Grab a credit card that gives you better rewards & more!

How to Apply Credit Cards for Foreigners / Expats in Malaysia

If you’re a foreigner or an expat who’s looking to get a credit card in Malaysia, you need to apply for one after considering all eligibility requirements. Although getting approval for a credit card might be a little difficult for you as a non-Malaysian citizen, it isn’t an impossible task.

By following a proper channel of application and with a complete set of valid documents as specified by the bank, you can get a credit card within a few days. Here’s everything you need to know about applying for a credit card if you’re a foreigner in Malaysia.

Some banks in Malaysia offer credit cards to expatriates. Some banks insist on having a savings account or a fixed deposit with a specified amount to approve such cards. The application process for such cards is similar to other cards except that a few additional documents are required. You need to provide proof of your valid passport, visa and working permit of sufficient validity to apply for such cards.

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.

Eligibility Criteria and Documents Required for a Foreigner

The qualifying criteria for a foreigner to get a credit card are similar to that of a Malaysian resident barring some variations in income limits and document requirements.

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Age Criteria: Minimum 21 years old.
  • Income criteria: The minimum annual income requirement for an expat depends on the credit card they are opting for. While some banks such as Maybank specify a minimum income requirement of RM60,000 a year, banks such as HSBC have a minimum monthly income requirement of RM10,000.

Documents Required:

  • Copy of valid passport.
  • Valid work permit or letter of employment (stating the duration of the employment) from your employer.
  • Bank details that include your account statements for previous 3 to 6 months (as per the bank’s requirements).
  • Latest salary slips for 3 to 6 months (as per the bank’s requirements).
  • Copy of Business Registration Certificate (as a self-employed applicant).
  • Income-tax payment receipts.
  • Any other document as requested by a bank.

Here are the Best Credit Cards for Foreigners in Malaysia 2018

Updated on 4th December 2018

Card Name
Rewards
Welcome Bonus
Annual Fee
Know More

3x Timeless Bonus Points (TBP) for every RM1 spent on overseas purchases.

2x TBP for every RM1 spent on petrol and grocery purchases, and payment of utility bills.

Air miles redemption/p>

Enrich Miles

6000 TBP = 1000 Enrich Miles.

AirAsia BIG Points (valid only for Alliance Bank VISA Platinum Credit Card).

3000 TBP = 1000 BIG Points.

Principal card: RM438 p.a.

Annual fee waived when you spend a minimum of RM5,000 or swipe your card 12 times in a year.

Supplementary card: annual fee waived for life.

8x Reward Points on overseas purchases and online transactions made in foreign currency.

5x Reward Points on online transactions made in local currency and purchases at selected local malls.

Complimentary access to Plaza Premium Lounge.

Principal card: RM600 p.a.

Supplementary card: RM300 p.a.

2x Citi Rewards Points on overseas purchases.

1x Citi Rewards Points on local transactions.

Complimentary travel insurance coverage.

Unlimited complimentary access to airports across selected countries.

Principal card: RM1,000 p.a.

Supplementary card: waived for life without any condition.

Up to 2x TreatsPoints on local transactions.

Up to 5x TreatsPoints on overseas purchases.

Air miles redemption

4,770 TreatsPoints = 1,000 Enrich Miles.

Complimentary travel insurance coverage.

Annual fee waived for the first year.

For subsequent years, annual fee for principal car: RM800.

5% cashback on entertainment and departmental stores transactions.

1x VIP Point for all other local retail spends.

2x VIP Points for all other overseas retail spends.

Air miles redemption

7,000 VIP Points = 1,000 Enrich Miles.

Principal card: No charges.

Supplementary card: No charges

5% cashback on the AEON BiG Thank you Member Day.

5% cashback for petrol purchases on Sundays.

5% cashback at AEON BiG Stores when you use Visa payWave.

2% cashback for online and overseas purchases.

4 AEON BiG Member Points on the 10th of every month.

2 AEON BiG Member Points for every RM1 spent at AEON BiG Stores.

1 AEON BiG Member Point for every RM2 spent locally and overseas.

4,500 AEON BiG Member Points = JMB Miles (Japan Airlines)

Principal card: RM30.

Supplementary card: RM20.

1x Rewards Point for every RM10 spent on retail purchases.

None

Principal card: No charges.

Supplementary card: No charges.

*Effective 1 September 2018, Sales and Services Tax (SST) of RM25 will be imposed on all the cards.

Alliance Bank Platinum Card

This card offers Timeless Rewards Points (TBP) on all local and overseas retail transactions. You also get to enjoy exclusive discounts and offers at all participating merchants.

