Bros & Sis, as you all know, there is no such thing as the best credit card in Malaysia. We have to select the right credit card based on our spending pattern.
For cash back, I will tell you straight off that the best credit card on weekends, where AMEX is welcome, the fabulous Maybank 2 Gold/Platinum Cards American Express is second to none because you are guaranteed to earn 5% cash back for any type of transactions including government transactions! Then again, if the merchant does not accept AMEX, then the Maybank 2 Gold/Platinum Cards are useless, hahaha.
Having said the above, when it comes to Air Miles, in addition to your spending pattern, there is another criteria to consider, which is what airline’s air miles you want. For examples, the CIMB Enrich credit cards are pretty good for Enrich but useless if you are into KrisFlyer or AsiaMiles!
Today’s article will give you a guide as to what credit card you should hold if you are into air miles. Now, if you are thinking of redeeming for Economy Class tickets which are freaking cheap, I suggest you stop reading the rest of this article but instead click here to my Cash Back Page and choose the right credit cards that earn you minimum 3% cash back for different categories. I tell you, if you really sit down and use your brain to analyze, you will find that you will earn more from cash back cards compared to redeeming an Economy Class ticket or even Business Class ticket to Shanghai or Perth!
However if you want to fly for FREE, minimum Business Class for flights that are 8 hours or more, then opting for Air Miles credit cards will give you much better returns versus cash back credit cards.
WHAT AIR MILES TO REDEEM?
If you ask me, if one is residing in Klang Valley and wants to fly to Auckland, Brisbane, London and Melbourne Tullamarine, I will tell the fastest way is with Malaysia Airlines. Why? Because AirAsia doesn’t fly to these destinations, hahaha.
Many people will tell you that you will require more Enrich Miles or KrisFlyer Miles compare to say Asia Miles. Well, that is not necessary the case or half the story. Did you know that we need less Enrich Miles to redeem a return ticket KL/London on Economy versus AsiaMiles or KrisFlyer? For Business Class, would you believe if I told you that I need less Enrich Miles versus Asia Miles to redeem a return Business Class KL/Melbourne?
For destinations where Malaysia Airlines does not fly to, then YES, AsiaMiles and KrisFlyer is way better.
So what air miles you want to redeem depends on (1) what class you want to fly, (2) where you are departing from, (3) where you want to fly to, (4) how fast you want to get there and (5) how much you willing to pay for taxes and surcharges and other fees.
Just like credit cards, there is no such thing as the best airline’s air miles. So just like credit cards where I have many different credit cards for different types of spending, I also redeem for different airlines’ air miles depending on where I want to fly to.
But I can tell you this, if I want to fly Economy during off peak periods, my first choice is AirAsia if they fly to that destination. However, during peak periods, you be surprised that Malaysia Airlines Economy class tickets can be cheaper than AirAsia!!!
WHAT CREDIT CARDS TO GET FOR AIR MILES
If you have been following me for years and have read my Credit Card Tutorial 101, you will know what credit cards you should have and the joke is the Entry Level Maybank 2 Gold Card AMEX is better than other banks Premier Credit Cards!!!
Once again, I will show you just how wonderful is the Entry Level Maybank 2 Gold/Platinum Cards American Express for Local spending.
The Maybank 2 Gold/Platinum AMEX earns you 5X Treats Points everyday except for transactions related to Insurance, Education, Utilities and Government.
Based on 5X TP for every RM1 spent locally and the conversion of TP to air miles shown in the table above, we earn 1 Enrich Miles for every RM2 spent, 1 Asia Miles for every RM1.40 spent and 1 KrisFlyer Miles for every RM1.60 spend.
Based on the above, you will need to spend RM4.50 locally to earn 1 Enrich Mile or KrisFlyer or AsiaMiles.
HSBC PREMIER TRAVEL MASTERCARD – For Premier Banking Customers who are damn happy to earn less with FD Board Rates!!!
As usual, HSBC is the leader in misleading those who do not bother to read their Terms and Conditions. YOU DO NOT earn 1.1 HSBC Air Miles if you spend more than RM20K a month!!! In actual fact you earn ZERO HSBC Air Miles once you spend over RM18,182 overseas!!!
For local spending, you only earn 1 KrisFLyer or AsiaMiles with every RM8 spent!!!
STANDARD CHARTERED BANK WORLDMILES MASTERCARD – Great For FREE Taxi Rides from KLIA and KLIA2 too.
If you don’t mind earning 1 Enrich Mile or KrisFlyer Mile or Asia Miles with every RM6 spent locally, then this card is for you.
Based on the above, the conversion rate to 1,000 Enrich Miles and 1,000 KrisFlyer Miles are 11,000 RHB Points and 12,000 RHB Points respectively.
So for movie tickets, the RHB Rewards MasterCard earns you 1 Enrich Mile for every RM1.10 spent, which is really good but still not as good as the fabulous Maybank 2 Cards Premier AMEX Reserve!!! 10X RHB Reward Points still lose to Maybank 5X Treats Points hahaha.
If RHB 10X Rewards Points for Movie Ticket is not as good as Maybank 2 Cards Premier AMEX Reserve, the other categories where you earn 4X, 3X and 2X RHB Rewards Points are worst off.
CIMB Preferred Visa Infinite – The Ultimate Natiowide Airport Lounge Credit Card, that’s if you have the minimum AUM in your account.
For local dining where AMEX is not welcomed, 1 Enrich Mile for every RM1.25 spent on dining is actually very good.
For other local transactions. the CIMB Preferred Visa Infinite is freaking useless because you need to spend RM10 just to earn 1 Enrich Mile!!!
As you can observe from the above, the Entry Level Maybank 2 Gold Cards AMEX beats other bank’s Premier credit cards!!! IF anyone tells you that AMEX is not widely accepted, well, he/she more likely a cash back fan and contented with flying Economy class.
If you are really into Air Miles, the cards to own are the Maybank 2 Cards Premier AMEX Reserve and Visa Infinite – click here and read my Credit Card Tutorial 101 because if you know nothing about these cards, you know nuts about credit cards!
However, the Maybank 2 Cards Premier are as good as useless for Government Transactions but not the Entry Level Maybank 2 Cards Gold/Platinum AMEX where you still can earn 5% cash back, hahaha.
Having said the above, if you are into Enrich Miles, then the CIMB Elite WMC amd RHB Premier Banking Visa Infinite can earn you Enrich Miles faster than the Maybank 2 Cards Premier for selected categories.
So in conclusion, there is no such thing as the best credit cards for air miles but you need several cards for different categories and different airline’s air miles too.