What is a Credit Card?
A credit card is a financial tool with a present credit limit that is used by the cardholder to make payments for products and services. Credit cards are issued by various banks and financial institutions in Malaysia to creditworthy customers. In addition to making payments for your purchases, credit cards can also be used for borrowing loans, cash withdrawal, and balance transfers.
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- Supplementary Credit Cards in Malaysia
- When to Use Credit over Cash
- Shed the Excess Interest Rates
- Protecting One’s Credit Card While Travelling
- Defaulting Your Credit Card Bills in Malaysia?
- Top 5 Reasons Why Owning a Credit Card is Good for You
- How to improve your chances of having a credit card approved
- Credit Card fraud: Are you aware of it?
- Understand Credit Card interest free period
- Reward Credit cards Malaysia
How to use Credit Card?
As a cardholder, you will be given a line of credit by the card issuer to pay for your purchases, and by the month end, you will have to repay the amount you owe. If you fail to repay the amount you owe before the due date, then the card issuer will charge a penalty fee in the form of interest on the outstanding balance on your credit card. It is advisable to repay your credit dues on time to improve your credit score and to retain a low credit interest rate on your card.
Key Features of Credit Cards
Before applying for a credit card, it is important that you find out all that is there to know about credit cards. Equipping yourself with sufficient knowledge of credit cards will enable you to choose a suitable credit card from a reliable card issuer in Malaysia. Listed below are the features of a credit card:
- Credit Card Limit: Credit cards come with a present credit limit. The credit limit is decided by the card issuer depending on the creditworthiness of the cardholder. Cardholders who are prompt with their monthly kad kredit payments will have a better credit score and are eligible for a higher credit limit. As for those who make delayed payments, or worse, fail to make payments, their credit score will be affected and their credit limit will be low.
- Annual Fee: The card issuer will charge an annual fee for the use of your credit card. The annual fee is decided by the credit card companies. As a promotional gig to attract new customers, some credit card companies may offer annual fee waiver for the first year.
- Credit Card Interest Rate:Based on your credit score, the card issuer will charge a monthly interest rate on the amount you have borrowed on your kad kredit. Individuals with bad credit score will be offered a higher interest rate. Make your credit card payments on or before the due date to improve your credit score.
- Grace Period: The cardholder will be given a grace period within which he or she has to pay their credit card bill without incurring any interest or late charges. Cardholders can make full or partial payments to retain a good credit score. A minimum payment towards your kad kredit bill every month will ensure you don’t default on your credit dues.
- Additional Charges: Cardholders will have to pay additional fees on add-on services provided by the card issuer. You will be charged additional fees for delayed payments, an issue of replacement or supplementary credit cards, and cash withdrawals using credit cards.
- Rewards and Discounts: Cardholders will earn reward points on every transaction made using their credit cards. Reward points can be redeemed for gift vouchers or cash. You will also get discounts on food bills, movie tickets, drinks, and more. Some credit card companies offer exclusive deals to loyal customers with higher credit limit such as VIP access to golf clubs and complimentary yacht hire.
- Balance Transfer Facility: Credit card companies give you the option to transfer your outstanding debt from one credit card to another. Usually, the balance transfer is made from a credit card with a high interest rate to a credit card with a low interest rate. This way, the cardholder can save money on interest payments. The cardholder will be charged a fee for balance transfer. Before opting for a balance transfer, make sure you compare the transfer fees and interest rates of various credit cards.
- Cancellation Charge: As a cardholder, you have the right to cancel your credit card under various circumstances. However, you will have to pay a cancellation charge for services rendered by the card issuer. You can cancel a kad kredit if you are unhappy with the credit limit, can’t pay your dues or decided to transfer the outstanding balance on the existing card to another credit card.
- Credit Card Statements: The card issuer will send you monthly statements of your credit card transactions. Make sure to carefully go through the statement and correct errors, if any.
