Best Cashback Credit Cards in Malaysia

Best Cashback Credit Cards in Malaysia



No one is unfamiliar with credit cards. Banks issue a plethora of types every other month. While credit cards are undeniably versatile and an important tool to have for some, in this current economic backlash – attributed in large part to credit debt and credit crunch in the United States – it is important to know how to use credit wisely. One way to essentially reduce your spending is to make your usual purchases using cash back credit cards that can earn you RM100′s and even RM1,000′s per year!

Looking to Apply for a Credit Card?

If you are already looking for a card, see which one earns you the most cashback using our Cashback Credit Card Comparison Tool!

What is a Cashback Credit Card?

A cashback credit card is quite simply a credit card that gives rebates in cash. Instead of giving you rewards for spending with your card via treat points and freebies, the bank will give you a cold hard cash rebate. For example, if a cashback card has a cashback rate of 5%, when you pay for something worth RM200 with the card it gives you a rebate of RM10 and the final price you have paid would be RM190.
On first glance, this sounds quite rosy, considering most Malaysians love a good discount. However, cashback cards may not be the right type of credit card for you…

Are Cashback Credit Cards right for me?

Can you afford to repay your credit card in full every month? If so then cashback credit cards are the way forward, if you are the type who carries a credit balance on to the next month and are only able to make minimum/partial payments, we’d advice you against cash back cards. This is because whatever benefits you get from cash back becomes totally nil thanks to the amount of interest you have to pay back to the banks. Rather than saving money, you could end up spending more. For anyone with spending problems it would be better to obtain a 0% spending credit card or at least one with low interest rates if they wanted to cut down on interest costs.

IF YOU ARE USING A CASHBACK CREDIT CARD ALWAYS PAY OFF YOUR BALANCE IN FULL EVERY MONTH

Fees for withdrawals and balance transfers are also technically higher for cash back credit cards compared to normal cards, so it would inadvisable to use a cash back credit card for these functions. To find out what kind of credit card best suits your needs, see our Which Credit Card is Right for you? article.
The overall cash back options is still limited compared to overseas banks in UK or US, with not many banks offering cash backs benefiting large spenders. However there are options that help to increase savings, especially on basic necessities. Remember that you should not be focusing on the interest rate or balance transfer rate on cashback cards, if you use the card correctly these should not come into consideration at all.

The Top Cashback Credit Cards in Malaysia

Hong Leong Wise Credit CardDrawbacks: Only receipts of RM50 and above contribute towards cashback eligibility

Cashback: 10% on Mobile, Groceries, Utilities, Book Stores, Pharmacies, Dining, Departmental, Petrol, Travel, Entertainment
Paid Out: Monthly
Max cashback: RM100 monthly
Principal Card Annual Fee: Platinum: RM300, Gold: RM160 (First year annual fee is waived).
Supplementary Card Annual Fee: RM150, Gold: RM80
Rate: 15%-18% (should not matter if card is used properly!)
Card Issuer: VISA
Min. income: RM36,000 p.a (RM3,000 per month)
Service Tax: RM50.00
For the full Terms and Conditions, click here.
h9ngleong wise card
Apply Now

Highlights

Hong Leong Wise Credit Card offers one of the leading cashback credit cards in the market. The headline story is 10% cashback everyday which is true, as its not just tied to weekend spending. The cashback rate is highly competitive but it also offers one of the highest cashback limits per month at RM100. Let’s look at the card in more detail to see how you can really maximise this card.

Benefits of the Credit Card

The Wise Credit Card gives you the choice to earn cashback on 2 out of 10 categories that best suits your lifestyle at 10% cashback on all categories making things simple. They currently also offer the Mobile cashback category as as free bonus category which means you actually can earn from 3 categories. The 10 categories are below:
CategoryMerchants/Merchant Category Code (MCC)
MobileMaxis, Celcom, DiGi, U Mobile, YES
PharmaciesGuardian, Watsons, Caring, Eu Yan Sang outlets
GroceriesAll grocery stores (MCC 5411)
PetrolAll petrol stations (MCC 5542)
DiningAll dining outlets (MCC 5811, 5812, 5814)
DepartmentalParkson, AEON, Isetan, Metrojaya, Robinsons, Tangs, GAMA and Sogo outlets
Book StoresMPH, Popular, Borders, Kinokuniya, Times, Smart and BookXcess stores
UtilitiesElectricity and Water (MCC 4900)
EntertainmentAll cinemas (MCC 7832), Ticket Charge, Ticketpro, Red Box and Neway
TravelAll airlines (MCC 3000-3299, 4511), hotels (MCC 3501-3999, 7011), tour packages (MCC 4722, 4723)
As you can see, the credit card offers all the main monthly spending and at 10% cashback, this means you only have spend RM1,000 a month on 3 of these categories to maximise the RM100 per month. For example, we believe a high percentage of Malaysian’s could spend this much on their credit card on dining, petrol and mobile phone, especially given that it’s not an American Express Card but a Visa card that is much more widely accepted in Malaysia.

