How to Apply for a Malaysia Credit Card as an Expat

The following is a guest article by Ooi Chia Shen.

If you are an expat living in Malaysia, having a credit card will be helpful to conduct your daily financial needs and minimise the amount of cash withdrawals you make from the ATMs. 

Here are the steps and requirements you need to fulfil to apply for a credit card in Malaysia. 

3 Steps for Expats to Apply for a Malaysia Credit Card

How to apply for a Malaysia credit card as an expat.

1. Make sure you fulfill these requirements:


  • A minimum annual income of RM24,000 (some banks may require a higher income level up to RM120,000 per annum)

  • A copy of your passport, visa or work permit (make sure your Visa is valid for more than a year upon application)

  • Your bank account statement for the last six months

  • Three months’ salary slip and Malaysian employment contract letter (for salaried employees)

  • Business registration certificate or licence and income tax forms (for self-employed)

2. Compare the market for the best credit card for you

If you fulfill all the basic requirements, your next step is to compare all types of credit cards you prefer depending on your lifestyle needs: cashback, rewards, air miles, zero annual fee or Islamic credit cards. 

You can use the free comparison tool on CompareHero.my to help you. Different types of credit cards and banks offer different features and exclusive privileges to the users.

Check out this article to  find the right credit card for your lifestyle needs. 

3. Visit the bank

Visit the preferred bank you wish to open an account or already have an account with. Inquire all the information and documents needed to apply for a credit card.

You will have a higher chance of getting a credit card from the bank you already have an account in. 

Tips: 

  • Bring all your documents. 
  • Do not apply at too many banks simultaneously. This will tell the banks that you are desperate to get credit and could appear dodgy in their eyes. 
  • Be patient and provide as many details as you can to let the officers help you smoothen the application. 
  • Open a savings account with your preferred bank. This will definitely improve your chances of approval. 

What not to do When Applying for a Malaysia Credit Card as an Expat

What not to do When Applying for a Malaysia Credit Card as an Expat
  1. Do not call the bank. Banks have a long queue of customers to attend to before you even get to speak to one of the customer service employees.

    Even if you get through the long menu of options (automated), you might end up speaking to a person that will put you on hold indefinitely or be hardly helpful anyway.

  2. Do not email the bank. If you email the bank’s customer service, your email is high to be lost in a big pile of emails. The chances of you getting another reply after the automatic acknowledgment email is very low.

  3. Do not switch banks. A bank prefers to have records of your previous spending patterns to allocate your risk status. Therefore, stay with the bank which you already have a debit card and ask for their credit card application requirements.

What if you are a retired expat in Malaysia? You will need to comply with the same requirements of having an income statement, work permit and Visa. Else, you won't be eligible to apply for a credit card in Malaysia, generally speaking.

Now that you get the brief idea of what to do and prepare to apply for a Malaysia credit card, we wish you the best of luck!

About Ooi Chia Shen

Shen is a content writer for CompareHero.my. He is passionate in many things, music and journalism come on top of it. He also believes the world has much to offer and everyone should try harder to learn as much as they can. Best way to do that is by travelling.

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