Tag Archives: credit cards

What is the best credit card for me?

best credit card for you

Because we all have different spending habits and finances there is no single best credit card in the Philippines.  Instead each person has their own unique most suitable credit card based on their spending habits, wants and financial capability. This means the best credit card for you might not be suitable at all for your friend.

Before you apply for a credit card it’s important you consider how you plan to use it. Will you be using your card for all of your everyday needs or just the occasional bill payment? Do you plan on paying your credit card bill in full each month or do you want to make a minimum payment and pay off the debt slowly? Maybe you have an existing card with outstanding debt and you’re looking for a low interest balance transfer credit card in order to keep your interest payments down. Whatever situation you’re in it’s important you choose the card that fits your situation so that you can enjoy all the benefits and rewards a credit card has to offer. Used correctly a credit card is a great financial tool but used incorrectly and it can become a burden on your finances. Here’s some basic information from the money monster team that you should consider before you compare credit cards.

Credit cards - They allow you to make purchases in most stores without any money and interest free for a given period of time. Every month all of your purchases for the previous month are totalled up and the bank sends you a credit card statement showing you how much you spent last month, what’s the total amount you owe, when payment is due and what’s the minimum payment you can make.

For example let’s say you use your credit card twice in January and spend

500 pesos on January  1

2000 pesos on January 20.

On around February 1 your bank will total up how much you spent in January, which in this example is 2500 pesos and send you a credit card statement in the post or by email stating your total amount due is 2500 pesos, the due date for payment is February 15 and the minimum payment is 300 pesos. If you pay your total amount owed of 2500 pesos it means you will NOT incur any interest and would have therefore enjoy 0% interest credit for more than 1 month. However, if you choose to make minimum payment of 300 pesos this means you still owe the bank 2200 pesos. This outstanding balance will now begin to accumulate interest charges. You should further note that if you miss the payment date of Feb 15 you will also be charged a late payment fee usually of around 500 pesos.

Cashback/rewards Credit cards

If you’re one of those people who likes paying off debts in full as quickly as possible e.g  paying your credit card bill in full every single month then interest rates might not be so important to you. Instead you might want to focus on cashback credit cards with rewards. For example the Citibank cash back credit card offers a huge 6% cashback when you spend more than 10,000 pesos per month using your card and an additional 2% for your meralco bills.

If you spend a lot of money on gas every month you might want to consider a fuel rebate credit card so that you can earn up to 7% rebates every time you fill up your tank and paying using your credit card. For example with the Eastwest Bank LausAutogroup Visa you get 7% rebate on your gas purchases from any station and an additional 10% discount on parts and labour from any LausAutoGroup dealership.

So when you compare credit cards make sure you think about your lifestyle and how you prefer to de rewarded….. cashback, fuel rebates, airmiles, rewards and free gift certificates for groceries etc.

No Foreign transaction fee credit cards

Ok so this one is especially useful for Filipinos who love to shop online in America. Every time you purchase something from your favorite online shop in the US using your Philippines credit card, you get charged a foreign transaction fee which can be as much 5%. Often people don’t even know they are being charged this fee as it’s usually hidden in the exchange rate when you receive your credit card statement. Thankfully there are cards on the market that have a ZERO foreign transaction fee meaning when you online in America it’s just like your shopping in the Philippines and with some cards you can even receive your foreign purchases in a separate US Dollar bill so that you can pay separately with Dollars. One of the best cards for shopping overseas is the RCBC Bankard Visa Infinite credit card.


0% balance transfer credit cards

If you already have a credit card with an outstanding balance with a higher interest rate you might want to consider transferring your balance to a new credit card. This is called a balance transfer and can save you a LOT of money when done correctly. In the Philippines 0% is very rare but one of the best low balance transfer cards is the BPI Ayala Malls Amore Visa . It’s simple and fast to transfer your balance to a new card and you will enjoy interest rates as low 0.59% for up to 2 years instead of the usual 3%, this can amount to huge savings every month and will help reduce the stress of too much debt.

Before you apply for a credit card online make sure you consider all of the above points and choose a card that suits you.

