Analysis of Cash Rebate Credit Cards

Currently there are many banks in Malaysia are offering cash rebate credit cards. If I am still remember correctly, the first bank that offer this kind of benefit was Public Bank since I own their card way bank in 2001. They offering cash back option for their VISA cards but Mastercard user also able to convert their point rewards (VIP points) to cash back option. However as time goes by, now other banks are offering better cash rebate than Public Bank.

I will try to analyse all the banks that provide this kind of benefit on their credit cards. However, for this post I limit to the banks that provide cash rebate for permanent basis, on all transaction (except petrol) & no carry forward balance is required. Also I exclude RHB Business Platinum Credit Card as it not meant for end user.

Before further analysis, below are the list of cards & banks offering cash back credit cards that includes in the analysis.

  • Affin Banks – Generic VISA & Mastercard. Cash back rate tabulated in the table below. I have this card but have not use it so far so I do not know when they credited the cash back to your account.

  • Alliance BanksGeneric VISA & Mastercard. Cash back rate tabulated in the table below. For unique card rate is similar to generic platinum card except for the first tier 0.5% instead of 0.6% for platinum cards. Cash back will be credited to account on the following billing month. Normally on the very first day of the following billing month. This card is one of my favorite card. One great advantage for Alliance Cash Back Cards is you still earn Timeless Point together with cash back. I do not see this benefit offer by other back. However, the disadvantage of this cards is Alliance Bank limit the amount of spending that entitle for cash back, RM1,000 for Classic, RM3,000 for Gold & RM5,000 for platinum. Younique card also have a limit at RM5,000.

  • CIMB Banks – Only for Petronas Mastercard. The cash back rate is flat at 0.5%. 2% cash back on petrol is excluded from analysis. Cash back is credited to the account on the last day of current billing statement.
  • Citibank – 3 cards included in this analysis. All Citibank cards have higher cask back when you have carry forward balance but I omit it in this analysis. I think if you are afford to settle all your statement balance, there is no point of keeping it only to get higher cash back. I do not have any Citibank cards so I do not know when the credited the cask back.
  1. Giant Citibank Credit Card cash back rate is 0.5% flat rate for spending made outside Giant. 2% cash back on spending at Giant is not consider in this analysis.
  2. Shell Citibank Credit Card cash back rate is 0.75% (gold card) & 0.50% (classic card) flat rate for spending made on non-Shell product. Cash back on spending at Shell fuel is not consider in this analysis.
  3. Citibank Cash Back Credit Card cash back rate is 0.5% (gold card) & 0.40% (classic card) flat rate.
  • HSBC Amanah – The cash back rate is flat at 0.5%. I do not have this card so I do not know when the credited the cask back.
  • Public Banks – Generic VISA & Mastercard. Cash back rate tabulated in the table below. This card is used to be my favorite card until Alliance Bank unveil their cash back card. Cash back credited to your account at the beginning of new billing year. Since it is credited yearly the amonut tend to be quite big. Public Bank also issue ING Credit Mastercard. The cash back rate for this card is 0.6% flat rate for spending on non-ING insurance. 2% cash back on spending on ING insurance is not consider in this analysis.
  • UOB – ONE Card offer flat rate 0.3% cash back on other transaction listed in the table below. I try to avoind using this card because their terms is so ridiculously difficult to understand and I believe it made it that way so that at the end bank will benefit. Anyway for this analysis I only count the 0.3% cash back. I don’t want to explain further about this card as it complicated. For more details proceed to UOB ONE Card website here.

After tabulated all the above data in Excel worksheet, I plot a graph Cash Back Rate (%) versus Monthly Spending (RM) so that we can clearly see on which card offer the best cash back. To make the graph less conjested so that it is easy to see, I remove all flat rate cash back percentage except Shell Citibank Card as it is the highest. Click on the image below to view larger size graph.

These are my conclusion in regards to the best cash back credit card that I listed above. This conclusion derive from the above graph.

  1. Monthly spending RM1.00 to RM800.00, best card is Shell Citibank Gold Credit Card at cash back rate of 0.75%.
  2. Monthly spending RM800.00 to RM1,000.00, best card is Alliance Bank Classic Card at cash back rate between 0.76% to 0.85%.
  3. Monthly spending RM1,000.00 to RM3,000.00, best card is Alliance Bank Gold Card at cash back rate between 0.72% to 1.11%.
  4. Monthly spending RM3,000.00 to RM5,000.00, best card is Alliance Bank Platinum Card at cash back rate between 0.96% to 1.38%. Following close is Alliance Bank Younique Credit Card at cash back rate between 0.94% to 1.37%.
  5. Monthly spending RM5,000.00 to RM100,000.00, best card is Affin Bank at cash back rate of 0.80%..
  6. Monthly spending RM100,000.00 and above best card is Public Bank Platinum Card at cash back rate of 0.90%.
  7. With refer to above conclusion, you can be more creative mix & match the above card in order to maximize your cash rebate. For example, for monthly spending of RM15,000.00 , charge RM5,000.00 to Alliance Bank Platinum Card, next RM5,000.00 to Alliance Bank Younique Card and the rest to Affin Bank Credit Card. Just use your imagination.

However, if you plan to do your shopping at any particular merchant that have special cash back campaign such at Giant, then it is better to use Giant Citibank Credit Card as they give the highest cash rebate at this particular merchant.

Any feedback or anything you would like to point out, feel free to leave your comments.

Update (11 February 2010)

1. Standard Chartered was launching Standard Chartered JustOne Titanium Mastercard which offer up to 5% cash rebate. Look here for details.

