Prepaid Debit Cards in the Philippines: What you need to know
Let’s face it — it is way more convenient to have a debit card these days. Debit cards let you always have your money on hand without having to carry it all in your wallet, allows you to withdraw in an ATM easily or pay for items in stores. Plus, it makes tasks such as online shopping and sending/receiving money so much more convenient and easy. If you’re thinking of getting one, let us give you some recommendations.
What is the difference?
While they both offer the same functions, the main difference between a traditional debit card and a prepaid debit card is that the former is linked to a bank account while the prepaid debit card isn’t. Meaning, you do not need to have a bank account to have a prepaid debit card.
Why should you get a prepaid debit card?
A prepaid debit card is an excellent option for you if: 1) You do not want to go through the hassle of opening an account. 2) You only want to spend what you load into the card as the card only works if there is money loaded onto it, which helps curb any unnecessary and impulsive spending. 3) You want something with lower risk. Since it is not linked to any bank account, in the event of the card being lost or stolen, only the money loaded is affected and not all your savings.
Debit cards available in the Philippines
If you are interested in getting one, you have a few options to choose from. While there are a lot of prepaid debit cards to choose from, here are some of the top prepaid debit cards available in the Philippines so that you can find one that best suits your needs.
If you want a card that has no maintaining balance or loading fees, which you can use both online and offline, the BPI E-Pay Mastercard is a good option for you.
The application process is easy. All you need to do is apply online, select a branch for pick-up, and claim it in your chosen branch. You can also quickly reload the card through the BPI online, the BPI mobile app, any BPI Cash Accept Machine, or in any BPI branch through over-the-counter.
• Can be used anywhere Mastercard is accepted both online and offline, also abroad (Payments made overseas has an extra charge of 2% of the transaction amount but no additional charges when used locally)
• Allows you to withdraw money from any BPI ATM (PHP 20 per withdrawal)
• No loading fees and maintaining balance
• Valid for four years (PHP 99 annual fee during the 3rd and 4th year)
• Tap-and-go feature available at all Mastercard Paypass merchants
The card application fee for the BPI E-Pay Mastercard is PHP 150.
If you are already a PayMaya user who wants to upgrade their experience with a physical debit card, check out the PayMaya Paywave Card.
The PayMaya app already comes with a virtual card. Still, you can purchase a physical prepaid card which you can use to withdraw money from any BancNet ATM or to pay for items in restaurants, department stores, and other establishments that accept card payments.
• Choose from either Visa or Mastercard
• Contactless payments allow cardholders to have faster payments by merely tapping their cards on a contactless POS terminal
• Shop online and in stores where debit cards or credit cards are accepted
• Reload PayMaya card through PayMaya partners such as 7-Eleven, Palawan Pawnshop, Smart Padala Centers, SM Stores Business Services, and Robinsons Department Store Business Centers.
• Withdraw money through any BancNet ATM
The PayMaya Paywave Card is PHP 200 per card, but if you want to share with friends or family, you can purchase a pack of 3 for PHP 545 and a pack of 5 for PHP 850. You can buy a PayMaya Paywave Card on the PayMaya website or in the following physical stores:
The SM Store Business Services
Robinsons Department Store Business Centers
Gaisano Capital Business Centers
Selected Family Mart branches
Just like the BPI E-Pay Mastercard, the BDO Cash Card Mastercard is another good option if you want a card that can be used for both online and offline purchases, whether you are in the Philippines or abroad.
The BDO Cash Card can be availed in any BDO branch of your choice. Reloading can be done through any BDO branch, any ATM, BDO online, their mobile app, or phone banking with a fee of PHP 15 per cash reload.
• Can be used for online shopping and allowance sending
• Allows local and international ATM cash withdrawals (PHP 2 fee using BDO ATM, PHP 11 fee using BancNet, ExpressNet and MegaLink ATMs)
• Allows local and international purchases at point-of-sale terminals
• No minimum maintaining balance
• Swipe and enter your PIN to pay for purchases at over 20,000 merchants nationwide
• No service fees, interest charges or hidden fees
The card application fee for the BDO Cash Card Mastercard is PHP 150.
If you frequently visit Ayala Malls and want a debit card that works as a rewards card, then try the Amore VISA Prepaid Card. It is not just a prepaid debit card, as it also works as a rewards card and gives you access to all the amenities Ayala Malls has to offer. For an extra PHP 50, to make it into a beep card.
Another prepaid debit card offered by BPI, it can be reloaded through BPI online, the BPI mobile app, any BPI Cash Accept Machine, or in any BPI branch through over-the-counter. It is also worth mentioning that this card does not let you withdraw the money through an ATM.
