5 Things to Look for When Choosing a Basic Savings Account

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Are you planning to invest in minimal cash? A basic savings account is a good way to start. It is a safe and secure way of keeping your hard-earned money. If you are looking for the best savings account in Malaysia, here are some factors to help you decide:1

  1. Reasonable interest rate

It is normal for a saving account to have a fairly low-interest rate. But you can find many banks in Malaysia that offer around 0.25% interest rate. The usual rate applies to short-term financial goals such as saving for a vacation, paying a debt, and building an emergency fund. Take note that interest rates in some banks in Malaysia may differ for residents and non-residents.

  1. Monthly e-statements

This online tool will help keep you on track of your finances. Choose a bank that will allow you to manage your funds easily with monthly statements. Always consider the online banking feature when choosing a savings account. This saves you time from long queues at the bank.

  1. Low initial deposit

Finding a savings account with no minimum deposit is rare. The minimum amount among banks in Malaysia is RM20. Accounts with a very high initial deposit can turn off some people and even discourage them to open an account. No need to worry because there are a lot of banks in Malaysia that cater to the masses by setting a low initial deposit.

  1. No monthly service fee

Understand all the fees that come with the account, especially monthly fees. Take note, however, that a monthly service fee is different from minimum monthly balance. You can take advantage of a minimum monthly balance to avoid over-spending. It encourages you to maintain a certain balance in your account.

  1. Free unlimited transactions

There are banks in Malaysia that will charge you for over the counter and even ATM cash withdrawals. Avoid these unnecessary fees and select a bank that offers free unlimited transactions. Generally, free cash withdrawals are limited to eight. After that, the bank may charge a certain fee as per Malaysia’s Basic Savings Account scheme. But luckily, there are banks now that discourage this kind of system.2

Remember that not all savings accounts are created equal. You will be surprised that some banks are offering a minimum deposit of up to RM200 for a basic savings account. There are some that offer up to 1% interest rate but will leave you with some catch, like high annual charges for dormant accounts and unjustified overseas withdrawal fees.

Best Credit Cards in Malaysia For Business Travelers 2017

Best Credit Cards in Malaysia

If you’re required to zip around from city to city frequently for your work, you might want to look into the credit card that you’re currently using. The question you should ask yourself is, “am I maximizing the benefits of my current credit card?”

 

Here are 5 of the best credit cards for business travelers that you might want to consider:

1)            OCBC World Mastercard

Probably one of the best OCBC credit cards with complimentary travel insurance, this card gets you to enjoy coverage of up to $2mil RM when you charge the full airfare to your OCBC World Mastercard. Not only that, you get to enjoy two complimentary access to the KLIA premium plaza lounge per year!

 

2)            Citibank Citi Premier Miles Visa Signature

The Citibank Premier Miles has long had the reputation of being one of the best credit cards for travel. With one of the most attractive frequent flyer conversion rate, you also get to enjoy a range of lounge privileges around the world. You get 1,000 air miles for an impressive conversion from 1,500 premier miles.

Citibank Citi Premier Miles Visa Signature

 

3)            Maybank World Mastercard

The Maybank World Mastercard is an all-rounded travel card with golf, lounge benefits and even discounts on well-known hotel bookings such as the Starwood and Hilton groups. For every 2RM spent, you get 5 Treats Air Miles which makes this card one of the best ways to rack up air miles.

 

4)            HSBC Visa Signature

Head on to HSBC Visa Signature’s site, and you can tell that they’re proud of their air miles conversion system. At just 3,000 reward points for 1,000 air miles,  racking up points will be a breeze if you’re constantly overseas spending on hotel rooms and on dining because you get x10 reward points for both.

HSBC Visa Signature

 

5)            Standard Chartered Worldmiles Mastercard

If you’re a big spender overseas, the Standard Chartered Worldmiles Mastercard offers one of the best air miles conversion systems. By spending RM2 abroad, you’ll get three world miles; while two world miles will get you one air mile of your preferred frequent flyer program. Not bad huh?

