No Income Documents? 3 Credit Card Alternatives to Consider

Published: March 19, 2018 | Updated: September 23, 2020 | Posted by: Venus Zoleta | Credit Card




If you’re a freelancer, stay-at-home mom, college student, fresh graduate, or just someone without a stable income (or no income at all), you know how hard it is to qualify for a credit card.

Most credit cards in the Philippines require proof of income such as payslips, certificate of employment, income tax return, and DTI or SEC registration papers (for business owners.)

Don’t have any of these documents? No problem. You can still enjoy the perks of a credit card minus the hassles of securing income documents by choosing one of these alternatives: secured credit cards, supplementary credit cards, and prepaid cards.

All these financial tools share the same functions and benefits that credit cards provide, except that they don’t require income documents and conduct background checks. Unemployed or self-employed Filipinos with no fixed income or zero/poor credit history can easily get such credit card alternatives.

Secured Credit Cards

What is a Secured Credit Card?

A secured credit card is one and the same as a regular credit card. Check the “Secured vs. Unsecured Credit Cards” section of this guide to find out the pros and cons of both secured and regular cards.

For secured cards, banks require collateral in the form of a savings or time deposit account. The credit limit is a percentage, from 80% to 95%, of the deposit amount. To maintain the credit limit, you must keep the deposit for over at least one year. You may request the bank to convert your secured credit card to a regular card after 12 months.

Because of the collateral, it’s easy to get approved for a secured credit card without having to submit any income document. Any missed credit card payment or unpaid balance is deducted from the cardholder’s bank account.

What are the Available Secured Credit Cards in the Philippines?

Secured Credit CardsAvailable CardsMinimum DepositCredit Limit
AUB Secured Credit CardAny AUB credit cardPHP 25,000 for AUB Easy Mastercard (higher for other AUB credit cards)80% of deposit
BPI Express StartAny BPI credit cardPHP 10,000 (savings account) / PHP 50,000 (time deposit)90% of deposit
Metrobank Save and SwipeAny Metrobank credit cardPHP 12,00090% of deposit
RCBC Bankard InstaCardAny RCBC BankardPHP 10,000 / USD 2,00095% of deposit
Security Bank Fast TrackAny Security Bank MastercardPHP 15,000 (savings account) / PHP 100,000 (time deposit)80% of deposit

How to Get a Secured Credit Card

Simply go to a branch of your bank and tell the staff that you’re applying for a secured card. The bank will require you to open a deposit account (if you don’t have one with the bank yet), fill out an application form and a Deed of Assignment form, and present a valid ID.

Supplementary Credit Cards

Credit Card Alternatives |

What is a Supplementary Credit Card?

Most banks in the Philippines issue supplementary cards as an extension of the credit they offer to their primary (or principal) cardholders. A bank may offer from three up to seven supplementary cards to their credit card customers.
Supplementary cards are usually passed on to family members, especially those who aren’t qualified for a regular credit card due to age or lack of income. Supplementary cardholders can be a primary cardholder’s unemployed spouse and siblings, children (at least 13 years old), and aging parents.

Like regular cards, supplementary cards are meant for cashless transactions. They also earn rewards, qualify for promos, and share the same credit limit with the primary card. However, the primary cardholder has the full control of how much each supplementary cardholder can spend.

How to Get a Supplementary Credit Card

You can’t apply for a supplementary card by yourself. Banks allow only the primary cardholder to file the application for supplementary cards. So if you want one, ask a family member who owns a credit card to enroll you as his or her beneficiary. If no one in the family has a credit card yet, you may try to ask anyone who might be qualified for a credit card to apply for one and sign you up for a supplementary card.

Once someone agrees with your request, you go together to the bank to apply for a supplementary credit card. Both of you will complete and sign the application form. You also need to present your photo-bearing valid ID.

Reloadable Prepaid Cards

prepaid card

What is a Prepaid Card?

Prepaid cards have become a popular alternative to credit cards and debit cards nowadays. All these financial tools allow convenient cashless transactions in any establishment that accepts Visa or Mastercard.

Before you can use a prepaid card, you have to reload it with money. Topping up a prepaid card several times may be inconvenient, but it can be an advantage in the sense that you won’t overspend unlike when you use a credit card. With a prepaid card, you’re limited to spending the amount you’ve loaded into it. And unlike debit cards, you don’t need to open a bank account to get a prepaid card.

