Best USD cards in Malaysia: What are the options? 2024

Claire Millard
Şeyma Mektepli
Last updated
12 December 2023

If you travel frequently to the US, or simply love to shop online with US based stores, a USD card can make it cheaper and more convenient when you transact in dollars. With a USD card you’ll be able to add money in ringgit and convert to USD in advance so you can spend with no extra charges when you travel. But which card should you pick?

This guide covers a few popular USD cards available in Malaysia including the Wise card - a flexible non-bank option - and a couple of cards from major regional and global banks. We’ll walk through their features and key fees so you can see which might fit your needs.

Go to Wise

What is a USD card?

A USD card may also be called a multi-currency card. That’s because these cards are often linked to digital accounts you can use to hold a broad selection of currencies alongside US dollars. Once you have a card you just add money online or in-app, and either convert to USD within the account, or leave the balance in ringgit and let the card convert for you when you pay for things.

Making payments with a USD card works just like with any other debit card. The main difference you’ll usually spot is that you’ll not need to pay foreign transaction fees when you hold a USD balance, and you might be able to get a better exchange rate to convert MYR - USD compared to using your normal bank account or card.

What is a USD card good for?

A USD card can be used any time you transact in US dollars. That’s handy when you’re travelling in the US as you can use the card to tap and pay in stores, and to make cash withdrawals. However, it’s also good to have a USD card when you shop online and pay in USD, because you’ll be able to avoid foreign transaction fees that are normally added to your costs when you spend with a standard debit card.

Spending with a card is convenient and secure, means you won’t need to go to a money changer to get cash before you go to the US, and can also bring down the costs of your spending in dollars overall.

Pros and cons of USD cards

Not sure if a USD card is worth getting? Here’s a summary of some key pros and cons to help you decide.

USD card prosUSD card cons

✅ USD cards often also support a range of other currencies, so you can use them on future trips too

✅ It’s usually free to spend currencies you hold in your account

✅ Convert your money before you spend and you can avoid foreign transaction fees

✅ Cards are secure and safer than carrying lots of cash or using your bank debit card

✅ Convenient and issued on globally accepted networks

❌ Fees can apply which can include order and delivery costs, and transaction charges

❌ It might take a while for your card  to arrive by post after you order it

❌ Some cards charge a fee when you add a balance

3 best USD cards in Malaysia

To help you decide if getting a USD card is the right thing for you, we’ve picked out some good examples for you to explore. We’ve got Wise, which is a low cost non bank provider, head to head with RHB as an example of a major regional bank, and HSBC so you can check out what a global banking brand can offer, as well.

Wise multi-currency debit card

Wise offers mult-currency accounts you open online or in-app, to hold and exchange 40+ currencies including MYR and USD. You’ll pay a small fee of 13.7 MYR to get your Wise card in the first place, but there’s no minimum balance and no monthly fee to pay.

Add a balance to your card in ringgit and switch to dollars with the mid-market rate and low fees from 0.43%.  Choose to change your money in advance of travel to lock in the exchange rate and set your travel budget, or just let the card’s autoconvert tool do the conversion for you at the point of payment.

Use your card for spending and withdrawals in Malaysia and the US, and a total of 150+ countries globally, with some fee free ATM withdrawals every month.

Wise app and card with a bridge in the background

Go to Wise
Wise prosWise cons

✅ No monthly fees or minimum balance 

✅ Currency conversion uses the mid-market rate, fees can be as low as 0.43%

✅ Free to spend a currency you hold in your account

✅ Convert in advance or let the card automatically switch to dollars as and when required

✅ Flexible card for local and international use

❌No branch service

❌ You’ll need to pay a one time fee to get your card in the first place

❌ Some transaction fees apply, including ATM fees once you’ve exhausted your fee free allowance

Go to Wise

Learn more: Wise card in Malaysia

RHB Multi-Currency Visa debit card

If you’re thinking of a USD card from a major bank here in Malaysia, RHB’s multi-currency Visa card might be a good fit. It supports a total of 32 currencies for holding and exchange, including USD. Add money to your account and convert to USD with preferential exchange rates, to spend for free in the US.

To apply for a RHB multi-currency Visa card you’ll also need to have an eligible MYR account with RHB. It’s also worth knowing that a 1% fee will apply when you spend a currency you don’t hold in your account - which means you need to switch over from ringgit to dollars in advance of spending to avoid extra fees.

RHB prosRHB cons

✅ USD is one of a full range of 32 supported currencies

✅ Spend any currency you hold in your account with no extra fee

✅ Preferential exchange rates when converting within the account

✅ Interest earning account

✅ PIDM insured for all deposits, to the legal maximum

❌ 1% fee to spend a currency you don’t hold

❌ 12 MYR international ATM fee

❌ 20 MYR annual fee

Go to RHB

HSBC Everyday Global card

The HSBC USD card we’ve picked out is the HSBC Everyday Global account and card, which covers account balance and spending in USD and 10 other major currencies. Choose a standard card, or if you already hold a high balance with HSBC you may be eligible for the HSBC Advance Everyday Global, or HSBC Premier Everyday Global which both come with extra benefits and lower overall fees.

If you hold USD in your account there’s no fee to make payments, but bear in mind that a 1% foreign transaction fee is added to transactions where you don’t hold enough balance to cover the payment. International ATM fees vary based on ATM type and your account status, but can be up to 10 MYR per withdrawal.

