Many OFWs are interested in getting credit cards, as shown in the number of inquiries we get on this blog.
Again, I say that credit cards are like KNIVES — they are useful, but they can kill if you don’t know how to use them.
How can they kill you?
1. If you misplace or lose your credit card, you’ll be charged with thousands of pesos you didn’t use in just a few minutes. It’s super easy for thieves to use a stolen card.
2. You’ll buy and buy and charge and charge, and in just a few hours, you’ve accumulated 20,000 pesos or much more in debt.
When you have 20,000 pesos, or 100,000 pesos, or more in credit card debt, and you can’t pay even the minimum due, you’re in BIG TROUBLE. The stress can KILL you.
Nevertheless, if you’re careful with money, a credit card can be used as a convenient temporary gap filler.
(Hindi ka na kelangang maghagilap pa ng kung sino-sinong mahiraman, kasi nakakahiya. Gagamitin mo ang credit card to pay something very important while waiting for a certain amount of money that is SURELY coming, na babayaran din agad yong credit card debt nang BUONG-BUO, in FULL AMOUNT, pag andiyan na yong pera.) Additionally, you can build a good credit record for future purposes.
I’ve written previously a blogpost on credit card for OFWs.
Here’s a better and clearer info from Bong, as he has shared in the Comments section.
For Secured Credit Cards, the requirements are simple — the same as the requirements needed when opening an ordinary bank account.
The thing is, since “secured” ang credit card, the bank gets to hold your passbook for as long as you hold the credit card. The maximum credit limit depends on the amount you deposit with them (usually 80% of your total deposit).
For example, I applied for EXPRESS START (secured credit card program ng BPI), opened a passbook account with BPI (I chose the highest yielding passbook account type – they will ask you what type of account you would like to open with the Express Start), then submitted the requirements (basically just 2 valid IDs & pictures, thats it!).
After that, may ipapa-sign sila na contract — Deed of Assignment — which basically says that the bank will hold your deposit for as long as you are using the credit card. 1 year yata ang minimum, but you can terminate the contract for a fee of course.
The good thing about this is — this is hassle-free because of minimum requirements, plus maingat ako sa gastos kasi basically hawak ng bank ang deposits ko, and at the same time, hindi ko pa nagagalaw ang ipon ko — 100,000 pesos ang deposit ko sa BPI, 80,000 ang assigned credit limit ko.
After a year of use, the bank can even give you an “UNSECURED CARD” kung maganda ang credit score mo. By the way, kung sa BPI kayo mag-apply, choose MASTERCARD. Don’t choose the BPI express credit classic.
Notes from Nors:
Advantages of BPI Mastercard:
- More merchants use Mastercard than Classic
– Can be used for international purchases
– Can be used for Internet purchases
– Can be used to apply for free E-credit (credit limit solely for Internet purchases,
so the rest of the credit limit is protected)
Advantages of BPI Classic
- Can be used to pay tuition fees in BPI accredited schools (the card is swiped by school cashiers)
– Lower interest rate
– Lower annual fee
Additional Notes From Bong:
Actually, ang BPI (Express Start), HSBC, BDO, UNIONBANK (Visa), Metrobank and PNB (ASK card specifically for OFWs) all offer secured credit cards. All you need is an account sa bank nila and that’s all.
Try the PNB ASK card, inquire na lang kayo. I heard this type of secured credit card was made for OFWs.
No Annual Fee Credit Card in the Philippines — Metrobank M
Free from Credit Cards, At Last!
Credit Cards in the Philippines — Unfair Collection Practices
Credit Card Fees — Credit Cards Philippines