10 Credit Cards for First-Time Applicants in the Philippines

Published: February 5, 2020 | Updated: May 26, 2020 | Posted by: Venus Zoleta | Credit Card


Top Credit Cards for First Timers in the Philippines | Moneymax

Thinking of applying for a credit card? One of the first things you should know is that credit card companies will look at your credit history.

Banks are after low-risk, consistent payers. Having a credit history shows that you can responsibly use your credit card and not go over your credit limit. This is good for banks but difficult for those who are looking for credit cards for first-timers.

If you’re a fresh graduate starting your first job, you may have difficulty getting approved for a credit card, more so if you don’t have any billing statements proving your capacity to pay.

Don’t let the stringent process for credit card approval dishearten you. As long as you find out the credit card that you’re most qualified for and suits your needs best, you’ll go along just fine.

Features to Look For in a Credit Card for First-Timers

Top Credit Cards for First Timers in the Philippines - Credit Card Features to Look at

To trim down your options and save the most money, here are the things to prioritize when choosing the best credit card for first-timers in the Philippines.

  • Low annual fee – Consider only cards with annual fees not exceeding PHP 2,000. Ideally, choose one with no annual fee for life.
  • Low income requirement – Most first-time applicants have entry-level income. If you don’t earn that much, look for credit cards for first-timers with a minimum income requirement that’s equal to or lower than your income.
  • Low credit card fees – Focus on the two most common fees: the late payment fee and the over credit limit fee (sometimes called overlimit fee). While you can avoid them by being a responsible credit cardholder, it’s still best to pay minimal credit card fees for when you forgot to pay your bill or unknowingly maxed out your card.
  • Your desired credit card perks – Most credit cards for first-timers in the Philippines don’t offer as many privileges as the premium types of cards. Still, you can find credit cards for starters with perks that appeal to you, whether you want a card with rewards on shopping, travel, dining, or any other spending category.

Top Credit Cards for First-Timers in the Philippines

CREDIT CARDS FOR FIRST-TIMERS

FEATURES & BENEFITS

CITI SIMPLICITY+

Top Credit Cards for First Timers in the Philippines - Citi Simplicity+

Apply for a Citi Simplicity+ Credit Card!

  • Monthly income requirement: PHP 21,000
  • Interest rate: 3.50%
  • Free annual fees for life
  • No late payment fees
  • Never pay overlimit fees

METROBANK M FREE MASTERCARD

Top Credit Cards for First Timers in the Philippines - Metrobank M Free Mastercard

Apply for a Metrobank Credit Card!

  • Monthly income requirement: PHP 15,000
  • Interest rate: 3.54%
  • 0% installment on partner stores
  • Pay instantly with Bills2Pay

AUB EASY MASTERCARD

Top Credit Cards for First Timers in the Philippines - AUB Easy Mastercard

Apply for an AUB Credit Card!

  • Monthly income requirement: PHP 21,000
  • Interest rate: 3.50%
  • 0% interest on new purchases
  • Flexible credit card payment due date

RCBC BANKARD FLEX VISA

Top Credit Cards for First Timers in the Philippines - RCBC Bankard Flex Visa

Apply for an RCBC Credit Card!

  • Monthly income requirement: PHP 21,000
  • Interest rate: 3.50%
  • With free travel insurance
  • 0% interest on installment purchases

UNIONBANK CLASSIC VISA

Top Credit Cards for First Timers in the Philippines - UnionBank Classic Visa

Apply for a UnionBank Credit Card!

  • Monthly income requirement: PHP 50,000
  • Interest rate: 3.50%
  • 1 rewards point per PHP 35 spend
  • 0% interest on installment purchases
  • Up to PHP 400,000 life insurance

Know more about the top credit cards for first-timers in our in-depth feature below.

1. Citi Simplicity+

Citibank’s Simplicity+ is a no-frills credit card that’s easy to qualify for and affordable to own. First-time cardholders are less likely to incur high credit card fees, as the Citi Simplicity+ doesn’t come with an annual fee, late payment fee, and overlimit fee. Plus, they get 10% back on interest charges when making timely payments of at least the minimum amount due. Definitely one of the top recommended credit cards for first-timers.

