What Is The Best Air Miles Credit Card In Malaysia?

by Jacie Tan

Credit Cards

An "air miles credit card" is a credit card that offers you the chance to earn air miles as one of its main benefits. Frequent travellers who accumulate enough air miles can use them to claim free flights, offset part of a flight’s price, or even upgrade your seat up to a higher class.

There are several factors that would make an air miles credit card a “good” one. Of course, most obviously, you would want a credit card with the best air miles conversion rate so you earn the most air miles for every Ringgit that  you spend. However, you also have to take into account things like eligibility requirements, type of spending required, and points expiry – what good is a good air miles conversion if you can’t unlock the benefits?

Here are five of the best air miles credit cards in Malaysia. Most of the cards we’ve selected offer air miles benefits through their rewards points catalogue, so to figure out the best conversion rate you’ll have to take into account how quickly you earn points from your expenditure as well as how many points it will take to redeem a set amount of air miles. To make it easy for you, we’ve calculated the amount of expenditure needed per air mile earned on each credit card.

Air miles Credit Card Malaysia Airlines Enrich Miles Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Miles Cathay Pacific Asia Miles
Maybank 2 Cards Premier RM1 per 1 Enrich Mile for all local and overseas spend on American Express RM1 per 1 KrisFlyer Mile for all local and overseas spend on American Express RM1 per 1 Asia Mile for all local and overseas spend on American Express
Maybank 2 Gold Cards RM2 per 1 Enrich Mile for all local and overseas spend on American Express RM1.60 per 1 KrisFlyer Mile for all local and overseas spend on American Express RM1.40 per 1 Asia Mile for all local and overseas spend on American Express
Alliance Bank Visa Infinite RM3 per 1 Enrich Mile for local spend, RM1.20 per 1 Enrich Mile for overseas spend - -
HSBC Visa Signature RM1.31 per 1 Enrich Mile on overseas and foreign online spend
RM2.10/Mile for local malls and online spend
RM1.86 per 1 KrisFlyer Mile on overseas and foreign online spend
RM3/Mile for local malls and online spend
RM1.86 per 1 Asia Mile on overseas and foreign online spend
RM3/Mile for local malls and online spend
Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer American Express Gold - RM2 per 1 Krisflyer mile on normal spend
RM2 per 2 Krisflyler miles for Singapore
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Maybank 2 Cards Premier – Best Conversion Rate

Conversion rate: RM1 per 1 Enrich Mile for all local and overseas spend on American Express
Other air miles claimable: KrisFlyer, Asia Mile, AirAsia BIG Points
Reward points validity: 3 years
Minimum income requirement: RM100,000 per annum
Annual fee:
RM800 (free for the first year and with minimum spend of RM80,000 per year subsequently)

The Maybank 2 Cards Premier comes in a pair consisting of the Maybank2 Cards Reserve American Express and the Maybank Visa Infinite; the American Express card gives you higher TreatsPoints returns at 5TP with every RM1 spent locally or overseas, whereas the Visa offers 2TP for every RM1 spent locally and 5TP on every RM1 spent overseas. Maybank 2 Premier cardholders enjoy the best rate of TP-to-air miles conversion out of all of Maybank’s credit cards, allowing you to redeem twice as many air miles compared to an ordinary Maybank Visa or Mastercard.

Good things come at high prices, however – at a minimum income requirement of RM100,000 per annum, the Maybank 2 Cards Premier aren’t for moderate-income earners, and neither is the high annual fee of RM800. However, this is offset by the fact that the American Express card has one of the best air miles conversion rates you’ll see in Malaysia. 1,000 Enrich Miles can be redeemed with just RM1,000 expenditure on the card on all local and international spend (excluding utilities, education, EzyPay, and insurance, which earn a lower TP rate).

Maybank 2 Gold Cards – Best For The Masses

Conversion rate: RM2 per 1 Enrich Mile for all local and overseas spend on American Express
Other air miles claimable: KrisFlyer, Asia Mile, AirAsia BIG Points
Reward points validity: 3 years TreatsPoints validity
Minimum income requirement: RM30,000 per annum
Annual fee: Free for life

With a low minimum income requirement and annual fees that are free for life, the Maybank 2 Gold Cards are easily the most accessible cards on this list. Despite that, the Maybank 2 Gold American Express still offers one of the best air miles conversion rates on the market – and you can access this for zero annual fees and from a monthly income as low as RM2,500.