Drawbacks of the Credit Card

The card offers one of the best cashback rates in the market. However there are some conditions for earning it. To make sure you earn your RM100 each month, you must make a minimum of 10 retail transactions monthly from the categories you selected with a minimum of RM50 per transaction. For transactions below RM50, they do not contribute towards eligible spend. Therefore make sure you pump at least RM50 each time you visit the petrol station, the local grocer, your favourite restaurant etc.
For those who are still a little sketchy on how this deal works, Hong Leong Bank has provided an easy to follow, step by step diagram:
Also, try to avoid switching cashback categories for no reason because it will cost you RM10 service fee each time. Perhaps check your previous month’s spending and choose the category that you spend the most on. Obviously if you realise that you spending habits has changed, it may make sense to pay this RM10 service fee.

Our Take

We believe the Hong Leong Wise Credit Card is a great credit card for most Malaysians. Spending RM1,000 a month on your credit card is quite possible these days and earning 10% back on your spend means up to RM1,200 per year! One point to mention is you have to earn at least RM3,000 a month (RM36,000 a year) in order to qualify for the card.
Malaysian’s who make many small transactions per month may not find this useful but hey, perhaps now’s a better time than any to treat your family or friends to a nice meal on you and thus making sure it goes over the RM50 mark!
If you are looking to apply for this card, you can do so online right now by clicking here. Be aware that although Hong Leong Wise Credit Card application page gives you the option to select income between RM24,000 and RM36,000, it clearly states at the bottom that the criteria is RM36,000 annual income earners.

HSBC Amanah MPower Visa Platinum Credit Card-i 
Drawback: 8% only on weekend spending

Cashback: Tiered 5% to 8% depending on weekend monthly spend on groceries, dining and petrol; 0.5% on all other daily spending and 1% on overseas spending
Paid Out: Monthly
Max cashback: RM100 per month on petrol, dining, groceries, and unlimited for all other spend
Principal Card Annual Fee: RM240 (waived with 12x transactions a year)
Supplementary Card Annual Fee: RM120
Rate: 15-18% p.a. (should not matter if card used properly!)
Card Issuer: Visa
Min. income: RM60,000 p.a. (RM5,000 per month)
Service Tax: RM50
Apply Now

Highlights

HSBC Amanah MPower Visa Platinum Credit Card-i comes with a headline grabbing rate of 8% cashback on petrol, grocery and dining purchases. The cashback is capped at RM100 for the 8% cashback which is also one of the highest in the market. The big message to remember here is the 8% cashback is only eligible for weekend spend. Let’s take a look at the card more thoroughly.

Benefits of the Credit Card

The HSBC Amanah MPower Visa Platinum Credit Card-i offers one of the highest cashback rates available for Groceries Petrol and Dining if your monthly spend on these categories can break the RM2,000 barrier. Otherwise cashback on spend is reduced to 5% which is by no means low, but not “headline grabbing.” Nonetheless it is quite a simple card to understand and get the most benefit from.
Spend CategoriesTime of SpendSpend Amount (RM)% on CashbackTotal Cashback Received (RM)
Total300087
Petrol from ShellWeekend2508%20
Groceries at TescoWeekend4008%32
Dining a local restaurantWeekend2008%16
.....
ShoppingWeekend5000.5%2.5
Petrol from ShellWeekday1000.5%0.5
OverseasWeekday15501%15.5
.....
Another point worth mentioning is the ability to earn 0.5% and 1% unlimited cashback on other spend (including groceries, petrol and dining on weekdays) and overseas spend respectively so for those who travel often, this may be quite useful card to carry with your passport.
Supplementary card owners (maybe your son or daughter) who you have offered your generous credit facilities to can also earn cashback on your behalf.

