Maybank Manchester United Platinum Visa: Singapore’s most unusual credit card

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You don't need to be a Man Utd fan to love 3% cashback and 2 mpd- especially when it's extended to donations, education and utilities.

In all my time analysing the miles game in Singapore, I don’t think I’ve ever come across a more unique card than the Maybank Manchester United Platinum Visa. 

Now I have no great love for Manchester United — though being an Arsenal fan, I have no great love for football either — but it’s so intriguing that I can’t help taking a deep dive (like Ashley Young).

Overview: Maybank Manchester United Card

Apply Here
Income Req.S$30,000 p.a.Points Validity12-15 months
Annual FeeS$80
(2 year waiver)
Min.
Transfer
Varies*
Miles with
Annual Fee
NoneTransfer
Partners
  • SIA
  • Cathay
  • Air Asia
  • MAS
FCY Fee3.25%Transfer FeeS$26.75
Local Earn1% + 0.4 mpdPoints Pool?Yes
FCY Earn1% + 0.4 mpdLounge Access?No
Special Earn3% + 2 mpd if Man Utd winAirport Limo?No
*10,000 KrisFlyer miles, 5,000 Asia Miles or Enrich Miles, 2,000 BIG Points
Cardholder Terms and Conditions

Manchester United and Maybank signed an agreement in 2011 which saw the latter become the club’s official retail banking partner in Malaysia, Singapore, and the Philippines. This was followed by the launch of the Maybank Manchester United Card in Singapore in March 2012. 

Cardholders normally earn 1% cashback and 1X TREATS Point (0.4 mpd) for every S$1 spent, with no minimum spend and no cashback cap. Like Eric Djemba-Djemba, that’s barely worth considering.

But on days where Manchester United win an EPL match, the earn rate is boosted to 3% cashback and 5X TREATS Points (2 mpd) for every S$1 spent. The additional 2% cashback is capped at S$20 (i.e. S$1,000 spend), but there’s no cap on the additional 4X TREATS Points.

This unique mechanism makes the Maybank Manchester United Card one of those rare cards that’s been devalued almost every year, given how its launch coincided with Fergie’s last season.

SeasonWin %Manager
2012/1328/38 (74%)Alex Ferguson
2013/1419/38 (50%)David Moyes
2014/1520/38 (52%) Louis van Gaal
2015/1619/38 (50%)Louis van Gaal
2016/1718/38 (47%)Jose Mourinho
2017/1825/38 (66%)Jose Mourinho/ Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
2018/1919/38 (50%) Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
2019/2018/38 (47%) Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
2020/2121/38 (55%) Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
2021/2216/38 (42%) Ole Gunnar Solskjaer/ Ralf Rangnick

In the debut season for the Maybank Manchester United Card, cardholders enjoyed 28 days of bonuses. In the latest season, they only had 16. Think about that the next time you’re tempted to complain about stealth devaluations…

But probability aside, 3% cashback + 2 mpd would make the Maybank Manchester United Card hands down the best general spending card in Singapore, trashing the competition which maxes out at 1.6 mpd. In fact, if you value a mile at 1.5 cents, then you’re looking at a total rebate of 6% on pretty much any transaction!

There’s just one problem.

Squeaky bum time

There’s basically two approaches that cardholders can take. 

The first is the blind faith approach: you spend throughout matchday with wild abandon, because only plastic fans doubt their team will win.

The second is the ye-of-little-faith approach: you wait till the final whistle blows before spending anything.

The problem with the second approach is time zones. The way the card works is that if Manchester United play on 13 August 2022 (UK time) and win, all transactions charged to the Maybank Manchester United Card on 13 August 2022 from 0000 hours to 2359 hours (Singapore time) receive the bonus.

But because the UK is 7-8 hours behind Singapore and most EPL matches take place in the mid to late afternoon, it’s rare that you’ll be able to confirm a Manchester United win in advance of spending.

To illustrate, here’s a complete list of Manchester United fixtures for the 2022/23 season. I’ve highlighted in yellow the matches that will conclude before the end of day in Singapore (for the uninitiated, a football match lasts 90 minutes + a 15 minute break).

