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What Is A Credit Card?

It is a payment card issued by a financial entity (i.e. the card issuer), which allows a card holder to purchase goods and services on credit.

How Does the Credit Cards Works in Malaysia?

Credit cards in Malaysia work similarly to personal loans. When you make a payment using one, you are essentially “borrowing” money from the card issuer. By the end of each month, you are expected to repay the amount you’ve “borrowed”. Failure to do so would see you being charged an interest on your unpaid amount.

In Malaysia, you can hold any number of cards from a maximum of two (2) card issuers if you are a qualified cardholder with an annual income of RM36,000 or less. There are no limitations on the number of cards and card issuers if your annual income is above RM36,000. Do take note that a service tax of RM50 is imposed per principle card per year, while a service tax of RM25 is imposed per supplementary card per year.

What Are the Different Credit Cards Categories In Malaysia?

There are various types of cards, each with differing privileges and functions. In Malaysia, these are the major categories of credit cards you can consider applying for:

  • Rewards credit cards: These cards give you reward points for purchases made using your credit card. Reward points are redeemable for gifts, vouchers and other goodies as indicated in the issuer’s reward catalogue.
  • Cash back credit cards: These cards gives you back a percentage of the amount spent, which is paid back to the credit card holder. Each credit card provides different locations, from where you can receive cashback on your spending`s.
  • • Low interest: These cards offer lower interest rates compared to conventional cards.
  • Travel credit cards: These cards give you mile points for selected purchases. Mile points are redeemable for travel-related privileges, such as air tickets and seats upgrades with participating airlines.
  • Petrol credit cards: These cards offer petrol-related benefits, such as cash rebates or extra reward points on fuel and spending at petrol kiosks.
  • Dining credit cards: Ordering such type of a credit card, allows you to enjoy exclusive discounts and promotions from various restaurants, each time you`re dining outside.
  • Shopping credit cards: If you like shopping, ordering such type of a credit card can rewards you with exclusive offers and various discounts from popular shopping outlets.
  • • Premium: Premium cards offer promotions and privileges that focus on higher-end products and services, such as golfing, fine-dining and exclusive clubs.
  • Islamic credit cards: These are credit cards, which compliant to the Islamic law of Shariah

You will find that the comparison page lets you compare cards and help you find the best one for you by showcasing promotions, best cards in Malaysia, and zero annual fee cards. You can even perform an application online in the same seating!

Interest Rates In Malaysia

Card issuers adopt a tiered system when it comes to the interest rates. Generally, you will be charged a higher interest rate should you display a history of inconsistent repayments, and a lower interest rate should you display a history of prompt repayments. In Malaysia, interest rates commonly come in a range of 13.5 – 17.5% p.a. Some card issuers may also have higher or lower interest rates depending on their operating policies.

Minimum Monthly Repayments In Malaysia

In Malaysia, card holders are generally required to make a minimum payment of 5% of the bill (or a minimum of RM50) on a stipulated due date every month. Failure to do so may result in a penalty that is equivalent to 1% of the unpaid amount on your bills (or a minimum of RM10).

Credit Limits In Malaysia

In Malaysia, card holders with income of RM36,000 or less in a year is restricted to a maximum credit limit of twice of his or her monthly income. For example: if your monthly income is RM2,000, your credit limit would be a maximum of 2 × RM2,000 = RM4,000. Credit limits for those earning above RM36,000 are determined by the card issuers.

How Many Cards Can You Hold In Malaysia

In Malaysia, you can hold any number of cards from a maximum of two (2) card issuers if you are a qualified cardholder with an annual income of RM36,000 or less. There are no limitations on the number of cards and card issuers if your annual income is above RM36,000. Do take note that a service tax of RM50 is imposed per principle card per year, while a service tax of RM25 is imposed per supplementary card per year.

Process And Documentations Needed For An Application

After you compare the cards on the comparison page, you can apply for one over the Internet for FREE using iMoney’s online calculator. The documents needed for an application differ from card issuer to card issuer, but commonly include:

For employees:
A copy of your MyKad (both sides), latest three-month payslips + latest three-month bank statements OR latest three-month EPF statements.
For self-employed:
A copy of your MyKad (both sides) and latest Borang B/BE with LHDN acknowledgement.

List of Banks Providing Credit Cards in Malaysia

AEON

You can get up to 10% cashback when you spend with AEON. With a single receipt spend of at least RM100 in WATAMI restaurants, you will get to enjoy up to 10% cash rebate. AEON Balance Transfer Program comes with a maximum of 6 months, interest rate of 0% per annum, minimum transfer amount of RM1,000 and one-time upfront fee of 0%.

AFFINBANK

You can get up to 0.8% cashback on petrol when you spend by using cards from AFFINBANK. Depending on the card, you can also get a RM20 petrol credit. AFFINBANK Balance Transfer Program has a maximum tenure of 2 years, interest rate of 0% per annum for all different Program tenures, RM1,000 as the minimum transfer amount (RM5,000 if you are getting 6-month tenure) and a minimum of 0% for the one-time upfront fee (9% if you are getting 24-year tenure).

Alliance Bank

You can enjoy up to 3% cashback on your retail spending when you use Alliance Bank cards. Some of them will allow you to get cashback and air miles from your retail spending. Alliance Bank Balance Transfer Program comes with a maximum of 24 months, interest rate of 6% per annum, minimum transfer amount of RM1,000 and one-time upfront fee of 0%.

