How to Get a Credit Card in the Philippines

Last Updated on – Jun 17, 2021 @ 7:19 pm

Credit cards are an unavoidable part of adult life nowadays – and they can be quite intimidating too if you’re not familiar with what you’re dealing with.

According to a study conducted by We Are Social in January 2018, only 3% of the Philippines’ population own a credit card, which is likely related to the equally low percentages of Filipinos making online payments.

When it comes to credit cards, a whole plethora of myths and stigmas often play out a factor with people.

In turn, the majority of the earning populace end up avoiding availing credit cards – many have heard the horror stories of credit cards amounting to debt, unintended expenses or other undesirable financial effects.

To clear that up, let’s answer the simple question of “what is a credit card?”

Contents

What is a Credit Card?

To put it simply, a credit card is a way for you to borrow money from a bank to purchase something, regardless of whether it’s something very cheap or expensive, without the need to bring physical cash.

If you pay back the money you borrowed using a credit card within a month, you don’t have to pay extra fees. If you don’t pay on time, you pay an additional amount referred to as “interest.”


Credit Cards Types and Categories

Credit cards are typically categorized according to their main benefit and features.

For example, an airline specific card will offer generous benefits that reward your frequent travel. Balance transfer cards on the other hand, allow you to transfer your credit balance from other cards and take advantage of the low-interest rate offer of the new bank.

Let’s take a look at the other types of credit cards and their uses.

Standard credit cards

Your basic credit card, provides a line of credit to its owner.

  • Balance transfer credit cards

The main draw of this card is usually the zero percent interest balance transfer option from your other existing credit cards. It allows you to move high-interest rate debt from other cards into a new one, with zero or low matching interest rates (duration depends on the terms of the offer)

  • Low-interest credit cards

They appeal to consumers because they offer competitive interest rates usually for the first year of using the card. Be sure to check the terms and conditions of the offer so you’ll be aware if/when the regular rates start to kick in  

Credit cards with rewards programs

It’s all about the points. Users earn incentives each time they use this type of credit card. Much like your friendly grocery store’s loyalty point system, the user will be awarded with certain bonuses in exchange for their points.

  • Cash back credit cards

The more frequent you use the card, the more cash you earn back. It will reward you with a specific cash value for a specified minimum amount of purchase using the card. Example, Get 10 pesos cash back for every 1000 pesos spent using the card.

  • General reward points credit cards

Same concept with cash back cards but the rewards can range from items, gifts, fuel, hotel accomodation, and others.

Airline mile or frequent flier credit cards

The rewards here are exclusively meant for air travel. Airline miles (along with other bonuses) are gained whenever you use a frequent flier card.

  • Airline Specific credit cards

The credit card company usually have tie ups with airlines and offer bonuses to card owners in the form of airline miles. You can use these accumulated miles for free flights for that specific airline. Other perks include exclusive use of VIP lounges, travel insurance, and others on their respective airports.

  • General airline miles cards

Instead of being linked to one type of airline only, you can use your card to gain reward points and use it on different airlines of your choice (provided its supported). They lose to airline specific cards though in terms of bonuses since you can’t gain additional points when flying using this type of card.

Bad credit and/or credit repair cards

  • Secured credit cards

Meant for people whose credit scores are less than preferred. In order for the bank to have more “security” in approving your line of credit, this type of card usually require an initial cash deposit as collateral. Some banks accept other forms of personal items and properties that has monetary value as collateral.

  • Prepaid credit cards

Works exactly as they sound like. Prepaid credit cards allow people to make purchases using credit up to the corresponding amount topped up on the card. Much like a debit card. Prepaid credit cards typically don’t require annual fees and other charges.

Specialty credit cards

These cards were made with specific bonuses that appeal best to the type of customers from each niche (business or student). In terms of features, they’re generally the same with a standard credit card but differentiates itself with the types of perks and features it comes with.

  • Business Credit Cards

These types of cards are perfect for business use. Aside from separating personal from business expenses, it also usually features the following: business-specific rewards and bonuses, higher credit limits, expense management reports (for tracking) and option to issue additional cards for employees.

  • Student Credit Cards

This one is more popular abroad. It’s essentially a “starter” credit card for students (who usually are not qualified yet for a standard credit card). These are usually intended for students in universities for funding college expenses as well as enabling them to start building a healthy credit history (very important in other countries)


Credit Card vs. Debit Card

There are no rules saying you can only have one. In fact, plenty of Pinoys own both. Each has its own Pros and Cons. Knowing about them allows you to maximize the benefits of each while at the same time minimizing the downsides.

Debit Card Advantages:

  • There are less fees associated with debit cards. That is of course unless the owner spends more than what they have in their account. When this happens, they will incur an overdraft fee (does not apply to prepaid debit cards).In the Philippines, most banks (if not all) only require you to have a maintaining balance. Credit card companies on the other hand, charge an annual fee which is usually around a few thousand pesos
  • Avoids temptation of credit. There’s something tempting about getting stuff with a simple swipe of a credit card. Sure, it’s convenient and let’s you pay for the purchase later.However, understand that this is also the main reason why people get into so much credit card debt.There’s less “friction” between your wallet and the purchase. And this makes buying stuff more tempting. Using a debit card, on the other hand, you’ll feel the “pain” of the expense since you’re savings accounts is being deducted with each purchase.This in turn helps make you more conscious and disciplined when buying things.

Debit Card Disadvantages:

  • You can’t spend what you don’t have. The amount you can spend is limited to what you have in your bank account
  • It’s usually riskier if you lose your card compared to credit cards
  • You don’t have the option to pay in installments
  • Since you can’t “borrow” money unlike a credit card, you can’t have access to funds if you need to use it for emergency purposes

Credit Card Advantages:

  • There are plenty of features and benefits. Rewards and rebates, discounts, travel points, grocery bonuses, and others.
  • Allows you to pay in installments
  • If you lose the card and report it right away, the maximum liability for purchases after you lose it will be based on the designated “lost/stolen card” limit
  • Can be utilized as a source of funds during emergency situations

Credit Card Disadvantages:

  • Not exactly best for those not disciplined on paying bills on time
  • Can be more tempting to use than debit cards
  • You have to pay for annual fees
  • Harder to obtain in general versus debit cards

Here’s a table referencing each card’s features and details:

Card TypeLimitHow it worksPenalties and FeesAllows withdrawals via ATM?Maintaining Balance
Credit CardVaries per cardBank lends you money for purchasesAnnual Fees, Any unpaid balance will get charged with interest, penalties will be applied as well for late paymentsYes–allows for withdrawal up to a certain limit (with applicable fees)None
Debit CardHow much you have in your savings accountGets money from your savings accountPotential overdraft feesYesYes


Why get and use a Credit Card?

There are a lot of reasons why this is useful and why people get credit cards in the first place.

1. Reward Programs:

To encourage new credit card customers, most local banks nowadays offer reward programs. The gist is simple: For each Dollar spent using your credit card, the bank will reward your account with points. As long as you pay your dues back on time.

These points are redeemable for a variety of things such as gas for your car, airline tickets or in-store discounts.

Some banks offer great sign-up bonuses when you first get your credit card as well as cash back programs where you perpetually save a few percent on certain purchases.

2. Security for your money

Credit cards are also a great safety net despite what some people claim. If you lose your card, your bank can block your card from being used within minutes of securing a report.

This precaution is far safer than losing your wallet with all your cash. Some banks offer terms to which you are only liable for the first PhP 2,500-3,000 on unauthorized purchases.

So, never lose your bank’s number, because, reporting loss and disputing charges needs to be done as soon as possible to prevent fraudsters making the most out of your hard-earned money.

3. Accessibility and Convenience

Additionally, there are plenty of places in the Philippines that don’t accept debit cards, so your options for payment are cash and credit.

Traveling around with a huge wad of cash isn’t ideal because bulging wallets can attract the wrong kind of attention. By having a credit card that fits in your pocket and doesn’t take up space in your wallet, is a convenient way to take care of your purchases, especially big denomination purchases.

For example, you went on shopping for appliances, air conditioners, and other big priced item in the hardware section, you don’t need to carry a huge amount of money to pay for those.

Another convenience credit cards bring is when you’re traveling abroad, you won’t need to bring as much money to be exchanged into foreign currency.

Also worth checking out: 8 Best Online Credit Line for Shopping in the Philippines

4. Building Credit History

The benefit of building credit history is to establish your account to be eligible for loans. Without credit history, there is going to be difficulty to get loans approved,

To banks, a handsome credit history is an account that remains consistent in paying its dues on time, and that it has the means to pay back what it has borrowed.

A clever way to build up credit history is to make small purchases and paying them back in time.