Drawbacks of the credit card

Before you rush off to apply for this card lets take a look at its less positive aspects.
Firstly, you’ve probably been thinking whether or not you could change your spending pattern to weekends only! Now this may not be a problem for some but this can become a hindrance to those who has to change their spending pattern! You have to be disciplined and try to last the week without refilling your car or taking your date for dinner until Saturday or Sunday night.
Secondly, spending RM2,000 a month on petrol, dining and groceries may be a struggle for those who don’t travel or stay at home to eat on a normal basis. To put it into perspective, you have to spend around RM450 per weekend each month to maximise cashback at the 8% level.
Also be aware that for Petrol and Grocery spending, only spending at the merchants below will be eligible towards the monthly 8% casbhack:
Petrol : Shell, Petronas, Caltex
Groceries : Giant, Tesco, Aeon Big

Our Take

The HSBC Amanah MPower Visa Platinum Credit Card-i is a great card offering that doesn’t need you to be a rocket scientist to understand which nowadays is something to shout about. The 8% cashback is limited to only 3 categories but honestly, they do make up most of your monthly credit card expenses. We already mentioned that the card will only be suitable for weekend heavy spenders so this may not be suitable for those who just can’t avoid treating themselves out to weekly dinner outings or does more than the average travelling distance by car. However for those who can keep their spend limited until the weekend, it is one of the highest cashback offerings in the market and for those with income above at RM3,000 per month, it is an invitation to the mass market to apply here now.
If you are interested in the benefits of this credit card but can’t avoid spending on weekdays, perhaps the Hong Leong Wise Credit Card may be more suitable that offers 10% daily cashback but on only 2 categories. Otherwise use our cashback credit card comparison tool to find the best card suited to your spending!

Maybankard 2 Gold / Platinum Card (American Express only) – 5% on All Spending on Weekend
Drawback: Cashback limited to weekend spending and RM50 monthly only, issued by Amex

Cashback: 5% on Weekend spending
Paid Out: Monthly
Max cashback: RM50 monthly
Annual fee: RM0 (Lifetime)
Rate: 8.88-18% p.a. (should not matter if card used properly!)
Card Issuer: American Express + Mastercard
Min. income: RM60,000 (Platinum) / RM30,000 (Gold)
Service Tax: RM50 (principal), RM 25 (supplementary) can use TreatsPoints to offset the service tax
Go to Maybank
Big disclaimer for this product, you actually get issued 2 cards (1 Amex and 1 Mastercard) for the price of one, but we recommend keeping the Mastercard in the envelope in your desk drawer, as it is by no means a cashback credit card. The Maybankard 2 Gold Card American Express / Maybankard 2 Platinum Card American Express however, offers a market leading cashback rate of 5%, but on weekend spending only, and up to RM50 of cashback per month. Besides being a cashback card, the card also ranks highly for Rewards points (TreatsPoints in Maybank’s case), for more information please see our Rewards Points Credit Cards article.
While much more flexible in terms of types of spending than the OCBC card, the Maybankard 2 Cards only give cashback on spending during the weekends, so you may want to consider combining OCBC and Maybank to get the maximum cashback for your spending, especially if you spend more than RM1,000 a month.
Another drawback here is that the card is issued by Amex. As it tends to charge retailers more when you pay – so can afford to give you more cashback – but it’s accepted less, especially among smaller businesses.
Annual Spend (on Maybankard 2 American Express only)RM6,000RM12,000RM24,000RM36,000RM60,000RM120,000
Assume half weekday (0% cashback) and half weekend spending (5% cashback)
Yearly Cashback (assume Annual Fee waived, GST at RM50/year)RM100RM250RM550RM550RM550RM550

UOB One Card – RM50 one-time cashback upon approval, 5% on Petrol, GSC; 2% Groceries, Pharmaceuticals, Telcos; 0.3% othersDrawback: lower rate on Groceries/Telco, limits on Petrol/Groceries/Telco cashback