 

These five credit cards are the best travel credit cards offered in the market today. However, it is still dependent on the specific needs that you might require during your overseas trips. Contact a financial advisor if you need help in making your decision. 

Starting Your Housing Fund – 6 Ways to Begin Setting Aside for Your Dream Home

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In Malaysia, house prices have been on a steady rise in recent years, making it more and more of a challenge for buyers to find the right property for their needs and budget. Because of this, many see buying a house as nothing more than a distant dream. But there are things you can do to ease the process of setting aside funds for that dream home. Find out what you can do today to start saving for your house, and achieve that ultimate goal by following these 6 smart tips.1

  1. Open A Separate Account – How many bank accounts do you have? Many choose to have just one or two accounts to hold all their money, but that could work against you if you’re trying to save for a home. Having a separate account for your housing fund can make it easier for you to establish just how far along you are in terms of saving for your house. This also helps to guarantee that you won’t spend any of the fund on other things you might want to purchase. Open a new bank account and funnel a chunk of your monthly salary into it, as a way to set aside funds for your home.2
  2. Scratch Out The Luxuries – You might like to indulge in an expensive dinner every week or so, or maybe you’re the kind of person who likes going on regular shopping sprees. Whatever it might be, consider slicing out a luxury from your monthly expense and set aside that money for your house instead. If you can’t cut the expense out completely, consider making it less frequent, for example to just once a month, to help reduce the cost.3
  3. Look Into Loans – Unless you plan to save enough to pay off your house in full (which could take several long years), it’s likely that you plan to take out a loan from a bank to help finance your home. As early as now, you should try to learn how to apply for housing loan in Malaysia, so you can get a better idea of what you should prepare on the day itself. You can also look into the different loans and payment schemes offered, to better understand how you can pay off your loan when you finally decide to take one out.4
  4. Automate Your Savings – From your salary account, automate your savings, so you won’t have to worry about whether or not you were able to transfer the amount of your home savings every month. Go online and schedule a monthly credit to your housing fund from your salary, so you can be sure that whatever is left behind in your account after every payday is money that you can spend.5
  5. Set Unexpected Money Aside – If you get a bonus, if your parents decide to give you a little extra for your birthday, or if you win any sort of amount of money, be sure to set it aside 100%. While it might seem like a giant struggle, especially if there’s something new you want to purchase, this will help bump up your savings big time, bringing you closer to your goal sooner rather than later.

    STAY CALM red Rubber Stamp over a white background.

    STAY CALM red Rubber Stamp over a white background.

  6. Stay Calm – Probably the most forgotten tip when saving for anything is staying calm. You might have a time table worked out in your head, but remember that any plans you might have established won’t always work out the same way in real life. Keep your cool and don’t punish yourself if monthly savings quotas aren’t met. The less you stress out about missing short term goals, the more motivated you’ll be in the long run.

Saving for a home is no easy task, but with the right practices and mind set, you can buy that dream home in no time. Don’t forget to keep these tips in mind when you decide you’re ready to start saving, and work your way towards realizing that property goal soon.

Ways to Open a Bank Account in Malaysia for Foreigners

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Are you an expat living and working in Malaysia? If you have just moved to Malaysia either for work or residence, opening a new bank account is definitely a must to make your financial activity easier. Setting up a new account makes sense especially if you don’t want to pay charges for every transaction that you make. Another advantage is easy access to the Ringgit. If you are earning in Ringgit rather than dollars or any other currency, a new bank account will certainly eliminate the hassle of converting your money to local currency.