Credit history is a form of building assurance and trust that your account can borrow and return money to the bank, and as such, major loans you’d need in your adult life such as mortgage or auto loans can be approved much faster.

Also read: How to get Personal & Business Cash Loans online in the Philippines

5. Emergency Source of Funds

If you don’t have cash as a source of emergency funds, having a credit card can be a dealbreaker, should you find yourself in a circumstance where you need a large amount of money to pay medical bills, or an emergency flight ticket to get back with the family.

It is better to pay off credit card interest than taking risky loans that could be much more difficult and heftier to pay off.

6. Budgeting Tools

On a past article here in Grit.ph, we talked about how to save money, and that there’s a section about budgeting apps.

Some credit cards can be synced with those budgeting apps to give you a clear-cut diagram on your spending habits, the money you save, and how to make the most of your time to pay your dues back.

Related: 40+ Best Personal Finance Apps & Online Tools for Filipinos


How to Get Approved for a Credit Card in the Philippines

In the Philippines, Banks have their way of screening first-time credit card applicants.

They have the ideal archetype and template of the perfect cardholder. Pays on time, spends less than his means. To convince the local, domestic banks to approve your credit card, here are some tips.

1. Stable source of income is a must 

To banks, an employee that has been tenured and is committed to a company over a long period of time is much more attractive than an employee that has a record of short-term employment or job hopping. Stability equates to qualities of loyalty.

Loyalty in one’s source of employment and income, and loyalty and punctuality when it comes to paying what is borrowed.

The typical minimum requirement for applicants’ monthly income is P15,000. But with a higher pay-grade, you’d have better chances of getting approved.

2. Start with a deposit account 

A deposit account record is a good way to pass the strict credit checks a bank will impose on an applicant. A deposit account can give the bank an idea of how your cash and income flows in and out of your account.

It’s also important to maintain at least a P20,000 running/daily balance in your savings account in 6 months or more. Banks usually send out credit card offers to qualified account holders.

Related: Best Savings Accounts from the Top Banks in the Philippines

3. Apply for a secured credit card 

A sure-fire way to have a credit card granted to you is by applying for a secured credit card. Albeit much more expensive because of a pledged deposit that you will need to settle with the bank, you’re basically paying in advance for the convenience of having a credit card.

A pledged deposit is the collateral the bank uses to guarantee repayment.

4. Maintain a credit profile

A decent credit profile is attractive to banks because it shows that you are punctual when it comes to payments. As long as your account leans towards a good credit profile, you increase your chances of getting your card approved higher. Pay off your debts, and you will be just fine.

5. Reduce your debt to income ratio 

There are times when it’s a perfect opportunity to lower your debt to income ratio. For example; you have successfully negotiated a salary raise, or if business has been good and profits are growing.

The sooner you have access to higher amounts of money, focus on paying your debts to the credit card first, and maintain this without incurring other debts.

Over a period of time, your credit report would reveal that you have decreased your debt to income ratio. This account makes an attractive candidate for banks to approve their credit cards for.

6. Don’t do follow-ups

According to local lore, following up frequently within two weeks of application for a credit card in manila would send a signal that you need credit badly. This would not reflect well with banks.

Prevent yourself from contacting the bank within the first two weeks of applying a credit card. If you weren’t given a call, chances are, your application has been rejected.


10 Best Credit Cards in the Philippines

Now that we’ve covered why you should have a credit card and how to get one, let’s look at some of the top options in the Philippines:

1. Citi Cash Back Card

The Citi Cash Back Card lets you enjoy up to 6% cashback on supermarket purchases and 0.2% cashback on all other purchases.

And through the Citi PayLite feature, you can convert big purchases into smaller payments and choose from different repayment plans. The Citi Speed Cash option could also prove handy if you need cash in a pinch.

Pros:

  • Up to 6% rebates at supermarkets
  • Up to 2% rebate on your Meralco bills
  • 0.20% rebate on all purchases
  • P5,000 SM Gift Pass

Cons:

  • Minimum income of P250,000 per year to avail of the card
  • Requires spending at least P10,000 per month to avail of maximum rebates
  • P3,500 annual membership fee

Eligibility:

  • Age Requirement: At least 21 years old
  • Minimum Annual Income Requirement: P180,000 per year (for credit card holders), and P250,000 per year (for non-credit card holders).
  • Contact requirement: An active landline number or mobile phone number

Citi Cash Back Card Application Requirements:

If you have another principal credit card:

If you have no principal credit card:

  • Proof of Identification: Government Issued ID (ie: Passport, Driver’s License, TIN/SSS/PRC ID, Voter’s ID, or Postal ID).
  • Proof of Income: Latest 1 month Payslip, ITR, and Certificate of Employment.
  • Bank Statement of your Salary Account

See the full details of the requirements here.


Affiliate Disclosure: We’re an affiliate of Citibank. We earn through commissions when people sign up for any of Citibank’s products using our link (above). The earnings we get from the commissions is solely used to maintain this website, but if you’d prefer for us to stay poor, here’s the non-affiliate link 🙂


2. Security Bank Next Mastercard

The Next Mastercard from Security Bank is probably the best one out there for frequent shoppers as well as those who just want to simplify the process of paying their monthly recurring transactions. 

Especially nowadays that more and more Filipinos have become accustomed to shopping and transacting online, wherein many of this credit card’s features truly shine and give so much convenience to its users.

Pros:

  • No annual fee forever (for both primary and supplementary cards)
  • Automatically convert big purchases into 12-month installment plans 
  • SimplyPay – a feature that allows users to use their credit card to pay for expenses requiring bank deposit payments (ie: rent, business suppliers, tuition fees, professional services, and more).
  • Online Purchase Protect Insurance – coverage of up to $200 USD when you use Next Mastercard for online shopping.
  • Get exclusive Mastercard promos, such as discounts from shops and restaurants.
  • Balance Transfer feature – you can transfer balances from your other credit cards (issued by other banks) to your Security Bank Next Mastercard
  • Bills Assist feature – consolidate all your monthly utility bills (ie: water, electricity, cable, mobile phone line, etc…)
  • Low interest rates (2% per month) and low late payment fee of 6% of the minimum amount due or P600 (whichever is lower)

Cons:

  • High minimum monthly income required (P45,000)

Eligibility:

  • Primary card holder must be 21 – 65 years of age.
  • Must be a regular permanent employee (at least 1 year tenure) or owns a profitable business for the past 3 years.
  • Minimum gross annual income of P540,000 (for existing card holders with other banks) or P600,000 (for non-credit card holders).
  • Good credit standing, home and/or office landline number, email address and mobile number.

Next Mastercard Application Requirements:

  • Completed credit card application form
  • Proof of Income
    • For employed applicants (any of the following documents):
      • Copy of latest ITR stamped as received by the BIR (2316)
      • Certificate of Employment & Compensation signed by the Company’s authorized signatory
      • Latest 3 months payslip with front/back copy of Company ID
    • For self-employed applicants:
      • Copy of the latest one (1) year ITR stamped as received by the BIR (1701)
      • Copy of the latest one (1) year Audited Financial Statements
      • Copy of Proof of Ownership (DTI or SEC Certification)
  • Proof of Identification:
    • Passport
    • Driver’s License
    • SSS UMID, GSIS e-Card, or Tax Identification Number ID (TIN)
  • For non-Filipino citizen, a hold-out deposit or work contract/visa with term of at least 3 years

See the full details of requirements and other FAQs here.


3. EastWest Platinum Card

The EastWest Platinum card’s terms are designed to offer the most convenience for the Filipino jet-setter. Its terms make it as the best card to have on you when you’re traveling abroad.

Branch Availability: Available all over Metro Manila, from branches in Quezon City, Mandaluyong, Makati, Pasay, Paranaque. East West Bank has an abundant amount of branches for you to apply.

Pros:

  • Free Lifetime Membership, no annual fees for owning the card
  • Free Travel Insurance for up to P20 million if you buy airline tickets using the card as well as access to 950 VIP lounges at airports across the world
  • Discounts at several resorts and restaurants in the country
  • Each P40 spent earns 1 platinum rewards point

Cons:

  • Most benefits revolve around travel, so may not suit everyone’s lifestyle

Eligibility:

  • Age Requirement: At least 21 years old
  • Minimum Gross Annual Income Requirement: P1,800,000 per year
  • Contact requirement: Must have a residence landline, mobile phone number, or business phone number

EastWest Platinum Card Application Requirements:

  • Completed credit card application form
  • Proof of Identification: Photocopy of at least 1 valid ID with photo and signature (ie: Passport, Driver’s License, TIN/SSS/PRC ID, Voter’s ID, or Postal ID).
  • Proof of Income:
    • For employed: Latest BIR Form 2316, Certificate of Employment and Compensation, latest 3 months payslips, and/or valid credit card reference
    • For self-employed: Latest BIR Form 170 (ITR), and Audited Financial Statements (AFS).
    • For local resident foreigner: Alien Certificate of Registration, Work Permit, and/or Certificate of Employment.

