Have you heard of co-Branded Credit Card?

A credit card isn’t just a credit card anymore. With every bank offering a huge range of options, credit cards are now being customized to meet our individual spending habits and personal interests. In fact, co-branded credit cards are becoming especially popular amongst emerging demographics in The Philippines.

In this article, we take a look at co-branded credit cards, and tell you what to watch out for if you’re looking for one to suit your lifestyle.

What is a Co-branded Credit Card?

Co-branded credit cards are issued jointly by a credit card issuer and a well-known retailer – cinemas, petrol companies, department stores or airlines are among the most common types of merchants to offer such credit cards.

Although credit card issuers have long offered reward programs for their credit cards, the rewards or benefits often span very broad or general categories. Co-branded credit cards differ by offering rewards that are more specifically matched to niche interests or spending habits.

What do I Get from Co-branded Credit Cards?

First of all, most co-branded credit cards can be used just like any other credit cards. You can use them to swipe for payment, and you’ll still enjoy the kinds of rewards that conventional credit cards offer, such as point accumulation or rebates for your general purchases.

However, how co-branded credit cards differ from conventional credit cards are the Extra Privileges – usually exclusive discounts, rewards or rebate programs with the retailer the credit card is co-branded with.

As an example: say you own a Metrobank Robinsons Cebu Pacific credit card, you’ll get much more reward points at Cebu Pacific compared to a conventional credit card.  Similarly, if you use a Citibank Shell credit card, you’ll enjoy exclusive cash rebates when you purchase fuel at Shell kiosks.  The additional privileges you obtain from a co-branded credit card are generally exclusive and very specific.

Additionally, some co-branded credit cards also offer you non-monetary rewards such as priority access to clubs and shows, invitations to exclusive events and launches, or personalized concierge-type services at selected outlets.

What to Look Out for When Signing Up for a Co-branded Credit Card

Before rushing off to sign up with the first fancy co-branded credit card you’re offered, take some time to assess your own spending habits and interests. Ask yourself:

  • What do you spend a large proportion of your money on?
  • Where do you shop at or spend your money most frequently? Which brands are you most loyal to?
  • What kind of benefits would you most prefer? (Cash-back rebates, reward / gift programs, exclusive invitations to social events etc.)

Don’t be distracted by the benefits offered by co-branded credit cards. Check all other details as you would with any other credit card – annual fees, interest rates and penalty charges, for starters. You might like to refer to this quick checklist of things you need to know when getting a credit card or check our comparison table and  compare credit cards for the finer details.

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