“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. 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.
Table of Contents
- Credit Card Charges in the Philippines: Service Fees for Card Use/Transactions
- 1. Annual Fee: PHP 300 to PHP 12,000
- 2. Cash Advance Fee: PHP 200 per transaction
- 3. Foreign Currency Transaction Fee: Varies per bank
- 4. Balance Transfer Fee: PHP 100 to PHP 900 per transaction
- 5. Gambling/Gaming/Casino Fee: 2.5% to 5% or PHP 500 to PHP 1,000 per transaction
- 6. Charge Slip Retrieval Fee: PHP 150 to PHP 1,250 per slip
- 7. Card Replacement Fee: PHP 300 to PHP 500 per card
- Credit Card Charges in the Philippines: Penalty Fees
- 1. Late Payment Fee: PHP 750 to PHP 1,500 or the unpaid minimum amount due
- 2. Overlimit Fee: PHP 300 to PHP 1,500
- 3. Multiple Payment Fee: PHP 40 to PHP 50 per payment in excess of maximum transactions
- 4. Installment Pre-Termination Fee: PHP 300 to PHP 550 or 2% to 5% of the unpaid amount
- 5. Returned Check Fee: PHP 1,000 to PHP 1,500 per returned check
- Final Thoughts
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
|Bank||Credit Card Annual Fee|
|AUB||Free for life|
|BPI||PHP 1,250 - PHP 5,500|
|EastWest Bank||PHP 750 - PHP 2,500|
|UnionBank||PHP 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
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
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
|Bank||Foreign Currency Transaction Fee|
|AUB||1.5% service fee|
|BPI||0.85% of the converted amount plus the Mastercard/Visa assessment fee of 1%|
|Citibank||3.525% (bank’s service fee and Mastercard/Visa assessment fee)|
|HSBC||2.5% of the converted sum plus reimbursement of the assessment fee charged by Visa/MasterCard to HSBC equivalent to 1% of the converted sum|
|Metrobank||Mastercard/Visa’s assessment fee plus 2.5% processing fee|
|PNB||2.5% of the converted amount using Mastercard/ Visa/UnionPay’s conversion rate of the day|
|RCBC||3.5% (bank’s service fee and Mastercard/Visa/JCB/UnionPay assessment fee)|
|Security Bank||1% Mastercard assessment fee and 1.5% service fee|
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
|Bank||Balance Transfer Fee|
|Metrobank||PHP 250 - PHP 500|
|RCBC||PHP 100 - PHP 250|
5. Gambling/Gaming/Casino Fee: 2.5% to 5% or PHP 500 to PHP 1,000 per transaction
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
|BPI||PHP 500 or 3% of the gaming transaction, whichever is higher, for every gaming transaction in casinos and/or online betting|
|EastWest Bank||5% service fee on gaming/gambling transactions and/or transactions made at gaming/gambling establishments|
|Metrobank||5% of the transacted amount|
|RCBC||5% of every transaction or P1,000, whichever is higher|
|Security Bank||2.5% of the transacted amount|
|UnionBank||5% service fee|
How to Avoid Gambling Fees
Gambling is an addicting habit. 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
|Bank||Charge Slip Retrieval Fee|
|AUB||PHP 250 - PHP 500|
|EastWest Bank||PHP 200 - PHP 1,250|
|Security Bank||PHP 400|
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
|Bank||Card Replacement Fee|
|EastWest Bank||PHP 400|
|RCBC||PHP 300 - PHP 500|
|Security Bank||PHP 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 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, which further increases the amount you’ll have to pay next month.
Credit Card Penalty Fees for Late Payment in the Philippines
|Bank||Late Payment Fee|
|AUB||PHP 750 or the unpaid minimum amount due, whichever is lower|
|BPI||PHP 850 or the unpaid minimum amount due, whichever is lower|
|Citibank||PHP 1,500 or the unpaid minimum amount due, whichever is lower|
|EastWest Bank||PHP 1,500 or the unpaid minimum amount due, whichever is lower|
|HSBC||PHP 1,000 or the unpaid minimum amount due, whichever is lower|
|Metrobank||PHP 850 - PHP 1,000 or the unpaid minimum amount due, whichever is lower|
|PNB||7% (Peso) or 5% (Dollar) of the unpaid minimum amount due|
|RCBC||PHP 850 or the unpaid minimum amount due, whichever is lower|
|Security Bank||6% of the minimum amount due or PHP 600, whichever is lower|
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.
2. Overlimit Fee: PHP 300 to PHP 1,500
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
|Citibank||PHP 1,500 or the highest overlimit amount during the billing period, whichever is lower|
|EastWest Bank||PHP 500|
|Security Bank||PHP 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
|Bank||Multiple Payment Fee|
|EastWest Bank||PHP 50 per payment posted after the third payment transaction|
|PNB||PHP 40 per payment in excess of three for all approved payment channels|
|RCBC||PHP 40 per payment in excess of three payments within a statement cycle in non-RCBC payment channels|
|Security Bank||PHP 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
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
|Bank||Installment Pre-Termination Fee|
|AUB||PHP 500 or 5% of the unpaid principal amount, whichever is higher|
|EastWest Bank||5% of the remaining principal balance or PHP 500, whichever is higher|
|Metrobank||5% of the remaining principal balance or PHP 550 whichever is higher|
|PNB||5% based on the remaining unpaid installment or PHP 500, whichever is higher|
|RCBC||5% 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 Bank||5% of the unbilled portion of the principal amount|
|UnionBank||5% 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
|Bank||Returned Check Fee|
|BPI||PHP 100 for every returned check and additional 6% of the check account|
|EastWest Bank||PHP 1,500|
|Security Bank||PHP 1,250|
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.
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.
-  Comparative Table of Credit Card Charges in the Philippines (BSP website, April 2021)
-  The Psychology of Gambling Addiction (ABS-CBN News, 2017)
-  How to Calculate Your Own Finance Charge (The Balance, 2020)