Best Credit Card in Malaysia 2020

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Best Credit Cards in Malaysia 2020

Contrary to popular belief, credit cards are not only for the rich. 

They are designed to cater to various income levels, from the entry-level (sometimes referred to as "Gold"), mid-range ("Platinum"), and premium (different cards have different names, from Infinite, Premier, Signature, and more).

What is a credit card?

It is a payment instrument that you can use to purchase something instead of using cash. In theory, when you pay for something using a card, that amount is owed from the bank and need to be paid back.

Credit Card

How does a credit card work?

Think of it like a fast loan that you can pay back when your salary kicks in. To understand more on how it works, let’s take a look at the basic features such as follows:

Annual fee

A credit card has a fee that is charged annually to the cardmembers for the benefits that come with it.

Some of them don’t have an annual fee, whereas there are also cards with an annual fee waiver condition.

To get your credit card annual fee waived is simply by making one transaction per month for 12 consecutive months, or meet the card's minimum spending required in a year.

Interest rate on purchases

This may not be theoretically correct, but banks charge interest on the outstanding amount as a penalty for borrowing their money and not repaying them on time.

Credit card interest rate, also known as Finance Charge, is usually charged on the outstanding balance amount when it is past due.

For example, if you have used up RM300 on your card and failed to settle it within 20-day interest-free period, a Finance Charge of between 15%-18% p.a. will be levied on that amount.

In Malaysia, there are 3 tiers of annual interest rates chargeable on the outstanding balance based on the cardholders’ repayment habit:

Interest rate Descriptions
15% p.a. (1.25% p.m.) Tier 1: for cardholders with prompt payments for 12 consecutive months
17% p.a. (1.42% p.m.) Tier 2: for cardholders with prompt payments for 10 months or more in the last 12-month cycle
18% p.a. (1.50% p.m.) Tier 3: for cardholders with payments of less than 10 months in a 12-month cycle

If you consistently pay your card bills in full and on time, then you don't have to worry about interest rates at all.

Interest-free period

This is a grace period whereby you can enjoy zero interest on your outstanding balance. This period starts from the date of issuance of your credit card statement until the statement due date.

Credit limit

This is the maximum amount that a lender can extend to you for a particular line of credit. If you earn a monthly income of RM3,000 or less, the bank will usually set a credit limit to 2 times your salary.

For those earning more than RM36,000 per year, there is no limit to the credit that will be assigned to you. You can also own multiple cards from multiple banks with varying credit limits.

Cash advance

Cash advance is a facility that allows you to withdraw money from your credit card through ATM much like a debit card.

Not to be confused with a cash loan facility whereby you can borrow a certain amount from your card and repay it in instalments, which is similar to an EPP.

A cash advance is subject to a cash withdrawal fee and interest rate of 18% p.a., which is calculated daily until you pay up the withdrawn amount in full.

Billing or statement cycle

Each credit card transaction you make will be posted in your credit card statement. This statement, which itemises all your transaction histories for the past month, will arrive at your mailbox or inbox in the current month.

It is important to take note of the statement due date so that you will not be charged with unnecessary fees and charges on the outstanding balance.

Minimum monthly payment

In your statement cycle, you are allowed to make a partial repayment of your card bill to avoid being charged with a late finance fee on the outstanding balance.

However, the remaining amount of your outstanding balance will still incur finance charge. The minimum monthly payment is usually at 5% of the total outstanding balance, which must be settled before the statement due date.

How many types of credit cards in Malaysia?

There are 4 biggest card networks in Malaysia: Visa, MasterCard, American Express and UnionPay. They partnered with Malaysian banks to issue credit cards to consumers.

The banks then further categorised these cards to meet various consumers’ needs and spending habits to having features such as cashback, reward points and air miles.

Cashback You get back a portion of money you have spent into your account
Rewards You earn loyalty points for every Ringgit spent, redeemable for products and services
Air Miles You earn loyalty points for every Ringgit spent, redeemable at your frequent flyer programs

Normally, a credit card will have one of the features above. Depending on the income band, it can have a combination of features such as cashback and rewards, or air miles and cashback.


Latest Credit Card Promotions in Malaysia 2020

Looking for promo codes for Lazada, Shopee, Zalora, FoodPanda, HappyFresh and many more? 

RinggitPlus brings you the latest deals, discounts and offers from your favourite credit cards so you can maximise on savings. 

Keep a tab on this section as it will be updated weekly.

