CIMB Travel World Elite card review - Is this Malaysia’s most flexible miles card?

Nicholas Chia

The CIMB Travel World Elite credit card1 has recently been voted in industry awards as the best credit card for affluent clients - deemed to be customers with 70,000 USD or more of investments under management. With a CIMB Travel World Elite card, you can earn rewards on spending and then redeem them with a broad range of partners including airlines and hotel chains.

This guide walks through how the Travel World Elite Mastercard benefits work, and who this card is best for. Plus, we’ll also touch on an alternative - the Wise debit card - which is great for managing overseas spending without needing to worry about interest charges or foreign transaction fees2.

Table of contents


What is the CIMB Travel World Elite credit card?

To qualify for the CIMB Travel World Elite Mastercard, you’ll need an annual salary of 250,000 MYR or more. There’s also an annual fee of 1,215.09 MYR, although you may qualify to have some or all of this fee waived, depending on your spending patterns.

The Travel World Elite card has a heavy focus on travel and lifestyle benefits, offering high reward earning opportunities on international and travel spend, and lots of ways to redeem your bonus points for trips abroad. Reward points can also be used to shop online, to trade for vouchers or for spending with partner merchants, making this an extremely flexible rewards card. You’ll also benefit from CIMB Travel World Elite lounge access up to 12 times a year, so you can make sure your trips start in style, and some complimentary travel insurance just in case anything goes wrong while you’re away.

Overall this makes it a card which could be great for high net worth individuals and people who travel frequently and want to unlock extra benefits with their rewards credit card.

We’ll look in more detail at the CIMB Travel World Elite Mastercard benefits and how you can redeem points earned in a moment - first, here’s a summary of the key features and fees you’ll want to know about if you’re considering this card3.

EligibilityPrincipal cardholder must have a minimum income of at least 250,000 MYR annually
Annual fee1,215.09 MYR
Interest rate15% - 18% depending on card usage and payment patterns
Foreign currency transaction feeWaived for Travel World Elite Card holders - 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 World Elite card benefits

The main advantage of using the CIMB Travel World Elite card is that you can earn bonus points which can be redeemed for travel, hotel stays, and more. However, that’s not the only benefit on offer. You could also get:

  • No foreign transaction fee when spending abroad
  • Complimentary travel insurance
  • CIMB and Mastercard exclusive deals and promotions
  • In flight wifi and data roaming packages
  • Free hotel stays and promotional prices for other trips

While terms and conditions do apply, there are some impressive offers available such as a free night in a hotel and Mastercard treats including concierge service, ways to book airport transport and similar perks. Benefits generally have a travel and lifestyle theme - but you can also choose to redeem your points for online shopping for example if you’d prefer.

Earning CIMB Bonus Points

When you spend with your CIMB Travel World Elite credit card, you’ll earn reward points which vary depending on the category of spending. Here’s the rundown:

Spending categoryRewards multiplier
  • Local Spend
  • 2x rewards per MYR
  • Overseas Spend (Foreign currency)
  • Airlines
  • Duty free spending
  • 10x rewards per MYR
  • Local education
  • Local insurance
  • Local utilities
  • 1x rewards per MYR

    As you can see, the opportunity to earn rewards really ramps up when you travel. Overseas spending in a foreign currency, spending on flights and in the duty free store come with 10x rewards, which can boost your totals significantly. However, it’s important to remember that spending internationally can include a few extra fees, such as a mark up on the exchange rate used by Mastercard to convert your spending back to MYR, and cash advance fees if you use your card in an ATM. It’s important to check all these charges carefully before you start to spend, and weigh up the costs against the benefits you’ll get in terms of reward points.

    CIMB Bonus Points redemption

    The CIMB Travel World Elite card allows you to redeem your reward points in a broad variety of ways. CIMB partners with 11 airlines and 3 hotel chains, for example - including4:

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

    If you want to use your reward points to book travel or hotel stays you’ll be able to trade your CIMB rewards for airmiles with the specific airline, or rewards from the hotel chain, which all have their own conversion rates.

    Other options include using your points to buy items online from a digital catalogue which covers categories like health and lifestyle, home essentials and vouchers. Or, if you’ve got something specific in mind you can just trade the points for their cash value to pay in part or full with participating retailers5.

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

    Travel with the Wise card - To avoid hidden fees and maximise your overseas spending

    The CIMB Travel World Elite credit card has some great features and a pretty staggering range of ways to redeem your reward points. However, it also comes with a pretty high minimum salary and annual fee - so it’s not the right pick for everyone.

    One great alternative - particularly if you want ways to bring down your overseas spending - is the Wise card. The Wise card is an international debit card rather than a credit card, which means no restrictive eligibility requirements and no annual fee. You can use your card in 150+ countries, with mid-market rate currency conversion wherever you spend in foreign currencies.

    Wise accounts can be used to hold and exchange 40+ currencies, so all you need to do is add money in MYR and convert to the currency you need in advance or when you pay. 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 💳


    While spending on a credit card when you travel is convenient, it can also be pretty expensive - particularly if you run into interest charges and costs for ATM use. As well as your credit card, why not order a Wise debit card for overseas spending, to allow you to skip foreign transaction fees and get the mid-market exchange rate on your spending. See if you could save with a low cost, flexible international debit card from Wise.

    1. CIMB Travel World Elite
    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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