12 Credit Card Fees in the Philippines to Watch Out For

Published: May 11, 2021 | Updated: September 14, 2021 | Posted by: Janine Daquio | Credit Card


credit card charges in the Philippines | Moneymax

“Having a credit card is expensive and often leads to unmanageable debt.” Agree or disagree? This is a common concern—and a big misconception—of the average Filipino about owning a plastic card. But credit cards don’t deserve such a bad rep. Just as money isn’t the root of all evil, a credit card in itself won’t drown you in debt. Rather, it’s how you compare, choose, and use credit cards.

Credit card bill shock is real, so you must find ways on how to avoid or manage it. Start by knowing the types of credit card charges in the Philippines.[1] In doing so, you can easily come up with some ways on how to save on your monthly bills.

We’ve listed down the most common types of credit card fees and charges. For easier understanding, we’ve divided the credit card fees into two categories. Each of the fees also includes the rates of the country’s major credit card providers.

Credit Card Charges in the Philippines: Service Fees for Card Use/Transactions

1. Annual Fee: PHP 300 to PHP 12,000

The annual fee is the membership fee you’ll pay every year for the convenience of using a credit card. The amount remains the same whether you use your card often or rarely.

Credit Card Annual Fees in the Philippines

BankCredit Card Annual Fee
AUBFree for life
BPIPHP 1,250 - PHP 5,500
Citibank
  • Citi Simplicity+: Free for life
  • Other Citi cards: PHP 1,500 - PHP 12,000
EastWest BankPHP 750 - PHP 2,500
HSBC
  • HSBC Premier Mastercard: Free for life
  • Other HSBC cards: PHP 1,200 - PHP 5,000
Metrobank
  • M Free Mastercard and PSBank Credit Mastercard: Free for life
  • Other Metrobank cards: PHP 1,500 - PHP 6,000
PNB
  • Ze-lo Mastercard, Cart Mastercard, and select co-branded cards: Free for life
  • Other PNB cards: PHP 300 - PHP 6,000
RCBC
  • Hexagon Club: Free for life
  • Other RCBC Bankard cards: PHP 1,500 - PHP 5,000
Security Bank
  • Next Mastercard: Free for life
  • Other Security Bank cards: PHP 2,000 - PHP 4,000
UnionBankPHP 1,500 - PHP 5,000

Note that the rates above are just for principal cards. Annual fees of supplementary cards are usually half of the principal cards’ fees. For example, if you pay PHP 1,500 for your principal card’s annual fee, your supplementary card’s annual fee will be PHP 750.

How to Avoid Annual Fees

  • Apply for or switch to a no annual fee credit card. Banks like AUB, BPI, Citibank, EastWest Bank, and Metrobank offer some credit cards with a free annual fee for life.
  • Get a card with a waived annual fee for the first year. If none of the credit cards with zero annual fee matches your needs, the next best option is a card that doesn’t charge an annual fee for the first year. At least, you’ll save thousands of bucks in a year before you start paying the annual fee.
  • Redeem your credit card rewards points for an annual fee waiver. If you’ve accumulated enough rewards points, you can use them to waive your annual fee.
  • Contact the bank to request an annual fee waiver. It may be worth asking the bank to waive your annual fee if your card is in good standing and you meet the bank’s minimum spending requirement within a certain period.

2. Cash Advance Fee: PHP 200 per transaction

credit card charges in the Philippines  - cash advance fee

Banks charge a fixed service fee of PHP 200 every time you withdraw cash from an ATM using your credit card.

Here’s a friendly reminder from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP): Credit card companies cannot impose other charges on cash advances, except for a maximum processing fee.

How to Avoid Cash Advance Fees

As much as possible, avoid making cash advances, especially for non-emergencies. If you really need instant cash, make sure to pay off your credit card balance to avoid debt and consider alternatives such as low-interest personal loans.

3. Foreign Currency Transaction Fee: Varies per bank

credit card charges in the Philippines  - foreign transaction fee

If you use your credit card when traveling abroad, you’ll be charged a percentage of the overseas transaction amount, which is automatically converted to Philippine Peso. An additional 1% assessment fee may be charged by Visa, Mastercard, or another credit card network.