[updated: 3 June 2020]

CREDIT CARD PROMOTION: SHOPEE 6.6 SUPER SALE

Bank Promotion Expiry Date
Public Bank RM12 off for existing users (min. spend RM120), via app
Promo code: PBB66

RM10 off for new users (min. spend RM40), via app
Promo code: NPBB66
4-6 Jun 2020


7 Jun 2020
BSN RM12 off for existing users (min. spend RM120), via app
Promo code: BSN66
4-6 Jun 2020
HSBC RM12 off for existing users (min. spend RM120, capped at RM12), via app
Promo code: HSBC66

RM7 off for new users (min. spend RM40, capped at RM10), via app
Promo code: NHSBC66
4-6 Jun 2020


7 Jun 2020
Hong Leong Bank Extra RM12 off for existing users (min. spend RM120), via app
Promo code: HLB66

Extra RM10 off for new users (min. spend RM40), via app
Promo code: NHLB66
4-6 Jun 2020


7 Jun 2020
Standard Chartered RM12 off for existing users (min. spend RM120), via app
Promo code: SCB66

RM7 off for new users (min. spend RM40), via app
Promo code: NSCB66
4-6 Jun 2020


7 Jun 2020
CIMB RM12 off for existing users (min. spend RM100), via app
Promo code: CIMB66

RM10 off for new users (min. spend RM40), via app
Promo code: NCIMB66
4-6 Jun 2020


7 Jun 2020
RHB RM12 off for existing users (min. spend RM120), via app*
RM10 off for new users (min. spend RM40), via app*

*RHB Shopee Voucher can be redeemed at Shopee Campaign page
4-6 Jun 2020
7 Jun 2020
MAYBANK CREDIT CARD PROMOTION: SOUTHEAST ASIAN FOOD

Bank Restaurant Promotion Expiry Date
Maybank The Original Boat Noodle 15% off food and beverages (min. spend RM20) 30 Jun 2020
Maybank Carabao Thai Restaurant 15% off total bill 30 Jun 2020
Maybank Boat Noodle 15% off (min. spend RM20) 30 Jun 2020
Maybank Super Saigon 10% off (min. spend RM30) 30 Jun 2020
Maybank Erawan, DC Mall 10% off main food menu 30 Jun  2020
Maybank Indochine Cafe Asia Cuisine, Tanjung Tokong 15% off a la carte food and beverages 30 Jun 2020
Maybank Mazry Vietnamese Coffee, Permas Jaya 15% off food and beverages (min. spend RM30) 30 Jun 2020
Maybank   Saigon House Cuisine, George Town 15% off food and beverages 30 Jun 2020
Maybank Sao Nam Vietnamese Restaurant, Bukit Bintang 10% off food menu 30 Jun 2020
Maybank Thai Moment 15% off food and beverages 30 Jun 2020
Maybank Thai Odyssey Cafe, KLCC 15% off food 30 Jun 2020
Maybank Thai Passion, Seksyen 17 PJ 15% off a la carte food and beverages (Mon - Thur)
20% off a la carte food and beverages (Sat - Sun)
30 Jun 2020
Maybank Dusit Thai, Seremban 2 15% off food and beverages 31 Jul 2020
CREDIT CARD PROMOTION: DINING 

Bank Restaurant Promotion Expiry Date
Standard Chartered Paya Serai 20% off food (dine-in) 30 Jun 2020
Public Bank Pho Street 10% off 31 Dec 2020
HSBC Gooddam 15% off a la carte food (min. spend RM250, dine in) 30 Jun 2020
Affin Bank Plato Grill & Steak Restaurant 20% off (except lunch set menu) 31 Dec 2020
UOB Gajaa at 8 1 For 1 main course 31 Jul 2020
CIMB The Ruma Hotel & Residences 50% off Sunday Brunch total bill 28 Jun 2020
Citibank Mandarin Oriental Kuala Lumpur 10% off dining delivery / take away
Promo code: CITI10
30 Jun 2020
Ambank Dome RM39++ for Dinner Set (NP: RM50++) 31 Jul 2020
Hong Leong Bank Seafood BBQ at Skybar, Hotel Jen Puteri Harbour 15% off total bill 30 Jun 2020
CREDIT CARD PROMOTION: FOOD DELIVERY

Bank Merchant Promotion Validity
AEON dahmakan Up to RM15 off for new user package (RM5 x 3 orders)

RM1 for any dahminum drink (NP: RM3.99)
Promo code: AEONMINUM
30 Sep 2020
HSBC dahmakan 25% off for new users
RM5 off for existing users (min. spend RM30)
31 Jul 2020
AmBank The Skinny Bakers 20% off total bill 31 Jan 2021
Citibank Eat Cake Today RM10 all cakes (min. spend RM100) 31 Jul 2020
CIMB Eat Cake Today 10% off all cakes
Promo code: CIMB10
31 Dec 2020
Maybank Cake Rush 10% off (no min. spend)
Promo code: MBB10
31 Dec 2020
Standard Chartered Domino's Pizza RM55 for 1 Large Pizza with extra cheese + 1 Regular Pizza with extra cheese + 1 Bread side + 1 Crazy Chicken Crunchies Original/Tom Yam + 1 Bottle Drink

