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Beginner's Guide to Credit Cards Philippines | Moneymax

Credit cards are more than just plastic cards that you swipe when shopping. When used properly and responsibly, a credit card can help you manage your finances. Get a better understanding of how credit cards in the Philippines work so that you know how to maximize its benefits. Planning to get your first credit card? Or still deciding whether to get a credit card or not? Here is a comprehensive guide to help you understand credit cards better.

How do credit cards in the Philippines work?

A credit card is a small plastic card that allows you to spend money on credit to pay for goods or services at local and international merchants. It is one of the more convenient, more flexible, and safer payment alternatives to cash and checks. When you hand your credit card to a cashier for swiping (or send your credit card information for online shopping), the merchant validates your credit account. If the issuing bank approves your purchase, it is added to your account. You will be asked to sign the receipt containing the transaction data, including the amount that must be paid. Signing on the receipt means you agree to pay the amount you owe to the issuing bank. The bank consolidates the charges to your credit card into a statement and sends it to you every month. You can pay at least the minimum amount due, but it is better to pay in full by the due date to avoid extra fees.

What are the advantages of credit cards?

Is it worth having a credit card? Credit cards are not for everyone, so consider both the benefits and drawbacks when deciding whether to apply for a credit card or not. By itself, a credit card is not bad—it is how you use your card that affects your finances.
  • Convenience. A credit card is faster to use than cash and check—no need to wait in line to withdraw money from the ATM and look for loose change. Just swipe the card and sign the receipt, and your transaction is done.
  • Payment flexibility. With a credit card, you can make both online and in-person purchases. You can also pay for expensive items like appliances, furniture, and gadgets in installments.
  • Security. Carrying a credit card is a lot safer than cash, especially in theft-prone areas. Even if your card gets lost or stolen, you can have it blocked immediately to prevent unauthorized use.
  • Rewards. One of the most attractive credit card features is earning points that can be traded off with perks like gift certificates and airline miles. Banks also offer credit card promos such as discounts and freebies to cardholders.
  • Funding emergencies. Using a credit card may not be the best option for covering sudden expenses like medical bills, but it is extremely useful when something unexpected happens and you do not have enough cash on hand.
  • Tracking expenses. Because credit card transactions are recorded and shown on your monthly bills, your expenses are easier to monitor rather than those paid in cash.
  • Building credit history. If you have not established a credit history yet, using a credit card correctly can help you build good credit records, helping you to qualify for loans and mortgages in the future.

What are the disadvantages of credit cards?

  • Risk of overspending. With a credit card, it can be tempting to spend more than you can afford. Essentially, you are borrowing money you have not earned yet, so you might fall into a credit card debt trap if you do not control your spending.
  • High interest rates. Compared to loans, credit cards have higher interest rates. So when you miss just one payment or carry over a balance, you will be paying more each month. You can avoid paying interests by paying off your monthly balances in full.
  • Expensive fees. Late payments and exceeding your credit limit come with penalties.
  • Risk of fraud. If you are not careful when using your credit card, hackers might steal your personal information and use your card without you knowing it.
  • Ruining credit history. Carrying huge balances and missing payments can hurt your credit history and your chance of getting approved for future loans.

What credit card fees should I know about?

The convenience of a credit card comes with several costs. Some fees are avoidable; some are not. You can avoid certain credit card fees when you make full and timely payments. Here are the common credit card fees:

Annual fee

Most credit card types charge an annual fee ranging from Php 300 to Php 6,000. Generally, the higher the annual fee, the better the benefits. Premium cards may have much higher fees because of their exclusive benefits. Some banks may also waive the fees for the first year or so (depending on promos), while others do not charge an annual fee.

Finance charge

It is the interest added to your total amount due when you fail to fully pay off your balance in the previous month. Monthly interest rates on credit cards in the Philippines range from 2.00% to 3.54%. You can avoid them by always paying your balance in full.

Late payment fee

It is charged any month that you fail to pay the minimum balance by the due date. Some cards may waive this for the first year, but after that, cardholders will be subject to a late fee, which is 2.25% to 8% of the total amount due or Php 300 to Php 750, whichever is higher.

