Best Credit Cards in the Philippines

5 Options for the Best Credit Card in the Philippines

Featured Image Source: Towfiqu Barbhuiya

If you’re thinking of switching to convenient and secure cashless payments, you must have the best credit card in the Philippines. And this article can help you choose one among the many credit card choices in the country.

We also answered some FAQs and shared some valuable information on how to use your credit card. 

First, let’s talk about how much you would need to apply for a credit card in the Philippines.

How Much Do You Need to Apply for a Credit Card in the Philippines?

To be eligible for a credit card in the Philippines, you should at least have an annual income of Php 120,000. However, depending on the bank, the minimum annual income can go as high as Php 1.2 million. 

You should also have a good portfolio and credit score, the standards of which depends on your chosen bank. 

These are only the financial aspects of applying for a credit card. For additional information on eligibility, scroll down to our separate section, the guide to getting the best credit card in the Philippines.

After qualifying for the credit card, you should also expect these kinds of fees.

Types of fees and ratesPrice or percent range
Primary cards annual feePhp 1,500–Php 12,000
Supplementary annual cardsPhp 300–Php 2,500
Cash advance feePhp 200
Late payment chargesPhp 600–Php 1,5002.25%–8%
Overlimit feePhp 300–Php 1,500
Card replacement feePhp 200–Php 750
Foreign exchange rates1.5%–3.525%
Gambling fee2.5%–5%
Balance transferPhp 80–Php 9000.75%–2.1%

Know that some banks even offer free membership for primary and supplementary cards alike.

As for interest rates, most Philippine banks follow a 2% interest rate.

The Best Credit Cards in the Philippines

Here are our top picks of credit cards in the Philippines. We tried to be as thorough with this list, so you can have choices for the different types of credit cards. 

1. Metrobank M Free Mastercard

Best Credit Card for Beginners

Metrobank M Free Mastercard
WEBSITEApplication form
ANNUAL MEMBERSHIP FEEFree for life
MINIMUM ANNUAL INCOMEPhp 180,000
ASSOCIATED FEESRetail monthly interest rate / finance charge: 2%
Late payment fee: Php 1,000 or unpaid minimum amount due (mad), whichever is lower
Overlimit fee: Php 750
Foreign transactions: 2.5%
Cash advance monthly interest rate: 2%

If you are a beginner or have a low annual income but still want to build your credit score, then the Metrobank M Free Mastercard may be the best option. Among the best things about this credit card is that it waives annual membership fees, for life!

The Metrobank M Free card also offers Bills2Pay, where you can conveniently pay for electricity, water, internet, and cable bills online. 

It’s also convenient in a way that doesn’t sacrifice security, as the M Free Mastercard features a contactless payment scheme for purchases below Php 2,000.

Like other credit cards, the Metrobank M Free Mastercard boasts of its credit to cash conversion service. It even allows credit to cash withdrawal in ATMs.

However, given that it’s mostly for beginners, the Metrobank M Free Mastercard also has its limits. The first limitation is that it only offers 0% interest rates for up to 24 months of installment only.

To add to this con, M Free Mastercard doesn’t have a rewards system, so you won’t be able to gain bonuses to be exchanged for vouchers or cash.

Pros

  • Free annual fees for life
  • Convenient utility payments
  • Contactless payments
  • Low minimum annual income requirement

Cons

  • Only up to 24-month installments
  • No rewards system

2. RCBC Flex Visa

Best Credit Card for All-Around Spenders

RCBC Flex Visa
WEBSITEApplication form
ANNUAL MEMBERSHIP FEEPrimary card: Php 1,500
Supplementary card: Php 750
MINIMUM ANNUAL INCOMEPhp 180,000
ASSOCIATED FEESMonthly interest rate: 2.00%
Retail monthly effective interest rate: 2.03%
Late payment fee: Php 850 or the minimum amount due, whichever is lower International transaction fee: 2.25% 
Overlimit fee: Php 600

Other fees

If you want the best credit card in the Philippines for rewards, the RCBC Flex Visa should be your pick.

This card offers 2x bonus points for dining, travel, clothing, and transportation transactions. Earned points can then be exchanged for vouchers and air miles, and even as donations and cash credit for your deposit account. 

And when you charge all international travel expenses to the RCBC Flex card, you even receive free travel insurance worth up to Php 50,000 and access to the Skyview Airport Lounge. For international purchases, you also get 0% interest rates for installment purchases and purchase protection insurance. 

Best of all, RCBC Flex Visa features budget management services where you can monitor your monthly spending and receive SMS advisories. 

The only downside to this mega-rewards promise is that you can only choose two categories every month. Luckily, you can still change categories every billing cycle. 

What we find appealing with this credit card is that it has a low minimum income requirement, allowing those with as low as 15,000 income a month to apply. We also like that it has a relatively low annual fee of Php 1,500.

If you find this to be the best credit card option, then you’d need to pass documents as proof of income or business transactions, a copy of one valid ID, and a filled-out application form. 

