The Philippines may be savvy in social media, but when it comes to financial management, most don’t have it as priority.
Around 20% of Filipino adults have bank accounts, according to the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas’ (BSP) 2017 Financial Inclusion Survey (FIS), leaving as much as percent unbanked.
Sixty percent of those without bank accounts said they couldn’t open one because they didn’t have enough money.
Given this, it should come as no surprise that the percentage of Filipino adults who own credit cards is far lower.
In 2021 report in Statista, there’s only around 3.9% of Filipinos (15 year old and above) have active credit cards, with around 8 million in circulation.
Debit cards have since been the preferred card option with around 90 million in circulation according to a 2021 study in GlobalData.
With the advent of mobile banking, e-wallets, and online shopping, Filipinos who still don’t have credit or debit card have since started looking for another card option: Mastercard And Visa Prepaid Cards.
- 1 What Is A Reloadable Prepaid Card?
- 2 Why Mastercard And Visa Prepaid Cards Are Popular?
- 3 Credit Card vs. Debit Card vs. Prepaid Card: What’s the Difference?
- 4 Disadvantages In Using Prepaid Cards
- 5 Best Reloadable Prepaid Cards in Philippines
- 5.1 1. GCash Mastercard
- 5.2 2. Maya EMV Visa
- 5.3 3. Visa Prepaid Card Amore (BPI)
- 5.4 4. BDO Cash Card
- 5.5 5. Metrobank YAZZ Card
- 5.6 6. PSBank Prepaid Mastercard
- 5.7 7. SMART Money Card
- 5.8 8. EastWest Prepaid Card
- 5.9 9. Robinson’s Bank Visa Card
- 5.10 10. PNB Prepaid Card
- 5.11 11. Landbank Cash Card
- 5.12 12. Unionbank Go Rewards Prepaid Visa Card
- 5.13 13. RCBC MyWallet Visa Prepaid Card
- 5.14 14. Cebu Pacific GetGo Prepaid Card
- 5.15 15. BPI ePay Mastercard.
- 5.16 16. USSC Prime Card
What Is A Reloadable Prepaid Card?
A Reloadable Prepaid Card is your best option to pay online or in person. Getting a reloadable prepaid card is quick and easy, as you will mostly need only 1 valid ID, completed card application form and payment for the card fee.
Using a prepaid card is simple, and secure. Mostly available as Mastercard or Visa Prepaid Card, you can readily use it as soon as it has funds to pay bills, withdraw, shop online, and make transactions everywhere Mastercard or Visa Debit cards are accepted, both in establishments and online.
A reloadable prepaid card often comes with an EMV chip that allows you to store money safely and conduct cashless transactions, quite similar to credit or debit cards.
Why Mastercard And Visa Prepaid Cards Are Popular?
The relatively tight restrictions for obtaining a credit card are one reason for the low rate of credit cardholders in the Philippines. To be qualified for one, you must have a high enough salary and a sufficient credit score.
To maintain them, you’ll also need financial discipline. You can be prone on spending without limits, putting you in debt and thus having your credit card canceled.
What’s the best solution if you still need the function of a credit card? Reloadable Mastercard or Visa prepaid cards!
The available funds in these cards are either placed by the cardholder or have been directly put into the card account via direct payroll deposit or government benefit deposit.
This now means you won’t be able to spend money you don’t have, but you’ll still be able to avoid carrying huge amounts of cash.
Credit Card vs. Debit Card vs. Prepaid Card: What’s the Difference?
As you may expect, each of these three card payment choices has advantages and disadvantages.
What works for other people may not work for you. Continue reading to get a better understanding of their differences.
Having a credit card is perfect for:
Shopping of very high valued items. If you’re moving to a new place and need a few appliances, spending your own money from a debit card will deplete your savings quickly. However, many retailers accept credit cards and offer deferred payment plans, which allow you to pay in three, six, or twelve-monthly installments, and sometimes even longer – with low or sometime no interest.
Avoiding cash upfront payments. You can avoid paying cash upfront by using a credit card. So, if you’re the sort who can keep yourself in check when it comes to credit card spending, having one would be quite useful.
