Credit Cards for OFWs


Updated August 26, 2013:

The original post published in April 2009 contains info that is no longer true.

BDO and HSBC are no longer offering credit cards to OFWs. Some of the reasons are:

– Most OFWs do not have ITRs  (Income Tax Returns), as they are exempted from paying income taxes. The BSP mandates banks to require ITRs from their clients for certain transactions and services such as credit.
— Many OFWs do not have stable jobs. Their employment is covered by contracts for an average of only 2 years.

If you need a credit card for online payments, you can request for a Secured Credit Card from your bank. Most banks offer Secured Credit Cards. “Secured” means you give the bank Security or Collateral in the form of Savings Account or Time Deposit. The bank will hold your savings account or time deposit, and will not be available for withdrawal, until the time you cancel or surrender your Secured Credit Card.

In some banks, some bank officers do not know what Secured Credit Cards are, and they don’t know if their banks offer Secured Credit Cards. While certain banks easily approve Secured Credit Card application, other banks take time because they still do some credit investigation even if you already have given them your time deposit or savings account.

Here’s info on one Secured Credit Card that is easy to obtain:

RCBC Bankard InstaCard


Published in April 2009:

For OFWs looking for credit cards, I’ve found only two banks in the Philippines which are offering credit cards for OFWs — HSBC and BDO.

Based on our personal experience, BPI also offers credit cards to OFWs, but you wait for the bank to offer you one.  BPI offers a credit card to an OFW who has maintained a BPI time deposit account for a couple of years. BPI also has investment accounts that offer a credit card account as incentive.


BDO issues secured credit cards for OFWs, meaning one must have a savings or checking account with BDO.

The required documents are:

  1. Valid IDs
  2. Employment contract or certificate of employment
  3. Remittance receipts for the last 6 months or payslips for the last 3 months

The other requirements are:

  1. Minimum monthly income of 10,000 pesos
  2. At least 21 years old, not older than 65
  3. Must have a BDO checking or savings account or time deposit of at least 15,000 pesos or equivalent amount in dollars
  4. Must have 2 years continuous job contract
  5. Beneficiary or card administrator must be residing or working within 30 kms of a BDO branch
  6. Must have a home landline phone

You can call the following numbers for further inquiries:

Call 631-8000
(within Metro Manila)
(Libreng Tawag Outside Metro Manila)
(Libreng Tawag Outside of the Philippines)


For OFWs, the requirements are:

  1. Employment contract or certificate of employment
  2. Working visa or work permit or OFW card or certificate issued by POEA
  3. Proof of home address, such as the latest billing statement under the name of the applicant, with the address of the applicant.
  4. A valid ID, such as passport, driver’s license, PRC ID or SSS photocard
  5. TIN number
  6. SSS or GSIS number
  7. Proof of Income
  • could be latest ITR or
  • employer’s certificate of compensation or
  • payslips for the last 3 months

The other requirements are:

  1. At least 21 years old, not older than 65
  2. Philippine resident
  3. Have a residential landline phone
  4. Must be living or working in Metro Manila, Bacolod, Baguio City, Batangas, Bulacan, Butuan, Cabanatuan City, Cagayan de Oro, Calasiao Pangasinan, Cavite, Cebu, Cotabato, Dagupan City, Davao City, Digos Davao del Sur, Dipolog, Dumaguete City, General Santos, Kalibo, Iloilo, Laguna, Laoag City, Legaspi, Lucena City, Naga, Olongapo City, Ormoc City, Pampanga, Panabo & Tagum Davao del Norte, Puerto Princesa, Subic, Rizal, Roxas, Tacloban, Tagbilaran City, Tarlac City, Tuguegarao, Urdaneta Pangasinan, Zamboanga City.
  5. Have at least a gross annual income of 150,000 pesos for the classic cards and at least 480,000 pesos for the gold cards

Related Articles,  posted April 20, 2011:

Secured BPI Credit Cards for OFWs

BPI Credit Card Payment for College Tuition Fees


Add a Comment
  1. SIR/MAM,

  2. Hi Dennis, sorry but based on comments here, BDO no longer approves credit card applications from OFWs because of the uncertainty of overseas contracts. What BDO and other banks approve are secured credit cards — you deposit a fairly big amount with them and then this would become the collateral of your credit card. Also, you need to appear in person when applying for secured credit cards.

