Credit Cards for OFWs

April 28, 2009 · Filed Under BDO, BPI, Credit cards, OFW 


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



30 Responses to “Credit Cards for OFWs”

  1. DENNIS TRANATE on April 16th, 2013 11:26 pm


  2. Nors on April 17th, 2013 10:02 am

    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. Emilia Fernandez on May 2nd, 2013 4:03 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. Nors on May 2nd, 2013 8:12 pm

    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. Mini on May 24th, 2013 10:19 am

    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. Nors on May 24th, 2013 3:31 pm

    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. Mini on May 24th, 2013 4:21 pm

    Thank you mam nors your a big help to me…God bless you po.

  8. olivia morales on June 3rd, 2013 3:33 pm

    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.

  9. Nors on June 3rd, 2013 10:49 pm

    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.

  10. Manilyn Gaudicos on June 4th, 2013 5:50 pm

    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?

  11. Nors on June 4th, 2013 9:09 pm

    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.

  12. Mariz on June 22nd, 2013 9:33 pm

    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.

  13. anne on July 7th, 2013 6:31 pm

    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?

  14. Nors on July 8th, 2013 9:34 am

    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.

  15. Sarah on August 12th, 2013 2:30 am

    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

  16. Nors on August 12th, 2013 8:27 am

    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.

  17. Kara on August 13th, 2013 9:00 pm

    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.

  18. Nors on August 14th, 2013 12:42 am

    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.

  19. joy on August 24th, 2013 6:06 pm

    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

  20. Nors on August 25th, 2013 11:29 am

    Hi joy, sori hindi na nagbibigay ang most banks ng credit card sa OFWs kasi wala silang ITR at hindi raw stable ang jobs nila. If you like, check this so you can apply for a RCBC bankard instacard rcbc secured credit

  21. rzl on October 12th, 2013 6:50 pm

    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.

  22. Nors on October 13th, 2013 11:19 pm

    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.

  23. Jenny on October 21st, 2013 12:30 am

    I have savings account but not with BDO

  24. annabelle quila on October 28th, 2013 7:38 am

    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

  25. Nors on October 28th, 2013 9:57 am

    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.

  26. Christina Pita on January 4th, 2014 6:12 pm

    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

  27. Nora on January 6th, 2014 2:53 am

    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.

  28. Gelyn Asbela Domz on January 24th, 2014 7:23 pm

    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!

  29. Nora on January 25th, 2014 9:21 am

    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.

  30. Lorraine on February 19th, 2014 8:58 pm

    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

Leave a Reply

Please...NO TEXT SPEAK ... it takes time to understand. Thank you.