Foreign Currency Transaction Fees in the Philippines

BankForeign Currency Transaction Fee
AUB1.5% service fee
BPI0.85% of the converted amount plus the Mastercard/Visa assessment fee of 1%
Citibank3.525% (bank’s service fee and Mastercard/Visa assessment fee)
EastWest Bank
  • Classic cards: 2.50% (Visa/Mastercard's assessment fee and the bank’s service fee)
  • Gold cards: 1.70% (Visa/Mastercard's assessment fee and the bank’s service fee)
HSBC2.5% of the converted sum plus reimbursement of the assessment fee charged by Visa/MasterCard to HSBC equivalent to 1% of the converted sum
MetrobankMastercard/Visa’s assessment fee plus 2.5% processing fee
PNB2.5% of the converted amount using Mastercard/ Visa/UnionPay’s conversion rate of the day
RCBC3.5% (bank’s service fee and Mastercard/Visa/JCB/UnionPay assessment fee)
Security Bank1% Mastercard assessment fee and 1.5% service fee
UnionBank
  • Classic and Gold cards: 3% covering the cost of processing transactions in foreign currencies
  • Platinum cards: 2% covering the cost of processing transactions in foreign currencies

How to Avoid Foreign Transaction Fees

Find a credit card without a foreign currency transaction fee. AUB and BPI, for example, charge low foreign transaction fees. Or, pay in cash instead of using your credit card abroad.

Related article: Visa vs Mastercard: Which Credit Card Brand is Better?

4. Balance Transfer Fee: PHP 100 to PHP 900 per transaction

If you’re dealing with credit card debts, you may want to transfer all your balance to a new credit card with 0% interest rate. That way, you’ll be able to reduce the amount of interest you’re going to pay. Moreover, it will help you pay your credit card debt much more quickly. Just keep in mind, though that, balance transfers come with a fee.

Balance Transfer Fees in the Philippines

BankBalance Transfer Fee
AUBPHP 250
BPIPHP 100
CitibankPHP 100
EastWest Bank
  • Via electronic channels: PHP 250
  • Via customer service hotline: PHP 500
HSBCPHP 650
MetrobankPHP 250 - PHP 500
RCBCPHP 100 - PHP 250

5. Gambling/Gaming/Casino Fee: 2.5% to 5% or PHP 500 to PHP 1,000 per transaction

credit card charges in the Philippines  - gambling fee

If you use your credit card to pay for gaming or gambling activities (e.g., online betting, buying lottery tickets, etc.) in a casino and any similar establishment, you’ll have to pay a service fee to your bank.

Gambling/Gaming Fees in the Philippines

BankGambling/Gaming Fee
BPIPHP 500 or 3% of the gaming transaction, whichever is higher, for every gaming transaction in casinos and/or online betting
EastWest Bank5% service fee on gaming/gambling transactions and/or transactions made at gaming/gambling establishments
Metrobank5% of the transacted amount
RCBC5% of every transaction or P1,000, whichever is higher
Security Bank2.5% of the transacted amount
UnionBank5% service fee

How to Avoid Gambling Fees

Gambling is an addicting habit.[2] The convenience of paying with a credit card and spending money you don’t have at the casino makes the addiction even worse.

Perennial gamblers don’t proactively find ways to avoid shelling out extra bucks to sustain their habit. Concerned family and friends can help these people by monitoring and taking charge of their finances, including credit cards. If the behavior still doesn’t improve, consider canceling the credit card, as gambling is one of the worst reasons to have a credit card.

6. Charge Slip Retrieval Fee: PHP 150 to PHP 1,250 per slip

There are some occasions when you spot inconsistencies in your credit card records, which may be a clerical error or a possible sign of fraud. If you want to verify things, you’ll need to get a charge slip. However, retrieval of a charge slip or sales invoice comes with a fee.

