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3 Things to Watch Out When Choosing a Cash Back Credit Card

best cash back credit cards in the philippines

Cash from a credit card? You’re not dreaming, though. If you “swipe wisely” you can earn a meaningful amount every month.

Here’s a summary of cashback credit cards in the Philippines.

Credit Card Minimum Annual Income Requirement Spending Category
HSBC Gold Visa Cash Back Credit Card P200,000 Dining & Others
Citi Cashback Card P250,000 Utility Bills, Grocery, Miscellaneous
Shell Citi® Card P250,000 Fuel Rebates, Car Maintenance & Services
Mercury Drug Citi® Card P250,000 Health & Wellness
Security Bank Complete Cashback P300,000 Grocery, Fuel, Utilities, and Others
EastWest EveryDay Titanium Mastercard P480,000 Grocery, Fuel, Medicine and Others

#1 Can you satisfy the cashback credit card minimum annual income requirement?

Cash back credit cards offer you access to a variety of perks like cash discounts and rebates, whether shopping, dining, or a visit to your favourite salon.

But, you also need to make sure you’re eligible to get that card based on your annual income. Thankfully, Citi offers a lower annual income requirement compared to other premium cash back credit cards.

Meanwhile, HSBC’s minimum annual income and various requirements mean that you already have to have owned a credit card for at least 12 months prior.

Citi is even more generous to those who are already principal cardholders to other banks – lowering the minimum annual income requirement to just P180,000.

If you already owned other Citi cards, you can simply sign-up and apply for a new one on the website.

#2 Can you satisfy the monthly minimum spending requirements?

Don’t expect that you’ll get those cash back offers and rebates as easily as they are sometimes advertised on the banks’ websites.

Firstly, you must satisfy the minimum spending requirements of your credit card to acquire those points and rebates per billing cycle.

For example, the Citi Cash Back Card claims that you can get up to P12,000 cash back per annum. But based on the spending requirements, you need to spend as much as P150,000.00 per month (for illustration purposes only).

what to look for with cash back credit card in the philippines

[Screengrab, 30 May 2019 via Citibank website]

In a nutshell, you get P1,000 of monthly cash back if you spend P150,000. Now that you already have an idea of the caveats, let’s explore and compare what you can get based on those monthly spending requirements.

HSBC Gold Visa Cash Back Credit Card Promo Mechanics

  • 5% on Dining, 1% on Back-to-School Expenses, Overseas; and 0.5% on Other Purchases
  • 6% fuel rebate on the first transaction using the card from any participating Caltex stations nationwide, 3% fuel rebate all year round where transactions are for private use. The transactions have a cap of P20,000 per calendar month; excess of this amount can’t earn rebates. You can read more about the promo mechanics here.

Citi Cashback Card

  • Up to 6% Cash Back on supermarket purchases
  • Up to 2% Cash Back on Meralco bill payments via Citibank Online or Citi® One Bill®
  • 0.20% Cash Back on all other purchases
  • A monthly cap of P1,000 allowed for rebates per statement month
  • An annual cap of P12,000 is allowed for the one year anniversary of the card.
  • You receive a P5,000 SM Gift Pass Welcome e-Gift (if you apply now until June 30, 2019.

Shell Citi® Card

  • 5% rebate on Shell fuel in participating stations, auto repairs and services, and toll fees (NLEX and SLEX) if you spend at least P10,000 per billing cycle.
  • 3% rebate on Shell fuel if you spend below P10,000 per billing cycle.
  • You receive P5,000 worth of Shell rebates as a welcome gift (if you apply now until June 30, 2019.

Mercury Drug Citi® Card

  • 10% rebate if you use your card at Mercury Drugstores and participating hospital partners (for hospital bills) if you spend at least P10,000 per billing statement
  • 0.25% rebate for purchases outside Mercury Drugstores and participating hospitals
  • 5% rebate if you spend a minimum of P5,000 at Mercury Drugstores and participating hospitals
  • Free ambulance service worth P10,000 within Metro Manila

Security Bank Complete Cashback

  • 5% rebate on supermarket purchases, 4% on fuel, 3% on utilities, 2% on dining, and 1% on shopping
  • 5% rebate at participating SeaOil stations.
  • A monthly cap of P1,000 allowed for rebates per statement month

EastWest EveryDay Titanium Mastercard

  • Up to 5% rebates on essential purchases such as groceries, fuel, and drugstore products
  • You get the 5% rebate if you spend a minimum of P10,000
  • 3% rebate if you spend a minimum of P5,000
  • 0.5% rebate for purchases below P5,000
  • Rebates are credited to your account once you accumulated the P200 cash rebate.

#3 Does the cash back credit spending category match your lifestyle?

Sometimes, the promos of these cash back credit cards are quite enticing. “You save P12,000 per year.’ But of course, knowing that you must meet the minimum spend each billing cycle or per calendar month, you need to decide how and where you’re going to reach that threshold based on the categories mentioned above. For example, there’s no point in applying for a Citi Shell fuel rebate if you’re not a frequent motorist.

It’s worthwhile considering how you can benefit from the card’s rebates if you use it together with your family. For example, it would make sense to own a Mercury Drug Citi if you’re living with your parents in their senior years, so you can get more rebates for the medicines and supplements.

For motorists, you could pick a cash back credit card that will give you more discounts and perks for refuelling, auto repairs and servicing.

Even if you meet the requirements mentioned, always remember to swipe responsibly.