3 Sep - 9 min read
Three powerhouses: Maybank, Grab, and Mastercard have teamed up to conceive the Maybank Grab Mastercard Platinum, a credit card that uses the GrabRewards points system instead of Maybank’s TreatsPoints. The co-branded card has struck a lot of firsts in the market – including same-day online approval, instant issuance of a temporary digital card for Maybank2u users, and being Malaysia’s first dual-faced card.
While there certainly are a lot going for it, this card has a lot to prove given the popularity of Maybank’s credit cards. Let’s delve in a bit deeper and see just how rewarding the core benefits of the Maybank Grab Mastercard Platinum are.
The Maybank Grab Mastercard Platinum’s benefits are simple: you earn GrabRewards points on every Ringgit you spend on the card. You earn the highest 5x points multiplier for Grab-related transactions and 2x points for overseas and e-commerce spend. For other local transactions (except for some exclusions like government and non-Grab e-wallet transactions), you earn 1 GrabRewards point for every RM3 spent.
|Purchases made in the Grab app (including GrabPay e-wallet reloads)||5x points for every RM1 spend|
|E-commerce and overseas purchases||2x points for every RM1 spend|
|Eligible local transactions||1x points for every RM3 spend|
Unlike the recently-launched Maybank Shopee Visa Platinum and the CIMB e Credit Card, there is no cap on the amount of points you can earn in a calendar month with the Maybank Grab Mastercard Platinum.
While we’re on the topic of earning GrabRewards Points, one thing to note is that it’s actually very easy to keep your GrabRewards Points active. All you have to do is make one Grab transaction every month to extend your points validity period, effectively keeping your points active for as long as you continue to use Grab.
In comparison, most credit card rewards points have an expiry date. Maybank’s TreatsPoints, for example, have an expiry date of 3 years after the transaction. Plus, GrabRewards points not only can be used to redeem vouchers from the catalogue, they can also be used to directly offset purchases.
For rewards credit cards, it’s important to figure out how much one rewards point is worth in order to know what you’re getting for every RM1 spent using the card. For the Maybank Grab Mastercard Platinum, we naturally will need to take a dive into the GrabRewards catalogue. While you can use your GrabRewards points to redeem miscellaneous things like shopping discount vouchers and prepaid top-ups, for the purposes of this review we’ll focus on the redemption of Grab vouchers for Grab services in values of between RM5 to RM20 (as they generally have the best redemption value).
For the Grab vouchers, the redemption rate is set at RM5 for 800 points – which makes each GrabRewards point worth 0.625 sen. Based on this rate, here’s the respective percentage of cash-equivalent returns for each category of spend using the Maybank Grab Mastercard Platinum:
|Expenditure||GrabRewards Points||Returns||Rate of Returns|
|Purchases made in Grab app (including GrabPay e-wallet reloads)||5x||3.125 sen for every RM1 spent||3.125%|
|E-commerce and overseas purchases||2x||1.25 sen for every RM1 spent||1.25%|
|Eligible local transactions||0.3x||0.21 sen for every RM1 spent||0.21%|
As mentioned earlier, if you’re not too keen on using your points on Grab vouchers, another way you can use your points is by making use of the Pay With Points feature. Pay With Points allows you to offset 50% or 100% of your transaction on GrabPay using your GrabRewards Points. However, each GrabRewards Point is worth slightly lower at 0.606 sen per point (RM1 for 165 points) under this feature, which in return marginally affects your rate of returns thus:
|Expenditure||GrabRewards Points||Returns||Rate of Returns|
|Purchases made in Grab application (including GrabPay e-wallet reloads)||5x||3.03 sen for every RM1 spent||3.03%|
|E-commerce and overseas purchases||2x||1.22 sen for every RM1 spent||1.22%|
|Eligible local transactions||0.3x||0.20 sen for every RM1 spent||0.20%|
Pay With Points can now also be used for online purchases that support GrabPay too!
The main advantage of the Pay With Points option is that you’re not limited to reaping your rewards through Grab vouchers only. Instead, you can use your points at any of Grab’s in-store merchants and for online purchases too. As such, it is also more flexible than traditional banks’ rewards points, which often require you to redeem vouchers or flights to gain a cash value from the earned points.