  3. Sir/Ma’am

    I was working here in italy,my question is how can i apply a credit card in your good office?

    Hoping for your response.

    Thank you
    Emilia Fernandez

  4. Hi Emilia, banks no longer issue unsecured credit cards to OFWs. This means you have to deposit at least 10k (20k minimum for other banks) with them and this will be used as collateral for your credit card. The usual requirements for credit card application are ITR and certificate of employment from local employer and OFWs don’t have these documents.

  5. Maam my husband is a seaferer…w/ chiefmate rank license. I dont have a work. Malaki naman ipon ko sa bank kasi my allotment is 100,000 plus monthly. Maari po ba ako mag apply ng credit card? It is more convenient kasi to purchase plane tickets via online reservations. Madalas kasi kami mag byahe. Thank you …

  6. Hi Mini, yes, you can apply for a Secured credit card at your bank. They will put a hold on your deposit (amount to be held will depend on the amount you want to allot to your credit card). Later on, if you’ve proven you’re a good payor, the bank will remove the hold on your deposit. For regular card application, banks need ITR and cert of local employment and income.
    Another option is a debit card linked to MasterCard or Visa. Ang maganda dito, wala kang utang and no interest. You load money to this card, then you can use it to book online or buy goods online. Choose from these: Union Bank Eon Visa
    Debit Card
    or BPI ePrepaid Mastercard prepaid card A third option is PSBank Mastercard debit card, which has no load limit but has an initial daily spending limit of 50k per day.
    About credit cards: One advantage of a credit card though is accumulating frequent flyer rewards points.

  7. isa po akong housewife,my houseband is a ofw,ang remittance ko po n narereive is 30k pataas monthy,pwede po ba ko magkaron ng credit card.

  8. Hi olivia, you can start with a secured credit card. You cannot yet get a regular credit card because they will ask for ITR and certificate of employment and income or business permit and income. Ask BPI Family or RCBC Savings or EastWest bank, etc. if you can apply for a secured credit card. You will deposit money, and this will be your collateral for your credit card. After 2 or more years of proving you’re a good payor, you can request for a regular credit card.

  9. Hi.Im Manilyn Gaudicos, nandito po ako sa Dubai nagtatrabaho, gusto po sana mag apply ng credit card sa HSBC bank, pwede po ba akong mag apply through online kahit andito po ako ngayun sa dubai?

  10. Hi Manilyn, puede ang online card application sa HSBC. Try mo na lang sa hsbc website; sundan mo lang yong instructions. Meron silang requirement na dapat meron kang another credit card na active for at least 1 year, or meron kang Advance o Premium savings account sa HSBC.

  11. Madam,
    Good day po! I’ m planning to apply a secured credit card maybe after two months . Would like to ask information since i’m working here in italy what documents is required to avail this card. I have a permit to stay valid for 5 yrs but after this i could avail another 10yrs, is necessary to have a proof that i’m working here or just work contract. Pls inform me all details because i’m coming home soon. I will apply to have one to be use in business purposes. Thanks.

  12. Hi i would like to inquire about credit card balance transfer. I am an ofw and I have an existing credit card from metrobank. This is the only one i have. Would it be possible for me to apply a balance transfer request to another bank? if possible, can you recommend banks that would be willing to process such? what are the requirements?

  13. Hi anne, sorry, credit card balance transfer can happen only if you have 2 credit cards issued by different banks. Basically, what will happen is that you will borrow from one card to pay the other card.

