best credit cards in malaysia

Best Credit Cards in Malaysia: 5 Cards You Recommended from Maybank

I’ll just right away say it: the best credit cards in Malaysia are cashback credit cards, aka cards that give you back money, or give points that can be used as money. Lifestyle cards, travel cards, petrol cards, Airmiles cards and the rest are all useless to me. I will not entertain any questions about this.

In this article, we will focus on Maybank credit cards specifically because of these simple reasons: (1) it’s the biggest bank in Malaysia and (2) many people use them as their primary bank.

(I don’t know how it was like for you, but for me, it went pretty much like this: decades ago Maybank convinced people like my parents of the importance of opening savings account for their children. That’s all it took – I’ve become a Maybank customer for life. So clever of them ay.)

Not all Maybank credit cards are created equal – some are better than others. Using personal experience, and after asking you all, the Maybank credit cards that YOU recommend are:

  • Maybank 2 Cards
  • Maybank Shopee Visa Platinum Card
  • Maybank Ikhwan Credit Cards
  • Maybank GRAB MasterCard Platinum
  • Maybank FC Barcelona Visa Signature

Naturally, all of them are cashback credit cards or rewards credit cards. In each section, I’ll share the requirements for each credit card, and the advantages and disadvantages of owning them. Even if you don’t use them, you must know about these cards – it gives you a great benchmark to compare with credit cards from other banks.

#1 – Maybank 2 Cards

I’m biased because I personally use this card, but I think this may be the best Maybank credit card for beginners. The Maybank 2 Cards come in 2 variants:

(There is also the Maybank 2 Premier Cards (min income: RM8,333.33 per month / RM100,000 per year) but this one is more of a lifestyle/travel credit card rather than a cashback credit card so don’t take this one)

Advantages of the Maybank 2 Cards

#1 – No annual fee

Credit cards with no annual fee are always good.

#2 – Get 2 cards

IMHO having all three VISA, Mastercard and AMEX will give you the widest range of discounts and savings opportunities. With Maybank 2 Cards, you get two out of those three.

(Don’t knock this perk. Imagine you buy books in MPH and suddenly got 15% discount if pay by Mastercard or something? You don’t want?)

#3 – Easy to get cashback

Some cashback credit cards make it really hard for you to satisfy T&C – they want you to spend a minimum of XXX amount in XXX category for a minimum of X times a month/year. The T&Cs for the Maybank 2 cards is simple – 5% cashback on weekend spending, capped at RM50 per month.

Any category except government services and utilities is eligible for cashback. This is great because you can time your grocery shopping and petrol filling on the weekends. These spending categories alone can easily reach RM1000 per month, thus maxing out RM50 cashback per month, translating to RM600 savings per year!

Protip: If your favourite grocery store allows Touch n Go card top up, you can effectively get 5% cashback on your parking/toll as well (or whatever you use your TnG card for).

#4 – Can collect Maybank Treatpoints

You get 5 Treatpoints for every RM1 spent on the Amex card during weekdays.

Disadvantages of the Maybank 2 Cards

#1 – 2 cards = double the credit card service tax

2 cards are great and all, but you’ll be subjected to the mandatory credit card service tax, which is RM25 per year PER card. Therefore, two cards = RM50 credit card service tax per year.

#2 – AMEX is not accepted everywhere

AMEX is not accepted as a payment method at many locations. Hypermarkets stores, petrol stations and bigger stores usually fine but personally I do mentally bookmark smaller shops that accept AMEX because it’s not as common.

#3 – The Mastercard can be kinda useless

The Maybank 2 Card Mastercard doesn’t offer many perks, only points. Many people* say that they took the Maybank 2 Cards and almost never use the Mastercard, just keep in drawer. To each their own I guess.

*Many people who already have other Mastercard/Visa card with better benefits to use

#2 – Maybank Shopee Visa Platinum Card

The second Maybank credit card in this list is the Maybank Shopee Visa Platinum Card (min income: RM2,000 per month / RM24,000 per year).