Shopping online. People are hesitant to shop online due to security worries. Unlike revealing your debit card information, which might allow a hacker to wipe your bank account clean, credit cards has an added degree of fraud protection. In the worst-case situation, it will take some time to deduct the illegally charged amount, but that is preferable to not having it at all. Deferred payment options for some credit cards are also available on marketplaces like Lazada, which is always good.
Building your credit score. The majority of people do not believe they need a credit score until the time they need it. If you ever need to apply for a mortgage or a vehicle loan, having a solid credit score from your credit card history will help you get approved. If the banks see that you’ve been punctual in paying your credit card bills, you’ll have high credit score.
The debit card is appropriate for the following uses:
Small purchases. Yes, credit cards are accepted, but when it’s a small charge here and a few items there, you might lose track of how much you’ve spent. Those few hundreds can quickly build up, and before you know it, you’ve racked up thousands in credit card debt. So, since debit cards (or even reloadable prepaid cards, more on that later) are directly debited from your bank account, you can keep track of these small expenses.
Avoiding credit card debt. Suppose you don’t manage your money well. As previously stated, it’s easy to forget your credit card limit and next thing you knew you’ll be in huge credit debt that you need to pay. You’ll be into credit card debt and see your credit scores take a nosedive as a result. If you’re concerned that this might happen to you, stick with debit cards. You can only spend what you have.
Spending what you deposited. Basically, a debit card is ideal for anything. You won’t go into debt because you can only swipe for what’s deposited into it, and you’ll be able to control impulse spending. The extra benefit is that you can only load a limited amount of money onto your prepaid card, leaving your savings account untouched.
Here are some things why people prefer prepaid cards.
Easy to get. Prepaid cards are often easy to get for almost everyone. Background checks and accompanying documentation are usually not necessary, as are current bank accounts. Simply provide a legitimate ID and pay card fee. Depending on the provider’s turnaround time, you should be ready to use one immediately or if you want it personalized with your name, pick up the card in a week or so.
Reloading is simple. There are a variety of reloading stations for the popular prepaid cards. You can also transfer funds from other e-wallets or from your bank account to your prepaid card. Just enroll it in mobile banking.
Not linked to a bank account. There’s no need to keep track of your balance because prepaid cards aren’t linked to your bank account. You’ll not be charged any fees if you go without funds on your card for an extended length of time.
Merchants. If your prepaid card has Visa, or Mastercard logo on it, it will be accepted in any place that has a card terminal as long as the card has sufficient money.
Rewards. Furthermore, some prepaid cards allow cardholders to accrue points that can be used for refunds, incentives, and other rewards.
Depending on some banks, there are prepaid cards that can be converted to the functions and features of debit cards – such as linked to savings account or has ability to earn interests.
Disadvantages In Using Prepaid Cards
For all of the convenience that prepaid cards provide, there are a variety of fees that cardholders may face.
There may be loading fees when you put money into it, withdrawal fees if you wish to put the money back into your bank account (if you’re even allowed to), balance inquiry fees, and fees from overseas transactions.
Furthermore, unlike credit cards, which require you to replace a new card when your old one expires, prepaid cards require you to purchase a new card when your old one expires.
The maximum amount of money you can load onto a prepaid card varies depending on the issuer. Reloading the card can become inconvenient if you’re a frequent user and you need to load with huge amounts.
Best Reloadable Prepaid Cards in Philippines
Following are the best reloadable prepaid cards right now in the Philippines.
1. GCash Mastercard
The GCash Mastercard is a physical card that you can use to make payments at any Mastercard-affiliated merchant or online platform.
This, together with the GCash app, offers you access to a lot of useful services, including:
- Prepaid mobile load.
- Paying Bills.
- Payment to subscriptions (Netflix, Spotify, etc).
- Sending and receiving money
- Investments and savings (with interest)
- Getting insurance
- Beep card functionality
- Earning rewards
The card is readily available once you registered to GCash. Getting a GCash Mastercard is simple. Just go to Globe Store closest to you and ask for the GCash card. Fill in and submit the card request form.
You need to present a valid ID and pay the GCash Mastercard’s one-time fee of P215.
2. Maya EMV Visa
The Maya prepaid card allows you to shop online that accepts credit and debit cards. P100,000 is the maximum amount you can spend.
Simply add money to your Maya account at 7-Eleven, Palawan Pawnshop, Smart Padala Centers, SM Stores Business Services, and Robinsons Department Stores Business Centers branches.