• Can be used wherever VISA is accepted online and in-store, locally and abroad
• No loading fees and maintaining balance
• Valid for four years (PHP 99 annual fee for the 3rd and 4th year)
• Tap and pay at VISA payWave merchants, or beep at MRT, LRT, buses, and tollgates
• Earn rewards when used wherever VISAis accepted
• Gives you unlimited access to the Ayala Malls Customer Lounge
• Gives you a 5% discount on your Ayala Cinema movie tickets (BHS Cinemas not included)
• Exclusive invites to cardholder only events such as concerts, movie screenings, and Ayala Malls sale events
You can avail of an Amore VISA Prepaid Card in the concierge of any of the following Ayala Malls:
Alabang Town Center
Ayala Center Cebu
The processing fee for the Amore VISA Prepaid payWave is PHP 200, but you can avail the Amore VISA Prepaid beep for PHP 250.
If you are looking to further better your GCash experience, the GCash Mastercard is maybe something you want to consider getting. If you’re already using the GCash app, having the debit card will allow you to take advantage of its other features. That said, to be able to use the card, you must have a fully verified GCash account.
• Withdraw the money in your GCash account through any BancNet or Mastercard ATMs
• Shop wherever credit cards and debit cards are accepted, online or in-store
• Cash-in at GCash Partner Outlets such as Puregold, SM, and Robinsons
You can purchase a Gcash Mastercard for PHP 150 through the link above, in the GCash app, or convenience stores such as Ministop, All Day, Lawson, and 7-Eleven.
If you are looking to find a prepaid card that is easily accessible to get your hands on, the YAZZ Prepaid VISA may be the one for you.
The Metrobank Card Corporation issues the YAZZ Prepaid VISA. It is easily accessible and available for purchase in a lot of major malls, supermarkets, convenience stores, and book stores. The card can also easily be topped up through ECPay Merchant stores, Family Mart, National Book Store, Robinsons Department Store, The SM Store, SM Hypermarket, SM Supermarket, SM Savemore, and Waltermart.
Upon activation, there is a free PHP 50 load that can be immediately used.
• Shop in any Visa-accredited merchants in the Philippines and abroad
• Can be used to make online purchases
• No maintaining balance
• Get a debit card and a savings account without having to open a bank account (PHP 20 loading fee)
• Withdraw from any BancNet or VISA accredited ATMs (PHP 20 fee per transaction)
The YAZZ Prepaid VISA costs PHP 300 and can be purchased from the following accredited distribution channels:
Robinsons Department Store
Select ECPay outlets
Enjoy flying and going on trips? Then the CEB GetGo VISA Prepaid Card may be the right option for you. A collaboration between UnionBank, Cebu Pacific, and GetGo, this card is a loyalty and prepaid debit card in one. You can earn GetGo points when you use the card, which you can use to fly for free.
• No Annual Fees, maintaining balance or initial load required
• Can be used locally or abroad, wherever VISA is accepted
• Lock-in exchange rates for USD, SGD, HKD, JPY, AUD, EUR, GBP, CAD
• Send money to other CEB GetGo Prepaid Cardholders (Php 20 transfer fee)
• Pay bills to a wide range to merchant partners
• Get a 10% discount on points when booking flights with GetGo.
• Receive early alerts to Cebu Pacific and GetGo seat sale.
• The card can be loaded through Robinsons Department Store, UnionBank Branches, 7-Eleven via Cliqq App / Kiosk, TouchPay Kiosk
You can purchase a CEB GetGo VISA Prepaid Card for PHP 150 from the following places:
Robinsons Department Store
Select 7-Eleven stores
If you want to get a free debit card that is linked to an online savings account, you can try out the CIMB Bank PH Debit Card. CIMB Bank PH is an all-digital and mobile-first bank where you can open an account in just ten minutes through your smartphone. When you open a Fast or Fast Plus with them, you can avail of a free debit card that will be delivered to your home.
• Fast account must be verified, have a confirmed delivery address and has minimum cash-in of PHP 1,000 to be eligible for the free debit card
• VISA payWave contactless transactions
• No initial deposit, transaction fees, and annual fees
• Have up to PHP 100,000 in your account for 12 months
• An interest rate of 5% per annum for balances deposited
• Convenient deposit at over 8,000+ partner locations
• Withdraw at 20,000+ partner ATMs nationwide
You can open a Fast account and avail of your free CIMB PH Debit Card here or on the mobile app.
Do you know other prepaid cards you can recommend? Let us know in the comments below!
This article was written by Sofia Tan.