Can foreigners apply for a credit card in Malaysia? Read more here about the process and available options from Maybank, CIMB, SC and HSBC
Looking for a CIMB® credit card¹ in Malaysia? CIMB has a broad selection of conventional and Islamic credit cards, including cash reward cards, travel reward cards, and cards which have extra benefits when you spend with partners such as Pentronas®.
This guide looks at the key features and fees for 5 popular credit cards from CIMB, plus we’ve got a run through of how to apply for a CIMB credit card. As a comparison we’ll also introduce the Wise card - for a travel debit card you can use when overseas, with the mid-market exchange rate and low, transparent fees.
|Minimum annual income / eligibility||Annual fees||Cashback / rewards||Interest rates²||Foreign transaction fees²|
|CIMB Travel Platinum||24,000 MYR/year||No annual fee||Up to 5x rewards on spending, plus travel rewards||15% - 18% depending on personal card use||Network rate + 1%|
|CIMB Travel World Elite||250,000 MYR/year||1,215.09 MYR - can be waived or reduced depending on card use||Up to 10x points on spending||15% - 18% depending on personal card use||No foreign transaction fee|
|CIMB Petronas Visa Infinite-i Credit Card||120,000 NYR/year||No annual fee||Up to 6% cash rebate on spending, and 12% on Petronas spending||15% - 18% depending on personal card use||Network rate + 1%|
|CIMB Cash Rebate Platinum Mastercard||24,000 MYR/year||No annual fee||Up to 5% cash rebate on spending||15% - 18% depending on personal card use||Network rate + 1%|
|CIMB Travel World Credit Card||100,000 MYR/year||554.72 MYR- can be waived or reduced depending on card use||Up to 8x rewards on spending, plus travel rewards||15% - 18% depending on personal card use||Network rate + 1%|
Before you can start your CIMB credit card application, you’ll need to pick the right card for you. There are lots of different credit card options out there, so the best one for you will come down to your personal preference and how you’re likely to use the card day to day. Here are some important points to consider when you choose the right card for your needs:
- Minimum income - credit cards usually come with minimum income requirements - in your selection of CIMB credit cards (Malaysia), we’ve included cards with income requirements from 24,000 MYR/year, to 250,000 MYR/year
- Annual fee - some credit cards have annual fees to pay, which may be waived or reduced if you spend enough with the card
- Interest rates - the interest you pay for using your card may vary depending on how long you’ve had the card, and how frequently you make repayments - compare a few different providers to find the right one for you
- Rewards and cash rebates - picking a card which offers high rewards on transactions you make often can mean you get more. Cards we’ve looked at from CIMB cover cash rebates or rewards on everyday spending, travel, and with Petronas
- Insurance - many credit cards offer some travel insurance cover as part of the package - particularly handy if you’re planning a trip
Don’t forget, credit cards aren’t always the right choice. There are often fees to pay with credit card use, and you’ll need to hit a minimum income level to make an application. It’s worth also weighing up some debit card options, either from your own bank, or from a specialist provider like Wise. Wise offers a multi-currency account and linked debit card you can use to spend overseas with the mid-market rate and no foreign transaction fee to pay - we’ll cover all this and more a little later.
If you’re looking for a rewards card which has specific travel benefits, with a relatively low annual income requirement, the CIMB Travel Platinum Credit Card³ may be the one for you.
The CIMB Travel Platinum Credit Card comes with 5x reward points on overseas and travel spending, and 2x rewards on all other card spend. You’ll be able to redeem your rewards on flights and hotel stays, or to pay with points when shopping at CIMB partner merchants.
The CIMB Travel World Elite⁴ has a high minimum annual income requirement, but is the only of CIMB’s cards to offer no foreign transaction fee.
If you use your credit card a lot and have an eligible annual income, the CIMB Travel World Elite card can be a faster way to earn rewards - plus you’ll get 12x airport lounge passes to make your travel more comfortable. Redeem rewards on flights and hotel stays, or when shopping with a variety of merchants. The annual fee is high but can be waived if you spend 240,000 MYR/year with the card.
If you drive, the CIMB Petronas Visa Infinite-i Credit Card⁵ can be a good way to get extra cash rebates when you fill up with Petronas - plus there are cash rebates on other spending too.
The CIMB Petronas Visa is an Islamic card option which comes with great cash rebates, particularly if you’ll use your card to fill up when driving. There’s no annual fee to pay, and you can get cash rebates on most eligible spending, including when you spend overseas. There’s also the option of some free airport lounge access when you’re travelling.
The CIMB Cash Rebate Platinum Mastercard⁶ is a popular all rounder from CIMB, with no annual fee, relatively low income requirements, and a good cash rebate offer.
The CIMB Cash Rebate Platinum Mastercard has up to 5% cash rebate on spending with no annual fee to worry about, which can make this a good pick if you’re looking for a card that rewards you for spending with few extra fees. To achieve the highest cash back available you’ll need to use your card fairly regularly and have a 3,000 MYR or more statement value monthly.
For higher reward earning potential when you’re overseas, the CIMB Travel World Credit Card⁷ could be a good pick.
The CIMB Travel World Credit Card has an annual fee which can be waived or reduced depending on how much you use your card, and comes with up to 8x rewards when you travel. Local spending offers 2x rewards, so you’ll still get benefits when you spend at home - and all rewards can be redeemed against flights and hotel stays as well as spending with partner merchants.
Bring the Wise card - the most international debit card in the world - along with you when travelling or shopping abroad
If you’d rather not worry about interest costs or late fees, you may want to check out the international debit card from Wise - perfect if you’re planning on travel and looking for low cost ways to spend overseas.
While the CIMB cards we’ve profiled here can add up to 1% foreign transaction fee for overseas spending, Wise uses the mid-market exchange rate with low fees from 0.43% for currency conversion⁸. That can mean it’s cheaper to spend when you travel, and when you shop online with international retailers.
Plus, because it’s a debit card, there’s no cash advance fee when you make an ATM withdrawal. Get some fee free ATM withdrawals every month, with low fees after that, no annual costs, and no interest to worry about.
You can apply for a CIMB credit card online if you’re a Malaysian resident and have an NRIC. Here’s how to apply for a CIMB credit card:
- Open the CIMB desktop site and navigate to the credit card section
- Choose the card that suits your needs and click Apply now
- Complete the personal information requested
- Follow the prompts to upload any required documents
- Once your account is verified, your card will be posted to your home address
- CIMB credit cards
- CIMB credit card fees and charges
- CIMB Travel Platinum Credit Card
- CIMB Travel World Elite
- CIMB Petronas Visa Infinite-i Credit Card
- CIMB Cash Rebate Platinum Mastercard
- CIMB Travel World Credit Card
Sources checked on 30/06/2023
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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