All you need to know about how to register, top up and use Alipay in Malaysia. Plus smart ways to send money abroad with Wise.
Whether you’re looking for your first credit card, searching for a card which has better rates or perks, or on the hunt for the best cashback credit card in Malaysia today, we’ve got you covered.
This guide walks through the best credit cards in Malaysia for 2023, including cards with fair minimum income requirements, great rewards programmes and low fees. We'll also introduce Wise account and debit card, a possibly cheaper way to send, recieve and spend money internationally.
Here’s an overview of the cards we’ve picked out as some of the best available right now. We’ll cover each in more detail below.
|Credit card||Minimum income||Annual fee||Rewards/ Cashback/ Miles||Foreign transaction fee||Other features|
|CIMB eCredit Card¹||MYR2,000/month||MYR100||5x rewards for online spend Up to 12x rewards for on monthly eDay||1% + Visa or Mastercard fee²||Spend rewards with Shopee, Lazada, Grab and more|
|Standard Chartered Smart Credit Card³||MYR3,000/month||MYR120||Cashback up to 6% on digital lifestyle spend, up to 20% cashback at partner restaurants||1% + Visa or Mastercard fee⁴||Extra perks like cheap cinema tickets available|
|Public Bank Visa Platinum Credit Card-i⁵||MYR3,333.33/month||MYR333||4% cashback on online and overseas transactions||1.25%⁶||Shariah compliant card|
|Citi Simplicity+ Credit Card⁷||MYR2,000/month||Free||Discounts with partner retailers and some cashback opportunities||1.4% + 1% admin charge⁸||No annual fee and no overlimit fee|
|Ambank/Ambank Islamic Visa Infinite⁹||MYR10,000/month||Free||Huge range of rewards, cashback, insurance and more||1% Ambank fee¹º||Shariah compliant also available|
|RHB Shell Visa Credit Card¹¹||MYR2,000/month||MYR195||Variable cash back rewards based on spend volume and type||1%¹²||12% cash back on fuel at Shell, up to 5% on other spend|
|Maybank Visa Classic Credit Card¹³||MYR2,500/month||MYR60||Earn Treats points and get free insurance when you purchase travel tickets||1% network fee + 1% Maybank fee¹⁴||Ideal for people building credit|
|UOB YOLO Credit Card¹⁵||MYR3,000/month||MYR7.50/month||Rewards, discounts and exclusive offers||1%¹⁶||Broad range of retail, dining and lifestyle benefits available|
|Maybank Grab Credit Card¹⁷||MYR 2,000/month||Free¹⁸||Earn extra Grab rewards points, based on spending category||2.25%||Card is free for life|
|UOB® One Card¹⁸||MYR 24,000/month||MYR120||Up to 10% cash rebate on spending||1%||Access to partner promotions and travel offers|
Doing your homework is essential to make sure you get the best credit card for your personal needs. However, the choice can feel overwhelming.
Here are some key considerations to help you understand and assess the card options out there, and find the right one for you.
You’ll usually find that credit card issuers use your income as one factor for gauging how much credit they can extend to you - and there will be minimum levels you’ll have to hit to qualify for a card. The good news is that these minimums vary - we’ve featured cards with everything from a MYR2,000/month minimum income right through to one with a whopping MYR10,000/month minimum, to illustrate the differences.
The annual card fee applied to your card is an important factor when deciding which option is right for you. You may find that card companies waive the fee for a fixed period, or if you meet specific criteria.
Depending on how you use your credit card, you may need to pay interest on the outstanding balance. Credit card interest rates can vary significantly and you may pay a different rate for spending on the card compared to cash withdrawals.
Using a credit card cleverly can mean you earn a selection of rewards. These may be cash back, points or miles for example. If your card earns miles or points you’ll be able to trade your accumulated rewards for treats, flight tickets or vouchers. Just make sure you choose a card which offers rewards you’ll value and use, to make the best possible use of your money.
One common credit card perk is free insurance such as travel, online purchase or medical insurance. Read the small print closely here as different card providers have different terms. For example some will only offer travel cover if you’d paid for your flights and hotels using your card, while others extend this benefit automatically.
All credit cards come with some service fees depending on how you use them. However, one cost which can really sneak up on you is the foreign transaction fee levied whenever you spend in a foreign currency using your card. Depending on your card provider, this can add run from a fee of around 1.25% levied by the issuing network, through to more like 2.5% if the issuing bank also charges their own admin fee.
Avoid foreign transaction fees with a smart multi currency account and card from Wise. Top up your account in local currency and you can use it in 200 countries with the mid market exchange rate and low, transparent fees. This can cost significantly less than the foreign transaction fee charged by credit card companies - and you’ll also be able to use your Wise card to make ATM withdrawals as you travel, without having to worry about a cash advance fee. More on that later.
The CIMB e Credit Card has a low monthly minimum income, and offers good rewards for people who are prepared to wait to spend on eDay - the 28th day of the month.¹
This card is best for users who can wait to spend on the one day a month when they’ll earn higher points. On a regular day, you’ll get 5x rewards for online spend, but this goes right up to 10x or 12x rewards on eDay - the 28th of the month. The e Credit Card has one of the best points to ringgit conversion rates available - which means you earn more to spend on yourself. There is also a relatively low annual fee of MYR100 which is waived automatically for the first year.
Learn more here about the best CIMB credit cards in Malaysia.
