Can foreigners apply for a credit card in Malaysia? Read more here about the process and available options from Maybank, CIMB, SC and HSBC
There’s a broad choice available if you’re looking for an AmBank® credit card, from low cost cards with no annual fee which can offer steady reward opportunities, to cards with higher costs but a faster rate of returns - and even cards which are offered by invitation only, to AmBank high wealth clients.
This guide looks at 5 popular AmBank credit cards, including a roundup of the features and fees you can expect, and a look at the AmBank credit card application process you’ll need to follow. Credit cards aren’t the right choice for everyone though - so as a bonus we’ll also highlight Wise, a non-bank alternative which offers a great international debit card you can use for cheap and convenient overseas spending.
|Minimum annual income / eligibility||Annual fees²||Cashback / rewards||Interest rates²||Foreign transaction fees²|
|BonusLink Visa Credit Card||24,000 MYR/year for Platinum card; 80,000 MYR/year for Signature||No annual fee||10x points for certain categories including dining and groceries, 2x points for overseas spending||15% - 18% depending on personal card use||Network rate + 1% conversion fee|
|Conventional or Islamic Visa Platinum Credit Card||24,000 MYR/year||No annual fee||1x reward point on local spending, 2x on international spend||15% - 18% depending on personal card use||Network rate + 1% conversion fee|
|Islamic Visa CARz Credit Card||24,000 MYR/year||No annual fee||Up to 5% cash back on fuel spending, bonus reward earning on other spending||15% - 18% depending on personal card use||Network rate + 1% conversion fee|
|Ambank UnionPay Credit Card||60,000 MYR/year||450 MYR||0.5x reward points on local spending, 5x on overseas spending||15% - 18% depending on personal card use||Network rate + 1% conversion fee|
|SIGNATURE Priority Banking Visa Infinite Credit Card||Deposit or invest 200,000 MYR needed to get invite||No annual fee - by invitation only||5x rewards on overseas spending||15% - 18% depending on personal card use||Network rate + 1% conversion fee|
We’ve picked a pretty broad variety of AmBank cards to profile in this guide, to give a flavour for what’s available. You’ll see that there are cards with varying eligibility requirements, with different types of cash back or reward earning opportunities, and with their own fees, too. Before you pick the right one for you it’s important to compare a few in line with your normal spending habits, so you can balance out the costs and rewards on offer from each card.
Here are some important points to consider when you choose the right card for your needs:
- Minimum income - the minimum income levels for AmBank cards starts at 24,000 MYR, with some top tier cards based not on income but on eligible deposits - for these cards you’ll need around 200,000 MYR to deposit or invest with AmBank
- Annual fee - most of the AmBank cards we’ve picked out have no annual fee, which can keep down overall costs
- Interest rates - AmBank interest rates run from 15% to 18% based on how you use your card - for a lower rate, make sure to repay your bill in full every month
- Rewards and cash rebates - there’s a wide variety of cash back and rewards on offer from AmBank, from money off petrol to reward points you can trade in everywhere from Starbucks to Courts
- Insurance - some credit cards offer some travel or accident insurance as part of the package. If this is important to you, check out the details thoroughly to make sure you find coverage that suits your needs
Even when a credit card has no annual fee you may find you’re hit with charges for interest, when you spend overseas, or for making cash withdrawals. While credit cards do have the advantage of spreading costs out over a few months if you need to, they’re not right for everyone. If you’re looking for a cheap way to spend overseas, and you’re happy to use a debit card instead, you may want to check out cards from specialist providers like Wise. With a Wise card you can spend in 170+ countries with the mid-market exchange rate and low, transparent fees - more on that later.
The AmBank BonusLink Visa Credit Card³ offers a generous 10x bonus points across 6 categories, which include day to day spending items like dining and groceries.
You can get the AmBank BonusLink Visa Credit card with an eligible income of 24,000 MYR/year for the Platinum card option, to earn BonusLink rewards and associated perks. The reward rates depend on the spending category, with 10x earning on 6 major categories. You can redeem points online, in the AmBank app or on the spot with select retailers.
You can choose the AmBank or AmBank Islamic Visa Platinum Credit Card⁴ if you want a no annual fee card with a fairly low income requirement, which earns rewards.
AmBank and AmBank Islamic Visa Platinum Credit Cards have a steady reward earning opportunity, with extra benefits when you’re overseas. There’s also free travel insurance as part of the package. When you have rewards to spend you can cash them in online or in major retailers like Courts or for leisure spending with outlets of places like Starbucks.
If you drive and want to get cash back when you buy fuel, the AmBank Islamic Visa CARz Credit Card⁵ could suit you.
With the AmBank Islamic Visa CARz Credit Card you’ll get 2% cash back on fuel if you clear your card bill every month, or 5% if you only partially repay - bear in mind that in this case you’ll have interest charges to cover though. There’s no annual fee to pay, and even when you’re spending on other things you’ll be able to earn AmBank reward points at a rate of 1x locally and 2x when spending abroad.
If you’d rather a card on the UnionPay network you may want to check out the AmBank UnionPay Credit Card⁶.
There’s an annual fee of 450 MYR for the AmBank UnionPay Credit Card but in return you can get 5x reward points on your overseas spending, plus extras like some complimentary airport lounge access. This is the only card offered by AmBank which is not on the Visa network, so could be a good choice if you want a card on a different global network in case you ever find somewhere Visa can’t be used.
If you’re a high wealth individual with investments or deposited at AmBank you may be invited to get a AmBank SIGNATURE Priority Banking Visa Infinite Credit Card⁷.
The AmBank SIGNATURE Priority Banking Visa Infinite Credit Card has no annual fee and offers AmBank reward points, including 5x rewards on overseas spend. As a premium customer you can also get benefits like unlimited airport lounge access and concierge services, as well as Club Marriott Malaysia benefits.
Bring the Wise card - the most international debit card in the world - along with you when travelling or shopping abroad
Alongside your credit card, why not get a debit card that’s designed for international spending from a provider like Wise. With Wise you’ll be able to hold, send, spend and exchange 40+ currencies, with low fees and no annual or ongoing costs to worry about.
Get your Wise card to spend in 150+ countries, with the mid-market exchange rate and low fees from 0.43%⁸ whenever you spend with your card in a currency you don’t hold in your account. That means there’s no foreign transaction fee to pay - and it’s always free to spend in a currency you have in your account already.
Plus, because the Wise card is a debit card, there’s no interest to pay and no late charges to worry about. You can also get some fee free ATM withdrawals every month, with low fees after that.
To apply for an AmBank credit card - if you’re not already an AmBank customer - you’ll need to complete an online form and wait for a call back to get your account up and running.
Here’s how to apply for an AmBank credit card:
- Open the AmBank desktop site and choose the card you’re interested in applying for
- Tap Apply now
- Complete the form with the personal information requested
- You’ll get a call back from a member of the AmBank team to process your application
- AmBank credit cards
- AmBank card fees
- AmBank BonusLink Visa Credit card
- AmBank/AmBank Islamic Visa Platinum Credit Card
- AmBank Islamic Visa CARz Credit Card
- AmBank UnionPay Credit Card
- AmBank SIGNATURE Priority Banking Visa Infinite Credit Card
Sources checked on 01/07/2023
This publication is provided for general information purposes only and is not intended to cover every aspect of the topics with which it deals. It is not intended to amount to advice on which you should rely. You must obtain professional or specialist advice before taking, or refraining from, any action on the basis of the content in this publication. The information in this publication does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from Wise Payments Limited or its affiliates. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether express or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.
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