With so many cashback credit cards available in Malaysia, Hong Leong aims for a specific group of consumers with the Hong Leong Wise credit card. Combining a high cashback rate of 10% with a high monthly cap of RM100, it offers one of the best cashback returns in the market. There are some twists, such as a high minimum monthly spend and interestingly, the flexibility to choose the categories you want to earn cashback for. Let's take a closer look and see if this card is a winner.
10% cashback for 2+1 categories
The Hong Leong Wise Gold and Platinum credit cards offer a generous 10% cashback, capped at an equally generous RM100 every month - but it is limited only to three categories. Users can choose two categories (from a possible nine), and a third "bonus" category. Hong Leong has pre-selected the bonus category as mobile expenditure, so you’ll be getting cashback from transactions made to main telco providers Maxis, Celcom, Digi, U Mobile, and YES in addition to your two chosen categories. The nine categories cover virtually all major consumer spending, you should pick the ones where you know you’ll spend the most each month to maximise cashback.
You can select two out of the following categories to enjoy cashback from:
|Pharmacies||Guardian, Watsons, Caring, Eu Yan Sang|
|Groceries||All grocery stores (MCC 5411)|
|Petrol||Automated fuel dispensers at all stations (MCC 5542)|
|Dining||All dining outlets (MCC 5811, 5812, 5814)|
|Departmental stores||Parkson, AEON, Isetan, Metrojaya, Robinsons, Tang, GAMA, Sogo|
|Book stores||MPH, Popular, Borders, Kinokuniya, Times, Smart, BookXcess|
|Utilities||Electricity and water (MCC 4900)|
|Entertainment||All cinemas (MCC 7832), Ticket Charge, Ticketpro, Red Box, Neway|
|Travel||All airlines (MCC 3000-3299), hotels (MCC 3501-3999, 7011), tour packages (MCC 4722, 4723)|
RM2,000 minimum spend to unlock cashback
The Hong Leong Wise cashback only has one cashback rate and doesn’t restrict you to certain days a week. This makes it great for those who don’t like to keep track of these things; the only thing you would to watch out for is hitting the minimum monthly spend requirement of RM2,000 to unlock the cashback benefit. RM2,000 isn’t a small amount, but supplementary card transactions can also be counted towards the minimum spend – although cashback will be credited to the principal cardholder only.
Retail transactions that count towards the RM2,000 minimum spend include retail purchases made locally, overseas, and online, but exclude cash-type and government transactions, as well as other fees and charges.
One thing to note: cashback is given based on "posted date", or the date when the transactions are posted by the retailer/merchant - and not the transaction date which is normally what other banks use. Posted dates can be anywhere from 0-3 working days after the original transaction date, so be careful of this especially towards the end of the month and are making transactions to hit the RM2,000 requirement - it may not be reflected in your statement in time.
Is the cashback flexibility worth it?
While the cashback is limited to three categories, the Hong Leong Wise card also allows you to change your two selected categories. For example, if you have a big family holiday coming up, you have the option to swap over to the travel category to maximise cashback from what you’ll spending on your trip.
There will be a maintenance fee of RM10 each time you change your cashback category, so do keep that in mind. You can request to change categories over the phone, downloading the category maintenance form, or walking in to any Hong Leong branches. If the cashback amount is substantially higher than the switching fee, it might be very well worth the effort.
Standard requirements for the Hong Leong Wise
The Hong Leong Wise comes in two variants, the Hong Leong Wise Gold and Hong Leong Wise Platinum.
Hong Leong Wise Gold cardholders will need to earn a minimum annual income of RM24,000 and pay an annual fee of RM250 per year, whereas Hong Leong Wise Platinum cardholders will need to earn RM60,000 a year and pay RM300 for the annual fee. As the benefits of the Hong Leong Wise versions are exactly the same, it might be better to opt for the Gold version and save a little along the way.
Hong Leong Wise: Good returns for bigger spenders
The Hong Leong Wise offers a high rate of every day cashback with a generous cashback cap, which yields as much as RM1,200 cashback returns in a year. Without a doubt, it is a very rewarding card - but only if your monthly expenses meet the RM2,000 minimum spend. As such, family breadwinners looking for a good cashback credit card to cover their necessities or charge their utility bills to will find this a...wise choice.
Being able to choose your cashback categories for the Hong Leong Wise is an interesting feature, and helps alleviate the feeling of being tied to just three categories. It doesn't, sadly, accept online transactions for cashback - a sore point given the amount we spend online.
Find out more about the Hong Leong Wise Gold or Platinum to see if it’s the right cashback credit card for you.