Instead of getting a rewards based credit card, you may prefer a cash back card which automatically gives you cash instead of leaving you to convert your rewards into vouchers. This option from Standard Chartered comes with a superb promotional offer of up to 6% cash back on digital lifestyle spend.³
There’s 6% cashback on digital spend and no annual fee to pay for the first 12 months. As with all credit cards you’ll want to check out the full range of terms and conditions to make sure the fees on transactions you make regularly are reasonable.
If you’re looking for a Shariah compliant credit card option this one might be for you. You’ll be able to earn 4% cashback (up to MYR30/month) on some purchases, and a proportion of your spend can be used to make donations.⁵
This account has a relatively high annual fee of MYR333, but this is waived in the first year and will be waived in subsequent years if you use your card at least 12 times in the preceding year. You’ll be able to manage your card online, with other perks including airport lounge access and easy contactless payments.
Learn more here about the best Public Bank credit cards in Malaysia.
This card has relatively low minimum income requirements and no annual fee⁷. There is also no fee to pay when you spend above your credit limit, making it an attractive option for people looking to find a simple, low fee card for daily use.
Citi’s Simplicity+ card can be managed in the Citi app for ease, and has a range of opportunities to get discounts and savings. You can get an uncapped rebate on finance charges of up to 10%, if you meet the minimum repayments. Both Malaysian and expat customers are able to apply for this card from Citi.
This card comes with both conventional and Islamic banking versions⁹ - and although it has a high minimum earning requirement, it brings so many perks we have included it in our round up of the best options out there. If you’re a high earner, it may be worth a look.
High earners might consider this card as an exclusive way to spend and earn rewards, perks and cash back. The range of exclusive offers and rewards is pretty staggering, from fun things like lounge access and Club Marriott Malaysia Privileges, through to more serious options like additional insurance to keep you and your loved ones safe.
Learn more here about the best AmBank credit cards in Malaysia.
If you drive and live close to a Shell station, this card could help you earn significant cash back on fuel purchases for example.¹¹
This card makes sense for people who need to buy fuel and can conveniently use Shell petrol stations. Cash back on some other categories is also relatively high if you spend at least MYR2,500 a month.
Maybank has a broad range of credit card options from exclusive cards for high earners, to cards for football fans, to cards like this - a simple credit card with a reasonable minimum income (MYR30,000/year for Malaysians, MYR60,000/year for expats) and low annual fee (MYR60).¹³
This card is recommended as one for people looking to build credit history or improve their credit score. It’s a simple card with a low annual fee, which still allows you to earn points. One of the best perks though is the travel insurance option which you can access if you buy your travel tickets using your card.
If you’ll be using your credit card to pay for dining, travel and other hobbies, this card from UOB may be the one for you¹⁵. There are lots of rewards and offers across lifestyle categories, which may net you discounts on shopping, hotels and travel.
The MYR7.50/month fee for this card is easily waived with just one use of the card on a monthly basis. You’ll then get the opportunity to access a good selection of rewards and offers, primarily on lifestyle, travel and dining. These offers change and are updated all the time so you can benefit from them over and over again.
If you use Grab a lot to pay for ride hailing, order food, or to shop via Grab’s e-wallet feature, adding in a Maybank Grab Credit Card could help you make more of your money¹⁷.
There’s no annual fee for this card, which means you can boost your Grab points without spending anything extra. The annual income requirement is usually 24,000 MYR which is also one of the lower limits we’ve featured.
The UOB One Credit card - which comes as a standard Visa or a Platinum Visa card - is a good pick for higher spenders who want to unlock extra cash rebates.
To make the most of the UOB One card you’ll need to consistently hit the minimum spend level. By spending at least 500 MYR per month, your cash rebate amount jumps from the base rate of 0.2% right up to 10%. Spending requirements are higher for the Platinum card - plus you’ll need to have a higher income and pay a higher annual fee. However, Platinum card holders can earn even more in rewards, making this worth considering if you’ll hit the minimum eligibility requirements.
|Learn more here about UOB One Card in Malaysia|
Shop around to find the credit card which suits you and your lifestyle the best. You could find you cut down on fees, and earn some handy perks and rewards, too.
Whether you’re stocking up on goodies from your favourite international e-commerce store, or buying souvenirs and gifts when traveling, you might be better off with Wise card.
The credit cards we’ve seen charge at least 1% foreign transaction fee on top of exchange rates determined by Visa or Mastercard.
|Card||Fee||Paying for 1,000 USD|
|Card A||Foreign transcation fee: 1%||about 42 MYR|
|Wise card||Conversion fee: 0.61% (MYR to USD)||26.14 MYR|
(Wise fee checked on 24 January 2023)
And because it’s a debit card you don’t need to worry about interest costs or late fees, either.
- CIMB | CIMB e Credit Card
- CIMB | Credit Cards Fees and Charges
- Standard Chartered Malaysia | Smart Credit Card
- Standard Chartered Malaysia | Fees and Charges
- Public Islamic Bank Visa Platinum Credit Card-i
- Public Islamic Bank | Credit/Debit Cards - Fees & Charges
- Citi Simplicity+ Credit Card
- Citibank Malaysia Fees and Charges
- AmBank/AmBank Islamic Visa Infinite
- AmBank Cardholder Fees
- RHB Credit Cards
- RHB Banking Service Charges
- Maybank Visa Classic - Credit Cards | Maybank Malaysia
- Credit Card - Banking Fees | Maybank Malaysia
- UOB YOLO, the Online, Dining & Travel Cash Back Visa Credit Card
- UOB Credit Card Fees & Charges
- Maybank Grab credit card
- Maybank Grab credit card - product disclosure
Sources checked on 27/01/2023
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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