Sometime in March 2011, Bank Negara Malaysia announced new guidelines for credit cards:
1) To be eligible for a credit card, one has to earn minimum RM24K. This only applies to Principal credit card where one has to be age 21 years and above.
2) A person earning less than RM36,000 per year can only hold credit cards from 2 banks. This means that you can have as many credit cards from a single bank or card issuer BUT you can only have credit cards issued from 2 different banks. For example, you can hold Visa, MasterCard and AMEX from Maybank and also Visa and MasterCard from say CIMB, therfore, that’s 5 cards from 2 banks.
Do note, for Maybank cards, their Islamic Cards and Conventional Cards are considered issued separately. I.e. 2 issuers.
3) A person earning less than RM36,000 can only have maximum credit limit of 2X his monthly salary. This means if you are earning RM2.5K/month, your maximum credit limit per bank shall be no more than RM5K. And if your credit limit is say now RM10K, the card issuer is required to reduce it to RM5K on 1st January 2012.
4) If you are earning less than RM36K/year and currently holding credit card from more than 2 banks, you have up to 31st December 2011 to determine which bank’s credit card(s) you want to cancel.
5) And if you have outstanding amount with your credit cards and you have to terminate them, you are to be given 2 years to settle the outstanding balance based on the same repayment plan prior to the card being cancelled or restructure your card balances.
So, if you need a higher credit limit for your purchases, you can always get the American Express Charge Card which does not fall into BNM’s credit card guidelines :)
And did you know that beginning 1st January 2012, all banks are suppose to sent you an SMS alert whenever you transact with your credit cards? This SMS notification is a way to combat fraud cases. You are advised to update with your respective banks on your current mobile numbers. And also ask what is the default amount to be transacted in order for you to receive the SMS. It seems that we are suppose to be able to set the amount.
You are also strongly recommended to read my article titled Fraud Calls Relating To Credit Cards and SMS Alert Default Value where I have pointed out with Caller ID Spoofing, one may think he is actually get a genuine call from the banks or card issuers. This article was written purely for all credit card cardholders benefit and you’ll regret it later if you skip this article.
If you are new to credit cards, check out my series of articles under Introduction To Credit Cards for Newbies.