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Credit Card Rewards Programs are usually characterized by ties with partner brands and merchants. Reward points redemption is usually enabled to customers when they use a credit card for a set number of retail transactions, or for a minimum transaction amount.
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Which reward is better: Cash back or travel?

Posted 07-05-2019 at 03:08 PM by nsamjose

As an average Malaysian citizen, I would definitely say cash back is the better reward to have. It is easier to redeem cash back as it is tangible and happens almost instantly. But it isnít as simple as that! There are various situations in your life, where something else may seem more useful. I learnt just that very recently in for the best rewards credit card.

Being a businessman based out of Malaysia, I have enjoyed a diverse set of clientele in the country. But in the last 2 years, my business has been booming with seed funding rounds and the resulting customer acquisition drives from all over the world. Until then, I had believed that cash back rewards were the best form of rewards you can expect from a credit card.

But when your lifestyle changes, the cash back credit card you use is no longer sufficient to satisfy your financial needs. When you go global, travel becomes a default perk that you could make great use of. Past a certain point in your personal and professional life, cash back could makes much less sense, while reward points and travel privileges take over.

Thatís the juncture where I realized that cash back wouldnít suffice for someone who has to travel worldwide a lot. Not to mention, dealing with overseas purchases and currencies!

The cash back conundrum
While one could argue that cash back offers provide instant gratification, their prominence can easily be replaced by reward points, along with travel benefits. Because as far as a major chunk of credit card issuers goes, you always have the option to convert reward points into cash. Also, reward points come in extremely handy for travellers who deal with a lot of overseas travel and transactions.

So at the end of the day, you save almost as much money with a rewards credit card and also get a plethora of financial privileges. Reward points serve a higher purpose Ė conversion of reward points to air miles, special deals at restaurants, overseas offers, and travel privileges to name a few!

So how to choose the best rewards credit card, which can also double up as a travel card when required?
Since I am a business account holder with Hong Leong Bank, I chose to start from there. I used this credit card recommender tool, which personalizes your quest for the credit card tailored to your needs. For my annual income, with reward points and travel as my preferred credit card offers, the tool suggested me to go with the Hong Leong Sutera Platinum Card.

After much self-deliberation, I applied for that credit card. I have to admit that it has certainly exceeded my expectations ever since. I find local and overseas expenditures valued more in a way that you earn points multiplied and redeem your rewards at top partner merchants.

The Sutera Visa Platinum credit card offers 6X rewards on your overseas spending, which is a huge benefit for global travellers. To earn rewards is one thing, but getting them multiplied at this rate is amazing. The reward program also involves 3X reward points all day over dining spend; 3X over local spend at places like department stores and petrol stations, on weekends.

So, try to opt for a credit card that combines the benefits of reward points and travel offers. Itís not about which kind of reward is better. Itís all about the rewards credit card which lets you enjoy the best of both worlds, and further ease out your unaddressed financial issues.
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