Credit Cards in Malaysia
What are the benefits of comparing the best credit cards in Malaysia?
Finding the best credit card to suit your spending needs will help you get the most benefits and rewards for every RM you spend. This includes earning air miles for ever local and overseas spend, earning cash back on categories like Dining, Online Shopping, and Petrol to name a few, and earning rewards and discounts per RM spent. If you apply through our site, you'll also get exciting credit card sign-up bonuses and sign-up offers!
How does the comparison tool work?
We do the hard work for you by consolidating all the credit cards available in the market into a single site. Here at
CompareHero.my we do all the comparison work for you with the help of our quick, free, and easy comparison tool. Just fill in the requirement information and you'll find all the cards that suit your requirements within a matter of seconds. Review the various details available and select the card that suits your lifestyle needs. The credit cards included in our comparison tool are based on the most trusted financial institutions in Malaysia. We have included a wide range of banking industry leaders, who can give you the best credit card options.
What are the steps for me to find the best credit card for my needs?
You can find the best credit cards in Malaysia in less than a minute. All you need to do is go to our credit card comparison tool, and fill in the required details about your lifestyle and CompareHero.my will do the rest for you. We will compare all the credit cards that cater to your lifestyle needs and within a matter of seconds, our comparison tool will display the best options for you. Review the various features available and apply for the card that best suits your need.
What is a credit card?
A credit card is an alternative payment method for goods and service. It is essentially a type of short-term loan that is issued by a bank or financial institution; this is where the term “credit card” is from. With a credit card – in simple terms – the bank lends you money first and then you repay them in credit when it is due.
What are the different categories of credit cards you can apply through CompareHero.my?
|Types of credit cards
|Best Deals Credit Cards
||Our most popular credit cards for their exceptional rewards and features, be it the best cash back rates, the most reward points, or one that lets you earn air miles blazingly fast, start your search here.
| Cash Back Credit Cards
||Cashback credit cards convert every ringgit that you spend into lucrative cash rebates. The amount of rebate you get back depends on the cashback rate of the particular credit card.
|AirMiles Credit Cards
||AirMiles credit cards are designed to allow you to earn air miles every time you spend. These cards give you access to a loyalty program offered by airlines.
|Rewards Credit Cards
||Rewards credit cards allow you to collect and accumulate rewards points that can be traded for a range of benefits, such as vouchers and discounts.
|No Annual Fee Credit Cards
||No annual fee credit cards are exempt from being charged your usual annual fee, but be sure to read the fine print to see how long the offer is valid for and if there are any terms to this. A no annual fee credit card will results in savings as you are not required to pay this fee.
|Islamic Credit Cards
||An islamic credit card is Shariah compliant, with prohibition of gharar (overcharging) and riba (interest). Islamic credit card offers takaful coverage. Aside from that, Muslims will also have the added convenience of paying being able to pay their Zakat with an Islamic credit card.
What is a supplementary credit card?
A supplementary credit card is an additional card that is issued under a principle account holder’s name. Basically, it is a secondary card that works under the same main account, making it easy to consolidate all payments under a single account, and you can also earn rewards at a faster rate. A supplementary card is usually given to a family member for emergencies; the supplementary card holder does not need to fulfil any requirements aside from being at least 18 years old.
When do I use a credit card?
As a credit card works similar to having a short-term loan, it is ideal as a substitute for cash to spend on your daily goods or services, such as your groceries or clothing. It is also ideal for slightly more expensive purchases such as a laptop or an expensive timepiece, as carrying a large amount of cash can be very dangerous.
There is a limit as to how much you can spend on a credit card, however. This limit is decided by the bank based on your credit history and monthly income and differs from person to person. Do keep in mind that you must pay the credit card by the outstanding due dates or you will be charged interest.
A credit card is not a good solution for long-term financing because of its high-interest rates. In fact, it can be one of the more expensive options as some credit cards charge an interest rate of 18% p.a., the highest in the market. Instead, a personal loan would be a better option for long-term financing with interest from as low as 5%.
Credit card interest rates differ between banks and type of credit card. It may fluctuate based on your repayments too; if you pay in a timely manner, you’ll be rewarded with a lower interest rate. Your credit score can also impact the interest rate offered to you. Typically, the healthier your credit score, the lower the interest rate. In Malaysia, you can obtain a copy of your credit report from CCRIS or CTOS.
What is a credit limit?
