Alliance Bank launched their You:nique Mastercard on 8th January 2009 giving their customers 3 choices i.e. Cash Rebate or Low Interest or 2x Reward Points.
Here's my comments on this You:nique Mastercard. It is a great idea to let customers choose their own image on the card, however I think others (merchants) wouldn't careless towards what image is on the card as long as it can be charged and not rejected. It is more like "shiok sendiri" for the cardholder. I still prefer a simple black background card.
In respect to the image on the card, look at your frequently used cards, most likely it will have scratches or look worn out since nowadays card issuers send you cards that are good for 5 years! So do not put your own or family photo onto the card, because you don't want your own or loved ones image to be scratched or having so many people "touching" your face. Worst off, say you want to cancel the card, you have to cut "yourself" into two - bad feng shui. If you really want to have your loved ones with you all the time, carry their photo in your wallet.
It will cost you RM38 to put your chosen image onto the card.
Ok, lets talk about the 3 offers as follows:
1st Option Cash Rebate
Cash Rebate up to 2% for all transactions. Sounds good but then again Alliance Bank presently also offers cash rebate for their other credit card based on tiers where Classic, Gold and Plat get up to 1.2%, 1.3% and 2% limited to RM1000, RM3000 and RM5000 respectively. Do note that You:nique card cash rebate advertisement says UP TO 2%. Can't find any info on the up to 2% thingy in Alliance Bank website and it has been almost 2 months since the card was launched. If this card really gives 2% flat cash rebate for all amounts spent without limit, then I would say this card is the best in the market.
There is a plus for this card as with the other credit cards offered by Alliance which is you still get reward points.
2nd Option Low Interest
This is what is stated in You:nique website
Your finance charge is only 9% p.a. for the first 12 months, and thereafter it is subject to your payment behavior in accordance with Bank Negara tier interest guidelines. If you consistently make minimum payment every month, the finance charge remains at 9% throughout the tenure of the card.
From above, it means that the low interest rates is only good for 12 months and after that it is back to the normal tiers interest or if you only make minimum payment then interest remains at 9%. Now if you consistently make minimum payment only, when is anybody ever going to settle his/her debt? Wow! This is real innovation by Alliance Bank.
This option does not give you rewards points.
3rd Option 2X Rewards
If you ask me, just forget about this option and take first option where you get cash back and reward points.
As for annual fees, it is the same as other Alliance Bank credit cards i.e. swipe minimum 12 times in a year.
In conclusion, the Cash Rebate options looks good but since Alliance Bank websites do not have information on the UP TO 2% thingy, better call them and check the terms and conditions.