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The cost of medical care in the Philippines

cost of medical bills and health insurance

What is the cost of medical care in the Philippines? More Filipinos are becoming concerned about the high cost of medical care in the Philippines and wondering if they can afford hospital bills and medical bills without health insurance and the answer is usually a solid no. For people who don’t have good health insurance, the threat of being financially ruined or bankrupted by a serious family sickness is even higher than those that are fully insured.  For the very poor, a treatable illness can be a family tragedy as they know they will not be able to afford the medical bills and therefore the effected person will most likely not be hospitalized. It’s not just the big hospital bill and surgery costs but even the doctor’s bills and medicines are becoming too expensive for Filipinos to afford and we are therefore becoming a nation that it starting to avoid doctor and hospital visits due to the expensive medical costs, this obviously puts people’s health at risk.

If you’re wondering how much health care in the Philippines costs, a look at some of the typical health problems in the country and the average costs of hospital bills, doctors bills and surgery costs to treat those illnesses will reveal why getting good health insurance cover is becoming crucial to a families heath and financial security.

Typical costs of medical care

Kidney problems – Medical costs in the Philippines for treating kidney problems is extremely expensive. According to the national kidney and transport institute, kidney diseases are the 7th biggest cause of death in the Philippines. Dialysis which is usually a required treatment for kidney problems can cost 3000 – 4000 pesos per session and can be required 3 times per week for years. This means someone undergoing dialysis could be spending  over 40,000 pesos per month just on the dialysis procedure. This type of medical cost is just too high for many Filipinos. The actual kidney operation can cost from 1 – 2 millions pesos.

Heart disease – 5 out of 10 Filipinos according to the NSA die from cardiovascular causes and up to 21% of the deaths in a particular year are caused by heart disease. It’s a serious problem, even more so when you consider the average cost of heart surgeries and treatments range from 200,000 pesos to 1.5 million pesos for your total medical bill.

Cancer – the most common cancer in the Philippines is breast cancer with 15 Filipinos a day who die from the disease. Treatment costs can vary depending on the cancer and stage but can often cost more than 2 million pesos once you include the expensive medicines and doctors fees. This puts tremendous stress on families who will suffer both emotionally, seeing their loved ones suffer from health issues,  and financially.

As we get older health becomes something we need to pay more attention to. It’s important you look at your financial situation, way up the pros and cons of health insurance and determine if insuring your health is a wise move or not for you and your family. For a monthly premium to an insurance company you can protect yourself both in terms of health and financially. Make sure you find the best insurance policy that offers value for money in terms of a low monthly premium but also offers great health cover meaning they will cover a wide variety of treatments and costs.

Written by Aileen Ng for Money Monster health Insurance

How to be smart with your credit card in the Philippines

credit card tips

Used correctly credit cards can get you discounts, rewards and be a genuine asset to your monthly finances. Used irresponsibly however and they can become a heavy financial burden. Here are 5 useful tips for Filipinos to make credit cards work in your favour.

1) Use your credit card for most purchases.

This one only applies to people who pay their balance in full each month. Using your credit card more frequently means you can build up reward points faster and enjoy perks such as free movie passes, airmiles for free flights, or receive gift and cash certificates that you can use in grocery stores or retail outlets. That’s free money you wouldn’t have if you made your purchases using cash.

2) Choose a credit card that gives you what you want.

Credit cards in the Philippines have different types of rewards, it’s a good idea to choose one that will be beneficial for your lifestyle, here’s some examples.

 If you love shopping – choose a credit card that offers you the most cashback or rewards points and look for cards that offer rebates at your favourite shops.

If you spend a lot of money on fuel – a card that offers the biggest fuel rebates might be best for you. Eastwest bank and Security bank both have credit cards with a massive 7% fuel rebate.

If you love to travel – the HSBC premier mastercard is the market leader at offering airmiles and travel perks with 1 airmile rewarded every time you spend only 25 pesos. Look for banks that offer the smallest spend for the most airmiles while maintaining other perks such as free travel insurance and free access to airport lounges.

3)  Keep an eye on your payment due date

This is where things can get financially ugly for some people. Your card issuer will send a paper or online statement every month showing you the total amount due and the payment due date. If you don’t make any payment on or before this date you could be charged a large penalty fee so make sure you always settle at least the ‘minimum amount due’ every month. Preferably you should always pay off the full total balance so that you will have zero interest charges.

4) Don’t withdraw cash on your credit card

Although sometimes it might be tempting, a cash advance, which is withdrawing cash from your credit card account should be avoided at all cost because it’s a very expensive form of borrowing. Credit card companies intended the cash advance service to be used for emergencies but some people   The moment you withdraw cash your card issuer hits you with a fee of about 500 pesos or 2-4% depending on which one is higher. What some Filipinos don’t realize is that you’re also charged interest from the day you withdraw the cash to the day you settle, so there’s no interest free period. Lastly you should check what you cash advance limit as this is usually different from your credit limit, for example if your credit limit is 100,000 pesos, you may only be allowed to withdraw 30% (or 30,000 pesos) in cash. If you withdraw more than this amount you could be charged an over limit fee.

5) Always check your credit card billing statement each month

Honest mistakes do happen, the pump attendant might have mistakenly charged your credit card twice or perhaps the checkout lady entered the wrong amount, it’s best to keep your day to day receipts and compare them to your credit card statement each month to make sure there’s no errors and that statement due amount is correct.

What is broadband?

compare broadband providers philippines

What is broadband?

The internet has changed the world, now we’re doing so much online from paying bills to communicating with friends and family or just good old shopping . But to do all these things we need a fast and reliable connection to the internet. Broadband is that connection, simply explained the word broadband is any fast permanent internet connection.

