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Best Credit Card in Malaysia 2023

BySamantha Lim

Jul 12, 2023
Best credit card in Malaysia 2023

The Best Credit Cards in Malaysia for 2023 are now available! We have Malaysia’s top credit card choices if that’s what you’re after. These credit cards provide several advantages, including alluring rewards programs, affordable fees, and lenient income requirements.

You can choose the best credit card that meets your needs among options like the Public Bank Visa Platinum Credit Card-i, Standard Chartered Smart Credit Card, and CIMB eCredit Card. Additionally, consider using the Wise account and debit card for affordable foreign transactions.

These credit cards can improve your financial path, whether you’re looking for cash back, travel benefits, or regular rewards. Discover your ideal card and reap the rewards of Malaysia’s top credit cards for 2023.

Top 10 Credit Cards in Malaysia 2023

Credit Card Minimum income Annual fee Rewards/ Cashback/ Miles Foreign transaction fee Other features
CIMB eCredit Card RM24,000 RM100 Cashback 1.5% Zero annual fees for life
Standard Chartered Smart Credit Card RM36,000 RM120 Cashback, Rewards 1.25% SmartPay instalment plan
Public Bank Visa Platinum Credit Card-i RM30,000 RM159 Cashback, Rewards 2.5% Complimentary travel insurance
Citi Simplicity+ Credit Card RM36,000 RM120 Cashback 1.25% No late payment charges
Ambank/Ambank Islamic Visa Infinite RM120,000 RM800 Rewards, Airport Lounge Access 2% Golf privileges
RHB Shell Visa Credit Card RM24,000 RM180 Cashback 2% Up tp 8% cashback on fuel purchases
Maybank Visa Classic Credit Card RM30,000 RM88 Cashback, Rewards 2.5% TreatsPoints loyalty program
UOB YOLO Credit Card RM36,000 RM90 Cashback 1.5% Discounts on dining, travel, and hobbies
Maybank Grab Credit Card RM24,000 RM120 GrabRewards, Cashback 2.5% Complimentary travel insurance
HSBC Visa Signature Credit Card RM72,000 RM600 Rewards, Airport Lounge Access 1% Contactless payment, travel privileges

CIMB Credit Card

1. CIMB e Credit Card

The CIMB e Credit Card provides a minimum spending requirement and good rewards for those willing to wait until eDay, the 28th day of the month, to make purchases.

  • Earn rewards on all spending, with bonus rewards on online shopping, and especially on the designated eDay, when rewards may be up to 12x higher
  • MYR2,000 a month or MYR24,000/year minimum income required
  • Convert rewards at the rate of 400 points to MYR1

Users who can wait to spend one day each month earning more points are the greatest candidates for this card. You will typically receive 5x rewards for your online purchases, but on eDay, which falls on the 28th of the month, you will receive 10x or 12x rewards. The e Credit Card offers one of the best points to ringgit conversion rates, so you may earn extra money to spend on yourself. Additionally, there is an annual cost of MYR 100, which is automatically waived for the first year.

Find out the Best CIMB Credit Cards in Malaysia of 2023 by clicking this link.

Standard Chartered Credit Card

2. Standard Chartered Smart Credit Card

You might choose a cash-back credit card over a rewards-based card since it automatically pays you cash rather than requiring you to convert your rewards into gift cards. This Standard Chartered option has a fantastic promotional offer of up to 6% cash back on digital lifestyle purchases.

  • High headline cashback levels of up to 6%
  • Apply for quick cash with the Cheque-on-Call option
  • Carbon neutral card – more eco-friendly ways to spend

There is no annual charge for the first 12 months and 6% cashback on digital purchases. As with all credit cards, you should carefully read the terms and conditions to ensure appropriate charges for your frequent transactions.

Read more about the Best Standard Chartered Credit Card on our page now! 

Public Bank Credit Card

3. Public Bank Visa Platinum Credit Card-i

This credit card can be the right choice if you’re seeking one that complies with Shariah. On some purchases, you can receive 4% cashback (up to MYR30/month), and you can donate some of your spending.

  • Shariah-compliant card option
  • 4% cash back on online and international transactions with opening offers to reward your first online transactions
  • Up to MYR100/month donation made to Yayasan Waqaf, based on your dining spend

This account’s somewhat high annual fee is MYR 333, but it is waived the first year and will continue to be waived, provided you used your card at least 12 times in the prior year. In addition to quick contactless payments and access to airport lounges, your card will be manageable online.

