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A charge card is a payment card with a preset limit that can be used to make payments for goods and services at participating merchants either locally or internationally. Examples of charge cards are American Express, Diners Club International, and HSBC Amanah Mastercard.
 
 
  • Terms and Conditions
  • Fee and Charges
  • Tips on Shopping
  • Prevent Card Fraud
     
   
  As in the case of credit cards, charge card issuers will highlight the salient T & C, your obligations and liabilities in the application form or brochure. Be sure to read and understand them.

You will receive the full set of T&C when you receive your charge card. Similar to credit cards, accepting the T&C is considered a binding agreement between you and the charge card issuer. Therefore, always read and fully understand the contents of the T&C.
 
     
  The T&C for charge cards generally provides:  
     
 
Information on fees and charges
Terms for payment
Liability for unauthorised or fraudulent transactions
Procedures for making complaints or enquires on monthly billing statements
Notification mode of any changes made to the T&C
Rights and responsibilities of the charge card holder
Secrecy of information
 
     
Should you have any queries about the terms and conditions, you may contact your charge card issuer for further clarification. If in any event that you do not agree to the T&C, you may cancel the charge card facility by returning the charge card to the charge card issuer immediately. Bear in mind that some issuers require a written notification on the cancellation of the card.
     
     
   
  There are various types of charges that you must understand when it comes to using your charge card.  
     
 
Joining fee
 
Some charge card issuers impose a one-time joining fee for charge cards and the fee varies depending on each issuer. However, some issuers may even waive the joining fee in order to promote the cards.
 
Annual fee
 
This is an annual compulsory flat fee imposed on you regardless if you use your charge card or not. Fees may range from RM80 to RM160 for a classic card and RM40 to RM125 for supplementary holders. However, this fee may be waived by some charge card issuers to promote the cards.
 
Late payment charge
 
You will be imposed with a late payment charge should you fail to make full repayment by the due date or make only partial repayment of the total amount outstanding. Depending on the charge card issuer, charges for late payment range between 3% to 3.5% per month of the total outstanding balance or a minimum charge ranging between RM15 to RM50, whichever is higher. For Islamic charge cards, you will be imposed with a compensation charge up to a certain maximum amount allowed, normally at RM70 per month.
 
Cash advance fee
 
If you utilise the cash advance facility on your charge card, the fee imposed is usually between 3% and 4% of the amount advanced per transaction or a minimum charge of RM15 to RM30, whichever is higher. The amount advanced would become payable in full by the next payment due date. For Islamic charge cards, the fee is fixed at RM15 per transaction.
 
 
     
   
 
When applying for a charge card, you’ll need to know what your needs are so that you will be able to pick the charge card that suits your lifestyle. Shop around and compare other offers and features each card issuer has to offer before making your decision.  
 
     
  Here are some pointers to look out for when shopping for a charge card:  
     
  Promotional gifts  
  Some charge card issuers offer luxury items such as discmans, cameras, watches and luggage bags as promotional gifts. However, terms and conditions do apply for these promotional offers so do pay attention to them before signing up. Know what you'll be liable for should you not comply with the conditions set throughout the duration of the promotion.  
     
  Fees and Charges  
  Some charge card issuers may waive the joining and first year annual fees but may charge you higher late payment charges. Therefore, it's best that you compare the fees and charges to get the best deal.  
     
  Interest free period  
  Opt for charge cards that offer longer interest free period to settle your balances without incurring additional charges.  
     
  Limited Liability  
  Choose charge cards with limited liability provisions of up to a certain maximum amount for unauthorised transactions as a consequence of lost or stolen charge cards.  
     
  Customer Service  
  You may also wish to consider the level of customer service provided by the charge card issuers prior to applying.  
     
     
     
   
  Like other payment instruments, charge cards are also exposed to risks. As a cardholder, you can do your part to protect your card from fraud. Here are some safety steps that you can take.  
     
 
       

Sign on your charge card immediately after you received it.  
     
Do not lend your charge card to anyone.  
     

Do not provide your charge card details to an unknown party.  
     

Do not write down your PIN number on the back of your charge card or keep it in your wallet. Always memorise you PIN number instead.  
     

Cut your expired charge cards into two when you get a new one.  
     

Keep an eye on your charge card when making transactions over the counter and get it back as soon as possible.  
     
Do not sign any blank payment slips.  

Check all details on the charge slip before signing or confirming the transaction.  

Never provide your charge card details by phone unless you are initiating the transaction with a known party.  

Keep all your charge slips and check it against your charge card statement as soon as you receive it  

Notify your charge card issuer immediately of any error or possible unauthorised transactions and follow up in writing as soon as possible.  

Destroy all your charge slips before throwing them away.  

Keep your charge card in the same place in your wallet or purse so that you will notice it immediately if it is lost or stolen.  

Keep the telephone number of your charge card issuer so that you can immediately report lost or stolen cards, unauthorised transactions or disclosure of PIN to a third party.