Benefits of Credit Cards
Credit cards are handy payment tools with several benefits enjoyed by the cardholder. In addition to instant payments, listed below are the other benefits of using a credit card:
- Cashless transactions: Credit cards facilitate cashless transactions that are easier to keep track of by the merchants and the consumers.
- Payment anywhere at any time: You can use your credit card for payment of goods and services anywhere in the world. You don’t have to worry about currency exchange when shopping, traveling or dining outside Malaysia.
- Positive credit score: Credit cards can be used to open a credit profile. A good or bad credit score depends on the spending and payment patterns of the cardholder. Make sure not to exceed your credit limit or default on your credit card bill payments.
- Save money: You can transfer the outstanding balance on one credit card to another with zero interest rates in order to save money on interest payments.
- Rewards and discounts: Earn reward points, cash rebates, discount offers, and exclusive deals on shopping, dining, travel, and entertainment on all transactions using your credit card.
- Multiple uses: You can use your kad kredit for making payments, cash withdrawal, balance transfer, and borrowing loans.
Types of Credit Cards in Malaysia
Depending on your spending pattern and financial requirement, choose a kad kredit that will cater to your specific needs. Credit card companies have come up with different types of credit cards to meet the various needs of their customers. Following are the different categories of credit cards available in Malaysia:
- Cashback Credit Cards: A small percentage of your total spend using a cashback credit card will be credited back to your account in the form of cash.
- Reward Credit Cards: Earn reward points on every transaction made using this type of credit card. Reward points can be redeemed later on for cash, vouchers, or gifts.
- Low Interest Credit Cards: Those who carry an outstanding balance on their card month after month, can benefit from opting for a low interest credit card. Because of the low credit interest rate, you will not have to make huge interest payments every month.
- Premium Credit Cards: For individuals leading a luxury lifestyle, premium credit cards offer exclusive deals on fine dining, entertainment, golfing, and more.
- Balance Transfer Credit Cards: You can transfer your outstanding balance from a high interest credit card to a zero or low interest card in order to avoid making huge interest payments on your dues.
- Shopping Credit Cards: If you love shopping, then you will definitely benefit from using a shopping credit card as it offers excellent discounts at many merchant outlets.
- Travel Credit Cards: Get discounted air tickets and seat upgrades using the miles earned on a travel credit card.
- Dining Credit Cards: Get exclusive deals at fine dining restaurants, hotels, cafes, and fast food joints.
- Petrol Credit Cards: Earn reward points or cashback on fuel spend using petrol credit cards.
- Student Credit Cards: This type of credit card is designed specifically to meet a student’s needs.
- Business Credit Cards: You can pay for business related expenditures using this type of credit card.
- Insurance Credit Cards: This type of credit card offers insurance coverage to the cardholder.
- Islamic Banking Credit Cards: This type of credit card is issued to those who wish to make financial transactions based on the Islamic banking laws.
Visa and MasterCard are 2 types of payment methods used by credit card companies around the world. They have similar payment processes but offer different levels of reward programs and deals on shopping, travel, dining, and entertainment. Visa and MasterCard are accepted by almost all merchant outlets in the world.