Looking for the Best Public Bank Credit Cards in Malaysia of 2023? This way.

Citi Bank Credit Card

4. Citi Simplicity+ Credit Card

This card has no annual charge and rather low minimum income restrictions. Additionally, no fees are associated with exceeding your credit limit, making it a desirable choice for those searching for a straightforward, low-fee card for everyday use.

  • No annual fee and no over-limit fee
  • 10% interest back on finance charges every month long as you meet minimum repayment levels
  • Discounts on partner retailers

The Simplicity+ card from Citi includes numerous options for savings and promotions, and it can be easily controlled in the Citi app. You may be eligible for a 10% uncapped rebate on finance charges if you make the required minimum repayments. Customers from Malaysia and abroad can apply for this card via Citi.

Ambank Credit Card

5. AmBank Islamic Visa Infinite

Although it has a high minimum earning requirement, this card offers so many benefits that we have included it in our roundup of the best options available. It is available in both conventional and Islamic banking variants. It might be worth a look if you make a lot of money.

  • Minimum salary of MYR120,000 annually
  • Great rewards and perks – including 1 for 1 dining, cash back, lounge access, concierge and a range of other exclusive offers
  • Insurance options include travel insurance, especially for cardholders

High incomes may view this card as a premium method of purchasing and accruing benefits, points, and cash back. The variety of special deals and benefits is astounding, ranging from enjoyable extras like lounge access and Club Marriott Malaysia Privileges to more sobering choices like supplementary insurance to protect you and your loved ones.

Don’t miss our top AmBank Credit Card 2023 picks – check them out

RHB Bank Credit Card

6. RHB Shell Visa Credit Card

If you drive and live close to a Shell station, you might be able to use this card to receive a sizable cash rebate on purchases like petrol.

  • Cashback on all spending, up to a maximum of 12% with Shell (up to MYR50/month), and up to 5% on other purchases
  • Lower minimum income compared to some card options, at MYR24,000/year
  • Annual card fee waived the first year and second year onwards if you use your card 24 times in the preceding year

This card makes sense for those needing fuel purchase but can easily utilise Shell petrol stations. If you spend at least MYR 2,500 monthly, you can get fairly significant cash back on various additional categories.

If you wish to discover more RHB Credit Cards in Malaysia, see our top picks for 2023 here. Don’t miss out!

Maybank Credit Card

7. Maybank Visa Classic Credit Card

Maybank offers a wide selection of credit card alternatives, including specialised cards for high earners, cards for football lovers, and cards like this one, which has a direct annual cost of MYR60 and a manageable minimum income requirement of MYR30,000 for Malaysians and MYR60,000 for foreigners.

  • Earn Treats points on your spend
  • Get travel insurance worth up to MYR300,000 when you buy tickets using your Maybank card
  • Manage your card online with Maybank’s digital banking systems

This Maybank Credit Card is advised for those wishing to establish credit or raise their credit score. It’s a straightforward card with a modest annual cost that enables point earning. However, one of the finest benefits is the chance to purchase travel insurance, which you may do if you pay for your tickets with your card.

UOB Credit Card

8. UOB YOLO Credit Card

This UOB credit card might be the right choice if you frequently use your credit card to pay for meals, travel, and other interests. Several incentives and promotions are available throughout lifestyle categories that might save you money on lodging, dining, and travel.

  • Up to 5% cashback on your spending, plus exclusive partner promotions and offers
  • Contactless payments, plus easy-read card design
  • Access deals and benefits across dining, travel and leisure, as well as on and offline retail

With only one use per month, avoiding paying the MYR7.50/month cost for this card is simple. Following that, you’ll have the chance to choose from various rewards and promotions, mostly focused on food, travel, and lifestyle. These deals are always updated and changing, allowing you to take advantage of them repeatedly.

Read more about the Best UOB Credit Cards on our page now! 

Maybank Grab Credit Card

9. Maybank Grab Credit Card

If you frequently use Grab to pay for food deliveries, ride-hailing, or other services, getting a Maybank Grab Credit Card could help you keep more money.