Cashback: 5% Petrol & GSC Cinema; 2% Groceries, Pharmaceuticals & Telecommunication; 0.3% other purchases
Paid Out: Monthly
Max cashback: Monthly limit for – Groceries: RM30; Petrol: RM25; Telecommunications: RM6
Annual fee: RM168, but RM0 if card is used 12x per year
Rate: 15-18% p.a. (should not matter if card used properly!)
Card Issuer: Visa
Min. income: RM24,000 p.a (RM2,000 per month)
Service Tax: RM50, can use cashback to offset the service tax
Go to UOB
While both this card and Citibank’s Platinum card below covers all the basic necessities and gives large cash rebates for these essential spending on petrol and groceries, what we like about UOB’s One Card is the Smart$ Cash programme, which runs on a cashpoints system. When you use UOB’s One Card at participating outlets, you can get up to 10% cash points. These 1000 outlets include San Francisco Coffee, GSC, Delicious, Sushi King, Harvey Norman, BHPetrol and Firefly. These accumulated cash points can be used in lieu of cash the next time one visits those particular outlets again. The annual fee for this card can also be waived as long as the card is used all year round with 12 transactions per year. This only leaves the RM50 service tax that has to be paid for all credit cards.
Limited stores/brands for cashback:
  1. Pharmacies: Guardian, Watsons & Caring Pharmacy;
  2. Telecommunications: Maxis, Celcom & Digi;
  3. Groceries: Aeon Big, Tesco, Carrefour, Giant, Cold Storage, Pasar Raya Jaya Grocer
Annual Spend (UOB One card)RM6,000RM12,000RM24,000RM36,000RM60,000RM120,000
Assuming 20% Groceries, 10% Petrol, 10% Phone, 20% Utilities, 20% dining and 20% other spending
1st Year Cashback (assume Annual Fee waived, RM50 cashback on approval, GST at RM50/year)RM77RM154RM307RM461RM720RM1,058
Subsequent Yearly Cashback (assume Annual Fee waived, GST at RM50/year)RM27RM104RM257RM411RM670RM958

Citibank Cashback Platinum – 5% Petrol; 2% Groceries, 2% Pharmaceuticals, 2% Telcos; 0.3% othersDrawback: lower rate on groceries/pharmaceuticals/telcos, limits on Petrol/Grocery cashback

Cashback: 5% Petrol, 2% Groceries, 2% Pharmaceuticals, 2% Telecommunication, 0.3% Other purchases
Paid Out: Monthly
Max cashback: Monthly limit for: Petrol RM30; Grocery RM60
Principal Card Annual Fee: RM195 (may be waived with 12x transactions, but call to confirm!)
Supplementary Card Annual Fee: RM100
Rate: 8.88% – 18%
Card Issuer: Visa or Mastercard
Min income: RM60,000 p.a (RM5,000 per month)
Service Tax: RM50, can use cashback to offset the service tax
Go to Citibank
For families that have large grocery expenditure, with the Citibank Cashback Platinum card, it is possible to hit the highest monthly cash back amount of RM60. Compared to UOB One Classic the possible cash back can be larger and easier to obtain. Other benefits include a Retail Protection Plan up to RM12,000 per item or RM30,000 per occurrence, Lifestyle Privileges and Healthcare Privileges/Discounts. These privileges would make the card more suitable to older, more stable users with need for such coverage. A quick call to the Citibank Customer Service team regarding the Annual Fee waiver was met with a response ‘There is an waiver, similar to other cards that Citibank offers, but T&Cs may change at any time, this is 3x use of card within first 60 days’.
Limited stores/brands for cashback
  1. Pharmacies: Guardian, Watsons & Caring Pharmacy;
  2. Telecommunications: Maxis, Celcom & Digi;
  3. Groceries: Tesco, AEON Big, Giant, Cold Storage, Everrise, Servay, Econsave and Mydin
Annual Spend (Citibank Cashback Platinum card)RM6,000RM12,000RM24,000RM36,000RM60,000RM120,000
Assuming 20% Groceries, 10% Petrol, 10% Phone, 20% Utilities, 20% dining and 20% other spending
Yearly Cashback (assume Annual Fee waived, GST at RM50/year)RM27RM104RM257RM411RM718RM950

Mach by Hong Leong Bank – Mach Credit Card -  up to RM400 cashback/monthDrawback: Must pay RM5 quarterly per additional category, 0.2% Petrol and Utility cashback 

