Top 5 Travel Credit Cards for Malaysians in 2017 (Earning RM5k & below!)

WARNING: Read only if you plan to be addicted flying on First & Business Class!

After our 2017 Top 10 Travel Credit Cards to Apply for Malaysians post, we received several similar question from our readers: Tommy, what about travel credit cards for the middle class? Those premium cards are certainly wonderful but I have yet to attain the qualification.

Hence this article is a follow-up on previous article but focusing on the best Travel Credit Card in Malaysia to apply if you are earning RM5,000 per month or below.

Entry level credit cards do not offer as much miles or benefits compared to the premium cards but that doesn’t mean you are unable to rake in serious miles with them. Most importantly, READ the T&C to understand the rules & take advantage of it to maximize your point earning. Some common rules are: Monthly & Yearly Quota, Overseas spending, Limitation of specific transaction to earn more points.

Etihad Airways Business Class

What’s so great about owning the correct travel credit cards? Free First & Business Class flights, Free Airport Lounge, Free Hotel Upgrades and Free Airport Transfer are some of the perks to indulge.

In my opinion, redeeming a First or Business Class flight would worth an entire life of petrol or supermarket cash back value. Not to mention the amazing lie flat-bed, popping champagne & exquisite gourmet food compared to the cramp economy seat.

Before proceeding, do Follow our Instagram, will be organizing a lucky draw prize giveaway either hotel stay or flight ticket for our followers soon.

1. Maybank 2 Gold & Platinum AMEX

The Maybank 2 Gold Card AMEX not only offers one of the highest airline miles conversion but also one of the lowest min income of only RM30,000 p.a. to apply. Anyone with RM2,500 monthly salary are eligible & should apply this card to rake in airline miles.

Best of all, this card has no annual fees. Both overseas & local transaction earns you the same amount of Treats points however there are different rates when redeeming different airline.

Best for : Airline Miles Redemption

Redemption Rate :

  • Local & Overseas
    • RM1.49 for 1 Asia Miles
    • RM1.70 for 1 KrisFlyer
    • RM2.12 for 1 Enrich

Min Income to apply : RM30,000 p.a.

Annual Fees : Lifetime Free Waiver

Advantage :

  • High airline miles redemption rate
  • Free annual fees

Disadvantage :

  • American Express is less acceptable in Malaysia

More info : Maybank 2 Gold Card AMEX

2. Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer American Express® Gold

The Singapore Airline KrisFlyer AMEX Gold card is a medium entry card with a RM4,000 monthly salary to qualify. This card allows holders to earn up to RM1 per 1 KrisFlyer mile making it one of the highest miles redemption card in the market.

Also it allows holders 5X free access to Plaza Premium Lounge in Malaysia. This benefit used to be unlimited Plaza Premium Lounge access but was downgraded in 2016.

The downside, this card is limited to earn Singapore Airline KrisFlyer miles only and the miles are automatically transferred to your KrisFlyer account hence reducing your miles lifespan from 6 years to 3 years only. (Usual credit cards points are valid for 3 years and airline points valid another 3 years which makes it 6 years). So make sure you can earn enough points to redeem a worthy air ticket within 3 years when using this card.

Best for : Singapore Airline KrisFlyer miles redemption

Redemption Rate :

  • Local & Overseas – RM2 for 1 KrisFlyer
  • Double up your miles with minimum spend of RM60,000 within twelve (12) months Card anniversary year making it RM1 per 1 KrisFlyer mile.

Min Income to apply : RM48,000 p.a.

Annual Fees : RM250. 1st year fee-waiver.

Advantage :

  • Double up miles earned with RM60,000 spending making it the highest redemption for this category.
  • 5X Free Plaza Premium Lounge Access in Malaysia per year
  • Complimentary Travel Insurance Coverage

Disadvantage :

  • Miles redemption only limited to Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
  • American Express less acceptable in Malaysia

More info : Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer American Express® Gold 

3. UOB PRVI Miles

UOB Prvi Miles gives holders a choice to accelerate miles earning by spending on specific category such as Overseas, Hotel, Travel, Airline but has a capped on the miles earn which is its disadvantage. However this card allows 12X Free Plaza Premium Lounge access in Malaysia if you spend min RM500 each month for last 3 months.

