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Saturday, February 25, 2012

Hong Leong Bank Visa Signature - The Best Visa Signature Credit Card?

This article was first published at My Credit Cards and republished here at GenX GenY GenZ with updates.
Please do not reproduce/reprint this article in whole or part in any form. 



[Update 1 May 2012 - This article was written because back in February 2012 when I noted that HLB have revised down the annual income requirement for this card from RM180K to RM80K. And recently at LYN, a member by the nickname pspfan, reported that the HLB Visa Signature no longer comes with the Priority Pass Membership Card! So I visited HLB website and he is right, there is no mention of the Priority Pass Membership Card as a Feature or Benefit anymore. Also, the annual income requirement of RM80K cannot be seen anywhere. And since this card only allows unlimited free access to KLIA and LCCT Plaza Premium Lounge until end of June 2012; those of you who wants a card for PPL access should wait and see if HLB extend this promotion after 1 July 2012.] 


When Hong Leong Bank acquired EON Bank in 2011, they also inherited all EON Bank credit cards. This is actually a good thing for Hong Leong Bank as far as credit cards are concerned because Hong Leong Bank credit cards have nothing much to offer. And now Hong Leong Bank has a Premier credit card, i.e. Ex EON Bank Visa Signature in their line up.



I did post a brief article on the Eon Bank Visa Signature together with the Citibank Platinum Cash Back Visa last August 2010. Click here to read the article. At that time, EON Bank's Visa Signature was the best Visa Signature in Malaysia simply because there were no other Visa Signature. Subsequently, CIMB was the second issuer to issue the Visa Signature and HSBC launched theirs by replacing it with their Visa Platinum in April 2011.

I will once again do a mini review on the Hong Leong Bank Visa Signature card today.



Firstly, until 30th June 2012, the Hong Leong Bank Visa Signatures grants the card holder UNLIMITED access to KLIA, LCCT and Senai Plaza Premium Lounge including Changi Singapore The Green Market airport lounge by simply showing the HLB Visa Signature credit card. [Update 1 May 2012 - the HLB Visa Signature card holder was also issued the Priority Pass Membership card that allows the card holder 3 FREE entries to worldwide airport lounges prior to March 2012 but now it is no longer the case].

With the unlimited access to KLIA Plaza Premium Lounge, it kind of reaffirms the HLB (Ex-EON) Bank Visa Signature as the "best" Visa Signature credit card in Malaysia as far as I am concerned (since I don't play Golf). The Citibank PremierMiles Visa Signature only allows 12 combined FREE visits to KLIA and LCCT Plaza Premium Lounge and 2 FREE access with their Priority Pass Membership card. CIMB Visa Signature only allow 2 free entries to Plaza Premium Lounge but you got to spend RM100K to get it renewed the following year. And worst among the lot is HSBC Visa Signature where it does not even allow a single free entry into KLIA Plaza Premium Lounge.

Click here to read more about Malaysia Exclusive Premier Credit Cards.

Click here to read find out which Malaysia Credit Cards grant complimentary FREE access to KLIA and LCCT Plaza Premium Lounge and worldwide airport lounges with the Priority Pass Membership Card.


Here are the EON Bank Visa Signature Benefits and some of my comments:

1. DOUBLE BONUS PLUS POINTS when you spend abroad and 1.5X Bonus Plus Points when you spend locally.

2. CASH REBATE 1% - when you spend abroad! The cash rebate is additional to the 2X Bonus Points and is capped at RM500 subjected that you spent RM10,000 per annum.


3. COMPLIMENTARY PRIORITY PASS MEMBERSHIP - enjoy up to 3 times complimentary global lounge visit annually Principal card holder only [Only for those who sign up prior to March 2012 and I got no idea for existing cardholders if the Priority Pass Membership Card feature will be withdrawn once the card anniversary arrives].


4. YEAR END ACCOUNT SUMMARY - provide you with a year-end account statement that summarises all your EON Bank Visa Signature Credit Card’s total spending for the year. 

5. Frequent Flyer Rewards - Fly without paying. Take advantage of the frequent flyer rewards. Convert your Bonus Plus Points to Enrich Miles and redeem free flights, upgrades, shopping vouchers and much more. The Enrich Miles conversions are as follows:


• 6,000 Bonus Plus Points = 1,000 Enrich Miles. If you consider you earn 1.5 Bonus Point for every local spending, it works out to RM4 = 1 Enrich Mile. And for overseas, it's RM3 = 1 Enrich Mile. Pretty good if you ask me.

Previously in 2011, it was 7,000 Bonus Plus Points = 1,000 Enrich Miles.

6. Free Personal Protection Plan - Insures your personal belongings up to RM8,000 against theft or accidental damage within 30 days from the date of Purchase made with HLB Visa Signature.

