How to get the most out of your credit card

By Randell Tiongson on April 29th, 2024

Credit cards offer a range of benefits and conveniences, and when used wisely, they can be a powerful financial tool. For Filipinos looking to maximize the advantages of their credit cards, here are several strategic ways to do so:

1. Choose the Right Credit Card

Select a credit card that aligns with your lifestyle and spending habits. Look for cards that offer rewards on the categories you spend the most on, such as groceries, fuel, dining, or travel. Banks in the Philippines offer various cards with specific perks including cashback, rewards points, and travel miles. Comparing these features will help you choose a card that best suits your needs.

2. Understand the Rewards System

Get familiar with your credit card’s rewards program. Understand how points are earned and keep track of them. Some credit cards offer higher points for specific types of purchases or during promotional periods. Make sure to use your card for these high-reward purchases when possible. Additionally, know when and how to redeem your points for maximum value, whether for flights, shopping vouchers, or cash rebates.


3. Pay Balances in Full and On Time

To truly benefit from a credit card without falling into debt, always pay your balances in full and on time. This avoids interest charges and late payment fees. Maintaining a good payment history also improves your credit score, which can be beneficial for future loans and credit applications.

4. Take Advantage of Promos and Discounts

Credit card companies often tie up with merchants to provide discounts, promos, and special offers. These can range from discounts at restaurants, retail outlets, online shopping deals, or travel packages. Always check the latest offers from your credit card issuer and plan your purchases around these promotions to save money.

5. Use Balance Transfer Features

If you have outstanding balances on other high-interest credit cards, consider using a balance transfer facility to save on interest payments. Many credit cards in the Philippines offer promotional low-interest rates for balance transfers, which can provide you with a period of relief to manage your debts more effectively.

6. Manage Your Credit Limit Wisely

Request for a credit limit that suits your financial capacity and spending habits. While it might be tempting to have a high credit limit, it’s important to have a limit that you can manage responsibly. Conversely, if you often reach your credit limit and are confident in your ability to repay, you might consider asking for a limit increase to improve your credit utilization ratio, which can positively affect your credit score.

7. Monitor Your Account Regularly

Regular monitoring of your credit card account is essential. Check your statements for unauthorized transactions and report any discrepancies immediately. Many banks offer SMS alerts and mobile banking apps that help you keep track of your purchases and payments in real-time.

8. Utilize Consumer Protection

Credit cards often come with consumer protection features that can include fraud protection, extended warranties, and travel insurance. Understanding and using these protections can provide additional value and security for your purchases, especially on high-ticket items or when traveling.

9. Participate in Special Programs

Some cards offer additional benefits such as access to airport lounges, free travel insurance, or exclusive access to events. Participating in these programs can enhance your travel and leisure experiences significantly.

10. Financial Discipline

Lastly, it’s crucial to maintain discipline in using credit cards. They should not be viewed as an extension of your income. Create a budget that includes your credit card spending and stick to it. Avoid using your credit card for cash advances due to high fees and interest rates.

By following these tips, Filipinos can make the most out of their credit cards, turning everyday spending into rewarding experiences while managing finances efficiently and effectively.

Use your credit cards wisely and responsibly!

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How to get the most out of your credit card