4th November 2022 - 12 min read
Last updated: 4 November 2022
We’re all used to cashback credit cards for petrol, groceries, dining, and the like. But as more and more Malaysians transition to doing their shopping online, it only makes sense to optimise our spending with the best cashback credit cards for online shopping.
This particular category of spending has seen many banks offering competitive products since the first time we published this post, so this list will be regularly updated to feature the best ones available. Of course, the best credit card here can be a mix of a few of them by using multiple cards where possible, but we’ll share some strategies towards the end of this piece.
With a huge amount of cashback cards available in Malaysia, we rely on several important criteria to ensure that only the best cards make it to our recommendations list.
A popular trend among banks is having spending requirements to be eligible for cashback. Some require a minimum spend per transaction, while others have a minimum monthly spend to unlock cashback.
We believe that a card with no spend requirements with the same effective cashback rate is the better option (all else equal).
With many cashback cards today offering tiered cashback rates, calculating the effective cashback rates (based on their “best”/highest cashback tier) is a better indicator of the potential returns cardholders can get.
For example, a card that offers 12% cashback may sound appealing, but if the 12% rate is only unlocked upon a minimum spend of RM2,500 and capped at RM50, its effective cashback rate is actually 2%. We would rate another card offering 5% cashback with no minimum spend requirement capped at RM50 as a better option, since its effective cashback rate is higher at 5%.
Of course, this is subject to the individual cardholder’s spending pattern, but from our perspective, the higher the effective cashback rate, the “better” the card.
Where applicable, we will display the card’s effective cashback rate.
Annual fees can and will eat into the total cashback earned throughout the year, so we prioritise cards that have zero annual fees as well as those with waiver policies that are easily achievable (such as 12x spending annually or 1x spending per month).
Thus, if two cards are equal in every way other than their annual fees, we will recommend the one with zero annual fees or the one with the more lenient waiver policy.
So, with that out of the way, here’s our recommendation list for the best cashback credit cards in Malaysia for online spending. Note that this list is not ordered or arranged in any way.
Cashback: 5% on all weekend spend; capped at RM50/month
Minimum income requirement: RM30,000/year (RM2,500/month)
Annual fee: Free for life
The Maybank 2 Cards come in a pair: the Maybank 2 American Express (Amex) and the Maybank 2 Mastercard/Visa. The Maybank 2 American Express is a cashback card that offers 5% off on all weekend spend, including online transactions. On weekdays, cardholders earn 5 TreatsPoints for every RM1 spent (which is equivalent to 1% in effective cashback if you redeem a RM50 Aeon voucher).
It used to be that Amex cards are not as widely accepted as Visa and Mastercard, but for online shopping in Malaysia, this is no longer the case. The biggest e-commerce platforms – Lazada, Shopee, and Zalora – all accept Amex cards, so you can now take advantage of the regular promos and vouchers available on those platforms and earn an extra 5% cashback just by using this card! You’ll hit the maximum RM50 cashback with RM1,000 in spending.
One reason why the Maybank 2 Amex is a genuinely useful credit card is because of its lack of minimum spend requirement to unlock the cashback, which is quite rare for cashback credit cards today. Both the Gold and Platinum variants are free for life, but the Platinum comes with travel insurance benefits, so get the Platinum if you earn more than RM60,000 per annum.
Cashback: 3% cashback on e-wallet (RM50 sub-limit), online, & auto-billing; capped at a total of RM50 or RM80 per month, depending on your previous statement balance
Minimum income requirement: RM24,000/year (RM2,000/month)
Annual fee: RM75, waived with 12 transactions in a year
Another favourite, the Affin Duo is yet another dual-card combo that aims to offer better value for cardholders. The Affin Duo Mastercard is a rewards points card that offers modest returns, but the Affin Duo Visa’s cashback features makes it one of the best cashback cards in Malaysia.
While it offers a relatively lower cashback rate at 3%, the generous RM80 cashback cap means you’ll earn cashback for up to RM2,667 in spending. However, note that there is a condition to unlock the RM80 cashback cap; you’ll need to maintain a statement balance of RM3,000 – we explain this in detail in this article. Meanwhile, for those of you who use this card to top up your e-wallets (as online transactions – which we will discuss more in a later section “Double dip using e-wallets”), do be aware that there is also a recently introduced sub-limit of RM50 on cashback that you can earn through e-wallet top-ups.
Combine this generous cashback rate with practically zero annual fees and an income requirement that’s low enough for fresh graduates, the Affin Duo cards are a worthy addition to anyone’s wallet.
Cashback: 4% cashback on online and overseas, capped at RM30/month
Minimum income requirement: RM40,000/year (RM3,333/month)
Annual fee: RM333 (first year free), waived with 12 swipes per year
Revamped in 2021, the Public Islamic Bank Visa Platinum Credit Card-i offers a rate of 4% cashback for online transactions. With a monthly cashback cap of RM30, this means you’ll earn cashback for up to RM750 spending.
Essentially, the Public Islamic Bank Visa Platinum is a pretty straightforward cashback card with no tiered rates and no minimum spend requirements. With an easily achievable annual fee waiver policy and a relatively low income requirement, this is yet another solid cashback credit card for online spending.
Cashback: 5% cashback for online (including e-wallet, but with a sub-limit of RM15), dining, and contactless transactions; capped at RM30/month
Minimum income requirement: RM36,000/year (RM3,000/month)
Annual fee: RM90 (first year free), waived with 12 swipes per year
The UOB YOLO Visa has some requirements that you must meet in order to earn cashback, though they are fairly straightforward: to unlock the 5% cashback, you are required to spend a minimum of RM600 per month (which also gives you the effective cashback rate of 5%). This requirement is actually new, following a recent revision by UOB in April 2022; prior to this, UOB YOLO cardholders were required to make a minimum of 5 transactions of at least RM15 instead.
