How to find the best credit card for travel to Malaysia

Find the best credit card to take on your next trip to Malaysia for your personal and business needs.

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Whether you commute daily from Johor to Singapore for work or are planning a one-off holiday across the Causeway, you’ll want to know which is the best credit card for travelling to Malaysia. We’ll help you compare credit cards in Singapore that could save you big in Malaysia so you can decide which is the right fit for your lifestyle, income level and spending preferences.

How does a credit card for travel to Malaysia work?

A credit card that you can take on your travels to Malaysia works exactly like any other normal credit card in Singapore except that this card will be accepted by most merchants in Malaysia without incurring overseas foreign transaction fees and other surcharges.

You could also receive cashback, petrol discounts and earn rewards or miles on all your spending whether you’re in Singapore or Malaysia and enjoy a range of complimentary travel benefits.

Types of applicants

The following factors will impact which credit card suits your needs best:

  • Your residency status. For Singaporeans and foreigners residing in Singapore, you’ll need to choose a credit card from the range of products offered by Singaporean banks. If you’re a Malaysian residing in Singapore or frequent commuter between Singapore and Malaysia, you’ll also have the option of applying for a credit card from a Malaysian bank which may offer better local deals on spending across a range of categories within Malaysia.
  • Travel frequency. For those that travel often to Malaysia for work, leisure or family visits, you may want to consider getting a credit card in Singapore that offers rewards, cashback and discounts on spending overseas. If you spend a lot on petrol, for example, and know you’ll be fuelling up every time you’re across the Causeway, it could be worth opting for a dedicated duo petrol credit card that gives you discounts at all petrol stations both island-wide and when you’re in Malaysia.However, if you’re only looking at a one-off trip to Malaysia, you could be better off using your current Singaporean credit or debit card, or purchasing a prepaid travel card instead.

How to compare credit cards for travel to Malaysia

Before deciding which credit card is right for you, you should carefully consider the following factors:

  • Acceptance. While Visa and Mastercard credit cards are accepted at most merchants in Singapore, an Amex or Diners Club card won’t be as widely accepted.
  • Fees and rates. To avoid international ATM, currency conversion, cash advance and other charges while overseas, consider choosing a travel credit card with no foreign currency transaction fees or preload money into a travel card to avoid any currency conversion charges. You’ll also need to compare the annual fee and interest rate charges of your chosen card and ask yourself whether you can realistically afford to pay these fees.
  • Miles/rewards earn rate. You could earn rewards on every $1 you spend while you’re overseas or when ordering foreign goods online. If you’re a frequent traveller or spend a significant portion of your income on foreign products, it’s worth comparing the earn rates on offer across different credit cards in Singapore and in specific spend categories that are important to you.
  • How you spend when you’re overseas. Consider what you spend the most on while you’re overseas. Do you eat out often and spend on entertainment, or are your travel-related expenses mostly concentrated on flight, transport and petrol? If you spend the most on one or two of these categories, you could consider getting a credit card that offers rewards tailored to your spending patterns, such as a dedicated petrol savings card.
  • Travel perks. You could benefit from complimentary travel insurance, free airport lounge access, a 24/7 global emergency customer service line, frequent flyer rewards programs and even discounted golfing or yacht hire when you travel to Malaysia.
  • Income level. Most credit cards in Singapore have a minimum income requirement of $30,000. However, some credit cards stipulate much higher minimum income requirements from $60,000 or above. Foreigners may be subject to stricter income requirements. Before applying, check that you meet all of the card’s eligibility requirements on the provider’s product page.

Bottom line

Whether you travel to Malaysia frequently for business or just want to enjoy zero currency conversion fees on your next trip across the border, using the right credit card on your Malaysian travels could help you save big and simultaneously earn rewards on all your spending.

If you’re ready to find the best credit card in Singapore for travel to Malaysia, start comparing your options now [link to compare table].

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