Over-the-limit fee

Usually ranging from Php 500 to Php 1,500, this fee is charged every month that your credit card’s balance remains over its limit. Not all credit cards charge over-the-limit fees. If yours does not have it and you exceed your credit limit, the bank will automatically decline your transaction.

Cash advance fee

When you make a cash advance against your credit card’s limit, you are essentially borrowing cash. The cash advance fee is usually around 5% of the amount of the advance, which is taken once per transaction. Cash advance balances have higher interest rates than regular charges. This transaction has no grace period, so it needs to be paid off quickly to avoid debt.

What are the best credit cards for first timers?

Although credit cards in the Philippines charge a lot of fees, it does not mean that beginners cannot afford to own a credit card. The best credit cards for first timers can help save money with these features:
  • Low-interest credit cards. These cards provide the usual rewards and benefits of regular cards but at lower interest rates than the general average of 3%.
  • Credit cards with low or zero annual fees. Most cards can set you back thousands of pesos in annual fees. Go for a budget-friendly credit card without an annual fee or with a lower annual fee of Php 1,500 or less.
  • Low-income credit cards. Low-income earners can opt for these cards to stretch their spending power at low costs. To qualify for a low-income credit card, your gross annual income should be at least Php 120,000 or Php 180,000 (Php 10,000 or PHP 15,000 monthly). This credit card type typically comes with a lower credit limit, which can help you control the urge to overspend.

What are the credit card requirements?

Before you apply for your first credit card, make sure that you are qualified to own one. Banks require applicants to meet their eligibility requirements.

Basic credit card requirements:

  • At least 21 years old
  • Filipino citizen or foreigner living in the Philippines
  • Home, office, or business location near a branch of the issuing bank
  • At least one landline phone and one mobile phone
  • At least 1 year of regular employment status or at least 2 years of profitable business for self-employed individuals
  • Minimum gross annual income ranging from Php 120,000 to Php 1 million (depending on the chosen credit card type)

Required documents:

  • Completed and signed credit card application form
  • Valid ID bearing credit card applicant’s photo and signature
  • Certificate of employment
  • Latest BIR Form 2316 or Income Tax Return
  • Payslips for the past two to three months
  • Latest BIR Form 1701 and latest financial statements (for self-employed applicants)
  • Alien Certificate of Registration/Immigrant Certificate of Registration and Work Permits (for foreign residents)

How to apply for a credit card

Credit card applications in the Philippines are straightforward even for beginners. You can apply in-person at a branch of the issuing bank. Some banks allow online credit card application in their respective websites.

Steps for in-person credit card application

  1. Pick the best credit card for your needs, lifestyle, and budget. An online credit card comparison tool can help you make the right choice.
  2. Go to the nearest branch of the credit card provider.
  3. Fill out and sign an application form.
  4. Submit photocopies of the required documents. The bank staff may ask you to present the original copies for verification.

Steps for online credit card application:

  1. Visit the bank’s website.
  2. Fill out the required fields on the online application form and choose your preferred credit card type.
  3. Upload scanned copies or clear images of the required documents to the online form. Or send them to the bank via email.
  4. When you have completed the form, click the Submit button.
Processing of a credit card application, which includes credit history checks and verifications, usually takes two to three weeks. To follow up, you may contact the bank or check your credit card application status online. Upon approval, your new credit card will be delivered to your home or office.    

Have you ever owned a credit card? If so, how did you know it’s the best credit card for you? Many Filipinos tend to choose a credit card with perks they like instead of considering its long-term benefits. Several swipes and unpaid bills later, they end up regretting their choice. With so many options in the market, it can be challenging to find the right credit card. Currently, nearly 20 banks issue over 100 different credit cards in the Philippines. It’s also easy to get lured by sales talk and marketing hype of companies trying to sell you a card. But if you know exactly what you need in a card, you’ll find one that can help you maximize your purchases and save money. Here’s a five-step guide to help you find the best credit card:

Step 1: Consider how you’ll use the card.