You can also add money from other e-wallets and from your bank accounts.
It now also supports contactless payments, which means you can pay even faster by simply tapping your card on contactless POS terminals.
You also need to download the Maya app and register to attach the the physical card. This will help you keep track of your transactions.
The card costs P200 and can be purchased online. Within Metro Manila, delivery takes 5-7 business days, and in provincial areas, it takes 7-10 business days. You can also get the Maya cards from mall business centers.
3. Visa Prepaid Card Amore (BPI)
The Amore Visa Prepaid Card, like the Prepaid Mastercard, can be used anywhere Visa is accepted.
You will also have access to a variety of advantages and privileges in Ayala Malls, such as access to their customer lounges.
You can also earn points, which you can exchange for a growing variety of Amore Rewards. You can also use its Beep functionality by simply adding P50, making your travel in the metro easy.
You can get the BPI Amore Visa Prepaid Card in the following ways:
You can apply at any BPI branch or get it online at “prepaid.bpicards.com”.
If you get it at the official BPI website, fill out the application form online, and you’ll receive an email confirmation you submit it.
Once you receive the SMS telling you that your card is available, pick it up at your designated BPI branch.
Pay the card P250 fee and present one valid photo.
4. BDO Cash Card
The good thing with a BDO Cash Card is that you can enjoy the security and convenience of having a BDO ATM card. There’s no maintenance balance required.
That means you can use it to withdraw cash, pay bills, or make purchases anywhere Mastercard is accepted.
Simply apply for the BDO Cash Card at a BDO branch near you.
P10,000 – P100,000 is the maximum amount you can spend.
The BDO Cash Card is P150 pesos.
5. Metrobank YAZZ Card
Metrobank’s YAZZ Reloadable Prepaid VISA Card likewise is a prepaid card that can be used everywhere Visa is accepted.
The YAZZ Prepaid Card, like the BDO Cash Card, offers you access to cash you have in it, at Visa and Metrobank ATMs, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
You can get a YAZZ Visa Prepaid Card in Metrobank branches and also in business centers of malls.
The YAZZ Reloadable VISA card is accepted at YAZZ locations such as the following:
- Family Mart
- National Bookstore
- Robinsons Department Store.
- SM Shop
- SM Hypermarket
- Supermarket SM
- SM Savemore.
Yazz Prepaid Visa is P300 with free P50 load.
6. PSBank Prepaid Mastercard
PSBank Prepaid Mastercard, like the others on this list, provides a convenient and secure way to manage your finances.
This card can be used as an ATM, debit, remittance, and internet cash card, in addition to helping you stick to your budget.
This card is free if you load it with at least P500 in advance. It’s also free if you decide to keep it after it expires. As a Mastercard holder, you can use it in any place or online store that accepts Mastercard.
How to Get a Prepaid Mastercard from PSBank?
Present a valid ID and a minimum of P500 for the initial deposit at any PSBank branch.
A waiver signed by the parent/guardian, valid IDs of the legal guardian, and your passport or school ID are required for younger applicants (7-17 years old).
To apply, call their customer care hotline at (02) 845-8888 or visit www.psbank.com and use the live chat feature.
7. SMART Money Card
Smart Money Card is a prepaid instant card accessible at Smart Stores that is only available to Smart subscribers.
Its generic name is SMART Money, but account information is individualized in the system. A customized Smart Money Card with the cardholder’s name is also available.
It works in the same way as a BDO Cash Card, allowing you access to ATMs and retail outlets.
To obtain a SMART Money Card, follow the steps below.
Go to any Smart Store or BDO branch, bring any government ID or a major credit card with a photo.
Complete the Smart Money Application Form and pay a P100 processing fee.
After seven days (inside Metro Manila) or 14 days (in provincial areas), the customized card will be delivered to your specified address.
8. EastWest Prepaid Card
EMV and payWave capabilities are included on the card. It can also be used to pay at over 30 million VISA-affiliated businesses and 350,000 internet merchants throughout the world.
You can withdraw cash at any EastWest ATM as well as all VISA-related ATMs worldwide.
Just go to an EastWest branch and ask for an EastWest prepaid card. Complete the application form and present at least one government-issued ID.
Pay the P100 card fee.
P100,000 is the maximum amount you can spend.
