How to pick the best credit card?

How to Pick the Best Credit Card?


When it comes to credit cards, all of them pretty much do the same thing and perform the same way. This is why today’s credit cards come with so many added features, each issuer trying to outdo the others to say that their credit cards are the best credit cards in the market.

GoBear Malaysia gives you the low-down on credit card features that we believe should be part of the best credit card anybody can get.


1. No – or waived – annual fees

No credit card issuer should be allowed to claim that their card is the best credit card without this feature.

GoBear Malaysia reckons the best credit cards in the market are either free-for-life or have annual fees that are easily waived (e.g. with 12 swipes a calendar year, which works out to once a month). Because once you retire or otherwise stop working, those fees start looking pretty steep (up to RM600 a year).


2. Vigilant and safety-oriented credit card centre

Credit card fraud is unfortunately a fact of life, but the best credit cards come with a card centre that actively monitors your account activities for anything suspicious.

The best credit card you can get is one that protects you against identity theft and activates all the card safety features that are available. Even if that inconveniences you every so often, GoBear Malaysia believes that’s a price worth paying.


3. International acceptance (at least where you’re most likely to travel)

While, in theory, credit cards linked to the major payment networks should be accepted wherever the payment networks are accepted, in practice, people still look at the card’s issuer.

The best credit cards are accepted worldwide… or, at the minimum, the places you will visit the most. Going to China? The best credit card is probably a China UnionPay card or one issued by a Chinese bank (like HSBC). Visiting the USA? The best credit card might actually be the American Express charge card.


4. Low interest rates (especially on balance transfer)

The best credit cards offer you low-interest rates for everyday purchases and even interest-free balance transfers; this comes in especially handy if you really need that extra time to pay your statement off once in a while.

If you have a card that allows you to decide which payment goes towards paying what, that really is the best credit card you can have.


5. High cash back or high-value reward points

This is where credit card issuers can get sneaky, so read the product disclosure sheets or fine print. The best credit cards will give you unlimited and high cash back percentages, or if they operate a rewards points/air miles scheme instead, ensure that those points are of high value.

What’s the point if the supposedly "best credit card" that gives 2X reward points if any other card also has redemptions that cost 2X those of the other cards?


6. Perks and privileges

The best credit cards operate privilege schemes that go beyond just using the cards to pay for things. From airport lounge access to additional travel insurance to even discounts and special offers worldwide, if your credit card gives you these extra bonuses for free, then you can rightfully think it’s the best credit card you can get.


Of course, no single credit card combines all of these features. The best credit card for you is the one that has the most of the features above that really matter to you – and the only way to find out is to see our other blogs on credit cards.