With the easing of COVID-19 restrictions, many people are looking to travel and see the world once more. After all, travelling is a great way to experience different cultures, meet new people, and create lasting memories. Travelling for leisure or business can be expensive due to the cost of flights and hotels. However, with the right credit card, you can easily make your journey more affordable and rewarding!
When it comes to travel credit cards in Malaysia, we’ve rounded up several great options that offer travel-related benefits, such as earning rewards points, miles, travel insurance coverage, and airport lounge access, to help you make the most of your trips.
For newbie travellers
We know that as beginner travellers, you’re looking to save cash and score free flights on your next adventure! Well, look no further than these two credit cards. They can help you rack up rewards points or miles on all your travel expenses — from flights and hotels to car rentals. There are also sweet sign-up bonuses for new users, so you can start collecting those rewards right off the bat!
1. Hong Leong AirAsia Gold Visa
For the ones who frequently fly with AirAsia, the Hong Leong AirAsia Gold Visa credit card may be the one for you. Cardholders can earn AirAsia BIG Points for every Ringgit spent, which can be redeemed for flights, hotels, and car rentals, to name a few. For every RM1 AirAsia spend, cardholders will receive 6 AirAsia BIG Points; every RM2 overseas spend will be converted into 1 AirAsia BIG Point; every RM5 local spend will be converted into 1 AirAsia BIG Point.
You can also get 3,000 Welcome AirAsia Big Points with a minimum spend of RM1,500 in the first 60 days after card approval; another 3,000 Quarterly AirAsia Big Points with a minimum spend of RM3000 per calendar quarter.
You can also enjoy the card’s 0% Flexi Payment Plan feature when you convert your minimum credit card spend of RM500 into 12-month instalment payments. With its low annual fee and interest rate, this card is a more affordable option for those who want to earn AirAsia BIG Points on their credit card spending.
To apply, you must be age 21 or older for principal cardholders and earn a minimum income of RM24,000 per annum or a minimum fixed deposit pledge of RM2000. The annual fee is RM200 and is waived for the first year. The yearly fee for the subsequent years will be waived with a minimum spend of RM10,000 per annum.
2. UOB PRVI Miles Card
The UOB PRVI Miles Card allows you to earn miles fast. With this card, cardholders can earn 5X UNIRINGGIT (5 points on RM1) on overseas and travel spending. You can earn a 2,000 Bonus UNIRINGGIT when you make a minimum of three retail spends per month. You can then convert all the UNIRINGGIT to air miles with top frequent flyer programmes such as AirAsia BIG Points, Asia Miles, Enrich Miles and KrisFlyer Miles.
Another benefit of the UOB PRVI Miles Card is the option to enjoy daily perks. Cardholders can enjoy up to 50% monthly savings on GrabRides, with up to RM10 off per transaction. All you have to do is insert the unique code ‘PRVIRIDE’, and off you go!
Overall, the UOB PRVI Miles Card is an excellent option for the budget traveller looking to earn miles on their credit card spending. The bonus miles and the option to convert them are great perks that can help cardholders redeem their miles for flights quickly and easily.
To apply, you must be age 21 or older for principal cardholders and earn a minimum income of RM60,000 per annum. The annual fee is only RM198 for the principal card and RM30 for the supplementary card.
For the savvy jet-setters
Savvy jet-setters know that a travel credit card can be a valuable asset during their escapades, not only for exclusive perks such as airport lounge access and peace of mind travel insurance for overseas travel, but also for the ability to earn rewards and cashback on local dining and travel expenses. These two credit cards can offer a well-rounded set of benefits that cater to savvy jet-setters’ diverse travel needs and preferences.
1. RHB World MasterCard Credit Card-i
If you’re looking for a credit card that offers a good balance of rewards and benefits, the RHB World MasterCard® Credit Card-I is a great option, and especially so if you travel frequently. Cardholders can earn up to 6% cashback monthly on local petrol, travel, and dining spending. This cashback benefit provides a significant opportunity to save money on local travel getaways.
Additionally, you can also earn up to 2% cashback on all overseas retail spending, making it a great choice for individuals who frequently travel abroad. The cash back benefit also allows travellers to offset the costs of their travels and make their trips more affordable.
That’s not all! With this card, cardholders can enjoy 5x complimentary access and a 25% discount for all accompanying guests to participating Plaza Premium Lounges and Aerotel in Malaysia. Cardholders can enjoy the comfort and convenience of airport lounges, along with their friends and family, without having to fork out much for additional guest passes.
You can also take advantage of a special 20% discount at Plaza Premium Lounges around the world (except in Shanghai and Beijing), which is a great way to save on lounge access while travelling overseas.