Charge Slip Retrieval Fees in the Philippines

BankCharge Slip Retrieval Fee
AUBPHP 250 - PHP 500
BPIPHP 300
CitibankPHP 250
EastWest BankPHP 200 - PHP 1,250
HSBCPHP 275
PNBPHP 400
RCBCPHP 150
Security BankPHP 400
UnionBankPHP 200

7. Card Replacement Fee: PHP 300 to PHP 500 per card

Having your lost, stolen, or damaged credit card replaced comes with a fee. In addition, you’ll have to spend around PHP 150 to PHP 300 for the notarial fee, as banks require a notarized affidavit of loss from clients who request for a replacement of their lost or stolen credit card.

Credit Card Replacement Fees in the Philippines

BankCard Replacement Fee
AUBPHP 500
BPIPHP 400
CitibankPHP 400
EastWest BankPHP 400
HSBCPHP 400
MetrobankPHP 400
PNBPHP 400
RCBCPHP 300 - PHP 500
Security BankPHP 400
UnionBankPHP 400

How to Avoid Card Replacement Fee

Keep your credit card in a safe place to reduce the risk of it getting lost, stolen, or damaged. If you’re not using it often, just leave your card at home.

Credit card for online shopping - CTA

Credit Card Charges in the Philippines: Penalty Fees

1. Late Payment Fee: PHP 750 to PHP 1,500 or the unpaid minimum amount due

Making timely credit card payments is just as important as paying your bills in full. Each time you miss the due date, the bank will charge you a penalty fee on your next bill. On top of that, the late penalty fee is added to the finance charge computation,[3] which further increases the amount you’ll have to pay next month.

Credit Card Penalty Fees for Late Payment in the Philippines

BankLate Payment Fee
AUBPHP 750 or the unpaid minimum amount due, whichever is lower
BPIPHP 850 or the unpaid minimum amount due, whichever is lower
CitibankPHP 1,500 or the unpaid minimum amount due, whichever is lower
EastWest BankPHP 1,500 or the unpaid minimum amount due, whichever is lower
HSBCPHP 1,000 or the unpaid minimum amount due, whichever is lower
MetrobankPHP 850 - PHP 1,000 or the unpaid minimum amount due, whichever is lower
PNB7% (Peso) or 5% (Dollar) of the unpaid minimum amount due
RCBCPHP 850 or the unpaid minimum amount due, whichever is lower
Security Bank6% of the minimum amount due or PHP 600, whichever is lower
UnionBankPHP 750

How to Avoid Late Payment Fees

Avoid a late payment fee by paying your credit card bill on time. Also, pay off your monthly balances as much as you can. If you can’t afford it, pay at least the minimum amount due.

If you’re dealing with debts from multiple credit cards, you’re also dealing with multiple due dates. To avoid missing due dates, consider consolidating your credit card debts or transferring your balance to a 0% interest credit card. That way, you’ll only have one due date to remember.

See also: Got Multiple Credit Cards? Here’s How to Manage Them Well

2. Overlimit Fee: PHP 300 to PHP 1,500

credit card charges in the Philippines - overlimit fees

Credit card over limit fee is a type of fee that the bank charges when you go beyond your credit card limit within a billing period.If a bank doesn’t charge an over-the-limit fee, your transaction will be automatically declined when you exceed your credit limit.

Credit Card Overlimit Fees in the Philippines

BankOverlimit Charge
CitibankPHP 1,500 or the highest overlimit amount during the billing period, whichever is lower
EastWest BankPHP 500
HSBCPHP 800
MetrobankPHP 750
PNBPHP 300
RCBCPHP 600
Security BankPHP 500
UnionBankPHP 500

How to Avoid Overlimit Fees

Maxing out your credit card is a big no-no if you’re trying to cut down on your bills. It’s easy to exceed your credit limit that way. Each time you whip out your card to buy something, ask yourself: “Can I afford to pay this in cash?” If the answer is no, then the purchase isn’t worth the trouble.

Also, control your credit card spending. Regularly monitor your billing statements online to ensure you aren’t spending more than 30% of your credit limit.

3. Multiple Payment Fee: PHP 40 to PHP 50 per payment in excess of maximum transactions

Some banks set a limit on the number of credit card payment transactions within a billing period. For instance, EastWest, PNB, and RCBC allows only three credit card payment transactions in a billing period. If you go over that, the bank will charge an additional fee.

