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

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)
1-800-10-6318000
(Libreng Tawag Outside Metro Manila)
(IAC)+800+6318000
(Libreng Tawag Outside of the Philippines)
Email: callcenter@bdo.com.ph

HSBC

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

53 Comments

Add a Comment
  1. Hi jonathan, if your Kabayan is newly issued and has a Mastercard logo, then you can try using it to buy online. For the past 2 or 3 years, a BDO atm debit card with Mastercard logo cannot be used online. But recently, BDO has allowed online use for newly issued debit cards with Mastercard logo. If yours cannot be used, apply for a GCASH card (Globe) or SmartMoney (Smart). Tell them you want the card for online payments and purchases. There’s also a BPI Mastercard prepaid card that can be used online, if you like.

  2. Hi Rodel, you can apply for a secured credit card, meaning you must make a time deposit first. Your time deposit will be your collateral. For regular credit cards, ITR and certificate of employment from a Philippine-based company are required.

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