  14. Hi po. Im working here in Maldives. About secured credit cards how much po hinihingi ng BDO? and how long the process will take? 1 month vacay lng po kc ako sa pinas. tnx

  15. Hi Sarah, the next day after your arrival you can visit the nearest BDO and ask about their secured credit cards and how soon you can get the card. But I’ve read that BDO is super strict now, and that some BDO officers don’t even know what a secured credit card is. You can try BPI Family. I’m not sure now, but I think a 20k deposit would give you a 16k credit limit. RCBC offers Instacard with a credit limit of 100% of your time deposit.

  16. Hi! I’m working in Dubai and I have an existing HSBC credit card issued in Manila & it will expire on Apr 2014. Just want to know if I can apply for another credit card with them? or with another bank liek BPI or BDO? Thanks.

  17. Hi Kara, if your record with HSBC is good, they will send you a renewal credit card that will have a new expiration date even if you will not request for it. Usually local banks require local employment or business as a source of income, plus ITR, but there are some that consider ownership of other banks’ credit card as proof of being a good payor. BPI, RCBC and others also offer secured credit cards, with time deposit or savings account as collateral.

  18. hi goodevening. pwede po ba ako mgapply ng credit card yung common law partner ko po ofw sa dubai and 18k lng po salary nya per month possible po ba yun kahit hnd kalakihan yung sahod nya

  19. pwede po ba mag-apply ang mother ko ng credit card but sa akin nakapangalan. what i mean ay, ako ang gagamit. i am ofw in dubai. and everymonth ako ngpapadala sa kanila as well as my father. and my mom is a government teacher.

  20. Hi rzl, sori hindi. Dapat in the name of the applicant. Puedeng mag-apply ang mother mo ng credit card niya at gawin kang extension.

  21. Hi si Ann ito .Ask ko lang kung pwede kami mag apply for credit card. Nag wowork kami ng husbad ko dito sa UK .actually bdo and bpi ang banko namin.first time lng namin apply ng credit card.actually nagloan nga kami sa bdo last year para matapos yun house namin. OK naman 48 k hulog namin monthly.kaya regular ang remitance namin.pwede ba kami mag mag apply for credit card? Thank’s

  22. Hi Ann, these 2 banks are stricter in approving credit card applications compared to other banks. And because you work abroad (no Phil ITR), your option might only be through a secured card. You deposit a big amount with them, preferably time deposit, which will earn interest but will not be withdrawable during the time your credit card is still on a secured status. This means you should also appear at the bank in person to apply. But it would be easier if you apply for a Visa or Mastercard credit card at your bank there in the UK; anyway, you can use those cards also here in the Phil when you take your vacation. Or you can also email BDO and ask if you can apply for a credit card using your good personal loan payment record as your reference.

  23. I’m Christy still working here in Singapore, can I apply for your personal loan for ofw. End contract this Sept.2014, but they renew my contract for another 2 years. Tnx

  24. Hi Christina, sorry but banks have become very strict with credit card and loan applications from OFWs because of the short term and uncertainty of OFW contracts. They will consider if OFWs have long-term time deposits with them. If you have lots of trusted Facebook friends, try applying with But I have no experience with this lending firm; nakikita ko lang mga ads nila.

  25. Hi tanong ko Lang po Possible po ba na maka apply Ako ng sarili kong credit card sa BDO? Me existing credit card po Ako extension po Ako ng friend ko… Gusto ko sana mag karon ng sarili kong credit card sa BDO…
    Almost 8 yrs na po akong remittance ng husband ko sa BDO…
    Seaman po husband ko..
    8months po contract Nya then 1 to 2 months maximum Alis po sya agad…
    Possible po ba na makakuha Ako ng credit card sa BDO Kung mag apply po Ako? Thanks!

  26. Hi Gelyn, sorry BDO and other banks require your ITR and cert of employment or proof of stable source of income for credit card application. If you like, mag-time deposit ka sa BDO, palakihin mo, and then request for a secured BDO credit card. Yong RCBC, meron silang InstaCard program where you deposit money to secure your credit card — mas mabilis ang processing nila.

