What is The Best Way to Compare Credit Cards?
There is no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to comparison of credit cards. You have to dig in deep with multiple parameters to compare credit cards. These parameters I’m talking about aren’t only for comparisons. They can also be used to evaluate your financial needs and apply for a credit card in Malaysia, which suits your lifestyle.
Credit Card Type
This reflects the type of cards that could address the financial issues you want to solve. It could be travel, daily cashback, reward points, low interest rates, retail transactions, overseas spending benefits, and so on. For instance, classic cards usually offer low interest rates without any additional/hidden charges or minimum spend criteria. To land on one of those premium credit cards, you must’ve maintained a good credit score.
There are different ways through which the finance charges for your card are calculated. You have to factor in parameters like billing cycles that you are charged over, debt owed, annual percentage rate (APR), deducted balance, and average balance, to name a few. Keep an eye on the minimum finance charge levied on your credit card.
Most cards have a fixed credit limit, but some banks may lower it if you do not have a good credit history. Make sure your card application is replete with information about what the credit limit would be; it could either be fixed for the card or your credit score might play a part in determining your credit limit.
Fees & Interests
There are a lot of underlying fees getting charged apart from the annual fee. While some credit cards with exclusive privileges like airport lounge access may charge an annual fee, they also waive it if you meet a minimum monthly spend criterion with say, your retail spending. Other fees include one-time handling fee, processing fee, foreign exchange/transaction fee, early termination fee, late payment fee, and so on.
Classic cards and supplementary cards usually do not charge an annual fee but are low on additional benefits and privileges. But they do charge comparatively low interest on your outstanding balance.
Interest is levied on avenues like balance transfer, foreign exchange, and cash advance. These are value-added services that you get along with the credit card, and are extremely useful if you are a professional in Malaysia.
If you are still undecided…
This is a very normal thing; especially when you are looking to compare credit cards in Malaysia. As much as we are spoilt for choices, the vast range of cards and their benefits can really make it tedious to choose the ideal one.
Instead of selecting the card type (say travel, reward points, cashback, etc.,) first, you can compare varied credit cards with their different USPs and features to get a better picture.
There are credit card comparison tools in websites like Hong Leong Bank, which make your life easier. Getting side by side information about multiple cards in one place gives you a unified, 360-degree view of what to expect and makes your personal credit card evaluation hassle-free.
Using the banking aggregator site in Malaysia called Loanstreet, you can use their credit card comparison page as well, if you need some quick comparisons with respect to the type of card you are looking for. Some aggregators also show the monthly income that is expected of you.
So, in my opinion, the best way to compare credit cards in Malaysia is by using a credit card tool (if the respective bank’s website features one) or an aggregator site’s credit card listicles, which make comparison easier.
Ken Adams is a professional financial consultant. He writes about credit card comparison tools and more.
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