Malaysia Best Top 10 Credit Cards – Ultimate Showdown 2018

Another quality production by GenX GenY GenZ @ http://www.genxgenygenz.com

INTRODUCTION

My last annual Ultimate Credit Cards Showdown was in 2016 as I stopped blogging on Personal Finance stuff sometime in May 2016. GenX GenY GenZ was drifting in oblivion until my “reborn” on 25th December 2017.

GenX’s EPISODE VIII – REBORN

Since my “reborn”, I have been busy producing many articles/tutorials on credit cards to assist all Malaysians who are searching for the best credit cards based on their spending pattern.

If you are new to my blog, I suggest you first click here to my HOME Page and read all the relevant articles on credit cards and I am pretty sure you will learn a thing or two.

I have also made same changes beginning 1st January 2018 where I will reward my Die Hard Supporters at Facebook with exclusive advance tutorials every month (some of which I have listed them at my By Invitation Only Page) if they satisfy the requirements that I have set forth.

And just in case I decide to stop blogging or suspend my Facebook Account again, I have created an Instagram Account so that I can still communicate with my Die Hard Supporters, i.e. spam their Instagram accounts with photos on FD Promos, Food, Spirits and whatever makes me “shiok sendiri”, hahaha.

For the benefit of Cash Back Fans, I did produce a Mini Showdown 2018 back in February to determine the Best Top 5 CAsh Back Credit Cards in Malaysia.

I even engineered the world’s first hack for cash back credit cards fans so that they can see the money they earned from their cash back cards grow and grow, hehehehe. Click on the image below to learn more:

Like I said earlier, my last annual Ultimate Showdown was 2 years ago, and since then, many credit card issuers have launched new credit cards (e.g. AEON Platinum Visa, HSBC Premier Travel MasterCard, Maybank Islamic World MasterCard and Public Bank Quantum Cards) or revise the benefits/features of their existing credit cards (e.g. AmBank WMC & VI, CIMB Visa Infinite, Citibank Cash Back Credit Card, Citibank PremierMiles, UOB Visa Infiniet, etc). Therefore, it is time that I once again produce another Ultimate Credit Cards Showdown 2018. To learn more about credit cards revisions for 2018, please click here to my article titled Bad News For Credit Cards Holders.

And this year, we have a new Ultimate Credit Card for Bragging Rights and good for nothing else, except maybe FREE entries to airport lounges worldwide, hahaha:Malaysia’s Ultimate Credit Card for Bragging Rights 2018 – Exclusive Limited Edition Bronze Credit Card for 1000 Elites – Password to read the article – UltimateCC

CREDIT CARDS TO BE ANALYZED FOR THE ULTIMATE SHOWDOWN

So, first thing first, below are the credit cards selected to be analyzed. Click on the individual mentioned card to read my review.

  1. AEON Big Cash Back Gold Visa Review 2018
  2. AEON Platinum Visa – Newly launched in 2018
  3. Alliance Bank Platinum Visa/MasterCard – Personal/Privilege Banking
  4. Alliance Bank Visa Infinite
  5. Alliance Bank Visa Infinite Privilege Banking
  6. AmBank World MasterCard and Visa Infinite (Revised Reward Redemption)
  7. AmBank WMC and VI with Priority Banking
  8. American Express Platinum Credit Card (without Maybank Logo)
  9. CIMB Cash Back Platinum MasterCard Review 2018
  10. CIMB Enrich Platinum MasterCard Review 2018
  11. CIMB Visa Infinite (Revamped fron Cash Back Card to Reward Points Card effective 2018)
  12. CIMB Bank Preferred Visa Infinite
  13. Citibank Prestige World MasterCard Elite
  14. Citibank PremierMiles Visa Signature Review 2018
  15. Hong Leong Bank Wise Cash Back Visa Review 2018
  16. Hong Leong Bank Visa Infinite with Priority Banking)
  17. MACH (by HLB) Visa Signature
  18. HSBC Premier Travel MasterCard (Review By Invitation Only)
  19. Maybank 2 Cards Premier
  20. Maybank 2 Gold/Platinum Cards Review 2018
  21. Maybank Ikhwan MasterCard Review 2018
  22. Maybank KrisFlyer AMEX (Review By Invitation Only)
  23. Maybank Visa Signature
  24. Maybank FC Barcelona Visa Signature Review 2018
  25. Maybank Visa Infinite Manchester United (Review by Invitation Only)
  26. Maybank Islamic WorldMasterCard Ikhwan – Newly launched (Review by Invitation Only)
  27. Public Bank Visa Signature Review 2018
  28. Public Bank Quantum Cards – MasterCard and Visa
  29. RHB Visa Infinite
  30. RHB Visa Signature
  31. RHB Premier Banking Visa Infinite (Review By Invitation Only)
  32. Standard Chartered Gold Cash Back MasterCard Review 2018
  33. Standard Chartered Bank Just One Platinum Review 2018
  34. Standard Chartered Bank Visa Infinite
  35. Standard Chartered Bank World Miles MasterCard
  36. UOB Visa Infinite Review 2018
  37. UOB Visa Infinite with Privilege Banking

