Last Updated on March 24, 2020 by admin

Contrary to popular belief, owning a credit card doesn’t always lead to overwhelming debts. The real culprit here is the person’s spending habits. Credit cards have acquired a bad reputation in the Philippines because of Filipinos with bad financial habits who can’t control their impulsiveness. Little did they know that credit cards can actually help manage monthly finances and spread out purchases. 

So, if you’re earning enough and want to build a good credit score, now is the best time to get a credit card. Overcome your fear of credit cards and overwhelming debts; they are not always mutually exclusive, especially if the holder is a responsible spender. Here’s the ultimate list of the best credit cards in the Philippines for first-timers: 

Citibank Simplicity+

Citibank offers some of the most user-friendly and affordable credit cards for first-timers, and one of these is the Citibank Simplicity+ credit card. As the name suggests, Simplicity+ offers simple yet generous deals to help you come up with a foolproof monthly financial plan. It’s no annual, late payment, and low-payment fee features are already attractive, but the card has so much more to offer than the removal of standard transaction fees. 

Upon approval, you can instantly get exclusive deals, gifts, promos, and discounts from Citibank’s partner merchants. And as you use the card for travel, entertainment, and dining purposes, you can take advantage of its installment plans and interest rebates as well.

Top features:

  • No annual fees
  • No late payment fees
  • No over-limit fees
  • 10% interest back

Requirements: 

  • Minimum annual income: 180,000.00 pesos
  • Age requirements: Principal: 21-65 years old; Supplementary: 13-65 years old

AUB Easy Mastercard

Launched in 2015, AUB Easy Mastercard is one of the first credit cards in the Philippines that offer flexible monthly payment options. With this credit card, you can choose how many times you’ll need to pay your minimum amount due based on your budget or payday schedule every cut-off: weekly, 1x a month, or 2x a month. Regardless of your payment option, the card does not charge interest on new purchases made after the statement cut-off. Late or minimum payments are subject to a 2.25% monthly interest rate. 

Aside from its promising payment options, AUB Easy Mastercard also offers various features and promotions to new and existing users, such as eGifts, rewards programs, and global promotional offers. You can enjoy all AUB Easy Mastercard’s offerings with no annual fee forever. 

Top features:

  • Flexible payment options
  • No annual fees
  • Rewards program (1 point for ever ₱20 spend)

Requirements: 

  • Minimum annual income: 252,000 pesos
  • Age requirements: 21 – 65 years old

BPI Blue

For first-time credit card users and travel junkies, BPI Blue credit card can cover all your expenses strategically. The card can be used in any establishment that supports Mastercard around the country and beyond. If you’re using it internationally, you’re automatically covered with free travel insurance of up to 2 million pesos and a 30% cash advance on top of your credit limit. 

BPI Blue also rewards you for shopping and frequent card usage. The card’s reward program covers all your local and international card transactions at BPI partner establishments. You can earn 1 point for every ₱35 spend. 

Top features:

  • Waived annual fee for the first year;  
  • 2M worth of travel insurance
  • Rewards program (1 point for every ₱35 spend)

Requirements: 

  • Minimum annual income: 180,000 pesos
  • Age requirements: Principal: 21-65 years old; Supplementary: 13-65 years old
  • Annual membership fee: Principal: 1,550 pesos; Supplementary: Free for life for the first card

PNB Essentials 

If you’re a Filipino millennial who loves shopping and travel, PNB Essentials has got you covered—literally. The card offers travel, purchase, and fraud insurance. Travel and purchase protection insurance plans are free, but you can get the fraud transaction insurance for only 10 pesos a month or 120 pesos a year. 

Aside from personal and financial protection, PNB Essentials also offer rewards programs and 0% installment plans. For your accumulated rewards, you can get cash credits or Mabuhay Miles. For the installment plan, the 0% interest rate is applicable to high-end brands supported by PNB. You can choose your preferred payment terms from 3, 6, 9, 12, 18 up to 24 months.