Compare Top Bank Credit Cards in Malaysia
Always compare the interest rates, reward schemes, and additional features of different credit cards before choosing the one that best serves your individual financial needs. Listed below are top bank credit cards available in Malaysia:
|Credit card||Interest Rate (p.a.)||Reward Schemes||Additional Features|
|CIMB Credit Cards||15% to 18%||Get cashback up to 5% on every retail spend, and exciting deals at partner outlets.||Balance transfer facility, cash withdrawals, and supplementary cards.|
|Maybank Credit Cards||8.88% to 15%||Get weekend cashback and reward points on every spend.||No annual fee, balance transfer facility.|
|UOB Credit Cards||15%||Enjoy travel benefits, cashback, and reward points on every spend.||Balance transfer at a low interest rate.|
|Citibank Credit Cards||18%||Get redeemable air miles, and deals on fuel and air tickets.||Balance transfer facility.|
|HSBC Credit Cards||9% to 15%||Get discounts and reward points on every spend.||Exciting offers for new customers. Islamic credit cards issued.|
|AmBank Credit Cards||15%||Exclusive access and deals at various restaurants and golf clubs, and reward points on every spend.||Islamic credit cards issued.|
|Public Bank Credit Cards||15%||Discounts at partner outlets, reward points, and cashback on every dining, groceries, shopping, and petrol spend.||Balance transfer facility.|
|Hong Leong Credit Cards||15%||Travel insurance, deals on movie tickets, and reward points.||Cash advance and balance transfer facilities.|
|RHB Credit Cards||15%||Access to premium airport lounges, spa passes, tour bookings, travel insurance, and more.||Cash withdrawal facility.|
|Standard Chartered Credit Cards||15%||Get up to 10% cashback, exclusive services at restaurants and golf clubs, and amazing deals on dining, travel, and shopping.||Balance transfer facility.|
How to calculate EMI for credit cards?
Credit card EMIs are similar to that of loan EMIs. There are 2 types of EMIs for credit cards:
- Zero interest rate EMI: You have to only pay the principal amount over a period of time on credit cards with zero interest rate. If you had bought a product worth RM24, 000, then you have to make an EMI of RM2, 000 per month over a period of 1 year.
- Low interest rate EMI: You have to pay the principal amount and a monthly interest every month on credit cards with a low interest rate.
Credit Card Calculator
Credit card calculators are a useful internet tool that can help you arrive at the correct amount you will be required to pay to settle your kad kredit dues. Different calculators are available online that helps you plan your credit card payments well.
Read More on Credit Card Calculator: Credit Card Calculator
Documents Required for Credit Card Application
To apply for a credit card in Malaysia, you have to provide relevant ID proof, address proof, and other relevant documents.
- Salaried individuals have to provide a copy of their MyKad (both sides), previous 3 months’ payslips, last 3 months’ bank statements, or EPF statements.
- Self-employed individuals have to provide a copy of their MyKad (both sides) and the latest Borang B/BE with LHDN acknowledgement.
Credit Card Eligibility
Any individual above 21 years of age with an annual income and a good credit score can apply for a credit card in Malaysia. If your annual income is less than RM36, 000 then you will be issued up to 2 credit cards with a credit limit of up to 2 times your income. There is no limit on the number of cards issued to individuals with annual income above RM36, 000. The credit limit for those individuals will be decided by the card issuer. A service tax of RM50 will be charged per principal card and RM25 per supplementary card.
Credit Card Application Checklist
Any individual applying for a credit card should be over 21 years of age, have a minimum annual income, and a good credit score as expected by the card issuer. You will have to fill up a credit card application form and furnish the necessary documents as proof of your identity, address, and income.
For salaried individuals:
- A copy of your MyKad (both sides)
- Previous 3 months’ payslips
- Last 3 months’ bank statements or EPF statements.
For self-employed individuals:
- A copy of your MyKad (both sides)
- The latest Borang B/BE with LHDN acknowledgement
Credit Card interest Rate in Malaysia
Before choosing a credit card, it is imperative that you compare credit card interest rates across different cards issued by various card issuers to get the best possible deal. If you want to avoid paying a high interest on your outstanding balance every month, then opt for credit cards with low interest rates. If you would like to earn rewards points and enjoy exclusive deals on shopping, travel, dining, and entertainment, then opt for credit cards with high interest rates. Currently, Citibank, Standard Chartered Bank, Alliance Bank, Affinbank, and Maybank are offering the lowest credit card interest rate of 8.88% to 9% p.a. in Malaysia. The highest credit card interest rate is 15% to 18% p.a.
Supplementary Cards in Malaysia
The primary credit card issued to a cardholder is called the principal card. A supplementary credit card can be issued to the family members of the principal or primary cardholder on request. You can apply online for supplementary cards. Some banks don’t charge a fee for issuing supplementary credit cards. The transactions made using the supplementary cards will come under the same account as the primary credit card. The credit limit can be split between the primary credit card and the supplementary credit cards.