METHODOLOGY IN DETERMINING THE BEST CREDIT CARDS

Previously in 2016, 11 criteria were used in determining the best credit cards where I added 2  new categories under Internet and 0% Balance Transfer Plan. The reasons were because nowadays everyone use the internet to pay bills or for shopping and 0% Balance Transfer Plans allow us to convert essential/emergency expenses to true 0% Installment Plan; thus allowing us to save or for people with cash in hand to earn some pocket money.

For this year,  I am not awarding any STAR for Travel insurance. This is because I believe one should purchase separate Comprehensive Travel Insurance that covers Medical, “Loss of Deposit or Cancellation” and other unexpected events/costs. I strongly recommend that you click here now and read Mr. Lam’s (Guest Columnist) article titled Travel Insurance – It’s A Must When Holidaying Overseas.

However, I am creating a new criteria, i.e. Government related transactions. This is because nowadays almost all government agencies accept credit cards, i.e. PTPTN (Repayment of Education Loan), LHDN (Income Tax), Assessments (Cukai Pintu), Quit Rent (Cukai Tanah), Police (To Pay Summons), JPS (Road Tax) and etc. But not all credit cards earn you Reward Points or Cash Back from government related transactions.

Therefore, this year, I shall still award STARs based on 11 criteria as follows:

1. Auto Annual Fee Waiver – FREE is the best!

Cards which are FREE FOR LIFE without any conditions are awarded 3 STARs.

Cards that offer automatic annual fee waiver with just 12 swipes as a standard card feature are awarded 2 STARs.

For cards with some kind of auto annual fee waiver mechanism (e.g. spend RMX amount) will be awarded 1 STAR.

Cards that impose annual fee for the first year on the other hand will get 1 STAR! Examples: Citibank Prestige World MasterCard Elite and Maybank World MasterCard (not included in the Showdown).

Cards where you need to call Customer Service and beg for annual fee waiver are not entitled to any STAR. For examples, Citibank PremierMiles, HLB Wise Visa (they won’t waive the annual fee even if you beg like hell) and UOB PRIVI Miles.

2. Reward Points/Cash Back for Local Spending

Most credit cards reward the cardholder with less than 0.5% cash back (or equivalent) nowadays.

Credit cards that offer UNLIMITED 1% cash back will be awarded 1 STAR.

Credit cards that offer cash back of 1.01% to 2.99% with monthly cash back cap will also be awarded 1 STAR.

Credit cards that offer cash back of 3% to 4.99% with monthly cash back cap will be awarded 1.5 STARs.

Credit cards that offer cash back of 5% or more with monthly cash back cap will be awarded 2 STARs.

Credit cards that reward the cardholder UNLIMITED 5X Points where the “equivalent” cash back is equal to 1% will be awarded 1 STAR.

For the Maybank 2 Gold/Platinum Cards, it will be awarded 3 STARs because it earns you 5% cash back and also UNLIMITED 5X TreatsPoints (where you can redeem cash vouchers equivalent to minimum 1% cash back).

HLB Wise Visa advertised that it earns you 10% cash back. But this is not true, the max effective cash back you can earn per month is 3.89%. Therefore, the HLB Wise will only be awarded 1.5 STARS.

3. Reward Points/Cash Back for Overseas Spending:

Credit cards that offer UNLIMITED 1% cash back for overseas spending will be awarded 1 STAR.

