Sunday, February 26, 2017

Credit Cards - PNB Essentials Mastercard - One Year Later

I remember it as though it only happened yesterday. It was a hot sunny afternoon. Though it was late February and the molten ice from our northern neighbors should have made the weather a slightly chilly one, there was I sweating profusely under the mighty sun. Armed with the requirements I've taken note from their website, I entered Philippine National Bank (PNB) P. Tuazon branch. I'm not exactly sure if their branch is a new one, but it looks like it, especially when compared to the Ali Mall or the Cubao-Harvard branches.

The staff were friendly and accommodating. Even though it was nearly lunch, one of their tellers assisted me with my application. I was initially asked if I had an account with them. I told them that I didn't and asked if it was necessary. Good thing it was not but it could really help with my application since this will be my first credit card if ever. I just told them I would be opening one should I get approved so I can use their online portal.

The process only took 30 minutes of filling up the application form. I was told it could take a month or so for the entire process and I should really see to it that I answer their verification call for me to get approved.

A week later, I received their call and was relieved that I was free to answer it. Basic questions were asked and it took only about 5 minutes. I didn't hear again from them after that. Amidst the tension I faced with applying for a secured credit card, I was totally surprised that around March 7, 2016, a card arrived at the office though I was not there to receive it personally. It was an Essentials MasterCard with a Php20,000 limit. Very low indeed, but at least it's a regular one. My first ever. To top it up, I then learned that it have free annual fee for life. I feel so lucky.

Six months later, I requested for a credit limit increase and was granted one from Php 20,000 to Php 50,000. 10 months after, I requested for a Travel Club Platinum Mastercard which is also free for life. I was initially declined but them got approved after casually mentioning it to a CS on one of my contacts with them. That's a different story for now. Hehe.

Card usage wise, it has the perks of other credit cards: installment plans, balance transfer, transaction conversion; all of which I've used at a certain time. If there's a bad thing that I could think of, it is their overseas usage limit. Though my balance is sufficient enough and a travel advice was given, a CS told me that the card would be blocked after a certain number of swipes. It happened to me when I was in HongKong and then another time in South Korea. I didn't dare use it when I was in Japan so I'll never know.  Otherwise, all was well.

Recently, February 22, 2017, I received the below email. I guess it was February 22 when I got approved and got the card 2 weeks later. Though I'm pretty sure that this is s system generated email, I was touched, and would have been touched more if it came with an automatic credit limit increase. Just kidding. Seriously, two cards from them with no annual fee for life is reason enough for me to stay with this bank.

Image by PNB

Thank you PNB for the trust. I'm really looking forward for a stronger banking relationship with you for the years to come.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Credit Card Promo - Metrobank's Red Ribbon and Greenwich Treats

One of the perks of having a credit card is getting something out of spending. Granted, it is not technically free as you have to reach a certain amount to be eligible for a certain treat. Nonetheless, if it's for something that you regularly spend on like bills or groceries, then why not?

Though this is my first time posting about these kind of promos, I've actually taken advantage of past credit card promotions like BPI's Starbucks (my favorite) and Jollibee treats (3x) and Metrobank's recently ended McDonald's treats (2x). These are what some of the peeps at PinoyExhange call as "Pantawid Gutom Program"  (Quick hunger fix). Haha! I'm thinking of posting more promotions like these for those who are too lazy to read their emails or those who are on auto delete mode. Plus, it's one of my lame excuses to come up with a blog post. Haha!

Image by Metrobank

A quick run through:

Eligible Cards: All Metrobank credit cards except Metrobank ON Internet Mastercard and Metrobank Dollar Mastercard. Not applicable to YAZZ prepaid card and Metrobank debit and prepaid cards.

Promo Period: February 22, 2017 to May 15, 2017

Redemption Period: February 22, 2017 to July 14, 2017

Promo: FREE Red Ribbon and Greenwich treats when you spend anywhere with your Metrobank credit card.