The first important thing to do is to assess your financial situation honestly. This will determine how you’ll use the card. Ask yourself these questions:

Can I pay all my monthly balances in full?

If you plan to settle your bills by the due date every month, look for a credit card with no annual fee. Most credit cards in the Philippines with free annual fees are premium cards and rewards cards. It will be easier to pay off your monthly balances in full with a credit card that offers a longer grace period. Within this period, you can settle your bill without having to pay interest. Typically, credit cards have a grace period of 30 days.

Am I already in credit card debt?

Do you carry over unpaid balances each month? Manage the problem before it gets harder to control. If you’re in such a situation, your priority is to reduce your interest and fee payments. Rewards credit cards are not an option because of their higher interest rates—the interest you’ll pay will just cancel out any benefit from the rewards. You’ll be much better off with either a low-interest card or a balance transfer card to make it easier for you to pay down your debt. A balance transfer credit card allows moving your unpaid balances to another card with a lower interest rate, helping you save on finance charges.

Will I use the card for cash advances?

As much as you can, avoid credit card cash advances because they charge a higher interest rate than regular purchases. But if you’re considering to use this short-term cash loan for emergencies, look for a card with a lower interest rate and fee for cash advances.

Step 2: Identify the fees you are willing and can afford to pay.

When choosing the best credit card, consider also your budget and how much fees you’re willing to pay. It helps to set a maximum amount of annual fees, so you can weed out cards whose fees are out of your budget range. Check the minimum gross annual income requirement for the credit card you’re considering, as it determines if you can qualify for the card and afford it. For example, a regular credit card with a Php 180,000 annual income requirement suits you if your monthly income is Php 15,000 or higher. To qualify for a premium card, you need a higher monthly income of at least Php 35,000 to Php 40,000. Premium credit cards offer more benefits than regular cards and usually charge higher annual fees. Go for one if you really want the perks and you don’t mind paying more than Php 2,000 every year in annual fees.

Step 3: Consider where you often spend your money.

If you’re confident that you can pay your monthly balances in full and you don’t have any existing credit card debt, the next step is to narrow down your choices to cards that fit your lifestyle and spending habits. Choose a credit card that offers the best rewards for the things you pay or purchase most often. A credit card comparison website like MoneyMax.ph can automate it for you, allowing you to filter credit cards based on rewards. This way, you’ll maximize the benefits from the rewards in the long term.

Step 4: Compare credit cards.

At this point, you have a clear idea of what you need in a credit card and eliminated cards that don’t meet your criteria. To find out the best credit cards within your chosen card type, compare the cards you’ve shortlisted based on your needs, budget, lifestyle, and spending habits. If you do it manually, comparing credit cards is difficult. You’ll have to check the websites of the issuing banks, do extensive research, make phone calls, or probably visit a branch or two to inquire. For busy professionals, that would mean taking precious time out of their schedule just to find the best credit card. This is where financial comparison sites like MoneyMax.ph come in. Take advantage of the convenience and time-saving benefits of using a free credit card comparison tool. Aside from that, you’re also assured of an impartial, independent, and apples-to-apples comparison. Just choose a credit card type (rewards, low interest, shopping, etc.) and enter information such as your employment. The online comparison tool will instantly show you all the credit cards that you can most likely get. The results will let you know which cards you can qualify for. The tool also allows you to sort credit cards from the lowest to highest annual fees, interest rates, rewards points, and more. Refine your search further by choosing other types of credit cards or filter according to a specific card provider.

Step 5: Choose the best credit card with the highest overall value.

Have you found a clear winner in the previous step? Then proceed with your credit card application. But if you’re still torn between two or three credit cards that share many similarities, look closely for differences. Remember: your ultimate goal here is to find out the best credit card for you. This means the card should provide the most value and save you the most money at the same time. Here are some of the tie-breaking considerations that can help you pick the winner:
  • The provider where you have an active deposit account. It’s more convenient to pay your credit card bills with a bank where you already have an account. It’s also easier to qualify for a card that way.
  • No expiry of rewards. If your final two or three choices are all rewards cards, the one that doesn’t have an expiration date is clearly the best credit card (all other factors being equal).
  • A tie-up with a company where you shop most often. For rewards credit cards, the clincher could be the retailer or mall that the issuing bank has a partnership with. For example, if you’re choosing between a BDO ShopMore MasterCard and a BPI Amore Visa, the better card is one that has a tie-up with a mall where you shop more frequently (whether in SM malls or Ayala malls).
  • The card with a free annual fee on the first year. This feature may seem insignificant, but it can help ease your budget for the first year of using the card. Some cards waive their annual fees for life if you meet certain conditions.

