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What Is The Best Cashback Credit Card For Online Shopping?

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What Is The Best Cashback Credit Card For Online Shopping?
This article was first published on RinggitPlus

We’re all used to cashback credit cards for petrol, groceries, dining, and the like. But as more and more Malaysians transition to doing their shopping online, it only makes sense to optimise our spending with the best cashback credit cards for online shopping.

This particular category of spending has seen many banks offering competitive products since the first time we published this post, so this list will be regularly updated to feature only the best ones available. Of course, the best credit card here can be a mix of a few of them by using multiple cards where possible, but we’ll share some strategies towards the end of this piece.

Methodology – How We Curate The Cards In This List

With a huge amount of cashback cards available in Malaysia, we rely on several important criteria to ensure that only the best cards make it to our recommendations list.

1) Spending requirements

A popular trend among banks is having spending requirements to be eligible for cashback. Some require a minimum spend per transaction, while others have a minimum monthly spend to “unlock” cashback.

We believe that a card with no spend requirements with the same effective cashback rate is the better option (all else equal).

2) Effective cashback rates

With many cashback cards today offering tiered cashback rates, calculating the effective cashback rates (based on their “best”/highest cashback tier) is a better indicator of the potential returns cardholders can get.

For example, a card that offers 12% cashback may sound appealing, but if the 12% rate is only unlocked upon a minimum spend of RM2,500 and capped at RM50, its effective cashback rate is actually 2%. We would rate another card offering 5% cashback with no minimum spend requirement capped at RM50 as a better option, since its effective cashback rate is higher at 5%.

Of course, this is subject to the individual cardholder’s spending pattern, but from our perspective, the higher the effective cashback rate, the “better” the card.

Where applicable, we will display the card’s effective cashback rate.

3) Annual fees & waiver policies

Annual fees can and will eat into the total cashback earned throughout the year, so we prioritise cards that have zero annual fees as well as those with waiver policies that are easily achievable (such as 12x spending annually or 1x spending per month).

Thus, if two cards are equal in every way other than their annual fees, we will recommend the one with zero annual fees or the one with the more lenient waiver policy.

So, with that out of the way, here’s our recommendation list for the best cashback credit cards in Malaysia for online spending. Note that this list is not ordered or arranged in any way.

Maybank 2 Gold/Platinum American Express

Cashback: 5% on all weekend spend; capped at RM50/month
Minimum income requirement: RM30,000/year (RM2,500/month)
Annual fee: Free for life

The Maybank 2 Cards come in a pair: the Maybank 2 American Express and the Maybank 2 Mastercard/Visa. The Maybank 2 American Express is a cashback card that offers 5% off on all weekend spend, including online transactions. On weekdays, cardholders earn 5 TreatsPoints for every RM1 spent (which is equivalent to 1% in effective cashback if you redeem a RM50 Aeon voucher).

It used to be that American Express cards are not as widely accepted as Visa and Mastercard, but for online shopping in Malaysia, this is no longer the case. The biggest e-commerce platforms – Lazada, Shopee, and Zalora – all accept Amex cards, so you can now take advantage of the regular promos and vouchers available on those platforms and earn an extra 5% cashback just by using this card! You’ll hit the maximum RM50 cashback with RM1,000 in spending.

One reason why the Maybank 2 Amex is a genuinely useful credit card is because of its lack of minimum spend requirement to unlock the cashback, which is quite rare for cashback credit cards today. Both the Gold and Platinum variants are free for life, but the Platinum comes with travel insurance benefits, so get the Platinum if you earn more than RM60,000 per annum.

Public Bank Quantum MasterCard

Cashback: 5% cashback on online transactions; capped at RM30/month
Minimum income requirement: RM36,000/year (RM3,000/month)
Annual fee: Free for life

The Public Bank Quantum MasterCard and Visa Card come as two halves of a pair. The Visa gives you 5% cashback for contactless transactions of at least RM30, while the Quantum MasterCard offers 5% cashback on online transactions. Both cards’ cashback rates are capped at RM30 per month – for your convenience, this means you’ll earn cashback for up to RM600 in spending.

There are no minimum spend requirements or tiered rates for this card, so you’ll get cashback no matter how little you spend on the card for online shopping. Moreover, it has a low minimum income requirement to apply and it is free for life, making it a great card to own for many people.

Affin Duo Visa

Cashback: 3% cashback on e-wallet, online, & auto-billing; capped at RM50/80 per month
Minimum income requirement: RM36,000/year (RM3,000/month)
Annual fee: RM75, waived with 12 transactions in a year

Another favourite, the Affin Duo is yet another dual-card combo that aims to offer better value for cardholders. The Affin Duo Mastercard is a rewards points card that offers modest returns, but the Affin Duo Visa’s cashback features makes it one of the best cashback cards in Malaysia.

While it offers a relatively lower cashback rate at 3% (compared to the others in this list), the generous RM80 cashback cap means you’ll earn cashback for up to RM2,667 in spending. Note that with the recent revision to this card, you’ll need to maintain an outstanding balance of RM3,000 to be eligible for the 3% cashback – we explain this in detail in this article.

