In my previous post, I have shared the basics as well as the pros and cons of a credit card. If you could guess by my tone on that post, you would probably guess that I am in favour of owning and using a credit card. Well, yes I love the idea of using a credit card to squeeze the most out of my Ringgit. In this post, I am hoping to share with you the credit and loyalty cards which have earned their spot in my wallet. Let’s go!
1. Maybank 2 Gold Card (M2GC)
Maybank 2 Gold Card is the go-to entry-level credit card which is suitable for anyone. As the name implies, the M2GC come as a pair of either Visa and American Express or Mastercard and American Express. It doesn’t matter which combo you choose because the real gem is in the American Express (Amex) card. It’s just like a Mario on Star Power-ups: you can never go wrong with M2GC.
What is M2GC?
- Annual Fee: Free for life (RM 25 SST)
- Minimum Annual Income: RM 30,000
M2GC is an all-rounder credit card with no annual fee and low annual income of RM 30,000. They are suitable for paying fuel, groceries and overseas spending. These transactions are either giving you some cash back or reward points — TreatsPoints (TP).
So, with M2GC Amex, you will earn 5x TP for every RM 1 that you spend on weekdays and 5% cashback on weekends. The 5% cashback is capped at RM 50 per month and hence you need to spend a minimum of RM 1,000 per month during the weekend to get the full RM 50.
The 5x TP and 5% cashback, however, is not eligible for spending at government bodies, utilities, insurance providers and education plan. In addition, since July 2019, reloading e-Wallet no longer entitles you to any cashback or TP. 🙁
How Do I Use M2GC effectively?
You can either go for cashback or collect the TPs and redeem for items and cash vouchers. I prefer to collect TP and redeem for cash vouchers, which allows you to purchase more items for free. What kind of vouchers that you can redeem with TP?
(Source: TP Catalogue, Valid as of 3rd March 2020)
If you regularly shop at any of these six outlets, redeeming for cash vouchers is the way to go. For me, it’s Tesco. Let’s do a little bit of rough calculation:
For every RM 1 that you spend using M2GC, you get 5 TP. To get the Tesco voucher, you have to spend about RM 6,400 for the RM 50 voucher and RM 11,600 for the RM 100 voucher.
For the RM 50 voucher, every Ringgit requires 640 TP (32,000 divides by 50). However, for the RM 100 voucher, every Ringgit only requires 580 TP (58,000 divides by 100). A saving of about 60 TP (RM 12) per Ringgit!
TLDR; It is more valuable to save your TP and redeem for the RM 100 voucher instead of the RM 50.
To maximize my TP collection, I just have to refuel and do my groceries during the weekdays. In addition, there are places which accept M2GC for reloading the physical Touch n Go card with no service charge.
2. Public Bank Quantum Visa/Mastercard (PBQ)
PBQ also come as a pair with Visa and Mastercard. But unlike the M2GC which only the Amex have the bulk of the benefit, both of the PBQ cards are equally powerful. Since Maybank’s revision to reduce M2GC benefit in June 2019, PBQ has risen to become the must-have credit card for cashback.
What is PBQ?
- Annual Fee: Free for life (RM 25 SST)
- Minimum Annual Income: RM 36,000
PBQ offers 5% cashback per month and they are capped at RM 30 per card. Theoretically, the maximum cashback that you can get per month is RM 60 by combining both PBQ cards, which is RM 10 higher than M2GC. However, the cashback mechanism for PBQ is unique as per the table below:
PBQ Mastercard is great for online purchases while the PBQ Visa is good for over-the-counter purchases. The contactless transaction refers to the action of tapping your card to an eligible terminal for payments. Do note that you are not eligible for cashback at petrol station using the PBQ Visa. However, the PBQ Mastercard is a great card for earning cashback by reloading your e-Wallets. 😆
In addition to the cashback, each Ringgit that you spend will get you 1 VIP Point. For overseas spending, it’s 2 VIP Point per Ringgit. PBQ don’t have points multiplier like M2GC Amex, but it’s still worth knowing that you can accumulate points for rewards.
(RinggitPlus is having a promotion if you apply the PBQ through their website. You stand a chance to get free Xiaomi Smart Scale 2 and Xiaomi Mi Band 4. Check it out here)
DISCLAIMER: I do not have any affiliation to RinggitPlus or Public Bank whatsoever. Do read through their terms & conditions first before signing up.
How Do I Use PBQ effectively?
I’m using my PBQ solely for cash back since they don’t have the 5x points multiplier as M2GC. The PBQ Mastercard is my favourite since they allow cashback for the online transaction which includes reloading e-Wallets and online shopping.
I paid my electricity and phone bills through the e-Wallet and pay online for the internet. All of this entitles me for cashback on top of any on-going e-Wallet promotions.
Although this is not a credit card, I find this particular card very valuable to anyone. So, I decided to include this card in my post.
1. PETRONAS Mesra Card (PMC)
This is essentially a Petronas loyalty card and it is not linked to any bank account. Just go to any Petronas Mesra Store and ask for this card at the counter. You can straightaway use the card to collect Mesra Points. However, you need to activate/register first to redeem the collected points.
What is PMC?
- Annual Fee: Free for life
- Minimum Annual Income: None
With PMC you can earn Mesra Points by refuelling at Petronas or purchasing snacks/items at their Mesra Store. Every litre of fuel is equivalent to 3 Mesra Points while each RM 1 spent in Mesra Store gives you 1 Mesra Point. For example, 20 litres of fuel will earn you 60 Mesra Points.
Every 100 Mesra Points can be redeemed for RM 1 which can be used to shop for more fuel and items. It’s a never-ending cycle!
How Do I Use PMC effectively?
PMC is a great “booster” on top of your credit card to squeeze more value out of your Ringgit. Using M2GC and PMC when refuelling will earn you the cashback/TP from M2GC as well as Mesra Points. Collect enough Mesra Points and redeem fuel for free!
It is more convenient now that you can link the Mesra Card to Setel apps. Linking the PMC through the apps is simple and the accumulated Mesra Points will be reflected in the apps immediately.
Even better, converting the Mesra Points to cash is as easy as sliding the slider in the apps.
These are my daily cards (credit and loyalty) which is always in my wallet. What might work for me doesn’t necessarily work for you since our priorities and habit are different.
There are more than 100 credit cards in Malaysia which have their own benefits and probably have a better value. Also, banks are constantly changing their credit card benefit which someday will render all of this useless. However, I will keep on searching and squeezing every Ringgit through credit cards whenever I can.
ACTIONABLE TIPS: If your spending pattern is about the same as mine, you can apply for the credit cards now. Make sure to check out this post first to learn the credit card basics and remember to ALWAYS pay in full each month.
What is your favourite credit card and how you optimize them? Please share in the comment section below. Likewise, share this post with your social circle so everyone can start squeezing their Ringgit to its full worth!