Cashback: 0.2% general purchases, 1%-10% on specific categories.
Paid Out: Monthly
Max cashback: RM33.33 per category per month – RM400 per month (if you subscribe for all 12 cashback categories (RM45 fee per quarter)
Annual fee: RM160 principal (waived with 12 swipes per year), RM80 supplementary.
Rate: 15-18% p.a. (should not matter if card used properly!)
Card Issuer: Visa
Min. income: RM24,000 p.a. (RM2,000 per month)
Service Tax: RM50
Apply now
Heard about the new Mach Credit Card and thought about applying for it? Seen the RM400 monthly cashback and thought: Hey, I want a part of that deal! Well let’s run through the card before you decide to apply for it.
The Mach Card is essentially a credit card that aims to offer cashback across many types of spending. Rather than the usual 4-5 cashback categories, Mach is now offering 12! This is supposed to allow the customer to really dictate what categories they want to earn cashback on by subscribing to the ones relevant to them. Let’s take a look at the Categories below.
PackageCategory% Cashback locations
SocialMovies10% cash back at all cinemas (MCC 7832)
Nightlife2% cash back at most bars and clubs ((MCC 5813)) like Bakita, Finnegan’s, Hard Rock Café, Overtime, Sid’s Pubs, The Library, Twentyone, Rex Box, Zouk etc
Music & Event3% cash back on AirAsia RedTix, TicketCharge, Ticketpro, Rock Corner outlets
TrendsetterStyle2% cash back at Uniqlo, Cotton On, Forever 21, Zara, Topshop, Topman, Charles & Keith, G2000, Gap, Converse and Esprit
Travel1% cash back on Air Asia flights and hotels only
Dining5% cash back at Dining outlets
SavvyHealth & Fitness2% cash back  at Fitness Concept, Fitness First, True Fitness, Celebrity Fitness, GNC, Watson's and Guardian
Mobile3% cash back  on Maxis, DiGi and Celcom bills
Groceries2% cash back at Grocery stores (MCC 5411) like Giant, Tesco, Cold Storage etc
OtherDepartmental2% cash back at Parkson, Tangs, Debenhams, Robinsons, Isetan, Mark & Spensers and Metrojaya
Online1% cash back on all online spending
Tech2% cash back at IT Stores (MCC 5045 and 5732) such as Machines, Epicentre, IT Hypermart etc
One point to note is upon approval of the Card, you will have to pick one of the above packages, Social, Trendsetter or Savvy which comes with their 3 respective categories so make sure you pick the one that you feel is most suited to you. If you realize that you can’t choose 1, you can still apply for the categories individually anyways. This is great for those who want to earn cashback across a myriad of spending types without having to apply for too many cards. For each additional category not subscribed, you will get the standard rate of 0.2% on spending.
Now you don’t have to subscribe any additional categories if you don’t want to or you can decide to subscribe to all additional 9 but just be aware that this will cost you RM45 per quarter or RM180 per year. By subscribing for all 9 categories it will entitle you to earn RM400 per month as shown on the below table:
CategoryCashback RateSpend to get Max CashbackMonthly Cashback
Movies10%RM333.33RM33.33
Nightlife2%RM1,666.67RM33.33
Music & Event3%RM1,111.11RM33.33
Style2%RM1,666.67RM33.33
Travel1%RM3,333.33RM33.33
Dining5%RM666.67RM33.33
Health & Fitness2%RM1,666.67RM33.33
Mobile3%RM1,111.11RM33.33
Groceries2%RM1,666.67RM33.33
Departmental2%RM1,666.67RM33.33
Online1%RM3,333.33RM33.33
Tech2%RM1,666.67RM33.33
Total~2%RM19,888.89RM400.00
Although it seem like you have to spend a fair bit to earn RM400, it does offer you the ability to earn one of the highest monthly cashback in the market. The flexibility of being able to choose means you can still can earn cashback on the things you spend on.
Now comes the less attractive features of the card. Firstly, not offering Petrol or Utilities Cashback as a category means you will only be earning 0.2% from your weekly trip to the pump or household bills. The quarterly category selection also means you can’t change them on a monthly basis so treat them as a sunk cost if chosen wrongly.
To sum up, although it doesn’t offer the highest cashback rates across the categories, the fact that it offers cashback on more than the typical Cashback Credit Card makes this useful, especially for first-time credit card holders who doesn’t know what their spending patterns are. It doesn’t offer competitive Cashback on Petrol or Utilities which we feel is a downer but perhaps look for other cards that offer this if your lifestyle heavily requires both.
Our final tip if you are thinking of applying for this is to make sure you are someone that can keep track of your spending habits so you can adjust your Category subscriptions to your lifestyle spending. It can be the best or the worst feature of this card for you. Whether you have the time to maximise this card by changing the categories or decide you want a simpler but less flexible card is up to you!

