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Wednesday, June 22, 2011

AmBank Group Credit Card Promotion 2011


UPDATE FEBRUARY 2012 - Please click here to read my latest article on AmBank Credit Card Promotion March 2012 at my new blog GenX GenY GenZ http://generations xyz.blogspot.com/


Someone requested me to do a post on AmBank Credit Cards promotions. Well, I seldom mention about AMBank Credit Cards because I don't have one, haha. AmBank credit cards' permanent benefits aren't that great or else it will be in My Credit Cards collection.  

So, visited AmBank website to check out their current promotions and here are my comments:

1) 20% Cash Back on Weekends for Petrol, Groceries, Departmental and Pharmacy. Promotion period June 2011 to March 2012.



Sounds great and the period of the promotion is long too ending next year in March 2012. But after reading the Terms and Conditions, I have to highlight several things. AmBank has allocated RM2,000,000.00 for this promotion which sounds like a lot but spread it over 10 months and it works out to be RM200,000 per month.

The 20% cash back promotion is applicable for transactions at the following places through out the entire East and West Malaysia:
  • Departmental Stores - Isetan, Marks & Spencer, MetroJaya, Parkson, Robinsons and Tangs. 
  • Pharmacies - Caring, Guardian and Watsons
  • Hypermarkets - Boulevard, Carrefour, Cold Storage, Giant, Jusco, Mydin, Tesco and NSK.
  • Petrol Stations - BHP, Caltex, Esso, Mobil, Petronas and Shell.

The 20% cash back with the AMBank credit card is only for transactions done on Saturdays and Sundays. And important to remember that you only earn cash back based on every block of RM50 for Petrol and RM100 for Groceries, Departmental Stores and Pharmacy. What the heck is block you may ask. At first I also blur on this block thingy until I read the sample cash back calculation in AMBank website. Click on below tables to enlarge it.




So basically it means that you need to spend minimum RM50 to earn the 20% cash back for petrol and RM100 for the other transactions. If you spend RM40.88 for Petrol you get nothing, nil, zero cash back. Same for groceries, departmental stores and pharmacy, you need to transact more than RM100 to get a single sen of cash back. 

But that's not all, because of the block thingy, if you pump RM99.99 for petrol, you still only get back RM50 x 20% = RM10.00. And for hypermarkets, if you spend RM199 you only get back RM20.

The other thing that I would like to point out is that the cash back is capped at RM80 per month.

Now, I have mentioned that AmBank is allocating RM200K per month for this promo which is applicable through out the entire country, Take RM200,000 divide by RM80 we will get 2,500 which means that only 2,500 people will be eligible for the cash back, that is if all of them spend RM400.00 (which is not much by the way and in actual fact a very good deal if can get RM80 cash back with RM400 spending). 

Say I assume that all AmBank card holder spends RM50 on petrol and RM200 at Giant on the first Saturday of a month, the cash back per card holder will be RM50.00 for that week. Take the RM200,000 divide by RM50 we will get only 4000 people eligible for the cash back. Imagine how many thousands of people go to Giant, Tesco, Mydin and Carrefour on weekends, I am sure we talking about tens of thousands here. So, I would say your chances of getting the 20% cash back is good if you were to spend your money on the first Saturday of the month and your chances of getting the rebate gets slimmer the next day and even slimmer the following weekend. And don't hope to get anything on the last weekend of the month. 

The 20% cash back promotion is great as a marketing gimmick for AmBank and for those who swipe their cards early in the month. Now I am wondering if I should get an AmBank credit card? Putting on my thinking cap now, 1 second 2 second, no lah, I think better I take a miss and give you guys more chances of getting 20% cash back, haha. Jokes aside, if you guys do shop RM400 on the first weekend of every month, this AmBank promotion than runs until March 2012 is good.

2) AmFlexi-Plan - 0% Installment for 6 and 9 Months. Promotion ends on August 2011.


AmBank credit card holders can convert their transactions to 0% installment plan until 31 August 2011. Good for Raya shopping I guess. But, then again maybe not. I tell you all this 0% installment plans entice the card holders to spend more than they can afford. Do click here and read my article titled Credit Cards Are Cash Cow for Banks. Are You Working for the Banks? 

Anyway, the deal is good for up to 9 months installment plan where no interest will be imposed. But if you opt for the 12 months plan and pay 2% interest, it just shows that you are really living beyond your means.