Pros

  • Points can be converted donations or cash
  • Low annual membership fee
  • Low minimum annual income eligibility
  • Spending analyzer and alerts

Cons

  • Rebates limited to two categories
  • No gas and online purchase category

3. HSBC Red Mastercard

Best Credit Card for Earning Rewards

HSBC Red Mastercard
WEBSITEApplication form
ANNUAL MEMBERSHIP FEEPrimary card: Php 2,500
Supplementary card: Php 1,250
MINIMUM ANNUAL INCOMEPhp 200,000
ASSOCIATED FEESRetail monthly nominal interest rate: 2% per month
Retail monthly effective interest rate: 1.83% per month
Cash advance monthly nominal interest rate: 2% per month
Cash advance monthly effective interest rate: 2.18% per month
Overlimit fee: Php 800
Foreign transactions: 2.5% + 1%

HSBC Red Mastercard is yet another rewards card that’s best for earning bonus points. This credit card provides 3% rebates for fuel transactions in Caltex and 1 bonus point per Php 20 spent for other purchases. 

HSBC even offers accelerated rewards where cardholders can enjoy up to 4 times the bonus points for overseas, dining, shopping, and online transactions. Bonus points can then be converted to gift certificates, vouchers, air miles, and tangible items. 

It also has 27,000 partners worldwide ready to give you perks and points. Paying in installment is also great with HSBC Red Card as it boasts of a 0% interest for up to 36 months of installment payment.

Additionally, HSBC Red Mastercard has an Autocharge system where it automatically pays for routine payments or subscriptions, like cable and internet plans. That said, bills from autocharge may surprise you, especially if you accidentally or unknowingly register for new subscriptions. 

Application for this credit card mainly requires proof of identity and residence. You must also have a minimal annual income of Php 200,000 and an existing at least a year old locally issued credit card to be eligible. 

New cardholders can also enjoy a waived annual fee for the first year of membership.

Pros

  • Email and online banking monitoring
  • Bonus points and 4x accelerated rewards
  • Numerous merchant partners locally and globally
  • Low minimum annual income requirement
  • Convenient utility plan payments

Cons

  • Autocharge feature may surprise those with new unwanted subscriptions 
  • Fuel rebate limited to Caltex

4. RCBC Black Card Platinum Mastercard

Best Credit Card for High-End Lifestyle

RCBC Black Card Platinum Mastercard
WEBSITEApplication form
ANNUAL MEMBERSHIP FEEPhp 3,600
MINIMUM ANNUAL INCOMEPhp 500,000
ASSOCIATED FEESMonthly interest rate: 2.00%
Retail monthly effective interest rate: 2.03%
Late payment: Php 850
Foreign transactions: 2.25%

Other fees

On the other hand, the RCBC Black Platinum Mastercard is the best credit card for those who have the capacity for the finer things in life. The RCBC Black Platinum Mastercard is available in dollar and peso variants to make purchases both locally and internationally more convenient. 

Its benefits are much like that of the RCBC Flex cards. So, you can enjoy features such as the spending analyzer and monitoring, rewards conversion to vouchers, cash, and donations, and enhanced security.

But as a black card, the Platinum Mastercard has more advantages.

Among these benefits are the free-for-life supplementary cards, unlimited access to Skyview Airport Lounge, and non-expiring rewards. Its travel insurance even reaches up to Php 1,000,000.

RCBC Black Platinum Mastercard also allows an unlimited number of 0% interest-rate installment purchases at a time.

For added convenience, this credit card is also suitable for paying electricity, water, cable, and internet plans. You can even use it to pay for insurance plans.

But with increased benefits also comes increased responsibilities. So, you should expect to pay higher membership fees and achieve minimum income requiremenets with the RCBC Black Platinum Mastercard.

Pros

  • Points can be converted to donation or cash
  • Spending analyzer and monitoring SMS
  • Free supplementary cards
  • Unlimited 0% interest installment payment
  • Non-expiring rewards points

Cons

  • High minimum income requirement
  • Relatively more expensive membership fees

5. BDO VISA Platinum

Best Credit Card for Travellers

BDO VISA Platinum
WEBSITEApplication form
ANNUAL MEMBERSHIP FEEPrimary cards: Php 4,500
Supplementary cards: Php 2,250 (beyond 5 supplementary card holders)
MINIMUM ANNUAL INCOMEPhp 1,200,000
ASSOCIATED FEESMonthly effective interest rate: 2.50%
Cash advance fee: 5% of amount withdrawn
Late payment fee: 4.5% of overdue amount
Foreign exchange rate: 1% fee + 1% conversion fee

The BDO Visa Platinum is the best credit card in the Philippines for those who like going on vacation. We say this because this credit card provides priority passes in over 1,300 VIP airport lounges globally, regardless of class or airline.

Additionally, the BDO Visa Platinum offers up to Php 20 Million in travel accident and inconvenience insurance and medical reimbursement of up to Php 1.5 Million. These benefits rival just about any other travel insurance freebie in the country.

This credit card also offers purchase protection of up to USD 200 per year. The BDO Visa Platinum even has a virtual card option for light and secure online shopping.

What sets this credit card apart from its competitors is that it’s available in dual currency. So, you can purchase items or services in either peso or dollar currency without any need for hefty conversions.

