When I first started living in the Philippines, I realized that there were many things I could not buy.  Without a Philippines credit card most post paid mobile phone service is out of reach.  I should say, that it was for me.  I was unable to find any place in Cebu that would allow me to get post pay.  It bothered me at first, but it was one of the things that I became use too.  After all, most people living in the Philippines buy load to use their phones.  If they can do it, I can too.  Most people living in the Philippines do not have a credit card.

BDO called me about a month ago to ask me questions in regard to them issuing me a credit card.  At first, I was inclined to decline.  I recalled though that there were some doors closed to me because I didn’t have one.  Also, having one would add more knowledge about living in the Philippines.

With so much time passing, I thought they had decided not to issue their Philippines based credit card to me.

I had just cancelled one of my American based credit cards.  It had a huge credit limit of $300 and an annual fee of $50.  I told them they had to be kidding me.  I killed it.  I was hoping they would waive the annual fee if I told them I was going to cancel but they said they couldn’t.  Even though I never asked.

Credit Cards For Those Living In The Philippines

Credit cards work a lot different here.  When you charge something, the full bill is due the following month  or perhaps the same month if you buy during the same month.  I’m not certain as I have not used it yet.  My bill is due on the 25th of each month and must be paid within 25 days.

I don’t know if I’ll ever use it.  I suppose I’ll have to once, just to give it a try.  I just turned over the letter that came with it to read the fine print.  I can’t read the fine print.  The fine print is way too fine even with my glasses on. I am amused. Jessie says she can read it but it is “Too fine. I have to strain my eyes to read it.”  So my 52 year old eyes, laced with too much sugar don’t stand a chance of reading it.

I am surprised to see the card is accepted world wide.  Since my American credit cards can’t be used in most places in the Philippines, I just assumed that cards issued here would only be useful in the Philippines.

I also noticed that there is no fee the first year but I can’t read the fine print to see how much the membership fee will be for subsequent years.  Again, I’m amused.  It wont be much.  The fee for my Philippines savings account is only P300 if my daily average balance falls below P5000.

More Options While Living In the Philippines

This will give me a few more options while living the Philippines.  There will be a few more things that I can buy if I choose too.

I joked with Jessie telling her “Now I can buy all the things I can’t afford.”  She thought I meant that I would go out and buy them.  I explained, “No, now I can buy them, I just can’t pay for them.”

When I first moved here, I didn’t think I would ever get a Philippines credit card.  Back then it was difficult to open a bank account for a foreigner living in the Philippines with only a tourist visa.  It was difficult in Cebu.  In a few places in the Philippines, it appears that it has always been easy.  That seems to be the case around Subic and Angeles City.  I have no personal experience with that though.

Living in the Philippines, became a little easier for me yesterday when my card arrived.

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Filed under: Expat Finances

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