How to Apply for Credit Card in Malaysia?
Identify your spending pattern and financial requirements, choose a credit deal that best suits your needs, and then apply for the chosen credit card. You can visit the card issuer’s official website to apply online for the card or visit one of the bank branches. Fill out the online application form and upload the necessary documents. If your application is approved, you will receive your credit card in 2 days. The approval or rejection of your application depends on your credit score.
The Difference between Credit Card and Debit Card
Credit card and Debit cards are finance tools used to make payments for the purchase of goods and services. However, they are 2 different types of payment instruments with varying features, benefits, and uses.
|Credit Card||Debit Card|
|Credit cards can be used for making payments, cash withdrawal, borrowing loans, and balance transfer.||Debit cards can be used for making payments and cash withdrawal alone.|
|The card issuers provide the cardholders with a line of credit at their discretion. You can borrow up to the present credit limit to make payments.||Cardholders use the money that they have deposited in their bank account to make payments.|
|Earn reward points, exclusive deals, discounts, and cashback on every transaction made using your credit card.||Earn reward points on debit card payments that can be redeemed for cash or vouchers.|
|Individuals with minimum annual income and a good credit score can apply for a credit card but the approval or rejection is at the discretion of the card issuer.||Any individual with a bank savings account is eligible for a debit card.|
How to upgrade to a New Credit Card?
If you are unhappy with the credit limit, reward schemes or interest rate on your existing credit card then you can upgrade it to a new credit card. No matter what your reason for upgrading, you will be charged a upgradation fee by the card issuers. Your credit report will be pulled by the card issuer in the case of opening a new credit card account. If it is only upgradation, then the card provider will have no reason to pull your credit report. You can upgrade your kad kredit online, contact the bank customer care, or visit the nearest bank branch. Some banks offer upgrading bonus on your new credit card.
VISA Credit Card V/s Master Credit Card
The bank you choose for your credit card is definitely important and perhaps the most important but when it comes to acceptance and the type of card you choose perhaps you might have to give it a run of analysis between VIsa and MasterCard. Bigger the name of banks such as Citi, HSBC, Maybank the more perks to expect but when you are looking for a good network or the added advantages you might want to take a look at the major distinguishing features of MasterCard and VISA credit cards.
Major Differences of VISA and MasterCards
|VISA has two levels of reward credit cards which are popularly known as the VISA regulars and VISA Signature cards. Most of the regular ones come with extended purchase warranties, emergency helplines, and purchase based points rewards programs, discount and offers. The Signature cards come with extensive benefits such as dining and retail privileges, takaful coverage, travel insurance, air miles rewards programs and even round the clock and globe concierge service. You also have access to great places of entertainment such as golf clubs and even amusement parks, if that is your thing.||MasterCard however, is a little different. It has a wide variety and infact has a 3 level benefit program for the plastic cards that they offer. It includes the base level which we are all acquainted with and is similar to VISA regular, but there is also a World card and World Elite card levels. World and World Elite is a division with similar privileges that is offered by Visa Signature cards.|
MasterCard’s Price Protection Advantage: This is something simplistic but might sound a little confusing to some. In the case of circumstances where you buy a product and the price changes to a lower amount, Mastercard will cover the difference. However, it is essential that this is done by Visa cards to only under the discretion of the bank.
Mastercard and Visa Acceptance: The network of goods and services that both this card provides is almost the same. However, there are preferential differences. Also, MasterCard and Visa acceptance numbers are based on the country if you are traveling abroad. Lucky for most, both are now accepted everywhere, where credit cards are accepted.
But if you want to have an absolute assurance of acceptance, it is a good idea to own both, because you never know where Visa is accepted and Mastercard is not, especially if you are frequent traveller.
Credit Card FAQ’s
How to avoid late payment penalty?
Pay your credit card bill in full on or before the due date. If you are facing a cash crunch then make a monthly minimum payment toward your credit card bill to avoid late payment penalty.