A credit limit is the maximum spending limit that is applied to your credit card when you apply for one. The credit limit is determined by two factors: your credit history and your monthly income. In Malaysia, cardholders earning RM36,000 or less per year have a credit limit that doesn’t exceed two times their monthly salary; those earning RM36,000 and above has their credit limit determined at the bank’s discretion.
What is the difference between a credit card and a debit card?
The main difference between a credit card and debit card is where the money is from when making a payment or purchase.
|Comparison of Credit Card & Debit Card
- Allows you to spend borrowed money and repay later
- Has a credit limit
- Isn’t linked to your bank account
- Allows for instalment payments
- Directly linked to your bank account (current or savings)
- You can only spend money you have in your account
- Money spent is directly deducted from your bank account
Why do I need a Credit Card?
While a credit card can pile on your debts, it is a very useful tool that can bring a lot of benefits through its features. You must be disciplined and keep in mind that you have to make repayments at the due date responsibly.
- Safer than cash
- Enjoy protection on some purchases such as flight insurance
- Enjoy benefits such as reward programmes and points, cashback and rebates, airmiles, and exclusive discounts and promotions with retail transactions at selected outlets, restaurants, and services. Get more out of your retail spending!
- 0% interest instalment plans (over several months) for more expensive purchases, such as a computer or a smartphone
- Helps to build credit score; important when applying for other financial services such as a car loan
How do Credit Cards work?
When you make a purchase with a credit card, be it through an online portal or swipe at the payment terminal in a brick-and-mortar shop, the payment process goes through a process with several parties in the back. It will be a simple and near-instantaneous experience for you, however.
Typically, there are five parties involved in a credit card transaction:
|Parties involved in a typical credit card transaction
||You or any other authorised person (like your spouse or children whom you’ve given supplementary cards to) who can use the credit card to make purchases
| Card Issuer
||Institutions, such as banks and consumer finance companies, that issue credit cards
|Credit Card Network
||Organisations that set up the payment ecosystem and act as the middlemen between merchant acquirers and card issuers (like Visa, MasterCard and American Express)
||Institutions, often banks, which process credit card transactions for merchants using a POS terminal
||Retailers, restaurants and e-commerce sites around the world that allow credit cards as a form of payment
The Pros & Cons of a Credit Card
Like many things in the world, the credit card is not without its ups and downs. It is very important that you understand the pros and cons of a credit card. When managed correctly, the credit card brings a lot of benefits and rewards, but if mismanaged, the credit card can be an instrument that leads to high debt.
|The Advantages of Credit Card
- Speed and Efficiency: A credit card is extremely easy to carry around and paying with one is quick and seamless, often requiring nothing more than a swipe or tap on the payment terminal.
- Protection: Credit card providers usually offer their customers protection on purchases made with their card. A purchase protection plan typically offers coverage against theft or accidental damage. Coverage varies between providers.
- Buy Now, Pay Later: For times when you need to make an expensive purchase and can’t afford to pay for all of it in one go or during those really limited sale periods, credit cards are a great solution.
- Instalment Plans: With features such as the Easy Payment Plan (EPP), you can break down your expensive purchases into monthly repayments with 0% interest (varies among providers). If you miss the payment deadline, then you’ll have to pay either a penalty fee or have the full interest added to your outstanding balance at the end of every month.
- Earn Benefits while you Spend: Making purchases with a credit card can allow you to rake in rewards such as cashback, reward points, and air miles.
- Emergency Cash: If, for some reason, you are unable to withdraw cash from the ATM or your debit card isn’t working, a credit card can be used for advance withdrawals.
- Good for your Credit Score: Using the credit card in a responsible manner can help build your healthy credit score, which is then used to determine your application eligibility for other financial products and services.
|The Disadvantages of Credit Card
- The Debt Trap: It’s all fun when you’re swiping and tapping your credit card everywhere that It’s easy to forget you’re spending borrowed money. It’s especially easier to forget because you’re not parting from physical cash. Keep track of how much you’re using your credit card so you don’t build up an outstanding you can’t pay.
- Hidden Charges and Fees: A credit card may come with other “hidden” chargers and fees such as an annual fee, late-payment fee, and even penalty fees for exceeding your credit limit.
- Expensive cash advance: Cash advancement on a credit card is often for an emergency and should be treated as one. The interest rate for advance cash withdrawals are high, between 17-18% and you can get charged a transaction fee.
- Can be bad for your credit score: It is only bad if you are unable to manage your credit card repayments responsibly, such as missing out on payments or not paying the full amount due.