Besides that, there’s actually one other unspoken condition to using the YOLO card: do your best to hit the spend requirement with this card as soon as possible (usually within the first few days of the month/your statement cycle). As veteran UOB YOLO cardholders will know, the allocated cashback pool for this card is usually exhausted within the first three to four days of the month). For context, UOB used to allocate RM120,000 for this cashback pool, but it has been increased to RM200,000 in the April revision – though from experience, it still runs out within the first few days of the month.
Hence, this card is better suited for those who can commit to spending at the start of the month – some examples can be fixed commitments like bills or recurring purchases. If you prefer something with less hassle, the other cards in this list would be better.
Cashback: Up to 8% cashback for online (including selected e-wallets), groceries & essentials, petrol, and dining; capped at RM15/category (RM60 in total)
Minimum income requirement: RM24,000/year (RM2,000/month)
Annual fee: RM98
The HLB Wise card did not use to provide cashback for online spend, but following a revision in October 2021, HLB has expanded the card’s cashback categories to include online purchases as well. There are a couple of things to take note, however, if you want to unlock the 8% cashback rate – although they’re nothing too complicated.
First, you’ll need to meet the minimum monthly spend of RM500 to unlock the 8% rate for the four cashback categories. If you do not meet the minimum monthly spend requirement, then you will only earn a measly 0.25% cashback for all spend categories.
Secondly, like the Maybank 2 Amex card, the HLB Wise is also a weekend card. In other words, you must carry out your transactions during the weekend to enjoy the 8% cashback rate. Weekday spends, meanwhile, will only earn 1% cashback.
Finally, the HLB Wise card rewards your online spend with only a selected group of e-commerce platforms and online merchants, including online services and food deliveries. The bigger ones include Lazada, Shopee, Grab, Touch ‘n Go, and Foodpanda – just to name a few.
All things considered, the Hong Leong Wise is one of the few rare cashback cards in Malaysia to offer online cashback in addition to other essential categories, making it a useful card to own.
Choosing the right credit cards is just the first step. To save even more from your online purchases, here are some strategies:
As you can see from the list above, cashback cards all have a maximum cashback cap per month. That means you earn nothing after the eligible amount, regardless of how much more you spend. So, owning a few different cards is a useful way to ensure you earn cashback if your monthly spend goes beyond the amount that earns cashback for one card.
For example, if you spend RM1,500 per month on online transactions, you could earn RM75 in cashback by using the Maybank 2 Amex (weekend only) and the Public Islamic Bank Visa Platinum Card-i, instead of just one or the other, which would earn only RM50 or RM30, respectively.
The goal here is to ensure every ringgit you spend online earns cashback through the cards you own.
We talked about effective cashback rates in our methodology, and if you own multiple cashback cards, it also helps you to prioritise which cards to use first.
From our list above, you should look at using the cards with 5% effective cashback first, like the Maybank 2 Amex and UOB YOLO. When you’ve maximised the cashback rewards on these cards, then use the remaining cards, like the Affin Duo (between 1.67% to 3% effective cashback rate) and the HLB Wise (3% effective cashback rate for online spend category only, provided you meet the minimum spend requirement of RM500).
That said, it’s also crucial to consider the limitations to your card benefits as you determine which cards to prioritise. For instance, UOB YOLO cardholders may want to consider tapping into this card first due to the limited RM200,000 cashback pool, while HLB Wise cardholders must ensure that they spend at least RM500 on their card in order to be entitled to the 8% cashback rate.
Many online retailers today accept e-wallet payments, whether it’s their own wallet or third-party options such as Boost, GrabPay, or TNG eWallet. Most popular e-wallets today also accept credit cards as reload sources.
More importantly, though, is that there are a number of credit cards that consider e-wallet top-ups to be “online” transactions, making them eligible for cashback with your credit card. This way, you earn cashback from your credit card and any rewards that your e-wallet may provide.
In our recommended list above, you should remember that Maybank removed all credit card benefits for e-wallet reloads way back in 2019. Public Bank had also taken a similar step in reent times, but only for its conventional cards. As such, you can still currently double dip with the Public Islamic Bank Visa Platinum Card-i (for now).
Aside from that, the Affin Duo, UOB YOLO, and HLB Wise all accept e-wallet top-ups as online transactions, but again, there are caveats to take note of. As we’ve mentioned earlier, Affin Duo recently introduced an e-wallet cashback cap of RM50 (out of the maximum RM80 that can be earned), whereas UOB YOLO caps its e-wallet benefit at RM15 (out of the RM30 allowed for online spend).
Finally, HLB Wise only rewards top-up transactions for a few selected e-wallets, namely Lazada, Shopee, Grab, and Touch ‘n Go (TNG) eWallet.
We share this tip in our regular bank promo codes for Lazada and Shopee every mega sale day (9.9, 11.11, etc), and it’s worth sharing here as well. Just like double-dipping with e-wallets, you should take advantage of the bank promo codes offered on Lazada and Shopee to save even more when you’re shopping online.
For example, both Lazada and Shopee offer bank promo codes from a variety of banks, which can go up to RM100 off with a minimum spend of RM1,200 – great for bigger purchases. Plus, Lazada has its fantastic Lazada Bonus, a feature that requires you to collect cash bonuses and offset 10% (usually RM10 Lazada Bonus for every RM100 spend) off your order – and is stackable with bank, platform, store, and free shipping vouchers, so the cashback from your credit card is the icing on the cake!
As you can see, earning cashback from your regular spending isn’t difficult at all! And more importantly, the amount you can potentially save through cashback can add up to a considerable amount over the course of the year.
So do try it out for yourself. We hope this guide proves useful for all Malaysians.
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