5 Jan - 11 min read
You’ve voted, and now we’d like the announce the winners! Our first-ever RinggitPlus Readers’ Choice Awards 2020 has concluded with several big names emerging as the big winners in RinggitPlus’ first-ever community-driven awards.
Without further ado, let’s roll the red carpet for these winners!
A clear winner with almost 40% of the votes cast, this award is richly deserved for this newcomer. Launched in the latter half of 2020, AffinBank has achieved what its contemporaries struggle to: offer a dual credit card combo that rivals the evergreen Maybank 2 Cards that have been around for almost a decade.
Its ease of earning cashback (particularly for e-wallet reloads), high monthly cashback cap, and low barrier of entry (minimum monthly salary of just RM2,000/month) makes this a great card to own at a time when e-wallet usage and online transactions are peaking.
When we began tracking the results, PBB’s popular Quantum cards was neck and neck with the Maybank 2 Cards before Affin Duo charged ahead. Another popular card, the PBB Quantum was (again) a response to the Maybank 2 Cards – and is arguably a more balanced product.
With cashback for both offline (Visa) and online transactions (Mastercard), the Quantum combo offers good benefits for both cards – which can’t be said for the Maybank 2 Cards and the Affin Duo.
A tightly-contested category that ended with Maybank’s Visa Signature marginally pulling ahead of the AffinBank BHPetrol Touch & Fuel Mastercard and Citi Cash Back Card. The less popular Visa Signature from Maybank (many would be more familiar with the FC Barcelona Visa Signature), it is one of the most rewarding cashback cards for petrol and groceries if you spend a lot on these two categories.
Offering 5% cashback every day with no minimum spend and a highly generous RM88 monthly cashback cap, you’d need to spend RM1,760 to hit the RM88 cashback cap – making it a solid cashback credit card for families. Just be wary of the RM550 annual fee – it’ll be waived only upon reaching an annual spend of RM30,000.
A relatively unknown petrol credit card when we first reviewed it, this card initially had its 10% weekend cashback offered as part of a campaign, before it was converted into a permanent fixture.
Since then, this card is a rewarding choice – the 10% weekend cashback and generous RM50 monthly cashback cap is hard to beat. Fuel prices may be a lot cheaper than a year ago, but zero minimum spend requirements also mean you earn the full 10% each month as long as you pump on weekends.
As mentioned earlier, the Maybank Visa Signature’s generous cashback for fuel and groceries makes it a great option. Other cards, like the second-placed Citi Cash Back Card, may offer a higher effective cashback rate, but we believe the two factors behind this card’s popularity with our readers are its zero minimum spend requirement, and a high cashback cap that goes well beyond what other cards offer.
This card offers 10% cashback on four very useful spending categories: Petrol, Dining, Groceries, and Grab (including GrabPay top-ups). With a minimum spend requirement of RM500 and a cashback cap per category of RM10, it translates to an effective cashback rate of 8% – which is very impressive.
Some may write off this card due to the cashback cap per category of “just” RM10 per month, but the 8% effective cashback rate is actually one of the best in the market. We believe this card is designed for young adults and small families, as it is highly rewarding for essential spending.
Once again, the Affin Duo is a clear winner. As mentioned earlier, the ease of which Affin Duo cardholders can earn cashback makes this card highly attractive. You earn cashback for up to RM2,666.67 in monthly spending, which should easily cover your e-wallet reloads, online shopping, as well as any bills you may have set the Affin Duo Visa for auto-billing – all three categories earn cashback under this card.
A distant second, this card offers an attractive 6% cashback for online and dining spend with a monthly cashback cap of RM38. With zero minimum spend requirements, it is a solid cashback credit card that’s good for up to RM633.33 in monthly spending.
However, it has a relatively high income requirement (RM6,000/month), which makes the PBB Quantum Mastercard more appealing with a slightly lower cashback rate but is much easier to acquire.
No bank sets out to design a credit card for “backup” usage, or a card to use when you’ve exhausted your main card’s benefits (for example, reaching the spending amount required to unlock the full monthly cashback).
We’re big advocates of multi-card use to optimise your returns, and in many cases a “backup” card is useful. Our favourite previously was the Maybank FC Barcelona Visa Signature and its 2% cashback on almost all retail spending, capped at RM50 – but unfortunately it has now been revised to 1%, possibly a bit too low for most users.
The Affin Visa Signature, with its “contactless” cashback feature, earns you 3% cashback on almost all transactions made via PayWave (i.e. contactless). It has a huge RM80 monthly cashback cap, but there’s a very important caveat: you only earn cashback if it is a “pure contactless” transaction below RM250 – if you input your PIN after tapping your card, you won’t receive cashback for that transaction.
That said, 3% cashback on all low-value transactions is still very rewarding if you’ve exhausted your main cashback card’s benefits!
