank has since released an FAQ document providing clarification on the meaning of “outstanding balance“.
Less than a year after the Affin Duo credit cards were officially launched, Affin Bank is making revisions to the cashback half of the Duo pair: the Affin Visa Cash Back Card. Effective 1 July 2021, Affin Bank will be introducing an outstanding balance requirement of RM3,000, which will determine whether your monthly cashback cap stands at RM80 or RM50.
Currently, the Affin Visa Cash Back offers 3% cashback on online, e-wallet, and auto-billing transactions, capped at RM80 with no minimum spend. The high cashback cap, coupled with the lack of any minimum spend requirements, made the Affin Visa Cash Back a very popular choice indeed – but these two merits in particular will be changed in the upcoming revision.
From 1 July onwards, cardholders will need an outstanding balance of RM3,000 and above in order to enjoy the RM80 monthly cashback cap, whereas cardholders with outstanding balance below RM3,000 will have their cashback capped at RM50 per month. Of course, the introduction of these caps will see a change in the effective cashback rates of the Affin Visa Cash Back, which you can peruse in the table below.
|Outstanding balance||Cashback cap||Official cashback rate||Effective cashback rate|
|Below RM3,000||RM50||3%||Between 1.67% and 3.0%|
|RM3,000 and above||RM80||3%||2.67% and below|
As you can see, if you still wish to earn up to RM80 cashback in a month, you will actually be earning a lower effective cashback rate compared to before; prior to the revision, the lack of outstanding balance requirement allowed you to earn 3% effective cashback outright. While it is still possible to earn a 3% effective rate using the Affin Visa Cash Back, you would have to keep your cashback-eligible spending at RM1,667 and below – and be satisfied with the lower cashback cap of RM50.
One thing that we have to highlight when it comes to this revision is Affin Bank’s use of the term “outstanding balance”. Most cashback credit cards base their cashback benefits on monthly spend rather than outstanding balance – meaning the transactions that you would have made in the course of one calendar month or statement cycle. However, outstanding balance implies that any unpaid amounts from previous statements would also count towards fulfilling the RM3,000 requirement.
Affin Bank has yet to release a detailed document addressing the use of this particular term, so it’s likely that we will only get a clearer picture closer to 1 July. However, one thing is for certain – not paying off your monthly credit card statement is not considered a good personal finance habit, as it will incur you interest charges of between 15-18% p.a. on the amount you owe.
Besides the above changes, Affin has also extended the list of transactions that are not applicable for cashback using the Affin Visa Cash Back. In addition to the existing exclusions for government services and charity-related transactions, payments made via Online Banking, JomPay, FPX, and Mail Order/Telephone Order (MOTO) will also be excluded starting July.
(Source: Affin Bank)
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