Key Benefits:

  • Earn 3x TBP for every RM1 you spend on overseas retail purchases.
  • Get 2x TBP for every RM1 spent on grocery, petrol, and payment of utility bills.
  • Redeem TBP for Enrich Miles or AirAsia BIG Points (applicable for Visa cardholders only).
Additional Points Description
How to Use It
  • Make your local and overseas purchases using this card.
  • Earn reward points on all your retail transactions.
  • Convert your reward points to enjoy discounts on your flight tickets.
Good about It
  • Get 1x TBP for every RM1 you spend on all other domestic retail transactions.
  • Spend a minimum of RM5,000 per year or make at least 12 transactions with your card to have the annual fee waived off.
  • Enjoy Instalment Payment Plan at 0% profit rate.
  • Get unlimited access to Plaza Premium Lounge at Kuala Lumpur International Airport.
  • Timeless Bonus Points do not expire.
Keep in Mind
  • Minimum income requirement for this card is RM60,000 p.a.
  • Remember that this card does not offer travel insurance coverage.
  • TBP not awarded on government transactions.

Who Should Get It:

  • Those who prefer to use their card to make day-to-day retail transactions.
  • Those who are looking for a card that allows you to redeem reward points for air miles.

What You’ll Need to Apply

  • Copy of a valid passport.
  • Latest 3 months payslip.
  • Latest bank statements showing salary crediting for 3 months or latest EPF statement.

HSBC Visa Signature Credit Card

This card from HSBC offers reward points on local and overseas transactions. You can also earn rewards when you shop at your favourite online store.

Key Benefits:

  • Get 8x Reward Points when you shop online and make the payment in foreign currency.
  • Get 8x Reward Points on overseas purchases.
  • Earn 5x Reward Points on online purchases made in local currency.
  • Earn 5x Reward Points when you shop at selected malls in Malaysia.
Additional Points Description
How to Use It
  • Use this card to pay for your purchases when you shop online or at selected local malls.
  • Earn Reward Points on both local and overseas spend.
  • You can redeem your points for shopping vouchers, gifts, selected merchandise, and more.
Good about It
  • Earn 1x Reward Points on payment of utility bills.
  • Enjoy exclusive privileges with the HSBC home&Away and SmartPrivileges programmes.
  • Convert your big-ticket purchases into convenient monthly instalments with the balance conversion feature.
  • Have immediate access to funds with the cash advance feature.
  • Enjoy 0% interest on balance transfer plan for 6 months.
  • Complimentary access to Plaza Premium Lounge in selected countries until 31 December 2018.
Keep in Mind
  • The minimum income requirement to be eligible for this card is RM72,000 p.a.
  • You have to pay upfront interest of 3% on balance transfer plan.
  • There is a cap of 15,000 Reward Points that you can earn under each spend category.
  • Reward Points that you can earn on local spends is limited to participating malls.

Who Should Get It:

  • Those who prefer to use their card to make local and overseas purchases.
  • Those who use their card to shop online.

Documents Required for Application

  • Copy of passport showing personal details and work permit with at least one year validity.
  • Letter of confirmation from employer stating position, duration of employment, and remuneration.
  • Latest month pay slip.
  • Applicant must be working for a multinational or a public listed company, or a government/ semi-government organisation. HSBC corporate lending employers are also eligible to apply.
  • Minimum monthly income must be RM10,000.

Citi Prestige Card

The Citi Prestige Card not only rewards you for local and overseas purchases, you can also enjoy a variety of travel-related benefits. As a Citi Prestige cardholder, you get access to exclusive privileges.

Key Benefits:

  • Get 1 Citi Rewards Point for every RM1 you spend on local transactions.
  • Earn 2 Citi Rewards Points for every RM1 spent on overseas purchases.
  • Get complimentary travel insurance coverage of up to USD1 million when you use this card to buy your ticket.
  • Get unlimited complimentary access to airport lounges across the world.
Additional Points Description
How to Use It
  • Pay for your local retail transactions and overseas transactions with this card.
  • Convert your points into air miles.
  • Redeem the points you collect for gifts or merchandise.
Good about It
  • You get 250,000 Citi Rewards Points when you apply for this card.
  • You don’t have to pay any cash advance fee, over-limit fee or late payment fee.
  • Use this card to get access to Citi Prestige Priority Line.
  • The Citi Reward Points are valid for life and there is no cap on the points you can earn.
  • Earn relationship bonus points on your annual spends.
  • Get a free night stay at a hotel of your choice with a minimum 4-consecutive-night stay.
  • Get a free ride to your destination from KLIA.
Keep in Mind
  • To enjoy the free night stay, you need to book your hotel via Citi Prestige Concierge
  • To enjoy the free airport transfer from KLIA, you need to swipe your card thrice overseas.