Have you found the best credit card yet?

Choosing the best credit card is one of the most important financial decision you’ll ever make. Don’t start a credit card application until you’ve found the perfect card for you. Shop around, do your research, and compare credit cards. Never settle for anything less because your choice of credit will have an impact on your finances. As soon as you’ve found the right card, you can start preparing the supporting documents required by the issuing bank and file your credit card application online or at the nearest branch.

How to Use Credit Cards Wisely | Moneymax

Credit cards are helpful financial tools that come with perks, only if they're used properly. Irresponsible use can lead to a lot of problems, including debts and poor credit history. Credit card debt is a perennial problem in the Philippines. Data from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas show that Filipinos owe hundreds of billions of pesos on their credit cards. Although nobody has been and will never be jailed because of credit card debt, you do not want to go through the stress and hassle of repaying debt on your card. Have you received your new card? To avoid being trapped in debt, keep in mind these 10 tips on how to use a credit card wisely.

1. Read the Terms and Conditions carefully.

Before you use your new card for the first time, take time to read carefully the issuing bank's Terms and Conditions that contain the rules of using the credit card. Make sure to understand them to avoid problems with your credit card later on.
  • Pay close attention to these details in your credit card's terms and conditions:
  • The credit card fees and interest charges
  • Length of grace period
  • How finance charges are computed
  • How to qualify for credit card promos and rewards
  • Rules on the rewards program (e.g., types of transactions that qualify for rewards, amount of rewards earned on purchases, and minimum amount that can be redeemed)

2. Only spend what you can afford to pay off monthly.

How to Use Credit Cards Wisely Using credit cards properly takes a lot of discipline and the right mindset. Credit cards are not unlimited sources of funds. Each time you use your card, you're essentially borrowing money from the bank—an amount you have not earned yet. If you spend with your card more than you can afford to pay each month, you will be in trouble. Here are the practical ways to avoid credit card overspending:
  • Make a list of all your expenses for each month.
  • Set a strict budget based on your list of expenses and the maximum amount you are going to spend using your card.
  • Use your card for purchases and payments you regularly make such as groceries, utility bills, and gas. You may earn rebates or rewards for such transactions, depending on your credit card type.
  • Every time you buy something with your credit card, ask yourself if you can afford to pay it in cash. If not, then do not proceed with the transaction.
  • Stay below your credit limit, ideally lower than 30% of your available credit.
  • Never max out your card. Spending beyond your credit limit will make it hard for you to pay off your balances. You will also have to pay over-the-limit fees.

3. Check your card and sales slip after every purchase.

How to Use Credit Cards Wisely Keep a careful watch over your credit card to avoid any error in the transaction. If the cashier will swipe your card twice, ask for a proof that the transaction (the first swipe) is canceled. Always check all the details on the sales slip before signing it. Make sure that the amount indicated on the slip matches the actual amount of your purchase. Do not sign a blank slip. As soon as the cashier returns your card to you, check it to make sure it is yours and it is not tampered.

4. Protect your credit cards against theft and fraud.

How to Use Credit Cards Wisely Credit cards have security features such as the EMV chip, hologram, security code, and signature panel. But it does not mean that yours is 100% safe from people who are out to use credit cards for unauthorized transactions. You are responsible for keeping your card safe and secure. Here are the dos and don'ts to avoid becoming a victim of a scam.

Be aware of the different credit card scams.

Aside from physical theft, scammers can steal your information in other ways:
  • Identity theft. Scammers hack into a merchant's database or pose as bank representative to get the data they need.
  • Skimming. Fraudsters illegally copy someone's information from a credit card's magnetic strip. They may use the stolen details for online transactions and producing fake credit cards.
  • Phishing. Fake emails or text messages from the bank asking the recipient for credit card details.

