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How Supplementary Credit Cards Work: What are Your Best Options?

Venus Zoleta

Venus Zoleta

Last updated November 23, 2023

You’ve been a cardholder for a few years now, and you’ve experienced firsthand how credit cards can help manage your finances efficiently. So naturally, you’re thinking of getting a supplementary credit card for your loved one to see if it can help them, too. 

While there’s nothing wrong with extending your credit line through supplementary cards, know that this may affect your account. Don’t get one if you’re not sure how supplementary credit cards work. 

Read this comprehensive guide to supplementary credit cards in the Philippines first before you decide on getting one for someone you love. 

How do Supplementary Credit Cards Work?

First, what is a supplementary credit card? It's a secondary card issued under a credit card account that the principal or primary cardholder can give to a family member (child, spouse, sibling, or parent).

You're probably wondering, "Can I apply for a supplementary card for a friend?" Yes, generally you can get one for a non-relative, as long as they meet the eligibility requirements and provide the necessary documents. You can get a supplementary card for a partner or significant other as well.

So how does a supplementary credit card work? Supplementary cards allow principal cardholders to extend their credit card benefits to loved ones who are not qualified for a credit card due to age, lack of stable income, or poor/no credit history.

Who Should Get a Supplementary Credit Card?

how supplementary credit card works - who should get a supplementary credit card

A supplementary card is perfect for the following types of people:

  • Students, aging parents, and stay-at-home wives and husbands who depend on a principal cardholder (parent, adult child, or spouse) for financial support
  • People who lack a credit history and want an easy way to get their first credit card
  • Freelancers, unemployed people, and others who lack financial documents that banks usually require
  • Couples and families who want to accumulate credit card rewards faster and monitor each other's spending

What's the minimum age for a supplementary credit card applicant? Children as young as 13 years old can get this card. 

Principal Card vs Supplementary Card: What is the Difference?

Supplementary cards enrolled under a principal credit card account are all treated as part of that account. This means credit limits, balances, and billing statements are consolidated into a single account. 

The principal card and its supplementary card also typically share the same benefits and interest rates.

However, a supplementary card comes with its own credit card number, CVV number, and expiration date. The card also bears the supplementary cardholder's name.

Here are other key differences between primary and supplementary credit cards:

👉 Simpler Supplementary Card Application Requirements and Process

The age requirement is more lenient for supplementary vs primary cardholders. Plus, no income documents or credit checks are required.

You don't even have to be earning income to get a supplementary card. It's because the principal cardholder bears the responsibility for all the transactions made using the supplementary cards under their account.

👉 Low Supplementary Card Annual Fees

Supplementary credit cards in the Philippines have either free or lower (or even zero) annual fees than principal cards. 

👉 No Rewards Points Redemption for Supplementary Cardholders

Principal cardholders earn additional credit card rewards points or cashback from the credit card purchases made by their supplementary cardholders. All rewards points—including those earned from the supplementary cardholder's transactions—are credited to the principal cardholder's account.

You can't redeem your rewards points or convert them to air miles on your own if you're using a supplementary card. But the bank may allow you to do so if you get authorization from the primary cardholder.

12 Best Supplementary Credit Cards in the Philippines

Here are some of the top supplementary cards to consider:

Credit Card Supplementary Cardholder Age Requirement Credit Limit
UnionBank Rewards Credit Card
2023 UnionBank Rewards VISA

APPLY NOW

At least 14 years old Assigned by the principal cardholder
Metrobank Platinum Mastercard®
metrobank PLATINUM MASTERCARD
APPLY NOW
14 to 80 years old Up to 100% of the principal's credit limit
HSBC Red Mastercard
hsbc red
APPLY NOW
At least 15 years old Shared with the principal card
Security Bank Gold Mastercard
Security Bank Gold Mastercard 2023
APPLY NOW
Inquire with Security Bank Shared with the principal card
BPI Rewards Card
BPI Rewards Card
APPLY NOW
At least 13 years old Inquire with BPI
BPI Amore Cashback Card
BPI Amore Cashback Card
APPLY NOW
At least 13 years old Inquire with BPI

