Using BigPay Card in Malaysia

Claire Millard
Şeyma Mektepli
Last updated
2 May 2023

Free money app BigPay offers accounts which come with easy ways to pay people at home and abroad, budgeting and analytic tools, and a linked card you can use for global spending. If you’re planning to travel, or if you simply need an easier way to manage your money on the move, you might be wondering if BigPay is right for you.

In this article, we’ll cover all you need to know about the BigPay card in Malaysia, including features, fees, and pros and cons. And to help you compare, we’ll also touch on a few alternatives like Wise, so you can pick the perfect account for your needs.

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What is BigPay?

Available in both Malaysia and Singapore, BigPay offers accounts you can manage via an app, and the BigPay card for easy spending here and when you travel.

BigPay account features include easy ways to send payments locally and internationally, and budgeting tools which help you categorise your spending and review and manage your money - all from your phone. Accounts also come with your linked BigPay card which can be a handy way to spend when you’re overseas.

Is BigPay safe?

Yes, BigPay is safe. BigPay in Malaysia is regulated by Bank Negara Malaysia - and it’s regulated by MAS over in Singapore, where it’s also available. In addition to this, BigPay has options to manage, freeze and unfreeze your BigPay card from your app for security, and uses 24/7 automated fraud detection tools to help keep accounts safe.

What is the BigPay card?

The BigPay debit card is connected to your BigPay account - so you can top up your account, and spend to the account balance using your card. That means you can’t accidentally blow your budget, overspend, or run into overdraft, interest or penalty fees.

Key features:

  • Debit card on the Mastercard or Visa network, that you can use at home and abroad

  • Contactless payment options

  • Freeze and unfreeze your card in the BigPay app for security

  • Virtual card available instantly when you open your account

  • Spend overseas with a competitive exchange rate and a relatively low 1% foreign transaction fee

  • Earn AirAsia points as you spend

Pros of BigPay card

  • Issued on globally accepted networks for international spending

  • Both physical and virtual cards available you can manage with the BigPay app

  • Earn AirAsia reward points as you spend with the BigPay card

Cons of BigPay card

  • Accounts can only hold MYR, so when you spend overseas your funds will be converted using the network rate which can include a markup, with an extra 1% BigPay fee

  • No local receiving account details, so you can’t get paid from overseas into your account

  • Fairly low limits for card withdrawals, plus a 6 MYR - 10 MYR BigPay fee

    If you are interested in opening a multi-currency account with a linked international debit card, Wise Card can be a good option in Malaysia.

Check out this article to learn more: Wise Card vs BigPay Card

Who is the BigPay debit card for?

The BigPay card can suit anyone looking for a digital account for day to day use, with contactless spending and international payment options. It’s popular in Malaysia as a travel card, as its 1% foreign transaction fee is lower than the charge used by many major banks - although it may not be the cheapest on the market overall. More on that, next.

BigPay card alternatives

BigPay isn’t the only easy online account which offers multi-currency and international features. You can also pick an account from a specialist in low cost international payments and accounts, like Wise - or a multi-currency product from a traditional bank like RHB. Let’s look at how these options compare with BigPay on a few key features and metrics.

BigPay CardWise International Debit CardRHB Multi-currency Visa Debit Card
AvailabilityMalaysian and Singaporean residents onlyAvailable globally in all but a handful of countries, including Malaysian and Singaporean residentsMalaysian residents with a RBH MYR account only
Card order feeNo fee, but you will need to deposit at least 20 MYR to your account to get a card13.7 MYR20 MYR
Monthly and Annual feesNo feesNo feeNo fee - but your RHB MYR account may come with fees
International Money Transfers0 MYR - 22 MYR depending on the country + exchange rate markupFrom 0.41%20 MYR - 25 MYR + exchange rate markup
International ATM withdrawals10 MYR

2 free withdrawals to 1,000 MYR/month

5 MYR + 1.75% fee after that

12 MYR
International Transfer SpeedSpeed varies by destination50% of transfers are instant, 90% arrive in 24 hoursSWIFT transfers can take 3 - 5 days
Multi-Currency AccountNot availableWise multi-currency accountAvailable 
Currency Exchange

For international transfers: BigPay rate, which is likely to include a markup

For card spending: Network rate + 1% fee  

Google exchange rate, with conversion fees from 0.41%

For card spending: Network rate + 1% fee 

To convert within your account: RHB rate, which is likely to include a markup

Supported CurrenciesMYR only50+ currencies16 currencies
Virtual CardsAvailableAvailableNot available
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Wise Debit Card vs BigPay Card

We’ve profiled the Wise account and card above, as a smart alternative to BigPay, with great international features, plus currency conversion which uses the Google exchange rate. Let’s dive into the option from Wise in a bit more detail now.

