Can’t Decide Which Card to Get? Top 9 Credit Card Features to Look for

Princess Anaviso

Princess Anaviso

Last updated October 31, 2023

In an increasingly digital economy, you can’t keep ignoring credit cards and the benefits that come with them. A plastic card can do many things for you that a wad of cash simply can’t. 

Getting a credit card is one of the sound financial decisions you can make. When used responsibly, a credit card can help you manage your finances better. Apart from convenience, credit cards offer many other perks that can make your transactions more secure and rewarding overall. 

Whether you’re looking for your first credit card or your fourth, you have to do your due diligence to make sure that you get a card that suits your lifestyle and purchasing behavior. When comparing credit cards, make a checklist of your must-haves and non-negotiables. 

To help you out, we made a list of some of the best credit card features that make for the perfect card. Check it out below.

9 Credit Card Features to Look for 

credit card features and benefits to look for

Is there a universal formula for finding the perfect credit card? The answer is a flat no—one person’s definition of perfect isn’t always the same as another person’s. What makes a credit card work for you depends on many personal factors, like what you intend to use it for and what perks you expect to get.

When making a credit card features list, it’s best to prioritize the attributes and components that will give you the most value in the long run. Don’t just go for a credit card with the most rewards or rebates if that’s not what suits your lifestyle best.

Look for other considerations as well, including the following credit card features and benefits:

📌 Auto-Charge Facility

If you have a lot of recurring payments that you struggle to manually keep track of, you can opt to automatically pay your bills with a credit card by auto-charging your account. The auto-charge facility is a feature that lets you pay your credit card dues every month by linking your credit account to your bank account so that your monthly credit card bill gets automatically deducted from the money in your bank account. 

The auto-charge facility is one of the most underrated features of a credit card. When used correctly, it can save you a lot of mental bandwidth in dealing with recurring payments. With this feature, you wouldn’t have to worry about missing payment deadlines and incurring late payment fees. All you have to do is keep your bank account sufficiently funded to make sure your bills always get paid on time. 

Many banks and credit card providers in the Philippines offer an auto-charge feature. Some of them partner with different merchants to help you consolidate your monthly dues—from telecoms and internet bills to utilities and insurance payments. 

Best Credit Card Providers That Offer Auto-Charge Facility

If you have an HSBC credit card, this is one of the HSBC credit card features you wouldn’t want to miss out on. If you enroll in the HSBC Auto-Charge Program, you can earn bonus points for every automatic payment transaction. You can exchange those points later on for reward items or air miles.[1] 

HSBC Red Mastercard

HSBC Red Mastercard
  • 4x rewards points on online, shopping, dining, and overseas spend
  • 1 rewards point for every ₱20 spend

HSBC Gold Visa Cash Back

HSBC Gold Visa Cashback
  • 5% cash back on dining and 0.50% cash back on all other spend
  • 6% rebate on your first Caltex fuel spend; 3% rebate year-round

🎁 Free Gift from Moneymax: Giftaway Cash Credits, JBL Flip 6, or JBL Wave Beam

moneymax hsbc credit card promo

Eligible cards: HSBC Red Mastercard and Gold Visa Cash Back

Promo period: Until June 30, 2024

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Likewise, if you have a BPI credit card, you can set up an automatic payment arrangement to settle not only your credit card balance but also your electricity and telco bills through the BPI Auto-Charge Feature.[2] 

BPI Rewards Card

BPI Rewards Card
  • 1 rewards point for every ₱35 spend
  • Flexible installment plans with terms of up to 36 months

📌 Dual Currency Billing

Do you travel a lot? Then you must be familiar with the hassle of shopping abroad. Before paying with cash, you need to convert your money to the currency used in your destination country. If you’re using a credit card, you have to take care of foreign currency transaction fees and other taxes. It’s a lot to deal with and it can easily get exhausting, especially if you always shop abroad.

Luckily, you have many options for credit cards best suited for travel. To save precious time and effort, you can get a credit card with dual currency billing, which is one of the most sought-after credit card features in the Philippines for frequent travelers. 

With a dual currency credit card, you can separate your international transactions from your local ones. Purchases from abroad get credited to a separate dollar account that imposes little to no conversion fees.

That’s right—dual currency billing lets you do away with hefty conversion rates and other exorbitant transaction fees. With this credit card feature, you can easily manage all your overseas spend. All you have to do is swipe or tap your card, and you’re all good and gravy.

