Debit MasterCard in Malaysia

Debit MasterCardRecently, MasterCard is running heavy advertisements in Malaysia to promote the debit MasterCard card. I have a PB Visa Electron debit card and wrote about AmBank NexG MasterCard. How does debit MasterCard card different?

The web address promoted in the MasterCard ads is http://www.mastercard.com/sea/ The page redirect to MasterCard Southeast Asia page. Not much information about the card there.

What is Debit MasterCard?

Basically, debit MasterCard card is a card which linked to your saving or current account and allows you to make transactions using your funds at any merchant that accepts MasterCard. The amount will be automatically deducted from your account and reflected in your bank statement. You can purchase as much as the fund you have in the bank account.

How does debit MasterCard different than Prepaid MasterCard and Visa Electron debit card?

The Debit MasterCard, Prepaid MasterCard, and Visa Electron debit card are very similar. All of them are limited to the funds you have, you would never owe bank any money.

Both Prepaid MasterCard and Visa Electron debit need to be loaded with credit first. Debit MasterCard is linked to your account, you do not need to “top-up” the money in the card.

Not all merchants accept Visa Electron card although they accept Visa card. Debit MasterCard is accepted as long as the merchant accept MasterCard.

In a nutshell, Debit MasterCard is more like a credit card than the other 2 cards.

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Where to apply Debit MasterCard card in Malaysia?

MasterCard does not issue cards directly. Currently, you can apply Debit MasterCard card from 2 local banks in Malaysia: AffinBank Berhad and EON Bank Berhad.

AffinBank Debit MasterCard — information about AffinBank debit MasterCard can be found here. Generally, anyone who has an AffinBank account and 18 year old can apply the debit MasterCard by filling up a debit card application form. You can choose a daily spending limit from RM1,000 to RM10,000. You earn 0.5% cash-back per transaction when you spend.

  • The annual fee of the card is RM20 per annum.
  • Balance inquiry at other bank’s ATM is RM1 per inquiry.
  • Cash withdrawal at other bank’s ATM is RM7 per withdrawal.

EON Bank Debit MasterCard — I couldn’t get any information about debit MasterCard from the EON Bank website, other than the press release about EON Bank Group unveiled the world’s first EMV compliant Debit MasterCard equipped with MasterCard PayPass.

Anyway, I think the fees and charges are about the same as AffinBank Debit MasterCard. You may want to goto EON Bank branch for more information.

My two cents

IF the Debit MasterCard has wide acceptance as a MasterCard credit card, then it is better than credit card because you only spend the money you have in the account. Unlike using a credit card, you would never spend more than you have and end up in bankruptcy.

Currently, I have a Visa Electron debit card and a credit card, but I am tempting to get a debit MasterCard card too.

2 reasons:
1) I can use it to verify my PayPal Personal account (currently using PayPal Premier) and save PayPal charges on PayPal fund received.

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2) I applied a supplementary card for my mother and shared the same credit line (RM10,000). It might not be enough when we travel together next year. I will either increase the credit line or get another card as backup.

3) I can spend more with a Debit MasterCard than a credit card with RM10,000 credit line.

Would you get a debit card or credit card?


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