Who Should Get It:

  • Those who use their card to pay for travel expenses.

Documents Required for Application

  • Copy of passport.
  • Latest 2 months pay slip.
  • Copy of work permit. The permit has to be valid for a minimum of one year.
  • Letter of employment.

Maybank Visa Infinite

Card Name
Rewards
Welcome Bonus
Annual Fee
Know More

Up to 2x TreatsPoints on local transactions.

Up to 5x TreatsPoints on overseas purchases.

Air miles redemption

4,770 TreatsPoints = 1,000 Enrich Miles.

Complimentary travel insurance coverage.

Annual fee waived for the first year.

For subsequent years, annual fee for principal car: RM800.

The Maybank Visa Infinite Card allows you to earn reward points while offering exclusive travel privileges. Enjoy benefits like complimentary green fees at golf clubs, access to airport lounges, and more.

Key Benefits:

  • Earn 5 TreatsPoints for every RM1 you spend on overseas purchases.
  • Get up to 2 TreatsPoints for every Ringgit you spend locally.
  • Enjoy complimentary travel insurance coverage of up to RM2 million.
  • Convert your TreatsPoints into air miles. 4770 TreatsPoints = 1,000 air miles.
Additional Points Description
How to Use It
  • Pay for your local and overseas purchases with this card.
  • Earn reward points on the transactions you make, including payment of utility bills.
  • Convert your TreatsPoints into Enrich Miles for Malaysia Airlines, KrisFlyer Miles (Singapore Airlines) or Asia Miles.
Good about It
  • Earn 10,000 TreatsPoints when you activate your card.
  • Earn 1x TreatsPoints on payment of utility bills, insurance premiums, and more.
  • Enjoy complimentary green fees at selected golf clubs until 31 December 2018.
  • Enjoy 5x complimentary access at all Plaza Premium Lounges in Malaysia until 31 December 2018.
  • Get up to 50% off your food bill at all SPG Hotels & Resorts in Malaysia.
Keep in Mind
  • TreatsPoints are valid for 3 years.
  • You are eligible for the complimentary travel insurance coverage only when you use your card to buy your flight tickets.
  • No TreatsPoints are awarded on transactions made at government bodies.
  • The minimum income required to be eligible for this card is RM120,000 p.a.

Documents Required for Application

  • Letter from employer confirming duration of employment contract in Malaysia.

PB Quantum Visa Credit Card

Card Name
Rewards
Welcome Bonus
Annual Fee
Know More

5% cashback on entertainment and departmental stores transactions.

1x VIP Point for all other local retail spends.

2x VIP Points for all other overseas retail spends.

Air miles redemption

7,000 VIP Points = 1,000 Enrich Miles.

Principal card: No charges.

Supplementary card: No charges

If you are looking for a card that offers cashback for entertainment transactions, you can opt for PB Quantum Visa Credit Card. You also get rewards in the form of VIP Points when you carry out other retail transactions.

Key Benefits:

  • Earn 5% cashback on entertainment and departmental stores transactions.
  • Get 1x VIP Point for all other local retail spends and 2x VIP Points for all other overseas retail spends.
  • Make contactless payment using Visa PayPass at all outlets that have contactless-enabled readers.
  • Use the World Help Desk for 24/7 assistance.
  • Use the Flexi-Payment Plan to enjoy interest-free transactions for all purchases worth RM1,200 and above.
Additional Points Description
How to Use It
  • Use your PB Quantum Visa Credit Card when you carry out entertainment and departmental store transactions to earn cashback.
  • Shop using your card and earn VIP Points.
  • Redeem the accumulated VIP Points on air miles as well as a range of exclusive items and gift vouchers.
Good about It
  • Both the principal and supplementary cardholders can have this card free for life, without any conditions attached.
  • The minimum income requirement of this card is just RM36,000 p.a.
Keep in Mind
  • The cashback comes with a cap of M30 per monthly statement cycle.
  • VIP Points are valid for a period of three years.
  • You won’t earn any VIP Points for petrol purchases, government-related payments, casino transactions, and charity payments.

Who Should Get it:

  • Those who go for movies and concerts.
  • Those who shop at departmental stores.

What You’ll Need to Apply

  • Last 3 months’ salary slips.
  • Latest 1 year Notice of Assessment/Form IR8A/Form IR8E (for Singapore only).
  • Salary deposits account reflecting the last three months of salary crediting (for Brunei only).
  • Employment letter confirming employment.