The most tightly-contested category where the top 3 spots were separated only by 1.9% of votes, HSBC’s Visa Signature comes up tops here. As one of the most popular air miles credit cards in Malaysia, the HSBC VS lets you earn Rewards Points at up to 8x multipliers depending on where you use the card. The points can then be redeemed for air miles with the most popular frequent flyer programmes in the region: Asia Miles (Cathay Pacific), AirAsia BIG (AirAsia), Enrich (Malaysia Airlines), and KrisFlyer (Singapore Airlines).
Cardholders also get 6x complimentary airport lounge access in KLIA, Changi (Singapore), and HKIA (Hong Kong) per year.
This chameleon of a credit card comes in at second place, beating the air miles enthusiasts’ favourite, the Maybank 2 Premier cards, into third place (with 16.8% of votes).
In our review of the CIMB e Credit Card, we noted that this card’s flexibility in points redemption and competitive redemption rates makes it a highly versatile card. For air miles, the 12x points multiplier translates to an astonishing RM0.83 for 1 Enrich Mile – for an entry level card, it’s an even better conversion rate than premium air miles cards.
However, there are a few drawbacks to the card. First, the 12x and 10x points multiplier is only available on one day of the month (the 10th), and Bonus Points earnings are capped at 20,000 points per month – so you’ll be collecting points for a long time before you can redeem a flight. Secondly, the only frequent flyer programme in the CIMB catalogue is Enrich, so you miss out on the option of redeeming others like KrisFlyer and Asia Miles.
Late last year Alliance Bank surprised everyone with a complete revamp of its Visa Infinite and Visa Platinum credit cards. The modern minimalist look was chosen to appeal to the younger generation, and has clearly struck a chord – it’s a good thing their new card features are pretty impressive too!
The Visa Infinite sports a sleek matte black design, which contrasts well with the gold magnetic strip and wording. The vertical card face is also strikingly modern and makes it easy to read the card number – which is useful considering this card offers 8x Timeless Bonus Points for online transactions and e-wallet reloads.
It’s no surprise that the Affin Duo is the runaway winner here as well. 2020 saw eight new credit cards launched and a number of refreshed/relaunched cards, but few generated the same level of excitement that the Affin Duo managed to achieve.
This year’s Awards alone has seen Affin Duo win three categories, which speaks volumes of the card’s features.
It may only be several months old, but Maybank has built on the success of its Maybank2u app and created an app for the future of Maybank. Offering e-wallet services, mobile banking, and a slew of new features baked into a single app, it’s no surprise that MAE is a clear winner in this category.
It may be the bank with the largest number of customers, but it should not detract the point that M2U is reliable and user-friendly platform with one of the better user interfaces around. It also loads quickly and strikes a good balance between convenience and security.
Once again, Maybank emerges as a clear winner. The bank has a long history of serving its customers as it celebrated its 60th anniversary in Malaysia last year. It was one of the first banks in Malaysia to introduce mobile banks to customers in rural areas, and was also the first bank to install ATM machines in Malaysia back in 1981.
Today, Maybank continues its mission of Humanising Financial Services with a deep focus on empowering and educating the community.
All banks in Malaysia offer fixed deposits at varying rates, but our readers have voted that Affin Bank is the one that offers the best board rates overall. Our Best Fixed Deposit Accounts article which is updated every month also regularly features Affin Bank’s FD rates in the top five offerings.
A surprising winner in this category, Hong Leong Bank’s Pay & Save High Interest Savings Account (HISA) just about nipped ahead in first place by a mere 0.2% of votes ahead of the OCBC 360 account (21.9%).
HISAs usually require account holders to perform some basic tasks/transactions to unlock more interest, and you can take a look at the best ones in our Best High Interest Savings Accounts article. In the case of the HLB Pay & Save, account holders can unlock up to 2.25% p.a. interest by performing 3 tasks: Deposit, Pay, and Spend. There’s an additional 0.9% p.a. unlocked as well if account holders invest in share trading.
As one of the three biggest e-wallet apps in Malaysia, Touch ‘n Go eWallet manages to win this category quite comfortably. TNG eWallet’s popularity stems from it already being a household name with a huge pool of users before e-wallets were even a thing, and to its credit, TNG Digital has built on that popularity to deliver a solid e-wallet app that – as you’ll find below – is both rewarding and versatile.
This is a more of a close fight, as GrabPay is a close second place with 27.9% of the votes. Despite not having a rewards system in place, TNG eWallet users appear to prefer the campaign-driven partnerships and enjoy discounts on popular retail and F&B outlets, such as Tealive, Family Mart, and of course, Lazada.
A runaway winner for this category, TNG eWallet’s success here is likely due to the RFID integration, allowing users to link their cars with their TNG eWallet to pay for tolls seamlessly. It is easily the best feature of the e-wallet, with perhaps the Lazada integration being a close second.
On top of that, TNG Digital has been hard at work to make its e-wallet more useful, via partnerships with food delivery services as well as parking payment options in popular spots.
So there you have it, the winners of the inaugural RinggitPlus Readers Awards 2020! Congratulations to the winners, and we’ll see you again in next year’s edition!