Monday, March 11, 2013

Credit Card, anyone?

Credit card. Necessity or status symbol?

Ever since I knew what a credit card is, I promised myself not to get one. Around 2009, when BPI offered me a pre-approved credit card, I declined it. They even tried to deliver the card at home, but I told the messenger that I did not apply for it.

Then a little more then a year later, another credit card offer came; still from BPI. I broke my promise and accepted the card. It was the start of due diligence and discipline in planning my expenses and making sure I pay on time... and in full.

I can attest to the convenience a credit card brings - purchasing appliances, gadgets, online deals/bookings, etc. No ATM or bank queuing required.

I also got some free meal by using the CC on a promo offer.

But on the first anniversary when I was being charged the annual fee, I cancelled the card.

Few months after (around late 2012), BPI offered me a new one. I accepted on the condition that the annual fee would be waived. I now have another "free" credit card.

But since acquiring this new CC last December, I had only three transactions. I really don't use it. I also don't brag I have a credit card.

My current CC is a gold version. I suppose some gold CC users tend to flash them like a badge of honor. But for me, I am not really comfortable using my gold CC. Before this was given to me, I asked my relationship manager from BPI Family if she can give me a card with lower credit limit, not a gold one. She told me that gold CC is the minimum for a preferred client. Sad. And really, I am afraid for my security whenever I use my gold CC.

Is it a necessity? I don't think so. I can still pay bills, go shopping, and pay online bookings without a credit card. Though it is more convenient to have a credit card in these instances, I don't think the convenience can justify the annual fee. (This is of course my opinion. I know some people are ready to pay annual fee for the convenience that a credit card brings to them.)

Is it a status symbol? Maybe yes. I believe majority of Filipinos "admire" someone whose wallet is like a rainbow due to numerous credit cards from various banks.

For me, I do not admire him/her. I can and will admire him/her if s/he knows why s/he has so many credit cards. Business purposes? If it is merely for status symbol, then I pity him/her.

Credit cards are not badges of honor. These "plastic wallets" are good test-drives of one's debt management skills and financial discipline. But if used recklessly like considering it as a bottomless pit of money, then ... doomsday might just be around the corner.

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  1. Only avail of a credit card if you have the discipline to use it only when absolutely necessary. Let's not treat it as an extended wallet! ...This is much easier said than done, right?

    1. I just pity people who flash their credit cards like they are badges of honor or self-esteem. And yes, money management/discipline is easier said than done. hehe. oh, temptations...

  2. In Beijing and Taiwan, banks waived annual dues for regular and gold cardholders if they use it six times a year. Platinum cardholders has fixed annual fee which i always decline.

    I dont want a credit card with annual fees. :-)

    1. Wow! Only six times a year? I hope Philippine banks will also implement that rule. Six times a year is easy. Hehe.

  3. Nice blog here! I am starting to become your fan! :D

    1. I think you are a complete nonsense. Credit cards are helpful, you know too little to even try and give advices to people about finance.

  4. You should go out more of the country. Know more about credit cards. You sure don't know much of having purchasing power. Better yet, shut up!

  5. I have a credit card for 5 years with an international bank and I haven't paid any single annual fee. Whenever I see the annual fee in my statement I will immidiately call the customer service and have it waived. They will see that I use my cc all the time ( but pay it in full all the time as well) and being a loyal customer, they can waive it. Or whenever you use your cc, you earn bonus points and you can use it to waive annual fees. I'm not promoting using CC. but as long as you can pay it in full every due date then there won't be any problems. I'm not using it for status symbol as well, just for the convenience especially when I can pay bills online. There's a lot to consider, not just the annual fee, IMO.


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