When you want to apply for credit card online, everyone is asking this million-dollar question:
“What’s the best Visa/Mastercard/Amex credit card now?”
Truth is, there is no one single best credit card. Everyone has one credit card or two that best suits their needs.
Even if there is ‘the ultimate best’ credit card, given time, it can easily be dethroned by other credit card in the market. Telling you the best credit card it no different that asking you to shoot on a moving target – it is ludicrous.
There is a proven process you can learn to always choose and keep the best credit card suitable for yourself.
Also, if this your first time applying for a credit card online, then this guide on how to compare and apply for the best credit card NOW for yourself is pure GOLD. Don’t take my word for it, read user comment like this.
While we are at it, we are also going to debunk some credit card myths and overload you with tips to get the MOST out of your credit card.
- How to shortlist your credit card options to apply for
- Debunk Credit Card Myths!
- Myth 1: The most suitable credit card to apply for online is one based on your lifestyle.
- Myth 2: Apply for credit card online that have no annual fee.
- Myth 3: Apply for credit card online that have sign-up bonuses (free gifts)
- Myth 4: Apply for credit card online with seasonal benefits.
- Myth 5: Credit cards are evil!
- Practical Tips to apply for credit card online in Malaysia
How to shortlist your credit card options to apply for
Step 1: Select your bank to apply for credit card online
Firstly, you should choose the bank in which you have your main account with (e.g. savings account, current account).
Simply put, your main account is the account you use to receive your income and pay expenses.
This is crucial to establish your credibility with the bank, by having a record of transactions with your bank account.
Alternatively, your main account is the account that you use the most and has the largest amount of money inside.
Having established credibility with the bank increases the chances of your credit card application being approved when you apply for credit card online.
You could try to apply for a credit card with a bank that you have never been a customer with. Naturally, such a bank does not know your financial details (e.g. account balance, income, assets). So, do not be surprised if they reject your credit card application.
In short, it is always a better option to apply for credit card online with a bank where you are already a regular customer.
However, ultimately, it’s up to the bank to approve or reject your credit card application. Even if you have been a long time customer, banks need to meticulously evaluate your ability to pay back your credit line on time based on your current income, or check whether you’re a credit-worthy customer by scrutinizing your CCRIS records.
The thing is – if you are a first-time credit card applicant, you likely have zero credit rating or credit history. Beggars can’t be choosers, so, you just might have to accept your first credit card you get might not be the best, but leverage on it to build up your credit history over time.
Step 2: Select the credit card to apply for based on your income requirement.
Banks issue credit cards based on a person’s average income per month. Your approved credit limit is usually in the range of double or triple your monthly income
For first-time applicant or fresh graduates, chances are you may not get a card with “nice” benefits as your first due to low income.
So be disappointed as you can you can use your first credit card wisely as a stepping stone to build up credit history.
You can select credit cards with better benefits as your income increases. However, sometimes it’s not necessary to change your credit card as your income improves.
Instead, you should apply for a higher credit limit on your current credit card if you meet the income requirement (sometimes this is almost instant approval).
‘Compare & Shortlist the Best Credit Card for me’
Then Apply Online with Zero Hassle
In case you wonder “is it safe to apply for credit card online?” I can assure you I’ve done it multiple times and yes it is SAFE.
Step 3: Always prioritize credit card that offers cash rebate or cash back benefit
Cash rebates offered by credit cards have terms and conditions, such as requiring customers to spend a minimum amount before they are eligible for cash rebate. Although, credit cards offering 2% to 5% cash rebate with no terms and conditions are common. Ultimately, you should read the terms and conditions of the benefits offered by each credit card.
If you are offered credit cards that do not have cash rebate, select the credit card that allows you to exchange your expenditure into “reward points”. For example, electrical store Senheng has a reward points system where you can redeem “credit card points” using your credit card. The credit card points can be converted into money, e.g. 500 points equals RM1, which you can use in-store at the cashier. Some credit cards enable you to redeem vouchers using reward points too.
Debunk Credit Card Myths!
Myth 1: The most suitable credit card to apply for online is one based on your lifestyle.
Let’s say you do a lot of shopping in your everyday life, for example, e-commerce like Lazada or Shopee. Some people would think that getting a credit card with many shopping benefits is a wise decision.