Citi Simplicity+ Features and Benefits

  • 10% back on interest charges if you pay at least the minimum balance on or before the due date
  • 0% installment on purchases for up to 24 months
  • Deals and discounts in the Philippines and in 90 other countries

Citi Simplicity+ Fees and Charges

  • Annual fee: No annual fee for life
  • Interest rate: 3.50%
  • Late payment fee: None
  • Over credit limit fee: None (Transactions are declined once the credit limit is exceeded.)

Citi Simplicity+ Application Requirements

  • Minimum monthly income: PHP 20,833.33
  • At least 21 years old
  • Active landline or mobile number
  • Valid TIN/SSS/GSIS/UMID number
  • Valid ID
  • Latest one-month payslip/Latest ITR (BIR Form 2316)/Certificate of Employment
  • Bank statement of payroll account showing the applicant’s one-month salary

Related: Citibank Credit Card Application: An Easy 5-Step Guide

2. Metrobank M Free Mastercard

If you’re a first-timer who wants a credit card from Metrobank, the M Free Mastercard makes the best choice. You can easily qualify with its low income requirement. Also, Metrobank doesn’t charge an annual fee on this card, so you can save money in the process.

Metrobank M Free Mastercard Features and Benefits

  • Discounts, freebies, and other deals at M Here partner merchants
  • 0% interest on installment purchases for up to 24 months

Metrobank M Free Mastercard Fees and Charges

  • Annual fee: No annual fee for life
  • Interest rate: 3.54%
  • Late payment fee: PHP 850 or the unpaid minimum amount due, whichever is lower
  • Over credit limit fee: PHP 750 per occurrence

Metrobank M Free Mastercard Application Requirements

  • Minimum monthly income: PHP 15,000
  • 18 to 70 years old
  • Valid TIN/SSS/GSIS/UMID number
  • Home or office landline number and mobile number
  • At least six-month regular employment/At least two years in the current business
  • Valid ID
  • Latest ITR/Latest three-month payslips/Certificate of Employment (for employed)
  • Latest audited financial statement/Latest ITR (for self-employed)
  • Proof of income or employment and Alien Certificate of Registration (ACR)/Immigration’s Certificate of Residence (ICR)/visa (for foreign residents)

3. AUB Easy Mastercard

AUB offers credit card payment flexibility with the Easy Mastercard. You can pick the payment terms (i.e., when, how often, and how much to pay) most favorable to your situation, so you can avoid getting into credit card debt. For instance, you can set your due date during or after your payday. This is one of the pro tips for those who are looking at credit cards for first-timers.

The AUB Easy Mastercard is also cheap to own because its annual fee is waived for life. Plus, you can earn rewards points on your purchases using the card.

AUB Easy Mastercard Features and Benefits

  • Choose your preferred payment frequency, due date, and minimum payment due
  • 1 rewards point per PHP 20 spend

AUB Easy Mastercard Fees and Charges

  • Annual fee: No annual fee for life
  • Interest rate: 3.50%
  • Late payment fee: PHP 175 (weekly payment option) / PHP 350 (semi-monthly payment option) / PHP 700 (monthly payment option) or the unpaid minimum amount due, whichever is lower
  • Over credit limit fee: None (Transactions are declined once the credit limit is exceeded.)

AUB Easy Mastercard Application Requirements

    • Minimum monthly income: PHP 21,000
    • 21 to 65 years old
    • At least one-year regular employment status/profitable business operation/professional practice
    • At least one home or office landline number and mobile number
    • Valid ID
    • Latest ITR/Certificate of Employment/one-month payslip (for employed)
    • Latest ITR (BIR Forms 1701 and 1701Q)/financial statements/DTI business name registration (for self-employed)

4. PNB Classic Visa

Top Credit Cards for First Timers in the Philippines - PNB Classic Visa

This PNB credit card is one of the best credit cards for first-timers with low income because of its low minimum income requirement and low annual fee. It’s also a good credit card for travelers, as the card comes with travel insurance and purchase protection insurance.