  • Earn 5x Grab rewards on rides and food delivery, plus 2x Grab rewards for overseas spending
  • Welcome bonus offer of extra points, plus promotion to grab Platinum tier
  • Choose a white or black card design, depending on your preference

This card has no annual charge, so you can increase your Grab points without spending additional money. The typical annual income threshold is 24,000 MYR, also one of the lower thresholds we’ve highlighted.

HSBC Credit Card

10. HSBC Visa Signature Credit Card

One of the few credit cards in Malaysia that deliver substantial Reward Points for every RM1 charged to the premium credit card is the HSBC Visa Signature

  • Earn 8x reward points on overseas and online spending using Foreign currencies.
  • 5x reward points are earned when spent on local shopping and online using Ringgit Malaysia.

Few people can qualify to apply for this HSBC credit card because the minimum annual income criteria are RM72,000.

However, for those who can, the benefits and travel opportunities are unquestionably the best in their class and are well worth the RM600 annual cost.

To qualify for HSBC Visa Signature, foreign nationals with permanent residency (PR) status or spouse visas may need to make at least RM120,000 annually.

Read more: Best HSBC Credit Cards in Malaysia 2023

 

What Is A Credit Card?

What is a Credit Card

Drawing from our experience, people can make purchases using a credit card using their credit instead of their own money. It offers flexibility in repaying the borrowed amount while delivering the convenience of immediate payment. Credit cards are commonly used in Malaysia. Therefore, maximising advantages and rewards requires choosing the country’s best credit card.

Banks and other financial institutions issue credit cards, which are then processed by payment networks. When paying using a credit card, the cardholder can pay the entire balance upfront or carry a portion forward and accrue interest. With the help of this function, people can buy more and budget their money more effectively.

When selecting the best credit card, it’s important to consider interest rates, fees, and rewards programmes. Some credit cards in Malaysia entice customers with attractive benefits like cashback, reward points, or airline miles.

It’s crucial to use credit cards properly to prevent overspending and debt accumulation. Loan interest costs can be avoided by paying the debt monthly. When choosing a credit card, it’s important to understand the terms and conditions, such as annual and foreign transaction fees.

Credit cards offer a practical and adaptable payment method, but picking the finest credit card in Malaysia is crucial based on one’s requirements and financial objectives. People may make wise selections and properly use credit if they know the features, costs, and rewards credit cards offer.

 

How Does A Credit Card Work?

How does a Credit Card work

As per our expertise, a credit card is a tool for managing money that enables users to purchase on credit. The operation of credit cards is described as follows:

  1. Authorisation and Payment: When paying with a credit card, the cardholder must physically present the card. The merchant checks the card’s validity and asks the card issuer for permission to complete the transaction.
  2. Credit Limit: Each credit card has a credit limit, which determines how much money the cardholder may borrow. The credit limit is decided based on the person’s creditworthiness and income.
  3. Billing Cycle and Statements: Billing cycles for credit cards are collections of transactions that typically last 30 days. The cardholder receives a billing statement after each cycle summarising all transactions.

Annual fee

Some credit cards charge an annual fee in exchange for the right to use the card. Depending on the card issuer and the features and benefits of the card, it is normally billed once a year but may change. Some credit cards might charge an annual cost, while others advertise no annual fee as a desirable feature.

Credit card interest rates

Interest rates on credit cards describe the price of borrowing money from the company issuing the card while there is a balance. Here are two crucial elements that affect interest rates:

Interest rate on purchases

When a cardholder doesn’t pay the amount due by the due date, interest is applied to the outstanding balance, known as the interest rate on purchases or the Annual Percentage Rate (APR). The APR can change based on the credit card and the cardholder’s creditworthiness.

Interest-free period

A grace period, an interest-free period, is a feature of many credit cards. During this time, if the outstanding balance is paid in full by the due date specified on the billing statement, the cardholder is exempt from paying interest on subsequent purchases. The interest-free period lasts 20 to 50 days, depending on the credit card terms.

It’s essential to comprehend how credit cards operate for appropriate credit card use, including annual fees, interest rates, and interest-free periods. People can maximise the advantages of the best credit cards in Malaysia while preventing unnecessary fees and interest charges by paying attention to these criteria and appropriately managing credit card balances.

