Hong Leong Bank Essential Visa Cash Back Review 2019

When the HLB Essential was first introduced many moons ago, it was not too bad as it offered UNLIMITED 1% cash back. However, over the years, just like most banks, Hong Leong Bank has been revising their credit cards’ benefits and once again the HLB Essential Visa Cash Back benefits will be revised on 1st December 2018.

Below is Hong Leong Bank’s announcement on 9th November (highlighted by a follower recently):

HLB Essential Visa 2018 Review.jpg

Basically, effective 1st December 2018, the HLB Essential will be useless for  Insurance Premiums unless you are an insurance agent and has few hundred thousand Ringgit of insurance premiums to pay per month. Then again, if not mistaken, insurance agents are not allowed to pay on behalf of their customers using credit cards especially for insurance premiums related to Life and Medical policies.

So, if you have monthly personal insurance premiums amounting to minimum RM500 which are being auto-debited and you are into cash back, better you go with Standard Chartered Bank Just One Platinum (click here to read my review).

Well, effective 1st December 2018, it seems that HLB Essential does reward the cardholder cash back of 0.4% for petrol. However, just to earn RM50 cash back from petrol transactions, one must spend RM12,500 with it!!! I tell you, the best credit cards for petrol are Maybank 2 Cards Gold/Platinum AMEX and/or Maybank Islamic Ikhwan MasterCard where you will earn RM50 in cash back with RM1K petrol spending with either one of these said cards at Petronas, Petron and Shell!

Then again, if you really want miserable 1% cash back, check out Hong Leong Bank Fortune Visa Cash Back Credit Card which earns you minimum 1% cash back. And this card rewards you with ADDITIONAL BONUS Cash Back starting from minimum RM38K per year!!! And if you spend RM108K with it, you get Bonus Cash Back of RM1,800.00. Click here to read my review of the Hong Leong Bank Fortune Visa Cash Back Card.

Would I recommend the HLB Fortune Card? Answer as usual is – that there is no  such thing as the best credit card but you must have the right cards based on your spending pattern. If you hold a combination of cash back credit cards as stated in my Cash Back Page, you would definitely earn more in cash back (minimum 3%) versus the HLB Fortune based on your spending on essential categories such as Groceries, Petrol, Government, Online Transactions, Department Stores, Dining and Insurance.

Having said the above, if you really really do spend RM108K per year on non essential spending (e.g. air rickets, hotels, shopping, clubbing, business expenses and whatever not required for your daily survival), better you go play Air Miles and get much much more in returns.

I tell you, if you are new to credit cards and earning less than RM50 per month in cash back with just RM1K spending, you better educate yourself by clicking here and read my FREE Credit Card Tutorial.