Now we come to the fun part: pinpointing your identity to see if you fit any of the criteria to qualify for a credit card. If you say “Yes, that’s me!” to one or more of the five categories below, please bring yourself to the nearest bank or Loanstreet’s credit card comparison contraption to review, sign up and join the ranks of those already swiping.
1) You’ve caught the travel bug
The jet-setting lifestyle is your game; jetlag is your middle name. Now wouldn’t you want for your travelling goals to be a whole lot easier to achieve? You can do so with a travel rewards credit card, a little piece of plastic allowing you to collect rewards currency just by using them on your everyday purchases.
For example, instead of achieving a free airline ticket by repeatedly buying flights and earning frequent flyer miles (the traditional method), your daily food binges could be contributing to your eventual travel freebie.
However, not all cards offer the same type of benefits, so it would be wise to determine what sort of holiday perks you’d like to achieve and which rewards currency to focus on. Some of these include first- or business-class tickets (airline miles); exclusive hotels and resorts (hotel points or transferrable points); tour packages (fixed-value points); and business trips (both airline miles and hotel points).
Most travel cards additionally provide complimentary travel protection in the form of some insurance – flight cancellations or delays, luggage lost or delayed, personal illnesses or injuries.
2) You’re a petrolhead
According to the Cambridge Dictionary, if you’re a petrolhead, it just means you’re someone who likes and uses their car a lot and does not want to use any other type of transport. While this is nothing to worry about, the fluctuating prices of petrol in Malaysia can certainly be a cause for concern. Luckily, there’s a solution to still keep you in the driver’s seat.
Check out some of the best petrol credit cards in the market, for a chance to convert all your daily spendings into rewards worthy of your automobile. All you’d need to do is to charge everything on your chosen plastic, sit back and watch the bonus points accumulate. Those can then be redeemed for not only petrol station credit, but for various deals and discounts as well.
In some instances, credit cards pair up with certain petrol stations, where swiping your card there will instantly guarantee even more points for you. So make sure you find out which card is tied to your favourite petrol station brand – you get to reap the rewards all while supporting their business, win-win!
3) You need to get out of debt…fast
For whatever reason, you’ve somehow managed to get entangled in a sticky web of debt from having too many credit cards. Unable to pay everything off on time, you are now stuck in a cycle of high finance charges and a slowly ballooning deficit amount.
Well, we might have the solution to your nightmare. Allow us to introduce the balance transfer credit card, where someone stuck in a financial quicksand will be able to consolidate all their debts into one particular card. Firstly, transferring every debt into a single account eliminates the hassle of making multiple payments and possibly risking a late payment charge on one, only because you forgot.
Secondly (and more importantly), this card usually comes with a very low to 0% interest rate, applicable within a certain timeframe. This means that more of your monthly repayments will go towards reducing your credit card balance. Instead of financing the interest rate, there’s a higher chance you’d be able to pay off your balance fully. Try not to get into any new debts after that.
4) You've become a responsible adult
You’ve previously read various articles about how one of the most effective ways to grow your wealth is to invest in property. You also read that in order to have your loan application approved easily and get started on the road to riches, you’re going to need to cultivate a good credit rating, among other things.
If this sounds like something you’re thinking of, congratulations and welcome to world of adulthood! The best way is to find a simple no-frills piece of plastic: a zero annual fee credit card. You would not need to fork out a (sometimes hefty) sum of money every year just for the convenience of having the card.
In addition, the fee on some of the cards will only be waived if the user spends above a certain threshold. If you’re only planning to put basic repetitive payments (such as your phone bill, student loan and gym membership) on the card, then paying the annual fee will not be justified since you will not be getting enough value out of the card.
5) You’re an incurable shopaholic
Do you get overly excited at the sight of “Sales” signs in shop windows? Are parts of your house crammed full with shopping bags of all sizes and brands? Do you get into long passionate discussions about the perfect accessory? There can be no doubt about it… you’re a shopaholic!
While another shopaholic can be good company, your best friend is probably your cash back credit card. It allows you to safely go on a spending spree without having to carry about a large wad of cash. It is also the simplest and fastest way to get rewarded for all your effort. Who wouldn’t want to get a credit on their monthly statement, or better still, cold hard cash deposited into the account of their choice?
Most credit card companies would also explicitly state how many points you get per Ringgit spent, plus any additional bonus for shopping at participating merchant outlets, making this type of card a popular choice for the tangible, easy-to-understand benefits.
Each card has its own unique set of strengths and weaknesses, so you would need to do your own careful research and determine which ones allow you to maximise your earning and burning potential. It’s safe to say that no single card can be deemed as ‘perfect’, so it’s important to diversify your points strategy, which usually involves having a few different pieces of plastic to use together.