What Is The Best Air Miles Credit Card In Malaysia?
An "air miles credit card" is a credit card that offers you the chance to earn air miles as one of its main benefits.
Frequent travellers who accumulate enough air miles can use them to claim free flights, offset part of a flight’s price, or even upgrade their seats to a higher class.
There are several factors that would make an Air Miles credit card a “good” one. Of course, most obviously, you would want a credit card with the best air miles conversion rate so you earn the most air miles for every Ringgit that you spend. However, you also have to take into account things like eligibility requirements, type of spending required, and points expiry – what good is a good air miles conversion if you can’t unlock the benefits?
You'll find four (4) of the best air miles credit cards in Malaysia below and most of them offer air miles benefits through their rewards point catalogue. So to figure out the best conversion rate you’ll have to take into account how quickly you earn points from your expenditure as well as how many points it will take to redeem a set amount of air miles.
Maybank 2 Cards Premier – Best conversion rate
Conversion rate: 7,000 TreatsPoints for 1,000 Enrich/KrisFlyer/Asia Miles
Reward points validity: 3 years
Minimum income requirement: RM100,000 per annum
Annual fee: RM800 (Free for the first year, and with a minimum spend of RM80,000 per year subsequently)
The Maybank 2 Cards Premier comes in a pair consisting of the Maybank 2 Cards Reserve American Express and the Maybank Visa Infinite. These cards offer you 5X TreatsPoints with every RM1 spent locally or overseas, and 1X TreatsPoint on all transactions for utilities, education, EzyPay and insurance transactions.
Moreover, the Maybank 2 Premier cardholders enjoy the best rate of TreatsPoints-to-air miles conversion out of all of Maybank’s credit cards, allowing you to redeem twice as many air miles compared to an ordinary Maybank Visa or Mastercard.
Good things come at high prices, however – at a minimum income requirement of RM100,000 per annum, the Maybank 2 Cards Premier aren’t for moderate-income earners, and neither is the high annual fee of RM800.
Maybank 2 Gold Cards – Best for the masses
Conversion rate: 14,000 TreatsPoints for 1,000 Enrich/KrisFlyer/Asia Miles
Reward points validity: 3 years TreatsPoints validity
Minimum income requirement: RM30,000 per annum
Annual fee: Free for life
With a low minimum income requirement and annual fees that are free for life, the Maybank 2 Gold Cards are easily the most accessible cards on this list.
Despite that, the Maybank 2 Gold American Express still offers one of the best air miles conversion rates on the market – and you can access this for zero annual fees and from a monthly income as low as RM2,500.
The Maybank 2 Gold American Express card grants 5X TreatsPoints on all retail spending made on WEEKDAYS only. While spending using the Mastercard earns you 1X TreatsPoint for every RM1 spent. Spending on utilities, education, insurance and EzyPay Instalment with the Amex card gets you 1X TreatsPoint for every RM1 spent as well.
And considering the Gold's 5X TreatsPoints is only applicable for weekdays, you may need to accumulate more TreatsPoints on the Gold cards compared to the Premier to redeem the same amount of Enrich Miles.
HSBC Visa Signature – For the local shoppers
Conversion rate: 21,000 Reward Points for 1,000 Enrich Points / 12,000 Reward Points for 1,000 AirAsia Points / 25,000 Reward Points for 1,000 Asia Miles or KrisFlyer Miles
Reward points validity: 3 years
Minimum income requirement: RM72,000
Annual fee: RM600 (Can be waived when you swipe 12 times with no minimum spend each year)
The HSBC Visa Signature has different multiplier points for different categories of expenditure.
You get 8X Reward Points on all overseas and online spending in foreign currencies, 5X Reward Points on local malls and online spending in Ringgit Malaysia, and 1X Reward Points on any other spending.
You can then redeem 1,000 Enrich Miles with 21,000 HSBC Reward Points. Sounds complicated? Put simply, you earn 1,000 Enrich Miles with roughly RM2,600 spent on the 8X categories, about RM4,200 on the 5X categories, and RM21,000 on any other spend.
If you know you’ll spend a lot on the categories that garner higher reward points, then this card will be able to deliver you the air miles – but if you don’t, you’re better off claiming your reward points for something other than air miles.
HSBC Visa Signature cardholders also get six (6) access to selected Plaza Premium Lounges in selected airports.
As for the eligibility requirements, this card requires you to earn at least RM6,000 a month and pay an RM600 annual fee– which isn’t too demanding for an air miles credit card.
Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer American Express Gold – For Changi frequenters
Conversion rate: RM4 per 1X KrisFlyer mile on local and overseas spend, RM3 per 1X KrisFlyer mile on online purchases, and RM1 per 1X KrisFlyer mile for Singapore Airlines online ticket purchase
Reward points validity: 3 years
Minimum income requirement: RM36,000
Annual fee: RM100 (Free for the first year)
Although its conversion rate is good, the KrisFlyer American Express Gold is designed so it exclusively favours those who fly Singapore Airlines.
Yes, you can earn air miles even when using your KrisFlyer credit card for normal spending, but you earn at a higher rate when you purchase Singapore Airlines tickets online (for flights originating from Malaysia only).
And of course, the air miles earned from this credit card are KrisFlyer miles, which can only be used on Singapore Airlines flights.
This is the only credit card on this list through which you earn air miles directly instead of redeeming them from a rewards catalogue.
One big bonus is that you immediately get 3,000 Bonus KrisFlyer miles when you use your KrisFlyer American Express Gold credit card for the first time.
Cardholders also enjoy five access per year under a 50% discount on a walk-in rate on selected Plaza Premium Lounges per visit. Do check out the T&C here.
Choosing the best air miles credit card for you
As you can see, the best air miles credit card isn’t just about the best conversion rate you can get.
Sure, some cards give you more air miles for what you spend, but you have to see for yourself if the credit card is suited to your expenditure, lifestyle, and most importantly, income.
Air miles also aren’t the only travel-related benefits credit cards have to offer. For instance, you may opt for one credit card even though it gives you fewer air miles because it offers you free airport lounge access or better overseas cashback.
To make your credit card search a lot easier, you can use our RinggitPlus credit card comparison tool to find and apply for your next air miles credit card.