Setting up a new bank account for foreigners is very straightforward. If you need to open a bank account in Malaysia, here are two easy ways for you to have one:

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  1. Personal Appearance in the Bank:
  • Present your visa and valid work permit to any OCBC branch. You need to present a proof of identity to set up a new account in any bank. If you don’t have a residency permit, you need to secure a reference from your workplace. This can come from either your boss or from the Human Resources department.
  • Fill in some forms given to you by the staff. The bank will need to know more about you. You will provide important personal information such as your work, office address, your Malaysian address, and your contact numbers.
  • You will be asked to secure a photocopy of important documents. The bank will need a copy of your work permit, passport, and your visa. You can also present your previous billing statements as proof that you live at the address that you provided on the form.
  • Pay the initial deposit. At OCBC Malaysia, the minimum initial deposit is RM200. If you want to access more money using this new account, you definitely have to raise your deposit. Just make sure that there is as little as RM20 after all that shopping.
  • Get your new passbook or new ATM card. After all of the documents and the forms that you filled up have been submitted, the bank personnel will verify it. Once you have been cleared, your account will be created and you will be able to get your passbook or ATM card after a short while.

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  1. Online Application

Online banking is now a benefit that all people can enjoy. All you need to do is to click and supply the necessary information on the bank’s official website. The documents needed for the application such as your work and residence permit, your passport, and your visa can be provided to the bank by uploading either a .jpg or PDF file. The bank will then verify the information that you have given them. Once your application is approved, you will get your ATM card or your passbook within two to three weeks.

When you are considering opening a bank account, you need to fully weigh the benefits. This is to make sure that you won’t suffer financially. It will also significantly affect the charges that you are going to pay for every transaction that you will make. This is particularly true especially if you have other accounts that are connected to your new bank account.

Finally, if you are having a single shred of doubt, do not open a bank account hastily. Always consult an expert or ask a fellow expat about their experiences about opening a new bank account in Malaysia. This way, you will be able to have a firm grasp of the financial situation here in order to maximize every benefit that your new account provides.

How to Travel in Absolute Luxury Without Loyalty Programs

Delaire Graff Estate (237E)

Most people around the world usually confuse luxurious travel to excessive spending. Because of this, they needlessly subscribe to different loyalty programs in order to travel luxuriously to their dream travel destination. What they don’t realise is they can do it as well without actually spending a fortune in the process. If you are an OCBC credit card holder, you can make your dream trip come true without subscribing to loyalty programs. One of the benefits of premier bank Mastercards is you can convert your accumulated credit card reward points to airline miles.

Simple Life Hacks to Make Your Travel Luxurious

If you want to travel in absolute luxury but you don’t want to spend cash to shoulder both the airline tickets and pocket money, you can use your OCBC MasterCard credit card to reach your favourite travel destinations. Here are some other things that you can do to make sure that you travel in absolute luxury using only your credit card reward points:18uloxcegkeaqjpg

  • Use your credit card often. You don’t need to actually use your credit card to purchase an airline ticket to go to your intended destination. Just use your credit card on your regular purchases frequently and let it earn reward points. Other credit card companies would usually tell you to wait for two to three weeks to redeem your credit card reward points. This results in not being able to book your travel on your desired date. However, you don’t need to go through that hassle in OCBC. The points that you earn using your credit card can be used to redeem flights on all airlines through the use of their “Voyage Miles” via their Voyage Exchange concierge service.early-booking-deals
  • Early booking. Booking your flight and hotel accommodation early will definitely help you save some money and avoid trouble. Booking your accommodation and flight tickets two to three months ahead of your intended travel date is usually cheaper, thus saving you money in the process.
  • Package promo/deals. If you like to travel frequently, searching for promo deals will help you get a safe and luxurious trip. You don’t have to worry about the tiny details about your holiday trip because the companies that offer these promo tours will take care of it for you. All you have to do on that date is to relax and enjoy what’s in store for you.proactivity
  • Be proactive. Some hotels offer their guests an opportunity to upgrade their rooms (for a small amount of money, of course). For those who like to travel to exotic places, such as the Maldives, you can use this chance to get a room near a spectacular view. Make sure that you do this ahead of your arrival schedule in order to avoid hassle once you get there.

Luxurious travel should never be complicated and expensive. In fact, it should only be a reward to yourself and not a burden. The whole point of using credit card reward points is to reward yourself for your frequent use of your plastic card. By using your OCBC credit card reward points and doing the above-mentioned tips, you can surely experience relaxing and lavish travel during your holiday trip. Just make sure that you plan your travel ahead in order to maximise your reward points.