 

Find more details and other options below:

💳 UnionBank Rewards Credit Card

UnionBank Rewards Credit Card
  • Maximum supplementary cards per account: No limit
  • Age requirement for supplementary cardholder: At least 14 years old
  • Supplementary credit limit: Assigned by the principal cardholder
  • Minimum monthly income requirement for principal cardholder: ₱15,000

Use the UnionBank Rewards Credit Card to earn 1 point for every ₱30 spend and 3x points when you shop and dine here and abroad. With a UnionBank supplementary card, you can earn even more points!

Use these points to redeem cash credits, gadgets, points transfers, and more. 

Fees and Charges:

  • Annual fee: 
    • Principal card: ₱2,500 
    • Supplementary card: ₱1,250 
  • Interest rate: 3%
  • Late payment fee: ₱1,500 
  • Overlimit fee: ₱1,500 

🎁 Free Welcome Gift: No Annual Fee for Life Plus Maximum Rewards for U!

moneymax unionbank rewards credit card no annual fee promo

Eligible card: UnionBank Rewards Credit Card

Promo period: Until February 29, 2024

Say goodbye to annual fees forever and hello to next-level rewards with your new UnionBank Rewards Card! Just apply via Moneymax and get approved within the promo period, and then meet the ₱20,000 spend requirement within 60 days from your card approval date.

This Moneymax UnionBank Rewards Credit Card No Annual Fee Promo runs until February 29, 2024 only. Per DTI Fair Trade Permit No. FTEB-178773 Series of 2023.

Note: The promo is exclusive to applicants who do not have an existing principal credit card issued by UnionBank and/or Citi.


💳 Metrobank Platinum Mastercard®

Metrobank Peso Platinum Mastercard
  • Maximum supplementary cards per account: Four
  • Age requirement for supplementary cardholder: 14 to 80 years old
  • Supplementary credit limit: Up to 100% of the principal's credit limit (assigned by the principal cardholder)
  • Minimum monthly income requirement for principal cardholder: ₱58,333.33

This premium Metrobank credit card packs a lot of features for principal and supplementary cardholders. Earn 1 rewards point per ₱20 spend and enjoy up to 50% off on premium dining deals.

Plus, get online shopping insurance coverage for non-delivery of online purchases, incomplete or incorrect delivery, defect or damage in delivery, and other losses. You can also take advantage of the 24-hour VIP customer service hotline and 24-hour VIP concierge service. 

Fees and Charges:

  • Annual fee:
    • Principal card: ₱5,000
    • First supplementary card: No annual fee for life
    • Second to fourth supplementary cards: ₱2,500
  • Interest rate: 3%
  • Late payment fee: ₱1,000 or the unpaid minimum amount, whichever is lower
  • Overlimit fee: ₱750

Read more: Metrobank World vs Platinum Mastercard®: Which is Better for You?


🎁 Free Gift from Moneymax: ₱2,500 eGift, Xiaomi Redmi Soundbar, or JBL Wave Beam True Wireless Earbuds 

moneymax metrobank credit card promo - giftaway egift xiaomi redmi soundbar jbl wireless earbuds

Eligible cards: Metrobank Titanium Mastercard®, Platinum Mastercard®, and World Mastercard®

Promo period: Until February 29, 2024

How do you get a Metrobank credit card welcome gift? Simple! Just apply and get approved for any eligible card through the Moneymax website.

Choose from a ₱2,500 eGift voucher via Giftaway, a Xiaomi Redmi Soundbar (worth ₱2,499), or JBL Wave Beam True Wireless Earbuds (worth ₱3,799) as your free special gift.

This Moneymax Metrobank eGift/Xiaomi/JBL promo runs until February 29, 2024 only. So hurry and apply now!

Per DTI Fair Trade Permit No. FTEB-184526 Series of 2024. Terms and conditions apply.

Note: Applicant must be an existing credit cardholder in good standing for at least nine months.