- Fraud and Scams: A credit card is susceptible to fraud and scams, even with safety and security features to protect your account and the card. It is very important that you do not simply divulge your credit card information to anyone.
Credit Card Charges and Fees
A credit card has several different types of fees and charges. Some of these depends on what you use the credit card for and some may be just be a general fee. Here are some of the most common fees and charges.
|Fees and charges associated with the use of a credit card
||The credit card annual fee is a fee that is charged yearly for the privilege of owning a credit card. Not all credit cards have an annual fee, however. Some cards may also waive the fee depending on how much you spend.
|Cash advance fee
||The interest rate charge for a cash advance withdrawal can go up to 18%; there is a one-time transaction fee for the cash withdrawal too.
|International ATM withdrawal fee
||You will be charged a one-time transaction fee as well as the bank’s currency rates – typically higher than the usual.
|Balance Transfers fees
||When transferring balances to another credit card, you will be charged 0% to 5% on the total amount as transfer fees.
||A fee is charged when you miss out on a monthly repayment; this fee is either a flat rate or a percentage on the totally repayment, whichever is higher.
What are interest rates and how is it calculated?
Interest is a charge applied by banks for lending you money. It is calculated as a percentage of your outstanding balance. The rate is determined by the bank upon review of your credit history and other factors in your application; it is usually between 8% to 18%. The better your credit score, the lower your interest rate. A healthy credit score demonstrates that you are in a healthy financial position and it is less risky for the bank to approve your application, therefore charging you a lower interest rate.
Applying for a Credit Card
How do I apply for a credit card in Malaysia?
It is very important to understand what you want a credit card for. There are many different credit cards out there that have different benefits and features that may fit different lifestyles. You can use a credit card comparison tool like our very own to help you out. Just fill in the required details and the tool can automatically draw up the suggested credit cards for your needs. Make sure you read all the little details about the card such as the charges and fees, benefits, interest rates, and most importantly, if you meet the minimum requirements.
- Check your Credit Score
Your credit score is what banks will mostly use to determine if you can get a card. There are various credit scoring agencies that can provide you with a credit scoring report such as CTOS, CCRIS, and RAMCI. If you have a healthy credit score, then you should be easily approved for a credit card.
- Understand you may not get the rates advertised online
The rates you see online may not necessarily be the rates you’ll receive when you apply for a credit card. This is because the bank determines the final rates of everything based on each individual’s financial profile.
- Apply online or at a bank branch
Once you’ve determine the right credit card to get, you can either apply online on our website or in-person at a bank branch. An online application is generally much faster and more convenient. If you are applying online on our website, you will need to fill in the form after you click on “Apply Now”
|If you are walking into a bank branch, you will need to provide several documents such as:
- Copy of your identification Card
- Latest 3 months payslip
- Latest 6 months savings account activity statements
- (Varies between different banks)
Types of Credit Cards in Malaysia
There are several different type of credit cards in Malaysia, but they are generally in these few main types:
|Types of credit cards in Malaysia
||Cashback credit cards do what their name suggests, they give you cash back. For every amount you spend, a percentage of that will be returned to you, either on a monthly or quarterly basis. There is also usually a maximum cap amount which varies between banks.
||Reward credit cards let you earn rewards points for every ringgit you spend. Some bank-partnered merchants may even offer 2x to 5x the amount of points when you shop with them, and some may give you higher points if you shop during the weekends too. The points can then be redeemed for gifts or shopping vouchers with the bank.
||Petrol credit cards give you petrol benefits with the partnered petrol companies. You can earn rebates and cashback when purchasing fuel and even get discounts.
||For the frequent flyers, an air miles credit card earn the cardholder air miles when they purchase tickets with the travel credit card. These air miles points can then be converted into flight tickets. These travel cards may also give discounts, special flight packages, and even travel insurance.
||Premium credit cards come with a lot of premium services such as a personalized concierge service, along with dining and lounge privileges. However, these credit cards are typically very expensive and have high income requirements.
|Miscellaneous or Specialty cards
||These are credit cards that partner with certain brands and shops, such as getting special ticket promotions at GSC or at TGV, and getting more in-store points with certain anchor tenants.
Keep in mind that most credit cards today have a combination of several types, usually rewards and cashback.
What are the best credit cards to get?
By now, you must be asking "what is the best credit card for me?" Here are some of our recommendations:
Can't find what you're looking for? Read our article to find out the best credit cards in Malaysia