This Maybank Shopee credit card is a rewards credit card where points collected can be redeemed on Shopee platform. You get:

  • 5 points on every RM1 – on Shopee spends on Special Days*
  • 4 points on every RM1 – on Dining, payWave and Entertainment spend on Special Days*
  • 2 points on every RM1 – on Shopee spends on Normal Days
  • 2 points on every RM1 – on Dining, payWave and Entertainment spend on Normal days
  • 1 points on every RM1 – on utilities, education, EzyPay and insurance
  • 1 points on every RM1 – on other spend
  • Note: Max 5000 points or RM50 worth per month. Excess points are converted to Maybank Treatpoints

*Special Days = every 28th of each month, 9.9, 11.11, 12.12, CNY and Raya Campaigns

Advantages of the Maybank Shopee Visa Platinum Card

#1 – No annual fee

Credit cards with no annual fee are always good.

#2 – Effectively 5% Cashback if used on Special Days

1 point = 1 sen, therefore 5 points on every RM1 spend on Shopee on Special Days is effectively 5% cashback.

#3 – A Platinum card with low minimum income requirement

You get to brag about having/using a Platinum credit card with just RM2,000 minimum income per month haha. Yes I know it’s just a vanity thing but hey it’s nice to own a Maybank Platinum credit card okayy.

Disadvantages of the Maybank Shopee Visa Platinum Card

#1 – Only 1-3 days Special Days a month

Unlike the Maybank 2 Cards, where you get 5% cashback on weekend spending (8 days a month), you only get a few days at most per month to get 5 points per RM1 spend on Special Days. Again, Special Days are only on every 28th of each month, 9.9, 11.11, 12.12, CNY and Raya Campaigns.

However on the flip side.. Having the Special Day requirement is also a good way to practice delayed gratification and reduce impulse purchases. If you want something, tell yourself to wait until the 28th (or other Special Days). Sometimes the desire goes away by then.

#2 – Possible increased price during Special Days

Not all vendors do it, but some certainly do. You can download a Chrome extension to check the price movement before purchasing. After all, what’s the point of getting 5% cashback if you’re buying at 10% more.

#3 – Maybank Ikhwan Credit Cards

The third Maybank credit card on the list, Maybank Ikhwan Credit Cards come in 7 (!!!) variants under 3 main categories:

Category 1: Maybank Ikhwan credit cards for Petrol and Groceries cashback (the best options)

Category 2: Maybank Ikhwan credit cards for Petrol cashback (Probably the best Maybank Petronas credit card – only get if you’re a Petronas power user):

Category 3: Maybank Ikhwan credit cards for overseas/general spending (meh benefits tbh – skip these):

Advantages of the Maybank Ikhwan Credit Cards

#1 – No annual fee

Credit cards with no annual fee are always good.

#2 – Syariah-compliant credit cards

All the other credit cards in this list are not Syariah-compliant, so if you’re looking for an Islamic credit card from Maybank, this is your best bet eh jap betting haram choice.

#3 – Got charity element

0.1% of all spending will be given to charity, which is nice

Disadvantages of the Maybank Ikhwan Credit Cards

#1 – Limited to Petrol and Groceries categories

The best options, Maybank Islamic MasterCard Ikhwan Platinum Card-i and Maybank Islamic MasterCard Ikhwan Gold Card-i only give cashback on Petrol and Groceries categories. That said it’s not hard to max out RM1000 per month on both expenses if you have a family.

#4 – Maybank GRAB Mastercard Platinum

Next is the Maybank GRAB Mastercard Platinum (min income: RM2,000 per month / RM24,000 per year).

This Maybank Grab credit card is a rewards credit card where points collected can be converted to vouchers and redeemed on Grab platform. You get:

  • 5 points on every RM1 – for all purchases made in Grab app, including Grab e-wallet reloads
  • 2 points on every RM1 – for transaction made overseas, cross-border and e-commerce
  • 1 points on every RM3 – for other local purchases made
  • Extra GrabRides and GrabFood vouchers

The points-to-voucher conversion varies according to the type of voucher you get, but generally 160 points get you RM1 worth of voucher. Therefore, if you optimise your Maybank Grab credit card properly and get the max points, you can get RM1 back for every RM32, or effectively 3.125% cashback.