💳 HSBC Red Mastercard

HSBC Red Mastercard

  • Maximum supplementary cards per account: Four
  • Age requirement for supplementary cardholder: At least 15 years old
  • Supplementary credit limit: Shared with the principal card
  • Minimum monthly income requirement for principal cardholder: ₱16,666.67

Rack up credit card rewards even faster with supplementary credit cards from HSBC.[1] With HSBC Red Mastercard, each card earns 1 point per ₱20 spend and 4x bonus points on online, dining, shopping, and overseas transactions.

Both principal and supplementary cardholders can also get a 3% rebate on fuel purchases at select Caltex stations.

Fees and Charges:

  • Annual fee:
    • Principal card: ₱2,500 (free for the first year)
    • Supplementary card: Waived for life
  • Interest rate: 3%
  • Late payment fee: ₱1,000 or unpaid minimum amount due, whichever is lower
  • Overlimit fee: ₱800

🎁 Free Gift from Moneymax: Giftaway Credits, Infinity Audio Clubz 250, or JBL Tune 520 BT

moneymax hsbc credit card promo - giftaway infinity jbl

Eligible cards: HSBC Red Mastercard, Gold Visa Cash Back, and Platinum Visa Rebate

Promo period: Until February 29, 2024

Not an HSBC credit cardholder yet? Apply for an HSBC card through Moneymax during the promo period (and get approved subsequently) to receive an exciting free welcome gift! Choose from free Giftaway credits worth ₱2,500, Infinity Audio Clubz 250 worth ₱2,599, and JBL Tune 520 BT worth ₱3,349. 

This Moneymax HSBC Giftaway/Infinity Audio/JBL promo runs until February 29, 2024 only. So hurry and apply now!

Per DTI Fair Trade Permit No. FTEB-184120 Series of 2024. Terms and conditions apply. 



💳 Security Bank Gold Mastercard

Security Bank Gold Mastercard

  • Maximum supplementary cards per account: Five
  • Supplementary credit limit: Shared with the principal card
  • Minimum monthly income requirement for principal cardholder: ₱30,000

One of the best supplementary credit cards for families is the Security Bank Gold Mastercard. Earn 1 point for every ₱20 spend and enjoy safe online shopping with SecureCode. You can also take advantage of Security Bank's credit card promos.

Fees and Charges:

  • Annual fee: 
    • Principal card: ₱2,500
    • Supplementary card: ₱1,500
  • Interest rate: 3%
  • Late payment fee: ₱1,000 or minimum amount due, whichever is lower
  • Overlimit fee: ₱500

🎁 Free Gift from Moneymax: ₱2,500 eGift, Sony Wireless Headphones, or Nescafe Dolce Gusto Mini Me

security bank welcome gift - egift sony wireless headphones nescafe dolce gusto mini me

Eligible cards: Select Security Bank credit cards

Promo period: Until February 29, 2024

Want a credit card from Security Bank? You're in for a treat if you apply and get approved for an eligible card through Moneymax and meet the minimum spend requirement. Pick your free Security Bank welcome gift: a ₱2,500 Giftaway eGift voucher; Sony WH-CH520 wireless headphones worth ₱3,299; or a Nescafe Dolce Gusto Mini Me Coffee Machine (worth ₱6,990).

This Moneymax Security Bank Giftaway/Sony/Nescafe credit card promo runs until February 29, 2024 only. Apply now!

Per DTI Fair Trade Permit No. FTEB-183905 Series of 2024.  Terms and conditions apply


💳 BPI Rewards Card

BPI Rewards Card
  • Maximum supplementary cards per account: Six
  • Age requirement for supplementary cardholder: At least 13 years old
  • Minimum monthly income requirement for principal cardholder: ₱15,000 

The BPI Rewards Card is the perfect no-nonsense credit card for first-timers, including supplementary cardholders. Use it to go cashless when shopping or paying bills to enjoy 1 BPI Point for every ₱35 spend, flexible installment plans, and free travel insurance of up to ₱2 million.

