5 Credit Cards Perfect For First-Timers: 2016 Update


Finding the right starter credit card can help you build a solid credit score. Among the things that you should consider are reasonable interest rates, rewards points conversion, and flexible payment plans.

When looking for the best credit card, first-time applicants should also take time to learn about bank terms and eligibility requirements to get them a step ahead with their application.

We’ve compiled the best credit cards for fresh graduates, newbies, and first-timers in the Philippines, taking into account young adult Filipinos’ entry-level salaries and limited credit history.

1. Security Bank Classic MasterCard


As a credit card first-timer, managing your finances should be tricky. With Security Bank Classic MasterCard, payment for your bills and online subscriptions is made easy. It lets you consolidate your monthly bills into one auto debit payment, convert your rewards for air miles, gift certificates, and other exclusive deals. You are also entitled to get free travel insurance* when you book your flight using your card.

(Read: 5 Best No Annual Fee Credit Cards Of 2016)

Eligibility requirements:

✔ Gross monthly income of at least P15,000
✔ Regular employee for at least one year
✔ Or self-employed profitably for at least three years
✔ Must be between 21 and 65 years old


✔ P20 = 1 rewards point
✔ 0% Installment plans with partner merchants
✔ No expiration for rewards points
✔ E-statement and bills assist
✔ *Travel insurance worth P200,000
✔ First year free Annual Membership Fee (AMF)
✔ Up to 50% cash advance

Apply for Security Bank Classic MasterCard for Free

2. BPI Blue MasterCard


The best start-up credit cards come with international acceptance and huge travel perks, and this is met exceedingly well by BPI Blue MasterCard. With this one, you can convert rewards points earned through purchases into air miles. Collect enough miles and you can book your next flight for free. International flights also come with free travel insurance when you book tickets using this card.

Eligibility requirements:

✔ Gross monthly income of at least P15,000
✔ Must be at least 21 years old
✔ Regular employee for at least two years
✔ Self-employed with business operating for at least two years


✔ P35 = 1 point. Points may also be converted to miles
✔ P175 = 1 mile
✔ *Up to P2 million FREE travel insurance
✔ Up to 30% cash advance off of credit limit
✔ P1,550 AMF. Free for the first year
✔ 0% interest on first bill payment as a new cardholder

Apply for BPI BlueMasterCard for Free

3. BDO ShopMore MasterCard


This is the starter credit card for shoppers that offers financial flexibility and affordable payment options. BDO ShopMore MasterCard comes with exclusive SM loyalty perks and the convenience of owning a card for a centralized bills payment. Earn points as you spend, and pay in 0% interest rate for purchases at BDO partner merchants.

Eligibility requirements:

✔ Gross monthly income Requirement: P15,000
✔ Must be a regular employee for at least two years
✔ Self-employed with an operating business of at least two years


✔ Free SM Advantage Card
✔ 5% rebate at SM’s 3-day sale, for a minimum spend of P5,000
✔ Free AMF on your first year (AMF =P75/Month)
✔ 0% interest Installment Payment Plan at BDO partner merchants
✔ Auto charge for multiple utility bills
✔ 3% minimum payment option or P200, whichever is higher
✔ Low monthly interest rate: 3.50%
✔ Worldwide acceptance

Apply for BDO ShopMore MasterCard for Free

4. HSBC Red MasterCard


If you want to get top-up rewards, bigger rebates, and convenient payment options, apply for an HSBC Red MasterCard. For a minimum amount of P1,500 spent on HSBC’s partner merchants, you get to earn Accelerated Rewards on shopping, dining, and travel. This applies to local and international transactions and comes with exclusive privileges. It’s made even more secure with their Mobile Payments feature.

(Read: Staycation Promos: Top Credit Card Deals In The Philippines)

Eligibility requirements:

✔ Minimum monthly income of P16,000
✔ At least 21 years old


✔ No expiration for rewards points
✔ 0% Installment Plan
✔ 4X Bonus Points on shopping
✔ Free AMF on your first year
✔ 10% fuel rebate on first transaction and 3% fuel rebate all-year round
✔ Auto charge for multiple utility bills
✔ 30% of credit limit for cash advance with 3.75% interest
✔ Mobile payments

Apply for HSBC Red MasterCard

5. Citi Rewards Card


The credit card that keeps on giving. Citi Rewards Card lets you take advantage of the no-expiry rewards program so you can earn as many points as you want. First-time credit card owners can turn their accumulated points into shopping and dining vouchers, even rebates for your next bill, or to waive their annual membership fee. Peso payments are applied for overseas transactions, which can be tracked and managed anytime through their Mobile Banking feature.

Eligibility requirements:

✔ Gross monthly income of at least P21,000
✔ At least 21 years old


✔ P30 = 1 point. No expiry
✔ 3x Rewards points for shopping, dining, or booking for Cebu Pacific tickets
✔ Rewards points conversion for AMF Waivers including supplementary cardholders
✔ 0% interest or affordable monthly add-on rates at participating merchants nationwide
✔ Citi® One Bill. Auto charge for multiple utility bills
✔ Peso payment overseas
✔ Mobile banking
✔ Worldwide acceptance

Apply for Citi Rewards Card for Free