Did you know that spending Rp 100,000 with a certain credit card can earn you more miles and points than another credit card. Take 2 popular travel cards for example, CIMB Niaga’s World Card can get you 1 Krisflyer Mile for every Rp 5,000 spent while BCA Krisflyer Visa Signature only gets you 1 Krisflyer Miles for every Rp 8,000 (For international transactions in foreign currency). There are a lot of factors to consider before choosing the perfect one for you. Here at Holiday Mulu, we try to break down and explain these factors before you make your decision, Here are a few factors that we should look at when choosing a credit card.


How good is your financial credibility?

Unfortunately, each credit card has their own requirement of financial credibility, the higher benefit cards are usually harder to get. Therefore, start using your current credit card if you have one already and slowly build up your credibility. At a certain point, you might be allowed one of these cards. BUT do try to apply for one of these credit cards at any point and you might surprise yourself!


Where do you spend?

Each bank have their own foreign exchange rates for international spending with a different currency. From our past experience in general, local banks usually have a better rates while international banks have slightly worse rates, though this is not always true. A Visa, MasterCard, JCB or even American Express will also determine this rate. Be sure to check with the bank of their foreign exchange rates especially if you are mostly going to use the card while traveling internationally.

A lot of credit cards that have a good mileage program tends to give you more miles if you spend it outside of the country for international transactions using foreign currency. Because of these facts, you have to think about where you are going to spend most of your money using the credit card.


What do you spend on?

Some cards such as HSBC Cash Back Credit Card can give you 25% cashback when you spend on groceries and gas or another example would be HSBC Platinum Card giving you double points for shopping and dining. You can use each credit card for different purposes and that will ultimately give you the best value back.


What benefits does the card have?

Each credit card can have different airlines they can transfer the points to. CIMB’s World Card conversion rate of points to miles is only great for Krisflyer while Standard Chartered WorldMiles Card can allow you to transfer the points equally to GarudaMiles, Krisflyer, AirAsia Big Points or even Asia Miles (Cathay Pacific). This is something very important for you to pay attention to when picking a card.

There are also other benefits that the card might offer that might need. Such as JCB platinum cards give you access to lounges all over Japan if you travel there often. Or even something as easy as a restaurant that you frequently go to that might a huge discount using a BCA credit card. Also, travel fairs usually have a certain bank they team up with to get cashback, such as Singapore Airlines with BCA or Maybank with Malaysia Airlines.

For more information on Travel Fairs, Read our Introductory Guide to Travel Fairs


Annual fees and minimum spend

Every card have their own annual fee. Usually, banks will give you a free annual fee on the first year but you have to consider how much are you willing to pay and whether the benefits that come with the card is worth it for you to get. Some cards also have a minimum spend in order to get a free annual fee.


At the end of the day, the best way to maximize value is to have different credit cards for different purposes. Everybody will be different in how many card or what cards they need to maximize value. Some people might only need one!