Fees and Charges:

  • Annual fee: 
    • Principal card: ₱1,550 
    • First supplementary card: Free for life
    • Second to sixth supplementary cards: ₱775
  • Interest rate: 3%
  • Late payment fee: ₱850

💳 BPI Amore Cashback Card

BPI Amore Cashback Card
  • Maximum supplementary cards per account: Six
  • Age requirement for supplementary cardholder: At least 13 years old
  • Minimum monthly income requirement for principal cardholder: ₱15,000

You'll get plenty of rebates with the BPI Amore Cashback Card. Get up to 4% cash back on supermarket and department store spend, up to 1% cash back on drugstore and bills payment spend, and up to 0.3% cash back on all other local retail spend.

Plus, you and your supplementary cardholder can easily shop abroad with this card's forex conversion rate of 1.85%, one of the lowest in the market. 

Fees and Charges:

  • Annual fee: 
    • Principal card: ₱2,050
    • First supplementary card: Free for life
    • Second to sixth supplementary cards: ₱1,025
  • Interest rate: 3%
  • Late payment fee: ₱850

Read more:

💳 Metrobank M Free Mastercard®

Metrobank M Free Mastercard

  • Maximum supplementary cards per account: Four
  • Age requirement for supplementary cardholder: 14 to 80 years old
  • Supplementary credit limit: Up to 100% of the principal's credit limit (assigned by the principal cardholder)
  • Minimum monthly income requirement for principal cardholder: ₱15,000

This no-annual-fee Metrobank card is one of the best supplementary credit cards for teens and senior citizen parents. Metrobank's credit card promos include discounts, freebies, and other deals at M Here partner merchants.

Fees and Charges:

  • Annual fee: No annual fee for life (both principal and supplementary cards)
  • Interest rate: 3%
  • Late payment fee: ₱1,000 or the unpaid minimum amount, whichever is lower
  • Overlimit fee: ₱750

💳 AUB Classic Mastercard

AUB Classic Mastercard-1

  • Maximum supplementary cards per account: No limit
  • Age requirement for supplementary cardholder: At least 14 years old
  • Supplementary credit limit: Assigned by the principal cardholder
  • Minimum monthly income requirement for principal cardholder: ₱21,000

If you apply for an AUB Classic Mastercard, you may enroll as many supplementary credit cards[2] under your account—without having to pay for annual fees on any card forever.

Using your AUB credit card, earn 1 rewards point per only ₱50 spend. With multiple cards under one credit card account, you can collect and redeem rewards points faster than having just one card in your name.

Enjoy flexible credit card payments as well. Choose your own due date, payment frequency, and minimum amount due—so there's no way you'll miss paying your bills.

Fees and Charges:

  • Annual fee: No annual fee for life (both principal and supplementary cards)
  • Interest rate: 3%
  • Late payment fee: For the monthly payment option, ₱1,000 or the unpaid minimum amount due, whichever is lower

💳 RCBC Visa Infinite

RCBC Visa Infinite
  • Maximum supplementary cards per account: Nine
  • Age requirement for supplementary cardholder: 13 to 65 years old
  • Supplementary credit limit: Shared with the principal card
  • Minimum monthly income requirement for principal cardholder: ₱300,000

The best supplementary credit card for high-income families is one with generous rewards and cashback, like the RCBC Visa Infinite card.

You and your family can earn rewards points per ₱36 spend. Accumulated points can be redeemed for cash rebates, cash deposit to your RCBC savings account, shopping vouchers, and more. Plus, you get a 5% rebate at clothing shops worldwide.

Lastly, you can avail of RCBC's credit card promos!

Fees and Charges:

  • Annual fee:
    • Principal card: ₱6,000
    • Supplementary card: No annual fee for life (up to nine cards)
  • Interest rate: 3%
  • Late payment fee: ₱850
  • Overlimit fee: ₱600

💳 EastWest Platinum Mastercard

EastWest Platinum Mastercard

  • Maximum supplementary cards per account: Nine
  • Age requirement for supplementary cardholder: At least 13 years old for relatives or 16 years old for non-relatives
  • Supplementary credit limit: Shared with the principal card
  • Minimum monthly income requirement for principal cardholder: ₱150,000

Looking for another premium supplementary credit card option? Consider the EastWest Platinum Mastercard.