See the full details of requirements here.


4. BPI Family Credit Card

If you are a frugal spender looking for low-interest rates, BPI Family Credit is for you. Its terms make it the best credit card to pay off when it’s time to settle dues.

Branch availability: Abundant in Quezon City, Makati City, Mandaluyong, Pasig, San Juan.

Pros:

  • Low annual fee of P1000, with the first supplementary card free for life and the second (up to sixth) supplementary card costing on P500 per year
  • Low interest rates of 2.0%, compared to the usual 2.75% up to 3.5% from other banks

Cons:

  • Fewer discounts and benefits at stores, restaurants or hotels compared to other cards
  • No point system to take advantage of to accumulate points to redeem for rewards

Eligibility:

  • Age Requirement: 21 – 70 years old
  • Minimum Monthly Income Requirement: P15,000
  • Home or business address should be within a 30 km radius a BPI or BPI Family Savings Bank branch.

BPI Family Credit Card Application Requirements:

  • Completed application form
  • Proof of Identification: At least one government issued ID with photo (ie: Passport, Driver’s License, TIN/SSS/PRC ID, Voter’s ID, or Postal ID).
  • Proof of Income:
    • For employed: Certificate of Employment, Latest 2 payslips, or latest income tax return (ITR).
    • For self-employed: Latest audited financial statements (AFS), and latest income tax return (ITR).
    • For OFWs: POEA-validated contract of employment, and latest 2 months proof of remittance.  

See the full list of steps & requirements here.


5. RCBC Bankard Gold Card

The RCBC Bankard Gold Card is designed to be used as much as possible, because of its point system that never expires. Along with the EastWest Platinum Card, this credit card is a huge contender for the jet-setting Filipino.

Pros:

  • Unlimited earning potential for rewards and accumulated points never expire
  • Free travel insurance and cheap access to airport lounges
  • 0% installment for purchases abroad

Cons:

  • P3,000 annual membership fee with P1,500 per supplementary card
  • High interest rate of 3.5%
  • Minimum income of P30,000 per month to avail of the card

Eligibility:

  • Age Requirement: At least 21 years old
  • Minimum Annual Income Requirement: P160,000
  • Must be a Philippine resident or Filipino Citizen
  • Contact requirements: Must have a residential and/or office landline number

RCBC Bankard Gold Card Application Requirements:

  • Completed application form
  • Government issued ID with photo
  • Latest payslip or Certificate of Employment/Income (for employed)
  • Latest audited financial statement with BIR (for self-employed)
  • ITR and/or W2 with BIR or Bank Stamp (for both employed and self-employed)

See more details about RCBC’s eligibility criteria and document requirements here.


6. HSBC Red Mastercard

One good thing about the HSBC Red Mastercard is the ease of meeting the minimum amount required for an applicant’s monthly income. This card is ideal for residents and for local purchases. One thing to look out for is that HSBC has a hefty PhP700 penalty for late payments.

Branch Availability – Easy to find in Quezon City, Pasig, Makati, Mandaluyong

Pros:

  • Low minimum monthly income of P13,500 to avail of the card
  • 4X bonus points earned on up to P40,000 worth of transactions per month
  • 3% fuel rebate on Caltex gas purchases

Cons:

  • High late payment charge of P700 or unpaid minimum amount, whichever is lower

Eligibility:

  • Age Requirement: At least 21 years old
  • Annual Income Requirement: At least P200,000
  • Must have other Bank Credit Card(s) – should be at least 12 months

HSBC Red MasterCard Application Requirements:

  • Proof of Identification: At least one valid government issued ID such as Passport, Driver’s License, TIN ID, SSS ID, or NBI Clearance.
  • Proof of Residence: Valid ID containing applicant’s permanent address, utility bills issued within the last 3 months.

See the full requirements and FAQs here.  


7. AUB Easy MasterCard

The most attractive qualities of AUB Easy MasterCard are; it offers options to the customer, its flexible payment terms are a treat for customers that stick to their financial plans and budget tools.

Freedom from annual membership fees for life is designed to win over the customer’s loyalty and commitment to keep their accounts active with AUB.

Branch Availability: All over Makati, Manila, Quezon City

Pros:

  • Flexible payments –  customer gets to choose their own payment schedule
  • Free annual membership for life
  • Easy to earn points at P20 per reward point for almost all transactions

Cons:

  • No other privileges and discounts other than the reward point program

Eligibility:

  • Age Requirement: 21-55 years old
  • Gross Monthly Income Requirement: P10,000
  • For Employed: Must be a regular employee for at least 1 year
  • For Self-Employed: Must be in a profitably registered business for at least 1 year
  • For Licensed Professionals: Must be practicing for at least 1 year
  • Contact requirements: Must have a mobile phone, an office landline number, and an active email address

AUB Easy MasterCard Documentation Requirements:

  • Proof of Identification: Government issued ID or Company ID
  • Proof of Income:
    • For Employed: latest income tax return (Form 2316), Certificate of Employment and Compensation, and 3 months payslip
    • For Self-Employed: Income tax return (Form 1701, 1701Q), latest AFS, and DTI or SEC registration.

See full details here.


8. BDO Diners Club Premiere

Another contender for the jet-setting Filipino, the BDO Diners Club Premiere is an international card that earns you miles and access to exclusive privileges for Diners Club establishments.

However, to avail any of these conveniences, one must have a minimum monthly income of P71,000

Pros:

  • Access to exclusive Diners Club Privileges across the world
  • Earns airline miles for every P30 spent, allowing for significant accumulation of miles to be used on airline tickets

Cons:

  • High annual fee of P4500
  • Minimum monthly income required is P71,000

Eligibility:

  • Principal card holder must be 21-65 years old, and at least 13 years old for supplementary card holders
  • Must be a Filipino Citizen or a foreigner who is a permanent resident for at least 2 years.
  • Must be a regular employee. If self-employed, must have a business operating for at least 2 years.
  • Minimum annual gross income of P1,000,000
  • Must have one landline phone
  • Residence or office address must be located near a BDO branch

BDO Diners Club Premiere Application Requirements:

  • Proof of Income:
    • For Employed: Latest BIR Form 2316, Certificate of Employment and Income, and/or latest full month payslip
    • For Self-Employed: Copy of Registration of Business Name issued by DTI or SEC, latest ITR and W4, Latest audited financial statement (AFS), and/or Bank Statements for the last 3 months.
  • Proof of Identification: Valid IDs with photo and signature such as Passport, Driver’s License, TIN ID, SSS ID, NBI Clearance, and any other government-issued IDs.

See the full list of required documents here.


9. Bank of Commerce Gold MasterCard

The Bank of Commerce Gold MasterCard is most ideal for mall-goers, because its discounts and rewards are aimed for establishments that can be found in malls.

Pros:

  • 5x rewards points earned at certain dining and shopping establishments
  • 0% installment plans at certain stores for up to 36 months

Cons:

  • No other privileges and discounts other than the reward point program

Eligibility:

  • Age Requirement: Principal cardholder must be 21-65 years old, at least 15 years old for supplementary card holder.
  • Must be a Filipino resident or local resident foreigner
  • Minimum Annual Income Requirement: P455,000 per year
  • Office/business landline number, and residence landline number or post paid mobile phone number

Bank of Commerce Gold MasterCard Required Documents:

  • Completed Bank of Commerce Gold MasterCard application form
  • At least 1 photocopy of valid photo ID or government issued ID: Passport, Driver’s License, TIN ID, Company ID, Postal ID, or Student ID.  
  • Proof of Income:
    • For Employed: Certificate of Employment and Compensation, latest BIR Form 2316, ITR or W2, and/or 3 months payslip.
    • For Self-Employed: Business papers such as Certificate of Business Registration issued by DTI or SEC, latest income tax returns (ITR), latest audited financial statement (AFS), and bank statement for the last 6 months.
    • For Professionals: Latest ITR and AFS, and Bank Statement for the last 6 months.
    • For Non-Filipino Citizens: Certificate of Employment and Compensation, and certified true copy of passport, Alien Certificate of Registration, work permit and/or other valid visas.
    •  

See the full list of application requirements here.


10. American Express Gold Card

The American Express Gold Card is the most practical choice if you are an immediate family member of an OFW or immediately related with Filipino US residents and citizens.

Reward conversion to miles can secure enough points for an airline ticket. Whether you’re sending someone to or from America, this seems to be a good deal.

