CIMB Travel Platinum card review - Is the $0 annual fee in Malaysia too good to be true?

Nicholas Chia

The CIMB Travel Platinum credit card1 doesn’t have any annual fee to pay, and lets customers earn reward points on pretty much all local and overseas spending. There’s a pretty impressive selection of CIMB Travel Platinum credit card points redemption options including buying air miles with 11 different carriers, or booking a hotel stay.

To help you decide if this is the card for you, we’ll walk through the benefits you’ll get, and also a few drawbacks such as the CIMB credit card overseas transaction fee that applies on foreign currency spending. Plus, we’ll also touch on an alternative - the Wise debit card - as a comparison if you’re looking for a card with no ongoing charges and no foreign transaction fees2.

Table of contents


What is the CIMB Travel Platinum credit card?

The CIMB Travel Platinum credit card has no annual fee and a reasonably low annual income requirement, which makes it a strong option for customers looking to earn rewards without ongoing and unavoidable fees to worry about. As there’s no annual fee to pay, it could also be a good choice for people who want a card as a back up, for occasional use or when other payment methods aren’t available.

Whenever you use your CIMB Travel Platinum credit card, you’ll be able to earn rewards, which can vary depending on the spending category. Rewards can be redeemed for flights, hotel stays, or for online shopping. Card holders also unlock a few other great benefits including Mastercard concierge support and some free airport transfers. Depending on how you use your card, you may also qualify for CIMB Travel Platinum credit card lounge access up to 4 times a year. All you’ll need to do is present your card, boarding pass and passport at an eligible lounge to start your trip in style.

It’s important to note that some of the benefits of this card do depend on you spending a minimum amount in a given period of time. It’s important to check through the reward scheme details carefully before you sign up, so you can see how the card may work for your spending habits. Here’s a quick summary of the card key features and fees3:

EligibilityPrincipal cardholder must have a minimum income of at least 24,000 MYR annually
Annual feeNo annual fee
Interest rate15% - 18% depending on card usage and payment patterns
Foreign currency transaction fee1% fee added to the exchange rate set by Mastercard
ATM withdrawal fee (cash advance transaction)2 MYR ATM fee + 5% cash advance fee (minimum 15 MYR per transaction) + interest at 18%

🌎 Enjoy low, transparent fees and free ATM withdrawals with the world's most international debit card

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CIMB Travel Platinum card benefits

The CIMB Travel Platinum card has no annual fee to pay and a fairly low minimum income requirement, making it an accessible card for many customers. Whenever you spend, you’ll be able to get a range of benefits as well as the opportunity to earn reward points.

We’ll look at how reward earning and redemption works in detail next - here’s a quick rundown of the key perks you can get in addition to earning reward points as you spend:

  • Complimentary travel insurance
  • CIMB and Mastercard privileges and deals
  • In flight wifi and data roaming packages
  • Mastercard concierge service
  • Some hotel promotions which can even include free stays
  • Airport lounge access
  • Airport transfers with Grab

As we’ve mentioned, some of these perks are only available if you spend above a set amount with your card on a monthly, quarterly or annual basis - so do read all the details carefully before you get signed up.

Earning CIMB Bonus Points

If you’re looking for a credit card you can use to earn rewards as you spend, the rate at which you can accumulate points is important. The CIMB Travel Platinum credit card has different reward earning opportunities depending on the spending category. Some caps also apply to the number of points you can earn in one category within a given period.

Here are the headline reward point earning categories:

Spending categoryRewards multiplier
  • Local Spend
  • 2x rewards per MYR
  • Overseas Spend (Foreign currency)
  • Airlines
  • Duty free spending
  • 5x rewards per MYR
  • Local education
  • Local insurance
  • Local utilities
  • 1x rewards per MYR

    One important point to note is that foreign transaction fees apply when you spend in a foreign currency. That means that while you earn more reward points as you spend overseas with the Travel Platinum Mastercard from CIMB, you’ll also pay an extra charge of 1% which is added to the exchange rate used to convert your spending back to ringgit.

    You’ll need to review the potential costs carefully to see if it’s worthwhile for you - compare it with an alternative like the Wise international debit card which doesn’t use a foreign transaction fee, to see which is the better fit based on your personal spending patterns.

    CIMB Bonus Points redemption

    Once you have CIMB reward points in your account you’re free to redeem them. CIMB has an impressive list of redemption options, including ways to trade your points for airmiles and hotel stays4. You can also use your points to shop online from an extensive catalogue, or to pay with selected merchants5.

    If you’re thinking of using your CIMB card for airmiles and hotel stays, you’ll be able to redeem your points with any of 11 different airlines and 3 different hotel chains, such as:

    • AirAsia
    • Malaysia Airlines
    • British Airways
    • Etihad Airways
    • Emirates
    • Cathay Pacific
    • IHG hotels
    • Marriott Bonvoy hotels
    • Accor hotels

    Rates of redemption do vary depending on the specific partner you pick, but you’ll basically trade your CIMB reward points for airmiles with the airline you prefer, or hotel reward points, which can be switched for flights and nights through the provider’s own scheme.

    🔎 See how the CIMB Travel Platinum card compares to other CIMB credit cards in Malaysia

    Forget about hidden fees - Remember to bring along the Wise card when you travel

    If you’re looking for a low cost way to spend internationally, you may find adding a debit card to your wallet is a smart plan. For a flexible, cheap and easy option, take a look at the Wise card.

    The Wise card is an international debit card you can use in 150+ countries, with mid-market rate currency conversion wherever you spend in foreign currencies. There’s no annual fee to pay, and no interest to worry about. Just top up your account in MYR and convert to the currency you need in advance or when you pay.

    You can use your Wise account to hold and exchange 40+ currencies, get paid in a selection of currencies by others, and to send money to 150+ countries with fees from as low as 0.43%. Plus, you can make 2 free withdrawals of up to 1000 MYR a month to make sure you have cash in your pocket when you need it.

    Sign up for your Wise card today 💳


    Whether or not the CIMB Travel Platinum credit card is right for you will depend on your personal preferences including how you’d like to redeem rewards. It’s a pretty low cost option as a credit card, as it has no annual fee - but the overseas spending costs do ramp up, including a foreign transaction charge of 1% and more fees when you need an ATM. Consider keeping your credit card for occasional local use - and getting a Wise international debit card as an alternative you can use when you’re overseas, to avoid extra charges and make your money go further.


    1. CIMB Travel Platinum credit card
    2. Pricing/fees: Please see Terms of Use for your region or visit Wise Fees & Pricing for the most up to date pricing and fee information
    3. CIMB credit card fees
    4. CIMB points redemption
    5. CIMB Member rewards

    *Please see terms of use and product availability for your region or visit Wise fees and pricing for the most up to date pricing and fee information.

    This publication is provided for general information purposes and does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from Wise Payments Limited or its subsidiaries and its affiliates, and it is not intended as a substitute for obtaining advice from a financial advisor or any other professional.

    We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether expressed or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.

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