What exactly is broadband?

People familiar with the early days of the internet will remember the painfully slow process of using a dial up modem to connect. The modem on your computer would use your existing phone line and dial into the internet, just trying to connect could take often take several minutes . The fact that you had to use a single line (your phone line) meant that when you were connected to the internet you could no longer use your phone line to make phone calls. Replace the single line or to be exact the single band with multiple bands and suddenly data (websites, facebook, chat, video cam) can travel down the line many times faster. The name comes from instead of having a single band (your phone line was single band) you now have a broad band (multiple bands).

Is broadband fast?

The Philippines has more and more options when it comes to internet providers, so to ensure you get the best deal try using our tool: compare broadband in the philippines

More and more internet providers is great news for the consumer as it means the providers are always competing to offer the fastest internet connection.  Internet speed is very important, the faster the connection the faster each website will load which means less waiting. Fast connections mean we can do things such as stream live music or have high quality skype video chat with loved ones or even watch live TV on the internet.

What is a credit card?

how to choose a credit card

What is a credit card and how to compare them?

Credit cards are a convenient way to pay for almost any of your purchases from shopping sprees in the mall & online to paying for hotels and flights for your family vacation. But, you must remember when you spend money using your credit card, you are borrowing money from the bank, just like a loan. Lets start from the beginning.

How do you get a credit card?

If you’re employed or self employed applying for a credit card is simple, first choose which bank you’re going to apply to, this is when you should compare credit cards. Then you will need to demonstrate to your chosen bank that you’re earning money and capable of repaying your debts.  The bank will then decide to accept or deny your application based on whether they think you’re credit worthy. Factors such as job, income, disposable income, assets and existing credit cards with the bank or other banks will be considered in this process.

what is a credit card

If you’re accepted the bank will then set a credit limit which is the maximum amount of money you can spend using your card. Each month you will receive a statement from the issuer stating each transaction/purchase, the amount, the total owed, the minimum you can pay and the due date.

Paying your bill each month

The great thing about using a credit card is the convenience and security, best of all you won’t pay any interest on your purchases if you pay the total amount due in full every month. When your statement arrives you’ll be shown how much you owe the bank, for example 10,000 pesos and what is the minimum you need to pay that month for example 500 pesos (Minimum payment).  If you choose to pay only 500 pesos, this means you will now be charged interest each month for the 9500 pesos outstanding balance, this is when credit cards can become expensive. It is always best to pay as much as you can afford each month so that the interest payments will be minimal, or zero if you clear your balance in full.

Penalty charges and fees

There are several penalties and fees that you may be charged if you don’t pay the bank on time or if you go over your agreed upon credit limit, going over your credit limit can be costly as the fees and penalties can quickly spiral out of control, avoid doing so at all costs. Some credit cards will allow you (if you attempt) to go over your limit so its important you are aware of your credit card balance.

Not recommended for withdrawing cash

Usually you will be allowed to withdraw a certain amount of cash using your credit card from an ATM but its advisable not to do this, unlike purchases, cash withdraws begin incurring interest immediately and usually at a much higher rate than your regular interest rate.

Safety and protection

Credit cards can be a great for security & protection. Imagine if you’re going to buy a tv from the mall with cash, you would be walking around with all that money in your pocket, if you loose the cash, its gone! With credit cards if you loose it you can simply call the bank and have it replaced without loosing a single peso. Credit cards offer much more protection, if you for example purchase a holiday and pay with you card and the holiday company goes bankrupt, you should be able to get the full amount of money back from the credit card.

Compare credit cards

Make sure you shop around for the best deal, you don’t need to apply for a card from your bank, you can apply to any bank in the Philippines. Try to look for one that suits your financial situation and your spending habits.

Credit cards are great when used correctly and even come with a lot of perks.

How can young Filipinos get a credit card…. secured cards

Credit card Philippines

For people who have a full time employment with a good salary, a credit history with the bank (e.g. an existing credit card, savings account or checking account) and have assets such as a house then getting a credit card can be fast and simple.

But, what if you’re a fresh graduate out of college or perhaps you have no history with any banks? Or you don’t have a regular income e.g. you’re a business owner or a freelancer? In these cases it can be hard to apply for a traditional credit card in the Philippines and success rate for applications can be as low as 50%, After all how will the bank know you will repay your debts, banks need to know they can trust you and one of the methods banks use is to check your credit history. Credit history can ultimately be the difference between being approved for a credit card and being denied.

When the money monster team heard about secured cards we new this sounded like a win win situation. This type of credit card allows people with no credit history or bad credit history to build up a good credit history with the bank, in a way this is a chance for anyone really to show the bank they can be trusted and that they are financially responsible with their money. Over time, when you make your payments on time every month your credit history will increase and you will have an opportunity to apply for a better credit card or even loans.

How does it work?

The main difference with a secured card is that you need to give the bank a deposit that will be at a minimum equal to your credit limit. This means if you want a credit limit of 8,000 pesos, you will need to deposit 8,000 pesos and now you will have a credit card and be able to enjoy perks such as reward points, airmiles, discounts and secure shopping and most importantly you will now be building your credit history. But remember, this is still a credit card, you need to make sure you make the required payment every month otherwise you could loose your deposit and damage your credit history.

When can i get a regular credit card?

Usually after 1 year, if you have made all of your payments on time and demonstrated that you are financially responsible you will be eligible for a regular credit card. This is why we really recommend secured cards, it’s a very fair and easy way to prove to banks they you are trustworthy and its win win for all parties.

The following banks in the Philippines offer secured credit cards, you will need to be there in person at the bank to apply, as always make sure you bring all of your ID’s.

Metrobank, BPI, RCBC bank, Union bank