Where to get one: BDO Unibank

Pros:

  • No spending limit
  • Membership rewards that never expire
  • Can convert 1 reward point to 6 airline miles

Cons:

  • Billed in US Dollars
  • High annual fee of USD 150

Eligibility:

  • Age Requirement: 21-70 years old
  • Minimum Annual Income Requirement: P850,000 per year
  • Must be a Philippine resident or Filipino Citizen
  • At least one landline phone number

American Express Gold Card Application Requirements:

  • For existing credit card holders:
    • Latest credit card statement account or charge slip (photocopy)
    • Front of existing credit card (photocopy)
    • Valid ID with signature and photo: Passport, Driver’s License, NBI Clearance, PRC ID, Postal ID, Voter’s ID or TIN ID.
    • Latest BIR Form 2316 (for employed) or Latest ITR and W4 (for self-employed)
  • For non-credit card holders:
    • Proof of Income:
      • For Employed: Latest BIR Form 2316, Certificate of Employment and Income, and/or Latest full month payslip.
      • For Self-employed: Registration of Business Name issued by DTI or SEC, latest ITR and W4, audited financial statements for the last 2 years, and/or bank statements for the last 3 months.
    • Proof of Identification: Government issued IDs with photo and signature.
    • For Foreigners:
      • Employment contract and/or Certificate of Employment
      • Photocopy of Passport with Resident Visa, or Work permit and other Valid Visas.

See the full list of application requirements here.


Those are 10 credit cards you can avail of at your convenience. Of course, there are dozens of other cards on the market for you to choose from, so evaluating your lifestyle and financial needs are key to picking the right card and right bank.


Best Rewards Cards

Don’t you just love getting the most out of each stuff you pay for? The “sulit” factor that certain perks and bonuses give to further sweeten the deal.

And when it comes to credit cards, the best extra benefits are usually found in rewards cards. Here are some of our top picks.

Citi Rewards Mastercard

Citbank’s Citi Rewards card is a great choice if you’re constantly using your credit card to pay for all sorts of stuff or services. You get 1 reward point for every 30 pesos you spend anywhere (including online shopping and delivery).

You can use your points to redeem cash credits, merchandise, gadgets and more with Citi ThankYou Rewards. 

Other features include:

  • 1 point for every P30 spent anywhere
  • No cap on earnable points
  • No expiration on points
  • Use points to pay for purchases or redeem cash credits.
  • No annual fee – forever (just spend at least P20,0000 within 60 days from card receipt)

Eligibility and Requirements:

  • Minimum annual income of P180,000
  • If you have another principal credit card:
    • 1 government-issued ID
  • If you have no principal credit card:
    • 1 government-issued ID
    • Proof of Income: latest 1-month pay slip, latest ITR (BIR 2316), or signed Certificate of Employment
  • Bank Statement of Payroll Account

Affiliate Disclosure: We’re an affiliate of Citibank. We earn through commissions when people sign up for any of Citibank’s products using our link (above). The earnings we get from the commissions is solely used to maintain this website, but if you’d prefer for us to stay poor, here’s the non-affiliate link 🙂


BPI Edge Mastercard

You get 1 reward point for every 50 pesos spent which you can use to get discounts and perks at partner shops, restaurants, and clubs. You can also use it to avail of various installment options for your purchases.

Other features include:

  • AMF Waiver: First year FREE.
  • Low Annual Income Requirement (PHP 180,000)
  • Real Thrills Rewards Points: PHP 50 = 1 point.
  • Reload your cell phone and inquire about your balance through BPI ATMs or via SMS.
  • Contactless Technology

Security Bank Classic Rewards Mastercard

For every 20 pesos you spend using this card, you get 1 reward point which you can use  to redeem rewards items such as airline miles, items, and electronic gift certificates. The points never expire so you don’t have to worry about spending them constantly, you can just let them accumulate. 

Other features include:

  • 1 reward point for every 20 pesos spent
  • No expiration on reward points
  • Annual fee waived on first year
  • No minimum required amount to be spent for the rewards to take effect

Best Credit Cards for Travel

Want to know how to enjoy a quick weekend getaway in El Nido, Palawan, completely free?

You might not know this, but the credit card sandwiched inside your wallet holds the power to grant your travel wishes like a genie.

Your magic lamp? The “Frequent Travelers” perk.

If you swipe your card often enough, the travel genie will magically appear, granting you a free airline seat with bed and breakfast accommodations in El Nido, Palawan.

This ain’t no trick. It’s 100 percent legit. And today I’ll show you the 3 most powerful travel genies (credit cards) who can grant your #travelgoals.

PNB Mabuhay Miles World MasterCard

PNB Mabuhay Miles is the best credit card for loyal and active customers of Philippine Airlines. Booking flights with PNB Mabuhay Miles World MasterCard augments your flight bookings with PAL by rewarding you Miles points.

The good thing about Miles points is that these are transferable, so you can bring some friends or family along your trips.

Pros:

  • Free 2,000 Mabuhay Miles welcome gift for new customers
  • 10,000 free Mabuhay Miles when you spend more than P100,000 on Philippines Airline Tickets in one year
  • Priority Check-in Counter for PAL flights at NAIA Terminal 2

Cons:

  • High annual fee of P6,000
  • Minimum monthly income of P40,000

Eligibility:

  • Principal card holder must be 21-65 years old
  • Supplementary card holder must at least be 13 years old
  • Filipino Citizen and Philippine resident
  • Minimum monthly income of P40,000/month; or Gross Annual Income must amount to at least P120,000
  • Must have a postpaid account.
  • Employed for at least 1 year – or Self-Employed profitably for at least 2 years.

PNB Mabuhay Miles World MasterCard Application Requirements:

  • Completed application form – see here:
  • Government-issued photo-bearing ID: TIN ID, Passport, Driver’s License, SSS ID, or Company ID.
  • Proof of Income:
    • For Employed: Certificate of Employment, latest ITR, or 3 months payslips
    • For Self-Employed: Latest audited financial statement (AFS), income tax return (ITR), and/or certificate of registration with DTI or SEC.

See the full details here.


Union Bank Miles + Platinum Visa Card

Key Features:

  • Every P25 pesos you spend is equivalent to 1 point
  • If the expense is travel-related, every P25 pesos is equivalent to 1.5x pts
  • You can convert points to cash
  • You can convert points to PAL Mabuhay Miles or Cebu Pacific GetGo points
  • Points can be easily redeemed via Unionbank’s website
  • Free travel insurance (up to P10 million pesos coverage)
  • Points never expire(!)
  • Free access to local airport lounges: Club Manila Lounge,  MIASCOR Lounge, Skyview Lounge

Fees & Charges:

Annual Fee (Principal):PHP5,000 (Waived on 1st Year)
Annual Fee (Supplementary):PHP2,500 (FREE for life on the 1st Supplementary)
Retail Monthly Effective Interest Rate:3.54% based on actual calendar days
Cash Advance Monthly Effective Interest Rate: 3.96% based on actual calendar days and Cash Advance Fee
Cash Advance Fee: PHP600 or 3% of the cash amount availed, whichever is higher. Additional PHP500 if transacted over-the-counter.
Late Payment Fee: PHP750
Over Credit Limit Fee: PHP500 per occurrence
Refund Fee: 1% of the refund amount or PHP100, whichever is higher, for every refund request
Account Maintenance Fee: PHP200 or an amount equivalent to the credit balance, whichever is lower will be charged to accounts with credit balance that are closed or with no activity for the past 12 months.
Installment Pre-Termination Fee: PHP550 or 5% of the remaining principal balance, whichever is higher
Gaming Fee: 5% of the amount transacted
Returned Check Fee: PHP1,500 for every returned check
Cash2Go Processing Fee: PHP125 will be charged for every approved Cash2Go transaction
Apply Online

BPI Skymiles Platinum Mastercard

Key Features:

  • SkyMiles miles are transferable and do not expire
  • Every P45 spent = (1) SkyMiles mile automatically
  • Earn 2X Miles for every P45 spend on Delta Air Lines tickets
  • First Supplementary Card is Free for Life
  • Travel Insurance of up to P20 million
  • Free access to Pacific Club at NAIA Terminal 3
  • AMF Waiver: First year FREE
  • Contactless Technology

Fees & Charges:

Finance Charge / Nominal Interest Rate (Effective Interest Rate per month): 3.50% / (3.19%)
Membership Fee for Principal Card: P2,050/year (SkyMiles Mastercard), P5,000/year (SkyMiles Platinum Mastercard)
Gaming Transactions:P500 or 3% of the gaming transaction, whichever is higher, shall be charged for every gaming transaction in casinos and/or online betting
Special Installment Plan (S.I.P.) Pre-termination: P550 pre-termination fee plus additional 2% interest on the loan principal amount if pre-terminated before the first billing. If pre-termination is done after the first billing, the monthly payment shall be applied to interest then to the loan principal using the diminishing balance method plus a pre-termination fee of P550.
Card Replacement: P400/card
Charge Slip Retrieval: P300/charge slip
Check Protect: P1,200 or 2% of the funded check amount by the BPI Credit Card, whichever is higher
Statement of Account Copy:P200 per statement of account
Closed Account Maintenance Fee: P50/month will be charged to terminated/cancelled card accounts with credit balances for more than one (1) month from the date of termination/cancellation.
Express Start Cancellation Fee: P1,500
Late Payment: P700 or equivalent to the value of the unpaid minimum amount due, whichever is lower, will be charged for any unpaid charges.
Returned Check: P100 for every returned check and additional 6% of the check amount
In case of default, cardholder shall pay the following in addition to penalty and charges: Attorney’s Fee (25% of the amount due)
Liquidated Damages: 25% of the unpaid amount, exclusive of litigation expenses and judicial costs
Apply Online

Best Cashback Credit Cards for the Family

“The more you spend, the more chances of winning!”, says an old TV ad. This one tops it though: Each time you spend, you’re guaranteed of a cashback.

