In the Philippines, credit card points pertain to the exclusive currency you get from avidly using your credit card. It’s one of the three most common types of rewards credit card holders get along with cashback and airline miles.
Credit card points are basically a form of currency specific to the bank or credit card. These can be used to “pay for” or redeem items, be the basis for cashbacks, or be converted to airline miles.
There is no standardized value for credit card points. The peso-to-point ratio is usually different among every bank.
The only similarity between rewards credit cards is that they award customers for each and every purchase that they make.
Bear in mind, however, that some credit cards award more points for specific purchases.
For example, the EastWest Platinum Mastercard has a point-to-peso ratio of 1pt : PHP40.
The rewards program of EastWest bank is known as Limitless Rewards. Here, they offer vouchers, point-to-airline mile conversions, cash rebates, and annual fee waivers.
Citibank has a broader rewards program. They offer points transfer to numerous airlines, the option to pay with points at partnered stores, cinemas, and restaurants, and they even provide a few exclusive benefits.
A responsible credit card user who avidly collects credit card points in the Philippines, can use it as a small, but convenient source of resources.
That being said, this requires you to be very knowledgeable about what these points can be used for in the Philippines.
Before we go in-depth about this, here is a short guide on how you can efficiently collect credit card points on your own.
How to Earn Credit Card Points
The most important factor to earning credit card points fast and efficiently is by having the right credit card. Pair this with responsible spending and you’ll rack up points in no time.
Bear in mind that for most cards, you’ll get 1pt for every PHP30 to 60 pesos. However, it’s good to note that some cards give bonuses when you spend it on particular things such as airline tickets, dining, shopping, and even foreign purchases.
Another thing that you should always remember is that you should never spend just for the sake of gaining points. You should collect your points as you go along with your daily expenses.
Basically speaking, the only way you can efficiently collect credit card points in the Philippines is by having a credit card that matches well with your spending behavior and just going on with your normal daily life.
Anything over your daily expenses can add to your points, but also increase the potential of you reaching or exceeding your credit limit.
Be content with what you’ve originally been spending on, and try to avoid spontaneous shopping sprees. Point collecting isn’t something you should rush.
Many credit card issuers will have you earn a large number of points when you first activate your card. Some cards give them right from the get-go.
In the Philippines, however, there’s not much that provides initial signup bonuses in points. Most of them provide free cash in certain stores.
That being said, the best example of credit cards with initial bonuses in the Philippines is the PNB-PAL Mabuhay Miles World Mastercard.
Upon activation, you’re automatically given 2000 Mabuhay Miles.
Some cards also give you some bonus points when you reach certain milestones for your card.
Milestones you can reach include: reaching one year of credit card use, reaching a threshold of expenses, and promotional milestones of spending an amount of money within a period of time.
Again, the Philippines has very few credit cards that make use of milestones to help collect points. The best example that uses this concept is the PNB-PAL Mabuhay Miles World Mastercard.
The card has the condition of providing another 10,000 Mabuhay Miles upon reaching PHP100,000
Here are some cards that provide additional opportunities for you to gain points whenever you add additional authorized users to your account. That being said, this would usually be given when that authorized user makes a purchase or spends a certain amount of money in a certain period of time.
A lot of issuers have their own referral program that often provides customers with either points or other rewards. Basically, when you have your own credit card, you’ll be given your own referral link to share with your friends and family.
As long as someone uses that link to get their own credit card, then you’ll receive a few bonus points.
At the end of the day, credit card points in the Philippines are mostly used for either cash rebates or for airline miles. Of course, there are still some reward programs that have their own particular rewards catalog—but in most cases, it’s way more efficient for you to use your points for airline miles instead.
The Most Efficient Ways to Actively Collect Credit Card Points
As mentioned above, the only reliable way to earn credit card points is to use your credit cards in most, if not all, of your expenditures.
To reiterate, you should not spend more money just for the sake of collecting more credit card points. Instead, make sure that your point collection that is something passive, yet relatively steady.
Be resourceful with your expenditures. You might even want to implement a few strategies for it.
Get Credit Cards that are Aligned with your Interests
For effective point collection, you need to have a card that is aligned with your interests. Certain credit cards provide more bonuses when they are used to buy certain items.
For example, the AUB Platinum Credit Card lets you earn reward points at 4 times the original rate for every transaction done outside of the Philippines. Which makes it one of the best cards that people who are frequently out of the country can use.
Furthermore, you should look for credit cards for things that you plan on, or are already doing frequently. Keep in mind that there are travel credit cards, business credit cards, and credit cards that give bonuses for frequently shopping in specific stores, eating in partnered restaurants, and the like.
The only thing that you should remember is that you should not, in any case, go for credit cards with specialized reward programs for things that you wonl’t actually be buying frequently.
Consider their Cashback program
Although cashback, reward points, and airline miles are the top three rewards that credit cards in the Philippines provide, they’re very much interchangeable.
That being said, you can still use your points as a way to get additional cash rebates.