2. Hong Leong Bank have 1% cash rebate card via their VISA Essential Credit Card.

21 comments… add one
  • hello, I think u miss out 1 card from HLB. Essential card from HLB with 1% cash rebate for all purchase without any capping amount.

  • hi yloon,

    Yes I did miss the card that you mentioned. When I did the analysis in March 2009, that card is yet to be reintroduced to the market. However, I have a post on VISA Essential Card when the card was reintroduced in November 2009. Look at the update section under this post.

    When I have more free time, I will add this card in the analysis as well.

  • Hi, what about Ambank credit cards? any good offer? tq

    • As of now AmBank does not have cash rebate credit card.

  • Is there or will there be any latest comparison for cash rebate card?

    • If you are looking at credit card that offer cashback on all transaction then look at Hong Leong Essential Card and Alliance Younique/Platinum card. Essential card offer 1% rebate unlimited amount while alliance up to 1.38%.

      If you look at specific merchant card, look for AMEX Gold Credit Card, 5X points at Hypermarket & Petrol. 5X points equivalent to 2.5% rebate.

      Alternalive look for Alliancee bank Debit Card. They have 3 cards. Classic 1%, Platinum 1.5% & Premium 2% rebate.

      I may update the analysis later.

  • SCB Just One titanium no more in malaysia. They take back liao.

    Dear Sir/Madam,

    Thank you for your email.

    Pertaining to the below mentioned matter, kindly take note that Standard Chartered Bank Malaysia has discontinued the Justone Titanium credit card. We beg to differ that the card is liable and usable in Malaysia but the mechanics are not locally propelled.

    We hope we have clarified the matter at hand. Thank you.

    • Yes, they discontinue but I manage to get one earlier. I hope I can still using it for a few more years. 🙂

  • You should take into consideration that the quantum of annual fee may off-set much of the cash-back rebate. If a bank waives the annaul fee (like EON/HL/CIMB-direct access), the benefit is equal to spending RM 10000 with a 1% cash back or RM20000 with a 0.5% cash back. Many of us don’t even spend that amount of money on our credit cards in a year, so think twice.

    • Hi,

      You better ask the bank to waive the annual fee. Many bank will waive it.

  • Standard chartered cc under Employee Banking Programme(EBP)
    10% rebate on retail spending, capped rm100/month

  • thanks so such a good guide. keep it up
    by the way, how about hongleong bank platinum card wih up to 2% cash back?

    • Hi Tomy,

      Its been quite sometime I did not update this post. I will try to make new analysis when time permits. Stay tune.

  • OCBC Titinium Master Card offer RM50 max cash rebate on the current month statement. 5% on hypermarket, bills payment, and petrol. Other transaction 1%

  • I’m a Citibank Cash Back Platinum Visa card user. For your info, the cash back will only be reflected in the next billing statement if the total cash back for the month does not exceed RM50. Meaning, if your total cash back for the month goes to more than RM50, then you will see the cash back in the immediate billing statment itself.

  • I’m using direct access mastercard. Free for life annual fee, 2% rebate on petrol at any petrol pump & 5% rebate for purchase at Giant & Tesco on saturday and sunday(every weekend).

  • I’ve just got my HSBC Amanah Platinum Visa card. Started using yesterday, update you how good (or bad) is it later for your review consolidation.

  • OK Marco, tell us what do you think.

  • I compare my HSBC Amanah Platinum Visa versus Maybank Amex Gold in terms of advantage toward money saved. I compare with Giant because who don’t buy grocery? Tesco, Carrefourr can similarly apply becuz same amount of points required.

    Money Savings Benefits:
    Amex: 2X points
    Amanah: 0.5% rebates (not sure whatever)

    Calculation to claim equivalent RM 100 Giant
    Amex: Spend RM 11,000 and get 22,000 points to exchange voucher
    Amanah: Spend RM 20,000 and get equivalent RM 100 cashback

    I am new and have Amanah second month’s bill now. I spend RM 700 with both bill totalled including SGD and USD conversions. Total rebate is RM 4.45.
    Honestly I dun feel really worth it after all the hard work spending RM 700. Only can buy 2 can of Nelly coconut drink at LRT station.

    So that’s why I am window shopping cards surveying next best cash back credit card. My two finalist is Hong Leong card and OCBC Titanium Master Card. The preferred so far is OCBC Titanium but I dun know what they mean in their terms and conditions. Grocery Stores (MCC codes 5411, 5422 and 5451). What are MCC codes in English? After I do my research and satisfied and meets my lifestyle I will apply and funnel all my bills, insurance, entertainment blah blah… into this card. When reach OCBC monthly limit, I use Amex!

  • I wonder which better ? Need good advise
    Citibank platinum cash rebate – OWN
    HSBC Amanah platinum – OWN
    OCBC Titanium – NOPE
    Few things i use the most;
    1. I usually pump in shell unless no choice so it does not make different if they cover all petrol station or just few as long as shell is inside. Monthly spending range from Rm400 – Rm700.00
    2. Direct bill, 2 maxis number monthly pay around Rm150 each, Digi Rm80, 1 MLTA insurance from AIA = yearly 3k, Great eastern life insurance = Rm170 per month, Allianz medical card = Rm100 per month.
    3. Grocery from Jusco mostly, nearest to my house around Rm100 = Rm200 per month
    4. Ent in movies, shopping & bla bla bla = Rm300 – Rm500 per month.

    So who should i be using ? because i do not understand the capping ? means I can rebate more than Rm50 for the month of my usage for both card or ?

    Thanks in advance for the insight and advise.


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