5 Starter Credit Cards For The Credit Card Newbie

starter credit cards

If you don’t already have a credit card, trying to get one is a real pain in the neck. So many cards have so many requirements which can be daunting for the credit card newbie. What’s a person with a sub-P200,000 annual income and no credit history supposed to do?

We’ve compiled five of the best starter credit cards in the Philippines for you. These cards don’t require a high annual income, have low annual fees (and all of them give you the first year for free), and charge reasonable interest rates monthly. With these starter credit cards, you can begin building a good credit history, so that in the future when you apply for other banking products, they can see that you’re a responsible credit card owner capable of paying back debts.

Check these cards out and see which one is best for your needs, and apply by clicking on the links:

BDO ShopMore MasterCard BDO ShopMore MasterCard

  • Low annual income requirement? P180,000
  • Low annual fees? P75 a month (P900 a year), waived first year
  • Finance charge: 3.50% monthly

If you’re an SM shopper, this would be a great starter card for you. Earn one point for every P200 you spend in SM Retail Affiliates and SM Advantage partner establishments like Petron and Taal Vista Hotel. And you even get an additional 0.5 points for every point you earn with your SM Advantage card. And if you spend at least P5,000 during SM’s 3-day sale, you get a 5% rebate.

BPI Blue MasterCard

BPI Blue MasterCard

  • Low annual income requirement? P180,000
  • Low annual fees? P1,550, waived first year
  • Finance charge: 3.40% monthly

This Blue MasterCard is a good international starter card, especially with the free travel insurance of up to P2 million. Withdraw cash, up to 30% of your credit limit, from over 1 million Maestro/Cirrus ATMs globally. You can also earn Real Thrills Rewards Points at the rate of 1 point for every P35 you spend, which you can exchange for rewards from BPI’s catalogue.

Maybank Visa Classic

Maybank Visa

  • Low annual income requirement? P150,000
  • Low annual fees? P1,000, waived first year
  • Finance charge: 3.00%

This card has the lowest income requirement out of all the starter cards we could find, combined with a lower than average monthly finance charge. With the Visa Classic, you can pay in local currency when you use the card abroad, which could save you money in conversions. You can also take advantage of Maybank EzyPlans, which lets you pay in installment plans of your choice.

Metrobank M Free

Metrobank M Lite

  • Low annual income requirement? P180,000
  • Low annual fees? No annual fees for life
  • Finance charge: 3.5% monthly

Metrobank’s M Free is one of the very few credit cards out there with no annual fees for life — and the only one that doesn’t require Platinum status to waive annual fees. So you can enjoy all the benefits of cardholding without worrying about annual fees, as well as the perks from Metrobank’s M Here program, which offers discounts on hotels, dining, and travel.

RCBC myDream Card

RCBC Classic

  • Low annual income requirement? P180,000
  • Low annual fees? P800 (waived first year)
  • Finance charge: 2.90% monthly

Sporting one of the lowest finance charges available out there for non-Platinum cardholders, as well as a relatively low annual fee, this is a good value choice for the credit card first-timer. And while JCB cards aren’t quite as widespread as MasterCard or Visa, they’re still accepted at 26 million merchants worldwide, so you can use the card in lots of places.

But no matter which you apply for, you’ll need the following, at the very least:

1. Government-issued ID (like passports, SSS ID, Driver’s License)

2. Proof of income (income tax return, BIR form 2316, pay slips, original certificate of employment)

Looking for other alternatives? Use our handy comparison tool to filter and compare credit cards based on your preference and find the right one for your need.

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