Best Travel Credit Cards in Malaysia 2019

Frequent flyers get bonus airmiles, free travel insurance, airport lounge access, hotel rebates with a travel credit card

Have a safe flight!

What are the best travel credit cards Malaysia has to offer?

Every traveller is unique. Some travel for business purposes, while others travel for leisure such as holidaying, visiting relatives or friends, backpacking and so on. 

While travelling used to be a "privilege" for the rich, now everyone from all walks of life can fly and experience the world, thanks to the Internet for tips and tricks on affordable travel.

And here you are to find out more about how to save money and elevate your lifestyle with the best travel credit cards in Malaysia. 

Loyalty Points: Rewards to Air Miles

It pays to be a loyal customer to any services you subscribed to because you can gain a lot of benefits. For airlines, they continue to retain business with you via a frequent-flyer program (FFP).

FFP lets you earn air miles every time you purchase flight tickets with the airline and their partners. These air miles can be used to pay for or offset the price of services within the airlines. 

You can use air miles to redeem free flights, cabin upgrade and free access to the airport lounge. 

Now, there is a credit card that can help you collect air miles faster than a loyalty card. These credit cards let you spend on anything (not just flight ticket) and reward you with points, which can be converted into air miles.

Take  Hong Leong AirAsia Gold Visa an example. This co-branded credit card between Hong Leong and AirAsia rewards you with BiG Points (AirAsia's air miles) for every retail spend you made locally, overseas and even on AirAsia's services. 

Hong Leong AirAsia Gold Visa Rewards
BIG Points Spend
RM1 = 6 points for AirAsia transactions
RM2 = 1 point for overseas transactions
RM5 = 1 point for local transactions

That's not all, this Hong Leong credit card also rewards you with up to 25,000 BiG Points for continuously spending it in a year. 

Plus, the minimum income for this credit card application is only RM2,000 per month, which is great for those who just started working and is funding for travelling. 

You can also check out other credit cards that offer travel perks with a minimum monthly income of RM5,000 and below such as New AEON Visa Gold, Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer American Express Gold and UOB PRVI Miles Card.

Best Travel Credit Cards for All Income Bands

Best Travel Credit Cards in Malaysia 2019

CREDIT CARD

  ANNUAL FEE     

INTEREST RATE 

MIN. MONTHLY INCOME

TRAVEL PERKS

Hong Leong AirAsia Gold Visa

What are the best travel credit cards Malaysia has to offer?

Free* 15% p.a. RM2,000
  • Convert daily spend to airmiles
  • RM1 = 6 BiG Points for AirAsia flight ticket purchase
  • Get 5,000 points as Welcome Bonus
  • Get 5,000 points as Quarterly Bonus
  • Flexi payment plan up to 36 months
Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer American Express Gold

Free* 15% p.a. RM4,000
  • Convert daily spend to airmiles
  • RM2 = 2 KrisFlyer Miles for Singapore Airlines flight ticket purchase
  • Free 5x airport lounge accesses
  • Free RM750,000 travel insurance
  • Express AutoPay for bill payments 
UOB PRVI Miles Card

UOB PRVI Miles Card
Free* 15% p.a. RM5,000
  • Convert daily spend to airmiles
  • Earn up to 12 UNIRinggit Reward Points on every RM1 spent
  • Redeem points to fly free with AirAsia, MAS, Singapore Airlines and Asia Miles' airline partners
  • 50% airport transfer to and forth KLIA/KLIA2 (until 31 Dec 2019)
  • 0% Easy payment plans for 3 months 
RHB World MasterCard Credit Card

RHB World MasterCard Credit Card
Free 15% p.a. RM6,666
  • Up to 6% cashback (travel, dining, petrol) / month
  • Free 5x Plaza Premium Lounge accesses in Malaysia
  • 20% discount at all Plaza Premium Lounge worldwide (except Shanghai & Beijing)
  • Free RM600,000 travel insurance
  • Zero green fees
Standard Chartered WorldMiles World MasterCard

Standard Chartered WorldMiles World MasterCard
Free* 15% p.a. RM7,500
  • Convert daily spend to airmiles
  • Redeem WorldMiles Points to get free flight tickets from MAS, AirAsia, Singapore Airlines and
  • Cathay Pacific
  • Free UNLIMITED access to Plaza Premium Lounge in KLIA & KLIA 2
  • Free airport transfer
  • Awesome dining & shopping deals