Best Credit Cards With Dual Currency Billing

One example is the Security Bank Platinum Mastercard, which, apart from giving you all the benefits of a regular dual currency card, also rewards you with complimentary airport lounge access.[3] 

Security Bank Platinum Mastercard

Security Bank Platinum Mastercard
  • 2 rewards points for every ₱20 spend
  • Free travel insurance of up to ₱10 million

🎁 Free Gift from Moneymax: ₱2,500 Cash Credits, JBL Charge 5 Speaker, or Sony WH-CH520 Wireless Headphones

security bank welcome gift

Eligible cards: Gold Mastercard, Complete Cashback Platinum Mastercard, Platinum Mastercard, World Mastercard

Promo period: Until June 30, 2024

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Another great example of a dual currency credit card in the Philippines is the Metrobank Dollar Mastercard, which gives you greater convenience when doing transactions in US dollars.[4] 

Metrobank Dollar Mastercard

Metrobank Dollar Mastercard
  • Contactless payments
  • Embedded chip to protect against credit card fraud 

📌 Installment Plans

Some people sign up for credit cards specifically to get access to installment options for big-ticket items. Making an expensive purchase like furniture or a gadget and paying for it in one go can set you back financially, so it helps to have an affordable installment option on the table.

You can find credit cards that offer a 0% interest installment plan, allowing you to pay for nothing more than the original price of the purchase. This puts you in a win-win situation where you can set up affordable monthly payments without shelling out anything extra for additional fees.

While some credit cards can automatically divide your purchases into manageable installments, others offer this as an option that you can apply for, subject to approval. 

Best Credit Card Providers With Installment Plans

One local bank that offers credit card installment plans in the Philippines is UnionBank. With its in-house installment facility, you can choose among three options: UnionBank EasyConvert, UnionBank EasyTransfer, and UnionBank EasyCash

EasyConvert lets you convert your straight payments into fixed monthly installments. EasyTransfer lets you transfer your other credit card balances to your UnionBank credit card, allowing you to pay in monthly installments. Lastly, EasyCash lets you convert your credit limit to cash, which you can also pay back in installments.[5] 

UnionBank Rewards Credit Card

UnionBank Rewards Credit Card
  • 3x non-expiring rewards points when you shop and dine here and abroad
  • 1 non-expiring rewards point for every ₱30 spend

🎁 Free Gift from Moneymax: Marshall Emberton II, Dolce Gusto Genio S Plus, Apple AirPods 2, or JBL Tune 720BT, or Giftaway Cash Credits

moneymax unionbank credit card welcome gift

Eligible card: Any UnionBank credit card 

Promo period: Until June 30, 2024

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This Moneymax UnionBank welcome gift promo runs until June 30, 2024 only.

Per DTI Fair Trade Permit No. FTEB-193077 Series of 2024. Terms and conditions apply.

Per DTI Fair Trade Permit No. FTEB-193104 Series of 2024. Terms and conditions apply.

Per DTI Fair Trade Permit No. FTEB-194518 Series of 2024. Terms and conditions apply.

Note: The promo is exclusive to carded applicants who do not have an existing principal credit card issued by UnionBank and/or Citi.


Another bank that offers installment options is BPI. With the BPI Special Installment Plan (SIP), you can enjoy up to 36 months of installments with 0% interest at any participating partner merchant. This program is open to all BPI credit cardholders. 

Moreover, if you have a favorable credit history, you may also be entitled to the BPI 100% Bonus Madness Limit, which increases your purchasing power to up to 100% of your regular credit line. This is surely one of the best BPI credit card features to have when you need to make installment purchases!

BPI Gold Rewards Card

BPI Gold Rewards Card
  • 1 rewards point for every ₱35 spend
  • Free travel insurance of up to ₱10 million

📌 Balance Conversion

Credit cards are financial tools that empower you to manage your finances better. However, when used irresponsibly, they can also cause you to rack up debt and fall into a financial hellhole. When this happens, you might end up struggling to overcome a ballooning credit card balance. 

Lucky for you, there’s a credit card feature called balance conversion that helps address this.

Balance conversion essentially allows you to convert your outstanding credit card balance into affordable equated monthly installments (EMI). Your bank or credit card provider can offer you flexible repayment options, usually with rates lower than standard credit card interest rates. 

This feature allows you to spread your balance over an extended period, breaking down large debts into manageable payments. By maximizing this feature, you can escape the debt trap, reduce financial stress, and improve your financial health.

Best Credit Card Providers With Balance Conversion

A decent number of banks in the Philippines offer this feature. In fact, it’s one of the Metrobank credit card features that you might want to look into as the bank offers balance conversion plans with flexible payment tenors of up to 60 months.[6] 

Metrobank Titanium Mastercard®

Metrobank Titanium
  • 2x rewards points on dining, department store, and online purchases
  • 1 point for every ₱20 spend

Metrobank Platinum Mastercard®

Metrobank Peso Platinum Mastercard
  • 1 rewards point for every ₱20 spend
  • Up to 50% off on premium dining offers

Metrobank World Mastercard®

Metrobank World Mastercard
  • 2x rewards points for international purchases
  • 1 rewards point for every ₱20 spend

🎁 Free Gift from Moneymax: ₱2,500 Cash Credits, Dolce Gusto Piccolo XS, or JBL Clip 5

moneymax metrobank credit card promo

Eligible cards: Metrobank Titanium Mastercard®, Platinum Mastercard®, and World Mastercard®

Promo period: Until June 30, 2024

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This Moneymax Metrobank eGift/Dolce Gusto/JBL promo runs until June 30, 2024 only. Hurry and apply now!

