Unlike credit cards, debit cards have a far lower chance of landing you in financial hot soup. That’s because when you use one, you’re actually tapping into funds in your possession rather than getting what is essentially a loan. Most debit cards also have lower annual fees than credit cards, and there’s no government service tax imposed on them either.
Judging from the sheer number of such cards now available to Malaysians, it’s safe to say that they’ve experienced a surge in popularity of late. Today, we’re going to have a brief rundown on what we think are some of the best debit cards in the Malaysian market, organised by category i.e. cashback, rewards points, petrol and travel.
When it comes to cashback, there are certainly many great debit cards, but we think that the best one is the Alliance Hybrid Premium Debit Card. It offers an impressive 2% cashback on expenses of up to RM9,000 per month, which gives you a maximum of RM180 in cashback rebates monthly! That means Alliance Bank actually pays you a pretty generous amount of 2 sen for every ringgit you opt to spend on your plastic over your paper. It might not sound like much, but it's 2% of every single ringgit you spend, ever. And it all adds up. With this card in your clutches, you’ll probably forget why you ever paid with cash in the first place.
Reward points hero
Reward points collectors will probably be pretty happy with the Tesco- RHB Debit Card. It lets you receive up to 5 Clubcard Points for every RM2 you spend at Tesco outlets, and 1 Clubcard Point for the same amount spent anywhere else. Once you have accumulated 150 or more Clubcard Points, you can then convert them into Clubcard Cash Vouchers at the rate of 1 sen per point. Vouchers are redeemable at any Tesco store nationwide. Not a bad way to save money, huh?
Not much of a pick here, really. We’ve identified one sole card for all you road warriors out there – the PB-Esso Mobil Visa Debit Card. You enjoy 1% cashback rebate on fuel and non-fuel spend at Petron stations (formerly known as Esso and Mobil) using the debit card. You also get 0.5% cashback on all other purchases with the maximum monthly rebate set at RM30 per month. Not bad, but we look forward to seeing a little more competition in this debit card segment, if only for the benefit of us consumers.
Ideal travel plastic
If you’re the sort who loves going off on globetrotting adventures, the RHB Platinum Debit Card might suit your needs just right. Many other debit cards offer airport lounge privileges, frequent flier points, emergency assistance and free travel insurance to their cardholders. This RHB debit card, while also having these benefits, gives you an uncapped 1% cashback rebate on overseas purchases. All the more reason to stock up on souvenirs for friends and family!
Best of the lot
If you were waiting to find out what we thought the fifth and overall top debit card was, you’re in for a bit of a surprise. Because we feel that no single card fits the bill, really. It all depends on your unique financial needs. Do have a look at our complete list of debit cards currently in the market and judge them all based on your personal requirement criteria. The perfect one for you is surely one among them. Just as it’s never one size fits all for credit cards, the same too goes for debit cards.