AEON BiG Visa Classic Card

AEON BiG Visa Classic Card is ideal for those who shop regularly at AEON BiG Stores. You get cashback and rewards when you shop at any AEON BiG Stores on particular days. The following are some of the features and benefits of the card.

Key Benefits:

  • Earn 4 AEON BiG Member Points on the 10th day of every month when you shop at AEON BiG Stores.
  • Earn 2 AEON BiG Member Points for every RM1 spent at AEON BiG Stores.
  • Earn 1 AEON BiG Member Point for every RM2 spent on all other local purchases and overseas transactions.
  • Get 5% cashback when you carry out petrol transactions on Sundays.
  • Get 5% cashback on the AEON BiG Thank you Member Day on the 28th day of every month.
  • Use Visa payWave and get 5% cashback at AEON BiG Stores.
  • Get 2% cashback for online and overseas purchases.
  • Get deals and offers on dining and shopping from participating partner outlets.
  • Make contactless transactions using the Visa payWave facility at any contactless-enabled POS.
  • Use the Instalment Payment Plan facility to shop for selected items from 0% interest from participating partner outlets.
  • Get instant cash when you use the AEON iCash Personal Financing Scheme.
  • The card comes with an optional Touch 'n Go Zing card. This card can be used for toll rebates and discounts.
Additional Points Description
How to Use It
  • Use your card to shop at AEON BiG Stores and for other retail transactions to earn cashback.
  • Use your AEON BiG Visa Classic card to carry out retail transactions locally and overseas to get AEON BiG Member Points.
  • You can redeem your accumulated AEON BiG Member Points on a range of lifestyle items, air miles, and vouchers.
  • You also have the option to convert your AEON BiG Member Points into cashback. The cashback can be used whenever you shop at any AEON BiG Stores in Malaysia.
Good about It
  • The minimum income requirement of this card is just RM24,000 p.a.
  • The annual fee of the card is waived for the first year.
Keep in Mind
  • The 5% cash rebate earned on AEON BiG Thank You Day is capped at RM100 per month.
  • The 5% cash rebate earned for Visa payWave purchases is capped at RM25 per month.
  • The 2% cash rebate earned on overseas and online purchases are capped at RM25 per month.

Who Should Get it:

  • Those who shop at AEON BiG Stores regularly.
  • Those who want to increase their savings.

What You’ll Need to Apply

  • 1 copy of your IC.
  • Passport and visa.
  • Latest 6 months’ salary slips.
  • Pension slip from Japan (latest 6 months).
  • Bank statement in Malaysia with a minimum balance or fixed deposit of RM150,000.

Bank Rakyat Gold Credit Card-i

Card Name
Rewards
Welcome Bonus
Annual Fee
Know More

1x Rewards Point for every RM10 spent on retail purchases.

None

Principal card: No charges.

Supplementary card: No charges.

Bank Rakyat Gold Credit Card-i offers rewards when you carry out retail transactions locally and overseas. This card comes with low-profit rates. Also, no markup rates will be charged for overseas transactions.

Key Benefits:

  • Get 1x Rewards Point for every RM10 spent on retail transactions.
  • Enjoy free takaful coverage against death and total and permanent disability.
  • Enjoy low-profit rates with the card. (13% for members of Rakyat shares and 13.5% for non-members of Rakyat shares).
  • This card comes with 0% markup rate when you carry out overseas transactions.
  • There are no processing fees and no penalties for full settlement.
  • Both the principal and supplementary cardholders get an annual fee waiver.
  • Get 0.5% profit rebate for the first three years you enrol for auto debit facility.
  • Get 1% profit rebates the first two years and 1.5% profit rebates the third year for being a good paymaster.
  • Get 0.5% profit rebate for the first year and 1% profit rebate for the second and third year when you apply for other Bank Rakyat financing facilities.
Additional Points Description
How to Use It
  • Use your card for any domestic and overseas retail purchases to earn Reward Points.
  • Redeem the accumulated Rewards Points for a range of lifestyle products.
  • You can also redeem the Rewards Points for cash (RM0.10 = 10 rewards points).
Good about It
  • You get complimentary takaful coverage that will take care of the outstanding balance if the unexpected happens to you.
  • This card is free for life with no conditions attached.
Keep in Mind
  • The financing limit of the card starts from RM8,000 to RM19,000.
  • The minimum income requirement of the card is RM36,000 p.a.

Who Should Get it:

  • Those who have or want to open a savings account with Bank Rakyat.

What You’ll Need to Apply

  • 1 copy of Bank Rakyat Saving Account-i.
  • 1 copy of contract confirmation letter from employer.

Conclusion

When you’re in a new country for work, you’ll most definitely need all the help you can possibly get to ease your way in. With digital payment options becoming the norm rather than an exception, a convenient-to-use and rewarding payment option is the need of the hour.

