Maybank Horizon Visa Signature Card Review: A Great Miles Card for Dining, Petrol, Taxis and Travel

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The Maybank Horizon Visa Signature Card is a miles card that stands out for its unique combinations of categories for earning miles. And yet, not that many Singaporeans talk about this card. In our opinion, the Maybank Horizon Card is either a closely guarded secret or a highly underrated card.

Many of us have heard of or even hold the Citi PremierMiles Card or DBS Altitude Card. We may even have applied for the new BOC Elite Miles Card. We probably also have a 10X Rewards shopping credit card and another card specifically for online spends.

The Maybank Horizon Visa Signature Card doesn’t hope to compete with those credit cards. Instead, it has designed its reward system to plug the gaps in your credit card portfolio and complement your existing cards. Read on to find out more.

Maybank Horizon Visa Signature

Maybank Horizon Visa Signature Card: Designed for everyday needs and your travel bookings

Features of the Maybank Horizon Visa Signature Card

Pros

Cons

  • 3.2 air miles (8X TREATS Points) per S$1 spent on dining, taxi fares, petrol and hotel bookings made on Agoda
  • 2 air miles (5X TREATS Points) per S$1 spent on travel package bookings, flight tickets with any airline and transactions made in foreign currencies
  • Complimentary access or discounted access to selected airport lounges and travel insurance coverage up to S$1,000,000
  • 3 years annual fee waiver (S$180/year), and waived subsequently with S$18,000 annual spend
  • Only 0.4 miles (1X TREATS Points) for S$1 spent on everything else
  • Minimum spend of S$300 in a calendar required to earn bonus TREATS Points
  • Bonus TREATS Points are capped at 30,000 points each calendar month
  • TREATS Points are valid for 12-15 months only
  • Limited choices of airport lounges, and complimentary access only for cardmember
  • Annual income requirement of S$50,000

Given these features, who would benefit most from the Maybank Horizon Visa Signature Card?

  • Singaporeans who frequently eat out, and want to earn more than 1.2 or 2 miles per dollar on their dining spends.
  • Drivers who want to earn significant miles on their petrol spend, instead of the usual cashback
  • People who take taxis to get around often
  • Frequent travellers, especially if you like booking packaged tours with travel agencies, or find yourself going to every NATAS fair.

Related: Air Miles Credit Card Strategy: Here’s How to Fly Biz Class for Free to Anywhere

Let’s look at the features of the Maybank Horizon Card in more detail

1. 3.2 air miles/8x TREATS Points on dining, petrol, taxis, and Agoda.com bookings.

This is fairly straightforward and there are not too many exceptions to take note of.

Dining: All restaurants are included, except restaurants in hotels where the spend may be classified as a hotel spend. 3.2 miles/dollar is especially useful now that the mobile payment promotions from Citi and OCBC have ceased. Your next best bet is HSBC’s Revolution Card with 2 miles/dollar.

Petrol: All petrol stations in Singapore are included, and you’ll get the miles on top of any prevailing station discounts

Taxi rides: 3.2 miles/dollar applies to Comfort and CityCab, Premier Taxis, SMRT Taxis, Trans-Cab, Prime Taxi and Grab Taxi. However, be careful of the 10% surcharge you’ll incur with the traditional taxis (except Grab Taxi). That said, if it’s a company expense and fully claimable, then there’s nothing to worry about!

Agoda.com hotel bookings: This benefit is decent, however, you could also earn up to 6 miles/dollar at Expedia with your DBS Altitude Card, or up to 7 Citi Miles/dollar at Agoda.com with your Citi PremierMiles Card. Alternatively, a DBS Woman’s World Mastercard could also earn you 4 miles/dollar on your Agoda.com booking.

2. Up to 2 air miles/5x TREATS Points for travel package bookings, flights and foreign currency transactions

What makes this benefit stand out among other miles cards is that you can earn 2 miles/dollar on travel packages. Most other cards would categorise this spend as general spend, and give you only 1.2-1.5 miles/dollar.