Top features:

  • Waived annual fee for the first year
  • Multiple insurance plans for travel and transactions
  • Rewards program (1 point for every ₱50 spend)
  • 0% interest for high-end luxury brands purchases 

Requirements: 

  • Minimum annual income: 150,000 pesos
  • Age requirements: Principal: 21-65 years old; Supplementary: 21-65 years old
  • Annual membership fee: Principal: 1,200 pesos; Supplementary: 600 pesos

Bank of Commerce Classic

Bank of Commerce Classic is the best credit card for first-timers who are struggling to navigate the complicated world of adulthood. It offers one of the best reward and installment programs as it can cover all your everyday purchases—groceries, gas, and utilities. You can be rewarded by just buying your daily and regular needs. More than that, big purchases like plane tickets, tuition fees, and hospital bills can be covered by the card’s installment feature with low monthly interest rates and longer payment terms.

If you want to spend money on social leisure activities from time to time, Bank of Commerce Classic offers 5x rewards points on select dining and shopping merchants. You can use your accumulated points to pay for your future expenses. 

Top features:

  • Waived annual fee for the first year;  
  • Zero to relatively low monthly interest rates
  • Rewards program (1 point for every ₱25 spend)

Requirements: 

  • Minimum annual income: 120,000 pesos
  • Age requirements: Principal: 21-65 years old; Supplementary: 15-65 years old
  • Annual membership fee: Principal: 1,200 pesos; Supplementary: 600 pesos

Eastwest Practical Mastercard

If you’re after flexible payment terms, low-interest rates, and light monthly payments, Eastwest Practical Mastercard is the best option in the market. Basic purchases from gasoline stations, supermarkets, and drugstores are only subject to a 3.25% monthly interest rate. If you purchase from Eastwest’s partner merchants, you can take advantage of the card’s 0% interest installment payment plan.

Outside the Philippines, you can still enjoy the many benefits of Eastwest Practical Mastercard. The card is accepted at over 300 countries and 29 million establishments, so you can ditch the cash if you want to travel light. But whenever you need cash, the card offers a 50% cash advance on top of your credit limit. 

Top features:

  • Insta-cash feature
  • Flexible annual membership fee (annually, quarterly, or monthly)
  • Global acceptance
  • Low-interest rates for basic purchases

Requirements: 

  • Minimum annual income: 120,000 pesos
  • Age requirements: Principal: 21-65 years old; Supplementary: 13-65 years old
  • Annual membership fee: Principal: 1,400 pesos; Supplementary: 700 pesos

Metrobank Classic

Metrobank Classic is the most promising credit card for Filipino first-time users with families. With up to 4 supplementary cards, you can distribute the benefits of the card to your family members. Each holder can enjoy the card’s 0% interest installment plan and reward program for dining, entertainment, grocery, shopping, and travel at all Metrobank’s participating merchants. The principal cardholder can set his preferred credit limit to each card. 

All accumulated points from the principal and supplementary cards can be used to redeem exciting gifts and premium items like tickets from Philippine Airlines, Cathay Pacific Airlines, or Singapore Airlines. 

Top features:

  • Waived annual fee for the first year
  • Up to 4 supplementary card
  • Rewards program (1 point for every ₱20 spend)
  • Air Miles

Requirements: 

  • Minimum annual income: 180,000 pesos
  • Age requirements: Principal: 21-70 years old; Supplementary: 14-80 years old
  • Annual membership fee: Principal: 1,500 pesos; Supplementary: 800 pesos

Metrobank M Free Mastercard

The M Free Mastercard is another budget and lifestyle-friendly credit card from Metrobank. It’s perfect for Filipino millennials-on-the-go who don’t want to bring huge chunks of cash wherever they go. The card’s contactless feature will let the user enjoy quick and paperless transactions anywhere. You won’t have to sign papers and receipts for everyday purchases worth 2,000 pesos and below as Metrobank’s embedded security chip protects all your transactions.