Don't share your credit card information with anyone.

Keep your credit card details private, especially your account number, card expiration date, and security code. Never share them with anyone asking for your data online or over the phone. Do not reply to or click on a link in a suspicious email.

Don't use free Wi-Fi in public places.

Internet shops, hotels, airports, cafes, and malls are among the unsafest places to perform online transactions because it is easy for hackers to steal your personal data over public Wi-Fi connections.

Be careful when using your credit card online.

Before you shop online, check the URL address of the website. A secure site starts with "https" (and not "http") and has the padlock icon. Avoid saving your credit card information on the website by unchecking the box that asks you to save your details.

5. Monitor your card activity regularly.

How to Use Credit Cards Wisely Responsible credit card users check their card activity at least once a week. It takes only a couple of minutes to monitor the transactions made using your credit card. That way, you ensure that you spend within your budget, do not exceed your credit limit, avoid penalty fees, and have no unauthorized transactions charged to your card. Here are the easy ways to monitor your credit card transactions:
  • Set up an online account with your bank. This allows you to review your expenses using the bank's website or mobile app.
  • Subscribe to email or mobile alerts that prompt you each time your card is used.
  • Keep all your credit card receipts and a running total of your expenses.

6. Avoid making cash advances.

How to Use Credit Cards Wisely Cash advances on credit cards are an expensive form of credit and an easy way to incur debt. Each time you withdraw cash from an ATM using your credit card, you will have to pay around 5% cash advance fee. Interest rates for cash advances are also higher than regular purchases. Most credit cards have no grace period on cash advances, so you cannot avoid a finance charge on a cash advance unless you pay it off quickly.

7. Read your credit card statements thoroughly.

How to Use Credit Cards Wisely Each time your billing statement arrives, do not just look at the minimum amount due, outstanding balance, and the due date. The statement contains other details that you must keep an eye out for, such as each transaction detail. Review all your credit card transactions listed on your billing statement and ensure the following:
  • The amounts for all purchases are correct.
  • Your last payment, rebates, and other credits were applied properly.
  • There are no errors and unauthorized charges on your card.
If you spot any unauthorized transactions on your credit card statement, report it immediately to your credit card provider.

8. Pay your all monthly bills in full.

Many Filipino credit card users fall into the debt trap because of one costly mistake: making only the minimum payment. If you do that, you will end up shelling out more money to pay the interest. Credit cards are among the most expensive forms of debt, with monthly interest rates ranging from 2.00% to 3.54%. Banks also charge at a compounding interesting rate. This means if you often carry over balances, you are charged interest not just on the amount you owe but also on your interest. The only way to enjoy your credit card rewards and avoid finance charges is to always pay the total amount due in full by the due date. Ignore the minimum amount due and pretend as if it does not exist.

9. Pay your credit card bills on time.

Missing or delaying payments is another no-no when it comes to using credit cards. On top of the finance charge, you will also be slapped with a late payment fee each time you pay your balance after the due date. In the Philippines, late payment fees can go as high as Php 750 or 8% of the total amount due. Aside from avoiding late fees, paying your monthly balances on or before the due date helps you improve your credit history and keep your monthly credit card payments low.

10. Do not use your card when you cannot pay in full.

Sometimes, certain emergencies and unexpected expenses keep you from paying your balance in full. During those times, the most logical thing to do is to pay at least the minimum amount due on time and avoid adding up to your balances. Until you can pay off your credit card balance, put your card away and don't use it. This way, you can avoid racking up credit card debt.

Be a smart credit card user!

Now that you know how to use a credit card wisely, you can avoid the costs and stress of dealing with debt and other problems caused by misuse of credit cards. It takes practice to be a responsible credit card user, and the best time to start is now.