Promo code: PSCB55
30 Jun 2020
Public Bank Eat Cake Today 10% off (min. spend RM80)
Promo code: PublicBank10
30 Sep 2020
CREDIT CARD PROMOTION: ONLINE GROCERY

Bank Merchant Promotion Validity
CIMB Agrofresh Free 1 pack of Japanese cucumber (min. spend RM50)
Promo code: CIMB50
31 Jul 2020
HSBC Zepto Store RM15 off via website and app (min. spend RM50)*
*applicable for Klang Valley, Penang & Johor
30 Apr 2021
Public Bank jocom.my RM6 off (min. spend RM50)
Promo code: PBJOFF6
31 Jul 2020
Maybank GoEat Free 5x deliveries (min. spend RM25)*
*pay with Maybank QRPay or MAE or Maybank2u MY app
30 Jun 2020

What is the main requirement for credit card application?

The major requirement is your minimum income. According to the 2011 BNM guidelines, the minimum income for a first-time applicant is RM24,000 annually.

Banks will require proof of income to qualify you as a credit cardholder. Other than that, you must also have a valid identity card, employer letter of confirmation and other documents to support your application.

Not all banks have the same income requirement for the same card type. For example, a Gold card by Bank A is offered to those with a monthly salary of RM3,000 and above, whereas Bank B opens to anyone earning a minimum of RM2,000 per month.

How many credit cards can I apply?

There is no limit to the number of credit cards you can apply from any banks, however, your chances of getting approved will depend on your income and other factors mentioned above.

BNM has stated that for those earning RM36,000 and less, you can own credit cards from maximum two different card issuers, with a credit limit capped at 2x your monthly salary (but whether you get this amount depends on the banks you choose).

For anyone with a yearly income of RM36,000 and above, you can own as many credit cards you want from multiple issuers.

What happens if I fail to repay my credit card on time?

If you miss your payment, late payment fee will be charged on the outstanding balance. 

That's not all, your outstanding balance will attract a finance charge of between 15%-18% p.a. which is compounded daily until you paid off the overdue amount.

A late payment habit can have a negative effect on your CCRIS (Central Credit Reference Information System) record. 

CCRIS is a central system that stores information of your credit histories which is referenced by all banks when assessing your credit risk.

That's not all, you will also have a lower credit score that consequently reduces your chances of getting approved on your personal, car or home loan applications in the future.

Which credit card is the best for me?

In RinggitPlus, we have several categories that can cater to the unique needs of every Malaysian, such as:

  • Sign Up Offers – For the lovers of free gifts. Apply for a selected card, get approved by the bank, activate it and then claim your gift!
  • No Annual Fee – First year free? Free for a lifetime? Free annual fee? You got it
  • Cashback – Get cash back into your account on every spend
  • Rewards – Collect reward points to redeem free gifts, vouchers and air miles
  • Petrol – Earn reward points, cashback or air miles with every fuel spend. Get discounts on car washes, polishes, parts and accessories
  • Travel – Save on fuel spend, air ticket or travel insurance coverage
  • Islamic – For ethical spenders
  • Air Miles – For frequent flyers and travellers
  • Free Airport Lounge Access – For business frequent flyers
  • Online Shopping – For shopaholics who have a con-fashion (confession)
  • Movie Promotions – For movie buff
  • Business – For entrepreneurs and corporate entities

Which banks can I apply for a credit card online?

There are 19 banks in Malaysia offering credit cards for various consumers with unique appetites that you can apply online for:

With FREE GIFTS:

  1. Citibank
  2. HSBC
  3. Public Bank
  4. RHB
  5. Standard Chartered
  6. UOB

Fast & Easy Online Application:

  1. AEON Credit Service
  2. Affin Bank
  3. Affin Islamic Bank
  4. Alliance Bank
  5. AmBank
  6. BSN
  7. Bank Islam
  8. Bank Rakyat
  9. CIMB
  10. Hong Leong Bank
  11. ICBC
  12. Maybank
  13. OCBC

best credit cards in Malaysia 2019

Best Credit Cards Malaysia 2020

  1. Citi PremierMiles Mastercard

  2. Standard Chartered JustOne Platinum MasterCard

  3. HSBC Amanah MPower Platinum Credit Card-I

  4. RHB Cash Back Visa Credit Card

  5. UOB YOLO Visa