Best Any-Spend Cashback Card

OCBC Titanium MasterCard – Unlimited 1% Cashback on All Retail Spending with Absolutely No Annual FeesDrawback: Requires high minimum income of at least RM60,000 p.a. (RM5,000 per month)

Cashback: Unlimited 1% on all retail spending
Paid Out: Monthly
Annual fee: RM0
Rate: 15-18% p.a. (should not matter if card used properly!)
Card Issuer: Mastercard
Min. income: RM60,000 p.a. (RM5,000 per month)
Min. monthly payment: RM50 or 5% of outstanding amount
Service Tax: RM50 (waived with total retail spending of at least RM10,000 in 12 months)
140507_SM_OCBC_225x165
Apply Here
Looking for a credit card to reward ALL your untamed and extravagant spending habits? Then the OCBC Titanium MasterCard might be what you’ve been hunting for. But what makes this credit card so appealing? Read on for our detailed breakdown of the OCBC Titanium MasterCard.

The Good

1) Unlimited Cashback
When it comes to spending with the OCBC Titanium MasterCard, there is absolutely no limit as to how much you can be rewarded. The card offers unlimited cashback of 1% on ALL retail purchases. So whether you’re shopping for a new shirt, loading up on groceries at the supermarket or filling up on petrol, the OCBC Titanium MasterCard is here to reward you. There are NO restrictions on what you can purchase as long as you can swipe your credit card.
Feel that cashback cap limits are slowing you down? Well not anymore, with unlimited cashback, you can let loose and unleash your inner splurging habits with a fury and be rewarded every step of the way, no matter how much you spend. Now that’s the power of No Limits.
2) No Annual Fees
Hate paying those pesky annoying annual fees? Fret not, because with the OCBC Titanium MasterCard, you will pay absolutely no annual fees for life, even if you never use the card.
That’s right. While some other credit cards might enforce an unreasonable minimum spending quota in exchange for zero annual fees, the OCBC Titanium MasterCard lets you spend with your card whenever you want to. Even if you chose to leave the card in the dust and never use it for a year, you still won’t see any annual fee charges on your card.
3) 24-hour Concierge Service
Being covered under 24-hour concierge service is akin to having a 24-hour personal assistant at your disposal. So whether you’re suffering from a sudden food craving or wondering where the best local shopping haunts are, the answers to all your questions are just a quick call away.
All OCBC Titanium MasterCard holders have to do is pick up the phone and dial the hot line and a friendly personalized assistant will be there to serve and assist you. Now that’s style.

The Bad

1) High Minimum Income Required
The OCBC Titanium MasterCard requires a minimum annual income of at least RM60,000 (or RM5,000 per month). So while the card might come with awesome perks to satisfy the inner shopaholic, not everyone might earn enough to be able to reap these amazing benefits.

The Final Verdict

If you spend big on a regular basis then the OCBC Titanium MasterCard is absolutely something you should have in your wallet. The perks associated with this card say it all, if unlimited cashback doesn’t do enough to feed your desire to spend, then nothing ever will. So why put a cap on your rewards?


Hong Leong Essential Credit Card – 1% cashback on all spendingDrawback: lower cashback rate, but at least no limits and clean spending

Cashback: 1% on all spending
Paid Out: Monthly
Max cashback: None
Annual fee: RM100 (principal), RM50 (supplementary), RM0 if card is used 12x per year on retail spending or RM8,000 retail spending
Rate: 15-18% (shouldn’t matter if used correctly)
Card Issuer: Visa
Min income: RM24,000 p.a (RM2,000 per month)
Service Tax: RM50, can use cashback to offset the service tax


Go to HLB 
Currently, this is one of the few cards with no limit on the cashback, and no tiering of their cash back rates. This makes Hong Leong’s Essential Credit Card the simplest and easiest to use. Compared to the next best Citibank Cashback, the returning cash back is good overall for low and high spenders, as shown in the table. It would be better suited for new graduates starting work and not looking to over-splurge on their expenditure. There is no limit to any particular good, so there is more freedom in how you choose to spend the card if you don’t use it for your daily necessities.
Annual Spend (on Hong Leong Essential Credit Card)RM6,000RM12,000RM24,000RM36,000RM60,000RM120,000
Yearly Cashback (assume Annual Fee waived, GST at RM50/year)RM10RM70RM190RM310RM550RM1,150