Credit cards that offer cash back of 1.01% to 2.99% with monthly cash back cap will also be awarded 1 STAR.

Credit cards that offer cash back of 3% to 4.99% with monthly cash back cap will be awarded 1.5 STARS.

Credit cards that offer cash back of 5% or more with monthly cash back cap will be awarded 2 STARS.

Credit cards that reward the cardholder UNLIMITED 5X Points for overseas transactions where the “equivalent” cash back is equal to 1% will be awarded 1 STAR. For example, the Maybank Visa Signature and Visa Infinite where both these said cards earn the cardholders 5XTP for overseas transactions.

The AmBank World MasterCard and Visa infinite both earn you 5X Points for overseas face to face transactions (non-online). But effective 1st May they inflated their redemption program and even with 5X Bonus Points, you will earn less than 1% equivalent cash back when redeeming for cash vouchers!!! No STAR will be awarded to AmBank WMC or VI under this criteria!

4. Reward Points/Cash Back for PETROL

Most credit cards DO NOT earn reward points for petrol.

Cards that give cash back or points for pumping petrol will be awarded 1 STAR.

Credit Cards that give you 5% or more cash back with monthly cap will be awarded 2 STARS (e.g. Maybank Islamic MasterCard Ikhwan and Maybank Visa Signature).

Once again, HLB Wise Visa advertised that it earns you 10% cash back for petrol; but in actual case the maximum effective cash back you can earn per months is 3.89%. Therefore, the HLB Wise will only earn 1.5 STARS.

Citibank Cash Back MasterCard and Visa (click here to read my review) also advertised that they reward you 10% cash back for petrol. This is pure bull shit because the maximum effective cash back you can earn is 4% and that is also if you spend on other categories.

5. Customer Service

Banks that provide TOLL FREE Customer Service will be awarded 1 STAR. This is a privilege which many banks don’t offer even for their Premier Credit Cards.

6. FREE Airport Lounge Access

FREE FOR LIFE credit cards where one needs to spend more than RM1 with the credit card to enter any airport lounge will not be eligible for any STAR. E.g. AmBank WMC & VI, Alliance Bank Visa Infinite, Hong Leong Bank Visa Infinite, CIMB World MasterCard/Visa Infinite, CIMB Visa Signature and UOB PRVI.

Basically a STAR is awarded based on 4 sub-categories each, i.e. access to KLIA, KLIA2, Selected International Airports and Golden Lounge.

KLIA Plaza Premium Lounge (or Sama-Sama Lounge):

  • Card that allow limited FREE entries are award 1 STAR.
  • Card that grants UNLIMITED entries are awarded 2 STARS.

KLIA 2 Plaza Premium Lounges (or Sama-Sama Lounge)

  • Card that allow limited FREE entries are award 1 STAR.
  • Card that grants UNLIMITED entries are awarded 2 STARS.

Selected International Airports Lounges (more than 2, if the card only allows FREE access to a lounge in Changi International Airport, no STAR will be awarded).

  • Card that allow limited FREE entries are award 1 STAR.
  • Card that grants UNLIMITED entries are awarded 2 STARS.

Malaysia Airlines Berhad Golden Lounge1 STAR for CIMB Enrich Platinum MasterCard for 2 FREE entries to Golden Lounges worldwide.

7. Enrich Miles and KrisFlyer Conversion

Local Transactions:

Credit Cards that earn the cardholder 1 Enrich Mile or KrisFlyer Mile for spending between RM2 to RM3 will be awarded 1 STAR

Credit Cards that earn the cardholder 1 Enrich Mile or KrisFlyer Mile for spending between RM1 to RM1.99 will be awarded 2 STARS.

Credit Cards that earn the cardholder 1 Enrich Mile or KrisFlyer Mile for spending below RM1 will be awarded 3 STARS.

Overseas Transactions:

Credit Cards that earn the cardholder 1 Enrich Mile or KrisFlyer Mile for spending between RM1 to RM2 will be awarded 1 STAR (e.g. Alliance Bank VI, AmBank WMX & VI UOB VI).

For cards that reward the cardholder 1 Enrich Mile or KrisFlyer Mile for every RM1 or less spent overseas will earn itself 2 STARS.