Rewards/cashback/miles

For their purchases, cardholders of numerous credit cards can earn points, money, or miles through reward programmes. Rewards are often calculated as a percentage of eligible transaction spending. These awards can be exchanged for various advantages, including gift cards, statement credits, and travel savings. Consider the rewards programme that fits your spending tastes and habits when selecting the best credit card in Malaysia.

Insurance

As a perk, certain credit cards could offer insurance protection. Travel insurance, purchase protection, extended warranty coverage, and rental car insurance are common insurance options credit cards provide. Since each credit card has a different set of terms and unique coverage, it’s important to check the card’s perks and insurance policy to determine the full scope of the protection offered.

Credit limit

The credit card issuer establishes a predefined credit limit for each credit card. This limit indicates the maximum that a cardholder may borrow at any particular time. The cardholder’s creditworthiness, income, and credit history are considered when determining the credit limit. Due to the negative effects of high credit utilisation on credit ratings, it’s crucial to control credit utilisation by keeping the balance far below the credit limit.

Cash advance

For each credit card, the issuer sets a predetermined credit limit. This limit is the maximum amount a cardholder may borrow at any moment. The credit limit is decided after considering the cardholder’s creditworthiness, income, and credit history. It’s critical to manage credit utilisation by keeping the balance far below the credit limit due to the detrimental implications that high credit utilisation can have on credit scores.

Billing or statement cycle

Credit card transactions are tracked over a regular period called the billing or statement cycle, which is typically 30 days long. After each cycle, the credit card company prepares a billing statement that lists all transactions, unpaid amounts, the minimum payment required, and the payment deadline. Cardholders should thoroughly check their billing statements for correctness and submit payments on time.

Minimum monthly payment

For the account to be in good standing, the cardholder must make the minimum monthly payment by the due date. It normally represents a minor portion of the outstanding balance, between 2% and 3%. However, paying only the minimum amount each month can cause interest to build up on the outstanding debt. Generally speaking, settling the entire statement balance by the due date is advised to prevent interest and maximise credit card usage.

 

Top Credit Cards For Specific Needs

Which Credit Card Should I Apply for

Based on our observations, it’s crucial to consider your unique requirements and preferences when selecting a credit card. Here are some suggestions for various credit card types in Malaysia:

Credit card with sign-up offers

Consider alternatives like Standard Chartered Simply Cash, HSBC Platinum, or Public Bank Quantum Visa if you’re looking for a credit card with sign-up bonuses. When you achieve specific spending requirements, these cards frequently offer attractive welcome benefits, such as cash-back rebates, reward points, or special discounts.

No annual fee credit card

The Citi Simplicity+ Credit Card and Public Bank Visa Platinum Credit Card-i are two options to consider if you want credit cards without annual fees. With these cards, you can use the perks without paying an additional fee.

Cashback credit card

The UOB One and CIMB eCredit Card are popular options if you wish to receive cash rebates for your purchases. These cards help you save daily expenses by providing enticing cashback rates on various categories, including groceries, dining, and online shopping.

Check out more Best Cashback Credit Cards in Malaysia 2023 on our page now!

Rewards credit card

The Standard Chartered Smart Credit Card and Maybank Grab Credit Card provide enticing rewards programmes if you like collecting points for your purchases. With these cards, you can accrue points that can be exchanged for various benefits, such as gift cards, merchandise, or even air miles.

Petrol credit card

The RHB Shell Visa Credit Card is an excellent option for maximising gas station savings for frequent drivers because it is made to offer considerable rewards and discounts on fuel purchases.

Check out more Best Malaysia Credit Cards for Petrol Savings and Discounts 2023 on our page now!

Credit card for travel

The Ambank/Ambank Islamic Visa Infinite and Maybank Visa Classic Credit Cards include travel-related advantages like airport lounge access, travel insurance coverage, and other privileges that improve your travelling experience if you’re a regular traveller.

See our top picks for Best Travel Credit Cards in Malaysia 2023 here.

Islamic credit card

The Ambank/Ambank Islamic Visa Infinite offers rewards and perks similar to traditional credit cards while providing Islamic banking features for anyone seeking alternatives to conventional banking.

Explore the finest Islamic credit card options available in Malaysia this year. Our article highlights the best choices for 2023 – click here to check it out now!