Click here for the complete promo mechanics.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Credit Card Tips

It has been a year since I had my first credit card. It all started with with a secured old credit card from BPI, in my desire to avail of their Imagine your Korea promotion wherein Gold and higher credit card holders have the chance of being granted 3-5 years multiple entry to South Korea. 

Fast forward. Along with a 3 year multiple entry visa to South Korea, came multiple credit cards. As Spiderman would put it, with multiple credits card comes multiple responsibilities. It was fun at first. I'm a Starbucks card collector and the idea of collecting multiple credit cards for the different designs came to mind. Further, the idea of being entrusted with a credit limit that I can use anytime at my whims boosts my self esteem. 

A credit card can be a valuable tool if you know how to use it properly.  Below are some tips I've read from various sites, adding more from my own experiences. 

1. Your credit card available limit is not your cash. Do not treat it as an extension of your buying power. Your buying power is your cash limit. Once you have your card swiped, consider the same amount of your cash to be no longer yours.

2. Pay the monthly due on time and in full. This is to avoid paying for interest. Paying just the minimum amount off your credit card balance each month will not only extend the time you are in debt, it will also significantly increase the interest you pay over that time.

3. Never miss a payment. If the above point can't be avoided, it is vital to make a payment of at least the minimum amount by the due date.

 4. Go for credit cards that offer free annual fee for life. If this cannot be avoided, ask for your annual fee to be waived; some credit card companies waive annual fees upon request or upon meeting certain conditions.

5. On installment:
- avail only if installment price is the same as the cash price (0% interest)
- avail only if you can afford to pay the full amount on the purchase date
- take the longest payment scheme possible but only if the last payment date is before your annual fee will be charged. This way, you get to be in a better position when asking your annual fee to be waived. 

5. Unless there's a minimum amount or purchase required, every peso counts. Use your card on each and every purchase that allows you to, provided you follow the previous points. 

6. Check the perks. RCBC Bankard offers unli 0% installments. Unionbank's Getgo Credit Card directly earns you Getgo points which you can use to redeem Cebu Pacific flights. Citibank Rewards card offers accelerated points rewarding system.  This is especially useful for those who have more than one credit card provider. On any given transaction, use the one that will give you better perks. 

7. If you have just enough money to make ends meet and without an emergency fund but with regular salary, get at least 2 cards, but make sure to follow the above advice. Having 2 or more cards gives you some sort of emergency budget. 

8. Treat your credit card information as confidential (Really, it is.)

The Good:

1. You get to keep your money at the bank for a longer period. This gives you:
- insignifcantly higher interest
- available cash in case of emergency

2. You get to receive discounts and freebies without paying for interest.

3. You get to fall in line less often on ATMs

4. In comparison to bringing cash, when you lose your cash, you lose your cash. When you lose your card, you lose a piece of plastic. Just make sure that you report it at the soonest possible time. 

The Bad:

1. You have the tendency to use it on purchases which you will not avail if you are on a cash basis.

2. You don't have the available budget but think you can swipe knowing your payday is drawing near. 

3. You see it as something to give you a better financial image among your friends.

4. You cannot say "No" to pressures of treating your friends even if you do not have budget for such.

Friday, February 03, 2017

Secured Credit Card - RCBC Instacard - One Year Later

Update: Just got an email that my funds have been released! Yey!

Time really flies too fast.

I can't believe that in a matter of weeks, my Instacard from RCBC would turn one year old. It seems only yesterday that I've had my faith tested and have finally gotten my card.

The Bad

Since I only opted to have Php10,000 as my hold amount, I was given a Blue Mastercard with the same credit limit. Yes, it was 100% in my case but I'v read elsewhere that some were only given 70% to 80% due to the remaining amount acting as a maintaining balance of their RCBC account.

Usage wise, I wasn't able to fully utilize this card because of it low credit limit. A big chunk of it was used to pay for an officemate's phone in 12 months installment. I also had another secured credit card with BPI with a much higher hold out amount and therefore a higher credit limit. My Instacard just stayed on my wallet for most months of the year.

Since I'm still yet to request for the hold out amount release, I am hoping it would be a smooth one. I will update this coming March.