A lot of rewards programs let you exchange your points for cash rebates, or even just a means to waive your annual fee.
What’s great with cashback is that it can be applied in a variety of things since it’s basically money instead of the fictional value of points.
In the Philippines, cash back is the most popular reward in the Philippines since it basically refunds an amount that can still be used for other expenses aside from airline tickets and exclusive items in the reward catalogues.
Try to Focus on Using One Card
Having multiple credit cards is not necessarily a bad thing. In fact, when used properly, you can get more value out of them.
However, you should also consider the fact that you might be diluting the value of your rewards by alternating charges around them instead of accumulating reward points on just one card.
Bear in mind that credit cards that have high interest rates and annual fees might not be worth keeping any longer. You might want to consider closing some of your other credit cards (if you have any) and just keep the ones that you use a lot. It’s important, however, that you close accounts carefully so as not to affect your credit score negatively.
This is where having credit card points for your preferred rewards becomes prominent. When all of your finances are funneled into one card, you’ll earn more points for rewards that you plan on using.
Be Aware of Point Expiration
There are some credit cards that have expiration dates for their reward points. in some cases, they expire after 2 or 3 years.
This gives you a time limit of when you should use your points. it also implies that you can’t endlessly collect points for certain expensive items.
Fortunately, many popular rewards credit cards here in the Philippines have a no expiration policy with their points. meaning you can collect as much as you want for as long as you want.
Look out for Promos for Additional Reward Points
Credit cards would usually have promos to earn more reward points for certain purchases.
Often, they would let you earn 2 or 3 times more reward points in a period of time for certain purchases.
They might even have promos wherein they provide a fixed amount of rewards points for every transaction.
At the end of the day, it would be best to wait for these kinds of promos and deals to efficiently collect reward points.
Even promos that don’t necessarily increase the reward points that you get can help tremendously with your point accrual.
You can summarize efficient and effective point collection in two words. Strategic Spending. By making sure that you use your credit card wisely, you can not only bypass debt while still saving up your money, but you will also be able to collect reward points passively as you go on with your daily expenses.
Strategic spending means to bide your expenditures until you find the most optimal way to use your funds. If you’re looking to buy a big-ticket item, make sure you choose a credit card that gives you bonus points for purchases of that kind. If you don’t have one, you can just wait for promos that might help make the item cheaper or give you more points when buying it.
It’s all about discipline and a conscious effort to save up money.
What Can I Use My Credit Card Points For?
Now that we know how useful credit card points are in the Philippines and how you can efficiently collect them, it’s time to look at what exactly they’re good for.
Over the article, certain things such as airline miles and cashback opportunities have been mentioned, but of course, they’re so many more things that credit card points are good for. Here’s a list of the most common ones, including the ones that have already been mentioned.
Credit cards meant for travel are often marketed for their ease of use by people who are avid travelers, be it outside or within the country. These credit cards often give you the best value for your travel redemption.
Points here are most often traded for airfare, hotel stays, cruises, and other kinds of luxury transportation.
They’re also designed to collect and consume points for travel. Depending on the card, they might provide you points immediately after you book a trip or a hotel stay, you might be able to use your points to pay for items, or you might also be able to use the points to fund a part of your purchase.
For you to know exactly what your card allows you to do, it’s best to inquire with them directly.
Most credit card companies are partnered with numerous stores and malls. In line with these partnerships, they allow the trading of points for gift cards to these various retailers.
That being said, this option is, most of the time, of lesser value when used. This is mostly because there are other options where you can get better value for your points.
Most credit cards have their own rewards catalogues where they offer credit card holders a few items. The options found in these reward catalogues would often be products of their partner companies such as appliances, gadgets, stationary, clothes etc.
It is very much likened to online shopping malls, that could either be very limited or extremely broad, depending on the credit card issuer.
Cash rebates have already been mentioned a number of times in this article. In the Philippines, this is the option that most people go for since most people don’t necessarily think that reward points are worth it (most people don’t use credit cards that often to the point where they can collect enough points for shopping).
Credit cards would usually have loyalty programs paired with their rewards programs that help make points have more versatility.
For example, the points for these loyalty programs might be transferable to a number of frequent flyer programs, or hotel loyalty programs. This puts more value on credit card points as they can be used to help book free stays in hotels or airfare.
Seldom will you find credit cards that are partners with both hotels and airlines.
Third Party Sites
Many credit cards allow their points to be used on a number of third-sites.
Ecommerce websites such as Amazon, Lazada, Shopee, and even some apps such as Grab, Uber all have options to pay with points.
This is the least popular option and is also one that has the worst value. It would be better for you, and the charity if you chose to donate directly, instead of using the points that you have.
These are some of the most common places where credit card points are used. However, some companies find creative ways to utilize them.
Credit card points in the Philippines are used in a variety of ways. Their most common uses are for cashback, for rewards points, and airline miles. You will find use for your credit card points almost everywhere you are on the Internet, so if you avidly use your credit card– collect those points, as they might end up providing you more than what you bargained for in the future!