Credit Card Market in the Philippines | Moneymax

Are you looking for the best credit card and exploring your choices? When you enter the credit card market for the first time, the many choices can overwhelm you. From the wide array of credit cards out there, how will you pick the right card for you? It is not as hard as you think. Shopping for a credit card is much like shopping for items like clothes and shoes: you check out each product’s features, prices, and quality. This is why you have to know what your options are and understand how they work. Check this in-depth guide to understanding the credit card market in the Philippines so that you will have an idea of what cards may suit your needs.

Credit card providers in the Philippines

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) supervises banks that issue credit cards to protect consumers’ rights. Here are the BSP-regulated providers of credit cards in the Philippines:
  • Bank of Commerce
  • BDO
  • BPI
  • BPI Family Savings Bank
  • China Bank
  • Citibank
  • EastWest Bank
  • Equicom Savings Bank
  • HSBC
  • Land Bank
  • Maybank
  • Metrobank
  • PNB
  • RCBC
  • SB Cards Corporation
  • Security Bank
  • Standard Chartered Bank
  • UnionBank

Types of credit cards in the Philippines

Banks offer many types of credit cards, each with its own set of benefits and fees. Anyone looking to get a credit card can find the best one and save money by comparing all the options.

Secured vs. unsecured credit cards

Secured credit cards are like any regular card, except that they require collateral: a deposit account with the issuing bank. The deposit amount may be equal to or a percentage of the credit limit. If you have any unpaid balance on your secured credit card, the bank will deduct the amount from your account. Unsecured credit cards are the more popular and common card types. Unlike secured cards, unsecured cards do not require any collateral. When assigning a credit limit, banks assess the person’s income and credit history.

Regular vs. premium credit cards

Regular cards are the most common types of credit cards. They come with basic rewards, lower credit limits, lower or no annual fees, and higher interest rates of 2% to 3%. They are the best credit cards for beginners and low-income earners. Premium credit cards provide added perks and exclusive privileges. For example, Platinum credit cards provide exclusive access to concerts or shows before the official ticket selling date. Premium cards have higher annual fees, higher credit limits, and lower interest rates than regular cards. This is why premium credit cards are typically issued to high-income earners and big spenders.

Other types of credit cards

  • Rewards cards allow earning rewards points for each purchase that can be redeemed for gift certificates and free or discounted flights and hotel stays.
  • Cashback cards allow earning rebates on goods and services for each purchase.
  • Low balance transfer cards consolidate high-interest balances into a single, lower interest rate card.
  • Fuel cards allow earning rebates on fuel expenses.
  • Shopping cards allow earning rewards and saving money when shopping at popular retail stores.
  • Frequent flyer cards allow points to be redeemed for plane tickets. They are ideal for travelers who want to earn air miles for each purchase.
  • Air miles cards allow redeeming points for any airline. These are ideal for flyers with no particular preference for an airline.
  • Specialty cards are designed for specific needs and customers (e.g., women, online shoppers, and customers of a particular business).
  • Business cards help business owners and employees manage expenses such as travel and procurement. Benefits may include expense reports, travel insurance, and low introductory rates.

Credit card payment networks

When choosing a credit card, consider also the network that processes payments between banks and merchants. Visa and MasterCard are the largest and most popular networks of credit cards in the world. The smaller players include American Express, JCB, UnionPay, and Diners Club. Card payment networks decide where a credit card can be accepted. For example, if Visa and MasterCard are the only accepted cards in a certain merchant, you cannot pay using a JCB card. These networks also provide unique perks such as travel assistance, emergency services, and exclusive offers. Credit card networks offer different features and benefits that suit different consumers. Compare these networks to find out which one suits your needs best. The table below compares the features of the major payment networks of credit cards in the Philippines

How to compare credit cards

Now that you know the different types of credit cards, the next logical step is to compare your options. Skipping this step can be a costly mistake, as the wrong choice may put you in debt rather than save you money. It helps to know what features to look for based on your needs and purpose for using a card. Beginners, travelers, and shoppers must consider certain credit card features.

Best credit cards for first timers

Credit cards for beginners should be easy to qualify for and affordable to own. The best credit cards for starters offer all or some of these features:
  • Zero or low annual fees
  • Low interest rates. Low interest credit cards charge a smaller fraction of interest than regular cards. They may provide limited or fewer rewards, but the interest rates of 1% to 2.75% make up for it.
  • Low minimum annual income requirement. First timers such as employees who are fresh out of college and do not earn much may qualify for credit cards with Php 120,000 to Php 180,000 annual income requirement.

