• How to Apply Credit Cards for Foreigners / Expats in Malaysia

    Being a foreigner or an expat, applying for a credit card in any foreign country could be quite strenuous, and Malaysia is not an exception. Any bank will check twice before offering a credit card to a person who has no local ties with the country. Therefore, you have to follow a lengthy application procedure and be patient while applying for the credit card as foreigner.

    How to Apply for Credit Cards in Malaysia for Foreigners

    Steps to Apply Credit Card as Foreigners

    1. Visit the bank where you intend to apply for a credit card. Study their policies and rules about the credit card for expats.
    2. Fill a credit card application form of the bank. Before filing the application, check if you require to possess a debit card of the same bank as some banks need the expat applicant to obtain their debit card before allowing him/her a credit card.
    3. Make sure you have enough validity on your visa. The longer your visa lasts, the better. Thus a minimum validity of a year on your visa is a safe bet if you are applying a credit card. A right work permit along with copies of passport and visa are some of the important documents that could be cross checked at the time of application.
    4. Income criteria is one of the most important factors while applying for a credit card. For a foreigner, the required income limit is higher than a Malaysian citizen. Check out this benchmark before sending your application.
    5. Be patient once you have filed your application. For a bank, it takes around 15 days to reject or accept an application to the bank.
    6. Even though there are no fixed criteria for a foreigner apply credit card in Malaysia, the banks generally approve the applications that they feel are of minimum risk. Thus, if the basic necessities like visa validity and income limit have been taken care of, you can hope for a positive outcome.

    Documentation Requirements to Apply

    • Passport Copy
    • Working Permit/Visa
    • Last 6 Months Bank Accounts Statement
    • Business registration forms,
    • Income proof (bank statements)
    • Income tax returns statements
    • Letter of Appointment/Offer Letter
    • Proof of Residence


    • Do not call the bank’s customer care repeatedly or write e-mails to the bank. Most of the times, the outcome is not fruitful and you will end up getting only auto-fed answers. This will add to your frustration, hence waiting for the official reply from the bank is an ideal choice to make. If you do not get any official response within the span of a couple of weeks, then follow up with your bank.
    • Stick to one bank while applying for the credit card. Mainly because the banks have your data stored and if you are already a customer, they know your transaction records and spending patterns. If you are a good spender and not an offender, this will help you in getting the credit card more easily. Because, as a foreigner, it is important to have a clean banking record for getting a bank’s credit card.
    • Do not apply at multiple banks for the credit cards as it will end up complicating the process for you. You do not want to look credit-hungry and hence applying to only one bank of your choice will always get you more chances.
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