10 Best Debit Cards in the Philippines

Last Updated – Sep 15, 2022 @ 3:23 pm

Filipinos have truly come a long way from relying on cash alone to take care of their bills, shopping, and other purchases.

Top 10 Money-Making Apps in the Phi...
Top 10 Money-Making Apps in the Philippines

Now, many people have realized the convenience of having debit cards.

Without question, having a debit card can unlock a whole new world of purchases, both online and in-store.

Just like credit cards, most debit cards are packed with more features than others. To help you choose the best debit card, here’s a rundown of the top choices in the Philippines.

What is a Debit Card?

A debit card allows people to spend money directly from their checking account. When a debit card is used, there is no bill to pay later.

Aside from buying goods or services, debit cards can also be used to withdraw cash from an ATM.


Pros & Cons: Why Should You Get A Debit Card?

Here are some of the benefits (as well as the disadvantages) of debit cards.

Pros of using Debit Cards

Convenience

With a debit card, you don’t have to carry a lot of cash with you. This is especially a great advantage when paying for purchases one after the other. 

For example, you can have dinner with your family and friends, and go grocery shopping on the same night without having to worry about having the exact amount of cash in your wallet. 

More than that, paying with your debit card is super fast. You don’t have to wait for minutes for transactions to be processed. 

Can be used to store emergency fund

A debit card can be a great way to keep your emergency fund safe while giving you the ability to access the money any time you need to.

Secure

Debit cards are very secure since you have to enter a pin or sign every single time you make a transaction. This makes it safe from being misused.

Should your card be lost or stolen, you can easily get it canceled by reporting the loss to your bank

Easy to get

Getting a debit card is easy, and is often available upon opening a new bank account.

It doesn’t require you to go through lengthy applications and endless credit checks.

This is because banks see debit cards as a safer option compared to credit cards and as such, you only need a good history of transactions to get a debit card.

Great for budgeting

Because the money you spend goes directly from your bank account, it’s easier to track your expenses and manage your budget.

A lot of people also prefer debit cards because there’s no risk of overspending.

No interest charges

Unlike credit cards, there are no interest charges with debit cards. The money you spend is the exact amount that you will get charged.

No debt

Unlike credit cards which can cause you to spend more money than you can afford to pay, debit cards keep you from taking on more debt.

Cons of using Debit Cards

Doesn’t impact your credit score

When you use a debit card, the transaction is monitored by your bank. However, since no money is being borrowed, the transaction does not affect your credit score.

Has a spending limit

A debit card is linked to your checking account. This means that you have to follow the daily spending limit of your account.

This is why most debit cards cannot be used for large purchases, mostly over P20,000 to P50,000.

Can be targeted by scams

Criminals are continuously finding new ways to steal money from other people’s accounts.

Malware and phishing schemes are the most commonly used scams by hackers these days, and your debit card can be susceptible to these scams.

Using a debit card can be risky as it provides more information than other payment methods.

A fraudulent merchant or a computer virus can read your card number and other information from your card.

This can lead to identity theft and other fraudulent activities.

Hidden fees 

When you use a debit card, you should be aware of the fees and charges involved.

Debit card fees can be in the form of fees from your bank, merchants, or ATMs.


Debit card vs. Credit Card: What’s the Difference?

Despite their many similarities, there are a few notable differences between a debit card and a credit card.

Credit cards are characterized by having a credit limit, which is the amount of money that you can spend every month.

When using a credit card, you need to pay for everything you bought with the card at a designated time in the month.

For example, if you buy something for Php50,000, you will be required to pay that amount at the end of the month, or else you may face exorbitant interest fees.

On the other hand, debit cards are connected to your bank account. You can only spend the money that you have on your account.

Each time you make a purchase with a debit card, you pay it in full so you don’t have an outstanding debt. This is why it’s a top choice of people who are prone to overspending.


How do Debit Cards differ from Prepaid Cards?

Prepaid debit cards are the new kid on the block, so you may be wondering what’s the difference between debit cards and credit cards.

While both can be used for the same purpose, they are not the same.

The ultimate way to describe the difference between the two is with prepaid debit cards, you are required to load your account with money before you can use it. The same thing is not true for your debit card.


Things to Consider When Choosing a Debit Card

There are a few things that you need to consider before choosing a debit card. We’ve rounded up some below.

Has features that maximize your spending and saving habits

Most debit cards are equipped with a suite of features that go beyond the basic card and pin number. Some of these features may even make your spending more convenient.

One of the most popular features is a cashback, which entails you will get a percentage of the money you spend back on your card.

There are also debit cards that reward users with frequent flyer points, as well as discounts for selected purchases.

Related: Tips on How to Save More Money

Online access

With online access, you can make purchases anywhere at any time, as long as you have your card and your card information.

Make sure that your debit card is accepted by the majority of online stores you buy from because this can greatly contribute to its convenience.

Interest rates

Interest rates differ from one card to another so it’s important to compare interest rates across different cards before choosing one.

Another factor to keep in mind is the minimum balance required for your money to gain interest.

Maintaining balance

You may need to pay an annual fee as well as other transaction fees when using a debit card.