Per DTI Fair Trade Permit No. FTEB-194371 Series of 2024. Terms and conditions apply. 

Note: Applicant must be an existing credit cardholder in good standing for at least nine months.


HSBC also offers this, allowing you to convert your balance to affordable installments payable for up to 24 months. 

📌 E-Commerce Purchase Protection

Purchase protection is arguably one of the best credit card features you can ask for as it acts as a kind of short-term insurance in the event that an item you purchased gets damaged or stolen. 

With this feature, you can insure your purchases against theft or damage for a certain coverage amount and period of time that’s predetermined by your bank. To use this feature, you have to present substantial documentation that illustrates your case. 

For example, in the case of stolen goods, a police report might be one of the requirements. Make sure to check your bank’s terms and conditions or benefit statement to see how to proceed. 

Best Credit Cards With E-Commerce Purchase Protection

Some of the best credit cards for online shopping have an e-commerce purchase protection feature, which specifically covers goods bought online. 

For example, HSBC offers this feature to HSBC Platinum Visa Rebate cardholders, with a limit of ₱5,000 per event and an annual coverage of ₱15,000.[7]

HSBC Platinum Visa Rebate

HSBC Platinum Visa Rebate
  • 5% rebate on every shopping and travel transaction
  • 6% rebate on your first Caltex fuel spend; 3% year-round

Security Bank also has an e-commerce purchase protection plan of up to US$200 per occurrence for its Security Bank Platinum Mastercard cardholders.

Likewise, BPI’s eCommerce Purchase Protection for eligible Visa cards (i.e., Amore Cashback Card, Amore Platinum Cashback Card, and Signature Card) has an annual coverage of up to US$200 per claim. Apart from damaged and stolen goods, you can also use it to claim insurance for wrong deliveries. 

BPI Amore Cashback Card

BPI Amore Cashback Card
  • 4% cashback on supermarkets and department store spend
  • Up to 1% cashback on drugstore and bills payment spend; up to 0.3% cash back on all other local retail spend

BPI Amore Platinum Cashback Card

BPI Amore Platinum Cashback Card
  • 4% cashback on dining and online delivery spend
  • 1% cashback on supermarket and department store spend; up to 0.3% cashback on other international and local retail spend

BPI Signature Card

BPI Signature Card
  • 2 BPI points for every ₱20 spend
  • Up to ₱20 million free travel accident and inconvenience benefit

Meanwhile, BPI’s standard purchase protection insurance for BPI Platinum Rewards Card cardholders has an annual coverage of up to US$500 available for 180 consecutive days after purchase.

BPI Platinum Rewards Card

BPI Platinum Rewards Card
  • 2 BPI points for every ₱30 local spend
  • 2 BPI points for every ₱20 foreign currency spend online and abroad

📌 Contactless Payment

To make your in-store transactions faster and easier, get a credit card with a contactless payment option. That way, all you have to do when making a purchase is hold your card near the merchant’s payment-enabled device and wait for your payment to be credited to your account. 

Contactless technology works by allowing transactions to occur through a secure radio interface. In a post-pandemic world, this technology is one of the top credit card features that’s bound to stand the test of time. Its benefits are clear and incontestible—that’s why more card providers are increasingly adopting this technology.

Best Credit Card Providers With Contactless Payment

To check if your credit card has this tap-and-go feature, look for the Contactless Indicator on your card. Examples of banks that allow contactless credit card transactions are Metrobank, Security Bank, UnionBank, HSBC, and BPI.

📌 Virtual Companion Card

Why carry around a physical card when you can have a virtual version of your credit card saved on your phone? Some banks offer virtual cards as a way to give cardholders instant access to their credit line. 

It’s also a lot easier to shop online using a virtual card. You won’t have to refer to your physical card when checking out from your favorite online shopping apps. 

Beyond ease and convenience, having a virtual card that serves as a companion to your primary card is one of the most underrated credit card security features that can protect your financial information from fraudsters. Since a virtual card comes with its own card number, you can use it as a precaution to secure your transactions every time you make an online purchase. Plus, should your virtual card get compromised, you can have it frozen while keeping your original card active.