OCBC Platinium MasterCard – Free Travel Insurance Coverage of up to RM2,000,000; Unlimited 0.5% Cashback Drawback: High Annual Fee of RM188 (Waived if card is swiped at least 24 times)

Cashback: Unlimited 0.5% on all retail spending
Paid Out: Monthly
Annual fee: RM188 (Waived if card is swiped at least 24 times)
Rate: 15-18% p.a. (should not matter if card used properly!)
Card Issuer: Mastercard
Min. income: RM60,000 p.a. (RM5,000 per month)
Min. monthly payment: RM50 or 5% of outstanding amount
Service Tax: RM50 (waived with total retail spending of at least RM10,000 in 12 months)
140507_SM_OCBC_225x165b
Apply via RinggitPlus
Are you a frequent traveler looking to indulge in the finer things in life? Then the OCBC Platinum MasterCard might be the perfect compliment to your adventurous lifestyle. With unlimited cashback and free personal accident insurance coverage of up to RM2,000,000, you can travel with a piece of mind because your card has got you covered.

The Good

1) Free Travel Personal Accident Insurance
Frequent flyer? Then the OCBC Platinum MasterCard is here to cover you through any travelling mishap that you might have the misfortune of stumbling into. Lost your baggage? Flight got canceled? Don’t panic, because the OCBC Platinum MasterCard has got you covered with travel inconvenience benefts of up to RM10,000.
Feeling ill while on a holiday? Don’t worry because with up to RM2,000,000 of travel personal accident insurance coverage, you can focus more on recovering rather than paying.
2) Unlimited Cashback
The OCBC Platinum MasterCard never ceases to reward you, no matter how much you spend! With unlimited retail spending cashback of 0.5%, whether you’re shopping around domestically or overseas, you can expect to be rewarded every time you swipe your card.
Is 0.5% cashback not enough to satisfy your craving? then check out the OCBC Titanium Mastercardwhich has 1% unlimited cashback
3) 24-hour Concierge Service
Lost while traveling in a foreign country? Don’t worry, with round the clock 24-hour concierge service, the answer to all your queries is just a short phone call away. So whether you’re looking for the most trendy place to shop in town or hunting down renowned restaurants, the 24-hour concierge service is here for you.
But what if you run into an emergency while travelling? Don’t despair, call the 24-hour concierge service and they will gladly guide you towards the nearest emergency facility or alert the authorities to your location.

The Bad

1) High Annual Fees
Unfortunately, the OCBC Platinum MasterCard does come with a relatively high annual fee of RM188. However, there are several loopholes that can be used to get yourself out of paying such a fee.
Firstly, as part of OCBC’s sign up offer, you can expect your first year of credit card usage to be absolutely free. After your first year, you can wiggle your way out of paying the annual fee by swiping your card at least 24 times per year.
That’s right. “Swipe” not “Spend”. It doesn’t matter how much you spend every time you swipe, as long as you swipe your card 24 times a year, you can expect to pay absolutely no annual fees.
So as long as you use your credit card frequently, you shouldn’t be feeling the sting of annual fees.

The Final Verdict

If you’re a frequent traveler, then this is definitely the perfect tool to include in your travel purse. Why throw away a chunk of your money on insurance premiums when you can benefit from the free travel insurance that the OCBC Platinum MasterCard entitles you to? If you’ve worked hard your entire life to earn at least RM60,000 a year, then you deserve a credit card that will let you travel and enjoy the wonders of the world.
Is the high annual fee really all that bad? Not at all, in fact, as long as you swipe your card 24 times in a year (or 2 times every month) then you will pay absolutely no annual fees whatsoever.

Cashback on Specific Spending: Petrol

Shell Citibank Gold Credit Card – supposedly up to 8% cashback on your Shell Fuel spendingDrawback: you need to spend on other things (at 0% cashback) to get the 8% on fuel

