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.

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:

 Credit Card Promotions & Offers 2020 

Find out the latest promotions in Malaysia for more cash savings! Keep tab on this section as it will be updated weekly.

[updated: 26 February 2020] 


Bank Restaurant Promotion
Expiry Date
RM50 rebate (min. spend RM250)
31 Mar 2020
AmBankJack&Jones, Vero Moda, ONLY15% off normal priced items31 Mar 2020

Public BankMK Curtain Free 20 square feet roller blinds worth RM256 (min. spend RM3,000 on customised curtain)31 Mar 2020

Hong Leong BankJack&Jones. Vero Moda, ONLY 15% off normal priced items 31 Mar 2020
RHB GintellRM1,488 for GINTELL G Beetle Plus Foot Massager with Tens Pad + free G Resto
31 Mar 2020
Citibank Lazo Diamond 15% off storewide
RM300 rebate (min. spend RM3,000)
15 Mar 2020
CIMBF.O.S 10% off 31 Mar 2020
UOBBetter Vision RM188 for NanoBlue Computer Lenses (NP: RM284)
30 Apr 2020


Melissa10% off (selected outlets) 1 Apr 2020
Standard Chartered Swarovski 8% off (spend over RM600) 31 Mar 2020
OCBC Aurora Italia 10% off normal priced items 31 Dec 2020
Affin Bank MPH Bookstores 10% off (Visa only) 
30 Mar 2020


Bank Partner Promotion Expiry Date
Standard Chartereddimsum30% off annual subscription
Promo code: VISA30DS

25% off monthly subscription
Promo code: VISA25DS
6 Oct 2020
Public Bankmissingpanda.comRM100 off + Free 1x premium layflat report (with purchase of full DNA screening package) 31 May 2020
Citibank FunNow10% off all categories

Promo code: CITIFUN10
31 Dec 2020
Hong Leong BankLaser Battle15% off Standard Solo and Standard Team games 30 Jun 2020
CIMB Gymboree Play & Music 10% off Life or Premium Multiple Programmes
31 Mar 2020
HSBC MBO Standard seat: flat rate RM8/movie ticket*
VIP seat: flat rate RM9/movie ticket*

*Friday, Saturday, Sunday
30 Apr 2020
UOB The Joke Factory50% off 2nd ticket purchase 30 Jun 2020
AmBank Air Rider

15% off (first-time package) 30 Apr 2020

RHB Teddyville Museum Get a FREE ticket with purchase of an adult ticket 30 Apr 2020

Bank PartnerPromotion Expiry Date
CIMB Dorsett Kuala LumpurUp to 50% off total bill 31 Mar 2020
Hong Leong Bank Songket Restaurant 10% off on a la carte menu (min. spend of RM100) 30 Apr 2020
HSBC Miyabi, Sheraton PJ 20% off 31 Mar 2020

MaybankWondermama, 1 Utama10% off 30 Apr 2020
Public Bank Seoul Garden 10% off 31 Mar 2020
AEON Sakae SushiBuy 1 Free 1 for red plate Dec 2020
Affin Bank Chakri MY, Chakri Palace15% off a la carte items OR free iced lemon tea (Visa only) 30 Mar 2020
RHB Komura Japanese Restaurant, Corus Hotel20% off a la carte menu 14 Apr 2020
Citibank Sanoook 15% off a la carte items OR free iced lemon tea 30 Mar 2020
AmBank Coco-Joe's Bar & Grill15% off a la carte menu (weekdays) 31 Mar 2020
UOB Sunway Resort Hotel & Spa, Sunway Clio Hotel20% off dining31 May 2020
Standard Chartered Rooftop Poolside Bar & Grill, Hilton Kota Kinabalu 20% off  15 Mar 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 a 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 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:


  1. AEON Credit Service
  2. Citibank
  3. HSBC
  4. Public Bank
  5. RHB
  6. Standard Chartered
  7. UOB

Fast & Easy Online Application:

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

best credit cards in Malaysia 2019

Best Credit Cards Malaysia 2020

  1. Citi PremierMiles Visa Signature

  2. Standard Chartered JustOne Platinum MasterCard

  3. HSBC Amanah MPower Platinum Credit Card-I

  4. RHB Cash Back Visa Credit Card

  5. AEON Platinum Visa