Security Bank Complete Cashback MasterCard

Key Features:

  • Immediate rebates on the following:
    • 5% on Groceries
    • 4% on Gas (5% if you gas up on Sea Oil)
    • 3% on Utilities
    • 2% on Dining
    • 1% on Shopping
  • Enjoy up to Php 12,000 annually

Fees and Charges:

Primary Annual Membership Fee: PHP 3,000
Supplementary Annual Membership Fee: PHP 1,500
Interest rate 3.5%
Foreign Exchange rate: Security Bank Corporation’s prevailing exchange rate for credit cards at posting date
Late Payment Fee: P600 or 6% of the minimum amount due, whichever is higher
Cash Advance Fee: P500 or 5% of the cash advance amount per transaction, whichever is higher
Over the Counter Cash Advance Fee: P500 per transaction
ChargeLight Plan Pre-Termination Fee: P500
Charge Slip Retrieval Fee: P400 per sales slip
Lost Card Fee/Card Replacement Fee: Php 400 per card
Card Certification Fee: P200 full statement of account P300 good credit standing
Returned Check Fee: P1,000 for Peso per returned check US$20 for Dollar per returned check
Statement of Account Retrieval Fee: P50 per page if requested billing statement is more than 3 months old
Credit Card Exchange Rate: Security Bank Corporation’s prevailing exchange rate for credit cards at posting date
Minimum Amount Due: P500 or 4% of total revolvable transactions plus sum of the interest, fees, and charges in the current statement, whichever is higher
Overlimit Fee: P500 per occurrence
Account Maintenance Fee: P250 for Peso, or amount equivalent to the credit balance, whichever is lower. US$5 for Dollar, or amount equivalent to the credit balance, whichever is lower.
Multiple Payment Fee: P50 will be charged for every payment in excess of 2 payments within a billing cycle
Apply Online

EastWest Bank Everyday Mastercard

Key Features:

  • 5% cashback on “essential” spending (gas, supermarket, and drugstores) when you spend at least Php 10,000 on other expenses (clothing, dining, etc)
  • Convert to installment feature
  • Rebates are automatically credited into account
  • Contactless card feature (tap to pay)
  • Cash advances of up to 70% of your credit limit at any EastWest ATM, over-the-counter at any EastWest store nationwide or at any ATM displaying the MasterCard and Cirrus logos.

Fees and Charges:

Annual Membership Fee: Principal (2,800), Supplementary (1,400)
Interest Charge: 3.50% per month, computed based on average daily balance (or 42% effective rate annually)
Cash Advance Service Fee & Interest Charge: 3% of the Cash Advance amount or Php600, whichever is higher; and 3.50% Interest Charge imposed on the Cash Advance amount and Cash Advance Service Fee, which shall accrue from the date of availment until full settlement or payment.
Cash Advance Over-the-Counter Fee: A fee of P500 will be charged for Cash Advance transactions availed over-the-counter at EastWest stores in addition to the Cash Advance Service Fee and applicable Interest Charge. The proceeds of the over-the-counter Cash Advance transaction shall be net of the Cash Advance Over-the-Counter Fee.
Late Payment Charge: 8% of the Minimum Payment Due
Over Credit Limit Fee: Php700 will be charged whenever the outstanding balance exceeds the prescribed credit limit within the billing period.
Returned Check Fee: Php1,500 for every returned check
Retrieval Fee: Php 200 for the retrieval of each retail/installment and mail-order/telephone-order charge slip; Php1,250 for the retrieval of each travel and entertainment charge slip
Card Replacement Fee: Php 500 for every card replacement
Foreign Currency Conversion Fee: Transactions made in foreign currencies/merchants or those processed by foreign acquirers shall be automatically converted to Philippine Peso at the MasterCard currency conversion rate on the day the transaction is processed, plus a Foreign Currency Conversion Fee of 2.50% which is comprised of the MasterCard Assessment Fee and EastWest Service Fee.
Gambling and Gaming Fee:A 5% service fee shall be charged on gaming/gambling transactions and/or transactions made at gaming/gambling establishments, including the placement of wagers, purchase of lottery tickets or other values in conjunction with any gaming or gambling activity.
Multiple Payment Fee: Cardholders are allowed a maximum of three (3) payment transactions in EastWest Accredited Payment Channels posted within a statement cycle. A P50 fee will be charged for each EastWest Credit Card posted payment after the 3rd posted payment transaction. Payments made in EastWest Payment Channels will not incur any charge.
Installment Pre-Termination Processing Fee: 5% of the remaining principal balance or Php500, whichever is higher
Closed Card Account Service Fee: For Closed Card Accounts which have credit balances, the cardholder shall make the appropriate arrangement with EastWest to collect the credit balance within three (3) months from the date when the Card Account is closed. Otherwise, EastWest shall deduct from such credit balance a monthly service fee of Php 200 to cover for administrative costs incurred by EastWest in maintaining the cardholder’s account.
Apply Online

Unionbank Platinum Mastercard

Key Features:

  • Earn 1.5% cash back on ALL your purchases (no limit)
  • Cash back does not expire
  • Access to Club Manila Lounge at NAIA 1
  • Long Credit Rates (53 days)

Fees and Charges:

Annual Fee: 3,000 Primary, 1,500 Supplementary
Finance Charge: 3.5% Monthly Effective Interest Rate (EIR) which is computed based on average daily balance. Payment of only the minimum amount due or any amount less than the total amount due for the billing/cycle period, would automatically result to interest and/or other charges.
Late Payment Charge: P750
Credit Life Insurance Premium (U-Protect/ U-Secure): P0.36 (U-Protect) or P0.55 (U-Secure) will be charged for every P100 Outstanding Balance
Cash Advance Service Fee: 6% of the transaction amount or P300, whichever is higher, except for corporate cards which is at 2.9% of transaction amount. If done over-the counter, an additional fee of P500 per transaction shall be charged. Finance Charge of 3.5% per month will also be due on each cash advance from the date of the advance until date of repayment in full (including unbilled charges). Cash Advance fee is considered in the derivation for Cash Advance EIR. Total Annual EIR for Cash Advance transaction is 46%++ for P5,000 and above transactions via ATM.
Overlimit Fee:P500 automatically billed to the cardholder on cycle date, when total transactions and system generated interest/charges exceed the credit limit.
Card Replacement Fee: P400 for every lost or damaged card
Sales Slip Retrieval Fee: P200 for every transaction slip requested
Returned Check Fee: P1,500 for every returned check
Dispute Fee: P1,000 for every valid dispute case
Refund Fee: P50 which covers the cost of processing of a refund request in Manager’s Check as a result of cardholder’s overpayment
Pre-Termination Fee: Applicable to all pre-terminated Installment Transactions; P500 or 5% of remaining principal balance, whichever is higher.
Service Fee for Foreign Currency Transactions: All charges made in currencies other than Philippines Peso (PhP) shall automatically be converted to the (PhP) billing currency on posting date at the prevailing exchange rate selected by Visa Int’l. This will be based on the range of rates available in the wholesale currency markets or the government-mandated rate if in effect. A 3%  fee for Classic and Gold cards and 2% fee for Platinum cards will be added covering the cost of processing transactions in foreign currencies.
Gaming Fee: 5% service fee shall be charged on gaming/gambling transactions and/or transactions made at gaming/gambling establishments, including placement of wagers, purchase of lottery tickets or other values in conjunction with any gaming or gambling activity.
Apply Online

Best Business Credit Cards for Entrepreneurs

A credit card can be a valuable tool for both business and corporate use.