Refer to your card’s terms and conditions to see if there are any transactions or annual fees.

Transaction and Annual Fees

Transaction fees are charged every time you make a purchase with your card.

This fee can range from a few pesos to over Php25 depending on the type of the card and the bank.

With annual fees, you pay this fee every year to maintain your card.

These may seem like small expenses but they will add up in time so make sure you pick a debit card with low fees.

ATM machine accessibility

ATM machines are widely available in the Philippines. With a debit card, you can check your balance and withdraw money from these machines.

The more ATM machines your card has access to, the more convenience you get.

It’s very important that you’re able to withdraw money fast and there’s nothing worse than a card that doesn’t have wide ATM access.

Perks & rewards

Most banks offer rewards programs for different kinds of debit cards. This may come with big perks like gift cards and cashback for every purchase.

Some even offer limited-time discounts on hotels, resorts, and other establishments.


10 Best Debit Cards in the Philippines

Here are the top debit cards you can have in the country. Keep in mind that you can have more than one of these cards.

1. Security Bank EMV Everyday Debit Card

With this card, you can simplify your banking experience. The All-Access program by Security Bank allows clients to have a savings and checking account in one.

This comes with a checkbook, passbook, and debit and ATM MasterCard, as well as free life insurance.

This debit card offers 0.0625% interest per annum, as long as the remaining balance is P100,000.

Best features:

  • Comes with free life insurance with no medical exams required
  • You get a passbook and checkbook with your card
  • Application only takes 15 minutes

Initial deposit: P5,000

Daily withdrawal limit: P50,000

Maintaining balance: P25,000

Requirements:

For Resident Citizen, Non-resident Citizen, and Resident Alien

  • 1 primary valid ID or 2 secondary valid IDs

For Non-resident Alien

  • Passport or Alien Certification of Registration (ACR) I – Card

How to apply for a Security Bank debit card:

Fill up this form, then wait for the confirmation of your online video call appointment. Finally, you can settle your application after an online video call.

You can also simply fill up the given form above, wait for your reference number that will be sent through text, and visit a Security Bank branch in your area to deposit the opening balance.


2. Union Bank Platinum Debit Card

With the Unionbank Platinum Debit Card, you can get top-notch security, accessibility, and tons of benefits.

Best features:

  • 24/7 banking
  • No local and international atm transaction fees
  • Access to Club Manila Lounge (NAIA terminal 1) and Pacific Lounge (NAIA terminal 3)
  • Exclusive offers from visa
  • Priority service at any Union Bank branch

How to apply for a Unionbank debit card:

Download the Union Bank app, or inquire here.


3. BDO Debit Card

This debit card by one of the most trusted banks in the country can help make your shopping experience the best it can be.

This card also comes with an EMV-embedded chip for improved security.

Best features:

  • Withdraw cash or pay bills easily
  • Access to thousands of ATMs in the Philippines and abroad
  • The limit can be set through BDO online banking
  • No need to key PIN or sign for purchases below P2,000
  • Welcome Coupon upon downloading the Uniqlo app
  • Freebies and discounts from Crimson Boracay, Classic Savory, Sephora, Grab mart, and other establishments

Initial deposit: P2,000

Daily withdrawal limit: P50,000 per day, P25,000 maximum amount per single transaction on BDO ATMs, and P10,000 for other ATMs

Maintaining balance: P2,000

Requirements:

  • 2 Valid IDs with photo and signature
  • Selfie with the valid ID
  • Photo of 3 signatures

How to apply for a BDO debit card:

Fill up this form, submit the requirements, and meet with a BDO representative via Zoom video call. Finally, you can fund your account within 7 days of approval.


4. BPI Debit Mastercard

Love shopping? The BPI Debit Mastercard will be your next go-to card. This card gives you tons of convenience while still keeping your transactions safe.

Best features:

  • EMV chip enabled
  • BPI card control
  • International debit acceptance and cash withdrawal (from any Bancnet and Mastercard affiliated ATMs)
  • Account linking
  • Shop and pay in-stores and online
  • Tap to pay
  • Discounts and vouchers from establishments such as Zara, Shipping Cart, Agoda, and many more

Initial deposit: P3,000

Daily withdrawal limit: P20,000

Maintaining balance: P3,000

Requirements:

  • 1 valid ID (original and photocopy)
  • Proof of billing
  • 1×1 ID picture

How to apply for a BPI Debit Mastercard:

Register here.


5. PSBank Debit Mastercard

Powered by Mastercard, the PSBank Debit Mastercard offers an amazing way to shop on the go. This card can be used as your typical ATM.

You can also get your card within 30 minutes upon account enrollment.

Best features:

  • No deposit fee or deposit limit
  • View account statement covering the last 5 transactions
  • 24/7 access
  • Worldwide customer service
  • Zero lost card liability
  • Discounts for Grab, Shopee, and Lazada

Initial deposit: P5,000

Daily withdrawal limit: P30,000 per day

Maintaining balance: P5,000

Requirements:

  • 1 valid ID with photo and signature

For minors:

  • Quit Claim/Waiver signed by the parent or guardian
  • Valid IDs of the legal guardian and the minor (Passport/School ID)

How to apply for a PSBank Debit Mastercard:

Simply open an account at any PS Branch. You can get your ready-to-use card on the spot.