Best for : Overseas, Airlines, Hotel & Travel Agency spending

Redemption Rate :

  • Overseas, Airlines, Hotel, Travel Agency
    • RM1.20 for 1 Asia Mile
    • RM1.40 for 1 KrisFlyer
    • RM1.70 for 1 Enrich Mile
  • Other Spending

    • RM6.00 for 1 Asia Mile
    • RM7.00 for 1 KrisFlyer
    • RM8.50 for 1 Enrich Mile

Min Income to apply : RM60,000 p.a.

Annual Fees : RM209.88

Advantage :

  • 12X complimentary access a year to Plaza Premium Lounge across Malaysia

Disadvantage :

  • Limited category to spend to earn 5X UniRinggit
  • Monthly & Yearly Cap on earning the 5X UniRinggit

More info : UOB PRVI Miles / PRVI Miles T&C

4. CIMB Enrich Platinum Mastercard

CIMB Enrich Platinum Mastercard allows holders to earn 1 Enrich Mile for every RM4.00 on local & overseas spending making it fuss free although the points aren’t as high as some other cards listed in this article.

Best for : No fuss Enrich Miles Earning

Redemption Rate :

  • Local & Overseas – RM4.00 for 1 Enrich Mile

Min Income to apply : RM24,000 p.a.

Annual Fees : Free For Life

Advantage :

  • 2X Free Access to Golden Lounge when flying with Malaysia Airline
  • Free RM1 million Travel Insurance Coverage
  • Free For Life

Disadvantage :

  • Limited only to earn Malaysia Airline Enrich Mile

More info : CIMB Enrich Platinum Mastercard

5. Citibank Rewards Platinum

The Citibank Rewards Platinum allows users to earn high miles by spending on selected merchants which they subscribed. Apply this card only if you are willing to go through all the fuss of understanding the rules which are complicated.

Best for : Specific Merchants spending to earn high miles

Redemption Rate :

  • 5X Reward Earning on Specific Merchants

    • RM1.30 for 1 Asia Mile
    • RM1.40 for 1 KrisFlyer
    • RM1.70 for 1 Enrich
  • Overseas & Local Spending
    • RM6.50 for 1 Asia Mile
    • RM7.00 for 1 KrisFlyer
    • RM8.50 for 1 Enrich

Note: Only Limited to these merchants only

For the Travel category, the 5X points earning is limited to a yearly cap of RM12,000.

For all other categories, the 5X points earning is limited to a monthly cap of RM1,000.

Any spending beyond these caps will have a 1X points earning with the exception of the Driving category which will earn no points after the monthly cap is exceeded.

Min Income to apply : RM36,000 p.a.

Annual Fees : RM106 per reward subscription. Waived 1 reward for every RM15,000 spending per year.

Advantage :

  • Earn higher miles on specific transaction

Disadvantage :

  • Complicated rules and limited to selected merchants
  • High miles are capped to annual or monthly depending on category

More info : Citibank Rewards Platinum

Conclusion

We rank the credit cards mainly by conversion of point to mile, privileges available, annual income required and lastly the annual fees. We do not receive any commission nor benefits from any banks. This article is purely for our readers benefits.

In 2017 we hope to engage closer with our readers instead of just 1 way flow. If you have any questions about travel, comment below, perhaps we can write an article on your questions and enlighten others as well.

If you find this article useful, SHARE IT to your friends & family members. Also don’t forget to LIKE our Facebook, Follow our Instagram and Sign Up our Email Newsletter to receive more travel tips & latest travel promotion.

About Tommy Ooi 321 Articles
Luxury Hotel Reviewer & Destination Blogger. Passionate for travel, exploring new culture & indulging divine food, Tommy has traveled to 42 countries & 140+ destinations.

4 Comments

  1. How is the conversion from expenses to the miles being made? Do we have to go to he bank’s website to claim? Or the airline’s webpage?

    • Hi Angeline, some banks like SC & UOB allow you to convert via online banking, others will need to redeem by filling up the redemption form & fax them

  2. UOB PRVI Miles card, i wondering if i book hotel via Agoda, does it fall under 5xUniRinggit “HOTEL” RM1.70 for 1 Enrich Mile ?

Leave a Reply