Did you know that there are two types of credit cards? Well, they are just the same plastic card that you can use for your purchases. The only difference is that a secured credit card needs a hold-out deposit. In case of default, the bank can easily claw back its money. While on the other hand, an unsecured credit card doesn’t require a deposit.
My first credit card story
In 2015, I started working in a telecommunications company as a Radio Frequency engineer. During that time, I was very keen on my finances. I list all my expenses up to the last peso because my salary was small. Despite my meager earnings, I decided to get a credit card while most of my colleagues shy away from the idea.
I can’t blame them. Most of us don’t like the idea of living on credit. But that was them thinking that credit card means being under a file of debts.
Little did they know that debt is not always bad. And credit card is a powerful tool when it is used right. One reason why I wanted to get it was to build a good credit history in case I need a bigger loan.
I can use it to buy a car, house, business expansion, or even start a business. In short, I was thinking of how it can help me in the future.
BPI Express Credit Card
If you are reading this then most probably you got declined multiple times for a regular credit card. Nothing to be ashamed about.
Just like you, I also got declined several times. Maybe my applications were denied because of my income. I was only earning a little over Php 180,000 per year.
The tenure, profession, and company you are working with can also affect your application. But in my case, it was my level of income.
At that moment, I was left with no choice but to get a secured credit card.
Unlike the conventional credit card, this is automatically approved by the issuer bank. Most banks offer secured credit cards. In my case, I decided to get it from BPI because I’m already banking with them.
It’s called BPI Express Credit Card.
I opened a bank book account with a 10,000 hold-out deposit to get the card. My credit limit was 90% of the hold-out deposit or 9,000. I just filled out the form and gave them the money and after a week I got the card.
It was bliss.
Yes, I know it’s small. But I’m only willing to lock my Php10,000 for 6 months to a year. And my goal is to use the credit card for my usual monthly expenses. At that time, 9,000 is more than what I needed.
Converting BPI Express Credit Card to BPI Blue Mastercard
After a year, I decided to convert my secured credit card to a BPI Blue Mastercard. It was an easy conversion. I just called the BPI hotline to request it. After a few weeks, I received my new credit card.
Getting a secured credit card can be your gateway to getting the unsecured one.
BPI Blue Mastercard to BPI Gold Mastercard
After 2 years, I felt like I needed a credit card that will fit my current lifestyle. My income has increased which makes me qualified to get the BPI Gold Mastercard.
Just like my first conversion, I just called the hotline and received the card after 2 weeks.
Unlike before, I find it hard to get a credit card. I was able to prove to my credit card issuer that I am a good creditor. In return, I can easily convert the card to a better one or even get a new card from other banks.
Get a Citi Credit Card: No Annual Fee For Life
But if you still feel that an unsecured card is not for you then you may consider applying for a Citi credit card. No annual fees for life plus get a welcome gift worth Php 5,000.
Federico is an electronics engineer, financial blogger, insurance agent, and a certified investment solicitor. A multi-awarded financial advisor with clients ranging from lawyers, doctors, engineers, accountants, business owners, company directors, and OFWs to minimum wage earners had sought advice from him in achieving lifetime financial freedom.