The goal is to streamline spending across your business, allowing you to simplify the process of purchasing and reimbursing.

Eliminate the need for cash advances/petty cash and get access to accurate expenditure reports that are provided monthly.

BDO Visa/Mastercard Corporate Card

Key Features:

  • Easier purchase and reimbursement for business expenditures
  • Longer credit term: 25 days payment due date after the cutoff
  • Points accumulate whenever you redeem items
  • Monthly management reports
  • Rewards program

Fees and charges:

Annual Membership Fee: P1,800
Cash Advance Fee: 5% of the amount withdrawn or P300, whichever is higher
Late Payment Charge: 7% of the overdue amount or P500, whichever is higher
Sales Slip Retrieval Fee: P300 each sales slip retrieved for local transactions or P500 for each sales slip retrieved for international transactions
Lost Card Replacement Fee: P400
Returned Check Fee/ ADA Return Fee: P1,250
Apply Online

BPI Corporate Mastercard

Key Features:

  • Option to pay suppliers on installment
  • Longer credit terms (50 days after cut-off)
  • Low foreign currency exchange rate (0.85% of the converted amount plus 1% Mastercard assessment fee)
  • Expense reporting and management system (integrated with your accounting system)
  • Free travel insurance
  • Exclusive privileges

Fees and Charges:

Annual Fee: PHP 1,700
Interest rate: 3.50%
Cash advance fee: 3% of the withdrawn amount or PHP 500, whichever is higher
Apply Online

Unionbank Corporate Visa Card

Key Features:

  • Earn 1 point for every PHP 20 spent
  • Cashback rate of 0.5%, with rebates credited annually
  • Allows including a company or brand logo on the card for branding purposes
  • Comprehensive expense management
  • Club Manila Lounge Access
  • Travel Insurance
  • Low cash advance and annual fee

Fees and Charges:

Annual Fee: PHP 1,500
Interest rate: 3.50%
Annual expense management report fee: PHP 200
Cash advance fee: 2.9% of the withdrawn amount
Apply Online

Best Credit Cards for Shopping and Online Shoppers

There’s plenty of good reasons to ditch cash.

But here’s another one: Exclusive perks and discounts that you’ll never have if you’re still using paper.

Check out our picks for the best ones:

Robinsons Bank DOS Mastercard

Key Features:

  • Automatically converts all transactions and purchases to 2-months installment (0% interest and no minimum amount required) – which means you will only be billed half of the amount (per transaction) on the first cycle.
  • No annual fee for life (when used 12x within a year).

Fees & Charges:

Interest Rate:3.5% (for payments below the total amount due or minimum amount due)
Cash Advance Fee9% of the amount withdrawn
Late Payment FeeP600
Account MaintenanceP50/month
Over Limit FeeP500
Apply Online

Security Bank Click Mastercard

Key Features:

  • 5% rebate on your online purchases (max Php15,000)
  • 0.30% regular rebate monthly when you use your Click card Mastercard in store.
  • Online Reward Redemption
  • Exclusive Promos

Fees and charges:

Primary Annual Membership Fee: PHP 3,000
Supplementary Annual Membership Fee: PHP 1,500
Interest Rate: 3.5%
Foreign Exchange Rate: Security Bank Corporation’s prevailing exchange rate for credit cards at posting date
Late Payment Fee:P600 or 6% of the minimum amount due, whichever is higher
Cash Advance Fee: P500 or 5% of the cash advance amount per transaction, whichever is higher
Over the Counter Cash Advance Fee: P500 per transaction
ChargeLight Plan Pre-Termination Fee: P500
Charge Slip Retrieval Fee: P400 per sales slip
Minimum Amount Due: P500 or 4% of total revolvable transactions plus sum of the interest, fees, and charges in the current statement, whichever is higher
Overlimit Fee: P500 per occurrence
Apply Online

BDO ShopMore Mastercard

Key Features:

  • Free SM Advantage Card
  • Earn 0.50 Peso Point for every P200 spend anywhere
  • Up to P10,000 worth of Rebates
  • Members-Only Privileges: access to sale events, special offers and exclusive discounts within SM and other retail partners nationwide.

Fees and Charges:

Monthly fee: PHP 125
Interest rate: 3.50%
Cash advance fee: 5% of the withdrawn amount or PHP 500, whichever is higher
Late Payment Charge: 7% of overdue amount
Apply Online

Related: Top 100+ Online Shopping Sites in the Philippines

Best Credit Cards for Students

Students who find themselves in a tight financial spot will find tremendous value in having a credit card. Imagine you’re low on cash but still have a week to go before mom and dad wires your monthly allowance. What to do?

If you have a credit card, you can buy the things you need and pay for important stuff as you wait for your parent’s remittance. No need to borrow cash from your best pal and dorm mate. No need to switch again to that kidney-failure-inducing diet of pancit canton for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

You can stock up on groceries and other essentials, pay for your Grab fare, buy books and other school-related stuff, using a credit card. Useful, huh?

Convinced yet?

You might be thinking, “But will I be able to get one without a job? I mean, there’s an income requirement right?”

Well, yes and no. There are credit cards that you can sign up for even without an income provided that you’ll open a deposit account with the bank first.

These are called secured credit cards.

Secured credit cards bypass the need for proof of income as the bank will simply use your savings balance to pay for any missed dues.

But what if your debt is higher than your savings, you ask? Well, that can’t happen because the card will limit your purchases to only 80-90% of the balance in the savings account. So if you have Php10,000 in it, the secured credit card will have a credit limit of either Php8,000 or Php9,000 only.

The following recommendations for the best credit card for students are based on the following factors:

  • No income requirements
  • Low annual fees
  • Easy to set up

BPI Express Start Secured Credit Card

BPI’s secured credit card offering has a credit limit of up to 90% of your existing ATM/Passbook savings account. The minimum hold-out (deposit) is Php10,000.

  • Annual fee: PHP 1,000 to PHP 5,500 (rate will depend on the type card you apply for)
  • Interest rate: 3.21%
  • BPI Express Start Secured Credit Card application requirements:
  • At least 18 years old
  • Must have a business or residence contact number
  • Completely filled out and signed Express Start Application Form
  • Completely filled out and signed Deed of Assignment
Apply Online

Security Bank Fast Track Secured Credit Card

Security Bank’s secured credit card offering has a credit limit of up to 80% of your existing ATM/Passbook savings account. The minimum hold-out (deposit) is Php15,000. As a bonus, they will waive the annual fee during your first year. You can choose from a list of their Mastercard products.

  • Annual fee: Waived during the first year. Succeeding years will be rated depending on the card type.
  • Interest rate: 3.5%
  • Security Bank Fast Track Secured Credit Card application requirements:
  • Must be at least 21-65 years old
  • Must have a business or residence landline number
  • Completely filled out and signed Application Form
  • Completely filled out and signed Hold-out agreement form
  • Government-Issued Photo-Bearing ID
Apply Online

RCBC Instacard

RCBC’s secured credit card offering has a credit limit of up to 95% of your existing ATM/Passbook savings account. The minimum hold-out (deposit) is Php10,000. As a bonus, they will waive the annual fee during your first year. You can choose from Classic, Gold, and Mastercard products.

  • Annual fee: P60 per month for Regular Cards; P150 for Premium Cards
  • Interest rate: 2.5% (revolving)
  • RCBC Instacard Credit Card application requirements:
  • Applicant must be at least 21 years old.
  • Completely filled out and signed Application Form
  • Completely filled out and signed Hold-out agreement form
  • Government-Issued Photo-Bearing ID
Apply Online

Best Fast Approval Credit Cards for New Cardholders

No luck getting your credit card application approved?

Credit card first-timers usually have it tough.

Let us help you out: Here’s a list of easy approval credit cards in the Philippines.

Security Bank Fast Track Secured Credit Card (for MasterCard)

Key Features:

  • A savings or time deposit account bundled with a 100% approved credit card
  • Fast processing in 3 banking days upon receipt of documents
  • A credit limit that is 80% of the holdout amount
  • Waived annual fee for the first year
  • Get rebates or rewards points for every transaction
  • Build your credit history and credit score with your secured credit card

Application requirements:

  • Must be at least 21-65 years old
  • Must have a business or residence landline number
  • Completely filled out and signed Application Form*
  • Completely filled out and signed Holdout agreement form**
  • Government-Issued Photo-Bearing ID
  • Savings account required deposit = Php15,000
  • Or Time deposit account = Php100,000

How to Apply:

  • Visit the nearest branch and apply for a time deposit account
  • Apply for a Security Bank MasterCard credit card
  • Submit all required docs mentioned above
Apply Online

Citi Simplicity+ Credit Card

Key Features:

  • No Annual Fees
  • No late payment fees
  • No over-limit fees
  • Pay at least the minimum due on or before the due date and get 10% back on interest charges.
  • Get up to 50% off on flights, hotels, and staycation packages.
  • Enjoy up to 50% off and other exclusive dining deals at participating restaurants in the Metro.