Like its Premier counterpart, the Maybank 2 Gold American Express card grants 5TP on local and overseas expenditure. However, the Gold's 5TP is only applicable for weekdays, and overall you’ll need to accumulate more TP on the Gold cards compared to the Premier to redeem the same amount of Enrich Miles. Still, RM2 per Enrich Mile for both local and overseas spend is still a favourable conversion rate – it’s even better than some credit cards with higher annual fees and eligibility requirements.

Alliance Bank Visa Infinite – Good Overseas Spend Conversion Rate

Conversion rate: RM3 per 1 Enrich Mile for local spend, RM1.20 per 1 Enrich Mile for overseas spend
Other air miles claimable: AirAsia BIG
Reward points validity: No expiry
Minimum income requirement: RM150,000 per annum
Annual fee: RM800 (waived with minimum spend of RM30,000 per year)

The Alliance Bank Visa Infinite’s air miles conversion rate for local spend isn’t particularly outstanding, but it does have a better rate for overseas expenditure. You can redeem 1,000 Enrich Miles for RM1,200 spent overseas, making this a good credit card for those who travel and spend abroad frequently. The Alliance Bank Visa Infinite also gives its cardholders unlimited complimentary access to over 850 Priority Pass airport lounges worldwide.

However, how does the Alliance Bank Visa Infinite compare to the Maybank 2 Cards Premier? The Maybank 2 Cards Premier have a better conversion rate, but the Alliance’s Timeless Bonus Points have the advantage of no expiry date whereas Maybank TreatsPoints are only valid for three years. Moreover, you have a higher likelihood of having the RM800 annual fee waived with the Alliance Bank Visa Infinite as the minimum spend required for the waiver is only RM30,000 per year.

HSBC Visa Signature – For The Local Shoppers

Conversion rate: RM1.31 per 1 Enrich Mile on overseas and foreign online spend, RM2.10/Mile for local malls and online spend
Other air miles claimable: KrisFlyer, Asia Miles
Reward points validity: 3 years
Minimum income requirement: RM72,000
Annual fee: RM600

The HSBC Visa Signature has different multiplier points for different categories of expenditure. You get 8x Reward Points on all overseas and online spend in foreign currencies, 5x Reward Points on local malls and online spend, and 1x Reward Points on any other spend. You can then redeem 1,000 Enrich Miles with 10,500 HSBC Reward Points. Sounds complicated? Put simply, you earn 1,000 Enrich Miles with RM1,310 spend on the 8x categories, RM2,100 on the 5x categories, and RM10,500 on any other spend.

If you know you’ll spend a lot on the categories that garner higher rewards points, then this card will be able to deliver you the air miles – but if you don’t, you’re better off claiming your reward points for something other than air miles. HSBC Visa Signature cardholders also get 6 times access to Plaza Premium Lounges in Malaysia, Singapore, and Hong Kong. As for the eligibility requirements, this card requires you to earn at least RM6,000 a month and pay a RM600 annual fee– which isn’t too demanding for an air miles credit card.

Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer American Express Gold – For Changi Frequenters

Conversion rate: RM2 per 1 KrisFlyer mile on normal spend, RM2 per 2 KrisFlyer miles for Singapore Airlines online ticket purchase
Other air miles claimable: None
Reward points validity: 3 years
Minimum income requirement: RM48,000
Annual fee: RM250 (free for first year)

Although its conversion rate is good, the KrisFlyer American Express Gold is designed so it exclusively favours those who fly Singapore Airlines. Yes, you can earn air miles even when using your KrisFlyer credit card for normal spend, but you earn at a higher rate when you purchase Singapore Airlines tickets online (for flights originating from Malaysia only). And of course, the air miles earned from this credit card are KrisFlyer miles, which can only be used on Singapore Airlines flights.

This is the only credit card on this list through which you earn air miles directly instead of redeeming them from a rewards catalogue. One big bonus is that you immediately get 3,000 KrisFlyer miles when you use your KrisFlyer American Express Gold credit card for the first time. Cardholders also enjoy five times complimentary access to most Plaza Premium Lounges in Malaysia – but unfortunately, not at Changi Airport.

Choosing The Best Air Miles Credit Card For You

As you can see, the best air miles credit card isn’t just about the best conversion rate you can get. Sure, some cards give you more air miles for what you spend, but you have to see for yourself if the credit card is suited to your expenditure, lifestyle, and most importantly, income. Air miles also aren’t the only travel-related benefits credit cards have to offer. For instance, you may opt for one credit card even though it gives you lesser air miles because it offers you free airport lounge access or better overseas cashback.

To make your credit card search a lot easier, you can use our RinggitPlus credit card comparison tool to find and apply for your next air miles credit card.