Shopping online comes with its own perks and benefits. Apart from having plenty of options to purchase from, various offers and discounts can also be procured. Also certain products that are available abroad, may not be available within the Philippines which is why online websites and subsequent shopping facilities are boon for most. Customers can avail some of the best brands available abroad and some of the best products and if they are lucky, the same will be available at discounted prices. Although Online shopping comes with certain risks such as malicious websites, cyber phishing and so on, banks and retailers have taken care to ensure that their websites are relatively safe and transactions can be made without hassles or worry. Filipinos can utilize their own credit cards issued by banks within the Philippines in order to shop from sites abroad, not just online but also when they travel abroad. However, there are certain points to be addressed and taken care of.
What are Overseas Spending cards?
Credit cards are nothing but a card made of plastic that provides customers services and products on a credit. Customers will then have to pay for the same in the form of credit card bills every month along with the interest rate charged on the card by the issuing bank. Credit cards come with a variety of features and additional benefits and perks which may be limited to certain products and services. For example, there are certain credit cards that provide additional discounts on fuel and some on air tickets and such.
Although shopping online is a lot of fun, it may burn a hole in people’s pockets. This is because an additional amount is charged by credit card providers as the overseas transaction fee and this can vary between 2% to 5%. This is charged even if the customer is using a Filipino card or is shopping from the Philippines. Although these charges are not mentioned very overtly, their credit card bills reflect these charges. The amount charged might seem small but will add up to a substantial sum with multiple purchases. This is especially so for customers who shop abroad or travel abroad frequently. They will have to invest in an overseas spending card which is nothing but a credit card that offers features that benefit online spending and preventing exorbitant expenses and transaction fees. There are numerous banks within the Philippines that provide credit cards with features that reduce the burden of transaction fees.
Advantages of Overseas Spending Cards
Using a local credit card abroad could prove to be quite pricey for Filipinos due to the overseas transaction fees and additional charges such as the withdrawal fee that is charged when customers use their credit card to withdraw money from their account when they are abroad.
However, overseas spending cards are not as pricey and is therefore economical for customers to utilize. These cards are made specifically for usage abroad and also for online shopping and hence do not charge additional fees and even if they do, it is an amount that is lesser than usual.
Disadvantages of Overseas Spending Cards
Overseas spending cards are utilized for the sole purpose of reducing fees that is usually stacked up when customers shop abroad or generally utilize their card outside the Philippines. However, the main disadvantage, is when customers use their card to withdraw cash. Despite reduced transaction fees and other charges, cash withdrawals are still quite expensive. Interest rates are also added for the same which is why obtaining cash is quite a costly affair.
Prominent credit cards within the Philippines that can used for overseas transactions
Banks such as Security Bank, Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI), RCBC and others provide cards that have reduced overseas transaction fees.
|Card||Overseas Transaction fee||Rate of interest charged per month||Features|
|Security Bank - Diners Club SeaOil credit card||No Overseas Transaction fee is charged||3.5 percent||
• Customers can procure rebates of 7% from stations affiliated to SeaOil
• Customers can also avail free P50 worth gas upon activation of the card
• Customers can also receive one point for every P20 charged to their card
|Security Bank MasterCard Platinum||No overseas transaction fee is charged||3.25 percent||
• Customers can procure separate bills for all their foreign purchases and transactions.
• Airport lounge access is provided for free at Miascor.
• Users procure a single point for every P20 charged to their card. These points can be redeemed for fantastic gifts.
|Security Bank Diners Club Premiere||No overseas transaction fee||3.5 percent||
• Customers can avail of billing in dual currency along with high limit of credit.
• Cash advances of a maximum of 50% of the limit of credit can be procured.
• For every P20 charged to their Security Bank Diners Club Premiere, customers receive one point which can be redeemed for various gifts and perks.
|RCBC Bankard Visa Infinite Card||No overseas transaction fee||3.5 percent||
• Users can avail rebates on all their clothing purchases.