As for the flight bookings, you’ll do better with the DBS Altitude Card or match it with the HSBC Revolution. These cards don’t have minimum spends and the points last longer.

The foreign currency transaction benefit is on par with most other cards, but an added perk is that the foreign transaction fees for the Maybank Horizon Visa Signature Card is only 2.5%.

Related: HSBC Revolution Card Review: A Very Useful Miles Card for Millennials

3. Complimentary access to selected VIP airport lounges

Most miles or travel credit cards will offer some kind of airport lounge benefit. But for the Maybank Horizon Card, it feels like a non-benefit. The selection is far too limited, and you still have to spend a minimum of S$1,000 in a single retail transaction to get one complimentary visit for yourself. Not particularly useful.

Maybank Horizon Visa Signature Card

Source: Maybank Singapore website

4. Minimum spend of S$300 a month to earn bonus TREATS Points

Every dollar you spend gets you 1 TREAT Point. If your spend falls within the bonus categories, you’ll get an additional 7X or 4X TREATS Points. This is called your bonus TREAT Points.

To get any bonus TREATS Points and earn your full 3.2 or 2 miles/dollar, you need to spend a minimum of S$300 in a calendar month. This won’t be hard if you’re dining out or using the card for petrol frequently.

Not only is there a minimum spend, these bonus TREATS Points are capped at 30,000 points per month. This means you can spend a total of S$4,286 each month (on petrol purchases, taxi fares, hotel bookings, and dining transactions) or S$7,500 per month (on travel packages, flight tickets, and foreign currency spends) before you reach this cap.

Make sure that you track your spending, though, because it would make sense for you to switch to a different credit card once you reach this cap.

5. TREATS Points expire within 12-15 months

This is a drawback that could be a dealbreaker for many Singaporeans. With the short validity for your TREATS Points, you’ll need to spend more money (S$25 before GST) converting your points to miles every year. Conversion starts from a minimum of 5,000 points to 2,000 KrisFlyer/Asia Miles.

TREATS Points earned between

TREATS Points Expiry Date

Jan – Mar 2017 31 Mar 2018
Apr-Jun 2017 30 Jun 2018
Jul – Sep 2017 30 Sep 2018
Oct-Dec 2017 31 Dec 2018

Source: Maybank FAQ

Promotion: National Day 1:1:1 Campaign

As part of their National Day celebrations, Maybank is running a 1:1:1 campaign which gives you an additional mile for all your purchases. This means, that until 30 September 2018, your earning rates with the Maybank Horizon Visa Signature Card will be:

Maybank Horizon Visa Signature Card

This earning rate makes this card one of the best credit cards to use. At least, until the end of this promotional offer.

Here are a few things you should know:

To be eligible to earn promotional miles, you need to spend a minimum of S$1,000 per calendar month.

Second, the Bonus TREATS Points are capped at 25,000 points per month. This means that you can spend a total of S$10,000 on any category before you get back to earning the regular rate each time you use your card.

And thirdly, the regular caps on the Maybank Horizon Visa Signature Card still apply. So, while promotional points are capped at 25,000 points each month, your regular bonus TREATS Points are capped at 30,000 every month. Once you’ve met your cap for the bonus TREATS Points, any excess spends up to a total of S$10,000 will only earn you 1.4 miles/dollar. Beyond that, you’re back to the base rate of 0.4 miles/dollar.

Related: Guide to the Best Miles Credit Cards in Singapore + When to Use Which Cards

Here’s our verdict

It’s pretty clear that while you can earn air miles quickly with the Maybank Horizon Visa Signature Card, it is not a card to use occasionally. The minimum monthly spends and short points validity will pose challenges for us. You won’t want to have orphan miles or have to spend S$26.75 to convert merely 5,000 TREAT Points.

This isn’t to say that the Maybank Horizon Visa Signature Card is a bad one to have. Far from it.

If you meet the S$50,000 minimum income and have regular spends in the categories that this card thrives in, you’ll be clocking miles much faster than ever. And the low annual fee along with the 3-year fee waiver only sweetens the deal.

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