Earn points for every ₱40 spend. If you prefer buying essentials online, use the free virtual credit card for worry-free shopping.

Travel in comfort with your loved ones using your card's free Travel Accident & Inconvenience Insurance coverage. While waiting for your flight, relax at VIP airport lounges with your Free Priority Pass membership.

Fees and Charges:

  • Annual fee:
    • Principal card: No annual fee for life
    • Supplementary card: No annual fee for life 
  • Interest rate: 3%
  • Late payment fee: ₱1,500
  • Overlimit fee: ₱500

💳 Bank of Commerce Platinum Mastercard

Bank of Commerce Platinum Mastercard
  • Maximum supplementary cards per account: Six
  • Age requirement for supplementary cardholder: At least 15 years old
  • Supplementary credit limit: At least ₱5,000 and in increments of ₱5,000 (assigned by the principal cardholder)
  • Minimum monthly income requirement for principal cardholder: ₱100,000

This premium Bank of Commerce credit card has a lot of money-saving perks for families. Principal and supplementary cardholders earn 1 point per ₱25 spend, get up to 5x points for transactions at select dining and shopping merchants, and enjoy exclusive promos from Bank of Commerce.

For travelers, the Platinum Mastercard comes with a dual currency billing feature and up to ₱2 million in travel insurance.

Fees and Charges:

  • Annual fee:
    • Principal card: ₱5,000
    • Supplementary card: ₱2,500
  • Interest rate: 3%
  • Late payment fee: ₱1,000 or the unpaid minimum amount due, whichever is lower
  • Overlimit fee: ₱500

💳 China Bank Prime Mastercard

China Bank Prime Mastercard
  • Maximum supplementary cards per account: No limit
  • Age requirement for supplementary cardholder: At least 13 years old
  • Supplementary credit limit: Shared with the principal card
  • Minimum monthly income requirement for principal cardholder: ₱20,833

If you get a China Bank credit card, you can enroll an unlimited number of supplementary cards without having to pay annual fees on them.

With the Prime Mastercard, you and your loved ones can earn 1 point per ₱25 spend on dining, shopping, and health and wellness and per ₱200 spend on groceries, medicines, fuel, and utility and insurance premium payments.

Fees and Charges:

  • Annual fee:
    • Principal card: ₱1,500 (free for the first year)
    • Supplementary card: No annual fee for life
  • Interest rate: 3%
  • Late payment fee: ₱750 or the unpaid minimum amount due, whichever is lower
  • Overlimit fee: ₱500

How to Choose the Best Supplementary Credit Card: 3 Features to Look For

how supplementary credit card works - how to choose

Can't narrow it down? Here's how to choose.

Your supplementary card options are limited to what your issuing bank offers. Usually, principal cardholders can get only the same credit card type for their loved ones. Some banks, though, allow their clients to choose from among different cards (other than their own).

However, if you're applying for a new credit card plus supplementary cards to go with it, here are additional features to consider.

☑️ Waived Annual Fees for Life

Beneficial as they are, supplementary cards entail additional costs such as annual fees. Although the typical annual fee for supplementary cards is only half of that of the principal card, it will still add to the cost of your credit card bill, more so if you have two or more supplementary cards.

The best supplementary credit card helps cardholders save money by waiving annual fees for life on the principal card, the supplementary card, or both.

☑️ Control Over the Supplementary Credit Card Limit

By default, supplementary cards all share a single credit limit with the primary credit card. This can be a major disadvantage, depending on your supplementary cardholders' spending habits.

No matter how careful you are with your own card spending, it takes only one reckless, overspending supplementary cardholder to quickly max out your shared credit limit.

If that scenario is very likely in your family, keep your credit card expenses under control by going with a bank that allows you to set your supplementary cardholders' spending limit during your credit card application.