Combine this generous cashback rate with practically zero annual fees and an income requirement that’s low enough for fresh graduates, the Affin Duo cards are a worthy addition to your wallet.

Public Bank Visa Signature

Cashback: 6% cashback on grocery, dining, and online; capped at RM38
Minimum income requirement: RM80,000/year (RM6,667/month)
Annual fee: RM388 (first year free), waived with 12 swipes per year

The Public Bank Visa Signature offers 6% cashback on grocery, dining, and online transactions, with an overall monthly cashback cap of RM38. The good news is that there is no minimum spend requirements to qualify for cashback (just like the Quantum cards), and 6% capped at RM38 is a decent cashback return when taking this into consideration. You’ll earn cashback for up to RM633.50 in spending.

As a higher-tier card, the Public Bank Visa Signature also offers lounge access benefits. It may not matter as much currently, but cardholders get 2x complimentary access to any Plaza Premium Lounge in Malaysia. For any spending outside the cashback categories (and after the cashback-earning cap), cardholders earn 1 VIP point for every RM1 spent with this card – it’s only decent in value, with an equivalent cashback value of 0.2%.

Lastly, while the annual fee for this card may look steep, it actually isn’t difficult to qualify for the annual fee waiver.

Public Islamic Bank Visa Platinum Card-i

Cashback: 4% cashback on online and overseas, capped at RM30/month
Minimum income requirement: RM40,000/year (RM3,333/month)
Annual fee: RM333 (first year free), waived with 12 swipes per year

A new card launched earlier this year, the Public Islamic Bank Visa Platinum Credit Card-i seems almost like a variant of the conventional bank’s Quantum cards. At a rate of 4% cashback for online transactions, you’ll earn cashback for up to RM750 spending.

Just like the other two Public Bank cards in this list, the Public Islamic Bank Visa Platinum is a straightforward cashback card with no tiered rates and no minimum spend requirements. With an achievable annual fee waiver policy and a relatively low income requirement, this is yet another solid cashback credit card for online spending.

UOB YOLO Visa

Cashback: 5% cashback for online, dining, and contactless transactions; capped at RM30/month
Minimum income requirement: RM36,000/year (RM3,000/month)
Annual fee: RM90 (first year free), waived with 12 swipes per year

The UOB YOLO Visa is the only card in this list that has some requirements to earn cashback, though they are fairly straightforward: to unlock the 5% cashback, make a minimum of 5 transactions of at least RM15. Note that multiple transactions made on the same day to the same merchant will only count as one transaction, and only the highest transaction value will be eligible for cashback.

Besides that, be sure to restrict your spending with this card to within the first few days to ensure all transactions will be eligible for cashback. Veteran YOLO cardholders will know that the RM120,000 cashback pool is usually exhausted within the first three to four days of the month.

Hence, this card is better suited for those who can commit to spending at the start of the month – you’ll earn cashback for up to RM600 in spending. If you prefer something with less hassle, the other cards in this list would be much better.

How To Maximise Cashback?

Choosing the right credit cards is just the first step. To save even more from your online purchases, here are some strategies:

1) Use multiple cashback cards

As you can see from the list above, cashback cards all have a maximum cashback cap per month. That means you earn nothing after the eligible amount, regardless of how much more you spend. So, owning a few different cards is a useful way to ensure you earn cashback if your monthly spend goes beyond the amount that earns cashback for one card.

For example, if you spend RM1,500 per month on online transactions, you could earn RM75 in cashback by using the Maybank 2 Amex (weekend only) and the Public Bank Quantum Mastercard, instead of just one or the other, which would earn only RM50 or RM30, respectively.

The goal here is to ensure every Ringgit you spend online will earn cashback through the cards you own.

2) Prioritise cards with higher effective cashback rates

We talked about effective cashback rates in our methodology, and here, it also helps you to prioritise which cards to use first (if you own multiple cashback cards).

From our list above, you should look at using the Public Bank Visa Signature first (6% effective cashback) before moving on to the 5% effective cashback cards like the Public Bank QuantumMaybank 2 Amex, and UOB YOLO.

3. Double dip using e-wallets

Citi cashback campaign EWallets

Many online retailers today accept e-wallet payments, whether it’s their own wallet or third-party options such as Boost, GrabPay, or TNG eWallet. Most popular e-wallets today accept credit cards as reload sources, and as we mentioned in another recommendation list, most e-wallet top-ups are considered “online” transactions, making them eligible for cashback with your credit card.

This way, you earn cashback from your credit card and any rewards that your e-wallet may provide.

Save Money Effortlessly

credit card phone e wallet

As you can see, earning cashback from your regular spending isn’t difficult at all! And more importantly, the amount you can potentially save through cashback can add up to a considerable amount at the end of the year.

So do try it out for yourself. We hope this guide proves useful for all Malaysians.


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