AmBank

You can get up to 5x points on your retail spending when you spend by using cards by AmBank. You also get to enjoy the latest travel, golf and dining promotions and privileges with some of the cards. AmBank Balance Transfer Program has a maximum tenure of 2 years but comes with an annual interest rate of 8.99% (4.99% if you are getting 6-month tenure), minimum transfer of RM5,000 for its 2-year tenure (RM1,000 for other tenures) and no one-time upfront fee.

BSN

Earn up to 2x points on your retail spending with BSN cards. BSN Balance Transfer Program offers up to 5 different tenures: 3 months, 6 months, 9 months, 1 year, 2 years and 3 years. With interest rate per annum of 3.6% to 4.5%, it has a minimum transfer amount of RM500 (for 3-month tenure) and one-time upfront fee of 0%.

Bank Islam

Bank Islam offer a convenient way to proceed with payment for your purchases from Halal merchants. With Bank Islam, you can get up to 0.3% cashback on all retail transactions from Halal merchants. Bank Islam Balance Transfer Program comes with a tenure of 1 year and interest rate of 6% per annum, besides minimum transfer amount of RM500 and no one-time upfront fee.

CIMB

CIMB has a variety of cards that give you rewards and benefits on different expenses such as petrol, dining and shopping rebates. You can get as high as 5% on your online spending. CIMB Balance Transfer Program has a maximum tenure of 2 years, maximum interest rate of 12% per annum (for 2-year tenure) and minimum RM1,000 transfer amount, apart from a 0% one-time upfront fee.

Citibank

Citibank have great deals for a wide variety of spending in the market. You can get up to 20,000 free points and 5x reward points from your shopping. With Citibank Balance Transfer Program, you can get up to 3 years with an interest rate of 9.90% per year. It has a minimum transfer amount of RM1,000 and 0% one-time upfront fee.

HSBC

HSBC have some of the best cashback promotions to offer, and a great reward points from retail spending. You can get up to 8x reward points from your retail spending. HSBC Balance Transfer Program has a maximum period of 1 year, interest rate per annum of 6.99%, minimum transfer amount of RM1,000 and no one-time upfront fee.

HSBC Amanah

HSBC Amanah gives up to 1% cashback on overseas retail spending and cardholders are entitled to Smart Privileges and more discounts. For local spending, you can get up to 8% cashback on weekend dining, petrol and groceries. HSBC Amanah Balance Transfer Program has a maximum period of 1 year, interest rate per year of 6.99%, minimum transfer amount of RM1,000 and 0% one-time upfront fee.

Hong Leong

Hong Leong has some of the best cards for overseas spending and travel privileges. You can get up to 10% cashback on petrol, groceries and utilities. Hong Leong Balance Transfer Program has a minimum period of 6 months and maximum period of 1 year, interest rate of 6.99% per annum, minimum transfer amount of RM1,000 and no one-time upfront fee.

Mach

Mach gives you the flexibility to change the rewards package according to your lifestyle. There will be 12 spending categories; some with up to 10% cashback to choose from. Mach Balance Transfer Program has a minimum tenure of 3 months and maximum tenure of 12 months, interest rate at a maximum of 9% per annum (for 9-month tenure), minimum transfer amount of RM1,000 and no one-time upfront fee.

Maybank

Maybank is one of the market-leading card issuer with up to 5% cashback on your weekend spending and 5x reward points on your retail spending. Maybank Balance Transfer Program of a maximum 3 years have an interest rate of 4.95% per annum (highest is 9% for 9 months), minimum transfer amount of RM1,000 (RM2,000 for 2 years and 3 years) and no one-time upfront fee (except for 12-month tenure).

Maybank Islamic

Maybank Islamic provides up to 8x points for your spending. You can also earn air miles from your spending; with up to 444.44 miles per RM1,000 spent. With Maybank Islamic Transfer Program, you get to enjoy a maximum of 3 years tenure at 4.95% with a minimum transfer amount of RM2,000 and no one-time upfront fee.

Public Bank

Public Bank provides cashback of up to 0.9% on your spending. You can also get reward points of up to 2x for every RM1 that you spent. You can get the card through the Public Bank Balance Transfer Program, whereby you get to enjoy a maximum of 24-month tenure for 0% per year but for a minimum transfer amount of RM3,000 and a one-time upfront fee of 5%.

RHB

RHB provides you with cashback of up to 20% at cinemas, ticketing agencies, amusement parks and more. You can also get reward points of up to 5x if you make any transaction through MyEG. RHB Balance Transfer Program comes with a maximum period of 2 years, no annual interest rate during that period, a minimum transfer amount of RM1,000 and minimum one-time upfront fee of 4% (9% for 2-year tenure).

Standard Chartered

Standard Chartered cards are usually focused on a very specific spending category; for instance, having the best petrol card or the best travel card in the market. You can get up to 10% cashback on petrol spending or 333.3 miles per RM1,000 spent. Standard Chartered Balance Transfer Program has a maximum of 1 year tenure, 2.99% per annum, minimum transfer amount of RM1,000 and no one-time upfront fee.

UOB

UOB cards have a lot great deals and gender specific cards such as their Lady's series card. With its card, you stand to gain up to 5% on your petrol expenditure. UOB Balance Transfer Program has a maximum tenure of 1.5 years, minimum interest rate of 7.77% per year, minimum transfer amount of RM1,000 and no one-time upfront fee.

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"Great service on the phone to help with my credit card application. Applied for a Maybank card without needing to go into a branch."

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