☑️ Supplementary Credit Card Benefits

Does a supplementary card earn miles? Typically, supplementary cards share the same benefits (such as rewards, cashback, or miles) as the principal credit card. However, there may be certain features that are exclusive to the primary card only. Read the fine print carefully to make sure your supplementary cardholders can enjoy the benefits, too.

7 Questions to Ask Before Applying for a Supplementary Credit Card 

how supplementary credit card works - questions to ask before applying

Finally decided on a supplementary card? Before you apply, ask yourself: as a principal cardholder, are you truly ready for the responsibility? Here are a few things to consider:

🤔 Are They Ready to Use a Supplementary Credit Card?

Assess if your would-be supplementary credit cardholder is financially literate and ready to use a credit card. Here are the signs of supplementary card ownership readiness: 

  • Understanding of what a supplementary credit card is and what it's not - Supplementary credit cards are financial tools to help cardholders leverage a credit line in pursuing their financial goals. These are not free, and debts incurred should be paid back on time. 
  • Good budget plan - Check if your loved one knows the best practices of budgeting and managing finances. They should be able to track where their money is going, too. 
  • No huge outstanding debt - Someone with a huge debt may be a high-risk credit card user. 
  • Stable income - This may not always apply to your parents or kids who depend on you for financial support. But if you’re planning to share the credit line with someone, make sure they have a stable source of income. Otherwise, prepare to take the responsibility of paying back what the supplementary card uses out of your credit limit. 
  • Smart purchase plan - Impulse buying is one of the primary reasons why people get into debt. Find a supplementary cardholder who knows how to make a spending plan and who sets priorities when buying. 

🤔 Am I Financially Stable Enough to Cover the Additional Debt?

Are you earning enough to cover the debts incurred on your supplementary card? Understand that once the supplementary credit cardholder fails to pay the balances, you’ll be responsible for settling them. 

🤔 Is My Credit Limit Enough?

How much is your credit limit? Your supplementary credit cardholder will share the credit limit with you unless you have preassigned a limit to the card upon application. 

🤔 Do I Have Time to Monitor the Supplementary Card’s Monthly Spending?

Monitoring monthly spending is time-consuming, especially if you own multiple cards. You don't just list down payment amounts and due dates. You also need to track credit card cut-off dates and billing cycles to make sure that you pay on time. 

🤔 Can I Pay the Additional Fees?

Supplementary credit cards come with annual membership fees. Although they’re lower than those of primary credit cards, the amount can still be substantial, especially if you have multiple supplementary credit cards. Apart from the annual fees, supplementary cards also incur interest charges, late penalty fees, and over-limit fees.

🤔 How Will Supplementary Cards Build or Affect My Credit Score?

Since usage will now come from both the secondary and the primary credit cards, your total balance can easily exceed the ideal 30% of your credit limit. The risks of higher unpaid balances can also increase, especially if the supplementary cardholder defaults on the credit card payment.

🤔 Will My Supplementary Cardholder Be Responsible for My Debts as a Principal Cardholder? 

Although the credit card activity will be recorded under the name of the principal cardholder, some banks consider both the principal and supplementary cardholder liable for all the charges incurred by the credit card account.

Final Thoughts

Now you know how supplementary credit cards work! When comparing and choosing cards for your family, put as much thought into your choice of supplementary cards as you would with the principal card. The best supplementary credit card can help you save more money and manage your family's finances better.

However, your supplementary cardholder should be ready to handle the complexities of owning one. Just like a primary credit card, a supplementary card can help build or break your credit score. As a primary account holder, you should make sure your loved one understands how these cards work and the consequences they entail when mishandled. 

Compare credit cards with Moneymax

Sources:

Venus has almost 20 years of combined experience in content marketing, SEO, corporate communications, and public relations. Most of her career was spent creating informative articles on personal finance and digital marketing. She also invests in stocks, mutual funds, VUL, and Pag-IBIG MP2. Venus graduated cum laude with a Journalism degree from the University of the Philippines Diliman. A hardcore Hallyu Tita, she loves bingeing Korean shows on Netflix while bonding with her cats. Follow Venus on LinkedIn.

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