Since its main market is for avid travelers, the BDO Visa Platinum only offers 1 reward point per Php 1,000 of purchase. The bonus points can then be translated into peso and be used as payment for your credit bill or purchases in SM Retail stores.

Luckily, it still has some other benefits such as EasyPay Installments, credit to cash conversions, and balance transfers. Moreover, BDO features a 24/7 concierge app which you can ask for help anytime, anywhere.

Pros

  • Virtual card available for online shopping
  • VIP lounge pass in over 1,300 airports
  • 24/7 concierge services
  • Dual currency credit card
  • Up to Php 20 million travel insurance
  • Free supplementary cards

Cons

  • Rewards limited to SM Retail Stores
  • High expense requirement per bonus point
  • High annual fees and income requirements

How to Get the Best Credit Card

Different banks and types of credit cards also have different requirements. However, some requirements are common among different banks. 

Here are the usual requirements to be eligible for a credit card in the Philippines.

1. Age

For primary cards, you should at least be 21 years old. On the other hand, supplementary cards, which are connected to primary cards, are available for Filipinos as young as 13 years old. 

Some banks also set an age limit of 65-70 years old for credit cardholders. 

These age limits for credit card eligibility can change depending on your chosen bank.

2. Annual income

As mentioned earlier, primary cardholders should be earning income equal to or greater than the minimum annual income requirement of their chosen bank. Beginner credit cards accept annual incomes around Php 120,000 – Php 250,000, while premium cards may require as much as Php 1.2 million.

You’ll need to supply these documents as proof of income:

  • BIR Income Tax Return (ITR)
  • Employee payslip
  • Certificate of employment
  • Bank Statement

Self-employed individuals and business owners who may not have payslips or certificates should at least provide:

  • Audited Financial Statements (AFS) with BIR/bank stamp 
  • BIR Income Tax Return (ITR)
  • Registration papers from SEC or DTI

3. Citizenship

You must be a Filipino citizen to qualify for a credit card in the Philippines. Here are some valid IDs you can use as proof of identity:

  • Driver’s license
  • Passport
  • Postal ID
  • PRC license
  • SSS/TIN ID
  • Voter’s ID

You’ll also need to provide your contact details and proof of residence. Here are some types of documents you can use as proof of residence:

  • Utility bills
  • Lease agreements
  • Driver’s license

While citizenship is required, foreigners can still be eligible for Philippine credit cards. As long as they can provide proof of legal status, such as proof of residence or employment, foreigners can apply for credit cards.

4. Contact details

Most banks also require that you provide a working landline number or mobile phone number in your residence or workplace. Some banks will also inquire about your email address.

Tips to Using Credit Card Wisely

1. Never go above your credit limit

Never go above your maximum spending. And as much as possible, don’t spend more than 30% of your maximum limit. 

So, before you swipe, think about whether or not you have the money to pay it back before the deadline. If you don’t then you shouldn’t proceed with the purchase just yet. 

2. Always pay on time

You should always pay on time not only to avoid additional fees due to interest rates but also to show how responsible you can be with your card.

Paying on time also means paying back all the money you owe the bank. The more balance you leave out, the more additional fees compounded, and the more you’ll pay in the long run.

If you can’t, then you should at least pay the minimum fee, around 5% of the credit card bill, before the deadline.

3. Use your credit card for routine purchases

Pay for your gas, groceries, and casual dining with your credit card to maximize its use. You can also use it for big purchases, as long as you’re sure you have the money to pay it back.

4. Watch out for rewards

Besides, some credit cards also have a rewards or cashback system. The more you use your credit card for purchases, the more you can earn points.

And as much as possible, try to use those perks because you’ve earned them! 

5. Check the fees

Lastly, check the fees, especially if you pay for international purchases. Most banks charge additional service charges for foreign exchange purchases.

And if you’re thinking of cashing out your credit, make sure you’re willing to pay the extra cash advance fee, which is usually at Php 200.

Different Types of Credit Cards in the Philippines

The list below shows the different types of credit cards in the country. We’ve also included who they’re for, so you can choose which best suits your needs:

  • Shopping credit cards: for shopaholics
  • Premium credit cards: for those who enjoy high-end perks from exclusive clubs, restaurants, and overseas
  • Rewards credit cards: for those who want rewards and perks from merchants
  • Cashback credit cards: for those who also want rewards, but in cash form
  • Entertainment credit cards: for those who like to go to the mall and movies
  • Dining credit cards: for foodies who frequently eat out
  • Travel miles credit cards: for travelers who also want to gain miles and points
  • Gas credit cards: for car owners who drive and travel a lot
  • Specialty credit card: for students or corporate business owners

FAQs about Credit Cards


We hope our list helps you avail of the best credit card in the Philippines. These credit cards can surely make shopping, dining, and even traveling more convenient than ever!

Do you have any suggestions, maybe some sections to add or some credit cards worthy of being called the best? If so, then please leave us a message!

If you’ve found out that you need a higher monthly income to apply for your chosen credit card, then the best high-income online jobs in the Philippines can help you out! Check out our list to know which role best fits you.

*photos taken from respective websites

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