Best Credit Cards for New Cardholders in the Philippines (2020)


So you’re ready to apply for a credit card. You already have the requirements, but now you’re wondering what type of credit card to get.

There are three common types of credit cards in the market you can choose from: rewards, air miles, and cashback.

Your choice depends on the features and benefits you want. You also need to consider the minimum annual income requirement, monthly interest rate, and credit card fees, just to name a few.

But to help you with your decision making, check out this quick rundown of the best credit cards for new or first-time credit cardholders like you.

Best credit cards for new cardholders at a glance

Credit Card Minimum Annual Income Monthly Interest Rate
AUB Easy/Classic Mastercard P252,000 3.50%
BPI Family Credit Card P180,000 2.00%
Citi Rewards Mastercard P250,000  3.50%
Citi Simplicity+ P250,000  3.50%
Metrobank M Free Mastercard P180,000 3.50%
HSBC Red Mastercard P200,000 3.50%
PNB Visa Classic P150,000 3.25%
RCBC Bankard Flex Visa P250,000 3.50%

Note: Annual fees are waived in the first year. Some of these cards also have welcome promos that you can avail of. But more on that later.

AUB Easy/Classic Mastercard

AUB Easy/Classic Mastercard gives you control over how you pay your monthly dues. That said, you can choose the frequency of payments, the amount to settle, and which day to make your payment.

For example, you can choose to pay twice a month, scheduled every 15th and 30th of the month.

This credit card only requires an annual income requirement at P252,000. Whether it’s Easy or Classic, the monthly interest rate is 3.50%. Plus, the annual fee is waived for life.

Earn 1 point for every P20 you spend with this card. Redeem points for cash rebates, gift certificates, travel packages, and more. There are also a handful of options from the Rewards page to match your liking.

AUB Easy/Classic offers you the freedom to pay according to your budget. But if you pay less than your total amount due, there will be interest charges incurred. Always settle your total amount to avoid these additional fees.

To explore other AUB credit cards, you can also read our reviews here:

BPI Family Credit Card

Here’s an excellent entry-level credit card that’s useful for essential purchases. It has a low membership fee and a monthly interest rate. Plus, you can convert your rewards points to air miles.

The minimum annual income requirement to get a BPI Family Credit Card is P180,000. Your annual fee for the first year is waived, but it will be P1,350 every year after. For your first-level supplementary cardholder, the annual fee is waived for life.

If you need cash due to an emergency, you can borrow up to 30% of your credit limit. However, the cash advance charge is 3% or P500, whichever is higher, per transaction.

If you feel like exploring other cards, check our reviews:

Citi Rewards Mastercard

If you’re looking for a rewards card, Citi Rewards Mastercard is a must-have for shopping and purchasing essentials. If you apply from now until 31 October 2020, you can grab the waived annual fee for life promo.

The minimum annual income requirement is P250,000 (if you don’t have an existing card with other banks), and you earn one (1) rewards point for every P30 you spend.

Aside from that, it offers 3X points when you use your card for shopping and dining in partner establishments.

As you earn points, you can also use them to pay for goods or services at select merchants.

One of its unique features that can be very useful is the locking and unlocking option via the Citi app to protect your account from fraudulent transactions.

You may also compare other Citi credit cards:

Citi Simplicity+

Citi Simplicity+ gives you the motivation to responsibly manage your credit card dues every month. You get 10% interest back if you settle your minimum or total due on or before the date.

It offers waived annual fee for life, and there are no late payment and overlimit charges. For your big purchases, you can convert them into small amounts with Citi PayLite.

Unfortunately, there are no rewards points or cashback for you. But with the features mentioned earlier, you will be encouraged to pay on time.

If you’re looking for credit cards with no annual fees, you may also read:

Metrobank M Free Mastercard

Here’s another entry-level credit card that offers free annual membership and low annual income requirement.

Metrobank M Free Mastercard offers a 3.50% monthly interest rate. The minimum annual income requirement is P180,000.

You can take advantage of the 0% installment plan up to 24 months for your big purchases at participating establishments.

There are no rewards points, cashback, or air miles available. But this card can help you build a good credit standing if you only use it for essentials.

Check our previous reviews of other credit cards from Metrobank:

HSBC Red Mastercard

HSBC Red Mastercard offers accelerated rewards points which you can exchange for merchandise items, gift certificates, air miles, and more.

This rewards card offers 4X points for every P20 you spend on overseas purchases and online shopping.

You also get a 6% fuel rebate for your first transaction when you gas up at any participating Caltex stations nationwide. Succeeding fuel rebates will be 3% all year round.

The annual fee is waived for your first year, and then you pay P1,500 as a principal cardholder.

Like most credit cards in the market, this card has a monthly interest rate of 3.50%. Your minimum annual income should be P200,000 to be eligible for this card.

If you want to know more about HSBC credit cards, check the following:

PNB Classic Visa

For beginners and low-income earners, the PNB Classic Visa or Mastercard is another entry-level credit card for your essentials. Not only does it have the lowest annual fee. It also has the lowest annual income requirement of P150,000.

Your first year annual fees are waived, and then you only pay P300 annually after that.

You also earn 1% interest back when you pay your minimum amount due.

For frequent travelers, get up to P1 million worth of travel insurance and up to P250,000 worth of purchase protection insurance if you use your card for your airfare tickets.

RCBC Bankard Flex Visa

RCBC Bankard Flex Visa is a rewards card that offers points based on preferred spending categories.

Choose two from any of the four spending categories (dining, travel, clothing, transportation) and get 2X rewards points. You earn one (1) rewards points for every P50 you spend. And with your accumulated points, you can redeem shopping vouchers, cash rebates, and air miles, just to name a few.

The card offers a flexible rewards system geared towards young professionals and millennials. It allows cardholders to change preferred spending categories to earn more points.

The annual fee for the first year is free; after that, you pay P1,500 annually.

RCBC Bankard Flex Visa is like having a reward, cash rebate, and air miles card in one. What’s more, you can enjoy up to P1 million worth of free travel insurance and purchase protection if you use the card to book your tickets.

Want to explore other RCBC credit cards? Check out the following:

So which credit card should you get?

You need to consider four things before applying for a credit card: the type of credit card you need, the annual income requirement, the benefits, and the fees. Choose a card that will match your spending habits and financial capabilities.

PNB Classic Visa has the lowest annual income requirement and yearly membership fee ― ideal for beginners and low-income earners.

Alternatively, you can apply for an AUB Easy/Classic if you want a waived annual fee for life.

For young professionals, the RCBC Bankard Flex Visa offers a flexible rewards program to maximize your spending.

Whether you choose a reward, cash back, or air miles card, always make sure to read the terms and conditions and check the bank charges.


Which of these credit cards appealed to you the most? Which do you think has the best features for first-time credit cardholders? Sound off in the comments!