What to do if your card is stolen or lost?
Intimate the card issuer of the loss or theft of your credit card immediately by calling the customer care number or submitting a written confirmation.
What is the credit card limit in Malaysia?
Individuals with annual income below RM36, 000 will be issued up to 2 credit cards with a credit limit of up to 2 times the income. Individuals with annual income above RM36, 000 don’t have a limit on the number of cards issued to them. The credit limit on their cards will be decided by the card issuer.
How to apply for a credit card in Malaysia?
Compare the interest rates and reward points offered on different credit cards and choose the one that best suits your financial needs. Visit the bank’s official website, fill out an online application form, and upload the necessary documents or go to the nearest branch of the bank to apply for a credit card.
What are the type of credit cards?
Based on the customer’s needs, card issuers offer different types of credit cards such as:
- Cashback credit cards
- Reward points credit cards
- Dining credit cards
- Shopping credit cards
- Petrol credit cards
- Travel credit cards
- Low interest rate credit cards
- Student credit cards
- Business credit cards
- Islamic credit cards
What is balance transfer facility?
Cardholders can transfer their outstanding balance from high interest rate credit cards to low or zero interest rate credit cards in order to save money on interest payments. You will have to pay a balance transfer fee though.
What reward schemes does a credit card offer?
You will earn reward points, cash rebates, and discounts on every shopping, dining, travel, and entertainment spend made using your credit card. Reward points can be redeemed for cash, gifts or vouchers.
How to Report a Lost or Stolen Credit Card?
If your credit card is lost or stolen, intimate the card provider immediately to prevent misuse of the card. You will be responsible for any transactions made on your card until the time of intimation. You will not be held responsible for any transactions made using your credit card after the time of intimation. You can call the card issuer’s customer care centre to report the loss or theft of your card, or provide a written confirmation.
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News About Credit Card
2 million cardholders have not yet upgraded to new PIN cards
Bank Negara Malaysia wants the people who haven’t upgraded their cards to PIN cards to do so immediately. Only the PIN enabled cards can be used for transactions from July. There are 2 million cardholders who have yet to replace their cards. A total of 24.5 million have replaced their cards up to March. 99.6% of the POS terminals have been moved up to accept only PIN-enabled cards. The PIN-based cards are introduced to enhance the security of the cards.
19th April 2017
Cardholders need to start using PIN
To resolve the teething issues, the cardholder in Malaysia need to start using their PIN for completing a transaction. The migration to PIN-based cards is expected to complete within the next two months. The migration from signature based cards to PIN-based cards is being done so that economic efficiency and productivity is achieved. The Central Bank is also targeting to reduce the cheque transaction by half in 2020. The BNM has issued a framework to address the misrepresentations and to make sure the cost of accepting card payments is reasonable and fair.
18th January 2017
ABM wants bank customers to take replacement debit cards
Association of Banks in Malaysia (ABM) wants customers of various banks to collect their replacement cards from the bank branches. They cannot be mailed to cardholders like credit cards as debit card collection needs MyKad identification.
Banks have been informing customers to replace their old debit cards through many ways such as messages on ATM screens, SMS and emails, and advertisements in different media.
ABM has also mentioned that banks in Eastern Malaysia are stretching their hours of operation and are working on weekends to activate the new PIN-enabled cards. From July 1, 2017, transactions can be made in Malaysia only with cards that have a PIN.
23rd December 2016
Banks are urging cardholder to switch to PIN-enabled cards
Banks are urging all the cardholders to switch to new PIN-enabled cards at the earliest. Card payments without PIN will not be allowed in Malaysia. The main reason for this change was to align Malaysia with the global practices for card use and to improve the security of the cards. All the cards that support signature will be replaced with the new PIN-enabled cards. If you haven’t received the new cards, you should contact your credit or debit card issuer to issue them at the earliest. Using PIN is convenient, faster, and more secured when compared to using a signature.