Cashback:
4-8% cashback – Petrol
0% cashback – Other spending
TierMonthly Total Spending (on all spending types)Petrol Cashback RateMax Petrol Spend for CashbackMax Cashback
1RM300 - RM9994.00%RM250.00RM10.00
2RM1,000 - RM2,4996.00%RM500.00RM30.00
3Above RM2,5008.00%RM800.00RM64.00
Max cashback: RM64 / month
Principal Annual fee:  RM195
Supplementary Annual Fee: RM100
1st year waiver (swipe your card 3 times within 60 days of the approval date)
Rate: 8.88-18% p.a. (should not matter if card used properly!)
Card Issuer: Visa
Min. income: RM24,000 p.a. (RM2,000 per month)
Service Tax: RM50, use cashback to offset Service Tax
Go To Citibank
Citibank wants you to believe you can get the highest cashback rate of 8% for petrol spending with their Shell Citibank Gold Credit Card. In a sense they are right, but what they don’t tell you is that the cashback rate is 0% for other spending, and they limit your eligible Shell spending for cashback calculations. For example, in Tier 1, assume you spend RM500 on just petrol (because you spend on other stuff using another credit card with cashback on the other spending), you only get RM10 cashback because the petrol spend limit for cashback calculations is RM250, and at 4% that’s only RM10. As you know, RM10 on RM500 is actually 2%, so a far cry from the 8% stated.
The highest cashback rate we can get on spending with this card we calculated to be 3.33% (spend RM300 on petrol, and RM0 spending on other stuff, get RM10 cashback), in Tier 1. As you go up the tiers, the rates get worse and worse. For Tier 2 its 1.20%-3.00% and Tier 3 its a 0.00%-2.56% effective cashback rate on your spending.
We would probably say go for other top Cashback Credit Cards, as the top few give 5% on multiple types of spending, while not as headline grabbing as Citibank’s 8%, you do get the 5% on your total spending, which increases your overall cashback!

One Time Cashback

Maximise your Total Cashback

Unless you have a very specific spending profile and can utilise one off cashback promotions, the Hong Leong Wise Card offers the highest overall cashback for 3 types of spending, BUT the monthly cashback limit of RM100 certainly limits the amount of cashback one can earn. The simple trick is to apply for multiple cards and combine the limits:
Step 1: Apply for multiple cards (this may be an issue for those earning less than RM36,000 p.a., as they are limited to only 2 credit cards). Hong Leong + Maybank first, followed by UOB or Citibank.
Step 2: Each month, spend on the Hong Leong Wise Card (be sure to choose your highest spending categories) and Maybank card (on weekends) until cashback is maximised.
Step 3a: Spend using the UOB/Citibank card for specific purchases (Petrol, Groceries, Telco, Pharmaceuticals) until the individual limits are hit (if at all).
Step 3b: Spend using the Hong Leong Essential Credit Card for all other purchases, including Petrol, Groceries, Telcos, Pharmaceuticals which have hit limits on the cards in 3a.
Example 1:
Ms Regular Spender is a junior executive in a MNC earning RM2,500 per month, and she anticipates that she will spend RM2,000 per month (RM24,000 per year) on her credit card. She can maximise her potential cashback by applying for the Hong Leong Wise Card + Maybank card, using the Hong Leong card on weekdays and the Maybankard on weekends, she can get up to RM150 cashback each month!
Ms Regular Spender (RM2,000 per month)HLB + Maybankardjust HLBjust Maybankardjust UOBjust Citijust Hong Leong Essential
Annual Cashback (including fees, GST)RM1,700RM1,150RM550RM257RM257RM190
Example 2:
Mr HighRoller’s has a family of 4 and his spending each month is
Petrol: RM1,000
Groceries (and household items): RM2,000
Utilities: RM2,000
Telecommunications: RM1,000
Dining: RM2,000
Others: RM2,000
Total: RM10,000
He can maximise his potential cashback by applying for all 5 cards and charge spending according to spending type to each card until the cashback limit has been reached.
Mr High Roller (RM10,000 per month)Hong Leong Wise + Maybank + UOB + Citi + Hong Leong Essentialjust Hong Leong Wisejust Maybankardjust UOBjust Citijust Hong Leong Essential
Annual Cashback (including fees, GST)RM3,250RM1,150RM550RM958RM950RM1,150

Comments

Elly Chen said…
Thanks for the detailed comparison on different local credit card services in Malaysia. I've signed up for the UOB One Card Platinum here for free. If you planned to apply, check out here: http://www.imoney.my/credit-card/uob/one-card-platinum
Ng Julin said…
Great details for cash back credit card. Definitely going to share this article to my colleague who is planning his first credit card. Is there any article related to business credit card that is as informative as this? I came across this site, http://www.bestcreditcards.my/credit-card-types/business/ and i think the info is quite useful. But Im hoping to look for business credit card comparison article.
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