You can open a Wise account online or in the Wise app, from Malaysia or more or less any other country in the world, and order a linked debit card for easy spending and withdrawals. Wise accounts can support 50+ currencies for holding and exchange - and your card can be used for payments in 170+ countries. There’s no fee to spend any currency you hold in your account - and if you don’t have the currency you need, the card can convert for you from another balance, with the Google rate and fees from 0.41%.

Wise accounts can also be used to make international payments to more countries, with more than 70 countries are supported, with fast transfers and low, transparent fees.

Here’s a quick head to head comparison of Wise and BigPay:

Best FeaturesWise CardBigPay Card
Card Fees

13.7 MYR to get a card

2 free withdrawals to 1,000 MYR/month

5 MYR + 1.75% fee after that

20 MYR deposit required to get a card - you can spend this later

6 MYR for local withdrawals and 10 MYR for international withdrawals

International Transactions & Travel CardSpend in 170+ countries - free to use any currency you hold, with conversion from 0.41% if you don’t have the required currency in your accountSpend wherever the network is available -1% fee for international spend
Online ShoppingSpend easily online, in app, and in person - with physical and virtual cardsSpend easily online, in app, and in person - with physical and virtual cards
Multi-currency AccountWise account: hold and exchange 50+ currencies  Not available
Go to Wise

Why you should consider Wise Card over BigPay

The Wise card may be a good option for you if you want a multi-currency account which can help you manage the costs of spending overseas. Add money to Wise in MYR, or have people send payments in any of the 10 supported currencies, including MYR, with your own Wise local bank details. You can then either convert to the currencies you need in your account, with the midmarket rate and fees from 0.41%, or just let the card do it for you.

Wise can help you budget when you’re abroad as you’ll be able to switch to the currency you need to spend in advance, and you’ll know exactly how much you have to spend. Like BigPay, it’s a debit card, which also means no interest or overdraft fees - just top up what you want to spend and get going.

Wise vs BigPay

How does the BigPay card work?

The BigPay card is issued on either the Visa or Mastercard network - both of which are globally accepted, making this a good option for when you travel. You’ll need to add 20 MYR as an initial deposit, which you can then spend or withdraw with your card later.

BigPay supports contactless payments - although the limits are quite low at 250 MYR a day. After that you’ll need to use your PIN. When you transact you can keep up with everything in the BigPay app, and freeze or unfreeze your card should you ever need to.

BigPay Virtual Cards

You can have 1 virtual card linked to your BigPay account, as well as your physical card. Virtual cards can be used wherever a physical card isn’t required - shopping online for example.

You can cancel your virtual card and generate a new one every month - which can be handy if you’re shopping at unknown retailers, for example, as your old card numbers will no longer function - reassuring if you’re concerned about the details being stolen.

BigPay card fees & limits

Cutting costs while you manage your money conveniently is essential. Let’s look at the BigPay card fees at the time of writing.

One interesting point to note is that there are several fees listed in BigPay’s fee schedule which are noted as ‘waived at present’. That’s worth remembering, in case these fees are subsequently invoked down the line. We’ll add the details of these fees - and all the live BigPay costs - here:

ServiceBigPay fee
Order a BigPay cardNo fee, but a 20 MYR deposit is required
Account service fee

2.5 MYR/month when no card transaction takes place that month

Waived at time of writing

ATM withdrawal

6 MYR locally, 10 MYR or 2% of withdrawal amount, whichever is higher when withdrawing internationally

At the time of writing, the 2% international fee is waived

Foreign transaction feeUp to 1% + network charges
Replacement card fee20 MYR
Cash reload fee

Up to 2 MYR for reloads to 100 MYR

Up to 5 MYR for reloads over 100 MYR

Credit card reload feeUp to 1% when you load more than 1,000 MYR/month

*All data correct at time of research - 1st March 2023

BigPay exchange rates

If you spend with the BigPay card your ringgit are converted using the network’s exchange rate, plus a 1% fee from BigPay. When you send a payment overseas, you’ll get the BigPay exchange rate which can include a markup. You can see the BigPay exchange rate for your currencies, in the BigPay app.

Not all providers add a markup to the exchange rate. Wise, for example, uses the midmarket exchange rate and splits out all costs so they’re easy to spot and compare.

