The Credit Card Substitutes Millennials Can Get Today

credit card substitutes for millennials

Many millennials today prefer speed and efficient processes. Whether it’s buying a cute dress or ordering their favorite pizza. Items should be delivered and paid instantly. No wonder brands are also offering next-day delivery in their online stores.

Credit cards are handy when you want speed. Whenever you shop online or at a retail store, you swipe the card or enter your credit card number details in the online portal. Voila!

However, if you are a young millennial who:

  • recently graduated from college
  • is still looking for a job
  • is unemployed

You might find it hard to get approved. Here are some credit card substitutes for millennials.

  1. GCash
  2. Maya
  3. Atome
  4. Billease
  5. Prepaid and Debit Cards


Here’s the most popular e-wallet for purchases, money transfers, and bills payment. You can sign up using your active mobile number regardless of your network. GCash has undergone tremendous changes over the past few years.

Features for cash-in and cash-out options and additional billers and companies make it more convenient to settle your monthly dues.

On top of these, here are notable features worth checking:

  • Cash in via over-the-counter such as Mercury Drug, Robinsons Easymart, and Shopwise, to name a few
  • Top up via online banking with direct access to BPI and UnionBank
  • Add money from global partners such as PayPal, Payoneer, and Moneygram, to name a few
  • Settle your utilities, credit card, electricity, insurance, and loans to more than 600 billers and companies
  • Shop online or in retail stores using the QR code or physical GCash Mastercard
  • Avail GCash and GLoans for additional credit line
  • Grow your money through investment features like GInvest, GCrypto, Global Stocks, and Philippine Stocks

How to get a GCash account

  1. Download the GCash app on Google Play Store or App Store.
  2. Register using your personal information. Make sure that there are no errors or spelling mistakes. Refer to your valid ID.
  3. Create your 4-digit PIN to secure your account.
  4. Registration is absolutely free. Wait for the confirmation via SMS.
  5. Order a physical GCash Mastercard via GCash or visit any Globe store.


Maya (formerly PayMaya) is a combination of an e-wallet and mobile banking app. Previously, it functioned like a typical e-wallet like GCash until it rebranded to Maya, that now supports mobile banking.

Aside from online shopping, you can use the app to save money, invest in cryptocurrencies, and top up mobile phone credits.

Maya is like your all-in-one money app with the following features:

  • Send money and pay merchants by scanning a QR code in retail stores and establishments (GCash, BDO, Metrobank, UnionBank, AUB, etc.)
  • Transfer money to other Maya account using their handle name, such as @username
  • Settle bills and payments to over 550 merchants and companies
  • Borrow money up to ₱15,000 with Maya Credit
  • Top up your prepaid number with mobile data
  • Request payments and generate your custom QR code with a specific amount
  • Transfer money to more than 50 banks and local remittance centers

How to get a Maya account

  1. Download the Maya app on Google Play Store or App Store.
  2. Wait for the verification code sent via SMS.
  3. If you already have a Maya debit card, you can connect it to your account.
  4. Create a 6-digit PIN for the card and use it to pay in retail stores or withdraw money.


Atome is a Buy Now, Pay Later payment option that allows you to purchase items on Zalora, Rustan’s The SM Store, and Charles & Keith. Split the payments into three interest-free installments at different stores. Your first payment is at the time of the purchase, and the succeeding payments are spread 30 days apart.

You must link a debit or credit card upon setting up your account. Atome also lets you:

  • Shop on top brands like Aldo, Garmin, Whey King Supplements, and more
  • Book hotels on Agoda
  • Avail of the installment plans
    Link your VISA and Mastercard to settle your payments on due dates
  • Access to vouchers and promos

How to create an Atome account

  1. Download the Atome app on Google Play Store or App Store.
  2. Register for a free account with your active mobile number. You will receive a code via SMS and enter it on the app.
  3. Link a VISA or Mastercard debit or credit card.
  4. Go through the verification process by taking a selfie.


Billease is a Buy Now, Pay Later service that lets you shop online and settle the payment later. You may pay for the first installment and then spread out the remaining balance with flexible terms.

You are granted a credit line of up to ₱40,000 and pay for your purchases with an interest of 3.49% per month. To fully enjoy the features, you must present a valid ID, proof of billing, and income to receive your credit line.

Here are the other features:

  • Pay for purchases on Lazada
  • Enjoy 0% APR at participating merchant partners
    Settle your dues via online bank transfers, e-wallets, and over-the-counter payment channels
  • Flexible terms from 30 days up to 12 months
  • Shop on local brands such as Power Mac Center, Kimstore, Mandaue Foam store, and over 300 merchant partners

How to create a Billease account

  1. Download the BIllease app on Google Play Store and App Store.
  2. Open the app and click Next.
  3. Toggle left to right the order value and downpayment from left to right to have an idea of how much you will pay per month.
  4. Click Sign up by entering your email address and mobile number.
  5. Enter the 4-digit code sent to your mobile number and another 6-digit code sent to your email address.
  6. Create a password on the mobile app and set up your 4-digit PIN and Touch ID.
  7. Tap Activate Account. Submit the requirements, such as one valid ID, proof of address, and proof of income.

Prepaid and Debit Cards

Prepaid and debit cards are one of the best credit card substitutes to give you peace of mind. With prepaid cards, top up your account before you purchase items. You won’t need to think about monthly payments from your loans. Pay on the spot, whether purchasing items in retail stores or settling your bill in restaurants.

Most establishments accept VISA and Mastercard debit cards. Digital banks such as SeaBank, GoTyme, and Tonik Bank offer virtual debit cards that you can use to pay for online transactions.

The bottom line

A credit card is a privilege, but even if you’re struggling to get approved, it’s better to use e-wallets and debit cards to spare you from debt. Millennials who also prefer hassle-free transactions but are still not ready for the responsibility of having a credit card will enjoy these payment channels.

If you plan to use Atome or Billease, ensure you have enough funds and savings to pay for the installments if you’re granted a credit line. You can still leverage these two platforms as you build your credit standing.

Which of these do you think will help you manage your finances? Let us know in the comments below.