Prepaid cards have these features in common:

  • Used for cashless payments for online, local, and overseas purchases, ATM withdrawals, bills payment, money transfer, and/or mobile phone reloading
  • No required maintaining balance
  • No credit checks
  • Some link to a PayPal account
  • Reloading options: over-the-counter deposit, ATM, online banking, mobile app, phone banking, malls, convenience stores, pawnshops, and more
  • Minors as young as 7 years old can apply for a prepaid card

What are the Available Prepaid Cards in the Philippines?

Prepaid CardsCard NetworkUnique FeaturesFeesMaximum Reloading AmountValidity Period
BDO Cash CardMastercardN/AOne-time card fee: PHP 150
Reload fee: PHP 15
PHP 10,000 / PHP 25,000 /
PHP 100,000
Displayed on the card
BDO Visa Travel Money CardVisa
  • Used only for overseas purchases and withdrawals
  • Load up to eight foreign currencies at a time (USD, EUR, HKD, SGD, JPY, AUD, GBP, and RMB)
  • Up to PHP 5 million travel insurance coverage
One-time card fee: PHP 400
Reload fee: PHP 100
USD 12,000 or equivalent in other foreign currency5 years

BPI Amore Visa Prepaid

  • Earn points to get exclusive rewards at Ayala Malls
  • Use a Beep card for an additional fee of PHP 50
One-time card fee: PHP 200
Monthly maintenance fee: PHP 100
PHP 100,0004 years
BPI ePay MastercardMastercardN/AOne-time card fee: PHP 300
Periodic fee: PHP 99 (charged at the start of the third and fourth year)
PHP 100,0004 years
BPI Express CashMastercardN/AN/APHP 20,0002 years
BPI More Fun Visa Prepaid CardVisaCustomizable card designOne-time card fee: PHP 300 / PHP 350
Additional fee: PHP 100 for delivery outside Metro Manila
PHP 100,000 per month18 months

BPI My ePrepaid MasterCard

MastercardLink to a PayPal accountOne-time card fee: PHP 500 (Metro Manila) or PHP 600 (outside Metro Manila)PHP 100,0002 years
EastWest Prepaid CardVisaN/AOne-time card fee: PHP 100PHP 100,000N/A
EastWest Travel Money CardVisa
  • Used only for overseas purchases and withdrawal
  • Load up to six foreign currencies (USD, EUR, HKD, GBP, AUD, and JPY)
One-time card fee: PHP 500
Reloading fee: USD/EUR/GBP/AUD 5, HKD 50, or JPY 500
Equivalent to USD 12,000 combined currenciesN/A
GCash MasterCardMastercard
  • Use a Beep card for an additional fee
  • Access PayPal balance through GCash app
One-time card fee: PHP 150
With beep: PHP 210
PHP 12,0005 years
GCash American Express Virtual PayAmerican Express
  • A virtual card for local and international online purchases
  • Comes with a personalized virtual US address for payments to websites that allow only cards with a US billing address
Annual fee: PHP 250GCash wallet capDisplayed on the card
  • Mobile app for easy fund management
  • Built-in Beep card
  • Link to a PayPal account
One-time card fee: PHP 150PHP 50,000 /
PHP 100,000 per month

4 years

PSBank Prepaid MastercardMastercardN/AReload fee: PHP 10 (via PSBank branch)PHP 100,000 per monthN/A
Smart MoneyMastercardN/AReloading fee: PHP 2.50 (via mobile banking)PHP 50,0005 years
UnionBank EONVisaN/AAnnual fee: PHP 100 / PHP 200 / PHP 350PHP 5,000 up to
no limit
YAZZ CardVisaComes with PHP 50 initial loadOne-time card fee: PHP 300
Reloading fee: PHP 20
Per day:
PHP 10,000
Per month:
PHP 100,000
5 years

How to Get a Prepaid Card

You can visit any branch of your chosen bank or use its online application facility. Present a valid ID and complete an application form. As for non-bank prepaid cards, you can buy them directly from their respective websites or partner retailers.

Final Thoughts

Which of these credit card alternatives suit your needs best? Have you tried applying for one? Share your thoughts or experience with us!

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