Instead of selecting a credit card that ‘fits your lifestyle’, it’s better to select a credit card to be used as a payment method for your usual monthly expenses, e.g. utility bills, insurance. It’s a bonus if the credit card offers cash rebate for these.
Myth 2: Apply for credit card online that have no annual fee.
If your credit card has a cash rebate feature, it’s wise to use the cash rebate to pay off the annual fee. Easy-peasy!
Of course, the best of both worlds when it comes to cash rebate credit card is the one with no annual fee and 2% to 5% cash rebate, without many caveats or complicated qualifying conditions.
However, in the absence of ‘lifetime annual fee waiver’, you can probably easily waive the annual fee when you use your credit card enough times in a year, like swiping your card for more than 10 or 20 transactions per year, or meeting a certain minimum spending amount.
As stated, this is so easy to do if you use your card to pay for your usual recurring monthly expenses.
Myth 3: Apply for credit card online that have sign-up bonuses (free gifts)
It would be absurdly foolish to apply for a credit card online just for the sake of getting the free gifts or sign-up bonus.
Like these (luggage bags, umbrellas, duh!)
Sign-up bonuses last only one time, but credit card benefits last (almost) forever.
Of course it is ‘good to have’ when the credit card you successfully applied also has a sign-up bonus.
It is more important to focus on the long-term benefits of the credit card rather than the sign-up bonuses.
Myth 4: Apply for credit card online with seasonal benefits.
You might have heard of these seasonal benefits or special benefits, such as cash rebate when you dine at a restaurant within a period.
In our opinion, I do not recommend you focus on this aspect when you apply for credit card online. After all, these temporary benefits will expire and banks are actually very smart to organize such fancy campaigns just to get you onboard.
Once you are onboard though, you may discover it is a pain in the butt to call in to cancel your credit card.
Stick to this simple thought process: Select a credit card that caters to your spending habits and lifestyle, instead of building your life around the benefits of the credit card.
Think of seasonal benefits as bonus benefits, besides the long-term benefits that the credit cards offer.
However, there is one exception: the 0% balance transfer credit card benefit.
Most banks usually offer this upon your credit card approval. If you have outstanding credit balance from your existing credit card(s), you can transfer the balance into your new card with 0% interest rate, usually within 30 days of approval.
I don’t need to explain to you that this serves to reduce the amount of interest you need to pay on your current credit card outstanding amount right? (if you are someone who do not settle credit card balance in full every month for whatever reasons or excuses 🙂 )
Myth 5: Credit cards are evil!
Credit cards are a tool, just like a knife.
If you use your credit card carelessly, you can end up in consumer debt and your life could be ruined.
If you have the bad habit of utilizing your credit card without paying off the outstanding balance every month, banks are empowered, legally, to charge you 18 percent interest per year. That is like loan shark or ‘along’ but legal one.
So don’t! Use your credit line wisely, by treating your credit card as a method of payment for monthly expenses (groceries, fuel, utility bills, etc.) instead of extending your spending power.
Practical Tips to apply for credit card online in Malaysia
Tip 1: Always get your first credit card with a local bank
There are 3 major local banks you can choose from: Maybank, CIMB and Public Bank.
Your salary slips from the past 1 to 3 months are required for your application, depending whether you work in GLC (government-linked companies), international companies (MNCs) or SMEs (small medium enterprise). If you’re a business owner, the most recent past 6 months or your latest tax filing confirmation is usually required.
If you work in a multi-national company, you may see some banks set up a credit card application booth at your workplace from time to time.
You can apply for a credit card at these booths without the need to go to the bank. The booth has a printer machine where it prints your EPF (with your authorization) as proof of income. The advantage is that your credit card approval rates are higher than if you were to go to a bank and apply for credit card online.
Tip 2: Slowly Aim for a 6-figures combined credit card limit
A 6-figure credit card limit is especially useful in an emergency, such as paying for costly medical bill if a family member is suddenly hospitalized.
It is advisable to request for an increase in your credit card limit as you earn more income, to avoid the risk of having a maxed-out credit card during these times.
Direct link to respective banks to apply for credit card online
OCBC: Apply for credit card online Malaysia