Fees and Charges:

  • Retail Monthly Effective Interest Rate: 3.50%
  • Citi Cash Advance Monthly Effective Interest Rate: 3.64% inclusive of the Citi Cash Advance Service Charge

Eligibility:

  • Are at least 21 years old
  • Have a minimum income of P180,000 per year if you have another credit card
  • P250,000 per year if you have no credit card
  • Have an active landline or mobile phone number
  • Have a valid TIN, SSS, GSIS or UMID number
  • NO deposit account with Citi required.

Requirements:

  • Government-issued ID
  • Proof of income (ex. payslip, ITR)Bank statement of your Payroll Account showing your one-month salary
  • Signed Certificate of Employment
Apply Online

PSBank Credit Mastercard

Key Features:

  • No Annual fee for life
  • 0% Installment Program
  • Chip card technology.
  • Cash Rush (Cash advance)
  • Secure Online Shopping (FREE service that requires a password and unique message to authorize purchases.)

Fees and Charges:

  • Retail monthly effective interest rate: 3.54%
  • Cash Advance monthly effective interest rate: 3.96%
  • Cash Advance Fee: PhP500 or 3% of the cash advance amount availed, whichever is higher. Additional PhP500 if transacted over-the-counter
  • Late Charges: Php 700 or 7.5% of the minimum amount due, whichever is higher
Apply Online

Best Credit Cards with Low Interest Rates and No Annual Fee

If you’re hesitant in getting a credit card because you’re worried about exorbitant fees and interest rates, you’re in luck. This list is especially for you.

BDO Platinum Mastercard

Key Features:

  • Free annual membership for life (if you spend Php 600,000 for a year)
  • Flexible/High Credit Limit
  • Cash Advance Up to 30% of your assigned Credit Limit
  • Mastercard Moments Concierge Service
  • EasyPay Installment
  • Credit Card Points Redemption Program
  • FREE Travel Accident & Inconvenience Insurance Coverage

Fees and charges:

  • Monthly Effective Interest rate: 2.75%
  • Annual fee: P4,500 for principal; P2,500 for supplementary
Apply Online

EastWest Platinum Mastercard

Key Features:

  • Free Lifetime Membership
  • Premium Perks and MasterCard Moments (partner establishments)
  • Free EastWest Platinum Virtual Card (to protect your regular credit card’s data and credit limit)
  • Free Comprehensive Travel Accident & Inconvenience Insurance of up to Php20 Million
  • Free Priority Pass Membership (access more than 950 VIP Airport Lounges worldwide, regardless of the airline you are taking or ticket class held.)
  • Platinum Rewards (Earn 1 Platinum Rewards Point for every Php40 you spend.)
  • MasterCard Concierge Service
  • Smart Chip & Contactless Technology
  • Lighter Payment Terms
  • High Cash Advance Limit
  • Installment Facilities (participating merchants)
  • Balance Transfer
  • Convert-to-Installment
  • Insta-Cash Facility
  • Quick Bills Facility

Fees and charges:

  • Annual Membership Fee: Waived perpetually
  • Interest Charge: 2.75% per month, computed based on average daily balance (or 33% effective rate annually)
  • Late Payment Charge: 8% of the Minimum Payment Due
Apply Online

Best Bank for Credit Card Transfers

How Balance Transfer Works:

If you own multiple credit cards, consolidating all outstanding balances into a single, low-interest card might be an excellent move. The new credit card issuer will agree to pay the debt obligation you have with the original lender on your behalf.

Imagine the following benefits:

  • Less hassle and worries since you won’t need to track multiple due dates and pay bills at different facilities
  • Easier payback since you’ll only be dealing with one bank
  • Shorten the duration of clearing your charges due to easier bill management
  • With the right payment terms chosen, the total amount you need to pay under balance transfer can be lower than the amount on your current credit card.

Security Bank 0% Balance Transfer

We’ve chosen Security Bank in this category since they have an excellent ZERO percent balance transfer program. Upon setup, you must pay the balance in monthly payments within a time frame that you selected during application.

The process is easy and can be broken down in 3 simple steps:

  1. Apply for a Security Bank Credit Card Online
  2. Wait for an SMS and Email notification
  3. Use Link to Apply for a Balance Transfer Online
Apply Online 

How to Choose the Right Credit Card for you?

There are a few things to keep in mind when choosing a credit card. Considering these following pointers can help you make the most out of them.

Lifestyle Rewards

Get a card that gets you discounts and savings for activities or items that are essential to your lifestyle. For example, you can narrow your selection to cards that offer gas rebates if you drive frequently. Some cards provide discounts to select merchants or stores.

For instance, RCBC’s Fully Booked Mastercard gives you a year-round discount of 10% on book purchases and a chance to get up to 10% on rebates. Some cards focus on rewards and perks for travel-related activities, like UnionBank’s GetGo credit card.

Related: Best Priority Banking Services in the Philippines

Card Features

Aside from its primary lifestyle rewards, credit cards vary in the types of perks and bonuses they provide. Some may offer zero or low annual fees to entice new users.

Some may offer an option to transfer your existing credit card balance from another carrier and do so without incurring any charges. Some cards may be more generous compared to others with how they reward points to users.

Check out these options when comparing credit card offerings so you can make sure you’ll be getting one that matches your preferences.

Terms & Conditions

Check important items like the card’s Annual Percentage Rate (APR), so you’ll know how much interest they charge you per year.

Ask how much the annual credit card fee and the cost of any other transaction fees. Check how much reward points you will gain per transaction.

Are there any other perks like roadside assistance or travel insurance? Knowing as much as you can about the technical aspects of the card can save you from potential hassle later.


How to Use Credit Cards Wisely

In case you’re looking to getting your first credit cards, here are some tips to not fall into any of the pitfalls that can cost you some serious money:

1. Understand the fees 

Understand which part of the month your fees are due and what the fees are., When it comes to auditing your credit card expenses, having a good grasp with tracking credit card fees will help you budget in the long run. Different types of fees such as the annual fee, the late fee or foreign transaction fees requires your attention, so be mindful when and where you use your credit card.

Here’s a little glossary for your reference:

  • Annual fee – the amount you pay for your membership, charges every year.
  • Late Fee – the penalty you pay for each time you fail to meet the bank’s grace period on payments and installments.
  • Balance Transfer fee – The amount you pay for when you carry over your balance to another credit card or another account.
  • Cash Advance Fee – The amount you pay for the convenience of getting access to cash through your credit card.
  • Finance Charge – also known as interest. This is the amount that carries over when you don’t settle your monthly dues.
  • Foreign Transaction Fee – The amount paid for every transaction made abroad.

2. Understand your income 

Never purchase anything beyond your means using your Credit Card. This habit of buying things that you can’t afford is a one way ticket to suffering the vicious cycle of you getting stuck paying off the purchases plus interest over several months.

3. Use your rewards

Plenty of people accumulate a lot of points and rewards, but never check which rewards they’re eligible for and end up not using them. Always keep track of your reward points and be up to date to any offers and promos for your points.

4. Read your account statement

Check if all your transactions are properly accounted for and that you aren’t a victim of credit card fraud. Report and dispute any unauthorized charges immediately.

5. Make the minimum payment

Most credit cards don’t require you to pay off your debt immediately in one go, but instead require a minimum amount you pay each month or you’ll incur larger amounts of interest.

6. Stick to a budget 

As discussed on Grit’s column on how to save money, sticking to the budget will save you money. By practicing restraint and by thinking twice over a purchase, you gain more financial freedom. With this is mind, it is wise to use your credit card sparingly as well.

7. Pay your bills on time

Being punctual when it comes to paying your dues on or before the grace period ends will reward you with a good credit rating. getting more trust from the bank, which gives you access to loans, this leads to an important point of carrying your balances responsibly.

Don’t make any purchases that will compromise the flow of your monthly credit card payments.

8. It’s okay to use cash sometimes 

Especially when it comes to ride-hailing apps such as Grab and Uber. These services also accept cash. Most credit card users become unaware and lose track of their expenses with Grab and Uber, so sometimes, using cash can prevent you from incurring more expenses with these apps.

9. Check your credit report at least once a year 

Understanding the flows of all acquired credit card fees, as well as your purchases, you can give yourself a self-evaluation when it comes to purchasing habits and the timing of your payments.