Air miles credit card

If you frequently fly, credit cards with air mileage rewards, such as the Standard Chartered Smart Credit Card and the HSBC Platinum, let you accrue miles that may be used to book flights or receive upgrades.

Credit card for online shopping

The Maybank Grab Credit Card and Standard Chartered Simply Cash both provide tempting rewards and cashback deals that are specially designed for online purchases, providing additional discounts and advantages while purchasing online for ardent online shoppers.

Premium credit card

The Ambank/Ambank Islamic Visa Infinite and HSBC Platinum offer premium features, such as access to airport lounges, concierge services, and perks at luxury hotels if you’re searching for a premium credit card with privileged benefits and advantages.

Consider aspects including minimum income requirements, annual fees, interest rates, rewards programmes, insurance advantages, and other features or benefits matching your lifestyle and financial objectives when choosing a credit card. Contrasting various credit cards, reviewing their terms, and selecting the best meets your demands is critical.

 

 

What is the Difference between a Credit Card and a Debit Card?

What is the difference between a credit card and a debit card

Based on our observations, although both debit and credit cards are commonly used payment cards, they have different characteristics and functionality. The following are the main variations between debit and credit cards:

Debit Card

You can withdraw money from a checking or savings account and purchase with a debit card. A debit card immediately deducts the purchase amount from your available balance. Most debit card transactions are routine, like buying things, getting cash, or paying bills. They make it convenient to access your own money without taking on debt. If you are interested on finding the best debit card, you can visit our debit card Malaysia page.

Credit Card

On the other hand, a credit card offers a line of credit that enables you to make purchases using credit. When you use a credit card, the issuer pays the merchant on your behalf; you are then responsible for paying back the borrowed funds. Your credit limit determines the maximum sum you can borrow with the card. Credit cards provide convenience, incentive systems, and extras like purchase and travel insurance. They aid in establishing your credit history as well.

 

Key of Difference

  Debit Card Credit Card
Source of Funds Direct funds from your bank account. Provide a credit line that allows you to borrow money.
Payments Immediate Deduction Delayed Payment
Credit Buiding Usage does not impact your credit history Help establish and improve your credit score
Liability and Protection Lower liability limits for loss or theft Better fraud protection
Rewards and Benefits Do not offer any rewards Rewards programs, cashback offers, and additional benefits like travel insurance or purchase protection
Risk of Debt Only allow spending within the available funds in your account Carry the risk of accumulating debt

 

Why do I need a Credit Card?

As per our expertise, a credit card has several benefits that can help people in numerous ways. You could require a credit card for the following reasons:

  • Convenience: Both in-person and online shopping is made easier with credit cards. They give a frequently used payment option and do away with the necessity to carry cash.
  • Building Credit History: A good credit history is facilitated by using credit cards sensibly and paying the balance in full each month. This may be advantageous when requesting loans, mortgages, or other types of credit in the future.
  • Rewards and Perks: Many credit cards provide reward programmes that let users earn cashback, points, or miles that may be used to get things like bill credits, travel discounts, or shopping rebates. These perks may enhance your purchases.
  • Purchase Protection: Purchase protection, which may include extended warranties, price protection, and fraud liability protection, is frequently offered by credit cards. When making expensive or online purchases, this can provide comfort.
  • Emergency Fund: In the event of unplanned bills or monetary problems, having a credit card might act as a backup emergency reserve. When needed, it offers instant access to money.
  • Travel Benefits: Travel-related benefits on certain credit cards include free access to airport lounges, travel insurance, and no foreign transaction fees. These advantages can make your trip more enjoyable and cost-effective.
  • Budgeting and Tracking Expenses: Credit card statements give you a thorough accounting of your transactions, which makes it simpler to keep track of and control your spending. Budgeting and financial planning may benefit from this.

 

 

How to Apply for a Credit Card in Malaysia

How to Apply for a Credit Card in Malaysia

Through our practical knowledge, here to provide a guide on how to apply for a credit card in Malaysia. Here are the step involved:

Step 1: Research!

Find the greatest credit card in Malaysia that meets your needs by doing extensive research. Consider interest rates, yearly costs, incentive programmes, and other features. Search for credit cards that fit your spending patterns and financial objectives.