Citi PremierMiles Visa Signature

Citi PremierMiles Visa Signature

Free* 15% p.a. RM8,333
  • Convert daily spend to airmiles
  • Redeem PremierMiles for free flights from >90 airline partners
  • Free 10,000 PremierMiles on card anniversary
  • Free RM300,000 travel insurance
  • Citibank Easy Pay Plan: 0% interest rate for 48 months tenure (selected merchants)
Hong Leong Emirates HLB World Elite Card

RinggitPlus Hong Leong Emirates HLB World Elite Card

RM1,800 15% p.a. RM20,833
  • Convert daily spend to airmiles
  • Earn 150,000 Skywards Miles (or use it to fly free with BUSINESS CLASS flight to Europe)
  • Get 10,000 Skywards Miles as Anniversary Bonus
  • Get 5,000 Skywards Miles as Welcome Bonus
  • Free USD400,000 travel insurance
  • Free airport lounge access, LoungeKey membership, limo service, Wi-Fi, AIG purchase protection

Travel Credit Cards Benefits and Features

  • Air miles bonus - anniversary bonus, welcome bonus
  • Free airport transfer - Grab, limousine services
  • Free airport lounge access - nationwide or worldwide
  • Gold privileges - discounted to free green fees to prestigious golf clubs nationwide or worldwide
  • Free travel insurance - coverage for personal accident, flight delay, missing connecting flight, luggage delay, luggage loss
  • Travel and lifestyle coverage - personal services for restaurant reservations, ticket bookings, transportation arrangement, etc
  • Cashback and rewards for overseas spend - save more with cashback and earn points / air miles when you pay with your credit card

Best Credit Cards for Air Miles Redemption

Not all travel credit cards reward you with air miles for every swipe. Most credit cards have their own rewards programs that give out points for every Ringgit you charged to it. 

Since travelling has become commonplace for all, banks have expanded their credit card rewards redemption program to include air miles conversion.

Source: star2.com

All you have to do is spending with your rewards credit card to collect as many points as you want and then convert them to air miles once you reached the minimum conversion rate. 

Below are some examples of credit card air miles conversion rates for Citibank, Maybank, HSBC and Standard Chartered.

It is worth noting that for Standard Chartered WorldMiles World MasterCard cardholders, you will be enrolled in a different rewards program that gives out WorldMiles with a lower conversion rate.

Credit Card Air Miles Redemption in Malaysia
AIRLINE Citibank
Citi ThankYou Rewards
Maybank
TreatsPoints
HSBC
Rewards Programme
Standard Chartered
360° Rewards 
AirAsia 7,500 Points
=
500 BIG Points
7,000 TreatsPoints
=
1,000 BIG Points
12,000 Points
=
1,000 BIG Points
10,000 Points
=
1,000 BIG Points
Asia Miles 7,500 Points
=
500 Asia Miles
5,000 TreatsPoints
=
1,000 Asia Miles
25,000 Points
=
1,000 Asia Miles
MAS 25,500 Points
=
1,000 Enrich Miles
10,000 TreatsPoints
=
1,000 Enrich Miles
18,000 Points
=
1,000 Enrich Miles
46,000 Points
=
1,000 Enrich Miles
Singapore Airlines 7,500 Points
=
500 KrisFlyer Miles
5,000 TreatsPoints
=
1,000 KrisFlyer Miles
18,000 Points
=
1,000 Enrich Miles
31,000 Points
=
1,000 KrisFlyer Miles

Still unsure of which travel credit card to get? We have compiled the  best air miles credit cards in Malaysia for you to compare and apply.

Best Credit Cards for Free Airport Lounge Access

One of the most sought after privileges in travel credit cards is free access to the airport lounge. This designated area is private and usually catered to the elite segment. 