⚽ Manchester United 2022/23 Fixtures
DateStart TimeOpposition
7-Aug-221400Brighton & Hove Albion (H)
13-Aug-221730Brentford (A)
22-Aug-222000Liverpool (H)
27-Aug-221230Southampton (A)
1-Sep-222000Leicester City (A)
4-Sep-221630Arsenal (H)
11-Sep-221630Crystal Palace (A)
18-Sep-221400Leeds United (H)
2-Oct-221630Manchester City (A)
9-Oct-221900Everton (A)
16-Oct-221400Newcastle United (H)
19-Oct-222015Tottenham Hotspur (H)
23-Oct-221630Chelsea (A)
– Clocks go back at 2 a.m on 30 Oct 22-
Time difference: +8 hours
30-Oct-221630West Ham United (H)
5-Nov-221500Aston Villa (A)
12-Nov-221500Fulham (A)
26-Dec-221500Nottingham Forest (H)
31-Dec-221500Wolverhampton Wanderers (A)
2-Jan-231500Bournemouth (H)
14-Jan-231500Manchester City (H)
21-Jan-231500Arsenal (A)
4-Feb-231500Crystal Palace (H)
11-Feb-231500Leeds United (A)
18-Feb-231500Leicester City (H)
25-Feb-231500Brentford (H)
4-Mar-231500Liverpool (A)
11-Mar-231500Southampton (H)
18-Mar-231500Brighton & Hove Albion (A)
– Clocks go forward at 1 a.m on 26 Mar 23-
Time difference: +7 hours
1-Apr-231500Newcastle United (A)
8-Apr-231500Everton (H)
15-Apr-231500Nottingham Forest (A)
22-Apr-231500Chelsea (H)
25-Apr-231945Tottenham Hotspur (A)
29-Apr-231500Aston Villa (H)
6-May-231500West Ham United (A)
13-May-231500Wolverhampton Wanderers (H)
20-May-231500Bournemouth (A)
28-May-231600Fulham (H)

Out of 38 games, 12 of them will conclude before midnight in Singapore. While that sounds like a decent number, you need to remember that 8 of the 12 will finish at 2345 hours SGT, which leaves you just 15 minutes to spend (and that’s not even counting stoppage time). 

Unless you’re already outside, or have an e-commerce transaction lined up (for which you should be using the Citi Rewards or DBS Woman’s World Card anyway), it’s hard to take advantage. 

I suppose an alternative approach might be to wait till the 60 minute mark or so, and if Manchester United have a healthy lead by then you go ahead and spend (and pray the goalkeeper doesn’t channel his inner Taibi). But really, in most cases you’ll basically be taking a gamble.

Real world use cases

Since it’s not hard to earn a risk-free 4 mpd on most of your spending with the right cards, is the Maybank Manchester United Card nothing more than a thought experiment?

I’d argue no, because I can think of a very solid use case: charitable donations, education and utilities bills. Unlike most banks, Maybank does not exclude these from earning rewards.

❌ Maybank Exclusion Categories

Maybank TREATS points are not awarded on the following transactions:

  • Government institutions and services
  • Betting or gambling
  • Brokerage/securities
  • Insurance premiums (except Maybank Visa Infinite (up to S$3,000 per calendar month) and Maybank Horizon Visa Signature)
  • Prepaid account top-ups like GrabPay and YouTrip
  • AXS and SAM transactions

The full list can be found here.

What I’m envisioning is a cardholder waiting at home until a win is confirmed, then immediately going on his/her computer and making a donation, settling a tuition fee or paying a utility bill.

Remember: the 3% cashback + 2 mpd applies regardless of transaction currency, and the 2 mpd is uncapped. Moreover, the Maybank Manchester United Card is on the Visa network, so acceptance shouldn’t be an issue. 

Given how education is an exclusion category for most banks, and utilities looks set to go the same way, this is a rare opportunity to pick up some rewards without having to resort to GrabPay. 

What can you do with Maybank TREATS points?

Maybank TREATS points can be transferred to the following frequent flyer programmes for S$26.75 per transfer.

ProgrammeTransfer Ratio (TREATS: miles)
Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer25,000 : 10,000
Cathay Pacific Asia Miles12,500 : 5,000
 AirAsia BIG4,000 : 2,000
Malaysia Airlines Enrich12,500 : 5,000

TREATS points expire in 12-15 months, unless you’re a Rewards Infinite member, in which case they never expire.

Conclusion

Whatever your allegiance, I’m sure we agree that 3% cashback + 2 mpd on charitable donations, education and utilities is something we can all get behind. That’s assuming you can time your payments to coincide with a Manchester United win, but surely it can’t get worse than last season, right?

And look, you’ll even get 10% off prawn sandwiches when visiting Old Trafford!

Any Maybank Manchester United Card members out there?

Aaron Wong
Aaron Wong
Aaron founded The Milelion to help people travel better for less and impress chiobu. He was 50% successful.

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YNWA

I will never get this card!!!! haha…

Drakka

I will add another complication for consideration – “Does it consider the match day (that Man Utd wins) for transactions is POST DATE on that day? Or is it really transactions that is TRANSACTION DATE on that day?”
I have a feeling it’s POST DATE… which means it is a total hit or miss…. you gotta transaction a day or two before… hopes it POST on the match day that the team wins….

Bruno

Maybank should give the bonus also the day after the match to be fair. Or at least till midnight UK time.

If only transactions before 11.59pm SGT count, one could literally see them win in Old Trafford, buy a beer or shirt 20 minutes later to celebrate, and not get the bonus points on that if it’s already after midnight SGT. Doesn’t seem to be within the spirit of the offer…

Bruno

That true fan can only celebrate with bonus up to 3-4 hours before a 8pm game then 😉

YNWA

Will never get this card. YNWA

Bleed Red

Why, but why Aaron do you have to screw up a holiday by causing such trauma? Here I thought your website was a psychological safe space. Ah the tragedy!

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