PNB Classic Visa Features and Benefits

  • Up to PHP 1 million travel insurance
  • Up to PHP 250,000 purchase protection insurance
  • 0% interest on installment purchases for up to 24 months

PNB Classic Visa Fees and Charges

  • Annual fee: PHP 300 (free for the first year)
  • Interest rate: 3.25%
  • Late payment fee: 7% of the unpaid minimum amount due
  • Over credit limit fee: PHP 300

PNB Classic Visa Application Requirements

  • Minimum monthly income: PHP 10,000
  • 21 to 65 years old
  • Filipino citizen or foreign resident in the Philippines
  • At least one-year regular employment status/two-year profitable self-employment status
  • Valid ID
  • Latest three-month payslips/Latest ITR/Certificate of Employment (for employed)
  • Latest ITR/Latest audited financial statements/DTI or SEC registration papers (for self-employed)

5. EastWest Practical Mastercard

Top Credit Cards for First Timers in the Philippines - EastWest Practical Mastercard

The Practical Mastercard is perfect for newbies on a tight budget who are looking for a credit cards for first-timers with a low interest rate. The annual fee is quite affordable and can be paid every month, quarter, or year—whichever payment term works best based on your budget.

EastWest Practical Mastercard Features and Benefits

  • Option to pay the annual fee either monthly, quarterly, or annually
  • 0% interest on select items and installment terms

EastWest Practical Mastercard Fees and Charges

  • Annual fee: PHP 1,400 (free for the first year)
  • Interest rate:
    • 3.25% on groceries, fuel, and medicines
    • 3.49% on all other purchases
  • Late payment fee: 8% of the minimum amount due
  • Over credit limit fee: PHP 500 per occurrence

EastWest Practical Mastercard Application Requirements

  • Minimum monthly income: PHP 10,000
  • At least 21 years old
  • Filipino citizen or foreign resident in the Philippines
  • Home landline or mobile number and business/office landline
  • Valid ID
  • Latest ITR, Certificate of Employment, and latest three-month payslips (for employed)
  • Latest ITR and latest audited financial statement (for self-employed)
  • ACR with permanent status/visa/embassy certification (for foreign residents)

6. BPI Family Savings Credit Card

Top Credit Cards for First Timers in the Philippines - BPI Family Savings Credit Card

The BPI Family Savings Credit Card is one of the BPI cards with the lowest interest rates and annual fees. Designed for daily spending, it makes owning and maintaining a credit card easy on the budget.

BPI Family Credit Card Fees and Charges

  • Annual fee: PHP 1,350 (free for the first year)
  • Interest rate: 3%
  • Late payment fee: PHP 850 or the unpaid minimum amount due, whichever is lower
  • Over credit limit fee: None (Transactions are declined once the credit limit is exceeded.)

BPI Family Bank Credit Card application requirements

  • Minimum monthly income: PHP 15,000
  • 21 to 60 years old
  • Home or business landline number
  • Valid ID
  • Certificate of Employment/Latest two payslips/Latest ITR (for employed)
  • Latest audited financial statements and latest ITR (for self-employed)
  • POEA-validated employment contract, overseas employment certificate (OEC), and latest two-month proof of remittance (for OFWs)
  • ACR/Work permit/Embassy accreditation papers (for foreign residents)

Related: Quick and Easy Guide to BPI Credit Card Application

7. RCBC Bankard Flex Visa

Ideal for traveling millennials, the RCBC Flex Visa card comes with usual travel perks like travel insurance and airport lounge access. It allows earning rewards points faster in two out of four spending categories (dining/clothing/transportation/travel). You can choose to double your credit card rewards in different categories per billing cycle. A convenient option to consider when looking at credit cards for first-timers.

RCBC Flex Visa Features and Benefits

  • 2x rewards in two preferred spending categories
  • Travel insurance
  • Free Skyview Airport Lounge access
  • 0% interest on installment purchases for up to 36 months

RCBC Flex Visa Fees and Charges

  • Annual fee: PHP 1,500 (free for the first year)
  • Interest rate: 3.50%
  • Late payment fee: PHP 400 to PHP 600
  • Over credit limit fee: PHP 500

RCBC Flex Visa Application Requirements

  • Minimum monthly income: PHP 20,833.33
  • 21 to 65 years old
  • Mobile number and office landline number
  • Valid ID
  • Latest ITR/Latest one-month payslip/Certificate of Employment issued within the last six months (for employed)
  • Latest ITR/audited financial statement (for self-employed)

8. BDO ShopMore Mastercard

Top Credit Cards for First Timers in the Philippines - BDO ShopMore Mastercard

Do you often shop at SM malls and SM partner retailers? The BDO ShopMore Mastercard is the most rewarding credit cards for first-timers as cardholders are treated to a variety of shopping perks.