And now, it is nearly accessible for all travellers with the right airport lounge access credit card. Below is the summary of credit cards that offer you this benefit:

Best Credit Cards for Free Airport Lounge Access in Malaysia
CREDIT CARD AIRPORT LOUNGE PRIVILEGES
AEON BiG Visa Gold
  • 3x access to Plaza Premium Lounge (Malaysia)
  • 20% off Plaza Premium Lounge (Malaysia) for your guest
Bank Rakyat Platinum Explorer Credit Card-i 3x access to Plaza Premium Lounge (Malaysia), per year
AmBank Visa Signature 
  • 5x access to Plaza Premium Lounge
  • 25% off Plaza Premium Lounge (Malaysia)
  • 20% off Plaza Premium Lounge (international) for your guest
Maybank Visa Infinite
  • 5x access to Plaza Premium Lounge (worldwide)
  • 20% off for cardholder and the guest
AEON Platinum Visa
  • 6x access to Plaza Premium Lounge (KLIA, Singapore Changi Airport, Hong Kong International Airport)
  • 20% off Plaza Premium Lounge (Malaysia) for your guest
HSBC Visa Signature 6x access to participating airport lounges:
  • Plaza Premium Lounge (KLIA, Singapore Changi Airport, Hong Kong International Airport)
  • Flight Club (KLIA)
  • TGM (Singapore Changi Airport)
  • Blossom – SATS & Plaza Premium Lounge (Singapore Changi Airport)
HSBC Premier Travel Credit Card

12x access to LoungeKey lounges (worldwide)

Standard Chartered WorldMiles World MasterCard
  • Unlimited access to Plaza Premium Lounge in KLIA and klia2
  • 20% off for your guest
AmBank World MasterCard Unlimited access to Plaza Premium Lounge (worldwide)

 

Best Credit Card for Overseas Spending

There is a tonne of advantages when you use a credit card for shopping when travelling overseas. 

First, you will save your cash for emergency purposes only. Secondly, you can earn multiplied points and cashback per swipe. 

For example, with  Citi Rewards Visa Signature and RHB Visa Infinite, you earn a 1x point for every RM1 spent in Malaysia. But when spending overseas, you'll earn 5x points.

Below are top credit cards for overseas spending that give you higher rewards points for every transaction.

Best Credit Card for Overseas Spending in Malaysia
CREDIT CARD POINT EARNED OVERSEAS
HSBC Visa Signature RM1 = 8 points
Hong Leong Sutera Platinum Card RM1 = 6 points
AmBank Islamic Visa Infinite Card-i RM1 = 5 points
Citi Rewards Visa Signature RM1 = 5 point
RHB Visa Infinite RM1 = 5 point
Standard Chartered WorldMiles World MasterCard RM1 = 3 points

To avoid your purchase being declined or flagged as suspicious by the bank, make sure you have enabled your credit card for overseas purchases and increased your credit limit prior to your trip.

Best Credit Cards with Travel Insurance Coverage

Travel inconveniences such as delayed or missed flights are annoying, as much as losing or waiting for your luggage hours after you have landed. 

Those are common incidents affecting travellers, which is why some credit cards offer free travel insurance. This benefit is effective only when you charged your flight tickets to your travel credit card.

Even so, it is much more convenient and cheaper than having to purchase a third-party travel insurance. This is usually the case for those, like business people, who have limited time to plan for their journey.

Moreover, credit card travel insurance also provides personal accident coverage and medical expenses that you can reimburse later. 

Best Credit Card with Travel Insurance in Malaysia
CREDIT CARD INSURANCE COVERAGE
Hong Leong Emirates HLB World Elite Card
  • Travel medical: USD500,000
  • Travel accident: USD500,000
  • Travel inconvenience: USD7,500
CIMB Enrich World MasterCard
  • Travel insurance: RM1 million
  • Flight delay: RM1,000
  • Missed flight: RM1,000
  • Luggage delay: RM1,000
  • Luggage loss: RM1,000
Maybank 2 Cards Premier
  • Travel accident: RM1 million
  • Luggage Loss: RM3,000
  • Missed flight: RM1,000
  • Luggage delay: RM1,000
RHB World MasterCard Credit Card
  • Travel accident: RM600,000
  • Flight delay, cancellation/denied boarding: RM500
  • Missed flight: RM500
  • Luggage loss: RM1,000
Citi PremierMiles Visa Signature Up to RM300,000 

So, if your credit card offers this benefit, use your credit card for travel expenses like paying for your flights and hotels and you can be eligible for credit card travel insurance coverage.