Best Credit Card in Malaysia 2021

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Best Credit Cards in Malaysia 2021

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.

Credit Card Promo Code and Discount in Malaysia 2021

[updated: 7 April 2021]

Bank Merchant Promotion Expiry Date
Affin BankZenzero Restaurant10% off total bill
Valid for a la carte, lunch set & gourmet menu
31 May 2021
AmBank& Arabica

50% off second cup for all beverages

2 May 2021
Bank IslamAmes Hotel, Melaka10% off food & beverages *dine-in (exclude alcohol & tobacco)31 May 2021
CIMBEkkamai Thai KitchenFree dessert platter (min. spend RM100)
30 Apr 2021
CitibankBen's1 for 1 Pasta (Mon - Thurs)
*not applicable for delivery
30 June 2021
HSBCVanilla Mille Crepe
10% off
30 Apr 2021
Hong Leong BankBistro 16033% off all day long on a la carte menu (except for promo items)
30 Jun 2021
MaybankJade, Pavilion25% off30 Apr 2021
Public BankSecret Loc Cafe
Complimentary sweet potato balls with any purchase
Participating outlets:
- Cheras Selatan 118
- Kuchai Lama
30 Jun 2021
RHBOldtown White CoffeeFree OldTown White Coffee or discount on total bill*
*min. spend RM30
14 Nov 2021
Standard CharteredHorizon Grill by Banyan Tree
15% off total food bill
31 Dec 2021
UOBC Chateau Wine Bar & Restaurant
20% off a la carte food & drinks
15 Apr 2021

Merchant Promotion Expiry Date
AEON Motherhood RM20 off (min. spend RM180)
Promo code: AEONCR20
31 Dec 2021
Affin Bank Kashka 15% off (min. spend RM150 on normal items)
Promo code: AV15

*promo valid for Affin Avance cards
31 May 2021
Alliance Bank My Protein

58% off purchases 

Promo code: MCMP58

30 Apr 2021
AmBank Beauty Expert

22% off site wide *Mastercard

30 Apr 2021
Bank Islam Zalora 10% off + 5% cashback (min. spend RM150 or more in single receipt)
Promo code: BISLAMCARE
31 Dec 2021
CIMB Yu Bake
15% off (min. spend RM80)
30 Apr 2021
Citibank Love, Bonito
RM20 off (min. spend RM150)
Promo code: 20CITILBMY
30 Jun 2021
HSBC Florygift
RM22 off (min. spend RM180)
30 Apr 2021
UOB Picha Eats 8% off any Mini Buffet package*
Promo code: UOB-PICHA
30 Apr 2021
Bank Merchant Promotion Expiry Date
Affin Bank G Hotel Gurney, Penang
15% off Best Available Rate for all room types
30 Sep 2021
Ambank Swiss-Belhotel International Hotels & Resorts,
30% off Best Flexible Rates
Promo code: MCPNTL
30 Apr 2021
BSN Best Western, i-City Shah Alam RM20 off per room per night & 15% off ala carte menu
Booking code: BSNBW2020
Booking period: until 31 July 2021
31 Jul 2021
Bank Islam Ames Hotel, Melaka 25% off Best Available Rate 31 May 2021
CIMB Dorsett Hotels
Up to 25% off best available rate
30 Jun 2021
Hong Leong Bank Rentalcars 5% off worldwide vehicle hire (Mastercard only) 30 Jun 2021
HSBC Sunway Putra Hotel
50% off Family Room & Family Studio
Promo code: SPHSBC50
30 Jun 2021
Standard Chartered The Datai, Langkawi Complimentary 1 category of room upgrade
Canopy Deluxe: RM990 nett
Canopy Premium: RM1,190 nett
Canopy Suite: RM2,190 nett

*applicable for Visa & Visa Infinite Privilege cards
30 Apr 2021

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

A credit card is designed to meet various income levels, from the entry-level (sometimes referred to as "Gold"), mid-range ("Platinum"), and high-income (e.g. Infinite, Premier, Signature).

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 credit 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.

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 bank, 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?

 At 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.
  • Premium - For the VIPs and high net worth individuals.

List of banks to 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:

  1. Citibank
  2. HSBC
  3. Public Bank
  4. RHB
  5. Standard Chartered
  6. UOB
  7. AEON Credit Service
  8. Affin Bank
  9. Affin Islamic Bank
  10. Alliance Bank
  11. AmBank
  12. BSN
  13. Bank Islam
  14. Bank Rakyat
  15. CIMB
  16. Hong Leong Bank
  17. ICBC
  18. Maybank
  19. OCBC

Top credit cards in Malaysia 2020

Top 5 Credit Cards in Malaysia 2021

  1. Citi Simplicity Mastercard®

  2. Standard Chartered JustOne Platinum MasterCard

  3. Public Bank Quantum Visa

  4. RHB Rewards Motion Code Credit Card

  5. UOB YOLO Visa