You may be wondering why I am not awarding any STAR for credit cards that earn the card holder 1 Enrich Mile or KrisFlyer  for every RM2 above spent overseas? This is because if one is really into air miles, there are more than 10 credit cards out there that earn him/her air miles faster. The smart thing to do is get one of the credit cards mentioned in my Air Miles Page where he/she can earn 1 Air Mile for less than every RM2 spent overseas.

Now, many people have been fooled by Citibank (PremierMiles), HSBC (Air Miles) and Standard Chartered Bank (WorldMiles). They think they are getting fantastic airlines’ air miles but in actual fact, none of them come close to the fabulous Maybank 2 Cards Premier. For example, HSBC Premier Travel MasterCard claims that you earn 1.1 Air Miles for every RM1 spent overseas. Well, it is true for Enrich but not the case for KrisFlyer and Asia Miles! Before you sign up for HSBC Premier Travel MasterCard, you better click here and read my article on HSBC Revised Redemption Program or else you will regret BIG TIME. So for HSBC Premier Travel MasterCard, it will be awarded 1.5 STARs.

8. Internet Transactions (Local Only)

Nowadays many of us are purchasing stuff or paying bills via the internet.

Credit cards that offer UNLIMITED minimum 1% cash back for online (or equivalent) will be awarded 1 STAR.

For cards that reward you minimum 2% or more cash back with monthly cap, it will also be awarded 1 STAR only (e.g. SCB Just One Plat MasterCard).

For Maybank 2 Cards Gold/Plat AMEX, I am only awarding it 1.75 STARs under this criteria as it earns the cardholder 1% unlimited cash back with 5X TP PLUS 5% cash back on weekends. BUT I am penalizing it 0.25 STAR because it is no longer accepted by Lazada, hahaha. However, you may be able to use Maybank AMEX for certain purchases at Lazada when you opt for 0% installment plan.

9. 0% Balance Transfer Plans

This Balance Transfer thingy may or may not be a good thing. However, many of my die hard followers have been utilizing it to earn FREE money due to my teachings, hahahaha.

One can convert his/her essential/emergency medical expenses to 0% Installment Plans by using Balance Transfer. However, nowadays not many credit card issuers offer this 0% BT Plan. As such credit cards that do consistently offering 0% BT Plan deserve a STAR, e.g. Public Bank and AEON credit cards.

10. Government Related Transactions

Nowadays we can pay government related transactions with credit cards but not all credit cards earn you cash back or reward points. This is where the Maybank Credit Cards that earn the card holders Treats Points are useless, i.e. Maybank 2 Cards Gold/Platinum/Premier.

For credit cards that do earn you cash back or reward points from government related transactions will be awarded 2 STARS.

However, in the case Public Bank Visa Signature and Public Bank Quantum MasterCard, only 1 STAR will be awarded as it is only applicable it you pay the government transaction via online.

11. OTHERS

1 STAR each for Promotions (P), Golf Privileges (G), Guaranteed Free Taxi Ride Home, Purchase Protection Plan (PP), F&B Discount at SPG Hotels or Shangri-La or Hilton, etc.

THE BEST TOP 10 CREDIT CARDS IN MALAYSIA 2018

Based on the methodology adopted above to analyze the 37 credit cards chosen, I am pleased to present to you the Best Top 10 Credit Cards in Malaysia for 2018:

Malaysia Best Top 10 Credit Cards Ultimate Showdown 2018

Surprise, surprise, both the Maybank 2 Cards Premier and FREE FOR LIFE Maybank 2 Gold//Platinum Cards came out tops where both earned themselves 17.25 STARs. This just proved to you that a FREE FOR LIFE Entry Level credit card (i.e. Maybank 2 Cards Gold) is just as good, or better, than any other Premier credit card out there. Of course if you are a follower of mine, you know that there is no such thing as the best credit card.

However, I was surprised that AmBank Priority Banking World MasterCard & Visa Infinite managed to be ranked at No.4.

Besides the Entry Level Maybank 2 Cards Gold, two other Entry Level credit cards also managed be in the Top 10 List, i.e. Maybank KrisFlyer AMEX and FREE FOR LIFE Public Bank Quantum Cards (MasterCard & Visa Combo).