Best Philippine credit cards for shopping online in the US

credit cards

A lot of us Filipinos enjoy shopping online in America because of the cheaper prices and huge selection (druel worthy huge) of products that are available, many of which you can’t buy in the Philippines or cost substantially more here. You can safely shop online using your Philippine credit cards on American websites or online stores and have your items quickly shipped to your air freight forwarder and be enjoying your purchases within just 1 week. Using your credit card to make payment also means you protect yourself against fraudulent websites or sellers as your credit card issuer can do a chargeback to recover the funds, all good so far.

Overseas spending credit cards

What some people don’t realize however when they’re shopping online in America they are being charged an overseas transaction fee even if they’re in the Philippines. These fees are usually not mentioned, hidden or disguised as an exchange rate but if you examine your credit card billing statement you will notice the rate is usually between 2-5% in the banks favour as this is where the banks hide their fees. This means you have paid up to 5% to use your credit card overseas and you might not have even realized it.

Best credit cards for overseas shopping

The best credit cards in the Philippines for overseas shopping are from Security Bank, RCBC, BPI & Maybank. These banks have cards that offer the lowest overseas transactions fees ranging from 0% to 1%. Remember though when picking a credit card also consider the monthly interest rate, annual membership fee, chargeback protection policy and what rewards and perks they give to their cardholders.  Also consider your financial situation, if you think you won’t be able to pay your credit card bill in full on the due date then this means you will be charged interest on the outstanding balance (unpaid) and it would wise to choose a card that has both a low overseas transaction fee and a low interest rate on purchases.

To find the best overseas spending credit cards simply use our compare credit cards tool.

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 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 to choose a credit card in the Philippines


People often ask ”what is the best credit card”. There is no simple answer to this as every person uses their credit card differently, one card might be perfect for a shopaholic and not so good for an avid traveller. The way to approach this is to find out what credit card is perfect for YOU and YOUR needs. Money Monster has put together some points every Filipino should consider in order to help them find the best credit card for them but before you compare credit cards, make sure you know the basics….

  • Having a credit card means you don’t need to pay your bill in full every month, which can be useful but remember anything unpaid will incur interest charges.
  • If you miss a payment to your credit card provider or go over your credit limit you will be charged a fee, usually 500 pesos + a percentage of the outstanding balance
  • Credit cards can be great, they offer protection on purchases, can be used in most places meaning you don’t need to carry cash and they enable you to borrow in advance. However, credit cards are only good for financially responsible people. Not used correctly and your credit card could cost you a lot of your hard earned income in late penalties and over credit penalties.
  • A credit card enables you to make purchases without the money being taken from your bank account right away. Instead you will receive either by email or mail a credit card statement every month stating how much you owe, when it needs to be paid and what is the minimum payment you can make.

There are many different types of credit cards to compare.

will you be using your card for a lot of retail shopping in malls? If so you will want a card with good rewards, points and cash back specifically for shopping, some banks offer credit cards up to x 2 rewards for shopping. Click here to see the best Shopping credit cards. 

Perhaps you like to travel? If so you would want a card that offers the most miles and travel rewards, meaning every time you make a purchase using your card you will earn air miles that you can then later redeem for a free or discounted flight. You also want to watch to consider if you will be using your credit card overseas or not? If you do, you will want to make sure you have a card that offers low transaction fees on overseas spending.

How do i plan on paying my credit card bill every month?

Something that is often overlooked is how do you plan on paying for your credit card? You need to be honest with yourself and consider if you can definitely make full payment each and every month. If you think you might not be able to make full payment every month then make sure you find credit cards with low interest rates. This will  help keep your interest payments low and affordable. Credit cards are usually designed differently, a card with great rewards and cashback offers might be perfect for people who make full payment of their bill every month, but not so good for people who like to make monthly minimum payments as these types of cards can have higher interest rates.

0% balance transfer cards

These cards are great for people who currently have a credit card and are being charged a high monthly interest rate due to an outstanding balance. For people in this situation transferring to a 0% or low interest balance transfer card can be very beneficial as they will move their outstanding balance to the new credit card company and not pay any interest (or a low interest rate) for several months, saving them a lot of money.