It’s interesting that Standard Chartered called this the Translucent Card posing as counterpart to the Citibank Clear Card. It makes one wonder what’s next: the diaphanous or pellucid card? Bad thesaurus jokes aside, how does this new card set Standard Chartered up against rigorous credit card competition?
What’s the perks?
The Standard Chartered Visa Translucent is a basic ‘starter’ card with a low interest rate (8.88%) and a 0.88% balance transfer programme for up to 12 months.
The card doesn’t charge an over limit fee (the fee you will incur on usage past you credit limit) but this will depend on your overall payment behaviour.
Supplementary cards come free with the Translucent.
There are no rewards points attached or a cash back programme. Although it is broken down into bite-sized monthly fees of RM8.48 (Standard Chartered likes monthly fees – think the Standard Chartered WorldMiles MasterCard at RM14 per month). You will have to pay a total of RM101.76 yearly fees.
How does it compare?
The Translucent card, by its name, suggests competition for the Citibank Clear Card. The Citibank Clear Card has more lifestyle benefits: a rewards programme (RM1=1 point; 3X at selected merchants) and exclusive deals at Zouk, cinemas and Coffee Bean (the kind that will appeal to the youth market it targets).
While the Standard Chartered Visa Translucent card does not include lifestyle perks, it does have a more competitive interest rate tier. This credit card only requires that you pay your minimum balance (5%) to enjoy the 8.88% rate. The Visa Translucent card also does not charge any fees should you exceed your credit limit. The Clear Card will charge you a monthly fee of RM25 for every month that your balance is over the credit limit.
The Translucent card has low annual fee at RM96 per year which is subjected to 6% GST.
So which one?
Despite being marketed with a similar sounding name; the cards serve two very different kinds of users. If you are stuck with a large balance: it would be helpful to take advantage of the 0% balance transfer promotion. You will also subsequently enjoy a low interest rate even if you only make minimum payments. The no-penalty for over limit use is also helpful for those who may need an emergency card for a large sum.
The Citibank Clear Card is more useful to those who don’t use their cards for larger amounts as they will need to settle 50% every month to enjoy the low interest rate. The card will ‘reward’ the good paymasters with rewards points and discounts at participating merchants.