To apply, you must be age 21 or older for principal cardholders and earn a minimum income of RM80,000 per annum. What’s more, this card is also FREE for life!
2. Standard Chartered WorldMiles MasterCard
Travellers that want to stay savvy while maximising their travel spending may want to opt for the Standard Chartered WorldMiles MasterCard®. This card allows you to earn up to 4.5 WorldMiles points for every RM3 spent overseas, and 1 WorldMiles point for every RM3 spent locally. Cardholders can then experience efficient and cost-effective reward redemption for airfare by using their WorldMiles points to redeem miles from airlines such as Malaysia Airlines Enrich, AirAsia BIG, Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer, and Cathay Pacific Asia Miles for discounted flights.
The Standard Chartered WorldMiles MasterCard® also offers its customers a luxurious travel experience with exclusive access to participating Plaza Premium Lounges in KLIA and KLIA2. As a principal member, you will have the privilege of UNLIMITED complimentary access to these lounges when you present a valid international boarding pass. You can also bring along companions, who will be entitled to receive a 20% discount on the lounge’s published rates.
This card allows you to save on transportation costs, with discounts of up to RM80 on your Airport Limousine or KLIA Ekspres (ERL) ride home. This feature is perfect for savvy jet-setters who value comfort and convenience while minimising travel costs!
To apply, you must be age 21 or older for principal cardholders and earn a minimum income of RM90,000 per annum. The annual fee is RM600 and is waived for the first year. Subsequent years will be waived with a minimum spend of RM60,000 per year.
For the well-travelled
For the well-travelled individual, a travel credit card can significantly enhance one’s journey. With exclusive airport lounge access, peace of mind travel insurance, and other perks like priority boarding, these cards can make the travel experience more comfortable and enjoyable. They can also be a valuable asset for unexpected events, allowing one to focus on enjoying their journey.
1. Maybank 2 Cards Premier Reserve American Express®
For a credit card that offers generous rewards and travel-related benefits, Maybank 2 Cards Premier Reserve American Express® is an excellent option. One of the card’s key features is the ability to earn 5x TreatsPoints for every ringgit spent on local and overseas transactions. These points can then be converted to air miles at 7,000 TreatPoints = 1000 Enrich/KrisFlyer/Asia Miles.
In addition to earning rewards, when you use your American Express® Reserve card to pay for your travel expenses, you will automatically be covered with complimentary Accidental Death and Disablement insurance worth up to RM1,000,000 and coverage for travel-related issues such as missed connections, delayed luggage, and lost luggage.
The Maybank 2 Cards Premier Reserve American Express® also offers a Premier Lifestyle Program that includes a variety of discounts and perks for hotels and golf clubs around the world to enhance your overseas travel experience. You can also receive up to a 50% discount on your food bill at the Shangri-La Kuala Lumpur and a 40% discount at participating hotels and resorts in Malaysia under the Marriott Bonvoy brand, valid until 31 December 2023.
To apply, you must be age 21 or older for principal cardholders and earn a minimum income of RM100,000 per annum. The annual fee is RM800 and is waived for the first year. Annual fees for the subsequent years will be waived with a minimum spend of RM80,000 per annum.
2. Hong Leong Emirates HLB World Elite Card
The Hong Leong Emirates HLB World Elite Card offers cardholders a truly luxurious experience when it comes to travelling; accumulate 150,000 Skywards Miles, which can be redeemed for a return business class flight to Europe, and an additional 10,000 Skywards Miles as an anniversary bonus, simply by spending RM300,000 within a year. Cardholders also receive a welcome bonus of 10,000 Skywards Miles for the first retail transaction within 45 days of card approval.
With the Hong Leong Emirates HLB World Elite Card, you can enjoy complimentary access to Emirates KLIA Lounge up to 4 times per year without any spending requirements! Other luxurious benefits include:
- Airport transfer
- Overseas medical and travel insurance up to USD500,000
- Automatic purchase protection of up to USD20,000 for added peace of mind during travel
Cardholders can also experience the convenience of having their personal and business needs taken care of with Mastercard Concierge Services. From reserving a table at a fancy restaurant to booking tickets for events, sourcing hard-to-find items, and even buying and delivering gifts, this service offers a wide range of assistance that will make your life easier.
With this card in hand, seasoned world travellers can indulge in the finer things in life while travelling the world in style.
To apply, you must be age 21 or older for principal cardholders and earn a minimum income of RM250,000 per annum or a minimum fixed deposit pledge of RM50,000. The annual fee is RM488.
*All images from respective banks and Polina Tankilevitch, edited by Xin Xin Lee.