Best credit cards for travel

By using their credit cards, frequent travelers can enjoy travel rewards such as air miles, hotel discounts and freebies, and airport lounge access. These rewards are ideal for travelers who can pay their monthly balances in full. The best credit cards for travel have these features in common:
  • Free travel insurance coverage that can go as high as Php 20 million
  • Exclusive lounge access to certain airports in the Philippines
  • Air miles or rewards points that can be redeemed for airline tickets, hotel accommodations, or travel vouchers

Best rewards credit cards

Rewards programs are among the top reasons people use credit cards because they maximize the cards’ benefits. Note, though, that some credit cards with zero or very low annual fees and low interest rates do not offer rewards. If credit card rewards are important to you, here are the features worth looking into:
  • Non-expiring rewards points so that your all your accumulated points will not go to waste
  • The kind and variety of rewards such as cash back rebates, shopping and dining gift certificates, annual fee waivers, or charitable donations
  • The highest cashback rate in the category you spend the most on (e.g., groceries, gas, dining, shopping, utility bills). The best rebate credit cards in the Philippines allow you to redeem 0.2% to 6% of your monthly purchases.
How do you find out which credit card is right for you? It starts with knowing as much as you can about your choices in the credit card market in the Philippines. Understanding the differences between credit cards and how they work also matters. This way, you can confidently pick the perfect card for your needs that will not put you in debt.
There are many types of credit cards in the Philippines, each with its own features and fees. Secured credit cards, for example, require collateral as compared to unsecured credit cards that represent a non-collateralized line of credit. Other types of credit cards include rewards credit cards, cashback credit cards, shopping cards, and travel credit cards.
Before submitting a credit card application, make sure you meet and submit the basic credit card requirements.
  • At least 21 years old
  • Regular employment status
  • Proof of identity
  • Proof of income
  • Accomplished credit card application form
Learn more about credit cards for beginners here.
There are many ways to use a credit card. Most cardholders use them to pay for products and services such as grocery items, utility bills, and airline tickets. Some cardholders, however, use them to build a good credit score and earn credit card rewards points. When getting a credit card, make sure to apply for one that suits your lifestyle and needs so you can use it to your advantage.
Common credit card fees include annual fee, finance charge fee, late payment fee, over-the-limit fee, and cash advance fee. You can avoid certain credit card fees when you make full and timely payments. Read more about this here.
You can get credit card rewards points by simply using your credit card in partner establishments. Earned rewards points can be used to redeem gift cards, products, and even flights. Basically, credit card rewards points are incentives given by banks to frequent cardholders. Know about the latest credit card promos and how to redeem rewards points from your credit card provider.
Apart from the printed monthly statement of account, you can check your credit card bill via online banking, mobile banking, and e-mail. As for the credit card payment, you can pay your credit card balance over-the-counter (in a branch of your bank), online, or via payment centers like Bayad Center, Cebuana Lhuillier, and SM Bills Payment.
Many things could happen if you don't pay your credit card bill. First, you can easily get into credit card debt. When you skip a credit card payment, your unpaid balance will go over to the next billing cycle, which will then include a finance charge and late payment fee. You'll also lose your credit card perks and ruin your credit history.
Banks conduct credit evaluations when deciding on an applicant's credit limit. To accurately determine your creditworthiness, banks consider a variety of factors such as your income, credit history, and debt-to-income ratio. Read more about credit limit in this article
While a higher income raises the chance of getting approved for a credit card, it doesn't mean that low-income earners can't get a credit card too. If you have a low monthly income, apply for a credit card with the following features: low annual income requirement, zero to low annual fee, and low interest rate.
Just because you were denied for a credit card doesn't mean you can't be approved the next time you apply. To raise the likelihood of getting an approval, wait at least three months to reapply (this is to avoid hurting your credit score) and make sure to compare and apply for the right card.