HSBC prosHSBC cons

✅ USD is one of 11 supported currencies

✅ Spend any currency you hold in your account for free

✅ No account maintenance or set up fees

✅ Paperless application process which should only take minutes

✅ Premium accounts available for customers who invest with HSBC already

❌ Up to 10 MYR international ATM fees apply

❌ 1% fee to spend a currency you don’t hold in your account

❌ To access the highest account tier you need to hold investments of 200,000 MYR or more with HSBC

Go to HSBC

Costs of getting a USD card in Malaysia

The costs of getting a USD card can vary quite a lot, depending on which service you pick. It’s important to go through the fee schedule before you sign up, so you know what to expect. We’ll walk through a few key costs to watch out for, next.

USD card fees 

Get a card13.7 MYR20 MYR issuance fee, waived if you add at least 200 USD to your balanceNo fee
Add moneyFree to add money with local bank details in 9 currenciesFree top up options availableFree top up options available
Account maintenance feeNone20 MYR annual feeNone
Spend in USD

  • Free to spend currency you hold

  • Convert  currencies from 0.43%

  • Free to spend currency you hold

  • 1% fee applies to spend a currency you don’t hold in your account 

  • Free to spend currency you hold

  • 1% fee applies to spend a currency you don’t hold in your account 

ATM withdrawal

2 withdrawals, to 1,000 MYR in value free every month

5 MYR + 1.75% after that

Up to 12 MYR depending on the ATMUp to 10 MYR depending on the ATM and your account status

*Fee information correct at time of writing, 23rd November 2023

Go to Wise

USD card exchange rate

When you use a USD card, you’ll be adding money in MYR and switching your balance over to USD for spending. That means that the exchange rate is important. The rate you get is set by the provider or card issuer. If you get a poor rate, it’ll mean less money is available for spending in USD in the end.

Check the rates offered by your preferred card provider. Wise uses the mid-market exchange rate, which is the one you can find with a Google search. Banks offer their own rates, which can include a markup, although the markup used for a USD card may be lower than you’d get if you were transacting with a different bank card.

Go to Wise

Related: Wise USD account review

Where can I use a USD card?

Use a USD card for spending wherever you plan to pay in US dollars. Of course that can include when you’re travelling in the US - but also when you’re making cash withdrawals in the states, and when you’re shopping online and paying in USD. Because you won’t have to pay any extra fees as long as you have a balance in the card in USD, you’ll avoid foreign transaction fees and pay less overall.

USD card in Malaysia 

All of the cards we’ve highlighted above can be used in Malaysia as well as in the US. It’s important to remember that you may pay a fee if you’re spending in a currency you don’t hold in your account. That means that if you’ve converted your balance to USD, and then spend in Malaysia in MYR, you could end up paying more than you expect.

All of the cards above support MYR for holding as well as USD. If you plan on using your card at home, you’ll need to make sure you have a MYR balance in your account to avoid extra charges.

What are the requirements to get a USD card?

Generally you’ll need to be aged over 18, with a valid government issued ID (passport or MyKAD), and a proof of address. In some cases you’ll need a minimum opening deposit, and with USD cards from banks you might also need to apply for a linked MYR account at the same time. This MYR account could have its own eligibility criteria and fees, so do read the terms and conditions carefully.

How to get a USD card in Malaysia

The process to get a USD card in Malaysia will depend on the provider you pick. Digital only services like Wise have a fully in-app or online application process, which lets you get verified and open your account without needing to visit a branch location. Banks also commonly offer online opening options, but whether or not they’re available will depend on your personal situation. Sometimes you can only open a USD card account if you already have a MYR account for example - and getting your MYR account set up might need a visit to a branch so you can show your documents and get verified in person.

Check with your preferred bank or provider to see what their particular process is, and to make sure you have all the right paperwork prepared.

Learn more: How to get a Wise card in Malaysia


Getting a USD card can make it easier to spend in US dollars, when you’re in the US and also when you shop online with international retailers. You’ll be able to add a balance in MYR from your bank, and then convert to USD - often with preferential exchange rates - ready for spending. Some cards, like the Wise card, also let you just leave your money in ringgit and then only convert at the point of payment, with no foreign transaction fee to pay.

Use this guide to get familiar with some of the USD cards you may want to choose here in Malaysia. Major local, regional and global banks offer strong USD card options, but they can come with relatively high costs for things like ATM withdrawals, plus you might need another account with the same bank before you can apply. Specialist services like Wise don’t work in the same way that banks do, but they do have low cost USD cards which can offer flexible ways to spend, send, hold, exchange and receive a broad selection of currencies using nothing but your phone.

Go to Wise


What are the benefits of using a USD card?

USD cards can mean you pay lower overall costs when you’re travelling in the US, or shopping online with US based merchants. You’ll be able to convert to USD in advance to see your travel budget clearly, and can lock in an exchange rate. Plus card spending is convenient, secure and means you don’t have to organise your travel money in advance

Are USD cards available in Malaysia?

Yes. You can get USD cards in Malaysia from specialist non bank providers like Wise, major regional banks like RHB and global brands like HSBC. Each option has its own features and fees so comparing a few is a good idea to make sure you get the right one for you.

How much does a USD card cost?

The costs of a USD card can vary depending on the specific card you select. You’ll often find there are free ways to add money, and some transactions are free too. However, in many cases there are some fees to pay for currency conversion or ATM withdrawals - double check the fee schedule for the card you prefer so there are no surprises.