Islamic Credit Cards Gain Prominence, Perks

Islamic finance is steadily growing over the years, with S&P Global Rating (S&P) expecting a 10% growth on a global scale in 2023 to 2024 after expanding by a similar number in 2022. This is due to its resilience and broad appeal, partly owing to principles that govern Islamic financial activities, including equity, participation, and ownership.

A working paper by the International Monetary Fund suggested that Islamic finance is resistant to shocks because of its emphasis on risk sharing, limits on excessive risk taking, and strong link to real activities.

In South-East Asia, the Islamic banking industry is projected to grow at around 8% over the next several years despite the economic slowdown in the major markets of Malaysia and Indonesia, said S&P.

This trend grows on the back of robust demand for Islamic products and services and lower penetration, particularly in Indonesia. Fitch Ratings expects growth to continue to outperform that of conventional banks, due to the country’s supportive regulatory environment and Islamic finance ecosystem as well as the shift towards Sharia-compliant services.

This is the same with Islamic credit cards which have been gaining traction among Malaysians of every faith. Unlike the conventional credit card, it charges the user a profit rate instead of interest. Besides being shariah compliant, credit cards that revolve around the shariah concept bring benefits such as the absence of compounding interest among many others.

Those interested in exploring the benefits of shariah compliant credit cards will find a variety of it being offered by Bank Rakyat. Take for example the Bank Rakyat Platinum Explorer Credit Card-i which is specifically tailored for the frequent traveller.

Users receive up to 5% cashback when they pay for their flight tickets and hotel bookings. No minimum spending is required but the maximum cap of cashback is up to RM1,000 a year. Further on, the user receives 1 Rakyat Reward Point for every RM10 spent and these points can be converted into cash based on an exchange rate of RM0.10 for every 10 Rakyat Reward Points. Besides that, users get to enjoy up to three times complimentary yearly access to Plaza Premium lounges across Malaysia.

Those interested to apply for this credit card must earn a stable monthly income of at least RM5,000 and be aged 21 years old and above for principal cards. For supplementary cardholders, their minimum age has to be at least 18 years old.

Due to the risks associated with travelling, the card provides complimentary family takaful coverage as well as ‘Khairat Kematian’ worth RM1,000. The takaful covers any outstanding credit card balances left in the event of death and total permanent disability.

Note that the maximum age limit for Takaful coverage is 64 years old on the date of death or total permanent disability, with a maximum coverage of up to RM300,000, subject to takaful approval.

The Muslimah Credit Card-i by Bank Rakyat provides even more perks, but only for women. It shares the same feature with the Bank Rakyat Platinum Explorer Credit Card-i where Rakyat Reward Point is awarded to the user when making purchases. The takaful coverage also applies to the Muslimah Card.

No mark-up rate on the currency exchange when they travel and make payment, being applicable to all international transactions. The cardholders further enjoy exclusive deals, discounts at Bank Rakyat selected merchants and MasterCard privileges.

The Muslimah Credit Card-i is available for women who are citizens of Malaysia, 21 years and above, with an annual income of RM24,000 and above.

Underlining all these is the special 8%GOV.MY campaign that runs from 20 August 2021 until 31 August 2024.

During the duration, the Bank Rakyat Credit Card-i will offer an annual profit rate as low as 8% for government servants and employees of government-linked companies with subjects to the total outstanding balance requirements. Note that individuals under these categories automatically enjoy the annual profit rate upon applying within the offer period. Government servants or employees of government-linked companies who already hold Bank Rakyat Credit Card-i are required to apply through letters, emails, phone calls or any other method that is deemed appropriate to enjoy this offer.

On top of these benefits, several campaigns have been launched to add value to users. Through the Petrol Khamis campaign, users get a 5% cashback every Thursday by using Bank Rakyat Credit Card-i for every transaction of petrol, diesel and any purchase of other goods (Shariah-compliant) made at any gas station nationwide. The campaign will end on 31 July 2023.

Holders of the Muslimah Credit Card-i can participate in the Ratu Muslimah 2023 campaign. By completing a contactless (Shariah-compliant) retail purchase online or with a PIN, the holder gets to win jewellery voucher worth RM10,000 for amount category and home appliances for transactions category (Terms & conditions apply. The campaign will end on 31May 2023. More value-added campaigns are being planned in the future to benefit Bank Rakyat credit card holders.

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