Best Virtual Companion Card

One of the most notable virtual companion cards in the Philippines is the BPI eCredit Card, which is specifically designed for online use. Apart from the added security it offers, it also has no annual fees and a lower and adjustable sublimit. You can use your BPI eCredit Card to earn BPI points per transaction, which you can exchange for gift vouchers, shopping credits, and airline miles, among others.[8]

BPI eCredit Card

BPI eCredit Card
  • 1 BPI point for every ₱35 spend
  • No annual fees

📌 Free Airport Lounge Access

If you’re a frequent flyer, you’ll benefit greatly from free access to different airport lounges. Just take note that not all credit cards offer this feature, so you’ll have to be intentional in your search if you want one that grants you this free pass.

Best Credit Cards with Free Airport Lounge Access

Fortunately, some of the credit cards with the best air mile offerings also offer free airport lounge access. For example, there’s LoungeKey, which is one of the top Security Bank credit card features specifically designed for frequent travelers. This feature is exclusive to Security Bank Platinum Mastercard holders. 

With LoungeKey, you can enjoy access to over 1,000 airport lounges in more than 500 airports around the world. Part of your additional lounge benefits include complimentary refreshments and snacks, so you can always stay full while waiting for a flight.[9]

Another bank that offers this feature is BPI. Specifically, cardholders of the BPI Platinum Rewards Mastercard are entitled to up to four free passes every year in select airport lounges. This comes on top of other airport privileges, like access to over 800 offers from various retail, dining, spa, and other merchants worldwide via the Priority Pass app.

UnionBank cardholders are also entitled to free airport lounge access. Specifically, owners of cards like the UnionBank Platinum Mastercard, Miles+ Platinum Visa Card, Gold Visa Card, Platinum Visa Card, Cebu Pacific Platinum Visa Credit Card,  and Go Rewards Platinum Visa Credit Card can enjoy unlimited entry to the Marhaba Airport Lounges at NAIA Terminals 1 and 3.[10]

UnionBank Platinum Mastercard

UB Platinum Mastercard
  • ₱5,000 cashback when you spend a minimum of ₱40,000 within 60 days after card approval
  • 1% cash back on all spending categories

UnionBank Miles+ Platinum Visa Card

UnionBank Miles+ Platinum Visa
  • 1 rewards point for every ₱25 spend
  • 1.5 rewards points for every ₱25 travel spend

UnionBank Gold Visa Card

  • 1 rewards point for every ₱35 spend
  • Convenients payment with Visa payWave

UnionBank Platinum Visa Card

UnionBank Platinum Visa

  • Dedicated concierge service 24/7
  • Up to ₱10 million free travel insurance

UnionBank Cebu Pacific Platinum Visa Credit Card

UB Cebu Pacific Platinum
  • 1 Go Rewards Point for every ₱200 spend
  • 1 Go Rewards Point for every ₱100 Cebu Pacific spend

UnionBank Go Rewards Platinum Visa Credit Card 

UnionBank Go Rewards Platinum Visa
  • 1 Go Rewards Point for every ₱200 spend
  • 1 Go Rewards Point for every ₱100 Robinsons Retail brands spend

See also: Beat the Rush: 8 Options for Airport Lounge Access in the Philippines

📌 SMS Inquiry or Text Alerts

Despite improvements in our network infrastructure, the Philippines is still a straggler in terms of internet quality and speed. It’s not uncommon to encounter difficulties in staying online to make credit card transactions. That’s why it’s great to have simple credit card features like SMS inquiry and text alert services to help you stay on top of your transactions even when you’re not online.

Best Credit Card Providers With SMS Inquiry or Text Alerts

Metrobank is one of the providers that offer this service. With the Metrobank MTXT Facility, you can check your credit card’s available, outstanding, and statement balance by simply sending an SMS using your mobile phone. 

Security Bank also has a similar feature called the Security Bank SMS eSOA Facility, which lets you access your Statement of Account (SOA) through an SMS that provides a summary of your monthly dues as well as a secure and unique link to your electronic SOA.

Final Thoughts

With the right credit card features, you can fully maximize and elevate your whole credit card experience—from conveniently paying bills or shopping online, to carrying a reliable, pocket-size travel companion that gets you access to exclusive places. 

Don’t settle for whatever’s immediately available. If you can afford to shop around, take the time to find the credit card that suits you best. We promise it’ll be well worth the effort!

Compare credit cards with Moneymax

Sources:

Princess is a seasoned writer with over seven years of experience in digital marketing and corporate communications. She took master's degree units in Creative Writing at the University of the Philippines Diliman and graduated with a bachelor's degree in English Language and Literature from Saint Louis University. Beyond writing, she enjoys reading novels, watching series, and crocheting. Follow Princess on LinkedIn.

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