3) Free HTC Flyer with AmBank 36 Months Balance Transfer Plan


Wow, a "free" HTC Flyer Android Tablet that is worth more than RM2K when you do Balance Transfer of RM15,000 for tenure of 36 months. For AmBank BT plan, a one time upfront interest of 8.99% is imposed onto the Balance Transfer amount. This one time interest of 8.99% works out to be 16.23% effective interest rate. So RM15,000 x 16.23% = RM2,434.50. So, in actual fact you are not getting the HTC Flyer free but paying for it. And 36 months is damn freaking long time to be in debt. 

For you guys that did read my very first post on Balance Transfer, I gave an example of AmBank Balance Transfer plans at that time where there were offering different type of free gifts for different amounts, and I showed to you guys that the gifts are not free at all. Click here to read the article that was written in 2009, AMBank still using the same "gimmick" to attract customers. In this said article, I mentioned that "in my opinion it is better to go for lower interest rate than paying for gadget which will be outdated (or even spoiled) before you even settle your debt in 24 months". 

4) Starbucks - 10% Discount for Dine-in and Take Away. Promotion ends March 2012.



Nothing much to say except that is it good. But if you got an American Express card, you'll be entitled to 1 for 1 free drinks until October 2011 at selected outlets. Use your Amex card to pay for the drink and use AmBank card for food, haha.

5) Free Movie Ticket Everyday at Cathay Cineplexes with your AmBank Credit Card or PrePaid Card until 14 December 2011.



This offer is great and is applicable for credit cards and prepaid cards; however the Terms and Conditions stated that for Platinum Cards, the promotion only valid at e@Curve only. 

Here are more terms and conditions: 

Buy 1 Free 1 Movie Ticket privileges is subject to the following:
(a) applicable only for over-the-counter purchases at the respective Cathay Cineplexes and not for e-payment ticketing facilities, online ticket purchases or purchases made over the telephone;

(b) applicable only for purchases of tickets for normal seats - exclude couple seats, tickets for  screenings of premiere movies, digital 2D/3D movies, or any other movies predetermined by Cathay
Cineplexes;

(c) Movie tickets are available on a first come first served basis, capped at 6,000 free tickets for Commercial Halls & 3,000 free tickets for Platinum Movie Suites during the promotion period;

(d) the free movie ticket will be given only for the screening of the same movie for which the ticket(s) is paid for with the AmBank Credit Card;

(e) the free movie ticket is not exchangeable for cash, credit or kind whether in part or in full;

(f) Cathay Cineplexes reserves the right to verify AmBank cardmember’s card against their NRIC;

(g) this promotion is not valid for other on-going promotions, offers & discount.


So, from the above it is noted that there is a quota for the free tickets i.e. 6,000 for normal shows and it is not monthly but for the entire promotion period which runs until end of the year. But I must say, AmBank 1 for 1 free movie ticket promotion which is applicable everyday is better than Citibank credit card promotion of 1 for 1 Free movie ticket at TGV which is only applicable on weekends. 



6) 48 Months 0% EPP (Easy Payment Plan) for Electrical Goods. 



Why the heck would a person opt for up to 4 years installment plan for electrical goods when the warranty is only good for 12 months? Most probably the item will be obsolete or no longer functioning by the 3rd year. This offer is another trap by bank to make us spend more than our means.

7) MasterCard Promotion Malaysia Annual Mega Sale  Contest 15 June 2011 to 31 August 2011. 



Cardmembers need to charge on retail transaction of a minimum RM100 in a single receipt to AmBank / AmIslamic Bank MasterCard and stands a chance to win RM100,000 shopping spree. Actually, all MasterCards in Malaysia are eligible to enter the contest. However, AMBank mentioned this - "should the Grand Prize Winner an AmBank / AmIslamic Bank MasterCard Cardmember, the Bank will reward the Winner with a Coach bag worth RM 5,000." 



CONCLUSION

Ambank credit card permanent features are nothing to shout about. But, the 20% cash back on weekends is really good, that is if you swipe your card early in the month. As for the Balance Transfer Plan, better you go with CIMB 0% (if they extend it in July) or Maybank Balance Transfer 0% for 12 months instead of paying interest for nothing. And if you are thinking of swiping your AmBank credit card and then convert to AmFlexi-Plan, ask yourself if you have the cash in hand, if NO, then you are living beyond your means.

[Update 1 December 2011 - Click here to my blog at Wordpress to check out AMBank Credit Card Promotions 2011 - 2012 ]

[Update 8 December 2011 - Click here to read more about AmBank 0% Flexi Pay Installment Plans exclusively for ladies only which expires on 29 February 2012]










OTHER CREDIT CARD PROMOTION 2011 - 2012

RHB Credit Card Promorion 2011 -201 - Click here read my article.

Maybank Credit Card Promotion 2011 - Click here to read my article.



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