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Money-Saving Credit Card Hacks in the Philippines You Should Check Out

Ricky Publico

Ricky Publico

Last updated May 31, 2021

Is owning a credit card expensive? Will it get me into deep debt? Should I use my card less or should I use it for all my expenses? You are probably asking these questions in your mind while you're comparing credit cards for future use. If only there are credit hacks in the Philippines you can exploit, you're probably thinking as well. And you'd be right, there are! Here are just some of them.

9 Helpful Credit Card Hacks in the Philippines

1. Get an Annual Fee Waiver

credit card hacks philippines

Credit card annual fees in the Philippines can go as high as PHP 6,000. Although you pay them only once a year, the amount can still put a dent in your budget. But know that there’s no need to shell out a certain amount every year for using your credit card. Instead, you can allocate this money for your savings or as an addition to your investments.

Consider taking advantage of waived annual fees. Some banks allow their cardholders to have their annual fee waived, as long as they use their card regularly and are in good credit standing. You may contact your issuing bank to request an annual fee waiver. Just make sure you don't have any pending balances to strengthen your case.

Another way to avoid paying annual fees is to use your accumulated rewards points to redeem an annual fee waiver. Most credit card reward programs allow points to be converted to cash credit and annual fee waivers. And since redeeming points for travel isn't a good idea right now, you can instead save money by redeeming annual fee waivers.

But the best route to avoid paying for annual fees is to just switch to a credit card with permanently-waived annual fees. You won't need to search far and wide for credit card payment hacks if you get one of those. Here are some credit cards with no annual fees forever.

Citi Simplicity Card

citi simplicity card

AUB Classic Mastercard

aub classic mastercard

Metrobank M Free Mastercard

metrobank m free mastercard

Read more: How to Apply for a Credit Card: What Beginners Need to Know

2. Make Use of the Auto-Charge Feature

credit card hacks philippines

Paying your credit card on time is easier said than done, especially if you're too busy to remember when your next due date is. You can avoid incurring monthly interest and paying a penalty for late payment by automating your credit card payments.

One of the most effective credit card hacks in the Philippines is enrolling in your provider's auto-charge feature. This enables the bank to automatically debit the payment for your balance from your savings account. You won't be missing any payment as long as you keep your bank account sufficiently funded.

3. Take Advantage of Your Billing Cycle

credit card hacks philippines

Buying a high-ticket item like a gadget, appliance, or furniture will have a huge impact on your credit card payments and budget. So here's one of the most effective credit card hacks in the Philippines you can try.

If you'll make a big purchase, do it at the start of the next cut-off period. This way, the transaction will be charged on the next billing cycle rather than the current one, and you'll have at least 40 days to earn money and pay back the expensive item you just bought.

This may mean you'll have to wait until the end of the current billing cycle to make the purchase, but that's a small trade-off for the savings you'll get. It also helps if you have a credit card with a 0% interest installment feature.

Read more: Visa vs Mastercard: Which Credit Card Network is Better?

4. Stay Up-to-Date with Credit Card Promos

credit card hacks philippines

Filipinos love to celebrate milestones, from birthdays to weddings (and even monthsaries!). And what better way to celebrate than to eat, drink, or shop? That's where credit card perks come in.

Credit card providers usually partner with malls, retail shops, online shopping platforms, restaurants, hotels, travel booking websites, and other businesses to offer discounts, freebies, rebates, and exclusive privileges to their credit cardholders. Check out your provider's social media for promo announcements.

Taking advantage of credit card promos allows you to reduce your expenses, but use them for good reason. Availing a credit card discount in a restaurant is fine, but using your credit card to get 15% off on the latest smartphone when you don't need it counts as overspending.

5. Redeem Your Credit Card Rewards

credit card hacks philippines

Because credit card hacks in the Philippines don't have to be super complicated. Sometimes, it's as easy as checking your reward points.

Have you earned a considerable amount of rewards points already? Most cardholders ignore points because they think they can't earn the required points for their desired rewards. Don't let your points expire without using them. It may not be obvious, but your points do grow. Grow them big enough and they will be as good as money.

Points earned with your credit card can be exchanged for shopping, dining, or travel gift certificates. Don't take your points for granted because they will save you money in the long run. You can even use them to buy presents, or just give the points as gifts to your equally money-savvy friends.

If you travel frequently, you'll benefit a lot from using your rewards points to redeem air miles, which saves you money when booking flights. So keep using your credit card during quarantine and watch as your air miles grow to the point that it can book you an international flight for free.

Read more: When is the Right Time to Get a Credit Card?

6. Use Cashback to Save on Spending

credit card hacks philippines

Cashbacks are rebates or refunds you get after you make a purchase. The cashback percentage varies depending on your spending category (e.g., groceries, gas, utilities, and dining).

If you're using your cashback credit card, you’re actually spending less than if you paid in cash because you’ll get rebates on your purchases. Rebates on various cards depend on the type of purchase and can range from 0.2% to 6%, depending on the credit card program you’re in.

One way to maximize cashbacks is to use your credit card to pay for recurring expenses like groceries and utility bills. This way, you’re spending less than you usually do while accumulating rebates. Also, since different credit cards pay a higher cashback rate for certain categories, use the card with the highest rate for the type of purchase you're paying for.

7. Take Advantage of Flexible Installment Terms

credit card hacks philippines

One of the most useful features of credit cards is that it allows you to divide expensive purchases into monthly payments. For example, if you use your credit card to buy a base model iPhone 12 worth PHP 49,990, you can choose to pay it in 12 monthly installments of PHP 4,165.83. That's easier on your wallet than a one-time, big-time payment.

If you travel frequently, you'll benefit a lot from using your rewards points to redeem air miles, which saves you money when booking flights. So keep using your credit card during quarantine and watch as your air miles grow to the point that it can book you an international flight for free.

Read more: When is the Right Time to Get a Credit Card?

8. Get a Second (or Third) Card

credit card hacks philippines

Having multiple credit cards may seem more expensive than owning just one card, but getting another card can actually help you save more, as long as you use your cards responsibly and manage your payments properly. With two or three credit cards, you can maximize most credit card hacks in the Philippines.

Read more: Here’s Why You Should Have More Than One Credit Card

9. Protect Your Credit Card by Covering Your CVV

credit card hacks philippines

It's unfortunate, but it happens: losing your credit card. Whether you misplaced it or it was deliberately stolen, a lost credit card means anyone who has it can use it without your permission. You'll end up incurring huge expenses via unauthorized purchases if you don't report the loss early.

While others can't use your lost credit card in stores, they can use it to buy anything online because the card contains all the necessary information: the credit card number, the card expiration, and the Card Verification Value (CVV) code[1] at the back. So to avoid this from happening, the solution is simple: cover the CVV code on the back of your credit card.

This is because it's the only part of the card you can get rid of since credit card numbers and expiration dates are usually engraved to the card. This way, even if you lose your credit card, no one will be able to use it to shop online. Memorize your CVV code first before covering it. You can either blacken it with a permanent marker or scratch it off with a coin. In fact, you can apply this trick to both credit and debit cards.

Final Thoughts

These credit card hacks in the Philippines are great for any cardholder who wants to minimize the costs of using their card while maximizing its benefits. Keep these hacks in mind to make your credit card work for you—not against you.

credit card cta


Ricky is the zaniest Product Marketing Manager at Moneymax, with over six years of writing experience in the digital marketing industry. He had written for SEO, cybersecurity, and other related industries prior to joining Moneymax. He also specializes in content writing, copywriting, and email marketing. He is a huge fan of pro-wrestling, One Piece, and smartphones in general. Follow Ricky on LinkedIn.