21st December 2016
A fraction of credit cardholders declared bankrupt
Out of 3.6 million credit cardholders, only 1,022 have been declared bankrupt for failing to clear off the debts. The majority of them were aged 45 and above. 10 of them were between 21 and 30 years. Ministry has set up credit counseling and debt management agency to help people manage their finances properly. To stem out the problem of bankruptcy, Bank Negara has introduced several conditions to issue credit cards and to ensure that the credit card facility is given to those who are eligible. According to the guidelines, financial products are to be given out based on the eligibility to repay and without being burdened with excessive debts.
30th November 2016
Malaysian Banks to implement PIN for Credit Cards
In 2017, Malaysia would start executing the use of Personal Identification Number (PIN) to authorize any credit card transactions. The decision of implementing PIN for credit card transactions has been taken to protect credit card users from fraud. In the recent days, Malaysia has witnessed rise in the number of credit cards fraud. This shift from signature to use of PIN is an initiative taken by all banks across the world to protect credit card users from theft.
As set by Bank Negara, almost 39 million customers including credit card holders would get new PIN enabled card by January 2017. Already, this migration from signature card to PIN cards has been implemented in European countries like New Zealand, Canada, and Australia. Without having PIN, consumers cannot use their credit cards in those counties. However, banks in Malaysia need to educate consumers more about how to use 6 digit and 4 digit PINs before implementing this Personal Identification Number.
21st June 2016
PIN verification To Be Alternative for Credit & Debit card Signatures
Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) has announced its plan of replacement of the signature-based identification system for payments through credit and debit cards with PIN or personal identification number enhance security, according to a report released by The Star.
The plan is already in action, and the target date for going completely dependent on PIN is January 2017. This also means that all the existing credit card holders will be receiving their new credit cards in batches. The existing number in Malaysia for credit card users is 8 million.
The remaining card users who use debit cards are 31 million in number in Malaysia. Will have to go to their own banks to receive their new cards in person. Hence, fraudsters no longer will be able to use the card if lost or stolen as long as the PIN is not known to the fraudulent party.
16th June 2016
GrabCar launched in Penang
Ride sharing app GrabCar launched in Penang. The payment can be made with cash and credit card. GrabCar is offering 2 free rides that are worth RM25 each for the users from George Town to Penang International Airport. Users can use the promo code- ‘Hellograbcar’ to avail the free ride. The fare begins at RM1 and the charges per kilometre is RM1.30.
The fare is not time-based, but a minimum payment of RM5 is charged for all GrabCar rides. The app features round-the-clock customer service and a panic button to call the nearest police operations centre. Location can also be shared via GPS.
Although there was increase in operating costs, it was mitigated with an increase in Net Income which stood at RM 14.1 Million. The profits prior to tax stood at RM 199.8 Million as compared to the pre-tax profit of RM 269.8 Million recorded one year ago.
31st May 2016
Malaysia’s household debt stands at RM1.03 trillion
Malaysia’s household debt stood at 89.1% of the gross domestic product. Deputy Finance Minister, Datuk Chua Tee Yong said that 62.6% of the household debt remained in long term loan from banks and nonbanking financial institutions for acquisition of property and financial investment. He also said that several measures were implemented to curb the rise in the household debt, which decreased the debt growth to 6.5%.
He said that the credit card debt was not the main reason why individuals went bankrupt. He said that the banks will approve applications for credit cards who qualify and the approval rate is 50% - 60%. He is keen on educating individuals on spending habits and financial management to keep the household debt low.
31st May 2016
Cash test card unveiled by BNM for the visually impaired
Bank Negara Malaysia will be soon distributing Ringgit Cash Test Cards with the help of Welfare Development to allow visually impaired to identify denominations of banknotes and coins. The card is made of plastic and is designed with braille markings to denote denominations.
The device was unveiled at the BNM awareness programme for insurance companies and banks. The programme was held in order to enhance awareness on the needs of people with disability. The programme was promoted for companies to provide disabled-friendly services and facilities.
18th May 2016