2023 Malaysian Bank Ang Pow Design: Another Totally Subjective Review
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After two not-so-huat Chinese New Years, CNY 2023 looks like it’s back with a vengeance – we’re already celebrating CNY this year less than a month after Christmas and the New Year! Tak sabar, as they would say here in Malaysia.

In the spirit of things, we thought it was a good time to bring back one of our CNY specials – reviewing the year’s ang pows from the various financial services institutions. And boy, for many of the banks, it’s as if they saved up the ang pow design budget for the past few years to create some truly spectacular designs.

But the real question is…how do they fare in our cringe-worthy HUAT meter? Without further ado, let’s go!

Affin Bank

Affin Bank has one of our favourite cashback credit cards, but unfortunately its CNY 2023 ang pow design doesn’t quite generate the same excitement – and especially less so when we saw the premier banking variant. One and a half stars.

HUAT meter: H U.5

Affin Invikta

Meanwhile, the Affin Invikta premier banking version is definitely a looker– its choice of a dark red hue, matte finish, and gold accents give the same design a distinctly atas feel. That said, this year’s atas ang pows really went above and beyond the norm, and is no contest with this one. Two stars.

HUAT meter: H U

AIA

When we first got the AIA ang pows this year, our minds immediately and collectively went “wah, look like tanglung!” Imagine our surprise when these foldable ang pows were deliberately designed to function as both ang pow AND wall decorations! Plus, the green/orange version looks strangely like Hari Raya décor, so it’s almost like two celebrations in o- but aren’t we still a few years away from Gong Xi Raya? Nevertheless, two and a half stars for being creative.

HUAT meter: H U.5

Alliance Bank

The Year of the Rabbit means some extra cute ang pows are on display this year, and Alliance Bank’s choice of two betahan cute rabbits makes it a great choice to be given to children. But then, our OCD side kicked in and the gold specks that were supposed to resemble fireworks started looking like dust. Can’t look too long. Two stars.

HUAT meter: H U

Alliance Privilege

Somehow, Alliance Privilege managed to make its range of special edition ang pows look both cute and classy. There are three designs in a pack that they give away, and you can put them side by side to reveal a larger overall design – not the first time this has been done, of course. But gold-accented rabbits on matte red paper? Three stars.

HUAT meter: H U A

CIMB

At first, we were quite impressed with CIMB’s angpow design this year, and then someone said it. “Looks like those cowboy swinging doors,” and unfortunately we couldn’t unsee it.

Also worth mentioning that it’s one of the few designs this year to not incorporate a rabbit, so you can use it anytime in future CNYs. Two stars.

HUAT meter: H…owdy partner?

Deutsche Bank

Like a rare Pokemon card, this was not easy to find. You can immediately tell that this is a high-budget ang pow – the paper quality is thick and matte while the design is unique and the printing was faultless (no blotching of any sort). Like rare Pokemons, the white rabbits featured here are shiny too. Three stars.

HUAT meter: H U A

Grab

Super app company must make super unique ang pow – right? Grab’s ang pow design this year will move heads…closer because of its mini size. No, really – here’s how they size up next to a cat (literally because she plopped down next to them and refused to leave):

Roughly a third the size of a standard ang pow, Grab even has an entire webpage explaining the novel idea behind its CNY 2023 ang pow. Honestly, we’re not sure what to think of such a far out concept. One thing we can tell – you’re definitely not short of confidence if you give these ang pows away.

HUAT meter: h u

Hong Leong Bank

Blast from the past from HLB this year, going the classic route with and ang pow design that you can use year after year. Also great for CNY decorations to give you lots of…blessings around the house.

HUAT meter: H U

JP Morgan

Another rare Pokemon. JP Morgan’s CNY 2023 ang pows come in standard and half-size versions, both featuring a majestic peacock (I mean, if everyone’s going with rabbits…). The matte paper feels expensive too (much like the expectations of those whom you’re giving these ang pows to).