• There are no charges imposed on purchases made abroad.
• The RCBC International Service provides low IDD phone rates.
• Shopping rebate of 5% can be availed by customers.
|Security Bank MasterCard Gold||No overseas transaction fee is charged||3.5 percent||
• Customers can procure 50% of their credit limit as cash advance.
• Foreign and local transactions have separate billing statements.
• Customers also procure one point for every P20 charged to their Security Bank MasterCard Gold credit card.
|Security Bank Diners Club International||No fee charged for overseas transactions||3.5 percent||
• This is especially made for those who are foodies and wine aficionados.
• Customers procure access to more than 500 business and airport lounges for free.
• A maximum of 50% of credit limit can be availed as cash advance.
• A point can be earned for every P20 spent on their Security Bank Diners Club International.
|Security Bank MasterCard Classic||No fee charged for overseas transactions||3.5 percent||
• Customers can avail 50 percent of their credit limit as cash advance.
• Security Bank also provides separate bills for foreign purchases and transactions.
• Exclusive deals and promos can be availed from Security Bank and MasterCard.
• For every P20 charged to their credit card, Security Bank MasterCard Classic customers can procure a single point that can be exchanged for fantastic gifts.
|Security Bank MasterCard World||No overseas transaction fees||2.5 percent||
• Customers can avail airport lounge access at Miascor for free.
• Users also waive their membership fee if they spend above P500,000 annually.
• For every P20 spent on their card, customers can avail one point which can be redeemed later.
|BPI Ayala Malls Amore Visa||0.75 percent||3.4%||
• Customers can procure discounts at certain Ayala Malls.
• Users also avail a discount of 1% at drug stores.
• Customers can also procure a rebate of 4% on shopping.
• Additionally, a discount of 5% can be availed on Express Lane Access and cinema tickets at Ayala.
|BPI Blue MasterCard||0.75%||3.4 percent||
• Customers avail travel insurance of up to P2 million for free.
• A maximum of 30% of the credit limit can be procures as cash advance.
• For every P35 charged on their BPI Blue MasterCard, users can gain one point which can be redeemed for rewards.
|BPI Edge MasterCard||0.75%||3.4%||
• Customers can find out information regarding their balance through SMS.
• Exclusive discounts can also be procured at some of the best clubs and shops.
• For every P50 spent, customers can avail of a single point which can be exchanged for rewards and gifts.
|BPI Gold MasterCard||0.75%||3.4 percent||
• Customers can avail a travel insurance of a maximum of 10 million pesos for free.
• Customers can avail 100 percent of their credit limit as cash advance in cases of emergency.
• For every P35 spent, customers can procure a point that can be redeemed for fantastic rewards.
|BPI Family Credit Card||0.75%||2%||
• This card comes with a variety of features and benefits such as low rate of interest, reduced membership fee and 30% of credit limit that can be availed as cash advance.
|BPI SkyMiles MasterCard||0.75% of Visa/MasterCard’s foreign exchange value||3.4 percent||
• Users have access to the Delta Sky Club at NAIA free of cost.
• Customers can also avail of exclusive privileges available to BPI card holders.
• Every time P45 is charged to the customer’s BPI SkyMiles MasterCard, 1 mile can be earned.
|BPI Ayala Malls Amore Visa Platinum||0.75% of Visa/MasterCard’s foreign exchange value||3.4 percent||
• Customers have unlimited usage of family and customer lounges.
• Users also procure invitations to all events and promotions.
• Apart from this, customers also procure a shopping rebate of 4%.
Shopping abroad is a fun, fulfilling experience, so is travelling abroad. However it is also important to regulate costs and manage finances effectively. Although utilizing credit cards are convenient, certain charges such as overseas transaction fees may add up to a substantial amount. Therefore credit cards that come with now or reduced overseas transaction fees must be chosen.
Other alternative to credit cards is a pre-paid currency card where a prefixed limit can be determined and cash is spent based on that.