Step 2: Check your Credit Score

Check your credit score before applying for a credit card. Your chances of getting approved go up with a decent credit score, which may also assist you in getting better terms and conditions. Credit Bureau Malaysia (CBM) or the Central Credit Reference Information System (CCRIS) are two CRAs where you can get your credit score.

Step 3: Know that you might not get the rates shown online.

Remember that not everyone may be eligible for the pricing and promotions mentioned online. Based on variables like your creditworthiness and income, the actual terms and conditions—including interest rates and credit limits—are chosen. Be ready for possible adjustments in the prices and conditions provided to you.

Step 4: Apply online or at a bank branch

Once you’ve decided on the credit card you want, you can typically apply online via the bank’s website or in person by going to a bank location. Online applications are practical and typically require you to submit the required documentation and a completed application form electronically. If you would rather speak to someone in person, stop by a bank office where a customer care agent can help you with the application.

Documents required when applying for a credit card in Malaysia

The following documentation is typically required when applying for a credit card in Malaysia:

  1. Identification documents: These include your passport or National Identification Card (MyKad).
  2. Proof of income: To confirm your level of income, you can be required to present pay stubs, bank accounts, or income tax records.
  3. Proof of residence: A utility bill, rental agreement, or other document that displays your home address can be used as proof of residence.
  4. Employment details: Give facts about your present job, including the name, address, and phone number of your employer.
  5. Additional documents: Additional documents, such as EPF statements or business registration documents, may be required depending on the bank and your individual circumstances.

It’s crucial to remember that the particular documentation requirements may change based on the bank and the sort of credit card you’re looking for. For the most precise and recent information, contacting the bank directly or visiting their website is usually preferable.

This article is only offered for general informational reasons and is not meant to cover all facets of the subjects it addresses. It is not meant to be taken as advice you should rely on. You must seek expert or professional advice before acting or refraining from acting based on the information in this publication. The content in this publication does not represent professional advice from Wise Payments Limited or its affiliates in law, taxes, or other matters. A comparable outcome is not always assured by past performance. We give no assurances that the information in the publication is accurate, full, or up to date, either explicitly or implicitly.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I own more than one credit card in Malaysia?

Yes, you can own more than one credit card in Malaysia, but there may be limits based on your income. If your annual income is RM36,000 or less, you are restricted to owning credit cards from a maximum of two issuers.

Do I have to pay interest on my credit card?

Yes, if you carry a balance on your credit card and don’t pay the full amount within the grace period, you will be charged interest on the remaining balance. It’s important to pay your credit card bills in full and on time to avoid interest charges.

Do I qualify for a credit card?

Credit card eligibility criteria vary among banks. Typically, factors such as income, credit history, and employment status are considered when determining if you qualify for a credit card. Each bank has its own specific requirements, so it’s best to check with the bank directly for eligibility criteria.

How do banks decide my credit limit?

Banks determine your credit limit based on your income, credit history, and existing debts. Your credit limit represents the maximum amount you can borrow on your credit card. Banks consider these factors in assessing your creditworthiness and determining a suitable credit limit.

How do I increase my credit limit?

You can request a credit limit increase from your bank. Banks may review your credit history, income, and payment behaviour before granting a higher credit limit. It’s important to demonstrate responsible credit card usage and make timely payments to increase your chances of a credit limit increase.

How do I pay my credit card bill?

You can pay your credit card bill through various methods, including online banking, mobile banking apps, auto-debit arrangements, or visiting a bank branch. Choose a convenient method that ensures timely payment to avoid late fees and interest charges.

How long will my credit card application take?

The processing time for credit card applications varies depending on the bank. It can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks. Banks typically review your application, assess your eligibility, and verify the provided documents before approving the application.

How does a credit card affect my credit score?

A credit card can impact your credit score positively or negatively. You can build a positive credit history and improve your credit score by making timely payments and maintaining a low credit utilisation ratio. On the other hand, late payments and high credit card balances can negatively affect your credit score.

What are the consequences of late payments on credit cards?

Late payments on credit cards can result in late payment fees, increased interest rates, and a negative impact on your credit score. Making timely payments is important to avoid these consequences and maintain a good credit standing.

Samantha Lim

Samantha Lim is a knowledgeable finance writer based in Malaysia. With expertise in personal finance, investments, and economic trends, Samantha...

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