(Someone check my maths here pls)

Advantages of the Maybank GRAB Mastercard Platinum

#1 – No annual fee

Credit cards with no annual fee are always good.

#2 – No cap on points, which can be converted to vouchers

Unlike other credit cards on this list, there is no limit to how many points you can earn. And if my maths check out, 3.125% cashback is not bad if unlimited cashback.

(Seriously pls check my maths)

#3 – A Platinum credit card with low minimum income requirement

Like the Maybank Shopee credit card, the minimum income required for the Maybank GRAB Mastercard Platinum is only RM2,000 per month. Go feel like a T20!

Disadvantages of the Maybank GRAB Mastercard Platinum

#1 – Grab may revise their points-to-vouchers conversion from time to time.

The last time Grab revised the points-to-voucher conversion in June 2020, the vouchers cost 33% more points. They may do it again – may I remind you that despite everything, Grab is still not making money. Eventually they will need to give their investors the promised returns and cut back on customer perks even more.

#2 – Not useful if you’re not a heavy Grab user

Skip this credit card if you don’t use Grab often. Go, before you get used to the convenience and interface. It’s too late for me but not too late for you.

#5 – Maybank FC Barcelona Visa Signature

Maybank FC Barcelona Visa Signature (min income: RM4,000 per month / RM48,000 per year) (1% cashback on all purchases except for government bodies, utilities and e-wallet reloads; capped at RM50 cashback per month)

Ok, this card USED to be an excellent cashback credit card by Maybank – they gave 10% cashback on spending made in May and August, capped at RM100 per month. However, Maybank has since revised the T&C and now it’s no longer a good option, as compared to others on the list.

Best Maybank Credit Cards: My Verdict

  • Maybank 2 Cards – best all-rounder
  • Maybank Shopee Visa Platinum Card – best for online shopping
  • Maybank Ikhwan Credit Cards – best (and only) Islamic credit card
  • Maybank GRAB MasterCard Platinum – best for frequent Grab users
  • Maybank FC Barcelona Visa Signature – Only get it if you’re a Barcelona fan. I totally get it

The necessary disclaimer about responsible usage of credit cards…

Because I wouldn’t be a responsible personal finance content creator if I didn’t write this out. I know credit cards have a bad reputation. And for good reason, too: a whopping 3 out of 5 people do not pay (cannot afford to pay?) their credit card balances in full (Source: NST, 2017)

Yet… as horrible as those statistics are, you can’t deny that they are immensely useful as a financial tool. I had this realisation when someone asked me which option would I pick: paying a large amount via cash or via credit card. I picked credit card without hesitation.

Why? They’re amazing for building up my credit score. For getting additional benefits and discounts when buying stuff I wanted to get anyway. For convenience in payments. And perhaps most importantly, for emergencies.

Related: Malaysians Share the Biggest Credit Card Expenses They Ever Made

So here goes: I’m able to maximise the utility value of my credit cards because and ONLY because:

  1. I’m a natural saver; my default is to NOT spend that often. Although admittedly the banks do try to tempt me to spend more than I should, judging by ‘the aspirational lifestyle’ promotions they keep sending me. Happy to say that’s less of a problem now since I muted all notifications from them.
  2. I already have the money to pay back the amount in my bank account, which I’ll use to pay in full as soon as possible (I’m not the only one who do this apparently)

I’ll conclude this article on best credit card in Malaysia: Maybank credit card edition here. Do you own any of the credit cards in this list? How’s your experience with it so far – good, meh or bleh? Which do YOU think is the best Maybank credit card? Share with us in the comments ūüôā

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  1. I have the Maybank AMEX 2 cards and I called Maybank to cancel my VISA card to save the RM25 annual service tax because I don’t use it all (I have another VISA credit card that I prefer). They said no problem. Maybe those who want to save their service tax, can try call Maybank to cancel the card if don’t use it as much.

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