BigPay card limits

BigPay’s card limits in some areas are pretty low. If you’re concerned about raising the card limits you might be better off choosing Wise or RHB, which have higher overall limits across the varied spend categories. Here’s how BigPay’s card limits shape up:

ServiceBigPay card limit
Contactless payment250 MYR/day
ATM withdrawals10/day, to a maximum of 10,000 MYR
Account holding limit10,000 MYR at a time
Local transfer limits5,000 MYR/day or 10,000 MYR/month
International transfer limitsVary by destination

How to get a BigPay card

Here’s how to sign up to BigPay and order your BigPay card:

  • Download the BigPay app

  • Register an account by entering your personal and contact information

  • Upload an image of your ID document for verification

  • Deposit 20 MYR minimum

  • Order your card - it’ll usually take 5 - 7 days to arrive

You can track your card’s progress in the BigPay app, to see when it’ll get to you.

How to activate your BigPay card

Once you have your BigPay card, you need to activate it. Here’s how to activate your BigPay card:

  • Log into the BigPay app

  • Tap I have received my card

  • Enter the 3-digit CVC found on the back of your card

  • Set your card PIN

  • Make your first purchase using Chip & PIN, to activate contactless payments going forward

How to use a BigPay card?

Use your BigPay card just as you would any other payment card. You can make cash withdrawals, shop online and make contactless or PIN payments in stores.

How to top-up your BigPay card

The easiest and cheapest way to top up BigPay is with your bank or debit card. Here’s how to top up your BigPay card in Malaysia easily:

  • Log into the BigPay app, and tap Top up

  • Enter top up amount and add or select your top up source (credit/debit card or bank transfer)

  • Enter payment details following the prompts

BigPay card cash withdrawal

You can withdraw cash at any ATM which supports the network your card is issued on. This may be Visa or Mastercard. In Malaysia a withdrawal costs 6 MYR, while international withdrawals are 10 MYR. ATM operators may also add their own fees.

How to use BigPay overseas?

You can use your BigPay card internationally, in any country other than Israel and North Korea. Look out for the network symbol at any ATM or merchant you’re using, and simply tap to pay contactless or enter your PIN for higher value transactions.

Your ringgit balance will be converted to the currency you need using the network’s exchange rate, and there’s a 1% fee to pay to BigPay, which is also deducted from your balance.

Best Travel Cards

Supported currencies

You can only hold MYR in your BigPay account - but you can spend internationally more or less anywhere your card network is accepted, and your MYR will be automatically converted to the currency you need.

Conclusion: is the BigPay card worth it?

BigPay is a popular ewallet and card, and can be used in Malaysia and beyond. It has some convenient features like a linked card for global spending, and options for free BigPay to BigPay transfers in MYR. However, there are fees you’ll want to consider, particularly if you’re sending or spending foreign currencies.

Compare BigPay Malaysia against the Wise account and card as an alternative digital service. Wise accounts can hold 50+ currencies, and come with local bank details in MYR and up to 9 other currencies, to get paid easily, too. You can get a linked Wise card to spend locally and internationally - and all currency conversion uses the midmarket exchange rate with low fees from 0.41%.

Get a Wise Card

FAQs on BigPay Card

Does BigPay work in Malaysia?

Yes. BigPay accounts can be opened by residents in Malaysia and Singapore, and can be used for local and international spending.

Is the BigPay card free?

You need to deposit at least 20 MYR to get your BigPay card, which you can then spend later. Fees do apply to spending, including 6 MYR - 10 MYR ATM fees, and a 1% currency fee when you spend overseas.

How long does it take for a BigPay card to arrive?

Your BigPay card should arrive in 5 - 7 days. However, if it’s not there in 14 days, you’re advised to contact BigPay customer service to ask for help.

Is BigPay a Visa or Mastercard?

BigPay issues cards on both Visa and Mastercard - so your card may be on either network, Both are globally accepted, though - and easy to use.

How do I withdraw money from BigPay?

You can use your BigPay balance to make ATM withdrawals, or to send local and international payments. Fees apply to ATM withdrawals and international transfers - although local transfers to other BigPay cards are free.

Is BigPay a credit card or debit card?

BigPay is a debit card, which makes it good for budgeting, as there are no interest or overdraft fees to pay.

Can I deposit cash into BigPay?

In some cases you can deposit cash to BigPay for a fee. Check within the BigPay app to see if this service is available to you.

Can foreigners in Malaysia use BigPay?

Yes. Foreigners with proper visas and a legal right of residence in Malaysia can use BigPay.