Multiple Payment Fees on Credit Cards in the Philippines

BankMultiple Payment Fee
EastWest BankPHP 50 per payment posted after the third payment transaction
PNBPHP 40 per payment in excess of three for all approved payment channels
RCBCPHP 40 per payment in excess of three payments within a statement cycle in non-RCBC payment channels
Security BankPHP 50 per payment in excess of two payments within a billing cycle

How to Avoid Multiple Payment Fees

Credit card payments in any of your bank’s branch, online and mobile banking facilities, and ATM are exempted from this fee. So use only the payment channels of your issuing bank when paying your monthly balances.

4. Installment Pre-Termination Fee: PHP 300 to PHP 550 or 2% to 5% of the unpaid amount

credit card charges in the Philippines - man computing his bills

If you make an advance payment to cancel or pre-terminate your installment plan transaction, the bank may charge you a pre-termination fee.

Credit Card Installment Pre-Termination Fees in the Philippines

BankInstallment Pre-Termination Fee
AUBPHP 500 or 5% of the unpaid principal amount, whichever is higher
BPI
  • PHP 550 plus 2% of the loan principal amount if pre-terminated before the first billing
  • PHP 550 plus applicable interest of the next monthly payment if pre-terminated after the first billing using the diminishing balance method
Citibank
  • PHP 300 applicable to Citi PayLite, Citi PayLite after purchase, and Citi PayLite for bank transaction
  • 4% of the unbilled portion of the Principal Amount, applicable to Citi FlexiBill, Citi Balance Transfer and Citi Speed Cash
EastWest Bank5% of the remaining principal balance or PHP 500, whichever is higher
HSBC
  • PHP 500 for merchant installment
  • 5% of the remaining principal balance or PHP 300, whichever is higher, for Balance Transfer, Cash Installment Plan, and Balance Conversion Plan
Metrobank5% of the remaining principal balance or PHP 550 whichever is higher
PNB5% based on the remaining unpaid installment or PHP 500, whichever is higher
RCBC5% of the unpaid amount or PHP 500, whichever is higher plus one month's worth of interest, as computed based on the unpaid balance
Security Bank5% of the unbilled portion of the principal amount
UnionBank5% based on the remaining unpaid installment or PHP 500, whichever is higher

How to Avoid Pre-Termination Fees

Check with your credit card provider or read the terms and conditions to see if the bank charges a pre-termination fee on its installment program. If it does, just continue paying your monthly amortizations until you finish doing so.

5. Returned Check Fee: PHP 1,000 to PHP 1,500 per returned check

Do you make credit card payments through a check? When you issue a check to pay your credit card bills, the bank may return it due to insufficient funds, closed account, or incorrect details. In cases like that, you’ll be charged a returned check fee for the inconvenience it has caused the bank.

Returned Check Fees on Credit Cards in the Philippines

BankReturned Check Fee
AUBPHP 1,000
BPIPHP 100 for every returned check and additional 6% of the check account
CitibankPHP 1,500
EastWest BankPHP 1,500
HSBCPHP 1,000
MetrobankPHP 1,500
PNBPHP 1,000
RCBCPHP 1,000
Security BankPHP 1,250
UnionBankPHP 1,500

How to Avoid Returned Check Fees

Issuing a check to pay for your credit card bill can be a hassle. Avoid issuing checks altogether and use other more convenient channels for paying your credit card bills, such as your issuer’s ATM, online, and mobile banking facilities. You can also pay using your smartphone through mobile payment apps like GCash.

Final Thoughts

Always remember that credit cards don’t just give you exciting perks and fun privileges. Owning one is a responsibility, especially now that you know that there are many types of credit card charges in the Philippines.

An effective way to make your credit card payment easier on the budget is to avoid certain credit card charges, or at least minimize them. Having financial discipline and choosing the right card can help you eliminate some credit card fees from your billing statements. If you’re able to achieve them, you’ll realize that owning a credit card isn’t so bad at all.

Shopping for a new credit card? Make sure to read the fine print. Usually, you can find information about credit card payment and fees on the credit card provider’s website, specifically the Terms and Conditions page.

Further reading:

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