Published: January 29, 2020 | Updated: December 16, 2020 | Posted by: Venus Zoleta | Credit Card
Is getting your first credit card a part of your #adulting goals? That plastic card can be a great tool for building your credit history and managing your finances as a young professional.
But don’t dive into it yet without doing your homework. Know what it takes to get the right credit card for the first time.
Here’s a simple credit card guide for beginners on how to apply for a credit card in the Philippines.
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A credit card application is like a typical job application that requires applicants to meet certain minimum qualifications so that they’re eligible to apply.
Banks impose minimum requirements on age, income, employment/business operation status, and others for credit card applicants.
Here are the common eligibility requirements for first-time credit card applications:
If you’re too young to qualify for a credit card, you may still be eligible for a supplementary credit card as long as you’re at least 13 years old. You can get this card if one of your older family members applies for a primary credit card and enrolls you for a supplementary card.
If your income falls below the bank’s threshold, you can easily get approved for a secured credit card that doesn’t have any income requirement. However, you need to open a savings account with the bank and deposit at least PHP 10,000 that will serve as your collateral.
To make it easier for you to find the best choices, look for certain qualities in a credit card. First and foremost, your first credit card must be something you can afford to own.
Consider these important factors when shopping for a credit card in the Philippines:
The best choice for credit card beginners is one with a low annual fee, interest rate, penalty fee, and income requirement. Starter credit cards that offer good rewards programs are also worth considering.
A credit card appeals to a specific type of users who share the same budget range, interests, lifestyle, and financial needs. This is why there are various credit card types in the market that appeal to different types of users.
Before going through the steps on how to apply for a credit card, you must inform yourself of the following cards first.
Sometimes called classic or standard credit cards, basic cards are the easiest to qualify for because of their low minimum income requirement. They’re among the most affordable to own, too, as they usually come with lower annual fees compared to premium cards. Basic credit cards are also considered the no-frills type because they don’t offer rewards.
A basic credit card is ideal for those who just want a simple card for daily and big-ticket purchases and are not interested in earning rewards.
A credit card that automatically offers free annual fee for life is a great first credit card for beginners. Because the annual fee is waived forever, it allows you to save money on credit card fees.
A rewards credit card earns points per qualifying purchase made using the card. When you’ve accumulated rewards points, you can redeem them for gift certificates, cash rebates, air miles, annual fee waiver, or any perks included in the credit card provider’s rewards catalog.
If earning credit card rewards don’t appeal to you, perhaps a cashback will. A credit card that earns a percentage of cashback or rebate on eligible purchases allows you to save as much as PHP 1,000 monthly. Typically, cash back earned for a month is credited to the credit card bill for the next month, so it lowers your total amount due for that month.
Travel credit cards are a special type of rewards credit card that help cardholders save money on travel-related expenses such as airfare and hotel accommodations. These cards offer points or air miles that can be redeemed for free flights or hotel stays.
If you always buy from a particular brand or store, a co-branded credit card that’s linked to that brand is your best bet. It can help you maximize your savings when using the card. Plus, you’ll enjoy rewards, freebies, and other privileges as a cardholder.
The sheer number of options in the Philippine credit card market can be overwhelming for newbies. Doing your legwork before choosing the right credit card is a must.
But if you don’t have much time and patience to shop for credit cards, you can save yourself the trouble and use the Moneymax credit card comparison platform instead. It’s a free and easy-to-use online tool that lets you compare credit cards in the Philippines in just a few clicks.
Once you’ve picked the most suitable credit card for you, prepare the usual requirements for a first-time credit card application.
The most convenient way to apply for a credit card is to do it online. Many banks nowadays enable credit card applications over the internet.
You may opt to apply for your first credit card at the nearest branch of your chosen bank. You’ll have to fill out the application form on-site and submit your documents to the bank teller.
The first and most important thing to remember when you don’t get approved the first time: Never lose hope. Getting your first credit card application rejected doesn’t mean you’ll never qualify for a credit card.
But don’t make yourself appear too desperate—wait for at least three to six months before you apply again for a credit card with another bank. Take that time to work on improving your credit score and find a credit card that suits you more. This way, you can boost your chances of getting the bank’s approval for a credit card.
Got your new credit card already? Congratulations… and good luck with using it.
Before you can start using your first credit card, do these steps immediately:
Now, you’re ready to use your new card! Be a responsible credit card owner. Here are some reminders for first-time credit card users:
Getting your first credit card is a simple process, but it gets more complicated when you start using it. As long as you’re careful and frugal with your credit card spending, as well as consistent with your payments, you’ll go along just fine. Follow our tips before you ask yourself how to apply for a credit card.
Source:  “Should you sign your credit card?” (USA TODAY, 2014)
Venus is the Head of Content at Moneymax, with 15+ years of experience in digital marketing, corporate communications, PR, and journalism. She invests in stocks, mutual funds, VUL, and Pag-IBIG MP2. Outside of work, she’s crazy about cats and Korean dramas. Follow Venus on LinkedIn.