9. Robinson’s Bank Visa Card
Robinson’s Bank Visa card costs P150 with an initial deposit of P100. You can get it at any Robinson’s Bank branch.
This is tied up to Robinson’s Bank Simple Savings account.
You can also monitor your account online and it even comes with a virtual card for online purchases. This account can earn 0.1% interest per annum. No need to maintain balance.
Just go to any Robinson’s Bank branch and ask for their Simple Savings account with Visa Card. Fill out the form and show government IDs.
Pay the card fee cost of P150 and initial deposit of P100.
10. PNB Prepaid Card
This reloadable card can be used to withdraw money from any ExpressNet, Megalink, or BancNet ATMs.
It can be used at any location or online store that accepts Mastercard.
Just go to any PNB branch and ask about PNB Prepaid Mastercard.
Pay P100 and show a valid ID. The card is free if you put it an initial deposit of P500.
P100,000 is the maximum amount you can spend.
11. Landbank Cash Card
This prepaid card can be used anywhere Visa is accepted.
Employee perks, loans, pensions, payroll credits, commissions, reimbursements, allowances, and bonuses are all examples of applications. It’s also accepted at ATMs and has a daily POS limit of P50,000.
To get a Landbank Cash Card, just go to any Landbank branch.
Fill out the form, show a valid ID and pay P100 for the card.
P100,000 is the maximum amount you can spend.
12. Unionbank Go Rewards Prepaid Visa Card
The Unionbank Go Rewards Prepaid Visa Card earns 1 Go Rewards points for every P400 spent. The rewards points can be redeemed Robinson’s Retail Stores, Cebu Pacific and Caltex.
There are no maintenance balance required for accounts and no initial load fees.
To get a Unionbank Card, just go to Go Rewards official site or visit Unionbank branch.
13. RCBC MyWallet Visa Prepaid Card
The RCBC Visa Prepaid Card can be used as an ATM card, to send money and pay bills. It is accepted everywhere Visa cards are accepted.
While balance inquiries and fund transfers are free via online banking, if there is no financial activities in 12 months, there will be a P200 charge per month thereafter.
You can get the RCBC MyWallet Visa Prepaid Card at any RCBC branch near you.
Fill out the form, present a valid ID and a P150 fee to get the card. There is also a P20 one-time loading fee.
P100,000 is the maximum amount you can spend.
14. Cebu Pacific GetGo Prepaid Card
Cebu Pacific’s card combines the benefits of a loyalty card and a prepaid card.
It can hold up to nine different currencies (the Philippine Peso, the US Dollar, the Singapore Dollar, the Hong Kong Dollar, the Australian Dollar, the Japanese Yen, the Euro, the British Pound, and the Canadian Dollar). It’s worth noting, though, that the card can only be loaded with Philippine Peso.
Holders can receive one reward point for every P100 spent, which you can use to get discounts on Cebu Pacific flights and at participating merchants. For a P20 fee, cardholders can transfer funds to other Ceb GetGo cardholders.
You can get a Cebu Pacific GetGo Prepaid Card at Robinson’s Department Store, Ministop, FamilyMart, 7-Eleven stores and business centers in malls
Fill out the application, provide a valid ID, and pay P150.
P250,000 – P500,000 is the maximum amount you can spend.
15. BPI ePay Mastercard.
This card is accepted wherever Mastercard is accepted. There are no fees for checking your balance or reloading your account; however, there are withdrawal fees.
The card is good for four years, although the latter two years are subject to a P99 annual fee.
Just go to any BPI branch to apply for a BPI ePay Mastercard. Fill up the online application form, present a valid ID and a P150 fee to get the card.
When your card is ready, you will receive an SMS notice. Claim your card at the BPI branch you’ve chosen for pickup.
P100,000 – P500,000 is the maximum amount you can spend.
16. USSC Prime Card
China Bank and Trust Corporation (CBTC) is behind this card, which is issued by remittance company USSC. It can be used to withdraw money for free from CBTC ATMs and for a fee at other ATMs.
The USSC Panalo Wallet is activated when you attach the card to the USSC Super Service app, allowing you to send and receive money via Western Union.
To get a Prime Card from USSC, just go to any USSC branch near you.
Fill out the form and present a valid ID and pay a P150 fee for the card (P160 if you want it personalized).