Although the card doesn’t have a reward program, it offers ATM fast-cash withdrawals and discounts at their ‘M here! partner dining, shopping, and travel establishments. Their partner merchants also support the card’s 0% installment program. 

Top features:

  • Waived annual fee
  • Contactless feature for purchases worth 2,000 and below
  • Fast cash withdrawal feature

Requirements: 

  • Minimum annual income: 180,000 pesos
  • Age requirements: Principal: 18-70 years old; Supplementary: 14-80 years old

BDO ShopMore Mastercard

If you love online and retail shopping, you can turn your leisure activities into rewards using BDO ShopMore Mastercard. Aside from free SM Advantage Card, the credit card also offers discounts, rebates, gifts, and other special promotions at The SM Store, participating SM Retail Affiliates, and partner retail brands. Every 200-peso worth of transaction you make at BDO and SM’s main and partner establishments will earn you 0.50 peso and/or 1.5 SM Advantage points.

Other shopping promotions you can take advantage of using BDO ShopMore Mastercard are SM’s 3-Day Sale events with 5% rebates, 0% interest installment plans for purchases worth 3,000 and above at all partner merchants, and 10% on top of SM’s sale price. 

Top features:

  • Waived annual fee for the first year
  • Free SM Advantage Card
  • Generous shopping promos 
  • Up to 10,000 pesos worth of cash rebates 

Requirements: 

  • Minimum annual income: 180,000 pesos
  • Age requirements: Principal: 21-70 years old; Supplementary: 13-70 years old
  • Annual membership fee: Principal: 1,500 pesos; Supplementary: 750 pesos

Security Bank Classic Mastercard 

Security Bank Classic Mastercard is an all-around card that you can use anywhere—for shopping, utilities, groceries, travel, dining, and entertainment. All transactions you’ll make using the card will earn you non-expiring points and rewards. On top of that, you can enjoy all-year-round deals and discounts from their partner establishments. 

If you’re planning to make huge purchases, Security Bank Classic Mastercard has got you covered. The card offers a 0% interest installment plan of up to 24 Months via ChargeLight to help you spread out your bills and transactions. 

Top features:

  • Up to 5 supplementary cards
  • Rewards program (1 point for every ₱20 spend)
  • Bills Assist Online Facility for monthly payments 
  • ChargeLight Installment Plan

Requirements: 

  • Minimum annual income: 180,000 pesos
  • Age requirements: Principal: 21-65 years old; Supplementary: 16-67 years old
  • Annual membership fee: Principal: 2,000 pesos; Supplementary:1,000 pesos

How To Acquire And Choose Your First Credit Card

Make Sure You Have A Stable Income

A credit card is a privilege, so don’t get one if you’re not ready. Only persons with a stable source of income are qualified to get a credit card. You need a monthly flow of money to pay your credit card bills. Besides, banks require applicants to submit proof of employment or business ownership. If you’re employed, you can submit copies of your payslip and certificate of employment (COE). If you’re a for-hire freelancer or self-employed, they will strictly require a copy of your latest ITR.

Compare And Contrast 

Do your research, and go beyond our list. Our list of the best credit cards for first-timers explicitly shows all the card’s features, pros, and cons, but you need to consider your choices carefully. Choose a card based on your monthly income, needs, and lifestyle. Check the fees, rewards, interest rates, and requirements before you sign-up.  

Know Your Wants And Needs

Financial priorities vary per person, so there are credit cards that target different audiences. Identify your main priorities in life and how a particular credit card can help you tick the boxes on your list. Is it for travel, utilities, or entertainment? Make sure that the card’s perks will help you get the best deals based on your frequent purchases.

Get To Know The Bank

It’s best to get a credit card in a bank where you have a savings or credit account. If you have an existing banking relationship with the company, it can improve your chances of getting approved. However, other banks may offer credit cards with better features, so it’s best to explore other options. Get to know the bank with the best credit card selection.