Ask yourself these questions: Am I spending beyond my means? Are my purchases making my monthly dues harder to pay?  

Follow these and you should be fine. Never forget, the point of a credit card is to borrow money – never borrow money that you know you won’t be able to pay back.


10 Credit Card Safety Tips

Having a credit card is convenient. It lets you buy stuff without using cash and allows you to make purchases online by merely keying in your credit card info.

And this opens up risks as it means anyone can potentially use it without physically having your card as long as they can get its details. Stuff like these are examples of why you should take measures in safeguarding your credit card information.

Here are a few more safety tips to help you protect your card.

1. Never disclose your credit card info to anyone

It’s never a good idea to share any sensitive financial information to anyone. Even if it’s for safekeeping or convenience purposes. It’s not that your family, friend, or relative have bad intentions. It’s because they might lose it or fall trap into someone else’s scheme and you end up taking the loss.

2. Leverage the security features of your credit card

Most credit cards come with standard security features to protect customers from serious problems like identity theft and phishing scams.

Mastercard credit cards, for example, comes with Zero Liability Protection which they say, “Protects our customer and won’t hold them responsible for unauthorized transactions if they have used reasonable care in protecting their card against theft and loss and have quickly reported the incident to the bank.”

When shopping online, you can opt to receive an OTP (One-Time-Password/PIN) for verification purposes before confirming the transaction is legit. This way, you can avoid unauthorized use should someone gets a hold of your credit card.

3. Dispose of documents that contain personal and bank account information

What do you do with your old credit card bills and other materials that contain sensitive or personal details? How do you dispose of them? Do you simply throw it on the nearest garbage can?

If your answer is yes, it’s high time that you change that habit. Why? Because someone can get a hold of those old bills and documents and pretend to be you when they make unauthorized purchases.

It’s called Identity theft, and it’s one of the most common types of credit card fraud. Worse, some of those old documents may contain account numbers and passwords, letting bad guys quickly access your bank account or use your credit card online.

4. Check the transaction history in your monthly bill

It’s good practice always to check the transaction history in your monthly bills. Aside from making sure you’re following your spending plan, you get to monitor your credit card activity and check for any suspicious activity.

5. Be mindful of the website address, even if it has an HTTPS tag

HTTPS stands for HyperText Transfer Protocol, which in layman’s terms is the web’s way of saying, “This site is secure.”

To be accurate, however, the HTTPS certification and the green lock icon beside it only means the data being transmitted between your computer/phone and the website is encrypted, and the badge of security was provided by a trusted authority.

It doesn’t automatically guarantee that it’s a 100% legit website.

Make sure the spelling of the website’s name is correct as some scammers build sites that look similar to the original (complete with HTTPS), but if you look closer at the website name, a letter or two may have been changed.  

6. Don’t open suspicious looking emails and links

As the popular saying goes, “If it’s too good to be true, it probably is.” Don’t open unsolicited emails especially those with all sorts of promos and offers.

Don’t click links sent via text. More often than not, these are scams. So no matter how tempting or intriguing that link might look like, if it seems suspicious, don’t click it.

7. Regularly change your passwords (and choose strong ones)

As tedious and inconvenient it may sound, it’s actually recommended by security experts to change your PIN and passwords periodically.

Even with little information in hand, criminals can end up correctly guessing your PIN or password if you use something like your birthday (or your kid’ s/wife’s).

Try to come up with strong password combinations with a mix of characters. If you’re worried you’ll forget a too-difficult-to-remember password, this article from Avast shares a couple of interesting ways you can make a strong password that you can recall easily.

8. Never give out your personal information

“Phishing” happens when there is an attempt to trick people into providing their personal and financial information.

Cyber-criminals do this by making fake websites, sending unsolicited text and emails, social engineering, fake pop-up ads, and others.

Be careful when visiting unknown websites and never give your financial information without making your due diligence to ensure that the site is legit and safe.

9. Avoid accessing public WIFI

Hackers can easily set up wifi hotspots in public and get access to sensitive information of anyone who will connect to their network. It’s as if handing over the keys to your house to a complete stranger.

They can also use it to infect your device with malware to steal all sorts of information about you.

10. Always keep an eye on your credit card

You should always check how your card is being handled. Credit card skimming is a form of theft wherein crooks use a device to steal your personal and payment information.

This article from PCWorld covers the topic in detail, along with some tips on how to spot credit card skimmers.


5 Tips for Using Your Credit Card When Traveling Abroad

Before you travel abroad, follow these tips to ensure smooth and hassle-free transactions using your credit card.

1. Inform your bank that you’ll be traveling abroad

This way, your bank wouldn’t flag the transaction and prevent you from making purchases when outside of the country. Banks do this as a safety measure to protect their customers in the event the credit card gets compromised, and someone overseas tries to make a purchase.

2. Get familiar with your credit card’s foreign transaction fees

Banks charge foreign transaction fees when the card is used abroad. To save you from the headache later (and be more mindful of your purchases), get to know the specifics of all applicable foreign transaction fees.

3. Use a universally-accepted credit card

Cards like Mastercard and Visa are the two most widely-used cards around the world. Before traveling, make sure that the card you’re bringing is supported and won’t be causing issues on the country you plan on visiting.

4. Check the dates

The expiration date on your credit card, that is. You wouldn’t want to travel with a card that ends up getting declined because it’s expired.

5. Pay using the local currency

Merchants will ask if you’d prefer to pay using Philippine Peso or the country’s local currency. Choose local currency as it prevents Dynamic Currency Conversion — you’d spend less versus when converting it to our own currency.


Other Credit Card FAQs

Credit Card interest rates in the Philippines?

It varies from bank to bank (and card type) but the average interest rate of credit cards in the Philippines is around 3.5% per month.

Minimum Monthly Repayment Fees for Credit Cards in the Philippines?

In our country, credit card owners usually need to make the minimum payment of 5% of the outstanding balance every due date of the month.

What are the penalties if you don’t pay your credit card debt in the Philippines?

You’ll get charged with the corresponding interest for the outstanding bill. Also, you’ll incur a late payment fee for any missed due dates.

If you deliberately ignore paying your piled up balance, you’ll risk having a bad credit rating and will be hounded by debt collectors.

And while Sec 20 Art III of the Philippine Constitution states that no one can be put behind bars for not paying debt, your records will get tainted due to bad credit and eventually have a hard time getting loans approved in the future.


How to Pay your Credit Card Bill in the Philippines

There’s plenty of ways to pay for your credit card. Here are 7 options to choose from.

List of credit card payment channels:

1. Cashless/Mobile

Some banks have their own exclusive mobile application for managing your account and the option to pay your credit card may be available within the app.

You can also use third-party apps for this. Cashless payment methods like Coins.ph and GCash are apps that I’ve used personally.

2. Online Banking

Most banks offer account management systems online when you sign up for it. This will allow you to do all sorts of banking transactions from your computer. Paying your credit card bills is one of the options provided in there.

3. At the bank (OTC)

Visit the bank and pay your credit card bill over the counter. Still used by a lot of Filipinos especially if they live within a nearby branch.

4. Bayad Centers

You can pay for a lot of things at Bayad Centers, credit card bills being one of them. Simply visit the nearest outlet, present your bill and pay the balance.

5. Auto-debit

An excellent way of making sure you won’t get hit with late payments. Through your bank, you can link your savings account so that they can automatically make deductions on a regular basis.

6. Through ATM

Another option that admittedly does not get used enough. A one-time enrollment is required. The process is the same with withdrawing from your ATM card. However, instead of taking money, you’ll choose the option to pay for credit card bills instead.

7. Phone banking

Another alternative if you don’t want to physically visit the branch or transact online. Simply call the bank’s hotline (you’ll have to enrol yourself for this feature first) and follow the prompts for making payments for your credit cards.

Since your savings account is linked, they can deduct the payments from it directly. They just need your authorization over the phone.


In conclusion:

Credit Cards are a brilliant innovation that allows you to be much more financially flexible.

As long as you use your credit card wisely, and as long as you punctually pay your dues, you can truly enjoy the convenience of going cashless, whether you’re in the domestic or international market.

Having a credit card would be one of your most grown up, adult decisions you’ll make. Best of luck!

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About Mark Dela Cruz

Mark Dela Cruz is a business & finance columnist of Grit PH. Mark has also been a music arranger, composer, tailor, theatre actor, a professional voice actor for advertisements and a business school graduate.

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Comments

  1. MJ Arevalo says

    Tsk…Tsk.. this is what i am looking for – a complete package of info regarding debit card cc.. 🙂 Thanks again Sir Mark!

  2. S says

    Wow! Exactly what I was looking for. This article is great for any Filipino looking to build their credit score. Thank you so much, this is very helpful.

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