I decided to buy myself a smartphone, for work and for leisure; but since I don’t have any budget for this (har har..), I went searching around for installment plans.
Basically all the shops selling the phone only offered installment plans for credit cards by either maybank or hsbc. I asked if CIMB offered any installment plans, but the shops asked me to call CIMB credit card center to request for the installment plans; which i did.
As maybank and hsbc charges a one time service charge of 5% and 7% depending on either 12months or 24months installment, CIMB had a different plan - purchases above rm1,000 is charged a one time 3% for 10months installment and purchases above rm3,000 is 5% for 20months installment. Quite a good deal for me compared to the ones offered by maybank or hsbc.
There is one twist though, the installment plan is not pre-approved, it is subject to approval from the bank.
So this is how it works - you have to make the purchase first. Then after 3 workings days, give a call to CIMB credit card center; the number is at the back of your credit card. Tell the helpline staff that you wish to request for installment plan. The staff shall check your transaction (which is why you need to wait for 3 working days before you call to make sure the transaction is entered into their system) and verify the transaction which you would like to apply for the installment, upon your confirmation the staff will then submit your application into the system and that's about it for your part.
If your application is succesful, the installment plan shall be reflected in your next credit card statement. If unsuccessful, the helpline staff should call you to inform you about it. This is the not-so-good part; if unsuccessful, your transaction is considered a normal transaction and required to be paid in full before the due date stated in the credit card statement, failing which you will be charged the normal 18% per annum interest.
For this particular reason, i had prepared a simple excel calculation sheet just to calculate the amount needed to be paid if based on the normal interest rate and us paying a certain amount each month. You can get it HERE (it is made optimized for my smartphone excel's quicksheet usage).
For the calculation, i based on buying the phone at a price of rm1,000. So according to CIMB installment plan, there is a one time charge of 3% which is rm30, thereafter monthly installment of rm100. So for the excel sheet, i just based on paying monthly rm100 to compare the differences. Have a look at the spreadsheet to see the differences.
By the way, you should call your CIMB credit card center to verify the above procedure and to check if it is still available. If i'm not mistaken it is called “CIMB i-Pay Plan”