7. Fraudulent Charges - reimburse you for unauthorised charges up to RM5,000 for any Occurrence up to RM20,000 for any one period of cover made on your lost or stolen credit card up to 12 hours prior to the first report of the incident. Cash Advances not covered. Take note of this!! 

8. ATM Robbery and Assault - reimburses you for loss of cash which you have withdraw or forced to withdraw from an ATM occuring within 15 minutes of withdrawal. But up to RM2,000 only per occurrence.

9. Lost Wallet - reimburse you for cost of replacing lost personal documents including cost of wallet in the event the wallet or purse is snatched or stolen. This is good, my Louis Vuitton Damier Graphite Wallet is covered :)

10.0 FREE Travel Accident and Inconvenience Coverage - up to RM2,000,000. Remember to charge your travel purchases to your Hong Leong Bank Visa Signature Credit Card and you will automatically be protected from any flight delays, luggage lost or missed connections which extends to your spouse and children below 23 years of age.

Travel accident insurance: Accidental death and permanent disablement (common carrier) Up to RM2,000,000 for Principal and Spouse.

Personal accident insurance: Accidental death and permanent disablement (24 hours while oversea.) up to RM100,000 for Principal only.

Emergency travel overseas up to 60 days medical and accidental dental expenses up to RM85,000 for each Principal and Spouse and follow up medical treatment locally up to 30 days. This is one of the best card feature of the EON Bank Visa Signature.  It even covers DENTAL!  

Emergency medical evacuation up to RM15,000.00.

Delayed luggage after 6 hours up to RM8,000.00

Lost luggage up to RM12,000.00.


11. Complimentary Personal Accident Insurance up to RM150,000 applicable upon activation of the HLB Visa Signature. This is a new feature of the card for 2012.


For more info, click here to HLB website.

CONCLUSION


The annual income required to be eligible for the EON Visa Signature was RM180,000.00 per year. Now, the Hong Leong Bank Visa Signature only need Minimum Annual Income of RM80,000! 

[Update 22 April 2012 - the reason why I republished this article with updates in February 2012 was because I read in HLB website that the annual income requirement for this card was reduced to RM80K. As such, I thought I this article may benefit those who were previously interested in this card (but cannot qualify for it with the annual income requirement of RM180K). However HLB have removed the annual income requirement from their website, I suggest you call them up to reconfirm if you are interested in this card.]

From the above, it can be said that the Hong Leong Bank Visa Signature insurance for overseas travels is one of the best offered with a credit card in Malaysia. And with unlimited access to Plaza Premium Lounges at KLIA, LCCT, Senai and Changi Singapore, the HLB Visa Signature is no doubt  one of the leading Premium Credit Cards in Malaysia. 


It is even way better than my CIMB Direct Access World MasterCard and Visa Infinite which are so called Premium cards. And as for the Visa Signature by HSBC and CIMB where the annual income required are both RM100,000.00, they are just wannabes Premium card because they are no better than some other Platinums in the market.  

Since I got my Maybankard 2 AMEX Card, I have been charging most of my transactions to it as I earn 5X Treats Points. This kind of poses a problem for me, as we need to spend RM30,000 a year to get the automatic HLB Visa Signature annual fee waiver. And I got good news for your guys, Hong Leong Bank did waive my annual fee for the second year even tho I did not spend RM30K with my HLB Visa Signature :)






If you do transact often overseas and fly business class with Thai Airways or Qatar Airways, check out my review on the Maybank Visa Infinite which earns you 5X Treats Points overseas. Click here to read my complete and full review of Maybank Visa Infinite Benefits. This card gives you 5 FREE access to airport lounges worldwide with the Priority Pass.  


Click here to read my article - Hong Leong Bank Credit Cards - What Are They Good For? If you are interested in Personal Loan or need cash with your credit cards, this article may be of some assistance.









Click here to read my article HSBC Premier World MasterCard and Visa Signature Benefits 2012.




















Click here to read my review of Citibank PremierMiles Visa Signature and Platinum Benefits 2012






















In July 2012, a new pure cash back credit card called MACH by Hong Leong Bank was launched. This card is targeted at the Entry Level users where the annual income requirement is RM24K/year. This is another innovative credit card by Hong Leong Bank. Click here to read my article Mach By Hong Leong Bank For GenY - First Look.


OTHER RELATED POSTS


Click here to read my article - How I Benefited with My Credit Cards for My Macau Overseas Trip. I entered Macau Airport Lounge with the Priority Pass card issued with the HLB Visa Signature. In this article I also posted photos of the airport lounge in Macau and LCCT Plaza Premium Lounge.

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