It is no surprise that the Maybank FC Barcelona, Public Bank Quantum Cards and Public Bank Visa Signature earned themselves a position in the Top 10 List. These are must have credit cards for Cash Back Fans in additions to the Maybank 2 Gold/Plat Cards. The Maybank FC Barcelona is truly a fantastic cash back card as it earns the cardholder guaranteed 2% cash back for all types of transactions and 10% in the months of May and August!

And the newly launched Maybank Islamic World MasterCard also managed to win itself a position in the top 10.

In my Exclusive Edition detail analysis, I will tell your the Pro and Cons of the Top 10 credit cards.

Guess what, out of the 37 credit cards analyzed, the Citibank PremierMiles came out last, i.e. Ranked No.37!!! To tell you the truth, I am not surprise at all because the Citibank PremierMiles reward is really pathetic for a so called Premier Card. The only thing good about it is that the cardholder gets a free taxi ride home from KLIA and unlimited access to KLIA Plaza Premium Lounge. Other than the FREE Taxi Ride, Citibank PremireMiles holders are earning much less in returns. For examples:

Citibank PremierMiles earns the cardholders 1 Enrich Mile or 1 KrisFlyer Mile for every RM4.50 spent locally. However, please take note that Citibank PremierMiles does not reward you any PremierMiles for transactions related to Catering, Government, Education, Professional Training Courses, Child Care, “Special Event” such as funeral expenses (up to the discretion of Citibank and this can also means wedding related cost right?) and etc, etc, etc.

The FREE FOR LIFE Entry Level Maybank 2 Cards AMEX earns the cardholder 1 KrisFlyer Mile for every RM1.696 spent locally. I.e. the FREE FOR LIFE without any condition Maybank 2 Cards Gold is 165.33% better than Citi PremierMiles!

The FREE FOR LIFE Entry Level CIMB Enrich Platinum earns the cardholder 1 Enrich Mile for every RM4 spent including government. I.e. The FREE FOR LIFE without any condition CIMB Enrich Platinum MasterCard 12.5% better than Citi PremierMiles!

Seriously, if a Citibank PremierMiles cardholder does spend RM5K per month either on local or overseas transactions, he/she will be better off with the Maybank Visa Infinite to earn more air miles.

And if a Citibank PremierMiles cardholder spend less than RM3K per month and based on 80 PremierMiles = RM1 which is equivalent cash back of 0.416%; I tell you, he/she better just switch to cash back credit cards such as the FREE FOR LIFE FC Barcelona Visa Signature and will earn minimum 380% more in returns!!!

As for Airport Lounge, the Citibank PremierMiles is useless at KLAI2, hahaha. Even Entry Level credit cards such as AEON Big Gold and Maybank KrisFlyer AMEX Gold Card grant their cardholders FREE access to Plaza Premium Lounges at both KLIA and KLIA2. I have seen so many times people with Citbank’s so called Premier credit cards “kena” rejected at KLIA2 PPLs.

So, if you know someone holding a Citibank PremierMiles, please be a kind soul and refer them to my blog and you will in turn earn some positive karma points for the good deed, hahaha.

Once again, here are the Top 10 Best Credit Cards in Malaysia for 2018:

Malaysia Best Top 10 Credit Cards 2018 Summary Final

With respect to the above, if you have been following my blog for years, you will know that we DO NOT need to to have annual income of  RM120K or RM150K to be eligible for the Maybank Visa Infinite Manchester United and the wonderful fabulous Maybank 2 Cards Premier respectively.

In a nut shell:

If you are into air miles, then the creditt cards to hold are the Maybank 2 Cards Premier for Enrich/KrisFlyer/Asia Miles, RHB Premier Visa Infinite for Enrich Miles and Maybank KrisFlyer AMEX for KrisFlyer Miles.

If you are into Cash Back, then the credit cards to hold are Maybank 2 Gold/Platinum Cards, Maybank FC Barcelona, Public Bank Quantum Cards and Public Bank Visa Signature.

Thank you for reading this Ultimate Showdown Summary and may you have discipline in controlling your spending and always settle in full the Outstanding Balance prior to the Due Date so that you do not end up in the shit hole of debt.

Below Exclusive Edition is By Invitation Only for my Die Hard Facebook Supporters:

Click here for the Detail Analysis of the Ultimate Credit Cards Showdown 2018

GenX 25 Another annual Ultimate Showdown by GenX

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