Jokes aside, this is one of the nicer ones we’ve seen this year. Three stars.

HUAT meter: H U A

Luno

Luno’s CNY 2023 ang pow design is highly symbolic. Thanks to its close resemblance to the word “gold” in Mandarin, one could say that Mandarin oranges are CNY GOLD. Note, too, how the oranges seems to be going up, up, up.

What’s digital gold again, and where is it going? Boom. Three stars (mainly for making me feel smarter for deciphering it)

HUAT meter: H U A

Maybank

Maybank went with a unique Chinese fan design this year, and it extends into its Premier range of angpows as well. Props for not going the cute rabbit route and instead try something different. It’s bold yet subtle enough to stand out among this year’s ang pows. Two and a half stars.

HUAT meter: H U.5

Maybank Premier

It’s no wonder why Maybank Premier’s CNY 2023 ang pows are prized among the ang pow collector aunties – they’re four ang pows in one! This is the first time we’ve seen interchangeable ang pow design (in our admittedly short experience reviewing them) – it’s different in a wholly atas way.

The secret ingredient is a second strip of paper that can be taken out of the main body and folded around to display one of four different designs – all auspicious and none with cute rabbits. It’s both fancy and innovative, we can’t fault the minor design issue that makes it a little difficult to actually put money in the ang pow. Three and a half stars.

HUAT meter: H U A (more like W O W am I right?)

Standard Chartered

It looks rather plain and minimalistic at first, but Standard Chartered’s CNY 2023 ang pow design is actually quite appealing the more you look at it. Instead of a cute rabbit, StanChart went with a motif in the shape of a rabbit, while the flower petals/leaves extend beyond the fold. Two stars.

HUAT meter: H U

UOB

UOB used a consistent design language across its ang pows this year, and once again we find ourselves falling absolutely in love with them. This is the “base” version that’s widely available, and even then it’s quite a joy, finding just the right mix of fun without going overboard.

UOB goes with an artistic, “single art stroke” of a leaping rabbit meant as a symbol of “reaching greater heights”, which is such a fresh (and festively-appropriate) take on the cute rabbit trope this CNY. Add to that a splash of fun colour round the back and you’ve got a winning design – and as you can see with its higher-tiered variants, they get better. Three stars for this one.

HUAT meter: H U A

UOB Privilege Banking

The “atas” version of UOB’s trio of ang pow versions saw UOB really experimenting with bold colour combinations. This pack contains two different coloured ang pows – a bold orange and a deep red. They both have a special treatment to reflect light across both sides, and the signature contrast-colour fold is here as well. Two and a half stars.

HUAT meter: H U.5

UOB Private Banking

The “atas-test” version of the lot, and also the boldest version of UOB’s angpow range this year. For this version, UOB not only experimented with colours – half the pack are purple ang pows while the other half is a deep luscious red, both with a healthy dash of pink – but also material. The pink part of the rabbit is made from a felt-like fibre, which was quite a surprise to touch the first time, and definitely a conversation piece after.

Kudos to UOB for showing that classy can still be fun. Four stars.

HUAT meter: H U A TTTT AHHH

——–

Disclaimer: the HUAT meter is – as you’d expect – entirely made up and the stars don’t matter. What does matter is what you put inside these ang pows!

Let us know in the comments which was your favourite ang pow design this year!

chinese new year ang pow

The RinggitPlus team wishes everyone a Happy Chinese New Year!

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norshela
8 days ago

Happy new years

Hong
8 days ago

You missed out UBS. It’s high quality & incorporate traditional designs in gold linings. Most bling this year.

Anonymous
5 days ago

Have you seen the one from HSBC? This year, it give its receivers the unique experience of augmented reality with its angpows. Watch the rabbits come to life when you point your smartphone camera at the angpow after scanning the QR code at the back of the angpow. Simply amazing and awesome!

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