BDO ShopMore Mastercard Features and Benefits

  • Free SM Advantage Card
  • 1 rewards point per PHP 200 spend at The SM Store, SM Cinema, Ace Hardware, Uniqlo, Forever 21, and other retail partners
  • 1 rewards point per PHP 400 spend SM Supermarket, SM Hypermarket, Savemore, Watsons, and other retail partners
  • 0.50 rewards point per PHP 200 spend anywhere
  • Up to PHP 10,000 rebates at The SM Store, SM retail affiliates, and partner retail brands on select days
  • 0% interest on installment purchases for up to 36 months

BDO ShopMore Mastercard Fees and Charges

  • Annual fee: PHP 125 per month (free for the first year)
  • Interest rate: 3.50%
  • Late payment fee: 7% of the overdue amount
  • Over credit limit fee: None (Transactions are declined once the credit limit is exceeded.)

BDO ShopMore Mastercard Application Requirements

  • Minimum monthly income: PHP 15,000
  • 21 to 70 years old
  • Filipino citizen or foreign resident in the Philippines for the last two years
  • Regular employment status/At least two-year business operation
  • At least one landline phone
  • Home or office address within any area of a BDO branch
  • Valid ID
  • Latest ITR and Certificate of Employment/latest full-month payslip (for employed)
  • DTI/SEC registration papers and ITR for the last two years (for self-employed)

Related: Quick and Easy BDO Credit Card Application Online

9. Security Bank Classic Rewards Mastercard

This Security Bank credit card’s annual fee may be quite higher than those other cards on this list, but it’s still a great option for first-timers who want a card that earns rewards fast. With its earn rate of 1 point per only PHP 20, this is one of the best rewards credit cards in the Philippines.

Security Bank Classic Rewards Mastercard Features and Benefits

  • 1 rewards point per PHP 20 spend
  • eSecure feature that sets transaction limits for online shopping

Security Bank Classic Rewards Mastercard Fees and Charges

  • Annual fee: PHP 2,000
  • Interest rate: 3.50%
  • Late payment fee: PHP 600 or 6% of the minimum amount due, whichever is lower
  • Over credit limit fee: PHP 500 per occurrence

Security Bank Classic Rewards Mastercard Application Requirements

  • Minimum monthly income: PHP 15,000
  • 21 to 65 years old
  • Filipino citizen and Philippine resident
  • At least one-year regular employment/three-year profitable self-employment
  • Landline number
  • Valid ID
  • ITR/Certificate of Employment/Three-month payslips with company ID (for employed)
  • DTI/SEC registration papers and ITR/three-year audited financial statements (for self-employed)

10. UnionBank Classic Visa

Top Credit Cards for First Timers in the Philippines - UnionBank Classic Visa

If you want a simple first credit card for your day-to-day purchases, this UnionBank credit card might be just what you need. A notable feature of the UnionBank Classic Visa card is its free life insurance, which pays up to PHP 400,000 for the cardholder’s outstanding balance upon his/her death or permanent disability. This eases the burden of the cardholder’s family should any unfortunate event happen.

UnionBank Classic Visa Features and Benefits

  • 1 rewards point per PHP 35 spend
  • Exclusive discounts, freebies, and other perks on shopping, dining, leisure, and services nationwide
  • 0% interest on installment purchases for up to 36 months
  • Up to PHP 400,000 life insurance

UnionBank Classic Visa Fees and Charges

  • Annual fee: PHP 1,500
  • Interest rate: 3.50%
  • Late payment fee: PHP 750
  • Over credit limit fee: PHP 500

UnionBank Classic Visa Application Requirements

  • Minimum monthly income: PHP 50,000
  • 18 to 60 years old
  • Filipino citizen or foreign resident in the Philippines
  • At least one-year employment/profitable business operation
  • Two valid IDs
  • Latest ITR/Latest payslips/Certificate of Employment (for employed)
  • Latest ITR/audited financial statement (for self-employed)
  • ACR (for foreign residents)

Final Thoughts

Credit cards are useful tools and are not as bad as you think. They enable you to build your credit history, which will help you in applying for loans and mortgages in the future. As long as you pay the full balance each month and avoid hidden charges, you’re on the right track to getting your first credit card.

Ready to get your first credit card? If this list for credit cards for first-timers helped you, refer to this guide on how to apply for a credit card in the Philippines.

Enjoy no annual fees forever!

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