On these lines, credit cards have the potential to be just what you need and can help make payments a hassle-free experience. So, if you’re a foreigner looking to get a credit card in Malaysia, this list of the best cards is something you should consider.

BBazaar's Best Foreigner Credit Cards of 2018

Use this guide to compare and choose the card that is best suited to you. Make sure you read all terms and conditions pertaining to the card before opting for one. Identify your preferred spending category and budget to pick a card that will meet your financial needs. This table below will explain the categories that each individual card is ideal for. Utilize this table when comparing cards to choose the best card for yourself.


Credit Card Rewards
Alliance Bank Platinum Card

3x Timeless Bonus Points (TBP) for every RM1 spent on overseas purchases.

2x TBP for every RM1 spent on petrol and grocery purchases, and payment of utility bills.

HSBC Visa Signature Credit Card

8x Reward Points on overseas purchases and online transactions made in foreign currency.

5x Reward Points on online transactions made in local currency and purchases at selected local malls.

Citi Prestige Card

2x Citi Rewards Points on overseas purchases.

1x Citi Rewards Points on local transactions.

Maybank Visa Infinite

Up to 2x TreatsPoints on local transactions

Up to 5x TreatsPoints on overseas purchases.

PB Quantum Visa Credit Card

5% cashback on entertainment and departmental stores transactions.

1x VIP Point for all other local retail spends.

2x VIP Points for all other overseas retail spends.

AEON BiG Visa Classic Card

5% cashback on the AEON BiG Thank you Member Day.

5% cashback for petrol purchases on Sundays.

5% cashback at AEON BiG Stores when you use Visa payWave.

2% cashback for online and overseas purchases.

4 AEON BiG Member Points on the 10th of every month.

2 AEON BiG Member Points for every RM1 spent at AEON BiG Stores.

1 AEON BiG Member Point for every RM2 spent locally and overseas

Bank Rakyat Gold Credit Card-i

1x Rewards Point for every RM10 spent on retail purchases.

*Effective 1 September 2018, Sales and Services Tax (SST) of RM25 will be imposed on all the cards.

How to Choose the Best Credit Card for Foreigners

As banks impose varying requirements for expats and foreigners, check for the eligibility requirements and required documents before you apply for a card. Compare different cards to check the benefits and privileges of each card. Choose a card that suits your lifestyle and budget needs in Malaysia.

If you want to know about cards in different categories, then read the best credit cards in Malaysia for more information.

Ways to Apply For a Credit Card

  • Online application: You can go to the bank’s official website and apply for a credit card. All you have to do is download the card application form and submit it to the nearest branch after filling out all the necessary information. Now, make sure that you have all the mandatory documents and send them to the bank (via mail, fax, or manually) to initiate further processing of your application.
  • Offline Application: Drop by the nearest branch of your bank and fill out the credit card application form. Submit all the essential documents to the bank officials.

Things to Consider When You’re Applying for a Credit Card

  • Make sure that your visa is valid for at least a year while making an application.
  • Some banks may need you to have their debit card before approving your credit card request.
  • To improve your chances of getting a credit card, build a healthy relationship with the bank. Open a current or savings account (CASA) with the bank with which you are considering to apply for a credit card. Additionally, open a fixed deposit account with the bank which will lessen the (payback) risk factor.
  • Show all your income and not just applicable income to boost your chances of getting a credit card. The more you earn, the better your chances of paying the credit card dues, and a bank will consider this while granting you a card.
  • Apply for a ‘beginner’ credit card and then go on upgrading it later. Chances are that a low-limit card might get a quicker approval than a higher limit one.
  • Try to visit the bank personally to make an application. You can boost your chances of getting a credit card by personally talking to a bank representative and convince them about your worthiness. On the other hand, you may not get an ‘on the spot’ opportunity to improve your application or provide any additional supporting document while going through an online method.
  • Don’t call your bank repeatedly to check your application status. The bank requires a certain amount of time to evaluate every application.
  • Don’t apply to multiple banks at the same time. This may affect your application negatively as the banks might consider you to be too desperate to get a card.

There’s no point in getting discouraged if your credit card application gets rejected. Keep in mind that every bank has its own set of requirements and evaluation process. While your application may be rejected by one bank, you can end up getting a credit card from another bank.

But, if you check your eligibility for a card beforehand, satisfy all the requirements, and follow the right steps to apply, the chances of your application getting rejected are minimal.

Looking for More

Pick Up the Other Best Credit Card Category You May Like

reTH65gcmBgCJ7k
This Page is BLOCKED as it is using Iframes.