  27. Hi. I am currently working here in Dubai, and i also want to apply for the secured credit card? i have account in BPI, possible ba na maka pag apply ako even im out of the country pero ipprovide ko mga requirements na needed. Please advise. Thanks

  28. hi po ask ko lang kung pwede po ba ako mag apply ng secured credit card isa po akong ofw 2 years na po ako nag work dito at unlimited contract po ako ano pong requirements sa pag kuha meron din po akong saving account sa bdo
    salamat po

  29. Hi Marichu, BDO is stricter than other banks in giving out secured credit cards. RCBC is more lenient; just go to a branch and request for a secured credit card. You’ll make a time deposit. The same with BPI Family. With BDO, you need to maintain a big time deposit for a longer time and then request.

  30. Good morning mam/sir gusto ko po mag karon ng credit card im ofw saudi first time ko mag apply pwedi po ba.thak you

  31. Hi jomar, pag OFWs, secured credit card ang puedeng makuha. Merong collateral ang credit card for OFWs, kasi ang OFW walang ITR na ma-present, which is required when applying. Sa RCBC, you make a time deposit and then apply for a credit card. Puede ring BPI Family. Ask if you can make a time deposit and then apply for a starter credit card.

  32. Good morning mam/sir andto pa po ako sa saudi alkhobar sa nov. Pa po ang uwi ko san po ako pupuntang banko dto sa saudi meron po bang RCBC at BPI dto para maka pag apply na ko. At kung ma aprove po ako sa ko kukunin ung credit card thank you po.

  33. Hi jomar, sorry you cannot apply for a credit card there in Saudi. Apply in person at a branch here in the Phils. when you come home in Nov.

  34. Good Day, Ako po ay isang Seaman(OFW) and i want to apply a card that can able to avail appliances with a zero interest. Ano po ma sa-suggest nyo sa akin at paano po ang procedure? My gross salary reached up to 700,000.00/10 months per contract.Thanking you in advance

  35. Hi August, usually BPI ang merong zero interest installment plans at usually 6 months to 1 year lang. If you’re here in the Phils, go to BPI Family and ask for their starter secured credit card. You will make a time deposit, which will be used as a collateral for your credit card. Usually, BPI gives 80% of your time deposit amount as your credit limit.
    Another option is to make an auto-renew time deposit at BPI Family, and maintain it for a long time. Add money to it every renewal date, so the amount becomes bigger. BPI offers a regular credit card once it notices that you’re a good saver.

  36. a permanent resident in singapore. I have no contract in sg because of my residency. Im I qualified to apply for credit card?

  37. Hi rdee, you might be able to get a secured credit card if you have valid Philippine IDs and if you have a time deposit with a bank here. If you want a regular credit card, it might be difficult to get because you need a Philippine ITR and proof of source of income.

  38. Hello po, i would like to ask kung pwede po ako makapagapply ng loan kahit 10K lang, my husband is an OFW in Brunei mag one year na sya this september..thanks

  39. Hi Rousel, banks are no longer offering credit cards to OFWs, unless they’re applying for secured credit cards (there should be a time deposit).

  40. hi! we have a dollar account with bdo. My husband is ofw, a seaman. How can we apply for a credit card?

  41. Hi neneng, ask BDO if they’re offering secured credit cards (secured means your deposit is your collateral for your credit card). If not, try applying for a secured credit card at BPI or RCBC. You will be asked to open a time deposit with them. It’s difficult for OFWs to apply for credit cards the usual way because ITR and a certificate of local employment and income are required.

  42. mam,for example how much is my credit limit if my dollar account is 1200 dollars?desame po ba.wala pa po kami alam tungkol dyan e pero gusto namin magkaroon.

  43. Hi, my hubby is an ofw and he has an itr. I heard that bir form 2316 is one of the requirements, i have a copy, as i requested it from his company. His company is here in pinas but they’re being sent abroad for 3 yrs with contract extension. Can we apply for a credit card at bdo? Our bank is Chinabank but they don’t offer credit cards. i heard that it’s a sister company of bdo. Hope to hear from you soon. Thanks.

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