The Good

My Instacard was treated like a regular RCBC credit card in cases where I need to swipe it, even though I was not able to fully maximize its features. It's also  great that they have this notification feature where every swipe you make, you will know via a text message or an email.

They also have minimal waiting time when contacting their customer service hotline. Well, at least for me, and when compared to BPI's customer support which really sucks big time.

The Best

I'm not really sure if this was because of my on time and in full monthly payments, or the fact that I have applied several times for a second card, but I was given a Gold Visa card this January even though my card is less than a year old. The credit limit is substantial, and I am now able to use their Unli 0% feature wherein you can have any transactions be converted into 3 months installment.

Thank you RCBC!

Thursday, February 02, 2017

Game of Thrones Season 7 Spoilers and Leaks

I've always been fine with spoilers. Aside from having an advance insight on what may happen on a particular movie or series,  I have a penchant of backreading them to check if one actually came to fruition. This is why I thought of having this entry so I can look it back up once Season 7 airs.

I have seen these stuff November of 2016 and if I remember it correctly, the post came from a Reddit user. I do not claim any information below as my own.

So if you are not a fan of spoilers or leaks, please click on the "Close" button immediately.  You've been warned.

Image taken from Wikipedia



Season seven will see Daenerys, Cersei Lannister, and Jon Snow will form an allegiance to battle the White Walkers. Jon says he would give up his seat as King In The North if they fight together against the White Walkers.

Tyrion will face his sister Cersei and we will see a get together of Jorah, Varys, Missandei, Qyburn, Euron Greyjoy, The Mountain and The Hound as well as Daenerys and Jon meeting at the Dragon Pit in King’s Landing.

To convince the others into forming an alliance, Jon will bring an undead wight and show them why the seven kingdoms need to come together to fight the Night’s King and his undead army. Despite initially agreeing, Cersei goes back on her word and hopes that the two armies wipe each other out enough for her to hold the power. Because of her actions, Jaime finally gives up on his sister and heads north to join the fight against the wights.

Trying to capture the wight, sees Jon Snow’s uncle Benjen (also known as Coldhands) die trying to protect his nephew. Jon’s group are attacked by the Night King’s army and are left surrounded on a frozen lake, where Thoros is killed by a wight polar bear.

Daenerys saves the stranded group but faces her own casualty as one of her dragons, Viserion is taken by the Night’s King. He is the resurrected and is used to destroy The Wall with his powerful blue flame.

Despite their clash, Daenerys and Jon end up sleeping together by episode seven of the season.

Arya is reunited with her direwolf, Nymeria, which she left in season one. Upon her return, Arya uses her skills and the face of Walder to summon the Freys and after sending the women away, gives a toast and kills them all with poison.

Littlefinger threatens to upset the Stark family, as he tries to use a letter which Sansa sent to her brother Rob which she was made to send during her time as a Lannister, but with the help of her little brother Bran, she’s able to expose Littlefinger. He is then executed by Ayra.

Jorah makes a return after having been cured of greyscale by Sam.

Gilly, of all people, finds an account which claims that Rhaegar’s marriage had been annulled and that he had actually married Lyanna Stark, Jon’s mother (complete with a flashback) – which strengthens Jon’s claim to the throne.

Elsewhere, Cersei appears to have a miscarriage, and the Lannister army takes on Dorne and High Garden, killing them off.

Lady Oleanna reveals that she killed Jeoffrey and Jaime lets her commit suicide by poison.

The Lannisters have special anti-dragon artillery, which is designed by Qyburn, but are still killed by an attack from Daenerys. Tyrion is left worrying about Daenery’s hunger for power after she orders Drogon to scorch some Westeros lords, which includes Sam’s tyrant father Randyll, as they choose not to kneel. Euron Greyjoy finds and destroys Yara’s fleet and takes her as a prison but Theon manages to escape. Euron takes Ellaria and kills off two of the Sand Snakes.

But after he casts his eye on the wights, he flees back to Pyke after finding out that they can’t swim. Theon and Jon Snow come face to face, but he is given mercy for saving Sansa’s life.

There you go. I'm so excited!