6. Metrobank Prime Debit Card

Metrobank Prime Debit Card allows you to shop all you want without any hassle.

Old deposit account holders can easily link their accounts to this debit card, while new cardholders can open an account to have access to this card.

Best features:

  • No added charges for your purchases
  • Links with a Metrobank deposit account
  • Can be enrolled in Metrobank Online, and the Mobile Banking App
  • Can be used here and abroad
  • Zalora discounts
  • Freebies from WalterMart
  • Discounts for Shopee

Initial deposit: P2,000

Daily withdrawal limit: P50,000

Maintaining balance: P2,000

Requirements:

  • 1 valid with signature

How to apply for a Metrobank Prime Debit Card:

Sign up here, or visit any Metrobank branch.


7. Landbank Visa Debit Card

Whether you want to shop in-store or online, you can use the Landbank Visa Debit Card.

Accepted at over 40 million merchants and 2 million ATMs around the globe, swiping this card locally and internationally is a breeze.

Best features:

  • EMV-chip enabled
  • Accepted by over 40 million merchants and 2 million ATMs
  • Shopee and Zalora discounts

Initial deposit: P500

Daily withdrawal limit: P50,000

Maintaining balance: P500

Requirements:

  • One government-issued ID
  • 2 1×1 ID picture

How to apply for a Landbank Visa Debit Card:

Simply visit a Landbank branch near you.


8. PNB-PAL Mabuhay Miles Debit Mastercard

If you love traveling, we’ve got the best choice for you. The PNB-PAL Mabuhay Miles Debit MasterCard can help you plan your next flight here or abroad.

This debit card can be used to pay for transactions on your upcoming trip, and you can also enjoy perks when you purchase tickets from PAL.

Best features:

  • Earn points redeemed for Mabuhay Miles when you shop at select merchant categories
  • P500 Mabuhay Miles welcome gift when you purchase at PAL within 3 months from card issuance
  • 5% discount on select PAL international flights booked online
  • Withdraw at any BancNet, MegaLink, or ExpressNet ATMs in the Philippine
  • Accepted internationally at Mastercard and Maestro-affiliated shops and ATM
  • Use online transactions for ease and convenience
  • Tap to pay on any Mastercard PayPass-enabled POS machines

Initial deposit: P3,000

Daily withdrawal limit: P3,000

Maintaining balance: n/a

Requirements:

  • Two government issued ID
  • 2 1×1 or 2×2 ID pictures

How to apply for a PNB-PAL Mabuhay Miles Debit Mastercard:

Download and fill up this form, then visit any PNB branch and present requirements. Finally, wait for your card to be released.


9. Tonik Bank Physical Debit Card

Tonik Bank aims to revolutionize banking in the Philippines.

This digital-only bank offers the Tonik Bank Physical Debit Card for those who want to benefit from the ease of shopping with a physical card whether it’s in-store or online.

Best features:

  • Cash withdrawal through any ATM
  • Switch off the card in-app
  • Free ATM balance inquiry and withdrawal (please check the policy of the ATM owner)

Initial deposit: no initial deposit

Daily withdrawal limit: depends on the withdrawal channel

Maintaining balance: no minimum balance

Requirements:

  • Valid government-issued ID

How to apply for a Tonik Bank debit card:

Download the app and sign up for a Tonik account. Once done, request a physical debit card for only P300.

This will be charged to your account. Your card will be delivered to you after 7–10 banking days.


10. East West Bank Debit Card

With the East West Bank Debit Card, you can open an account without any fuss. This debit card will also serve as your savings account.

Similar to other cards, you can use this debit card to enjoy cashless shopping, pay for bills, and online purchases, among many others.

Best features:

  • EMV-chip enabled
  • Low initial deposit
  • Receive remittance directly using Visa direct
  • Can be connected to internet banking
  • Has a mobile app

Initial deposit: P2,000

Daily withdrawal limit: P50,000 per day, P20,000 per transaction

Maintaining balance: P2,000

Requirements:

  • 1 valid ID with photo and signature
  • Proof of billing showing name and home address

How to apply for an East West Bank debit card:

Fill up the form here, email the completed form and requirements to easyway@eastwestbanker.com and visit your preferred branch upon confirmation receipt to claim your card.

About MJ de Castro

MJ de Castro is the lead personal finance columnist at Grit PH.

MJ started her career as a writer for her local government’s City Information Office. Later on, she became a news anchor on PTV Davao del Norte.

Wanting to break free from the shackles of her 9-to-5 career to live by the beach, she pursued remote work. Over the years, she has developed a wide specialization on health, financial literacy, entrepreneurship, branding, and travel.

Now, she juggles writing professionally, her business centering on women’s menstrual health, and surfing.

Education: Ateneo de Davao University (AB Mass Communication)
Focus: Personal Finance, Personal Development, Entrepreneurship, & Marketing

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