Nowadays, more and more Filipinos are seeing the advantages of cashless transactions and payments, including having a credit card. For instance, credit cards make bill payments more convenient and safe. Owning a credit card is no longer a status symbol; it is slowly becoming a necessity. So, what is the best credit card in the Philippines? This might be a misnomer because “best” might be subjective when choosing a credit card. The better term or question is, what is the best credit card for me and my transaction options?
Is There a Best Credit Card in the Philippines?
As mentioned earlier, in terms of the “best credit card in the Philippines,” no single credit card works best for everyone. Choosing the right credit card will depend on the person’s budget, needs, lifestyle, spending habits, priorities, preferences, etc. Some Philippine credit cards are also made for specific types of cardholders.
When choosing the best credit card for you, consider these critical factors in deciding on the best credit card in the Philippines for you and your needs.
Minimum income and the requirements
Be realistic and determine the minimum income requirement for the credit cards you are considering. The bank will never approve your application if you earn below the minimum income requirement. Also, check the eligibility and documentary requirements for the credit card you want to apply for.
Credit card fees
Always inquire about a card’s annual fee, late payment, and over-limit fee. These credit card fees may seem small initially but can add up quickly. Always compare the charges of different credit cards and get one that suits your annual income, offers good features, and has the lowest fees. If a card offers no annual fee for life, this can be good for you. It can save you up to P6,000 a year. Also, inquire about the card’s foreign currency transaction fee if you use it abroad.
Credit card cashback, rewards, and perks
Take a close look at credit cards with beautiful deals like discounts, rebates, rewards, and even freebies for things you may spend on the most, such as gadgets, online purchases, fuel, groceries, and dining. Ask how fast you can earn such perks. After all, if you’re going to use something for your finances, you might also enjoy it for convenience.
Advantages of Using a Credit Card
A credit card can be beneficial in many ways, as it provides convenience, security, and rewards.
Credit cards provide a convenient way to pay for goods and services without carrying cash. This is especially useful if traveling or making an online purchase, as the transaction can be completed quickly and securely without using your physical currency. Plus, with most credit cards offering contactless payments of up to £30 now, shopping is even more seamless!
Credit cards offer added security when used for purchases both online and offline. Every purchase requires the correct Card Verification Value (CVV) number on the back of your card – it mitigates fraudulent activity by someone else using your account details to make unauthorized purchases. Furthermore, should any fraudulent activity take place, then users are generally protected under Section 75 of The Consumer Credit Act 1974, which states that any transaction made by credit card over £100 is covered – meaning that any losses suffered will be reimbursed by either the retailer or bank provider depending on who’s ultimately responsible for said fraud/theft (something which wouldn’t happen had cash has been used!).
Lastly, taking advantage of reward programs through certain banks can provide some good discounts when you buy goods & services such as groceries, etc. Depending upon who you’re banking with, there are all sorts of Bonus Points & Miles schemes available – so do make sure to check them out before committing yourself to something too hastily!
Tips on How to Use Your Card Responsibly
However, whether you are using the best Philippine credit card suited for your particular needs or just using a primary credit card for needful purchases, you need to use your card responsibly.
1. Remember always to have your monthly credit balance fully paid
Before a monthly due, cardholders are always sent a statement for the credit balance. Delayed or non-payments mean added interest and late penalty charges.
2. Always prioritize credit card payments
Since you’re always using your credit card, you must make monthly payments a priority and habit. Aside from the penalty consequences, you might suffer from getting buried in bad debt. Always check your spending habits and financial strategies.
3. Check your credit card’s reward system
Check your card’s reward system by visiting the website of the card’s provider. You will discover many perks, exclusive access to special events, airport lounge access, rebates, discounts, and more.
4. One credit card is more than enough
Of course, if you’re earning like a millionaire, by all means, you can use two credit cards. But for the average wage earner, one credit card is more than enough with the headaches associated with monthly payments. Besides, you only need one card to buy groceries, fuel, and essential shopping.
5. Don’t use your credit card for emergencies
One myth people believe about credit cards is tucking them away for emergencies. Using a credit card for unexpected or emergency payments could be better. This will only rack up your monthly expenses.
Overall, always check your credit statements and track all payments to ensure all details are correct and protected. Set a credit limit monthly budget and stick to it. Know how much you can pay back, and never max out your card just for shopping.
Some Examples of Top Performing Credit Cards
Metrobank Credit Card
The Metrobank M Lite MasterCard is specially made for large purchases because it offers discounts, special privileges, deals, and other offers when you buy a product or pay for services. The card also provides a lower finance charge while helping you manage your finances. The interest rate is 2.78% whether purchases are in or outside the Philippines. Approval is easy and quick at the bank’s official website.
BPI Credit Card
Also called the BPI Family Credit Card, this card is known for its low-interest rates and is tailor-made for frugal spenders. Just make sure to pay all your dues on time to avoid the strict penalties BPI is known for. The interest rate is only 2% with no annual fee, and the first card issued is free. Getting a second card is only P500. You only need a minimum income of P15,000 a month. However, this card is primary and doesn’t offer a point system for redeeming or reward points. There are also fewer discounts at restaurants, hotels, and stores. Application requirements such as ID and proof of income (COE, payslip, ITR, AFS) are minimal.
BDO Platinum MasterCard
This card lets you enjoy such features as a free-for-life annual membership if you have a yearly spending of P600,000, a high credit limit, cash advance fee of up to 30%, easy pay installment, MasterCard Moments concierge service, free travel accident, and inconvenience insurance, and rewards points redemption. Interest is 2.75%, with an annual fee of P4,500 for principal cardholders and P2,500 for supplementary ones. Getting a BDO credit card application approved is surprisingly fast and easy.
UnionBank Gold Visa Card
With this card, you can earn 1.5% cash back on every purchase without any limit. The card’s cashback has no expiry, so that you can enjoy its perks and features yearly. If traveling, you have access to NAIA 1’s Club Manila Lounge. However, the annual fee for a primary cardholder is P3,000, and P1,500 for a supplementary cardholder. The interest rate is 3.5%. Approved for a Unionbank credit card application may take time, and the requirements may be heavy.
After reviewing the top credit cards in the Philippines, it is clear that an abundance of choices is available when selecting the perfect card. Whether you’re looking for a low-interest rate, rewards program, or both, there is a card for everyone. Before making any decision, however, evaluate your spending habits and determine how much you can pay off each month to avoid accumulating a high debt balance. Choosing the right card provides financial flexibility and rewards when used responsibly. With these tips in mind, you can make an informed choice on what credit card is best suited for your needs and enjoy all the benefits that come with it.