At a rate of around 3%, the Maybank Grab Mastercard Platinum is a decent card – even if you’re essentially tied at the hips to the Grab ecosystem. Needless to say, the biggest benefit of the card lies in its 5x points for Grab transactions – which will nicely suit those who use Grab services often. As you may have read, this doesn’t cover just GrabFood or GrabRide – you also earn 5x points for GrabPay top-ups as well. (Incidentally, this also makes it the only Maybank card that offers rewards for e-wallet top-ups.)
Therefore, one way to maximise the benefits of this card is to use it exclusively to top up your GrabPay wallet with the Maybank Grab Mastercard, and then use GrabPay for payment – including at offline and online partner merchants. After all, GrabPay has gained higher acceptance at a variety of stores than before; in addition to a variety of dining outlets and eateries, it can be used at popular supermarkets like Tesco and Giant as well as pharmacies like Watsons and Guardian. This also means you will earn an additional 3x points for paying with GrabPay on Platinum tier (which cardholders will automatically be on), which means that you could be getting 8x points on a variety of expenditure as long as you can pay using GrabPay for an effective return of 5%.
(Note: You earn the 3x points for spending with GrabPay regardless of what source you top up your GrabPay wallet with, as long as you are on Platinum tier in GrabRewards.)
Not to forget – GrabPay acceptance is also about to expand exponentially thanks to GrabPay’s support for DuitNow QR, the national QR standard. It means in the near future, you can scan a universal DuitNow QR code to make payment from any e-wallet or banking app that supports DuitNow QR. So even if a merchant supports non-GrabPay e-wallets currently, you’ll be able to use GrabPay once the universal DuitNow QR standard is launched.
Note also that the GrabPay wallet has a maximum capacity of RM1,500, but there are no monthly spending limits. There is just a RM50,000 annual spending limit – if you hit this amount, you will not be able to use GrabPay until the next calendar year. This naturally will limit your ability to maximise returns, but you will still earn 5x points by using the card directly on Grab services (Food, Ride, Mart, Express).
We know that the Maybank Grab Mastercard Platinum can garner up to 3.125% returns – a pretty decent rate, but how does it fare against other credit cards that offer rewards for e-wallets? There are new cards such as the CIMB e Credit Card offers 1.25% effective returns for e-wallet top-ups every day when you convert your points to cashback, and 2.5% on the tenth of every month. Meanwhile, the HSBC Amanah MPower Platinum gives 8% cashback on e-wallet transactions, but this is capped at RM15 per month and dependent on a minimum monthly spend of RM2,000 (if you don’t hit this minimum spend, you get 1% cashback in a month).
The Maybank Grab Mastercard’s biggest contender is probably the Public Bank Quantum Mastercard, which offers 5% cashback for online spend (including e-wallets) capped at RM30 cashback a month. For the heavy spenders, there’s the brand new Affin Duo cards. One of the two cards, the Affin Cash Back Card, offers 3% on online expenditure, including e-wallet reloads, capped at RM80 per month.
Being pure cashback cards, the Quantum, HSBC Amanah MPower, and Affin Cash Back cards also gain an edge over the Maybank Grab Mastercard as you reap your returns directly instead of racking up points over time. Moreover, these other cards’ benefits aren’t limited to just one e-wallet. Given how varied the choice of e-wallets are in the Malaysian market right now, it’s something to bear in mind when making your decision.
All in all, the Maybank Grab Mastercard isn’t just for the frequent Grab users – it would be better to view it as a credit card specifically for frequent GrabPay users. If GrabPay is your preferred e-wallet of choice, then getting the Maybank Grab Mastercard Platinum could be a good way to make sure you’re getting a solid 5% return (3.125% from topping up, and 1.875% from spending using GrabPay on Platinum tier) on a range of daily expenses.
Alternatively, if you actively use multiple e-wallets and are already maxing out the e-wallet benefits on your other credit cards, the Maybank Grab Mastercard Platinum could be useful to cover your GrabPay use. After all, the Maybank Grab Mastercard Platinum is free for life with no annual fees.
The minimum annual income requirement for the Maybank Grab Mastercard Platinum is RM36,000, or RM3,000 per month, which should put it within the reach of most Malaysians who have been in the working sphere for a few years. If you’re new to the world of credit cards and are looking for low-effort returns on your expenses, then you should probably get yourself a more straightforward cashback credit card instead. However, if you’re a GrabPay-savvy person (of any age!) who knows their way around the Grab app’s ecosystem and wider network – then you can find out more about the Maybank Grab Mastercard Platinum here.
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